Thursday, December 31, 2009

As the year ends.....

The year 2009 has been a year of much contrast. The year started out with much hope and enthusiasm, but as it progressed we could see the writing on the wall that old age or illness brings to those we love. This year several people I loved passed on to a better place. Others have had to move to places that can give them better care then their loved ones could give them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

My Mother had been going down mentally for many years, but this year she changed by leaps and bounds at times. We had visits with several close relatives and I am sure she some of them she had no idea who they were and why we were having dinner with them.

Bill and I made a trip to WI before the weather turned bad back in mid November. When we left Mom was having some physical problems with her walking, but she could walk and take care of her personal self. When we returned from our trip we noticed a difference in her, but didn't realize until a few days later how much she had changed in just a little over a week. Right before Thanksgiving she could no longer walk. Bill and I transported her where ever she needed to go in the house. Finally, when we were spending more time taking care of her then sleeping during the night and Bill, Dad and I were exhausted, we didn't ask her, we told her that she was going into the hospital the day after Thanksgiving. We knew she was ill, but did not realize that if we had waited many more days I would be telling you now that we lost my Mom, but instead I am going to tell you that she is now in a Care Center. After 5 days in the hospital, many doses of anti-biotic and diuretics she is better.

Unfortunately, she still can not walk on her own. Physically she can walk, I have seen her do it, but mentally she has trouble getting her brain to tell her legs to move. I guess there is hope that she will walk again, but not much when you know that within two hours of eating a meal she does not remember eating. Doesn't she look good in the piture above with my Dad taken a couple of weeks ago.

Mom wants to come home, but our house isn't set up to handle a person in a wheel chair. She doesn't get upset when we leave her, but she worries about my Dad. I too worry about my Dad. He is so sad to have to leave Mom when we visit her every day. The two of them have been together for nearly 64 years. The only time they were apart was when my brother and I were born, an operation or two plus a few hunting and fishing trips my Dad took when we lived near his family. They were also apart when the weather man predicted partly cloudy weather and we ended up with 27" of wet snow. My Dad was not far away, but he could not come home from work for nearly a week.

So far we have made sure Dad visits with Mom at least once a day, but with the winter weather just starting it is a day to day option.

Bill is in Wisconsin right now. His son had an operation to fuse some vertebrae in his neck. That happened Dec. 29th and all reports are he is doing well, but Bill had to leave Christmas morning and I miss him dearly. On Dec. 24th we received a phone call from Bill's sister early in the morning. Bill's younger brother had a heart attack and died at the young age of 51. Tim, Bill's brother, left this world without seeing the joys of any of his three children getting married or having children.

Several friends and relatives have died this year, several others have found out they have cancer or other diseases. It is interesting to see how each has made the best of the time they have. For instance,one person started a butterfly garden and cared for it at a local school while she was fighting and lost the battle to cancer. Another is legally blind, but every week she and a friend take either dogs or cats to the local assisted living or nursing homes for those living there to see and pet the animals.

Several people we know that have passed this year,made trips to the local restaurants for a meal and never let the rest of us know how sick they really were,until we heard they had died. They would share with us who were willing to listen, a love of life that included stories. These stories have taught me much history, made me laugh and made me cry.

I count my blessings every day to have been touched by so many good people in this world. I also hope that I continue to see others live life to the fullest.

We now must look to the new year that is approaching quickly, not with sadness, but with hope and courage. Let's not sit and feel sorry for ourselves, but let's try to make life better for others which in turn will make life better for everyone.

Happy 2010 to everyone reading my blog and I do promise to write more and show you some exciting pictures and tell a story or two.


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