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June Results, Great Wildflower Hike

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Overall June was challenging due to momís final decline and death. I traveled out of state to stay with mom; staying in hotels led to eating and exercise challenges. Financially the travel was expensive and required me to dip into savings. Although I am luckier than many people because my employer gave me extended paid leave to spend time with mom in her final days, the 3 separate trips to an expensive area cost me over $6,000. Ouch. But I am glad that I spent time with her, and that I was with her at the end. But this was an emotional roller coaster, and I am grateful that I had her in my life. I miss her.


So all in all I am happy that my June was not a health disaster. I did not gain or lose weight. I kept up regular exercise, even if it was just 10 minutes at night before bed. I lapsed on my eating and had a couple of binges, but I recovered and moved back into healthier habits.

I return to California tomorrow for momís funeral service and memorial. I am reading a favorite poem that mom wanted to have included in the service, it is Margaritae Sorori by William Ernest Henley. Iíll paste it at the end of this blog for those who like poetry and/or comforting messages about departed loved ones.

I hiked Lookout Mountain on Sunday by myself, it was a hot day and none of my friends were willing to brave the heat. I really enjoyed it. I will be leading this hike in a couple of weeks, and I want to be sure I am in shape for this moderate hike (about 7.5 miles, 1250 elevation gain). The wildflowers were spectacular. Mom would have loved it. She really loved nature.


The trail opens in the woods in the Ochoco Mountains



After a mile or so elevation gain, I hiked through a meadow filled with corn lilies

Flowers (larkspur and lupine)


Butterfly on yarrow



Lupine


Indian paintbrush and other flowers


Flax


This flower is aptly named -- Oregon Sunshine!


Indian Paintbrush and lupine


The flowers are best in the dry rocky slopes on top of Lookout Mountain. They have a very short blooming season.


View on the descent across wildflower meadow


In the woods on the descent, arnica was blooming in the shade.

Poem for mom's memorial:

"Margaritae Sorori"
by William Ernest Henley

A LATE lark twitters from the quiet skies:
And from the west,
Where the sun, his day's work ended,
Lingers as in content,
There falls on the old, gray city
An influence luminous and serene,
A shining peace.

The smoke ascends
In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires
Shine and are changed. In the valley
Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun,
Closing his benediction,
Sinks, and the darkening air
Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night--
Night with her train of stars
And her great gift of sleep.

So be my passing!
My task accomplish'd and the long day done,
My wages taken, and in my heart
Some late lark singing,
Let me be gather'd to the quiet west,
The sundown splendid and serene,
Death.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 7/10/2014 7:16PM

    Hi Alison,
Thank you for sharing this very interesting hike, and your fabulous photos. You are doing so well keeping up with your hiking, and keeping on track with your goals.
This is a very moving poem. I am sure your mother would appreciate it, being a favourite of hers. You did everything you could for your dear mother and it is only understandable that you are missing her. I am sure she is very much with you in spirit.
Thinking of you and sending blessings and prayers your way.
Hugs, Nattacia

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CHRISGETTINGFIT 7/10/2014 2:06PM

    Beautiful hike! Hope things go smoothly with the funeral. Take care!

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MARITIMER3 7/9/2014 11:53PM

    What a beautiful way to remember and honour your mother. I hope the service is comforting for you and your family. It's more than 20 years since my mother's death, but I think of her often, and remember some of the things she taught me.
Hugs, Gail

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THIN133 7/9/2014 8:01PM

    Sorry to about the loss of your Mom. It's so good you were able to spend time with her. It's great you can still stay focused & still keeping active. The pictures are beautiful ! How lovely that you can hike with such beautiful scenery ! Take care.

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GINNABOOTS 7/9/2014 5:40PM

    I am so very sorry the loss of your dear mother. So glad that you were able to be with her in her last days.

Beautiful pictures and the hike was definitely therapeutic for you.

Great job keeping with your plan. I lost my mom on July 5th, 2013 and my dad 3 months later and I have gained 15 pounds, so I am not so good with the emotional eating. You are doing an awesome job.

Once again, so very sorry, emoticon

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DR1939 7/9/2014 4:55PM

    emoticon You did every thing just right with your mom. She was lucky to have you. The poem is lovely.

Good news on the no weight gain. The walk was beautiful, I do love wildflowers.

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Hiking Paulina Creek, Missing Mom

Monday, June 23, 2014

I led a hike on Paulina Creek on Saturday with 8 other hikers, I really enjoyed the group. The trail was dusty, and followed the creek. We hiked about 6.5 miles.

Paulina Creek is named after Chief Paulina, who was a warrior who attacked many Oregon settlers.

Our hiking group crossing the bridge


McKay Falls, our destination. McKay was one of the scouts who was instrumental in tracking Chief Paulina, and stopping his attacks.


We took an alternate trail back which was an adventure. Because it was a fisherman's trail, it was not used by horses and was MUCH less dusty. After the hike we visited lovely Paulina Falls.

There is a lot of water in the double falls, because the snow is melting very quickly.

I missed mom all week long but particularly on Sunday; for years I have called her every Sunday. My younger sister felt the same loss (we both called every Sunday, even when she could no longer pick up the phone. She said she heard our voices over the answering machine by her bed).

I have a couple of photos from my final visit, trying to focus on happier memories.

My sister with me in momís apartment

My brother. These photos are from the first day of my visit, when mom was more alert and able to communicate.

Mom always loved the grounds of the nursing home. Even when she couldn't walk, she loved looking out the windows and her rare wheelchair trips (the wheelchair was very painful for her)

Here is a photo of the resident apartment units (mom lived in one of the apartments before she became so ill).

The courtyard outside the nursing home

The flower garden outside the window

Flowers are watered and selected by other residents in the senior community.


My mom selected this poem (anonymous writer) to be read at her funeral. I find it both powerful and comforting.

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night
by Unknown Author

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my soul's sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul's at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed.
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 7/8/2014 8:13PM

    I enjoyed the pictures of the hike so much!

And thanks for sharing the lovely pictures of your family and where your mom's last home.

Hope you are doing as well as can be expected. It's a process.
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CLAIREINPARIS 7/3/2014 4:30PM

    Dear Alison, I so wish I could give you a big hug! I know for myself how beautiful hikes help to cope with sadness, and so I am glad you went hiking. It looked like a gorgeous place! Thank you for showing us the pictures of the garden at your mother's nursing home. How beautiful! The garden where my mother is now isn't nice, but it is right next to the forest and that is truly beautiful.
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BROOKLYN_BORN 6/26/2014 7:21PM

    The pictures are beautiful. The poem brought tears to my eyes. Your Mom was a wise woman. Treasure the memories and take care of yourself.

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THIN133 6/25/2014 11:57AM

    You're hiking picture are beautiful ! What lovely family photos ! Treasured memories. So sorry to hear about your loss. It must be a difficult time. Sending hugs & thoughts your way.

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OPALMOON 6/25/2014 5:20AM

    Hi Alison,
Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos of your family and the nursing home.. It looks like a very pleasant setting and it's no wonder your Mom loved the gardens and grounds. It's great that you led the hike even though you are naturally missing your Mom. The scenery is beautiful and the waterfall looks spectacular. This lovely poem is indeed very powerful and comforting; thank you for sharing that too.
God bless - sending warm thoughts and hugs your way,
Nattacia

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QUEENIEBELLE 6/24/2014 6:17PM

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MICHELELYNN777 6/24/2014 11:00AM

    Alison,
I have been out of town and just catching up on blogs...I am sending hugs and prayers during your time of grieving. I'm glad you enjoyed a beautiful hike and I liked seeing all the pictures of Paulina Creek and from the nursing home. Even though you will never stop missing your mom, you will cherish memories of her always. Thank you for sharing the poem~it is beautiful.
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DR1939 6/24/2014 1:24AM

    Lovely hike. I used to call my mom on Sunday evening. I miss her still. The nursing facility grounds are very pretty.

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YMWONG22 6/24/2014 12:04AM

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MARITIMER3 6/23/2014 11:25PM

    I think your mother was a very wise woman. You will miss her for a long time, I know, Alison, but I think it's good that you are getting back to some of your regular activities.

The nursing home where your mother lived looks beautiful, and I'm sure some of the staff will be missing her a lot too.

Do you have any trips planned for this summer or fall? I hope you are able to get some time off soon.

Hugs, Gail emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 6/23/2014 11:15PM

    Going on that hike was really helpful for you -such a good stress reliever! Gorgeous hiking photos! Especially the waterfalls!
It was nice your Mom had a nice place to be. Glad you were able to be with her during her last days. Sorry for your loss. Keep hiking those beautiful trails..your Mom would be proud of you!
Hugs

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SUNSHINE99999 6/23/2014 11:13PM

  love the waterfall pictures. emoticon

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Rest in Peace, Mom

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Just back from 9 days very tough days in California. My beloved mother died early yesterday morning. She had a couple of days where she was semiconscious and knew I was there. My younger sister and older brother were there with me sharing the vigil for days at momís bedside. The other two were missing, and I am struggling not to resent them for not being there. I need to instead focus on the good things Ė a loving and kind mother, the caring caregivers, and that we were able to ease her suffering.

Mom was awake and alert for her 95th birthday at the end of May, but she has been very ill for a long time. She is in the arms of the Lord at last. She had last rites, and was awake and at peace for prayers from the hospice chaplain.

My mom wrote this short poem for the staff of her nursing home a few years ago at Christmas, before she became too ill to write. She was probably 89 when she wrote this poem. Iím reprinting it, to remember the good things about this long tough journey.

To the Nursing Home Staff

This season of Christmas, this month of December,
Is the best of all times for us to remember
You who work hard to make our life brighter
So the weight of our years seems a little bit lighter.
We can be cranky and hard to please,
But our worst complaining you handle with ease.
For your patience, politeness, your smiling ways
As you put up with us, we offer our praise.
For all the kindness and help weíve received through the year
Youíve grown close to our hearts,
Youíve become very dear.
For all your work and your warmth and your wonderful attitude
You deserve now and always our love and our gratitude.




RIP Mom, I hope I can emulate your caring and forgiving attitude.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 6/26/2014 7:18PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you had some siblings with you. I'm an only child and the only time I've missed brothers and sisters has been at the passing of my parents.
May your memories comfort you.


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CHRISGETTINGFIT 6/24/2014 10:41AM

    I didn't see this till now. Glad you have so many good memories of your mom to remember her by.

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LUVS2BIKE101 6/21/2014 4:06PM

    You were so blessed to have such a loving mom. If only there were more moms like her in this world! I know you will always remember the joy she brought into your life. Thank you for sharing her lovely poem with us. May God comfort you.
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CAROLFAITHWALKR 6/19/2014 5:30PM

    What a lovely poem and beautiful picture! Thanks so much for sharing your Mom with us.

Well at least her suffering is over. And at least you got to be with her when circumstances could have very well dictated otherwise, regardless of your best intentions. That is a priceless gift as well.

Concerning the other two, remember the horse with blinders on, and pretend you are the horse. There's nothing you can do about other peoples' choices, so just don't go there. Just cut those thoughts off b4 they start. In your mind picture a huge pair of clippers, hedge shearers with long wicked blades that take both arms operate, and just go after those thoughts with a vengeance and cut them right off. Sometimes I had to sing, outloud, to get my mind off thinking about those things. And I can't sing, either. When I burst into crude song in the middle of an aisle in a store, I got alot of looks. Especially if there were also tears. The thoughts seem to attack at inappropriate times and places. Very inconveniently. I hummed alot in polite company.

All of these things (including the other 2) are things to grieve b/c they are hurtful, they are & will be part of the grieving process. The circumstances and everything involved during this time, and leading up to it, will be part of your grieving process. Give them neutral acknowledgment when the thoughts come, but then immediately switch the page to something else or start singing or whatever it takes; keep the blinders on especially with your thought life, and keep those shears handy, going after those thoughts like a madwoman. We are told to guard our hearts with all diligence; and keeping a tight rein on justifiable anger, justifiable resentments, and anything else you have no control over, is one way to guard our hearts. (It's the justifiable ones, that are the hardest.) The helmet of salvation protects your head; it's there to protect your mind. The emotions follow what the mind dwells on; so neutrally acknowledge but then cut off the thoughts before they have a chance to grow and produce stalks and roots and effect your emotions, which will damage your heart. No roots of bitterness allowed to grow in your heart's garden! Guard your heart! Don't allow your mind to linger there, and dwell on them. You are doing this protectively for you, not for them.

Don't force yourself to try to forgive them right away, either. That will come as part of the grieving process. Don't let well-meaning believers tell you otherwise. Sometimes it's all you can do to struggle with today's grief added to today's living tasks, you do NOT have endless resources. They just don't appreciate that. B/c they are not grieving like you are! Forgiveness starts as an act of the will, so yes you can do that initial part; but don't let people push or rush the grieving and forgiving process. The 5 stages of grief are true, but every individual navigates them differently, out of order, with different expressions, and repeats many of the steps, many times, out of sequence. It is your own journey, not theirs, so don't let well-meaning people tell you you must forgive, you must do this, and you must do that, and you need to move on, she's in a better place, blah blah blah. Duh, you already know that. They don't know what to say in the face of your pain, and are clumsily trying to say something helpful.

Look up GriefShare.org, and at least get the free emails if you don't want to attend a local group. You might want to attend group later. I highly recommend GriefShare - they really GET it, all the subtleties of things you are feeling and going through that no one else talks about, and all the ramifications and impact in all the parts of your life - they REALLY get it. In group where people get it, would be a safe place to share about struggling with resentment, your journey overcoming it, etc. It is so comforting. Others might mean well, but, GriefShare really gets it. They never take advantage during a vulnerable period, never push, judge, or unintentionally say hurtful things.

Respect your need to grieve. No matter what that looks like, how it's expressed, how long it takes, or even if there are inappropriate timings of memories and tears and emotions. Our loved ones going Home to be with The Lord is our loss, heaven's gain. But it IS a bonafide loss. Take care of YOU on this journey.

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OPALMOON 6/19/2014 10:55AM

    What a lovely photo of your mother and what a beautiful poem she wrote. My condolences go out to you and your family on your loss. Mothers are very special and I hope in time your treasured memories bring you comfort. God bless.

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1BEACHWALKER 6/18/2014 10:35AM

    Your mother was a special, beautiful woman! Sending my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Hugs.

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/18/2014 5:28AM

    Such a beautiful poem, saying a lot about a very special lady... I am very sorry for this time you are going through though, dear Alison. I can imagine it isn't easy, but you have the right attitude, trying to focus on the good things. Thinking of you lots... emoticon

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CHEBBA 6/17/2014 6:39PM

    Your mother was indeed a lovely lady - that shines through in hr poem. The pain of losing her must be terrible just now, but gradually the memories and all that she was in this life will make you smile again. And she would want you to smile.

I wish you peace and tranquility and the ability to know that your Mum has 'simply gone next door', to somewhere else. Everything she was in this life will be hovering around you forever.



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DR1939 6/17/2014 10:38AM

    My condolences.

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MARITIMER3 6/17/2014 10:23AM

    I'm glad that you were with your mother, Alison. It was a privilege that you shared with your sister and brother. I would probably feel resentful about the two who weren't there too, but try not to let it affect your relationship with them.

Your mother lived a long, productive life, and suffered a lot at the end. I know that, as much as you miss her, you are glad that the suffering is over.

The poem that she wrote for the staff was wonderful. I hope they have framed it and posted it somewhere for everyone to see.

Keep all your happy memories close, and let your friends take care of you for a bit. This has been a long, hard struggle for you too.

Hugs and prayers,
Gail emoticon

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MARITIMER3 6/17/2014 10:21AM

    I'm glad that you were with your mother, Alison. It was a privilege that you shared with your sister and brother. I would probably feel resentful about the two who weren't there too, but try not to let it affect your relationship with them.

Your mother lived a long, productive life, and suffered a lot at the end. I know that, as much as you miss her, you are glad that the suffering is over.

Keep all your happy memories close, and let your friends take care of you for a bit. This has been a long, hard struggle for you too.

Hugs and prayers,
Gail emoticon

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MENNOLY 6/17/2014 10:02AM

    I am sorry for your loss. I loss my mom nearly 6 years ago. It is a bittersweet time. Take peace in knowing she is no longer suffering. You of course will miss her. I still have regrets that I did not spend enough time with my mom. She lived with me the last 2 years of her life but I was rather stretched at that time since I was working and still had a young teen daughter as well as caring for my parents. Try to let go of your resentment against your other siblings. Not every one has the strength to take care of an elderly parent. Not everyone has the strength to face the end of life for a loved one. Take comfort in that you were there at the end and helped your mom let go. My mom was not alert for the last week of her life but she knew when we took her out of the hospital and brought her home to pass away. God bless you and may the early days of your grief be gentle. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/17/2014 10:03:13 AM

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/17/2014 9:18AM

    Very sorry for your loss. What a lovely poem and mother!

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CHANGINGHORSES 6/17/2014 5:43AM

    That was beautiful. I am so sorry for your lose, she sounds like a wonderful woman. I was at my father's side when he passed and I feel very fortunate to have been there. It was painful, but it was truly one of my blessings.

"What the caterpillar perceives is the end; to the butterfly is just the beginning."

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-NORMA- 6/17/2014 3:22AM

    I'm sorry for your loss. I know you wanted to be there; I think it's good that she knew you were by her side. emoticon
A lovely poem.

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RUNNINGME 6/17/2014 1:33AM

    May happy memories of your mother comfort you in your loss.

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JEANINNEWCASTLE 6/17/2014 1:13AM

  I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that your mom is with the Lord.

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May Results, Worried about Mom

Monday, June 02, 2014

May was a pretty good month for me. I lost 4 pounds. I mostly met my goals: I exercised daily, increased hiking mileage, ate fairly well, stretched at least 4 times a week, controlled snacking (with the exception of the past 5 days when I was visiting mom). I limited sugar-free energy sodas (I drank 3 last month, which is down from 30-50 per month in March). I feel good that I didnít relapse on the soda, and I met my goals for most of the month. Itís not great that I relapsed into emotional eating when visiting mom, but I am not going to beat myself up for a short term lapse. Iím forgiving myself and moving on, and celebrating an overall good month.
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I have been visiting mom for the past 5 days and I did not eat well or exercise as much while there. On her 95th birthday, she had a stream of visitors and well wishers Ė 20-25 of her friends stopped by. I purchased cupcakes (her favorites) but she could not eat even a mouthful. For the remainder of my visit, I did a bedside vigil. She was very weak and sleepy. She slept through most of my visit. However she perked up and stayed awake again when son-in-law and her granddaughter came on the weekend; we brought brunch but she did not eat anything. She has stopped eating and only drinks a few sips of ginger ale. The hospice RN said that may occur at the end of life. She gets nauseated and canít swallow her pills. They are sending a specialist doctor who will look at her throat and investigate mom's problems swallowing.

I feel very torn about flying home to return to work. I asked the hospice nurse if I needed to stay and he told me I should go; that I may need to return later. So I came home but she was in tears when I left.

It has become very clear to my brother and me that my older sister does not plan to return early from Mexico even if mom is dying or dies. Older sister lives closest to mom and has done the bulk of visiting; she is the medical advisor and has control of momís finances. I know sister must feel she needs time off (this has been going on for over 2 years, and it is mom's 4th time in hospice care). Nevertheless, mom feels abandoned. I live 550 miles away. I will try to make another trip in two weeks (my older brother from Arizona will flying in at the end of week). It is a financial drain to go; hotels in Palo Alto/Menlo Park are VERY expensive, but I need to dip into savings and just do it. My younger sister CANíT come because of the blood clots.

I do not want my mom to be sad and lonely at the end. Even though she feels forgotten by her friends, LOTS of them visit, even when it is difficult for them due to mobility/balance problems. They wheel themselves in on wheelchairs or use their walkers. She is just asleep and doesn't know they are there.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 6/13/2014 11:16AM

    Hello Alison.
I noticed your comment on Claire's hiking blog from this week that I have only just caught up on...and it rang a few bells with me.
My grandmother had dementia and she had trouble swallowing tablets and stopped eating towards the end, as others have related too. It is understandable that she sleeps a lot, though hard for those who visit her with her also feeling abandoned. I agree that this is part of the condition, so please don't feel guilty about this. You are doing all you can, especially with a lot of miles to cover and the cost involved. It is hard when living such a distance away- and working - I was also living a fair distance from my home state when my grandmother went through the initial to middle stages of dementia, which put a great deal of pressure on my Mum.
It is great that your brother and you are coordinating visits, which is all you can do...and also that your mother had a lot of people around her for her 95th birthday. I think the suggestion of thinking of happy memories to counteract what is happening now is a great idea. I hope you can find a way that helps you get through this time.
Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way for you, your mother and family.
Hugs, Nattacia

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MARITIMER3 6/3/2014 9:59PM

    Hi Alison,

I'm so sorry that you are distressed about leaving your mother alone. You are doing everything you can, and more than most people are able to do.

It does sound as if your mother is nearing the end of her life, but she has rallied three times before and may surprise everyone by doing it again.

It's wonderful that so many of her friends and family visited on her birthday, and that you were there to share it with her.

Be gentle with yourself. You are a wonderful, loving daughter and your mother values the time she has with you.

Hugs, Gail emoticon

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2014TODAY 6/3/2014 8:46AM

    My heart is going out to you.

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FRAN0426 6/2/2014 11:07PM

    So sorry to hear about your mothers condition. It is difficult watching our parents go through decline, When they live away from your home base, it can surely put a strain on your pocket book with needing lodging and food, along with travel expenses to pay.
Congrats on having a good month of staying on track in the month of May, and the four pounds lost.

Comment edited on: 6/2/2014 11:09:40 PM

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JEANINNEWCASTLE 6/2/2014 2:54PM

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 6/2/2014 2:49PM

    It's common with dementia patients to feel abandoned and forgotten, even when they're not. It's part of the disease. They can no longer process certain things correctly.

So don't take that guilt trip on yourself.

You and your brother and her lovely, very special friends can only do so much, and you are all doing what you can do.

Concentrate on what you're capable of doing, and let go of the rest. I was holding my sister's hand when she passed in hospice. so I understand the very real need to be there even if they don't know you, and the need (at least on our part) for them to not be alone when they go through the door of this world into the next. But I was also NOT working at that time, it was at the beginning of my desert of unemployment. All of that said to say this: While I will always be profoundly grateful I was there, I simply would not have been, if I'd been working. That's just a fact of life.

There were many family situations that were extremely hurtful, and intensely painful at that time. At the very WORST possible time. (WHY do they do that??) So just put blinders on, pretend you are a horse and you're putting on your blinders, and ONLY look at what is in YOUR power and control, what YOU are capable of doing, and let go of the rest. The rest is not in your control to begin with, anyway; so let go of it, concentrate on what you CAN do, turn away mentally and emotionally from the rest. You are already doing that with multiple visits and dipping into savings and coordinating with your brother. Turn away from the rest. You are only one person, you have no control over others, and you are doing what you can.

Acceptance doesn't mean you approve, condone, give in, or that it's okay with you. Acceptance simply means you acknowledge the reality of what is. There are things you can change and have control over, and there are things you cannot. Acceptance is not good or bad: acceptance simply means you accept the current reality. Acceptance saves your sanity.

My sister also couldn't swallow at the end, and had to take morphine in liquid form b/c of it. For ea memory you have of your mom like that, intentionally concentrate and slowly, emotionally savor, 3 other good memories of her. Do this every time. After a few months, I think it took about 7 months with me, I had trained my mind to remember the good with ea memory that came up. The sorrow doesn't pass, but it honors them to remember the good, and helps your mind and emotions to remember the good.
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DR1939 6/2/2014 2:14PM

    We tended my brother-in-law at home at the end of his life. He essentially raised my husband who was 20 years younger. It was difficult, but in some ways easier than hospice care. We did have a visiting nurse and cleaning help for his room and him. He, too, did not eat as he neared the end. And the nurse told us that it was very common for this to occur. You are being a very loving daughter during a very difficult time.
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Hiking Rogue River Trail (end)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

After leaving Marial Lodge, we were ready for an easier hiking day. The hike to Paradise bar was only about 3.5-4 miles. This stretch of the trail was delightful. You climb up a rock ridge that is named Devilís Backbone. The river has cut a very narrow channel through the serpentinite rock.


Rogue River



We saw more lovely flowers

Monkey flower loves the moist areas where water seeps out of the ground

The iris blooms change color as you hike along the trail

Indian paintbrush

Coreopsis in the dry rocky soil

At Inspiration Point, the hiker looks across at Stairstep Falls.


Paradise Lodge had the nicest accommodations -- the rooms were spacious and comfortable. The food was quite good. They had a complete selection of Zane Gray western novels; he lived in the area. The novels are dated and contain stereotypes that are jarring to modern readers.

View from our room at Paradise Lodge

View from the restaurant deck

The river is enjoyed by rafters and kayakers


We thought the final hiking day would be not too long. The views were beautiful, but it was a long hard slog. The trail had been rerouted. A couple of short sections had very treacherous footing over washed out scree.

On the trail

River view

Crossing the scree section -- very carefully!

The weather was very warm, and all of us ran out of water by the end of the hike. 2 of our hiking group brought water purifiers Ė next time I will bring my own because no one was willing to stop and pump water.
At Blossom Bar, we saw the wild azalea trees in bloom.


We had lunch at Flora Dell where a lovely little waterfall cascaded down.

Approaching Flora Dell

Flora Dell

We were quite happy to arrive at Illahee lodge after hiking around 12 miles.
The view from Illahee was lovely.

Relaxing on the porch at Illahee
The former owner was quite a character (he is now working for his daughter). He opined that the beautiful forests should be logged, because the forest was meant to provide cellulose.

This is the view from Illahee lodge -- can you imagine it with the forest clear cut?

On our way home, we took a different route. We stopped along the Umpqua River several times.

Colliding River, where the Little River meets the Umpqua
We hiked to Toakatee Falls, off the Umpqua River highway. It is a short easy hike -- but we didn't expect the uphill grade!



Tokatee Falls

I LOVED this hiking adventure, but yesterday (my first day home) I was happy to rest and do household chores. Today I worked outside in the yard for 5 hours. Maybe tomorrow I'll be ready to hike again!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 6/2/2014 2:10PM

    Loved, loved, loonderfuved your pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them and your wonderful hike with us!

Were you wearing anything that told calories burned? Just imagine how many cals you burned on this trip! Wouldn't it be fun to add them up?

Great job and wonderful blogs!
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MICHELELYNN777 5/27/2014 8:27AM

    I loved going through your hiking adventure with you via your blog. The pictures are beautiful and I'm sure it was even more breath-taking in person. I'm curious to know where you started from and how you mapped out your route~the Rogue River is near where I live and I am inspired by you to consider taking on this challenge. Thank you for sharing.

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CHRISGETTINGFIT 5/25/2014 5:40PM

    Gorgeous waterfalls!

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CLAIREINPARIS 5/25/2014 12:02PM

    Just gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing the fantastic adventure with us. I am truly sorry to read that you didn't have enough water though, this could have been dangerous -- and I couldn't believe your hiking companions didn't help, I would have been furious! Indeed, water purifiers for next time sounds like a good idea.
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DR1939 5/25/2014 3:03AM

    Lovely trip. The pictures are beautiful. I was taken back that your colleagues were unwilling to help with water. This could easily be a safety issue.

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MARITIMER3 5/24/2014 10:42PM

    It sounds absolutely perfect. I'd love to do a hiking vacation someday, if I can find someone to go with me.

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures, and I'm glad the weather was better for you the last two days.

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