Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Passing Phase Perhaps . . .

        From the time she was eight years old, Jenna had always asked me for her own personal facebook account.  She enjoyed watching the JibJabs that my brother-in-law will occasionally post and wanted the opportunity to make comments herself instead of having me type "Jenna says . . ."  Over the years, many of her friends started their facebook accounts and she would ask if she could start one.  Each year the request was included on birthday or Christmas lists.  At the end of 2014 I created this post. 
          It wasn't until we had moved to Oregon - so far away from our family - that I understood why so many of her friends may have had "illegal accounts" as they all had family members they didn't have many opportunities to spend time with.  We had lived in Oregon for almost a year when I set up an "illegal" facebook account for her.  The objective was to keep contact with her brothers and aunts and uncles.  At first she seemed leery about adding people whose names she didn't recognize (good for her), but after a while many school mates made it to the facebook friend list.  She  found former acquaintances she had known in different parts of Salt Lake.  She had fun creating posts and playing games - though I had reminded her several times that is not why the account had been created.  I discouraged her from playing games or sharing her profile.  I don't know how many times she was hacked.  I suggested that she change her password either weekly or bi-monthly.

            I think the novelty had worn off as it had for me in this post.  There are certainly some advantages and disadvantages of being on facebook. After a year, Jenna is bored with facebook and asked if we could delete her account.  We haven't figured out how to close it permanently and so currently it's just deactivated until she decides that she would like to use it again.  And it's okay if she decides not to return.  My brother, Patrick has never had an account nor do I suspect he ever will.  There are leaders in the primary who don't have accounts. 
          I think it is a great source of communicating among certain groups.  I know many who post for upcoming Church activities, or community functions or family gatherings.  In fact I have given examples here and here and I've known some who have been inconvenienced when they no longer have that connection (for instance it was the policy of  Granite School District that all employees must not have facebook contact with the students;  one of my facebook friends, who fixes computers at all the schools in the district, was expected to delete those students he kept in contact with to make them aware of scouting events that had nothing to do with the school - but it was for protection reasons that the "unfriending" thing happened)

            Jenna isn't great at controlling her emotions - especially during that time of the month.  But hey, I was a teenage girl who had issues with that time of the month.  I understand.  Facebook didn't exist when I was her age, but I'm certain I would have gotten bored with it also.  She loves to draw and color.  It's the only passion she's been consistent about.  Everything else has been a fad.  Perhaps one day she will find something that she is willing to hang onto. Perhaps she will do something with her art.  She says she would like to lean towards cartooning.  That would be cool.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Oh, The Beautiful Sound of Rain!

        Though I am certain there are many who would not agree with the title of this post, particularly those who have been affected by Irma and Harvey. Even my brother who had planned on taking his husband to see the gardens in Victoria after selling Joh's art in Washington 

but took the rain as an opportunity to rest and visit with family rather than spend yet another day driving.   For those of us who have been surrounded by smoke and fires, it has been a desired gift for some time.  Hopefully more fires will be put out, much of the smoke has already cleared.  I know it will help with my breathing, my poor dry skin, and my balance. 
        I actually hadn't considered my balance before, but have been fighting off ear infections in my right ear.  That would be related to my balance, right?  Sometime after Roland and I had moved to West Valley, I started having issues with my balance.  My theory was low ceilings and lack of ventilation had contributed to my instability of movement.  Of course, the balance thing was even a greater challenge when I felt distorted whenever I’d first wake up or because of the tremendous amount of sinus infections I would experience (all in the West Valley house; I have not experienced that degree before or since)

        After my dad had had a series of strokes and was unstable on his feet, we had purchased him a tall cane and then a tall walker.  He must have been bent over when using the walker though, as I can reach my arms out at a comfortable position and I don’t have to bend     After we had cleaned out my mom’s house, Patrick ended up taking my dad’s walker.  Apparently, he also had the one that had belonged to my maternal grandma but I did not know that at the time.
        Because of my instability to move around during the night (because I drink a lot of water and my bladder is not as large as it used to be) I asked him if I could have the walker and started using it not long after my mom had passed away.  That’s when I realized he had two walkers as he had given me both as he thought dad’s might be too tall for me. 
        Oh, like a really could have used grandma’s!  I don’t even remember her being that short!  She must have really been hunched over!  I don’t even think that thing came up to my knees!  I think that is seriously the tiniest walker I have ever seen. .  What is it with getting such short walkers to assist with the walking.  I don't recall many walker users who haven't ended up leaning over and creating an even greater problem with their deformed backs as they had with their unstable legs.  But that's beside the point.

        We brought dad’s walker with us to Oregon.  I had no need for it when we were living in the first house we had rented.  I never felt distorted or unbalanced and hadn’t used it for over two years now.  But I have recently started using it again.  Ever since our trip to Medford.
        I think if we had a vehicle that rides high up – like a truck – where I have my legs bent at the knee in a dinner-chair-seated position, it might not be an issue.  But long rides with my leg in a straight or semi-bent is too much hard on my right leg.  I noticed that before we arrived in Medford last month that my right leg was really hurting.
        I believe I could have done without the assistance of the walker this morning.  I no longer feel distorted.  My hair feels soft again and so I think the rest of me will be feeling better like how I was meant to feel - our entire purpose of moving to Oregon.  I'm very grateful for the rain.  Overall, I really love this time of year.  Still missing my Utah family.  I know that coming to Oregon was/is the right move for me.  Now that we've had a wonderful rain, I can breathe again.

Monday, September 18, 2017


          As I have already mentioned, I had started two classes on Labor Day this month.  One in managerial accounting and the other in financing.  My accounting class seems like a refresher course as there is some familiarity within the topics. It also feels like a prequel to my financing class and I wish I had it BEFORE my financing class and not side-by-side as I tend to get the two mixed up and have actually turned in one assignment for one class into the other.

          Fortunately I have really good instructors in both classes who have been able to give me feedback right away instead of waiting until the end of the week as was the case with my last instructor who did announce ahead of time that his grading day is Sunday and that is it.

          I am having the hardest time with the subject at hand.  Valuation principals and investments and blah, blah, blah . . . One class asks me how a manager makes a decision (no, it isn't my managerial accounting, it's the other one . . . see what I mean) and so I look up all of these references for one class and end up using them for the other class.

          Most of my accounting assignments have been in excel and so I don't have to have all those references in my back up file.  When I am asked to write about a personal finance decision (wrong again - the 300 word project about personal financing is for the accounting class; it is the second part to be handed in along with the excel assignment) I am looking at all these words and definitions trying hard to apply it to my personal life, but they're all business words and I am not a business and I have absolutely no desire to be!
          We make estimated guesses.  We cannot predict the future.  We can't control what downfall the economy may have to endure due to natural disasters.  I have so many thoughts in my head and they are spilling over.  I don't like the riled up emotion I feel when I am trying to answer the questions.  Roland has always been able to separate business from personal life.  Not me.  I cannot keep my emotions out of it!

          And then there is the scrapbook I had gone through that has triggered all sorts of thoughts.  I knew I couldn't sit down and write just one post and do my assignments.  So I broke my thoughts into several posts that still managed to beg for me to write them - and hey, why not?  I couldn't focus on my assignments anyway. I'm not worried about failing the class.  I've been getting As the entire time except for one class - with an instructor who would pass out virtual caramels - I was late turning in an assignment and so did not get full credit.  I think I was taking two classes at that time also. 

          I feel fortunate that I had only one class in July and one class last mod.  I don't know how I managed with the two classes that started on the day of Jeanie's funeral.  I felt like I had been in a coma for three weeks.  Perhaps that is the secret - have my subconscious take over.  I just felt so tired I don't think it was possible to experience emotion.  Since school started for Jenna, I've been neglecting the library also.  I find it necessary  to take a breather.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years: Dreams

            Mom loved to dance, but didn't have many  opportunities to do so as it wasn't one of dad's favorite things.  She told me that she was a brilliant choreographer during her sleep and she would dance the night away.  She said she wished she were as active during the day and that perhaps she could lose some weight.  I think often my mom felt self-conscience about her appearance  and perhaps did not pursue her dreams of dancing as she didn't figure she had the figure for it.
          She did seem to lose weight whenever she was involved in a sewing project - usually clothes for me.  I know she made matching shirts for the entire family when Kayla was just a baby.  She did make a couple of matching outfits for me and Kayla.  But as I think about it, I believer most of her projects she made were clothes for me.
           I liked wearing something that had been made for me personally from fabric that I had chosen - even what might have been "drape" material for a kid's room.  She never discouraged me from wearing what she may have thought of as bizarre. I would  rather be in something that I helped design than look like a billboard advertising a certain brand of jeans.  I didn't know that we were poor and it was just less costly to make clothing. 
          When mom wasn't dreaming about dancing, she said she was often sewing in her dreams, and she would make elaborate designs.  But there are a few times she would share really bizarre dreams with us.  There is only one that I can remember in detail, but I will share two,
          The first one happened on a family trip.  We'd been vacationing in Yellowstone  I would guess.  Mom had a dream about fishes who had taken on human personalities.  She said the leader of the fish walked and talked like John Wayne. 

But that is all that I remember.

          The other dream involved the bedspread.  This is not an accurate picture, but something similar to how her bread spread appeared.

     This is the bed spread she slept beneath when she was having her "Cotton-Picking" dream.  She said she was on a plantation picking cotton for what felt like hours.  She could feel herself working hard - so hard in facet, that when she woke up she was perspiring . 

          It took several minutes for her eyes to adjust.  She had been wearing glasses for most of her life, and her vision was quite distorted without them.  She looked at the floor and saw a bunch of linty fuzz scattered between her bed and the TV and wondered what it was and why it was there. 

          She had indeed worked hard at picking that cotton - but not just in her dream.  Her hands were busy feeling the little balls upon her bed spread.  Mom had managed to single-handedly ruin her bed spread while she dreamed.  For as she was picking cotton from plants in her dream, she'd been tugging at the stringed pattern that held her bed spread together.  It is funny but yet it's not - at least not at the time.  I don't know if she ever got that physically active with any of her other dreams.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part

55.    She taught me to take care of my body.
56.    She was a good daughter.

                   My maternal grandma lived with mom's youngest brother so that she wouldn't have to be alone in her apartment (that was really too large for just one person).  After Roland and I had been married for about a year, my uncle sent my grandma out to Salt Lake for a visit.  She did get sick  after three or four weeks.  She died in the hospital in Salt Lake.  I know my mom was grateful to have had the opportunity to spend their final moments together.

57.    She worked for the FBI, and that just sounds cool.

          Mom started out working for the FBI in San Francisco.  Her goal was to leave an empty desk knowing full well there would be paperwork added to it by the following morning - the idea of having an empty desk gave her satisfaction as though her day's work had been fulfilled.  She had just one job that might have gotten tedious after a while.  She said the thing she enjoyed about working at the FBI in Salt Lake as opposed to San Francisco was that there was a larger variety of work to be done instead of doing only one task.

58.    She's one of my best friends.

          Again, I don't remember which examples Corey shared, but my own include our Lucy/Ethel moments found here and much of what Corey mentions in this post.

59.    She makes good meals.

                   I believe that shortly after her parents' divorce,  my mom had started making meals for her brothers.  She did not use much in the way of seasoning or spices.  She would often fix spaghetti, hamburger rice casserole, ham chowder and potato salad - all staples that we loved and did not have leftovers too often. 
                        Roland uses seasonings.  I enjoy his  cooking quite a bit.  He spoiled me.  I didn't enjoy my mom's food so much after Roland and I were married.

60.    I's fun to argue with her.

                    Of course mom was always right, and the world does not go according to Greenwich mean time as you may think; the world sets their clocks according to June Cannon's watch.

61.    She gives great hugs.

          Must be where Jenna gets it from

62.    She taught me to appreciate the beauty of the earth.
63.    She taught me to go through life with and even temperament
64.    She showed me how to be a good neighbor.
65.    I just think she's cute.
66.    She's always treated my friends well.
67.    She's kind to others.
68.    She helped make our home a place of peace and love.
69.    She likes to dance.

          always dreamed of dancing of sewing - except for the John Wayne and cotton picking dreams - which  I had shared to somebody else's blog but can't seem to find          them on my own.  I guess I could do a final "remincing" post about those two dreams.

70.    She's really the  best mom a guy could ask for.

Thanks, Mom, for all you have caused and inspired me to be.  Thank you for loving me for who I am.  And thanks for being the best mom in the world.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 6

37.    She's soft-spoken

                   Kayla, Mom and I recorded our voices to tape one year. My mom was sitting directly over the tape recorder and  I was across the room.  My voice came in more clear than my mom's;  to this day Corey and I will remember her soft voice while speaking in normal tone and mimicking "I am yelling" though we are obviously not.

38.    She's generous.

                   I'm sure it was through her generosity that each of her children felt the need to be generous as best as we can.

39.    She's given me financial support.

                   She would often "give" us money to pay back loans or to purchase a needed item;  she would often do if without our even asking.

40.    I love her incoherent late-night conversations.

                   My brothers were always better at the late night conversations than I.  I was tired.  I wanted to go to bed.  Mom would have to unwind.  Often she fell asleep with the TV on.  One time she took pictures of Patrick and I building a snowman at 2:00 a.m. - one of the few times I hadn't gone to bed less than ten minutes after we returned home.

41.    She's directionally challenged.

                        There are family members who have inherited this quality.  I would be lost without the GPS - literally.

42.    She helped me to appreciate music.

43.    She showed a great deal of trust in me when I was growing up.

                   I don't know what example Corey used, but one that often comes to my mind is allowing each of us to drive the car, even after an incident like the first example found here.          

44     She was a night-owl at one time like me.
45.    She taught me to be honest.
46.    She's a good example of service.

          There was a sister in the ward who was receiving dialysis treatments - which are given several times a week.  The sister did not drive and Mom assisted with driving several times during the month.  She may have also felt like the care giver as she devoted much of her time towards my paternal great-grandmother, my paternal grandmother  and my dad.  She  was able to serve her own mother during the last month of her life also.

            She instilled into each of us the willingness to serve the way that she had.

47     She showed me the importance of family.
48.    She raised well-adjusted kids

                   One thing that we've got going for us that many families unfortunately don't, is trust.  We trust each others.  We trust in the values we were taught.  I think we are fortunate to deal with death in the manner which we do.  I feel very blessed to have turned out how I did and highly regard my sibs and their spouses and children as well.
49     She shows a great love for her religion.

                   Mom was so diligent about fulfilling her callings and putting in effort to participating in lessons given by others;  I hadn't appreciated her devotion until after the dementia started robbing her of her mind.

50.    She has shown a great deal of support for my goals.

                   When Corey was six years of age or so, he had decided that he would grow up to be an actor.  Mom supported him by going to every one of his plays - even out of town or out of state.

51.    She's shared her life history with me.
52.    She buys ice cream.
53.    She's prayful.

                   Lot of prayers.  Here is just one example

54.    She taught me to keep a journal

                   Corey and I both kept journals and detailed letters.  Writing was not a favorite pastime for Patrick.  I don't recall Kayla keeping a journal either.  But the  letters she sent home from her mission were more informative than Patrick's.  Mom and I had always wished Patrick would have said more.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 5

24.    She has insightful conversations with me.

25.    She spoils me.

                                                             I believe mom spoiled us all. 

 26.    She holds me when I cry.

                                     As I was her eldest, and experienced major mood swings, she didn't always know how to handle whatever crises I thought I was having.  One day I came home from school so upset and was really trying to understand, but could not get anything out of me.

                                    I kept a journal at the time.  She did respect my privacy.  At the same time she really did want to comfort me and debated on whether to read it or not.  She finally did.  I had written: "TODAY WAS SUCH A HORRIBLE DAY, I DON'T EVEN WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT"  

                                    Fortunately for mom, non of my sibs were the emotional train-wreck I appeared to be.  Lucky me, I now get to relive those years but this time I'm the mom and Jenna is the train-wreck - sometimes.  She's still more well adjusted than I ever was.  

 27.    She loves the one I love.

           She didn't have a problem with Roland per se, but rather my decision to get engaged only three days after we met.  Yes.  I can understand that.  I had a problem with accepting that myself.  I felt like it was a test, and just because I had said "yes" to the proposal did not mean I had to go through with the marriage.

            I'm certain she had misgivings about Joh (Corey's spouse) as well - until she met him.  How could we all help but not love Joh?

 28.    She's someone I can talk to about anything.

29     She always encouraged me to get good grades

30.    She cared enough to push me to do things I didn't necessarily want to do.

           I remember having to learn the names of body parts and the cells and chromosomes and so forth.  Mom really helped me by making silly suggestions for ways that might help me remember.  I don't know that I viewed it as "fun" at the time, but her silly suggestions really were helpful.

31.    She's patient and has always been patient with me.

32.    She loved me even when I was a jerk.

                         I have seen each of my mom's children grow, but I think I notice it the most with Corey.  There were several years there that he really was a jerk. (see here, here and here)

33.    She instilled in me a love of God and Christ.

34.    She's neurotic.

                         I don't remember what example Corey used, but I'm certain it left the audience in stitches.  Mom could be quite funny without trying to be.  Sometimes she'd insist we knew things or had been in places that we hadn't been.  We would always share these inside jokes that only we would understand as Patrick was NOT with us when we had gone to see "Watership Down" but for years she believed he was.  We would always throw in descriptions of, "you remember.  It was raining and Helen Hayes was there" as they had been other memories that certain sibs really didn't understand - because they hadn't been there.  And then mom would say, "Oh, be quiet!" when we started teasing her by lovingly using her words against her.

 35.    She's makes her in-laws feel just as important as her own children

                     Even during those rare moments that Roland had visitations with Frances and Pamprin and we would bring them over as we had planned on visiting mom, she accepted them as part of family.  She had presents beneath the tree for them.  She had a way for including everybody into her world.  Even the neighbor's grandchildren referred to her as Grandma.

 36.    She's a great grandmother, and she has birthday dates with her grandkids.

                        She took each birthday child out for lunch along with whatever other family members were available.  After Sunny and Patrick had children, she continued the birthday tradition which each of their children. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 4

A continuation of list started yesterday

13.    She's a complete technophobe.
                            I don't think she did ever learn how to set the VCR
14.    She makes me feel needed.
                                                Each of us was important and she let us know why and what talents we could offer that maybe someone else could not.
15.    She showed me a great example of a successful marriage.
                        I had believed that all families were like my family - that the mom and dad loved one another and that the children enjoyed being a part of the family.  I didn't realize that there were many who had squabbles or came from broken homes.  When I think about it,  I guess even mom came from a broken home.  Her parents used to squabble.  She said there really hadn't been harmony in the home until after her dad left, and that it was all somehow shaken up again when her mom remarried.
                        Mom had set several goals for herself - one was that there would never be a divorce.  She also would do her best not to have to raise her family in an apartment. Mom and dad were a great example of a great marriage and great family life.  I have often told people that I must be from a "fairytale" family as people don't believe we could love and respect one another the way that we have. 
16.    She was a good wife.
17     She loves to travel, and we love traveling together.
                        Corey relates the experience of the two of them riding the hovercraft - which is hilarious.  I am actually the only one of mom's children who hasn't been to Europe.  
                        When mom had dementia, she believed she had traveled to places that she really hadn't.  I brought a map and put it in her room.  We put silver stars on places where she had been to physically and colored stars marked all the places she had only been to in her mind.  For the most part she had  "just driven there for the day" .  Greenland had been among those places
18     She took us on many family trips
19     She taught me not to judge people.
                        Mom always saw people for who they were on the inside.  She didn't take notice of a person's race, religion or scars.  She worked with a guy who had a disfigured face and she managed to overlook it.  When he showed up at work one day to share the exciting news that he'd be getting a facial operation she asked him why.  He was puzzled that she'd ask, but she really had learned to look beyond the deformed features that most people saw.
20.    She lets me live with her still.
                        I suppose many parents are anxious to see their children leave the "nest" - mom was not.  We could have all lived with her forever as far as she was concerned.  For 39 years I believed I would.  It's not that she didn't want to see us spread are wings and grow.  She was encouraging about that, but still melancholy with seeing us leave - especially when it started feeling permanent.
21.    She helped me gain an appreciation for current events and the news.
22.    She often agrees with me politically and has some liberal views.
                        I thought one of us had posted to our blog about the painful experience we had with taking mom to vote for what would be her last time.  She was very confused, and Corey had asked her who she wanted to vote for, and wrote down the names on a paper and asked for someone to guide her through figuring the punch card would be even more of a challenge.  (We don't have that in Oregon; the entire state votes by mail.  See here) It would have been easier if we had been able to do it that way that particular year.            
23.    She let me have a cat when I was young.
                                    I don't recall Patrick or Kayla ever showing an interest in an animal as with did Corey and I.  I think I actually had gone through more cats than did Corey. Mom had also had at least one cat when she was growing up.  She said her pregnant cat had babies in her closet on top of a slip that had been left in there.  The cat was quite protective of her babies and would snarl at mom, I guess.  Mom was not so fond of cats after that incident.  And yet she allowed over a dozen into our house over the years.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 3

               At the time we had mom's party I had not yet started my blog nor do I think I had started reading Corey's.  Perhaps I did and I just don't remember.  He hasn't posted for a while, and so I haven't looked at his blog page much the last year and a half.  I did open his blog page yesterday to see if he had mentioned the event or what he said about it - but I couldn't find anything - not at the time the event took place anyway.  He had his own personal trial he was dealing with.  I don't know if he ever got around to reminiscing the events that took place that summer my mom turned 70. 
               He gave mom a copy of the list he had created, but not the stories he had shared at the party as he paid her tribute and entertained those who came; thus I will share his list and my own examples as I can remember them.

70 Things I Love About My Mother

1.      She's always supported my career and seen just about every show I've done.
2.      She encouraged me to serve a mission.
3.      She loves me just for who I am.
4.      She loves to play games.

                                As I hadn't started my blog until the last year my mom lived in my childhood house, I hadn't recorded much pre-dementia.  Playing games with my family was just a part of life - I thought all families did it. 
                               Mom and dad had taught Patrick and me how to play a card game called 500 which I mention here.  We would play board games.  I remember one time when the power had gone out, we played a game called SKUNK; we played by Candle light.  Even after daddy's health deteriorated, we'd continue playing games.  There was one called Encore which is a singing game.  Dad had had a series of strokes and it had become difficult for him to get the words out of his mouth, but you could see him light up, and he would think of a song, and it didn't matter which team's turn it was or how long he took - we allowed him to provide an answer and would give it to whatever team's turn  it was to play.
                               Mom didn't seem so competitive as a team player, but boy, she was competitive when it was player against player.  Corey and I were her rivals.  She would play all games with all people, but there were specifics that I talked about in this post.

5.      She's a worry-wart.
6.      We love to go to lunch together.

                                            Mom enjoyed food and loved having the company of her children. More times than not it would be just her and only one child.  I remember her telling me about going to the mall when Patrick was working at one of those gift cheese stores.  She would stop by and ask him to go to lunch and one day asked if that embarrassed him as he was having lunch with his mom.  He told her that some of his co-workers were actually jealous about it.  All of us would always have good discussions with mom when we would go out to eat.

7.      She supported my educational pursuits.

                               Mom helped each of us with our education, but we all seemed to notice it the most with Kayla who really struggled in school.  Her mind was much slower than any of mom's other children or Kayla's peers.  She required extra attention for focusing and it did not help matters that the phone was always ringing off the hook as her friends would constantly call or come over.  Thus mom removed Kayla from the neighborhood environment for a couple of hours each week, possibly every day . .  I can't remember. 

                During the summer mom would take Kayla to a local drive-in for breakfast and they would hang-out for the required time that mom had set up to help Kayla understand whatever subject that Kayla was expected to understand.  She was so diligent in making sure that Kayla received a proper education.  I have always admired that

 8.      She helped me get my first job.

                            As I had mentioned in this post: except for dad, all of my family had worked at Snelgrove's Ice Cream Store - not at the same time, mind you.  Patrick and I had both started earning wages at age 13 or 14 with paper routes, but for Kayla and Corey, Snelgroves was a first job. 

 9.      She instilled good work ethic in me.
10.    She instilled in me an appreciation of theatre and movies.
11.    She instilled in me an appreciation for reading.

                                                Both my mom and Corey were avid readers.  They could have three or four books read before I had even completed one.  I do enjoy reading.  It just takes me a lot longer.
                                             Mom was reading books again while in assisted living.  She could never tell you what she was reading, but we do know she did read.

 12.    She read stories when I was young.
                                             She also read to/with the grandkids

Monday, September 11, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 2

                Roland brought some corn into the house the other day.  He had picked it from our garden. 

I took pictures of the produce and went out to the garden to take pictures of each bed and started a post on the progress (or lack thereof) of our garden.  I stopped my thought flow around 2:30 as Jenna gets home from school between 2:30 and 2:45 and wanted to be in the front room to greet her when she returned.

            She asked if I could drive her to the youth center which she hasn't gone to for over a year.  I knew  I would have to fill out paperwork as the center requires that the information be updated each year.  It appears that the paperwork packet increases in size each year.  This year felt like a small book.

            Roland and I were in the middle of slicing apples for applesauce and apple pie.  I chose to take the paperwork home rather than to take the time filling it out at the center - besides I had the entire weekend.  For the most part Roland was okay by himself, but would call me in to assist for a few minutes here and there and so I sat on the couch and started to fill out the forms.

            Though the packet seemed thick enough to write on without something underneath, the surface was too flat and I needed for the forms to be at an angle so that it would be more comfortable to my arm, thus I grabbed a binder that seemed closest to my reach.  Now, I don't create these posts in memory of my mom's death - the binder I had grabbed turned out to be the scrapbook we had given to mom for her 70th birthday. 

            My brother, Corey, does not believe in coincidences. Perhaps my subconsciously grabbing mom's photo album was meant to serve a better purpose than a temporary desk for the paperwork I had.  Certainly these posts now are much more compelling than the topic of our unbalanced garden.  Perhaps this will trigger memories for others - if not my mom, perhaps your own.

            Of course I have gone through the album as it was already in my lap, and have read kind words and have smiled knowing how much my mom was/is loved.  My aunt had enclosed a few pictures from the past.  She said that when she met my mom, she reminded her of  Jacqueline Kennedy.  Until then I had not known that anyone had ever made any kind of comparison between her and "Jackie".

            Some of the same values that she instilled into her children were also expressed by former co-workers.  Roland drew some illustrations with captions "It seems like the older you get, the younger adults and professional become.  Children seem smarter . . . technology goes by you . . . But best of all, you have seen it all"  Her traits were addressed:

compassion, humble, enjoyable visits,  great example, service, devotion, blessing, giving, memories . . .  Each letter indicated that each had been so grateful to know my mom. I am grateful to have this great treasure in my possession.  The last page contains a card from my mom's brother and his wife.  He passed away the year that we put mom into assisted living.  His wife also had some sort of dementia and was put into an assisted living also.  She passed away just this year.  Of those who had come to the party or had sent letters, there are at least eight who  have joined mom on the other side.  I am grateful to have known them all and to read how much they loved my mom.