Since this blog turned out to be a journal of things I thought might be enjoyed by friends and family, I find it is a good time to move on to the real goal. I need to write the book. I may check in here once in a while but anything pertaining to my writing will be at my new Witt Bits. I look forward to your comments there.
is eighty-four years old and spends most of his time sitting in the worn out
reclining chair at Harmony Home day after day just waiting to die. Macular
degeneration has robbed him of most of his sight but on good days he can
faintly see large objects in the little peripheral vision he has left. On bad
days he sees only darkness with occasional shadows. His hearing is limited. He
used to joke about hearing loss in his right ear being caused by mom's
incessant talking from her seat in the passenger side of the car, but more
likely it comes from his years as an MP in the Army. The arthritic pain in his
back is another reminder of his military career ending in a medical discharge
with full pension, the army sure that he would not live more than a year or two.
His bone thin legs are too weak to support his body for more than three or four
steps so he transports himself four times a day to the dining room in his wheel
chair. His voice, once bold and unrestrained from the pulpit every Sunday, is
barely audible yet he continues to smoke in spite of surviving cancerous throat
nodules years ago. His one remaining kidney (the other one lost to cancer more
than a decade ago) still filters the cocktails he sneaks on the nights he can
get away with it. The Depends he tries to hide in the bathroom don't always
confine the consequences of his incontinence. Lately he has been hiding his
vitamins in his orange juice every morning, refusing to eat his meals,
surviving on one and a half cans of chocolate Ensure a day and two large
Hershey bars per week. Today he weighs only 119 pounds and his height has
shrunk from 5'8" to maybe 5'4" or so. He rarely smiles but sometimes
we see a glint of amusement in his eyes. The few words he speaks now are less
frequent reminiscences of mom, more complaints about his eyes and ears, and
most often the words none of us want to hear, "I wish I could see. I wish
I could hear. I am useless. I want to die." He sinks into bed by 5:30
every night praying that God will take him away from this prison.
hold dad’s hand,and memories, tidbits of time I shared during my fifty-one
years with dad, surface more and more each day. The farm house. Cats. Dogs.
Rabbits. Chickens. Long sermons (he always insisted they were never more than
20 minutes). Ice Cream Socials. Chocolate kisses in his suit coat pocket when
he came home from a long day at the steel plant. Trips to sandy beaches on the
shores of Lake Michigan. Driving cross-country, sleeping in the silver sided
16-foot trailer every night. Picking up my new bicycle after he encouraged me
to save my 25 cents-a-week allowance for over a year. His patience in teaching
me to drive after I failed Drivers Education at school. Grueling moments as he
drilled my very few potential dates with endless questions. Forgiving me for
scratching up his beloved Chrysler Imperial. The day mom died. The day my first
son was born and how Dad tried to be Grandpa and Grandma too. Letting me learn
my own life's lessons.
lessons, I guess that's what this is all about. Dad wasn't always the perfect
father. I wasn't always the perfect daughter. So now this seems the biggest
lesson of all. Letting go.
pray for you tonight. I'll pray unselfishly that you get what you are praying
A grandma walks into a bike shop with her grandson. Clerk asks how he can help. Grandma says, "I'm a little lost with this process but I need something for my grandson." The clerk sizes up the grandson who is now eleven and heads toward the mountain bikes. Grandma adds, "please be kind to my budget and I think he has it more in mind to get a BMX." Meanwhile grandson is already looking at the price tags and has picked out not the cheapest one but one with a middle of the road price.
"Sorry, I can't let him test it with those sandals," the clerk points at grandson's feet.
"It's ok," Grandma says. "We're just looking. So what can you do for me?" He leads Grandma over to some cruiser type granny bikes with fat tires and seats the size of a sofa cushion. "Those don't look likely to make it up the big hills around here," Grandma comments. Looking down the row, Grandma spies some hybrids with smaller seats and thinner tires. "What about those? I do still have a little oomph in me you know," she says.
The clerk squirms and gives Grandma a sheepish grin, "I knew that." Yeah right. Grandma tells him we'll be back on Friday with proper shoes.
The 365 project was completed with daily photos but it turned out to be a bit of a challenge considering the last eleven days came with a few complications. We could just say the happier days were the trip to The Dungeon and lunch at The Rainforest Cafe on the 21st and the afternoon at Chouinard Winery on the 27th. Not that anything bad happened between those days. It was just busy so the photos are random glimpses of the days.
The most productive day would be on the 29th when I clicked the publish button for Chris's book first book of his Trilogy, Firefly Dreams: In the World of Hipponox . He could use some support in the form of reviews.
Lastly, the sad part. We had to put Rusty down on the 30th. We miss him dearly but find peace in thoughts that he might now be with his lifelong partner, Minnie.
It was a perfect weather day for a trip to Half Moon Bay. All was well until we discovered the poor dogs wouldn't be allowed on the beach. Did we let that stop us? Hush! Don't they look happy after their romp? We are happy too... we didn't get caught.
It's a little late but yes I did get my photo on the 365 Project last night. Here it is... leaving the Lafayette Reservoir after the Rossmoor Big Band USO show.
Little J is working on his cooking skills in hopes of losing the "OhPickyOne" nickname. His entree for tonight's chicken enchilada dinner turned out to be a tasty perfection. Grandma's addition of some fresh fruit and Cole slaw rounded out the menu. Perhaps we have a future chef in our midst.
I'm seeing a trend in this blog lately. I guess it goes along with the old saying, if you can't find something safe to talk about, talk about the weather. Kind of boring perhaps but, yes, it is safe. The clouds are a welcome relief from sticky hot days. My garden could have used a downpour but it sprinkled only enough to mess up the cars.
It's an annual tradition to have at least one piled high, golden brown, old fashioned blackberry pie, usually in August. Doesn't look like much will happen in the next 30 days so might as well put away the recipe book. Will be lucky to get enough berries for a bowl of cereal. Planning to do some serious trimming end of summer and hope for a better crop next year.