Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Brand New Day

Dear Mom,

Here we are right now sitting downstairs on this New Years Eve watching Animal Planet's Too Cute! Puppies. Today was definitely different from yesterday. We got up and had breakfast. I went back to relax a little, then got up. I wanted to go to the grocery store to get some sparkling grape juice. We always celebrate with that. When I told you I was thinking of going out, you asked if you could come because you didn't want to just stay at home. Of course I was planning on you coming with me. Then I also prepared myself for the next of course asked if Bella could come. So we all got ready and got in the car. I went to get ice cream, which was buy one get one free. Then I ran into my friend Diane. We have known each other since I was in Elementary, you also know the family well, but when I mentioned to you that I saw her you didn't remember her. She was there shopping with her two gorgeous kids. We talked for a little bit, then her little 3 year old started getting a little restless, so we wished each other a Happy New Year and both went to finish our shopping. I found the sparkling grape juice and they were 2 for $6, so of course I HAD to get two! Then I just thought I would look at the cereal, I don't normally get it from the grocery store because it's too expensive. But they had my favorite, Special K with chocolate bits, for 2 for $5! Yay! Then I finally went to go check out. There were a lot of people in the store, but I went to self checkout and didn't have to wait long at all. When I got back to the car, I teased you that your people were in the store buying up the black eyed peas and collard greens. You just gave me a look, but I reminded you that when pappy was alive that was what you always did. We went one other place, then headed back home. I had cereal and you had your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You went to get your bath and get your pj's on, and I went to play with the Wii. You came down a little later to watch me. We had a few good laughs then. You kept saying that you were hungry, but I told you you could go get another pb&j sandwich, even though you already had one. It was only 4:30 and I wanted to wait until at least 5:30. So you went up to get your sandwich, which I found out later was ice cream, or maybe you had the sandwich and ice cream. Tsk tsk! Lol Well, I got dinner ready and we ate. You went from sitting in the living room to being in bed, then after getting some dessert coming down here as I stated earlier. I was getting my last calories of 2011 in, and I knew you would want some more dessert. So I told you it was out in the kitchen. You asked me which way to go, which I thought sounded quite funny the way you said it, so I pretended to "guide" you to the cookies and then the ice cream. We were both cracking up by that point, then you said you really had to use the bathroom now. That made us both laugh even more. I told you that you make me laugh, and you said again as you have so's good that we can laugh together. You're upstairs now, I'm going to take Bella out and head up with you to get ready to ring in the New Year. Glad we had a good day, glad for our laughter and enjoyment before we bring in the New Year. I want to treasure this because who knows what this year may bring. I'm going to try to keep a positive outlook, even though being a caregiver of a person with Alzheimer's is hard to keep that positive because I know things could get worse this year. BUT...that is not going to be my focus. My focus is going to be on enjoying each moment with you! So thankful for another year together and pray for many more. Hey maybe this will be the year for a cure for this awful disease...who knows, I'll just keep praying. Well, Happy New Year!! I love you!!


Dear Mom,

What a day! It started fine. I got up, took Bella out, got clothes out on the curb for Hartsprings, got back in bed for a little bit, then we got up and had breakfast. Just as we were finishing up, the homemaker/companion came. I was just about to wash the dishes, but she offered to do it, which was nice. You ended up going into your room somehow, so when she was done, I ended up getting stuck listening to her talk for just about 2 hours straight! This is only her third day here, and she is very nice, but all she has seemed to do each time is talk...lots!! You kept looking in the kitchen from your room and waving at me. I think you were trying to get me to tell her to leave. You even came in at one point and said, "OK, come on, Stacey, we need to go." Then you winked at me. I asked you where we were going to go, you said you didn't know, but we always went somewhere. The only thing is we couldn't just leave, she was here for you! That's when I started to struggle. I was dying in the kitchen, trying to hold Bella as she kept squirming trying to get to the homemaker, or at least just keep her eyes on her. She was whimpering and panting and constantly moving, and the homemaker was just constantly talking, and then you were in your room waving and looking into the kitchen. I was pretty much ready to scream. I tried to tell you to come in the kitchen, but you wouldn't, but you were still getting impatient. Then there was a little reprieve when there was a knock at the door. When I went to answer it, it was one of your old friend, Bea, who came to see you. I wasn't sure if you would remember her. I told you to come into the kitchen because a friend was here to see you. You came in and I asked if you remembered her, your eyes brightened and you said you did. You gave her and her sister or friend...not quite sure, a hug. Then you invited them to come sit in the living room. She asked if you remembered her sisters, again you said you did, and she told you they were out in the car. You told her to have them come in. She went to get them and they came in. You again hugged and were happy to see them. They asked you questions about some of the things you all used to do or where you used to work, but you told them you didn't remember. They didn't stay for long, Bella was going a little nuts trying to see all of them. She was so excited, she doesn't get much company, so she didn't know which direction to even go. It was almost just a tad funny. They left and I ended up sitting back in the kitchen listening to more of whatever this girl was talking about. I kept watching the clock because I knew she should be leaving soon. Finally she did get up to call and check out. So I took Bella outside so she wouldn't go too crazy when she left. She ended up coming to try to say goodbye to Bella, which made her of course get hyper again. When she left, you asked me where we were going to go. I had no plan to go anywhere, but if you want to go out, I try to take you. There are only 3 days left of my break to take you out. So, I planned to just go get some stockings from one of my favorite stores. So we got ready to go. I got Bella's treat ready for her and gave it to her so we could leave. As she was enjoying her treat, you started complaining that we weren't taking her. I told you she can't always come with us. I wasn't even really planning on going anywhere, she would be fine for a few minutes. But you started getting a little bothered, so it got me bothered. I decided there was no reason to go anywhere if you were just going to sit in the car, but you seemed to get a little sulky. So I grabbed Bella up away from her treat and started to head out to the car. I think that made you happy. We got in the car, Bella got on your lap and we went to the store. You and Bella stayed in the car of course and I went in. And wouldn't you know they were having a 60% off sale. So I took a little longer than originally planned, but I also just needed to have a moment to myself to calm myself. I got my things, came out, and poor Bella just seemed ready to get out of the car. We got back home and I went downstairs to let off a little steam by playing the Wii. After a little while mom came down too. After playing the Wii, we watched some TV. Things seemed to calm down in my mind finally and the rest of the day went by well. I don't like getting so bothered, I feel so guilty because I know you can't help it. So, I'm sorry. I have been praying about it, and I'm working on it. So thankful the Lord knows, and understands and will help me. I do love you so!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sometimes I Wonder

Dear Mom,

Today is pappy's birthday. He would have been 78. I don't think you remembered at all, but I didn't want to bring it up because I didn't want you to be more sad. You have seemed pretty sad lately at some points. It breaks my heart to see you that way. But I have been very sad, too this holiday season. It's just hard not to really be able to share it with you. Christmas night we did sit in the living room for a little while with the tree lit and Bella in between us, just enjoying some time together, and talking a little about pappy. You said you were thinking of him and were sad. I told you, as I have told you many other times, it was OK to cry. I was. I just rested my head on your shoulder, and we sat that way for a while. I gave you a kiss on the cheek and told you how much I loved you. I can't help but wonder sometimes what things would be like if he were still here. And not only just if he were here, but if he were here and healthy. He wasn't healthy before he passed away, but before the leukemia and diabetes took over his body he was the strongest, most healthy man I knew. He probably could have lived to a good age. How different would things be? Would the cars and care of the cars be different/better? Would the house inside and out look different? Would things that are broken already be fixed? Would you even be suffering with this disease if he were still here? Would you be struggling as much getting around, or would you have been spending time with him, getting out, walking and talking with people, still active? Would you still have been teaching Sunday School? One thing I know would have been different....we definitely NEVER would have had our sweet little Bella. Pappy would never have allowed that! You wouldn't have either, but you were a little easier to convince than he ever would have been. It is hard to have him gone, especially around this time of year. So many memories and thoughts going through my mind. But he wasn't well, he was sick and getting very weak. It was breaking my heart how weak he seemed to be getting. So, although I know we both miss him tremendously, I would never want him to have to continue on in that pain and weakness he had been dealing with here on earth. He is in a much better place and thankfully no longer in pain. So today, instead of just wondering what could be or could have been, I'll just celebrate this wonderful man...your husband of 36 years, and the man I loved and called my pappy. Happy Birthday, Pappy, miss you! Love you, pappy, and love you mom! So thankful for you both!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Favorite Memory

Dear Mom,

We had a wonderful Christmas yesterday!  There was so much that we did that I will share later, but right now I just had to post this!  I loved watching you and Bella open your gifts, it made me smile so much!  I was taking pictures and decided to take a couple of videos, too.  This is my favorite memory from yesterday, and I am so glad I got it on video. Bella had opened one of her gifts and was having a great time with it. As we were watching her, some jazzy song came on the Holiday music channel we were listening too, and the result was this great video.  You are probably going to be so embarrassed that I am showing this, but it is too cute! I hope anyone who sees it will enjoy it as much as I do!  I love this!!!!  And I love you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

What's Yours is Yours and What's Hers is Yours Apparently...

Dear Mom,

Yes, we celebrated Bella's birthday yesterday. We got her cake from Leaps and Bones, which makes wonderful goodies for dogs. They use all natural ingredients. I love that place. Bella loves their goodies, and oddly do you! Her cake was I think carob and some other ingredients, then had frosting on top and some type of seeds spread around the side. I cut the cake into pieces, so I could give Bella small pieces each night the next few nights. We had our dessert with her. As we were cleaning up, I noticed your mouth was full again. I asked what you were eating, I thought you had already finished your ice cream and cupcake. Of course you had, that's why we were cleaning up. So you apparently figured you would also give Bella's cake a try and stuffed one of the pieces in your mouth. Wow, now I have to have a new plan of action when I get things from Leaps and Bones. You ate one of her apple turnovers a couple of months ago and now you were eating her cake. I'll have to buy a couple and be sure to at least hide one for Bella if you're going to eat them from her. You were definitely enjoying it! I guess that's what grandma's do sometimes. At least it's healthy. :)Love you!

7 Years and Counting

Dear Mom,

Don't get confused, I know just 3 days ago I had 3 years and counting as the title. Well, that was for how long Bella has been with us/our family. But the 7 years is the number of years our sweet Bella has been alive. Yes, she is 7 years old today. We had a nice day! We went to Evergreen Walk. We had to head to Leaps and Bones so we could get Bella's cake for her birthday. She loves the wonderful things they have at that store and she loves their cakes. We walked around a bit, but not long after you were ready to go back to the car. We walked back and made sure you got in, then Bella and I did some more walking. I couldn't get her to stop. She loves being there, walking around, seeing the people, going into some of the stores, enjoying the smells, and getting noticed. There were a few people that wanted to pet her, and she indulged them each for a few seconds a piece. She really just wanted to be roaming around sniffing everything. She was having a great time and did not want to get back in the car yet. Finally I was able to get her to come back to the car and we were able to head home. Not long after we got home, your brother, Junie came over to see you. Bella loved that, she was able to sit on his lap the entire time, getting more spoiled than she already is. And of course she was very unhappy when he had to leave. After my class tonight, we sang to Bella and gave her part of her cake. We had ice cream and cupcakes to join in the celebration with her. She was definitely spoiled today, but isn't that pretty much how it is everyday? I think so! Fun times! Good memories! Love you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh Mom

Dear Mom,

You gave me a bit of a rough time tonight. I know I shouldn't take it the wrong way, but I wasn't very happy with you. We had a great day, enjoying some time at the mall. I knew you would like to get out and you could sit and watch people while I did a little shopping. I found a place near the little train that kids can ride and across the way from Santa. I figured you would enjoy sitting and watching those things. I got a couple of things for you, then came back to get you. We went across the way to look at the new cupcake bakery. I had to get some for us! You wanted the princess one with pink frosting. We walked a little more, then I let you sit again, as I checked out another place. We finally got ready to go, I asked you if you wanted to eat out or get something and bring it home. You said you just wanted to bring something home. It was after 3 at that time, so that was fine. I figured we could go to Sonics. I had some coupons, but when I got in the car and looked for them, I realized I had taken them out because Uncle Cephus was working on the car. So I had taken some things out of it. I was disappointed, but still just decided to just go there. Foolishly when I got there I not only got our meals, but for some odd reason also decided to get ice cream sundaes for us. We already had the cupcakes and didn't need the ice cream, but I ordered it. We got home and ate. We had our ice cream sundaes right after so they wouldn't melt or get too hard in the freezer. We enjoyed it. But it was only a bit after 4 when we ate, so I knew you would end up wanting something else later. You have been eating a lot lately. At about 7:30 when I was in the living room trying to get a little nap in, you were in there too, but you woke me up by saying you were going to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I should have just let you do that, but I wanted you to have something healthier. I told you you could/should have the rest of the roasted veggies I had made the other day. You really liked them! I put them in the oven for you, but of course you didn't want them. I had gone back into the living room to relax when I heard you rummaging. When I asked you what you were doing you said you were just getting one of those things. I jumped up and went into the kitchen to see you chomping on a cupcake, and not even the one that you wanted. You were eating the eggnog cupcake that I only bought one of because I didn't know if I would like it, but wanted to try it. I tried to tell you to put it back and to eat something better first. You just kept pushing me away and putting into your mouth faster and said you were already eating it and it was too late. That really got to me, I ended up taking the rest of the cupcakes and even the ice cream and brought them downstairs, that way you couldn't try to sneak something else later. You were in the kitchen about 9:30, but I didn't even worry since I had brought everything downstairs, I didn't need to worry about you having more sugar. A little while ago, I got you to bed, and of course you have forgotten all about it. I am working on doing that too. It's really not that bad, I guess, but it just really got to me tonight. I still love you, but I don't want you to end up sick from eating too many sweets. Of course if I didn't buy them then you wouldn't. As I said before, I'm still learning! Lots to learn! Well, I love you! Sleep well!

Monday, December 19, 2011

3 Years and Counting...

Dear Mom,

3 years ago today I was a very excited girl! I had a surprise for you that you had no clue about...that at the time you would not have wanted to have a clue about. You would not have been very happy with me if you knew the surprise I had coming for us. I went to school for the half day before Christmas break. We were going to be having our Christmas Around the World party in our classroom and exchange gifts. I had another gift that I was waiting for and truly looking forward to...a gift that I had actually waited 20+ years for. At one point during the party I heard that my gift was going to be coming. One of the Sr. High girls told me she was coming in with it. I went to meet her in the hallway because I was so excited to see...not it, but her! Her name was Bella and she was the most precious, sweet, and adorable 4 year old Maltese ever. I started tearing up when I saw her. I couldn't believe I actually, FINALLY had a dog.
It wasn't just the fact that we now had a dog, but also the fact that we got her 11 months to the day after pappy had passed away. That was such a special, neat blessing. I finished up at school and went to Petco to get a few things...and if I am going to be kinda show her off. I have always wanted to do that. :) Then it was home to introduce her to you. I was quite nervous to bring her home, because you do not like animals at all and have always told me never to bring a dog into the house. You and pappy never allowed anything other than fish or newts, and then as I started teaching you didn't mind the gerbils I brought home. I guess as long as it was in a tank of some kind you were OK. Well, I brought her home and you looked at her and wondered whose dog she was. I told you she was ours, but you didn't really believe me, you thought I was joking and that I was just dog sitting for her like I have done for other dogs. I told you that someone wanted us to have her and she was ours and showed you all of her things that I had with me. You didn't seem too thrilled, but didn't say much else. I took her for a walk around the block and came back to show you the gifts that I had gotten from my kids at school that day. As I was showing you Bella wanted up on the bed. I put her up there. As you were looking at the gifts she was near you and next thing I knew your hands were gently petting her. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! You who has always been so afraid of dogs and never wanted anything to do with were actually petting our sweet girl. It just reiterated the fact that she was supposed to be ours. She fit right in! Since then you have totally fallen in love with her. She has been a great companion for you. She's your bed mate every night and your companion during the day. She's also definitely my baby, and I get to share some pretty special times with her as well. She has been just right for us. So thankful for her, she's been so great for you. I knew after pappy died you would need a purpose again and she has been that! God truly blessed us with a bad, spoiled, crazy, fun, funny, playful, special, loud, naughty, beautiful, wonderful, amazing girl! My poor friend Sam, I was so excited to get a picture of Bella, I didn't
quite get all of her head, oops. :)

(I also just have to mention how ironic it is that Marley and Me is on tonight as I am writing this!) You watched some of it too, but now you're sleeping...with your sweet granddaughter by your side.

Sleep tight! Love you!

Good Appointment

Dear Mom,

I was home with you on Wednesday because I was going to be taking you to an appointment with one of your cancer doctors. I was so excited for the chance to sleep in a little. We had breakfast and I got ready. We left the house probably around quarter to eleven, so we would have plenty of time to get there. We got to the hospital at about 11:05 or a little after. I went to go into the parking area, but the gate was closed and it wouldn't open. So, I had to back up and go around to the front where I could let you off and find a place to park, or have the valet guys park the car. I definitely was not going to leave you, but I also did not have any change to pay the valet. I had to wait a while for one of them to come back so I could ask about the parking. One finally did come back and I asked about the gated parking place. I told him that this was where I had been told to park, instead of in the parking garage, because it was closer in that lot. I don't think he really understood everything I was asking or trying to say, but he told me to go ahead and he controlled the gate to go up when we got there. I got through, but the parking lot was so crowded. I had to be very careful and finally found a place near the end of the lot to park. By this time we were almost late, if not already late. I got to the desk and told them you had an appointment to see Dr. Davis. The lady at the desk then told me I was at the wrong place...ugh. I felt awful, you had walked all that way and now you were having to walk back again. I was also a bit stressed at this point because we were definitely late now. We got back in the car, carefully drove out of that lot and went down the street. At first I missed the right driveway, had to turn around and get back to the right one. There were no close places and we weren't in our car so I didn't have your handicapped tag. When we got in the office it was quite full, and there were no chairs together. One nice lady switched her seat so mom and I could sit together. The nice thing is they all know you there, so I just explained why we were late and they were very kind about it. You had to go get blood work done first, go sit back in the waiting room and wait for the doctor. I was able to have a nice talk with the doctor. He said things hadn't seemed to change much since the last appointment. He checked you and said things looked good. That was great to hear. He also said that you have been cancer free for 5 1/2 years and that your surgery was about 5 years ago. Since things looked good, he suggested that instead of coming to see him in 6 months we could just start coming once a year. That was so great to hear. Glad this appointment went well. Though I must admit I couldn't help thinking, I wonder what next year would bring as we tried to keep up with that appointment. I didn't dwell on the thought, just crossed my mind for a bit. Well, it's one day at a time, one step at a time, and this was a great step to know that you were doing well. Praising the Lord for that and for you! Love you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Still Learning...

Dear Mom,

I'm still getting used to this disease and how it affects you. Sometimes I think I am getting it down some, then something new or different comes up and I realize I really have no all. I'm still learning, though. I realized this on Sunday morning when you were getting ready for church. You were putting on the same outfit that you wear around the house everyday. You have worn that to church lately, and it's not a problem, but today we were also going to another church to celebrate my cousin, your nephew, Terry's ordination as a deacon. We would be seeing much of our family later. I knew you would want to look nice for this special occasion. I decided to try to help you choose something a little nicer to put on, not because I cared if you wore the other outfit, but I knew you would be more comfortable, and you would probably give me a hard time later if I hadn't chosen something nice for you. Here's the part where I'm still learning. I pulled out two different outfits for you to decide which one you wanted to wear. There was a nice red sweater with a red, white, and black skirt. I wasn't sure if you would want to wear that skirt because it was chillier out and the skirt wasn't that heavy. So, I also took out a nice black and white jumper with a pretty black and white sweater with a scarf to match. I put the two outfits out for you and told you you could choose which one you wanted to wear. You mentioned maybe wearing the jumper and black and white sweater. I told you that was fine. I was heading back to my room to get ready for church myself. Before I left you asked me what you should wear. I again told you and showed you the two choices. I was in my room getting ready and you called me to come help you. You asked if you should wear the red sweater. I told you that you could and you asked if you were supposed to wear it with the jumper. I told you you could, but that I had taken out the black and white sweater to go with it. So then you thought of wearing the skirt that I chose with that sweater. When you saw that it wasn't as heavy as you might have liked you decided to choose the jumper outfit with the white sweater. That's when I finally got wise, sometimes it takes me a while. I finally took the other outfit and put it up so you wouldn't be confused as to what to wear. So, see, I'm slowly learning! I wish I could learn to deal with things you might say that I struggle hearing. Such as when you tell me that I look pregnant, or that I need to hurry up and find a husband and have grandchildren before you are gone. The fact that I am still quite single with not even a glimpse of having a husband or kids has been very hard, especially lately as I am getting older. Then it has also bothered me that I never had grandchildren for you or dad to enjoy. Especially when there are so many (about 10 or so)people I know that are pregnant or are having/have had babies recently. I had always hoped to. So it's a bit hard to think about sometimes. I do have to say that I am glad that I am able to really help take care of you. You always took such good care of me and now it's my turn, and I'm proud to be able to do it. So, I keep trying to remind myself that they are just words, and I need not take it seriously. It's just part of our relationship now. I know there will always be something new now. That's another thing I am learning. With this disease there is never a set, dull moment, there is always something new and different. It definitely keeps things spontaneous and new. It's almost the same as when you watch the news. All the news stories, no matter how old they are, always seem new and incredible and fascinating to you, as if you have never heard them. Which, in your mind(literally), you haven't. If I can just take this journey in that light, that things will be new and interesting, always spontaneous and fascinating maybe I can learn to deal with some things a little better. I guess all I can do is try! I love you so much!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh What a Night!

Dear Mom,

Oh what a night, and it has nothing to do with late December back in '63. Earlier this evening we went to go see your nephew, my cousin, be ordained as a deacon in his church. Many of the family were there, his mom, uncle and sisters from Georgia even came up to be a part of this. It was a nice service, but we didn't get to stay for all of it because I had to go back to my church to be a part of a Christmas singspiration we were having. I tried to get you to come over to the church with me. I thought you might like just sitting and singing Christmas hymns and songs and having some cookies and hot chocolate. Plus my little kids that I have in my Pee Wee's class were going to be singing 3 songs and I thought you would enjoy hearing them. I couldn't quite convince you to come, you wanted to get home to Bella. So, I had to bring you home and then head right over to the church. I made sure you got into the house safely, but left so Bella wouldn't see me. I knew she would get too excited if she did. I checked to see that you were in with the door shut before I took off. I made it to church in plenty of time. I helped get the pastor's boys set up downstairs at a table, while their mom brought the little sister to the nursery. I sat with them and waited until Pastor and Megan came down, then stayed at the same table with them. We sang a couple Christmas hymns, then the Pee Wees went up to sing their three songs. They were so cute and did a great job. My only regret was not taking video or having someone else take a video of them as I had planned. They were so adorable, though! One of the songs Pastor wanted to be sure the whole sang was"Jingle Bells", so we sang "Jingle Bells" and Mr. Glenn had everyone take out their car keys to be the jingling bell sound! There was more special music from our Youth Director and his wife and the choir. Pastor Tom read the Christmas story to the kids that were there, while they sat on the floor around him. It was so sweet! We sang many wonderful songs. It was so sweet to sing those songs and hear Pastor's boys singing so sweetly and confidently behind me with the songs that they knew well. I especially loved hearing them sing "Glo-ria, in excelsis deo"! It was a great night, and we were out about the same time we normally are out of church if not a teeny bit earlier. I came home and was greeted by Bella as usual. As I was just about to take her out to go potty, I called to say hello to you. I heard a weak cry from somewhere. I quickly walked down the hallway and opened the bathroom door, but it was dark, so you weren't there. Then I went to your room.... there you were on the floor by the front of the bed on your back. I was shocked! I don't know what happened, you still had your clothes on. It looked like you were trying to take your jumper off, I don't know if somehow you fell because of that. Your shoes were beside you, your coat was underneath you, and the Life Alert necklace that you should/could have used to have someone help you was on the floor on the other side of your coat. Kinda defeats the purpose of it, sadly. I didn't know how to try to get you up. Finally I got behind you and just tried lifting you straight up. It finally worked...thankfully. I couldn't help but giggle a little at the craziness of trying to get you up, that made you giggle too. Glad we could get a little giggle, even though it wasn't a funny situation. I am pretty sure you were there the whole time I was gone, but sadly didn't use your Life Alert. Thankfully you were OK. After all of that you were better and of course wanted your ice cream. You had that, but then your TV wasn't working properly, I switched yours with another one, but then had to call Direct TV to get it set up properly. So, boy was I ready to come down here and blog. Thankfully my back has held up OK after lifting you and both of those TV's. I hope and pray things are back to normal for us. So thankful that you are OK and things weren't worse. Sorry I wasn't there for you for a while. God took care of you for me. So thankful! I pray that you will be safe when I'm not here, and that you will remember to use your Life Alert necklace if something goes wrong. I have so many other things to share with you, but will later. Glad you're ok, I love you!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Family Time

Dear Mom,

This past Saturday we went to Hometown Buffet for breakfast with the family. We do that sometimes, but I wasn't quite sure what the occasion was this time. We got there and got in the long line with Uncle Cephus and Auntie Ann. I was worried about you standing in that line for a while and kept checking to see if you wanted to go sit down. Some of the family had already gotten there and had saved some tables. Of course you said you were fine and did not want to go sit down. So, I just kept a close eye on you to make sure you would be fine. Not long after standing there I heard someone calling to Uncle Cephus from behind us in line. I turned around to see my cousin Lou standing there, I was so surprised!! It didn't really faze you at all, but she is from Georgia, and we had no idea she was here. So were Auntie Alberta and Uncle George, your brother and sister-in-law, and a couple of other cousins. As I turned around to see them all, it brought tears to my eyes! Dad's brother is 88 and his sister is 87, the last time we saw them was at the family reunion a couple of years ago in Georgia. So much has changed since then. I think you did sort of recognize them, but not enough to be as excited and shocked as I was. I was just so glad to see them. I made sure to get some pictures, because who knows what will change before the next time we see them. A little later some of Auntie Alberta's grandchildren and great grandchildren also came in. We took up about 8 or 9 tables with the family and that wasn't even close to being all of them. It was great to see all of pappy's siblings that are still alive together again. It was so special. You ate very well and did seem to enjoy yourself. And of course, after you were done with your breakfast, you were ready to have your ice cream. So....I made sure to get you some. So you were set. What a great time!

Auntie Alberta with her sister-in-law Doris, and brother-in-law and sister Cephus and Ann


Cousin Debbie with her great niece

Cousin Lou with her granddaughter


You with Auntie Ann

Cousins Corey and Derek at our table

All of our tables

Pappy's brothers, Uncle George and Uncle John

Pappy's other brother, Uncle Henry with Uncle George

What a great family time and a special surprise...for me anyway. Glad you got to see them as well and make memories. Love you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

Dear Mom,

It's Christmas time again. I can't believe it's here again, I love this time of year! I must say it's been a little hard this year, really missing pappy so much more this year for some reason, and having you be even a little more different than even last year. But you definitely have this childlike innocence and excitement. I decided to do what I did last year, by putting the old Christmas tree upstairs, while I kept our new one downstairs, since that's the one we put the presents under. So, right after Thanksgiving, I pretty much just dragged the old tree upstairs and put it in the living room. It is one of those pre-lit trees, so I just added a few ornaments to it. I hadn't even finished putting ornaments on it yet. But you have been raving about that tree! You sit in the living room and just praise me for doing such a great job on the tree. You ask me how I got all the lights put on it and I tell you they already came on the tree, which seems to impress you even more. You tell me you didn't know that, but of course you do since you were there when we chose it years ago. I almost think if you knew how you would call the local station to have them come over and check out our amazing tree. You keep talking about people coming over so they can see it. You even told your sister who is from Virginia,that she needs to come see the tree. That would be a long trip to see a pre-lit, slightly crooked, barely decorated tree, that has bare spots from where I haven't or haven't been able to fluff it back out so it looks full! But I'm very glad you like it so much. Sometimes you just sit in the living room to enjoy it. I did finally buy some different blinged-out ornaments to put on the tree. So, it's sort of getting there, but if you love it....well that's good enough for me. I decorated the tree downstairs a little more to my liking. Since it is another pre-lit tree, but this one with white lights, I can find neat colors to decorate with. A friend from church decorated her tree in purple this year, she recently became a Christian and wanted the tree to reflect royalty since she is a child of the King. I loved that idea, so was looking to do the same thing, but didn't find that nice dark purple color (our favorite color). But I did find a nice color and some pretty ornaments that I really like. So I sit downstairs and enjoy looking at that one.
Your other excitement has come from the packages that have been arriving at the house. I took advantage of some online sales over Thanksgiving weekend and on Cyber Monday. Two came a couple of days ago and you kept asking what was in them, but I told you they were for Christmas so I probably was not going to open them. Of course you asked about three more times after that. Then you said you were going to take your bath, but told me not to open them until you came back out. You mentioned that a couple of times as well. Yesterday another package came, and once again you wanted to know what was in it. I told you again I wasn't opening it yet. So, whenever you're not looking I hide the packages in the guest room. That works, because when you don't see them you forget about them. I haven't even looked at the packages, because some of them are for me, and even though I bought them and know what they are, waiting until Christmas to see them in person will be fun. That way we can both have something under the tree. Then of course I will have to make sure Bella has some things too. I haven't done a whole lot this year, but I did get both trees up. I have to admit I hadn't really been ready to decorate much, mostly because our temperatures have been so warm lately (50's and 60's). So, it's been hard to get into the spirit, plus it's different decorating by myself. I do hope to do a few more things, but we're getting there...getting ready. I would definitely like to be sure to get the nativity scene out. That's the joy of this time of year, remembering the birth of Christ. As we remember that special time, I hope to make some special memories with you during this Christmas time. I love you!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Dear Mom,

It has been pretty rough lately. I think I'm just tired and run down. The running around has definitely started again. And you have become a bit more clingy, which for some reason has become hard for me. Whether it's coming into the living room while I am trying to get a little nap in, to "talk" to me. Or whether it's coming downstairs to sit for a little while with me while I try to relax, get on the computer, and watch some TV. It usually doesn't last long because you love your Hallmark channel and I am usually watching something else that you get tired of sooner or later. But while you're down here I am not able to write these notes to you, or other things because I can't use the computer. You have been wanting to go with me more if I am going someplace or getting something quickly, you want to come at least just sit in the car. So, maybe it's just losing a little of that independence that I was used to having that is hard for me. I also think part of it is emotions. This year for some reason, more than the past couple of years, I have really been missing pappy. Last week, during Thanksgiving break, I was playing bowling on the Wii, and I did a certain move that reminded me of him. You know that was his game and he was great at it. He would do this little move to the side and kinda let out a little "oohh", as he hoped to make a spare. That's what I did. Lou Rawls came on the radio singing a Christmas song the other night and I choked up remembering how everyone used to say pappy looked like him. I heard Ray Charles singing "The Spirit of Christmas", again it brought me to tears. The first time I heard that song, I have to say, I kinda didn't like it and made fun of it. But the other night I just enjoyed his distinctive voice, and the sweet message of the song. It reminded me of when I was little and pappy gave me his 8-track player and one of the 8-track tapes was Ray Charles, and my favorite song was "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay". Such memories. I have heard some other Christmas songs talking of families and treasuring those moments and it makes me think of you and pappy. I am so glad that I didn't take Christmas 2007 for granted, and made him the special picture of Big Papi that he really liked. I just don't want to get so worn out and worn down that I don't enjoy this time with you! I feel guilty thinking that I want more "me" time, but then again I also know I need it. Last night, you were just sitting on the edge of your bed, when I asked you what you were doing you said, "I'm just looking at my husband's picture." Then you broke down on my shoulder. I tried to stay strong for you, but we both cried. You said, "Sometimes I just need to cry." I told you I agreed because you don't normally do that. I did cry, but held back, then when I took Bella out, I really let myself cry. It's just been so tough. You had a rough morning this morning. For the second morning in a row you had an accident. I was rushing because I had already gotten a little bit of a late start. I changed the bed, then went to get ready. As I was getting ready, I thought I heard you call me. I went to the bathroom to see what was wrong. You were sitting on the toilet seat putting your clothes on. You were trying to pull up your stockings, but had leaned over and couldn't get yourself back up. I sat you up, but you still seemed pretty weak. I helped you get your stockings up, your socks on and your pants up as well. I also got a drink of water for you because you just seemed so weak. At that point, I just texted the school secretary to tell her I was going to be late to school. I probably would have just taken the day off if I weren't subbing for someone. But once you had the water you seemed better. I made you drink the whole cup. You were finally able to get up, but I wasn't leaving you until after you had eaten breakfast and were safely back in bed, and I made sure you were really OK. I made breakfast for both of us, watched you get back in bed and finally finished getting ready. Thankfully you did fine the rest of the day! I called to check on you and when I did you told me the homemaker/companion was there. That also made me feel better. I got home in the afternoon and you were your normal self. We had a good night, you ate a good dinner and you of course had to have your dessert, but this time I had apple pie to go with your ice cream. Of course you were pretty excited about that! I'm glad to see you doing better tonight. Although I'm a bit tired and emotional, I don't want to miss any special times with you! I hope through the emotions and tough times, we will have a wonderful holiday season together. I don't want to take one moment for granted. I love you!