Showing posts with label Sunny. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunny. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Woman in the Background

Formally titled "Walking in Another’s Shoes (or "What Are the Odds?")"


Miranda and her mother live in Arizona.  They had come to Utah to spend the Thanksgiving Holidays.  On Black Friday they found themselves at an Old Navy store in Sandy, Utah.  The two were smiling as someone took their picture, which evidently Miranda immediately posted to her facebook page.  The focus should have been on mom and daughter – to see their happiness.  But for some reason her facebook friends seem more drawn to the woman in the background.  Apparently she wore a sour expression that many “friends” felt the need to poke fun at. 

         I have not seen the photo myself nor read the hurtful comments.  But I’ve been told that they exist - or did.  And with the given track record of facebook, I have no reason to doubt it.  People can be hurtful and mean and put others down without even knowing them or the circumstances or background of the individual that we are demeaning with our hateful words.  We become facebook bullies. 

         I have mentioned my sister-in-law, Sunny and her enthusiasm and her remarkable spirit.  Evidently she teaches the gospel doctrine lessons – which she says is somewhat intimidating, as most of the class members appear to be old enough to be her parents or grandparents.    Sunny always prays and studies out her lessons (or talks or sharing time or whatever her calling is) and always seems to have a fountain of Spirit pouring out of her.  She radiates! 
         Her subject was on the Proclamation of the Family.  Because of the signs of the time and issues in the media, she knew that subjects may be brought up with confrontation and judgment – and did not want her class to become a sideshow or debate.  She did a lot of research and called Corey to ask his approach.  Corey ALWAYS has good advice, as the Spirit seems to be with him ever much as it is for Sunny.

         Sunny ended up writing a huge list before the class had even started.  On her list she had put gay marriages, unwed mothers, child abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, spousal abuse, divorce, temple marriages, civil marriages, single mothers, mixed families . . . . there were a lot.  It sounds like her list covered the entire board.

         After the opening prayer she shared the story at the beginning of this post – from her point of view.  Sunny was the sourpuss woman in the background of the photo.  She has some sibs who happened to be facebook friends with Miranda.  What are the odds?

         After far too many hurtful comments, one of Miranda’s friends contacted her and asked her to please remove the photo with all of it’s comments – for the woman in the background whom the “friends” were bashing was her sister – and it was hurtful to see all those unnecessary comments who had lost focus of what the picture really should have represented.

         Sunny (an enthusiastic shopper and person by nature) hadn’t had a proper amount of sleep and fully admitted that she was not in the best of mood when she returned to Old Navy for the third time in less than 24 hours.  It is quite evident from the photo that Sunny did NOT want to be there - but she is such a great mother she had sacrificed her time to take her fourteen year old daughter and stand in line while Candy found items that she wanted to purchase.  (Sunny is not her actual name.  I call her that because of her normally sunny disposition - which evidently is quite hidden in the photo) 

         Sunny finished relating the events that had taken place and concluded with a plea to not pass judgment.  She pointed to words on her list while saying, “This is my brother”,  “This is my sister”, and “Everybody in this room knows somebody on this list”  
         Sunny said the Spirit had been invited into the room and stayed throughout the class.  She said she felt great about the lesson and knows that others were touched as she received heartfelt compliments.  She really is a great teacher – great person really.  And those in Miranda’s circle would never say the mean things they did if they actually did know Sunny.

         As Sunny shared her lesson and as I later related this all to Roland, I realized that I am guilty of jumping to conclusions long before I try walking in another’s shoes.  May I always keep this with me that I may recognize that all people are a part of the human race – always somebody’s brother, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s parent, somebody’s friend.


         May we all recognize others as our own family members.


 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We Might as Well Just Write a Book!



          I went to several assisted living facilities by myself during November and December.  Many facilities would say they had no room but that we could get on a waiting list.  That seemed okay as my brothers weren’t looking to move her until maybe June or July.

At each location I was asked, “Does your mom need assistance with the shower?”

          “She can shower by herself.”  She could.  Two months ago.  Even just two weeks ago.  And then she’d forget to use soap.  And then she would just forget.

          Last Tuesday I created this post.  It was a good day for her.  It turned out to be the last good day at home.  Her home.  The one she has lived in for the last 50 plus years but has forgotten.  We’re moving her into assisted living.  I don’t know when.  It should have been a lot sooner in my opinion.

          Last week she was smiling.  Giggling.  That’s right – giggling.  And she called me crazy.  We had fun.  And then her friend called.  And she was alert enough to know who she was talking to.  I don’t know how soon after I left that she became withdrawn.  Disconnected.

          On Thursday she was almost in a stupor – though not quite.  She would answer my questions.  “No, I don’t want to do it”  “Not right now”  “I don’t know why I’m so tired . . .”

          I had suggested (several times) for her to lie down.  I did give her drinks from the fridge. Perhaps not enough.  The next two days were nightmarish for Nate and Ellen as mom would pass out which in turn would freak Ellen. 

          Newlyweds shouldn’t be in that position to take care of a grandma that rapidly declines.  Sunday morning was really bad for Ellen especially, who had found grandma in soiled sheets and apparently her room reeked.

          Patrick and Sunny took her to the hospital that morning.  It sounds like they all missed Church as Nate and Ellen had gone with them.  Apparently they were in the emergency room for what felt like forever – other cases were given a higher priority.

          When they did finally call mom back, only two people were allowed to go with her.  That ended up being Patrick – the only one of the four who has power of attorney, and Nate, who has been acting as mom’s care giver in Corey’s place.  Sunny and Ellen returned home and Sunny started in with phone calls to the rest of mom’s children.

          I had just barely started my lesson when the first phone call came.  A frantic caller as the person on the other end called three times.  When the lesson was over, I returned the call to my sister who related the events.

          I went to Kayla’s ward right after attending the meetings at ours.  Kayla had told me she was speaking.  I was sooooo glad that I went as she did an awesome job. 
While the sacrament was being passed, my phone went off again.  Fortunately it had been on vibrate all day and no one aside from Jenna and I seemed to notice.

          Sunny finally got a hold of Bill (Kayla’s husband) who has been through hospital administration many times with his first wife.  He’s got a deeper insight and understanding than the rest of us would like to experience.  But here we are.  Mom is in the hospital.  Quite confused.  Disoriented.  But happy.  Positive.
Or so I heard. 
          I was told to talk to a social worker about getting mom moved over to one of these facilities (there’s one we like that actually has an opening right now)  I was there for five hours yesterday before the social worker arrived. 

          At first glance he didn’t seem legitimate.  For me personally, he seemed to come across as a patient from the psychiatric ward – a happy go lucky fellow with mussed up hair.

          I was told that she’d probably be released today.  Really? But we need another day at least.

          Sunny picked up a packet from the assisted living.  A large packet.  She said there were over 35 pages to be filled out and that there was no way she and Patrick would be able to get it done just by themselves in the allotted time frame.
          So Roland and I went out to mom’s house to assist with the paperwork.  We Skyped Corey and fired questions at him.  We could see him, but evidently he could not see us. 

          For the most part we were laughing.  Corey came across like one of those old Japanese movies in which the lips are not in sync with what’s being said.  And when it came to personal questions – do we say how it really was or provide today’s reality which is only about 40% truth.

          Mom really has been to Europe and Greece, Alaska and Hawaii.  But in her mind she’s also been to Egypt, South Africa, Russia and China (to name a few)  Provide the name of any state and she claims she’s been there – usually just for the day.  And usually she drove.  She’s been to a quarter of the states at best.  She’s never been to Asia or many other places she’s claimed.  She was not driving when she was fourteen.

          It’s funny.  Mom has no clue why she was at the hospital – even after we told her.  She doesn’t retain information.  Corey had asked why she was in the hospital.  Her answer amused both me and Corey.

          She said (over the phone), “I’m not sick or anything – I had to come to take a shower.  And it’s here so I have to be here”

          Yet when “Everybody Loves Raymond” showed on TV, she was able to relate the events that were about to happen.  How is that even possible?  I mean, I know she’s seen it again and again.  It just floored me that she seemed to have it memorized.

          She’s worried about her purse.  She often will look for it while she’s home.  Once she finds it, she can relax – until she’s forgotten and has to search for it again.  It has become a part of her the way the cell phone has become a surgically implanted part of many people or a security blanket a child may drag around and refuse to part with.

          I don’t know where she’ll wake up tomorrow.  They say it takes a couple of days to process the paperwork.  We’re really not ready for her to be leaving the hospital today.  The transition will be so much easier if we didn’t have to take her back to her house. 

          Don’t guess I will know for a while yet.  Perhaps I’ll have be able to post more tomorrow.  Hopefully I will be too busy with transition to make the post.  We’ll see.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sisters




          This post is dedicated to my sister, Kayla and our sister-in-law, Sunny.

          Kayla has always been the strong silent type – both physically and spiritually.  She has always had tremendous faith.  She is a survivor.

          When she was younger she could detect the slightest movement of a wrapper being pulled away from a food item (usually something unhealthy like ding dongs or cupcakes or m&ms) She wouldn’t even be in the house, but in the neighborhood.  Unwrap that piece of candy, and she would appear through the door.  But it had to be real.  We could never get her to come simply by crinkling cellophane or foil

          She would say to my mom, “Can I have a piece of gum?” (or whatever)

          Mom, truly forgetting there really was such an item in the house, would come back at her, “I don’t think we have any”

          And Kayla would always know.  “Yes we do.  It is in the third bag pushed against the wall in the cupboard under the microwave”

          Sure enough it would be there.

          Kayla had a problem understanding prepositions.  Written directions would confuse her.  Mom had taken her to a therapist and spent a tremendous amount of time with her going over her homework, trying to help her to understand.

          Kayla had a huge following of friends.  They called and knocked at the door at all hours.  It got to the point where my mom had to physically remove Kayla from our house and environment.  They went to a nearby drive-in to have breakfast and stayed for hours while they studied.

          We used to call her Kaylarella as we would often ask her to fulfill tasks that involved cleaning or serving.  And she enjoyed it.  I looked at it as taking advantage of her na├»ve willingness.  She looked at it as an opportunity to serve and felt connected. Wow.

Kayla and I are thirteen years apart.  She was the last one of my mom’s four children to receive her driver’s license.  Not so much just because she was the youngest.  It just became a really hard task for her to conquer.  Driving was a worldly thing.  And her mind just wasn’t on the world.  That’s what I liked to believe.  Don’t know that it gave any comfort to her that I thought that way.

She was diligent.  She took at least three different classes – with each she would take the driver’s test at least three times – never passing.  Never earning her driver’s license.  It wasn’t until after I got married to Roland that he took her out and created a new confidence.  She finally had a driver’s license after she turned 27.

Kayla didn’t do a lot of heavy dating as I recall.  And just as with me, Kayla also married late in life – though not quite as late. She just gave birth to her second child, a boy named after my father.  There first was a girl she had named after Bill’s first wife.

Our sister-in-law should start a Blog.  Most everything that falls from her mouth seems so profound and full of wisdom.  I admire her and her sense of being.  She is such a positive person to be around and so full of hope and comfort.  I have always thought that after she joined our family. 

          The older she gets the wiser and more profound her thoughts sound. She’s not a butt-in-ski.  She’ll hold her tongue unless you ask for her advice.  She is such an awesome person. Everyone deserves to have that awesomeness in their lives.  I am so grateful for her – though I don’t always show it.

          Sunny embraces life and has taught her four children to do the same – or has tried to.  None seem as extroverted as she is.
          Sunny always invites enthusiasm and shares her joy with other.  She points out beautiful things to others. Perhaps I have her on a pedestal – but I am NOT the only one.  She really is a great asset to our family.

          I am so grateful for each of my sisters.  I love them both and value the friendships that we have established.