Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thinking today...

...over at Homeschool in the Wildwood.

Also, you *must* check out Lily's latest entry over at her blog. Besides giving an update on Baby Nettie, she talks about the journey that she is on, with a disabled child. Such wonderful, wonderful things the Lord is doing in her life.

Now, off to do my work!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My New Friend.

I haven't cried yet.

Actually, I've only teared up once, during the funeral Mass.

I don't need to have a meltdown; I spent hours and hours with Daddy during the last week of his life. All the things I wanted to say and wanted to hear, I did. But I can feel a few tears right behind my eyes. I just need to get them out somehow. (I have been a little short with my family; that's one reason I know.)

My dear sister, Pinky Marie, whom you may know from her comments here, knew just what to do. She sent me a New Friend:

(here she is, by some beautiful flowers from my neighbors.)

She is a Vermont Teddy Bear. Maybe you know about them. I personally think they are a giant step above build-a-bears. My new friend is purple because my sister loves purple. Her eyes are green because that is my favorite color! I'm going to call her Nettie, my Victorian-bosom-friend name, which is a nickname for my middle name, Annette.

Look at those eyes. Nettie is a Thinker, and she is not letting all of her Deep Thoughts sit on her face. She will keep all my secrets.

She is wearing a wonderful t-shirt that says, "Sew Happy to be Quilting." Nettie already knows what will make me smile!

I get to spend the day alone today. I'm looking forward to it. The death certificates have not arrived, so I can't do any of Daddy's final business. I will just be working on everyday duties and some de-cluttering. I'll put on some music, and See What Happens.

And Nettie will be ready with her hugs when the time comes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daddy's Victory Lap

My Daddy passed away quietly in his sleep early on Sunday morning. He had been off his medications for six days. This meant clarity of mind, *and* renewed taste buds! I spent hours and hours with him, holding his hand. Friday morning he told me he had shared another beer with my brother. "I finished that one!"

Sunday morning about 1 am, the nurse checked on him. He asked her to change the movie in his dvd player, and he wanted a couple of pieces of candy. When she went back an hour later (which was then 3 am because of the time change), he was gone. After she called, my two brothers and our spouses gathered for a couple of hours at his bedside. Every once in awhile one of us would get up to kiss his forehead. I knew he was gone, but, after all, his body is how his "real self" interfaced with us. I will miss his kisses and hand-holding very much.

Daddy loved bow-ties. Mother did not care for them. Dad used to say, "Mama, if I go first, bury me in a bow-tie." Mother would say, "no, I won't!" Shortly before she died, she pulled me aside and said, "if Daddy dies, you can put him in a bow-tie."

What is really cool is that I have seven of his bow-ties! Five of them are 40's-50's style, and two of them are the 70's variety. So I have one for him, and six for his grandson-pallbearers.

The girls are not going to be left out. Daddy joked with me all my life about my gum-chewing: "Just like Mama, cracking her gum." Forget-me-not is her generation's champion gum-chewer. She shared many a joke with her grandpa. And not far behind is three-year old Sweet Pea--I never see her anymore without a piece of gum in her mouth. Now, it may look funny, with all the girls chewing gum at the graveside, but Daddy will get the joke!

The funeral is Thursday, but since Wednesday is St. Paddy's Day, we're going to have an old-fashioned Irish wake. The men are going to pass around Daddy's pipe and have a proper send-off to a special man.

I may have told you before, that, waiting for him in heaven were his wife of 64 years, and nine of his children. What a reunion that must have been! My father lived an exceptional life, burying seven of his children (two children were miscarried). Through all that my parents went through, Daddy never turned to drink. Never became a workaholic. Turned with his wife to the Lord. When the doctors told them not to have any more children, he said, "We will trust the Lord." This is the example he gave for us, all the years of his life.

For Daddy's 50th high school reunion, he wrote about himself, "I am a simple man, who has lived a simple life, raising a family with a wonderful woman." For his obituary, I changed that a little. I wrote, "he was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life."

He fought the good fight; he ran the good race. This past week was his "victory lap."

I love you, Daddy. It was so easy to realize how much my heavenly Father loves me, because of the way you loved me. We thank the Lord for your life, and that He chose to share you with us.

If you'd like to read Daddy's obituary, go here.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Well, they took my Daddy off of all his meds on Monday. The nurses and doctors expected a quick passing.


Tuesday afternoon Daddy was transferred back to his nursing home. He was so very excited because he can open his windows there and get the fresh air. It has been close to 60 degrees all week, and wonderful for him.

Tuesday night he wanted a beer.

My brother brought one. Now, I hear from beer connoiseurs that drinking beer with a straw from a plastic cup isn't the preferred way, but Dad did it justice, getting about half the bottle down. His comment after two sips: Hmmm. doesn't taste like I remember. After two more sips: Yeah. That hits the spot!

(Thursday night he had another beer, only this time he finished it!)

I've been bringing Pepsi everyday. This morning he finished the 24 oz. gas-station cup almost in one sitting, meaning he didn't put the cup down between sips. "Oh, that's good!" I need to bring a 12-pack...

I'm sure being off meds for five days has restored his taste buds. They have sure restored clarity to his mind. We are having so much fun!

Now, I'm not sure how long this "honeymoon" will last. He takes took insulin for diabetes, bp meds for high blood pressure, as well as about a dozen other meds. Will one of these conditions be the one to finally end his life? He also had a heart attack last week; will his heart finally "give out," old-school style?

My sister-in-law, a nurse, heard of a person who went off their meds and lived for seven more years. Sure gives credence to the theory of being over-medicated as we age. Whether we have my Daddy for one more day or seven more days or seven more years, we have been given a gift. And I thank the Lord for it.

Right now I'm doing a lot of traveling for visiting. This puts a crimp in my computer time, but I will post as I am able. Charming is back from training and in his store here in town. And he is loving it! Working for money. Such a good thing.

Thank you for all of your prayers. Your thoughts for me are so much appreciated.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taking a minute...

...to check in.

My dear Daddy is getting near the end of his life here on earth. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I'll be blogging later about this journey. I know that you dear friends will be praying, and we'll be feeling it. Thank you so much for your care for us.

More later, loves...