Friday, November 27, 2009

A year later and still Thankful

I kept telling myself, "If I can just make it through this year..." The first year of my mom being in a nursing home and of the disease taking more of her than we had anticipated would happen so quickly. Everytime things got harder to face, I became understandably weary. Weary emotionally, physically, relationally. At times nothing makes sense.

But then someone said it, so perfectly, in a note I received this week. She said, "I sense the deep loss you already feel and anticipate that physical absence will only deepen that hole." How true were her words. This entire year, for me and my family, has been about learning to process still seeing our Mom, but losing everything we know her to be. Weary, at times, but so Thankful for all we have learned - about our God and His Sovereign plan, about ourselves, about eachother. For that we are Thankful. And, we will wait and find Hope that someday we will know His plan in all of this.

A year ago yeasterday, as I mentioned last night, was when we had our family pictures made (they are scattered through many blog posts). Last night, after El's birthday dinner, we all went together to take Mom icecream and took some pictures together. It isn't often that we are ALL there together, so it was a special time for us - definitely reminding us we have much to be Thankful for!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving from The Bain Gang (and two Grandles)! ;)



































































Thursday, November 26, 2009

A year later and still Thankful

I kept telling myself, "If I can just make it through this year..." The first year of my mom being in a nursing home and of the disease taking more of her than we had anticipated would happen so quickly. Everytime things got harder to face, I became understandably weary. Weary emotionally, physically, relationally. At times nothing makes sense.

But then someone said it, so perfectly, in a note I received this week. She said, "I sense the deep loss you already feel and anticipate that physical absence will only deepen that hole." How true were her words. This entire year, for me and my family, has been about learning to process still seeing our Mom, but losing everything we know her to be. Weary, at times, but so Thankful for all we have learned - about our God and His Sovereign plan, about ourselves, about eachother. For that we are Thankful. And, we will wait and find Hope that someday we will know His plan in all of this.

A year ago yeasterday, as I mentioned last night, was when we had our family pictures made (they are scattered through many blog posts). Last night, after El's birthday dinner, we all went together to take Mom icecream and took some pictures together. It isn't often that we are ALL there together, so it was a special time for us - definitely reminding us we have much to be Thankful for!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving from The Bain Gang (and two Grandles)! ;)







































































-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We're all adults?

Happy 21st Birthday Ellie B! I am thankful for you today as we celebrate your birth. I really can't believe the day has come that we are all adults!




(It was a year ago today that we took these family pictures with Ashley Carson. Hard to believe how quickly time has gone by).

-- Post From My iPhone

Getting settled

We are getting settled into our home since our move on Saturday. Reid's parents came in town over the weekend to help which was much appreciated! All that is left is some basic closet organizing (since we shrunk from circa 2005-size closets to circa 1958-size closets), moving some of Reid's old college boxes to the attic (yes, he still has unpacked boxes from college), a couple more coats of paint on the study, and boxes of things that go in the study.

Today was the first day it really felt like home to me, though. It was the first time I didn't pass our house when I drove down the street. Those first few days it really felt weird driving home to this house instead of the apartment. And, of course, I cried when we picked up our last load from the apartment last night. Even though it was an apartment it felt like a house, and for three years it was our home. It was the first place we lived together. I'll remember it forever.

Tonight I made dinner for the first time in my new kitchen! It was so much easier with more counter space. See, I wasn't sad about our apartment for long!

Hopefully, I'll get to post some pictures tomorrow.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Story of the Silver Lab Puppy

Have I mentioned I hate packing? Well I hate packing. Reid lands tomorrow and we are going to the house as soon as he gets in. I can't wait, but seriously I'm so ready for this to be over. I keep telling Reid I'm never moving again - like, at least not for ten years. He says he'll be sure to remind me of that when we have three kids, two dogs, and tons of toys. Whatever.

Anyway, about my puppy story. I'm not a big animal person. Maybe because mom always was - there were rabbits, Guinea pigs, hamsters, dogs, fish, turtles, and cats. You name it, she raised it. By the time I was in college I swore I would never have pets of my own. Then there was Reid, and when we got to college and knew we were going to get married I realized getting a dog someday was going to be part of the package. I've gone back and forth for a while, but when we started looking at houses I became really excited.

We have known since college we would one day have a male and female Lab. We've even named them! We decided on both a male and female because they'll need to stay outside because of Reid's allergies and they will have a companion. I can't wait to one day share the names with you!

Anyway, back to the story. Now that we have a house I thought I would be fun to surprise Reid with one of the silver Lab puppies that we have been eyeing since moving to Texas. I have been in email contact with the breeder, finding out all the details about liters, wait lists, etc. Tonight, I couldn't keep it a secret any longer and told Reid I had been emailing with the silver Lab breeder. He said, "You've been emailing Kellyn, too?" HA! He's been emailing her this whole time, asking all the same questions, trying to make it a surprise for me. Can you imagine if we had each gotten each other a puppy!? Kinda scary how much we think alike.

You Hold Me Now - Memories from the past year

*Once again, you must scroll to the bottom of the page and pause my blog music before watching the video.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Oh, so you're Pregnant?"

Don't get your hopes up - we aren't expecting. I do, however, have another "Mare Moment" to share. So, if you don't mind, try to follow me.

I went to get a massage tonight. It was great. I'd been looking forward to it all day. My back was killing me from packing and Reid told me to take time to go. So, I'm sitting in the "Tranquility Room" filling out my forms when I came across the line where I would fill in my occupation - I wrote, "None." I continued on and thought nothing more about it.

Then my "Massage Consultant" (we'll call him MC) comes in to talk to me about customizing my masage. Wonderful, right? No. He starts to read my paperwork and gets stuck at "None" for occupation. Here's how the conversation played out:

MC: "'None?' Does that mean you're a student?"
Me: "No, I'm not in school and I don't work."
MC: "Oh, so you were laid off.
Me: "Nope. I stay home."
MC: "I see. How many kids do you have?"
Me: "No, I don't have any kids. I just don't work. Basically, a stay at home wife."
MC: "Oh, so you're pregnant."
Me: "NO!"


-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, November 13, 2009

We own a home!




-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday








"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

My brother George took these pictures one afternoon in the driveway of Mom and Dad's. I think they are amazing!

We learned late this afternoon from the results of the xrays that my mom has cervical spinal stenosis. We believe that this could be causing her pain, and therefore become agitated. The treatment option that will be tried first is to control the pain with ibuprofen or the like. It is also possible to try arthritis medication to control the pain. It will take speaking with a doctor to find the best course of treatment.

We are expecting, after today's news, for the blood work to come back just fine. Thank you for your prayers!

I am headed back to Dallas tomorrow. Reid land tomorrow night and on Friday morning we become official homeowners!!!!"







-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Tuesday


Here are some pictures I took after she perked up! It's the best she's been in a while!



























-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday

No news today. We hope to have the results from the X-Rays and blood work tomorrow morning.

Mom had a special guest tonight.




Toby was waiting eagerly to run off the elevator to find Mom.





They were both really excited!





He kissed all over her face!





Mom and her Toby Dog.





And, now he's waiting patiently to lick her ice cream bowl.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday

Thank you for your encouragement! It means so much to have your support - whether I know you or not, or hear from you or not! Thank you!

After arriving last night and further thinking through the situation, my dad and I have decided not to make any drastic moves as far as her care is concerned. We do, however, agree that something isn't quite right and we need to do everything we can to figure out what is wrong.

For now she will stay at PV. They are doing full blood work up and head x-rays at our request. My fear is that something happened when she fell several weeks ago, so we are starting there. Once we get the results we'll determine what our next move needs to be. If I've learned anything it's that things must be thought out rationally. Thankfully, for this circumstance, my dad doesn't make decisions quickly and I rush into them - we are balancing eachother nicely!

Please pray that we find something that can be easily treated and that her environment doesn't have to change!

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday

I'm in Little Rock tonight. I got a call from my dad this afternoon saying that PV was recommending that my mom be moved to UAMS for medical evaluation. Decisions like this are hard for him to make alone so I drive to Little Rock.

Last Sunday my mom became agitated and scratched a nurse and hit another patient's family member. We suspected she might have a UTI (read article for explanation as to why we assume she would become aggressive with a UTI). The test came back negative.

While they waited for the results of the UTI to come back from the lab they gave her a sedative to calm her down and make her comfortable - my dad described her on Tuesday as "antsy." After they received the negative result they started easing off the sedative to see how she would handle herself. Today, she went after the nurse on duty again.

My dad and I are taking Mom tomorrow. The estimated time she will stay at UAMS is 2-4 weeks while they evaluate her physically and regulate her medicine.

Please pray that she has a smooth transition, and that the doctors and nurses have wisdom in discerning what is causing these episodes.




Friday, November 6, 2009

Love Is Not A Fight






They met at my uncle's birthday party in June of 1983 and were married by November. He was 41 and she was 32. They wanted children and because of their ages they needed to start a family soon. I was born the following year in September; George arrived in June of 1986; and in November 1988 Eleanor was born. And, that's how our family began.

Today is my parents' 26th wedding anniversary. Don't be shocked - they celebrated with three scoops of Baskin Robbin's ice cream. Today, on their 26th year of marriage, I am thankful my Mom and Dad made a decision to stay married. I know there was a period during those years when it would have been a lot easier for them to give up, but they decided it was worth something to save their marriage. Looking back I am thankful for the picture of forgiveness, loyalty, and love they both modeled for our family.


*To listen to the video you will have to scroll to the bottom of the page and pause the music player.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Reason to Hope

Webster defines hope in several ways: to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of obtainment, or to expect with confidence : trust.




What is hope to me? Honestly, I had never really sat around and pondered the word hope until I learned about Alzheimer's and how it was affecting my mom, my family, and ultimately how it would change my life. I knew I had faith in God, I knew I had blessed assurance of eternal life with Him, I knew I received the grace of the Cross when I asked for forgiveness for my sins. I just never had to think about the hope part of it.

I lived a pretty cushioned life. Reid likes to call it my "bubble." I lived in a town that was not to big, but not to small. I went to private school. I knew one homeless man named Carl. He had actually chosen to be homeless and at any time could use the phone at my dad's store to call his brother to come pick him up. So, he had a home, he just liked to camp out under a bridge for a long periods of time. I never knew poverty. Not like the kind in a third world country or even South Dallas. Until ninth grade I had never known anyone that died. There would be several more people I knew who were taken by cancer or car accidents before I graduated college. Almost every time there was a death someone would say, "It was God's will." This to me was so contradictory of the God I knew, and it was going to take several more years to finally understand hope.

In the midst of thinking that death and suffering were basically God's will, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I spent most of the years that followed being angry, anxious, burdened my fear - on the outside I held it together, but my heart was restless.

My search began about the time my mom went into the hopsital unexpectedly at Christmas-time last year. I spent a lot of time talking to God. My pocket size bible never left my purse - it was like a form of soothing medicine for me. I went to counseling. I read as many books as I could be my hands on - and I'm still reading...

I think one of the most profound things I've learned is that poverty, disease, death, suffering, etc. were not God's intentions for His people when He left Adam and Eve in the Garden. It is because of sin that we have been separated from perfection on Earth, but God sent His Son to die on the Cross so that we might HOPEin life everlasting.

Is it easy for me to put my hope in this everyday? No. I would be acting like I'm perfect if I did. Its a struggle. Its a conscious decision I have to make - a decision to be made everyday for the rest of my life. There are days I am so tired of hoping. Days like today, in fact. When I finally feel like I've wrapped my head around everything with my Mom and I find out a family friend has terminal cancer. But I'm reminded that it is OK to wrestle with God. He can handle me. Is it not in those times that He draws us closer to Himself?

So, I ask you this: (the answer to this is not for you to leave as a "Comment," but for you to dwell on) Where is your HOPE? Is something keeping you from putting your HOPE in the Lord?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cookies, Chips, or Cheese?

That was the progresion of requests for food I received this afternoon when I was playing with Luke and Emerson. You see, Emme is quite the little eater. I promise I hadn't starved her this afternoon, but from these pictures I'm sure a different conclusion could be drawn. And yes, I finally gave in and let her eat some cheese before dinner. You try saying "No" to that little face!

























-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Revelation 21

I used to be scared to death of the book of Revelation. I mean, I can remember crying to my mom after hearing a sermon about it at church in junior high. I remember asking her if she thought maybe God could just wait to come back after I was married and had a family. See where my priorities have been my whole life? Ha! Anyway, as years have gone by and I've become more mature in my faith thinking about His return doesn't scare me at all. In fact, there are a lot of times I sit with my mom and wonder how much longer can the world take this kind of pain. Eternity is going to be so much better than this.

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."


-- Post From My iPhone