Reid and I are taking a mini-vacation the rest of this week and joining his parents, aunt, uncle, brother, and cousins in California for a short cruise to celebrate his aunt's 50th birthday! We are looking forward to some quality time together away from home and are also excited to spend time with family we don't see often. In my mind, this trip marks the beginning of our summer and I couldn't be more excited!
It has been gorgeous here in Dallas lately and Luke, Emme, and I have been taking advantage of the great weather to do some fun things outdoors! Our two favorites so far: the Arboretum and the pool!
We also love going to Bookmarks Library at Northpark Mall on Wednesdays when they have their children's series. Emme and Luke's Mommy said they could get a special treat when we went last Wednesday! They chose yummy cookies. They also have a very nice nanny who cleans them up after the messy, yummy cookies. ;)
Yesterday morning my mom experienced another seizure. Similar to the one two weeks ago she fell on the floor, this time hurting her ring and pinky fingers. An xray done yesterday by an idiotic technitian (who must have been in a hurry to leave for the holiday weekend because the nursing home had to call this morning after the results didn't get delivered last night) revealed that her two fingers were, in fact, broken.
My dad and sister were with my mom shortly after they received the call alerting them of her seizure and fall. Eleanor said Mom was upset, much more than she had been in a while. She was upset and understood enough to say, "I don't want to die."
I don't know what it's like to be trapped inside a sick body. I don't know what it's like to have broken fingers throb, but not be able to express my pain to someone who can help me. I don't know what it's like, but if I had a choice I would take her place.
I ache for the day she is made new.
While the cause of the seizures is still unknown, her doctor decided a good place to start was with her medications. She was taken off Abilify. It is known to possibly cause seizures as a side effect.
I am praying that these seizures were induced by the medication and are not a new reality of her Disease.
If you are interested in watching any of the episodes that are part of The Alzheimer's Project that is airing on HBO this week you can do so here. I can't even tell you how excited our family is to know that a series like this was made to educate the world. What makes me sad as I watch these episodes is that the people profiled are so much older than my mom.
Mother's Day, for my mom was just like any other day, but for the rest of us - her children - today could quite possibly have been our last Mother's Day with her. We each handled our emotions differently today. Eleanor gave her roses, I have her a blanket, George gave her a letter. My dad mourned in his own way as he watched us honor our mother. She, while aware of our presence and gifts, had no idea why they were being given or the significance of today. We have learned to count this as a blessing. It's a blessing that she doesn't understand why we cry. It's a blessing that she doesn't cry.
This was a little wrist crossage that the nursing home gave to all of the Mom patients today. Please notice that they are silk flowers! All of the women wore them very proudly. I'm not sure Mom knew why she was wearing hers.
Here she is, relaxing like royalty! Reid and I gave her this really soft blanket and she loved cuddling with it today.
Here is Mom with her favorite baby! George wrote my mom the sweetest note for Mother's Day. I had hoped to get him on video reading it to her, but we were all to emotional to get through reading the card aloud without crying. In the card, he told her that he remembered coming to see her for the first time in the nursing home and how scared he had been that she wouldn't recognize him. He said she looked up at him and said, "I love you."
All of us celebrating Mother's Day with Mom. I have a picture of El and me with Mom on my camera that I will post when I get home to my computer. Eleanor had to leave before we got a chance to take these pictures.
Mimi, Mom, and Me. Three generations together on Mother's Day.
Reid and I are in Little Rock celebrating Mother's Day this weekend. I'm with my mom right now at the nursing home. She is eating her tub of ice cream! What a happy Mama she is!
My dad received a call early yesterday morning from the nursing home saying that Mom had suffered a seizure in the hallway and fell as a result. The cause seems to be the deterioration of the brain made by the Disease. It didn't seem at the time that she sustained any injuries, but she made some indication that her hip is bothering her. She may just be sore, but an x-ray has been ordered to explore any unseen damage.
I hate that we may have progressed to a new place with the Disease. I hate it for her, and I hate it for us.
Today, however, she has been silly. We have been talking about things we did when we were kids and she has been laughing. I love her laugh.
I just finished making a iPhoto coffee table book of all the pictures Ashley Carson took at Thanksgiving. I posted some of them in an entry earlier this week. I have put off doing anything with these pictures for nearly six months, trying not to conjure up anymore emotions than necessary. I know what you're thinking, "Hello, then what do you think your blog is doing to you!" But there is something about looking at the pictures and writing an introduction to go along with the book that really got to me.
How do you write the introduction to the last pictures that you have of your mom looking like your mom?
I found myself starting to write about how much my mom had wanted to take a family portrait, and how guilty I felt for waiting so long to do anything about it. I waited so long, in fact, that she didn't even have interest in looking at the pictures when my dad tried to show them to her. She got so much worse so soon after the pictures were taken, that I'm not even sure she realized we had them. I feel guilty that by the time we took pictures it was because I did finally realize how immanent the prognosis of her disease was. Like, the fog finally lifted and I thought, "Well, we need to do this now or it might not happen." Oh, how guilty I feel for thinking that! Sometimes I think there are so many things I would do differently if I could go back six years to the beginning of the diagnosis.
Maybe, in the grieving process, I'm on the "upward turn." Instead of dwelling for days about my guilt and letting it affect my daily life, I am choosing to let go of it. Knowing that I can't control the past, only what I do from now on.
Tonight I got to babysit my good friend Erica Smith's four month old little girl, Saylor. She is the cutest, most laid back little angel I think I've ever kept! She was napping when I got here, and when she woke up ad I went to get her out of her crib she had the biggest grin on her face. There was, however, disappointment when she realized I was not her mom. Any fussiness this evening before her dinner could only be solved by holding her like this:
It was hilarious! I did take a break from holding her to check out the Bumbo seat. I've never seen a baby in one (up close and personal) and I was intrigued. I guess I was really amusing while she was sitting there because she looked at me like this:
Then I got self-conscious. When I was getting her ready for bed she was so happy. Here are a few pictures of my best attemp to get the already happy baby to smile:
And, of course, I had to document how darn cute she looks all swaddled up! By the way, this was my first ever attempt at a serious swaddled and I needed a lot of room so that's why we are sitting on the floor.
And this face was priceless. She was watching her fan.
It has been so fun to see my friends have babies and enter Motherhood! I feel so priviledged to get to be a part of these little ones lives. Thank you Matt and Erica for trusting me with Saylor tonight! -- Post From My iPhone
*Be sure your sound is on. The first song on my blog player, The Glory of it All, goes with this post.
For some reason this time of night always "gets" me. I'm sitting on my couch, 300 miles away from my mom, wondering if she was exhausted today and fell asleep early, or is still making her laps around the nursing home halls. Its something I've wondered nightly for the past four months.
I have been doing a lot of processing since Easter, hence my lack of faithful blogging. My family had the opportunity to go to church together on Easter Sunday. We all woke up before sunrise to get ourselves and my mom ready, and made it to the early service at Fellowship in LR. There was something so emotional, besides it already being Easter, about taking my mom to church. It has been a long time since we have gone as a family, and realizing it might be our last time there all together made it even more special. I'm not sure she knew where we were, I'm not even sure she knew me that weekend, but I know her spirit felt His presence.
I keep thinking back to a moment during worship when I looked over at my mom. She was looking at me, and it was the first time since Baptist Hospital that her eyes seemed empty. I've tried to explain it to a few close friends as being like someone in a vegetative state who can still move their body.
I think I say this every month that has passed since Christmas, but I want time to stop and speed up at the same time. I want more of my mom, but I want my mom to be new and whole again, and most of all I want Him to use it for the glory of it all.
At the start he was there, he was there In the end, he’ll be there, he’ll be there
And After all our hands have wrought He forgives
Oh the Glory of it all is: he came here For the rescue of us all that we may live for the glory of it all for the glory of it all
All is lost find him there, find him there After night Dawn is there, Dawn is there
After all falls apart he repairs he repairs
Oh the Glory of it all is: he came here for the rescue of us all that we may live for the glory of it all
oh he is here for redemption from the fall that we may live for the glory of it all oh the glory of it all the glory of it all oh the glory of it all
After night comes the light dawn is here dawn is here it’s a new day it’s a new day everything will change things will never be the same we will never be the same we will never be the same we will never be the same we will never be the same
Oh, The glory of it all is you came here for the rescue of us all that we may live for the glory of it all
Oh you are here with redemption for us all that we may live for the glory of it all for the glory of it all oh the glory of it all
I've been terrible about posting lately, I know. I have been doing a lot of thinking away from my blog. There is something so good about being able to sit down and let my emotions flow freely in a post. I feel so uninhibited when I write, I always have. But, I am learning that I need to be able to process my emotions in other ways, too. So, I have taken a break from the blog. There is a lot I wish I could just sit down and write about right now, but I'm going to force myself to try to face it in a different way. Not to say I won't write about it later. ;)
I'll leave you with a few pics I've been thankful for as mother's day is approaching! I don't think words will ever express how thankful we were to have these pictures taken by Ashley Carson at Thanksgiving. It was our last time to all be together before my mom took the unexpected downturn two weeks later.