Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rapidly Approaching the new year...

Christmas is passed and I hate to say this but I barely noticed. Tom and I had such great plans for it this year. This was to be our first Christmas that the kids were not with us. It was morbidly depressing until we realized that all of those things we wanted to do when we were younger, like going for a carriage ride through a quaint Christmas town and stopping by a pub to take the chill off of our noses were possible again. Then my mother was hospitalized for kidney failure on the 22nd and after the CAT scans it was discovered that the cause of the kidney failure was terminal lymphatic cancer that filled her belly and cut off her kidneys.

Kind of put a damper on the whole old Christmas Spirit ...

So, on Christmas day, Tom was in New Jersey and I was in Delaware.

I learned something from this Christmas, though, especially about giving. I really was stumped about what to take my mom for Christmas, so I finally decided to take her the one thing I knew she would eat no matter what...glazed donuts. Watching both of my parents as my mother scarfed down her glazed donut was worth ever Christmas present I ever screwed up on because it was one of the last pleasures in life she is ever going to have and those moments of sitting there and chatting with her about crabbing on the Chessapeak Bay and all of the boating we did when I was a kid while she ate that stupid donut were worth traveling to the moon for if I had to.

My mom is passing right now between here and the next place. It could be a horrible thing, and it is for my father, but to me, dying is a lot like being born. For me, it's a passage, not an ending. My goal in all of this is to give Mom the best quality of time that I can. She doesn't always know who I am. She doesn't always hear what I'm saying or understand, but I'm pretty sure that she knows that I love her and that's why I'm there. In the end, I think that's probably all that is going to matter.

I'm going to miss her when she passes. God, how I'm going to miss her, but I know she's going to be watching me. I also know that she won't be in the pain she is beginning to pass through and her mind and body will be restored to her. For that I am thankful because she doesn't know what is happening now.

My greatest prayer in this is that I am with her in the end to pray because my father's parting gift to her is to keep her ignorant of her condition. In short, she will not be able to prepare herself spiritually for this passage. For him, it's an act of love. To me, it makes a hard thing all the more difficult because she knows something is happening but not what.

And today on the phone when I told her I had made it home okay she wanted to know all about the flower pots...

There weren't any flower pots. She was in a different place.

The Writer...and her dog, Bear

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where has she been?

Hello all!

As mentioned in my email by some of you, I haven't been around much lately. There is a reason for that, actually two. On December 2, 2008, I started college again. I also started working full time. In school I am taking a compressed online course in which we cover an entire semester in 5 weeks. I love it, but it is a lot of reading and writing! At work, I am working one and a half positions as I am filling in for a co-worker who is out on maternity leave. I started my job five days before the end of the last quarter of our fiscal year after having the girls in the office, who didn't really understand the computer program I work with, filled in my job for a month...after the girl who worked my job over the summer, who really didn't understand this program either walked out. Consequently, I have been having to go back over an entire quarter of the year, clean the data up and create the monthly reports, quarterly reports and annual reports for my position.

Nightmare does not describe what has been transpiring with all of this... however, I do have it pretty much straightened out at this point and will hopefully be moving into the new year with the reports in order... I hope.

SOOOOOOO..... This is why I have not been writing here. I've been working a lot and going to school.

Bear is adjusting to all of this pretty well. The husband has been working with him, taking walks with him...military style, which Bear absolutely loves, and has cut down on the "leaking" in the house all of the time. It seems that 3 miles a day, up and down the mountain is perfect for him. It is also improving Bear's listening skills, considerably. He does still require "Mommy time," but not all of the time.

One of the things we have noticed is that Bear has real separation issues from us, howling miserably when one of us leaves the house or even goes to shower. He really wants both of us within sight, and The William as well. He is really enjoying the cold and doesn't mind being outside on the run at all because he can see us through the windows and hear us. As soon as he can't, the howling begins as well as well as nervous prancing and leaking. After seeing this, I really believe that is where the chewing and destructive behavior comes from when we are gone. He gets very upset and anxious and just starts tearing at things. He has also taken to watching us out of the windows whenever one of us is outside or leaves and he is inside.

While it is wonderful to be loved this much, I do not think it is something we are going to be able to cure Bear of and thus, the crate will probably remain a fixed part of our lives. He has gotten to the point where he really likes his crate and knows that it is "his place" alone. Sometimes he just goes in and hangs out in there with his toys and when he has done something wrong, that is usually where we find him. He goes in now whenever we tell him it is time to without us having to pull or coerce him into it, which is nice!

Other big news is that we have, indeed, survived the ice storm in the North East! We lost power Thursday evening and it came back on at about 4 this morning. All in all, it could have been a whole lot worse! The roads remained passable and the generator ran fine. The husband has gotten the water pump hooked to it, so we have water and lights as well as heat and refrigeration when the electric goes out like this. The water was the last big thing that we needed hooked in. While a bit of a pain in the neck, we were not as uncomfortable as we could have been and our neighbors all fared through it well too. There were definitely places in the area that did not have it this good!

So that is the "news that's fit to print" here. I've got to run as I need to go into work this morning and I am definitely going to hit the shower first! My next break will come at roughly Christmas, so if I don't get over here till then, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday!

Stay safe!

The Wandering Writer and her dog...Bear