Friday, June 30, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 06/29/17: My Many Thanks, Mom's Good Day, Taking Care of Myself

1. I posted yesterday that I'd had a particularly difficult day with Mom on Wednesday.  Almost immediately, friends and family posted or privately sent me words of encouragement, insight, and strength. Every one of these messages helped me see Mom's situation and what she must be experiencing more clearly and have already helped me improve as one of her caretakers. To all of you who wrote to me and for all of you who continue to hold Mom and our family in your thoughts and prayers, thank you very much.

2.  Overall, Thursday was a good day for Mom. Christy arrived at her room in the morning and helped get her up and dressed. If I remember the story correctly, Mom initiated the idea that she and Christy go outside to the back garden area. Susan and Joe Kerns joined Mom outside and I am certain their visit uplifted her. Susan and Joe's mother, Doris, was one of Mom's very best friends and Susan and Joe have continued in the way of their mother, visiting Mom often. Susan and Joe were with Mom in her room when I arrived and I excused myself so that Mom's living area would be less crowded and out of respect for giving Susan, Joe, and Mom time alone with each other. Before I slipped out, Mom had agreed to eat lunch in the dining room -- it had been at least a week since she had done so. When I returned, much to my delight, I learned that Susan and Joe would be having lunch with Mom.

I returned to Mom's room early in the afternoon, sat with her and talked with her for a couple of hours. Mom spent some of that time sorting out the cards, address books, and other miscellany in the top drawer of the chest of drawers by her bed. Soon she wanted to lie down. Mom had been sitting up in her chair for about six hours. As she went to sleep, I returned to her house and got everything ready for dinner -- all the chopping and slicing and I made a basil-garlic paste in the food processor.

When I went back to see Mom around 4:30 or so, she asked me to get her clothes for the next day out and we talked about where she was and where she wasn't. She ate some dinner. Around six o'clock, I excused myself so I could return to Mom's and fix dinner for Everett, Christy, and me.

3. One concern friends have expressed while I help out with Mom is whether I am taking care of myself. I have been trying to remember to post at least one entry in each of my 3BTs that describes things I am doing that I think qualify as taking care of myself.

I post on this blog every morning. It's vital for me, no matter the quality of the writing. Just sitting down and documenting the previous day's events, among other things, is a way I take care of myself.  My next move will be to get back to taking pictures.

Thursday morning, before I went over to see Mom, I once again walked the verdant trail up to the high school. Just going for a daily twenty to thirty minute walk gets my blood flowing better and helps clear my mind. Every time I mention that I have shopped for food and fixed dinner, I am doing something I love.

I had a great time Thursday afternoon chopping onion, slicing zucchini, making basil-garlic paste, grating Parmesan cheese, and zesting a lemon in preparation for making a recipe called "Summer Pasta with Zuccini, Ricotta, and Basil", here.  Christy, Everett, and I eat dinner together almost every night and review the day and make plans for what lies ahead.

I have several very good lifelong friends who live within a short drive of Kellogg and I do my best to get together with these friends, individually or as a group, to have a meal out or to have a few beers together and to gab for a while.

Lastly, by being where Mom lives, I am taking care of myself. My anxiety about how she is doing day to day has been significantly alleviated by being with her every day and by helping out with her care.

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