Showing posts with label change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label change. Show all posts

Friday, March 4, 2016

A letter to Roland's eldest daughter

Dear Frances,

            I am posting this letter to my blog as we don't have a current address for you - not that we ever did.  Your mom didn't (and probably still doesn't) want us to have any contact with you - even when we were living in the same state and it was court ordered.

            Even if you should come across this blog and read this post, I don't know if you'll know that you are Frances - as that is not your actual name, but rather one I have assigned to you through this blog.  But I feel impressed to write this.

            The last time we saw you was just over eight years ago - just before Tony left on his mission.  Jenna was only four at the time.  Unfortunately she does not have many memories of you or your other sister.  I have several pictures that I have shared with her, and I have always tried to speak positively of you and Pamprin. 

            I've been thinking a lot about you - mainly because of Jenna.  Not only do you two share a physical appearance, but personality traits as well.  At least the person we did have opportunity knowing about you before you moved away. 

            Like you, Jenna likes art.  She prefers drawing to painting though.  She loves crafts.  Last year she received an easel for Christmas.  Dad had sketched a picture of her in blue crayon.  I was impressed enough to frame it and hang it on the wall.  Every time I see it, I see you.  Or I remember the girl that you were, rather.  I realize you're an adult now and may not look so youthful as does the sketch.  Actually, Jenna looks older than the face in the sketch.  And taller.  Tall like you were at that age - perhaps not as tall as you are currently.



            This morning I was watching a National Geographic series called, "Unlikely Animal Friends"  I remember how much you loved Animal Planet and how much you enjoyed learning.
              There was one story that focused on a dog named Sunshade and her guinea pig friends named Meatball, Sesame, Squeaky, Ketchup and Dumpling, and I remembered how you were always naming stuffed animals after food. 

            You created a bear that you named "Jelly Bean" and Jenna had a dog that you named "Graham Crackers" which she still has and still calls "Crackers".  Jenna has other stuffed dogs which she has named "Fudge" and "Brownie" and has given other food names to various stuffed animals.  And so you share that in common.

            I remember when Jenna was born, how excited you were to have a baby sister.  The first time you saw her you said, "She looks like me."

            "No she doesn't,"  I thought.  "She looks like me."

            I was wrong and you were right.  Both of you look a lot like your Dad's sister, Aunt Linda, who has passed.  We tried to give you a bit of family history (as you had asked for it) before you returned to the island.  I think dad has found more information on his side.  Not much on your mom's side.  I, personally, haven't been looking.

            I'd like to send you pictures, but again, I don't know where to send them.  But if you look at the photos that I've taken of Jenna, I'm certain that you will see the resemblance.  I wish she would like vegetables as much as you did.  She seems to have acquired the same sweet tooth that was always present whenever we saw Pamprin.

            A lot of family growth has taken place since we last saw you.  You know that Tony got married and had a daughter.  She (Ester) just turned four yesterday.  And so you share the same birth month.  And just in case you don't remember - you and Jenna are ten years apart with ten days between your birthdays.

            Your brothers Randy and Biff also got married.  And so you have three sisters-in-law and now three nieces.  Randy's daughter, Devin, will be 7 months old in less than two weeks.  And Biff's daughter, Ali , just turned six months.   They all live in different cities in Utah.  Dad, Jenna, and I, in the meantime, have moved to Oregon.

            Dad decided to move us here to improve my health - similar to your reasons to moving, I think.  I can certainly breathe a lot better here than in Salt Lake.  That's for sure.
            We'll be going on our ninth month since we moved.

            Besides leaving family, one of the drawbacks in moving to Oregon, has been with Jenna's education.  For the last five years we had her in a dual immersion program where she was learning Spanish.  She doesn't have that opportunity anymore, but is playing the clarinet and going to middle school currently.

            When you first moved, your mom told us that you were learning Japanese.  Is that true?  Can you and Pamprin communicate in Japanese?

            Your brothers, Tony and Randy could communicate in Portuguese - though different dialects.  You may remember that Tony went on his mission to Brazil, but I bet you didn't know that Randy served a mission in Portugal. 

            I remember you once expressing a desire to go on a mission.  I didn't know if you were serious, but have wondered if you actually did take that opportunity.  Or if your mother would have even allowed you to go. 

            I'd like to reconnect through Facebook if possible.  I am so grateful to have this form of social media.  Through it I am able to watch my grandchildren grow.  I think I would miss out on most of it otherwise.  Life gets busy.  People don't correspond with one another the way they used to.

            That's all I have for you right now.  I'm sorry for any misconduct which I may have displayed whenever you were around. I'm sorry that I hadn't allowed myself to deal better with the situation at hand.  I'm sorry that you didn't get all the correspondence (if any) that dad and I tried to send. We really did try.  We have not forgotten you.


             I hope things are going better for you.
         

                                             Sincerely,   LaTiesha

Thursday, December 24, 2015

message for holiday wishes

   
 
        It is important to remember that not everyone is looking forward to Christmas. Some people are not surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. For many it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one and many others lost loved ones at Christmas. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are shadowed by loneliness.

         My uncle's family will have their first Christmas without him.  He was buried just before we moved to Oregon.  It is harder still for families who lose their loved ones during the holiday season - to always have that memory around the holidays. We have seen present neighbors and some that we left in Utah just recently pass away.  We have seen hardships and we have seen those who choose to move on and celebrate the holidays as they always have.

         I'd like to share the words which my brother posted to facebook and mirror his message to all of those who may be reading (and even those who don't) :  " I hope and pray whatever your belief system may be, wherever you are in life, whatever circumstances or challenges you may find yourself facing, that you may find peace, happiness, and fulfillment; that is my Christmas wish to all of you."



Friday, May 1, 2015

Starting to Pack


Initially when we told the boys that we’d be moving, we asked Tony and Rochelle if they’d like to move in.  Not playing favorites – it’s just that the other two are already paying a lower rent than we’d be charging.  We won’t be making any money – we just can’t afford two mortgages (one in Oregon and one in Utah)

     At first Tony said no.  He didn’t realize that what we had to offer was/is a bargain – until he shopped around on his own.  Two bedroom one bath apartments cost more than our three bedroom two bath house – and we’ve 3 times the room – plus a huge yard. 

     Our neighbor from across the street suggested putting missionaries in.  I thought that would be an awesome idea!  I asked our ward mission leader to look into it.  Meanwhile Tony has decided that he wants to stay here after all.  And he’s looking forward to it.  And actually so am I.  The extra income would have been nice (as we would have charged 100 – 400 dollars more than our mortgage) but fewer items to pack or put in storage.  There are so many things (in the way of memorabilia mostly) that I can leave in the shed that I don’t wish to move to Oregon just yet.

     I’ve started packing up boxes already.  Three boxes of books to take.  Dozens of items to be donated or put into a yard sale (and then donate what doesn’t sell) Jenna has wanted to do a yard sale since we got here.  I think I can pack our winter things.  Won’t be taking much in the way of Christmas decorations.  I will be selling whatever Tony and Rochelle don’t want and leave the rest with them.

      I'm excited to have Tony and Rochelle in our ward (church) too.  I think they will make a nice asset and fit in well.

     May not be posts for a while.  I’ll be busy trying to organize what goes where.  Oh, the joys of moving!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

People Come and People Go and Life Goes On



         
 I think I may have mentioned it in an earlier post that I grew up in a more established neighborhood.   Not a lot in the way of comings and goings – not that I can remember.

          The first person I remember moving out of our ward was a girl named Diane.  I don’t know under what circumstances she moved.  I didn’t take it into consideration that there had been other people in the house who had moved with her.  It actually wasn’t a very big house.  Perhaps they needed more room. 

          When I was in Young Women’s, I can remember a family moving into that same house. They must have had five at the time and Grace was pregnant with number six.  I remember being called upon to babysit. I think all of the young women received a turn at one time or another – until the two oldest were old enough to watch the other four on their own.

          Eventually they outgrew the house and moved – but only across the street.  That was the most fantastic move ever!  They never left our ward (church boundary)! Well, each of their children left at some point after they got married.  But at least two of them also bought houses in the ward and currently live in the same ward where their parents live.

          There were some people we were actually happy to see move out – like the hellions across the street or the dysfunctional psychiatric messes that lived near the field (which is now part of I-215) and others we hoped would never leave.

          When Roland and I got married, we moved into a rather transient area.  One of our bishops had compared our ward boundaries to a great big apartment building.  There were always homes for sale on every street (still are, I would imagine).  There were names of members who may have lived in the ward at one time but had long since moved away but their records continued to return to our ward clerk.  I bet that must be a frustrating job!

          My theory was that no matter how much I loved the house itself, I couldn’t or wouldn’t make a purchase without first checking out the ward we’d attend.  The church was just across the street from the house we’d been looking at – actually three houses – all within the same ward boundaries – although we weren’t aware of it at the time. I had been told by at least three ward members that we had been prayed to move into that ward. 

          I was teaching primary and one of the cute little girls in my class said, “Sister, please don’t ever move.  I want you to stay here forever” I don’t know if she mentioned it to her parents as well.
         
          Many of the homes in that particular area were starter homes – originally designed as military housing for soldiers who would move on.  They weren’t meant to be permanent.  They weren’t designed for families of more than four.  So when Wendy became pregnant with her forth child, they looked for another home and my primary girl moved away from the ward long before I did.

          I think it worked out well for her as she loves horses and had the opportunity of riding her neighbor’s horse that lived just behind the house they had purchased.  She’s graduated high school now.  I can’t believe it’s been that long.

          Roland’s original plan was to live in Kearns for five years and move to a house that we didn’t have to just settle for because of finances.  We were there eight years before we lost the house to an unkind economy and forced to move to something even smaller and start over. But again, we felt continued blessings and were aware of our needing to be in the current ward we are in.

          So our family has been new move-ins twice now.  In Kearns the ward got to know the boys.  Over here they know Roland and Jenna.  And we have seen a ton of people come and go.

          Shortly after we had moved to the ward, Roland was called as a counselor to the Elders’ Quorum.  When the Elders’ Quorum president moved, we were not surprised to receive a call from the Stake President – figuring Roland would be called to take place as the new EQ President.  We were surprised to learn that it had nothing to do with the Elders’ Quorum.  He served as a counselor to the High Priest Group leader and then the High Priest Group Leader moved.

          Through it all was George McDobb – who said he had lived in the ward for ten years.  I don’t know if he helped clean the building all ten years, but I know he’s done the last five.  He has always come early and put himself in charge of cleaning the chapel.  I don’t think he missed a single week when our ward was in charge.  Now he’s gotten himself married and has moved out of the ward.  I will miss him tremendously, but I am happy for him.  And I will be happy to take my turn in the chapel because that’s what I liked to do when we lived in Kearns.

          It always seems harder on the youth when friends move.  Jenna’s best friend last year was named Annette.  Annette moved during the summer – she thinks to Ohio or Idaho.  I left several messages for her mom to leave an address so that they might be able to correspond.  We even mailed a letter to their old address with instructions to forward to the new address – but still have not heard back. 

          Today she told me the girl she’s hung out the most this year is moving to California.  How fortunate I feel to have taken pictures of the two of them on Saturday.  They were the only two from their school to run in the Girls on the Run 5K.  I did get her grandma’s email so perhaps we’ll have better luck.  I hope so anyway. At least when Jenna's friend, Lillian, moved, her mom continued to keep her at the same school.

          People come.  People go.  People may stay put and the boundaries may change.  There was a member from my last ward that said she had lived in the same house for over 30 years and had been a member of two stakes and eight different wards while living in that same house.  That was hard for her.  But I think I would enjoy the diversity.  It’s never happened with me personally, so I don’t know.

          My sister Kayla lives in the same stake, but a different ward than when I left.  I’m told that there are many who are inactive in that particular ward – which is odd because when I lived there, it appeared there was more activity in that ward than in our ward.  Again, the comings and goings have made an imprint or left a hole.

          I hope that I am always able to leave imprints and a positive influence and that I am missed – but not so much that it leaves a hole.  We need to share our talents and learn from one another and be able to move on.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Flawed Features and Pink Explosion



                  When I was very young (like in first and second grade) my cousins lived not far from Highland High School and Sugarhouse Park.  Aunt Fern and mom would often take us to Sugarhouse Park as it was so near by.  Problem was that the trees were not mature (as they were not much larger than us kids) and thus the park did not provide much (if any) in the way of shade. 


         Sugar House seemed to be an older area overall, but it seemed the park was fairly new.  I vaguely remember a playground.  My cousins and I must have spent time rolling down the hill – although I haven’t run across any photos of us at that particular park. 

         I wonder if the main objective for our moms was to take us to the park was to wear us down.  I wonder if it backfired as I am guessing that we must have worn our mothers out.  We must have run them ragged as they tried to keep an eye on us  or just keep up.  I wish I had more details about just what we did.

         Neither my cousins nor my brother made fun of my feet, but I was teased by other kids from school because of my “pigeon toes” .  Mom had taken me to the doctor and had been told that my knee bones turned in one way and either my pelvic bone or ankle bone turned another.  He could correct one or the other, but the only way he could correct both was to break my bones and reset them.  The procedure would have been a rather expensive one and I would have to learn to walk all over again.  Needless to say, I still have the same bone structure and problems.



         To help me to be less pigeon toed, mom took me to stride rite for corrective shoes.  I HATED having only three pairs to choose from.  All saddle shoes – which reminded me of bowling shoes.  I wasn’t happy with having to wear what I considered very dorky looking shoes.  On top of the dorky saddle shoes, I had to have inserts called “cookies” which would lift my foot at one side in order to straighten the problem.


         When my sister Kayla started walking, mom expressed her concern with her pigeon toes and explained my condition.  Kayla’s doctor prescribed a brace that attached to the shoes.  She would have to sleep with it during the night.  I always felt bad for her, but realized it would be better to deal with it as a baby (who’s not even going to remember)  rather than have to deal with the hurtful peer pressure at school. 

         When Jenna started walking, I noticed that her right foot turned.  I mentioned it to her doctor but her doctor dismissed it believing it was something she ‘d outgrow.  I then related my concerns that I had experienced myself and the solution we had used on Kayla.  I don’t know why I didn’t bother searching for a second opinion – probably my financial situation – or lack of it rather. 

         I guess after a while I had stopped noticing.  I had forgotten that she had once walked with her right foot turned in until just the other day.  She was wearing flip flops and though her right flip flop appeared to be moving straight ahead, her right foot hung over the left side.  I believe she has tripped over her own foot as I probably had in my youth.


         Jenna was told by her dentist that she had perfect teeth.  I don’t think I ever received the same compliment when I was her age.  I had an overbite among other problems.
I look through old photos, I have never seen a perfect mouth.  I don’t know how old I was when I had my accident on the monkey bars or exactly how it happened.  Must have let go or something.  My mouth came down hard over one of the bars.  I chipped my two front teeth.  My right tooth was chipped more noticeably than my left.  I was embarrassed by it and would smile with my mouth closed so as not to reveal my ugliness.

         My grandma Helen offered to pay for braces for my mouth.  Almost three years of humiliating pain.  Every time I would finally develop a toleration to having each tooth surrounded by medal , I would have to return to the orthodontist to have the braces tightened.

         In addition to the braces I was supposed to wear a dorky headgear – at least at night while I slept.  Oh, yes.  That was fun.


         I don’t know how much time had passed between my braces and capped teeth to porcelin repair.  My mouth does look better than it once did. Thank you mom, dad and grandma!

         When I had school picture taken, mom made me promise I would smile with my lips open – that way if my child ever needed braces I would be able to show him or her the picture to show that braces were not so bad.  Oh, right.  Each picture I had taken may send my child running and screaming.  Then again the braces today don’t seem to be so obvious as what was the only style back then.  Perhaps if Jenna did need braces she would be able to recognize that she would never look as horrible at mom did.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Weeks


 
Two weeks after I started my blog I became part of a search party who went out looking for mom who had dementia and had wandered from home.  She could not be left alone.  Each of us worked out a schedule so that someone would always be with her.

Two weeks after this year started mom was released from the hospital and spent her last night at the house she’d lived in for over fifty years. It had been on a Sunday when Ellen found my mom passed out and called for Nate to assist.  Patrick ended up taking her to the hospital.  He and Nate were both dressed for church but stayed at the hospital all day. They did not go to Church that day. Patrick had chosen to stay with mom. On Monday mom’s four children worked together to fill out the paperwork to move mom into assisted living. On Wednesday Kayla took mom to her new home at the assisted living facility – the last place she would live. And Corey came from Las Vegas to assist and say good-bye to the house. 

Two weeks ago we lay mom to rest - buried beside my dad.  She’d been rushed to the hospital two weeks prior to that.  It was on a Sunday when she was found passed out on the floor. She'd been rushed to the hospital. Patrick met her at there.   He was dressed for church but stayed at the hospital all day.  He did not go to Church that day.  He had chosen to stay with mom. He took the next two weeks off.  And Corey drove from Las Vegas to say good-bye.  We all spent time with her for 7-10 days.  And then she finally let go.

Two weeks ago Corey and Kayla and I met Fern and Michelle at the Mortuary.  We watched Corey and the Mortician dress my mom.  Michelle applied some lipstick – that’s all that was needed.  Mom looked like she always does when she falls asleep. She still has her purse.

Two weeks ago we talked with family and friends who had come to pay their last respects.  Sunny offered a beautiful prayer before we all went into the chapel. I tied mom’s bow and veiled her face – my final act of service for her.  The lid was closed.  I think Brian cried the hardest. His sobs just seemed louder than the rest - maybe because he's a giant.



 Two weeks ago today we paid our last respects and shared our stories and beautiful thoughts for such a marvelous woman.  Daddy’s birthday was the day after the farewell services.  It was on a Sunday. Corey had planned to spend this week with mom. Instead she's spending it with dad.  We miss you mom! (and dad)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome to the 21st Century!




            I was never hospitalized as a child – except for when I was born.  But until I gave birth to Jenna, I had never been a hospital patient.  But I do remember visiting various hospital patients.  I remember that there was more than one patient to a room and only a thin curtain separated the patients from one another.  Each patient wore a plastic bracelet that would protect the descriptive paper that identified the patient’s name and medical information.  There were clip boards that hung from the foot of each bed.

Patients were asked if they preferred smoking or non-smoking rooms.  And visitation was always limited to certain hours and certain ages. 

            Today each patient has his or her own room.  They wear bands made of unrippable material somewhere between paper and plastic foam.  It contains bar codes which are scanned each time the patient is given medicine or surgery, blood and urine samples and so forth – possibly meals (that way it can all get charged to the final bill) No longer are stupid clip board kept at the foot of the bed.  Everything is done by scanners and computers. It’s so cool to see how technology has evolved.

            The hospital that mom was in is a no smoking zone – the entire hospital and property.  That’s pretty cool.  I think that’s a great revelation that has come to pass. 
 

            As I mentioned, at least one of my sibs was always with my mom around the clock – which meant spending the night.  I had three members of my family spend the night with me before Jenna was born.  Roland and my mom were both in chairs.  I think Kayla spent the night on the floor.

Not all hospitals have joined this century, I suppose.  When my granddaughter was born, Tony wasn’t allowed to watch the birth.  Talk about old-school.  That’s the way it was when I was born.  Dad’s had to wait in another room.


            I’m not quite certain if I remember from real life or if it was just from the television that I remember the dorky hats that the nurses were required to wear, and the crisp white uniforms – often wondering if they had spare uniforms in their cars or their lockers in order to remain clean and white - as it was never obvious that they had been around barf or blood.    Today they wear colorful scrubs or sometimes nice street clothes.



            Perhaps it’s not the same in all hospitals, but those are some of the observations that I made while my mom was dying at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  That was actually the same hospital where Patrick and I were born.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Waiting



Before Sunday
Mom was laughing,
she was walking
and dressing herself.
She was singing
on Thursday as Harold
accompanied on guitar.

Sometime between four and six
on Sunday morning
she got out of her chair. 
We don’t know why. 
She may have been headed
toward the bathroom. 
Or perhaps she could feel the
pain of a mild heart attack.

She was checked on at four. 
She was sleeping peacefully
in her chair.  But when
she was checked in on at six,
she was found on the floor. 
Her clothes were wet
with urine and perspiration.

She was loaded into
an ambulance and rushed
to the hospital.  Her legs
were badly swollen. 
She was diagnosed with
rhabdomyolysis  . 
The infection spread into
her legs and
kidneys and heart
probably.

She’d been hooked up
to machines and
needles and
was given cat scans,
an MRI,
a pick line and
an emergency surgery
on her legs. 

Her children felt so
helpless as I imagine
the doctors did too. 
Everybody did his or her job
best to his or her ability. 
We learned that her
kidneys had failed and that
she would need dialysis
and at least one of her legs
would have to be amputated.
On Wednesday two children stayed
the night at the hospital
so that she wouldn’t be alone.

On Thursday
we spent the day waiting –
waiting for the doctors to come,
waiting for Corey to arrive,
waiting to be moved
to a bigger room.

Mom had lots of visitors. 
A Lot. There was
the Relief Society Presidency,
Ross and Fern,
Peggy and George,
the bishop
and Harold.
Hunched over Harold.  
Sharply dressed –
wanting to spend time
with his lady friend.
Sunny and Fern called him
an angel.  And he is. 

Jenna made a card for Harold
who has been beside himself
since he learned
that the ambulance
had taken mom away.
She might never return
to the assisted living
facility.  She may die
at the hospital.

The doctor came and
explained about hospice. 
Mom was moved
to a bigger room. 
Corey arrived
and is spending the night
with her
at the hospital.
Now we are waiting
for dad to escort mom home. 
It’s time already. 
It is somewhat freaky
how quickly it happened. 
A week ago she was active. 
Now she is in bed. 
And we’re still waiting. 


                                                                                     kfralc