Sunday, February 17, 2013
It was just so sunny, 50* today in mid-Missouri, that I couldn't spend the afternoon inside. So I hit the Stinson Creek Trail to try out the playlist I've put together. I didn't come home for a little over 2 hours.
The breeze made it a perfect day for walking, so I just kept going. I ended up logging 6.14 miles! I haven't done that since Spring 1979!!
I love my playlist. Most of it is pretty basic tempo, like Manilow's Daybreak and Survivor's Eye of the Tiger. (Yes, I have eclectic taste in music). Almost all the trail is flat to gently rolling. But there are switchbacks at each end of what I walked, going up to an old railroad bridge at one end and a state road at the other. Of course, two of my peppiest songs came at those points! I just couldn't keep up the tempo of Parton's 9 to 5 or McGraw's Just to See You Smile! But the following songs were lots of fun after I'd made the turns and headed back down: Astley's Together Forever and Atkins' If You're Going Through Hell!
I finished up with my favorite cooldown songs. Keith's My List, Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream, and last Today by The New Christy Minstrels. Then I stretched a bit, came home and stretched a whole lot more. I honestly can't remember when I felt better than I did after my walk, so I'm looking forward to doing the whole length of the trail (more than 8 miles) some pretty day next month.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
First off, it's not going to be easy. My Dad and I locked horns regularly, but he was the one family member who has always been there for me. Of course, it was usually in those little everyday ways. The biggest one, though, will always be a part of me.
I was 12 years old, and I had literally read every book of interest to me in the children's room at the Portland (Maine) Public Library. I was not allowed to use the adult section until I was 13. For probably 10 months or so, Dad made the commitment to take me to the library every other Monday. He was not a reader, but he would take something to do and sit at a table.
I would wander anywhere I wanted in that vast upper area and browse any books that struck my fancy. As I found what I wanted, I would take some back to Dad and then I was off prowling again! I don't remember that he never rushed me. When I had my selection of books ready, he would check them out on his card. My favorites that year were biographies and historical fiction, but (then and now) I read just about anything except sci-fi, horror, and mindless violence. Only once did my Dad postpone on me, because he was doing a funeral that afternoon. And he made sure we went the very next day. What a "best memory of Dad" to have, because it went on and on and on....
Mostly I feel somewhere between lost and numb. I've slept and slept over the past few days, even though I've not been sleep-deprived. I've walked, finally, a couple of days, but it has felt like such a chore. Even my stretching, which has felt so darned good since I started it with SparkPeople, seems like I'm just going through the motions - and with limbs made of wood. Several days I've been below calories and carbs; I just don't want to eat. Last night I MADE myself get in that last 100 calories or so with fruit for carbs. Then I spent the entire evening feeling almost obscenely full.
So I'm planning to just keep listening to my body. If I don't want to eat, I don't plan to. I've been on target with water, freggies, and protein. That's good enough for now. I THINK I should be missing my longer walks (minimum 3 miles), but I don't. So I'll stick with 1-1/2 miles or so until I really want to add some more. I'll stretch just because, rather than because I want to. And I'll sleep, or veg, as much as I need to right now.
I've been through bouts of depression, and that's not what this feels like. It feels temporary in a way I can't describe, rather than the never-ending black hole of depression. So I'll just feel my way through this fog and find some sunshine on the other side whenever the time is right.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Died died yesterday afternoon, just a couple of hours after I posted yesterday. He simply stopped breathing while our son Tobias stood by the bed, stroking his Camper's head.
Not two hours before, he had still clearly recognizes his special hospice aide. (He had been on hospice from last December until July, and he was discharged because he had improved so much). He'd always said that no one got him as clean as April did, and I'm sure she appreciated that he remembered her.
About half an hour before, our special Christmas (the Boston pup he'd given to Paul for Christmas 2011) kept standing on his hind legs at the bedside to lick Dad's right hand. When I put him up on the bed, he'd simply lain quietly at Dad's hip - not what one would expect from the dog still often called by his nickname "Wiggle-Bottom"! And Eve had spent the last hour or so jumping up by his left foot and then walking up to sniff his left hand ever-so-gently. Our MandyCat, who NEVER sticks around when someone other than Dad, Paul, Scout (T's wife) was in the house? Well, she spent all afternoon on the back of a chair near Dad's bed, watching everything that went on. Yes, April got to meet and pat her for the first time ever! Clearly, they were all keeping track of what was happening!
I'd thought ever since early morning that we were looking at sometime overnight. So it was just a bit earlier than I was expecting. But Tobias is the one who will take Dad's death harder than anyone else in the family, so I'm grateful that it was as it was. T is well aware of how peaceful his death was, not having to trust what someone else tells him. And over time, that will help to ease his grief, I know.
So another WWII vet is gone, as well as a wonderful Dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather. We will mourn his death for a season, but we will celebrate his life for a lifetime.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I was just too spent last night to write anything. But yesterday and into this morning was clearly the middle.
In retrospect, his burst of energy was yesterday morning. He was very controlling about what got done when and how. He wanted oatmeal for breakfast but then complained that I wouldn't do it right. (In a double boiler, on the wood stove, overnight - because that's what he grew up with, and also he and Mom lived by choice in Maine about 1972-85 or so with only a wood stove. Added electric heat long after they built it.) I did the double boiler, of course, but he knew I did it on the electric stove.
Then, it took a couple of hours to feed him juice, the oatmeal, a scrambled egg, and a cup of coffee. Toward the end of that time, a couple of his friends stopped by; and the 3 hours up in the wheelchair taxes him far more than it had Sunday evening. And supper last night was just some pudding.
Our#1 son came yesterday, and Dad perked right up as soon as he saw him at the door. But after greeting Tobias, he slept as T and I visited sitting right beside him. Dad seemed to take no notice of when he left, but after the door closed said, "bye Toby."
Then over the entire evening, Dad told me several things with single statements. A little before midnight, he said "goodnight" three times; and I took him to be telling me it was OK to get some sleep. And how I slept!
This morning, #2 son was over right after his boys went to school. Unfortunately, I think we'd switched out of the middle time before he got here. He clearly knew David was here, but he couldn't interact at all. D took that pretty hard.
So now we await his home-going.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Dad lay down for a nap about 2pm today. Ever since he woke up, he's been weaker and more confused. That means he's beginning to get argumentative and insist he can do things that he simply can't. He lets me insist on having transfers in and out bed, etc. my way, but he really gave Paul "what-for" this afternoon! So Paul and I can do his care together, or I can do it alone. But Paul had been OK earlier, so I'd Finally gotten in a brief walk.
Earlier this morning we had all watched a live stream of a service from the Lutheran church in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and he said how good it was to feel like he'd been to a real service. He's been going to worship at his assisted living regularly, but there's no music or real sermon. And this afternoon when he lay down, he said he knew he wasn't going to die tonight.
Scout (my amazing daughter-in-law) has taken over on any "stuff" that needs to be done for now, like finishing moving things out of Dad's assisted living room. Tobias makes a point of just spending time with Dad and me together. Doesn't sound like much, I know, but Dad wants to reminisce about SO much right now that I can't get anything done in the way of cooking or starting a load of clothes unless T is around. Paul does just about everything else around the house - dishes, cleaning, and finishing up the laundry. Son David is a single dad and works 12-hr shifts Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, so his hands are tied right now. But he'll be jumping in to pick up on things as soon as his boys are off to school Tuesday morning. So we are definitely all pulling together right now!
Still, it's hard to know that our good day yesterday was our last, even though I expected that to be the case. I'd kept my fingers crossed that we'd have today too. But he still had a good time watching the first half of the Atlanta game (no family preferences there), and he was up for all of the Patriots game. A victory for HIS team, so I was glad for that.
He's also been on the phone with all the family and friends that matter most over the last couple of days, and that has meant a lot to him too. So I guess everything is ready now except for one thing - the room that Jesus went ahead to prepare.
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