Thursday, November 24, 2011


Dear Mom,

Happy Thanksgiving! Yes, can you believe it? It's already Thanksgiving! Of course you have been watching the Hallmark Channel all the time and they have been doing all Christmas shows, so you thought it was already over. This morning as we ate breakfast and watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade, you probably asked me 5 or 6 times if it was Thanksgiving. So, 5 or 6 times I told you yes, yes it is Thanksgiving. We enjoyed our breakfast of cereal, egg sandwich, and even a piece of cream cheese filled braided bread. We both really enjoyed it, and both snuck a little extra piece after. We relaxed for a little bit, then got ready to go meet Auntie Ann and Uncle Cephus at Hometown Buffet. We got there about the same time as cousin Karen, and Uncle Cephus, Auntie Ann, and Yvonne were already inside the door waiting for us. We went in and were surprised that the line was as long as it was. The place was pretty crowded. You weren't feeling up to walking around and just wanted me to get your food for you. You ate well! You had chicken, lasagna, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a roll. When you finished that plate, I asked you if you wanted something else and you said a little something. So for your second round you had a slice of pizza and a cinnamon roll. Although I'm not the biggest fan of Hometown Buffet, I was just glad to eat some things that I liked. Since I'm not the biggest turkey eater. I had pizza, lasagna, fish, sweet potatoes, french fries, and a roll. On my second round, I had more fish, and some tortillas with meat, cheese, pico de gallo and corn and onions on top. By then, I was pretty full. You said you were too, but must have mentioned 2 or 3 times that you wanted your ice cream! You are so funny! No matter how full you are you have to have your ice cream. I got you ice cream and some apple strudel. I had the cherry pie with some ice cream. By then we were definitely stuffed. We had such a great time with the many laughs! At one point in the meal you were getting a little warm, I told you that you better not pass out on me. You looked at Uncle Cephus and asked if he would save you, He said of course, I'll throw a glass of cold water in your face! We had a good laugh. Then you and Auntie Ann were cracking up about something, but I had no clue why. It was just great to see you laugh and enjoy yourself and eat so well. Yvonne, Karen, and I had some great laughs too. And I introduced them both to Angry Birds, they both enjoyed it, but Karen was really getting into it, and was threatening to keep my phone. We gave hugs and thanks and said goodbye and headed home. As we were leaving the driveway I looked across the street to see a long line of people with tents and chairs outside of Best Buy. I had to drive over there to get a closer look. It was crazy! It was also so strange to see everything closed down, even McDonald's. We were both surprised by that. When we got home I went to down to play on the Wii and you came down and watched for a little bit, before going to get your pj's on. You were excited to be able to watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. You don't ever watch those anymore because you always have the Hallmark Channel on. Not long after that, guess what you asked for? Yup, you guessed cream! So, cf course you did have more, lol. I'm so thankful for a good day with you, though you don't really remember it. I have great memories! I love you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You are so Amazing!

Dear Mom,

You truly are amazing! Thursday and we were still in the dark and in the cold house, but you were still doing fine. The other day that we didn't go to Evergreen Walk was Friday. My friend Sharan invited us to come over again. This time they were going to be home. I figured you wouldn't mind since we had already been over there once. You sort of remembered the house. Sharan was so great! She also invited me to bring over any laundry that we might have. That was a huge blessing, since I had been having you wear double pj's, when you had an accident that was two pairs of pj's that had to go in the laundry. Thank goodness, I think you only had two accidents, but I didn't know what I was going to do if you had any more. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do about laundry. How silly of me to worry, when the Lord already knew what we needed, and had it taken care of. It was also great because Thursday late afternoon you had another type of accident that we kept contained as much as possible. It didn't get on your clothes, but since you had been keeping your gloves on those got messed up. The only other things that were affected were the bathroom rugs. It was rough for me to handle, but I was able to somehow handle it with the Lord's help. He was so good. So what a blessing to be able to do laundry on Friday! We brought Bella with us again, and her children kept Bella entertained while we took our showers. After our showers, we still had to wait for the clothes, so we were able to sit, relax, watch TV, and fellowship with Sharan. Her daughter made us some hot chocolate. You loved it...loved it so much that they made you another cup. After that cup you had the nerve to ask me if I had finished mine, I told you you could have it. You tried to pretend that you didn't, but it didn't take much convincing for you to drink the rest of mine. Hey, as long as you were happy. :) Saturday and Sunday were a little more of the same. The only thing that was different was that when we came home from Evergreen Walk on Sunday, we found out that our electricity was back on. It had been a week and a day, and we finally had our electricity back. I was shocked that you did so well that whole time...being home, being cold, being in the dark. And even continuing to have your ice cream each night in the freezing cold, but it never quite seemed to bother you much. We stuck it out and made it through, who knew?!
I couldn't help but to think of all the things you have been through in your life, getting rheumatic fever as a teenager, having rheumatoid arthritis, having to live in a convalescent home for part of that time, having to go to night school to finish and graduate High school, having a heart murmur, risking your health just to have me because your heart wasn't supposed to be strong enough, having two knee replacements on the same knee, finding out you had breast cancer, having a lumpectomy, then having about 20 lymph nodes removed only a week or two later, going through chemo and radiation, surviving breast cancer for the past 4 or 5 years, dealing with sciatic and arthritis pain, and now dealing with Alzheimers. And now here we were in a freezing cold house and you handled it like a champ. That's just who you amazing, strong woman! I'm proud to be your daughter! Love you!

Another Fun Day!

Dear Mom,

The power outage from Storm Alfred lasted longer than we could have ever imagined! Yet, you wanted to stay home and not go anywhere else. Your sister and brother were concerned that it was too cold for you to stay home. But we enjoyed more days like Monday. Almost every day that week we went to Evergreen Walk to get warm and walk around. It was so great to see you get out and walk, to see you getting some sun, to see you engaging with people! The only days we didn't go to Evergreen Walk were Wednesday and Friday. On those days we went to my friend Sharan's house. She invited us over to be able to take showers. Wednesday they weren't home and just let us have the house to shower. Even though they weren't home, they have a new kitty Chloe who was. We brought Bella with us and when she saw Chloe, she just wanted to get at her. It was pretty funny! I'm sure we looked a sight as we went into their house. I had Bella on the leash, a bag with our bath things in it, a lawn chair, and then I was helping you with your cane try to get up the stairs to this house. I brought the lawn chair because at home you have a bath chair. You don't stand for long and you can't get all the way down in the tub, so....lawn chair. So thankful the Lord helped me think of that! We got wonderful hot showers, then were getting dressed to be ready to go. The bathroom was getting too hot and crowded for me. So, I took Bella out to sit in the hallway while you finished getting ready. Well, Chloe had come to check on us and see what we were doing. She was in a clothes basket, and when she saw Bella straining to get near her, she jumped up and tried to take a swipe at her. I had to laugh, she was letting Bella know she wasn't going to be intimidated by her. I opened the door so you could watch them too. We got some good laughs and entertainment watching them. You went to sit out in the hall to wait for me as I cleaned the bathroom. When I looked back out in the hallway at you, you somehow ended up with both Bella and Chloe on your lap, it was such a funny sight I had to take a video.
So here we were still having some fun memories at my friend's house. Another great day...another quiet, cold, but in an odd way, cozy seeming night, with the candlelight all around.
But again, you really wanted to stay home, so if you were good, I was glad to be able to be home, too. Such precious times that I will always remember. And yet, there were still more days to go. More to tell next time. Love you!

You Make Me Laugh

Dear Mom,

I have to take a little side track from Storm Alfred, because I don't want to forget this. Last week we were traveling to Auntie Ann and Uncle Cephus' house. While on the highway, we were listening to a Christian song on the radio. The lady in the song was singing a song where it repeated words such as, enfold me, refresh me, uphold me, embrace me, and a few other things like that. After hearing her repeat those words a few times you looked over at me and said with such a serious face, "She's asking for so much!" I burst out laughing, you started laughing really hard. You said, "Well she is!" Hahaha That was just so classic and you really shocked me by coming out with that...laughed so hard! Oh you make me laugh...and I love that! I love you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

After the Storm

Dear Mom,

I know I already talked about this a little, but there were so many other neat memories I wanted to share. The craziness that started October 29 lasted for a much longer time than we could have ever expected. It was a crazy snow storm that came, with lots of wet, heavy snow, and wind, which brought down many branches, but many trees as well. We didn't realize that until we started driving around more that week. As I said, Sunday, I had to go get gas for the car so I could keep my cellphone charged, since that was our only source of communication. I didn't even consider what a big deal that was to get gas, until I got into the line. There were only about two cars in front of me, but one of the cars had about 5 gas containers that they also needed to fill. Thankfully there were people with this lady to help her fill the containers at another pump. As I was waiting, one of the gas attendants told another one to wave people on because there was no more gas. That worried me a little, but when I got up there I was able to fill my tank. That was truly the Lord. The next order of business was to find something for us to eat. Since there were so many cars in the area, I knew that most places such as McDonald's or Panera or even Bertucci's for that matter, would have long lines. So the Lord brought to mind Whole Foods grocery store that was right across the street. I went to their hot bar and got two take-out containers for us, as well as some Gelato, got right into a checkout line, and was soon headed back home. Monday came and I thought we needed to get out of the cold house. We took Bella and headed back to the town where I got the gas just the day before. Boy were we surprised to see so much traffic! We could barely get down that street. People going by on the opposite side were slowing down to warn that there was no gas at any of the three gas stations. I couldn't believe it! I finally went down a side street and headed back in the direction of our town. I knew there was no place to go in our town because our town had no power at all. I thought of going to Evergreen Walk in another town to see if there was any power there. I thought it would be great for us. We could walk around and get warm and Bella could walk around with us. There were also plenty of benches so if you got tired of walking you could sit and rest. We went into a couple of shops with Bella and got so many compliments on her. I know you were a proud grandma! When you got tired you sat, and Bella and I would walk some more. After a bit we would leave and get something to eat before we went back home. Sometimes I would go back out and find something for dinner. We would make sure to be home before it got dark. As we drove around that day, we saw so many trees down, across roads, sticking out into the road, we were driving under and over so many wires, it was pretty scary. So I definitely didn't want to be driving at night where I wouldn't be able to see well with all of that going on. We would really bundle up at night. I made sure you had two pairs of pj's on, plus your heavy robe, sometimes your coat, and your gloves, and a nice big fluffy, warm blanket. We would sit in the living room with candles lit, listening to talk radio and laughing with one another. Even though it was cold enough to see our breath inside the house, you still wanted to have your ice cream every night. You didn't even really complain much about the cold, as long as you had your ice cream or some other treats I bought for us, you were fine. We would head to bed early. I would always make sure you and Bella were quite cozy in bed. I put the sheet over you, along with the comforter, and that big, fluffy, warm blanket, and your robe and sometimes another sheet. Once we were in bed we didn't even realize anything was really different, except for the fact that things were a little darker than normal. The cold mornings reminded us, well, at least reminded me of the power being out. You kept trying to turn the TV on first thing, and were shocked when it wouldn't come home. Then I would remind you the power was out, and you were shocked by that and would ask why. Then I would remind you of the storm, and you were shocked that there was a storm. We had some pretty interesting mornings and more interesting days, which I will write more about later. I really want to remember these special memories, so I will continue to share. Even though it was a difficult week, it was special to be able to spend it with you! Love you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Crazy Weekend and More Little Victories

Dear Mom,

I thought that last weekend was crazy, well that was nothing compared to what the next weekend would be. The weekend of October 29 was quite the interesting weekend. We were surprised, pleasantly, on Saturday morning to some men from your church coming over to the house. I had just gotten a text that they would be coming so we hurriedly got out of bed, got dressed and went to go have our breakfast. Soon after they came over and started taking care of some of the things that needed fixing around the house. They checked the washing machine, which had been spewing water all over and found that there was a little hole in the bottom of the tub. They took that washing machine out and brought a good, working one that had been just sitting in the church's shed for months. They nailed the falling drain pipe back in it's proper place. They pulled up all the wet carpet from the laundry room and threw it away. They turned off the outside faucet that had been constantly dripping so much it was almost running. They were such a blessing to us! As they left, I had a plan of trying to get to the mall quickly before this supposed snow storm came. On my way to the mall, sleet started coming down. That made me nervous, because the weather forecasters were saying this could be a rough storm. So plans changed...instead of the mall, I ended up just going to the Chinese Restaurant near the mall to get some food and Bubble Tea for us. When I left the Chinese Restaurant and saw the coating of snow on my car, I knew I had made the right decision. The wet, heavy snow continued through the night and was coming down pretty hard. At about 4:30 or 5 that night our lights went out. I got the flashlights, lanterns, and candles out. We had plenty of light to see by. We hung out together in the living room, listening to talk radio and watching the flashing of some transformers, as well as some lightning. We even heard some snow thunder as we were sitting there. I made sure you were all bundled up in a couple pairs of pj's, some gloves, a big comfy robe and a huge soft, fluffy blanket. We sat for a while enjoying one another's company, then got ready to go to bed. As we slept that night, you slept totally fine, but I kept hearing the cracking and breaking of large branches around us constantly. I was concerned for you and Bella because your room is at the back of the house, where we have some tall trees. I kept checking to make sure nothing was coming toward the house, and especially your room. I'm glad you slept well though. The power never came back on that night, so I woke up later than usual. I wanted to make sure you got up so the bed wouldn't be wet. The first thing you wanted to do was to put the TV on. You didn't understand why it wouldn't come on. I had to remind you that the power was out. This surprised you, and you asked why, I explained that we had a bad snow storm and that's why. I went to take Bella out and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The trees were leaning down so heavily, many huge branches and limbs were down. As I looked around the street, I saw the tree at the end of the street was leaning over the road on some wires, and there was also a large wire hanging down on the street. I took pictures to show you. We didn't know it at the time, but this was going to be the beginning of a long week. Neither one of us had church Sunday because of the storm and the after effects of the storm. I may write some more personal, more specific letters to you later. But it was another crazy weekend. You didn't go anywhere Sunday, but I had to go get gas for the car because I was almost on empty. There was only one gas station open in our town, but the crazy line that was forming down the block made me go elsewhere. I was afraid if I tried to wait in that line I would run out of gas before I got to a pump. So, I had to drive to another town and was one of the last cars to make it before they ran out of gas. The next day, I did take you out. Then the victory part came because we left the house everyday to get warm. We went to a great outdoor mall, Evergreen Walk. We took Bella because they allow dogs there. It was so great to get you and Bella out. You walked around a little, then when you were tired there were plenty of benches where you could sit in the sun. What a great thing, you were getting out of the house, getting some sun, walking some, and socializing a little with different people we met. It was great to see you and Bella do so well. You were such a trooper all week, I was so proud of you and was so thankful for all the time we got to spend together, lots of laughs and good memories. So even during a time that wasn't the best, we enjoyed a great time together. So thankful for these memories! Love you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ice Cream and Sun Chips...

Dear Mom,

I just had to write this quick note to you. I have some other things to share, but I will get back to those things another time. Yesterday and today I was able to be home with you and Bella. I was pretty much just hoping to get some rest those two days. But yesterday you wanted to go somewhere to get something to eat. We did that so much last week (which is one of the "other things" that I need to share). I didn't want to spend a lot, but I also didn't want to just get fast food. I needed to go to a store in Newington, so I decided to go to Joey Garlic's to get a pizza. That way, we would have enough food for dinner last night and lunch and dinner for today. I also got some fried dough for us. We both love that! You got so used to having Bella go with us everywhere last week, so you expected her to go yesterday. It was pretty much a pain for me, but you were satisfied. Thankfully we did get to enjoy the pizza for our meals yesterday and today. We enjoyed the fried dough last night. Today, I knew we couldn't really go anywhere because the homemaker/companion from Keep Me Home was supposed to be coming around 10 in the morning. I was hoping to get to the mall to get our nails done, but that didn't happen. The lady never came, so I figured she wasn't going to be coming, but around 1 she did show up. I was looking forward to meeting her because I asked for her to come. She came a couple of weeks ago to fill in for the other lady, and when I got home it was the first time I heard you speak positively about having a companion come. You seemed to like her, and you said she came into the room to spend time sitting with you and Bella. That was such a relief for me to hear, it made me so happy. I finally got to meet Roberta and she was great with you and Bella, and was very personable. I liked her too! She did a great job cleaning, then went into the room to spend a little time with you. The company said that she has other clients, so she may not be able to be the new one to come over often. But they said they would try to schedule her with you when they could. That made me happy. So, as I said, we never went anywhere after that. We relaxed here at home. We had our pizza for dinner, you took your bath, I gave Bella a bath, and a little after 8 you asked me if you could have some ice cream. You have gotten into the habit of asking my permission for things like that lately. I told you ice cream was fine. As you got it you happened to see the Sun Chips bag on the counter. You saw that there were only a few left. I thought you just put them in a smaller bag, but later when I went into your room to help pull down your shade I noticed that you had actually put them on top of your ice cream! Really?? You didn't see anything weird about it and you ate it all... OK, well, as long as it tasted good to you! Oh, what interesting fun! I love you!

Friday, November 4, 2011

In the dark

Dear Mom,
We're sitting in the dark for the sixth day after the storm. Can't write much because I need to save my cellphone battery. I'll have lots to share about our adventures this week when our electricity gets restored. Love you! Glad we're having a fun week together!