Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Update

I'd like to take a few minutes to just share my thoughts and feelings this beautiful Christmas season.

As you all know my mother is getting ready to 'graduate' shortly. Many people have expressed how hard it must be to have your mother pass away around Christmas time. But I don't feel that way. Her passing is a part of life and something that we all have to go through. It doesn't matter if it's on Christmas Day. In fact, I would love it if she passed on Christmas Day. Christmas was her favorite time of year. She loved giving and receiving presents. She was like a little child on Christmas day and could hardly wait to open her gifts. And always after opening her gifts she would proudly display them in piles next to the couch so she could show everyone what she received. But, she only left them out for a short while because she always wanted to tidy up the Christmas mess and get everything straigtened again. In fact, if she had it her way, the Christmas tree would be taken down on Christmas day. She usually waited until the day after!

This year I put up her tree early. Her and Dad didn't want to bother with a tree but I lovingly brought the artificial tree up from downstairs and painstakingly hung each beautiful hand-made ornament on the tree. It really is a beautiful creation. Hand-made crocheted doilies glittered with sequins and pearls, wreaths made from canning rings, silver pinecones dusted with silver glitter and ribbon and butterflys made from Albuterol plastic vials, sprayed silver and gold and decorated with gossamer ribbon and pearls. Lovely, simply lovely! Everyone that comes into the home comments on the beautiful tree. And the best part, Mom and Dad have loved having the tree up.

Did I tell you about the mouse house? I may have but forgive me for telling you again. About 30 years ago Dad made a wooden mouse house. Mom made all of the miniatures. The house is complete with electric lights. Santa and his reindeer are on the roof. There is a miniature Christmas tree with a braided rug inside complete with fireplace and grandfather clock. All of the miniatures have been made from recycled 'things'. It's absolutely adorable. There's even a skating pond out back complete with plenty of drifted snow. The grandkids have looked forward to seeing the Mouse House every Christmas.

My dear sweet brother came up and stayed for a couple of days. It was such a relief to have him here. I was able to get some Christmas things done while he sat with the folks. I even slept better at night knowing that he was with Mom and Dad. Even though I live next door it's been extremely hard running back and forth and trying to keep up two homes. It would have been easier having them come live with me but all of the extra rooms are downstairs with no shower. That wouldn't have worked for Mom.

So what am I thinking now? It's hard watching my mother's little body waste away to almost nothing. It's hard wanting her to eat something so she can live, but she has no appetite and can't swallow. It's hard watching her not being able to swallow her life-sustaining pills. And it's hard watching her sleep all day and all night. There are so many things I still want to ask her and now it's too late. She can still respond a little bit with a nod of her head and an occasional "I love you." And it's especially hard watching my sons and daughters seeing her, probably for the last time on earth, sobbing as they take their little granny's hands and tell her that they love her.

Am I sitting here boobing all day? No. I get a little teary eyed at times but there is such a sweet, comforting presence here in the home. I know this is the Holy Ghost offering us comfort at this time. I feel the presence of loved ones who have passed on to the other side who are concerned for my well-being. I feel peaceful and at rest. I'm not sure how much longer she can survive. But in God's own time he will take her home. The other day I asked her if she was ready to give up her worn-out body and go home to see her parents and her sister. I said, "Won't that be soooo exciting to see your Mom and Dad and Barbara?" She said, "Not really!" I'll tell you, she's a fighter. She's fought to live for almost 4 years. She's really fought a battle with her illness. She was first diagnosed with lung cancer and then the mass strangely disappeared. However, she does have chronic pulminary disease and it's been such a struggle for her.

My poor Dad. That's the hardest part. He wanders around the house, going from the TV room, to the jigsaw puzzle, to the crossword puzzle, back to check on Mom, then back to the cupboard for a snack. He just doesn't know what to do to help. He hates to see her suffer too. And I know that he's going to miss her so much. My sis in Montana wants to take him after Mom passes. He will love being with her. He's a Montana boy and she lives on a big ranch and he will love being there.

So, what next? Sorry I haven't gotten the cookbook done before Christmas. I'll work on it after the funeral. I've got a LOT of speaking engagements lined up for next year and I can't wait to see you. I've also gotten a wonderful job offer. In fact they want me so bad they have hired temps to fill in until the passing of Mom so I can begin work. I'll tell you more about the job as I know more as to what I will be doing. You're going to love the mission of the organization, I promise!

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Love to you all!

Linda

21 comments:

Charlene said...

I'll be thinking about you and praying for peace for you and your loved ones.

Terry Molineux said...

Oh Linda my heart breaks for you. You are such a loving person and wish I could have the same outlook you do. You always see the good in things. Wish you could teach me how to do that. I always see the bad in things.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and hope MOM finds peace soon. My mother also had COPD and she fought to the bitter end!

Merry Christmas to you also and a very Happy & Healthy New Year!!!

Butternut Sage Designs said...

Linda ,

What a beautiful testimony to your mom, she has created a beautiful, and loving daughter. I am praying for you, but I know you are already being taken care of by your Heavenly Father, and can feel Him near. It is a Silent Night ...all is peaceful...all is calm. Until next we hear from you....Merry Christmas

bellameabhn said...

dear linda,
i'm really sorry about your mom. i feel a little better in that you mentioned that The Comforter is with all of you at this time. i will call the temple on saturday to make sure you're all on the prayer rolls and that The Comforter can stay with you as we go into the new year. i'm always here to listen if you need to talk to someone. i wish you all a very merry and peaceful christmas. abrazos y amor, bella

Evelyn said...

Sending prayers for peace and comfort to you and your family.

bcyhand said...

You so inspire me as I have said before....I believe God really is blessing you as you spend time with your Mom....My Heart goes out to you and your family...It is part of life, but even tho we know she will be in a better place, it can still be sad. My love to you and yours! Deb

Maria Pane said...

thank you so much for sharing on this Christmas Day. What a wonderful testimony about the strength of your family. The Christmas story is so real to me when I read your post!

Merlene said...

Linda,

What an eloquent and heart warming tribute to your mother and father. I lost my mother unexpectedly the day after Christmas two years ago. It must be so difficult to watch her slowly slip away. My prayers for a peaceful passing, and for the strength for you and your family to deal with the coming difficult days.

Leigh said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Frank said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and in my prayers but I know your mom is in God's hands.

Shelly in the NW said...

Linda, i've been thinking of you and your family as we have been going through a similar situation.

On the 23rd, almost 4 months after the journey started - when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the journey came to an end for my father-in-law.

We were really hoping he would make through Christmas, just so there would not be a sad association with a joyous holiday - but obviously there were other plans in the works.

I hope your holiday was a joyous one -

I can't wait to hear what's in store for you next.

Paula said...

May God be with you and your family during these difficult times. My prayers go out to you.

NancyJo said...

Dear Linda,
I am only a lurker on your webesite-visting time to time from Dawn's blog - I am praying for your mom's peaceful passing and for your positive spirit to carry her through. You are truly an inspiration to many of us.

Twila said...

Linda just wanted to let you know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Jerri Ann said...

Linda,
I so appreciate your faith and strength during this wonderful and difficult season in your families lives. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family and I wish for you a blessed, happy and healthy New Year.

Doreen Hewitson said...

Merry Christmas Linda and may the spirit of the season fill your heart at this time while you and your family share your mother's battle with her. Take comfort in knowing that we all love you and God holds you all close.

Madeline Morcelo said...

Dear Linda, I just want you to know how much I embrace your strenght on these difficul times. You and your beloved family will be in my prayers. Please keep in mind I'm just a phone call away...just in case you need and ear that can listen (334-855-2797). Your UStamp partner, Madeline Morcelo

Debra Keane said...

Praying for you, your mom, and your family during this special time of year.

My Craft Room said...

Hey Linda
I know this has been a tough time, but like I said to my daughter. What seems like it is meant for our harm, the Lord turns for His glory and our good. I don't know how, but God seems to carry us in those really tight places life throws at us. I am praying for you during this time.

Penny Hanuszak said...

Linda just a note to let you know that I'm thinking of you and your family at this very special time. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to share your story of your mom's journey and her love of Christmas. May God be with you and yours.

Carol V said...

Meeting you several years ago, instantly I knew you were a special person. I loved seeing you at conventions and attending your classes. Reading your story of loving your Mom, I pray for Peace and Joy for you and your family....I wish I could give you a hug...