Thursday, January 29, 2015

Strange days . . .

Monday was a tough day - not sure why - things felt so heavy and unwieldy.  Then Tuesday I was up, up and away.  Like two different planets.  Wednesday - woke up struggling - movement was hard, tears were right at the surface and made lots of dumb mistakes.  It was our anniversary so we went out with friends for dinner.  More tears, some laughter, and alcohol.  And today - neutral day - not up and not down.

Bob takes the brunt of these mood swings - but he handles it well.  Then he reminds me that it is tough and I will get through it.

Here is a good quote that fits - well kind of - maybe - might -

“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” 
― Marilyn Monroe

Some days I am just plain in the gutter with this.  

My gutter crawling, squalling days are directly connected to the 10 days that Mom was dying.  I totally understand that she was 93 - had a good life - enjoyed her last year and a half - had an interesting journey - had wonderful children - sure I know all of that - especially the last part.

BUT - I get thrown right back into those 10 days - waiting - knowing she was in there dying - knowing she was not wanting to die - holding her hand - reading to her from her bible - playing her favorite music - and all the while knowing there was nothing I could do - nothing.  It just dumps on me like a pile of shit - right into the gutter I go.

I am ready to move on - hope that my brain is ready every day - maybe not.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

today we ran away . . . for a little while

Yup!  Just for a bit - we ran away.  I came home from church and the temps were mid 50's.  Not the norm for Montana this time of year but welcome.  So we went for a ride.  I wanted to go to Pony, MT.  Never been there.  It was a wonderful ride and a great break.  We just poked around through lots of little towns and got home bout 4 and it seemed right.

I am struggling with lots of emotions about Mom's passing.  The time away to not think about it was perfect.  I will keep trying - must just keep trying.  It will get easier but I know that takes time and I also know I will always miss her.

Here are a couple picks I took on the little road to Pony.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Getting caught up . . .

Lots of work here - stuff to catch up on and things to take care of to settle Mom's estate.  Maybe the work keeps be busy enough that I don't have to think too much.  But I am really tired today - just want to sleep.

Tonight we went out for a little pizza outing with the grandsons to the place where they have family night.  Weston had his face painted with a Batman mask and Walker had a black balloon sword made.  It was a great break to enjoy them.  They are fun little guys!

Heading to bed early - busy day tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

And they left . . .

Roy and Meagan flew back to Portland today.  Sad to see them go but so very, very thankful that they came to be great physical and emotional support for all of us.

Bob and I came home and finally - finally took down our Christmas decorations.  

Life will never be the same without Mom being physically with us, but I can feel her with me always. 

Heading to my studio . . . time for thinking, healing, some solitude.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Start the world again . . . I will get back on

It was 3 weeks ago today that Mom had her first stroke.  We spent that evening in the hospital with her.  She could talk with a little difficulty but was physically able to get up, walk, etc.  The 26th of December - also would have been my Dad's 96th birthday if he were still alive.  She had the second massive stroke the next day.  After that one she was paralyzed, couldn't talk or swallow or open her eyes.  She passed 10 days after that.  It seems like eons on one hand and on the other it seems like a flash in time.

Today we gathered as a family - Stan, Rainy, Weston, Walker as well as Roy and Meagan.  We went to Chico Hot Springs and soaked, played, talked, drank a little.  It was a good way to connect, revive, heal.  We stopped for a delicious supper at a little local place down Paradise Valley and then came back home.

Roy and Meags leave tomorrow heading home to Portland.  Sad to see them go, but so thankful they were here.

Tomorrow we start the world again and get back on.   We will put "Christmas" away.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Good memorial service for Mom . . .

Yesterday was the memorial service for Mom.  We thought there would maybe be 50 at the most attend as it is winter, roads are bad, and Mom has outlived many of her life long friends.   But, we had almost twice that many attend.  I appreciated so many of our friends coming to help us share in good memories and love.

Here is a link to the obituary.  It was written by my sister and it was fun!  This photo was taken at my sister's old time photo shop in Virginia City, Montana.  The paster gave the best summary of stories we shared with him.  The music was amazing.  It was the best remembrance of love for a life well lived.

This is the original picture and it was with her "best friend" from the Bozeman Lodge where she had her apartment.  Those two really hit it off and they did everything together.  They went on every activity and every trip.  She had a great last year and a half.  I will miss her, but I know she lived a wonderful long, life filled with love, learning and lots of friends and family.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Still working on it . . .

We continued with cleaning and getting Mom's stuff moved out - all of the little stuff that goes to donation or family members or trash.   My son and his daughter came in on Saturday evening and he has been a great help getting things easier to organize.  My brother and his wife came up from Arizona today for the services tomorrow.  He was here for a couple days just after Mom's stroke and then said he wasn't well and had to go home.  I guess he is still not well.  Who knows? I sometimes think he is kind of sandbagging to miss the "hard work" of being with Mom as she passed.  I don't feel good about his not being able to be honest.  I am sorry about it.  Glad he will leave once the services are over.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Doesn't seem any easier . . .

Today is Friday and it has been 4 days since Mom passed.  It doesn't seem any easier at all.  My sister stayed a few days and we have been working to get things ready to be cleared out of her apartment - long days and long hours of going through everything.  The movers came this morning and most of the furniture was moved to my sister's summer place in Virginia City.  There was nothing I wanted or needed.  I have many keepsakes from Mom that she gave me over the years and I cherish them.  I don't need or want anything else but the loving memories.

When I came home today I walked through the living room and realized that I had not even put away the open packages under the tree from Christmas Eve.  Mom's stroke was the day after Christmas.  Two weeks ago.  There was a card there from her that she had put with some things she gave me - some new and one a little music box that Dad had brought to her from one of his trips away.  It was her handwriting and telling me she loved me that started the tears.  I am glad I could cry because I miss her and know clearly that it is because I miss her and love her and not just because I am bone tired.

Here is a picture of Mom and Dad with my brother and myself taken when I was about 5.  She was a beautiful lady.  Inside and out!  I will write more of my feelings and discoveries later.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mom left us today . . .

My sister, Stacey Kimble Gordonand I were with Mom when she passed this afternoon. We read and reread the 23rd Psalm to her. It was one of her favorites. I am so glad we were able to be with her as she left for her eternal journey.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

This is one of my favorite pictures of her. Taken a little over 10 years ago with my first grandchild, Meagan Wagner.

Friday, January 2, 2015


My mom is still in the process of transitioning to her next journey.  This is the seventh day.  She was in the hospital palliative care until Wednesday afternoon when she was stable enough to move her by ambulance back to her apartment in her senior living facility.  We are all here with her now as she continues passing.  Hospice has been a wonderful support system  as well as the staff here at the Bozeman Lodge where she lived.  She is 93 and a half.  She is quiet and peaceful.  We read her bible to her and she listens to her favorite hymns being sung.

Each year I, as do others, select a word to guide me through the coming months.  For 2015, my word is "sponsible".  It is my 5 year old grandson's (Walker) way of saying "responsible".  He told us last summer that he was more sponsible than his older brother.  I want to be more sponsible in all that I do - my family, my friends and myself.

Here is a picture from last June when Walker and my mom were opening a late birthday she had gotten for him at her apartment.