Sunday, June 24, 2012


 Our first eggplant is growing so nicely.  It is a Japanese eggplant.
 Our zucchini plant is huge with many flowers and tiny zucchinis
 Our pepper plant is thriving as well - that is the first to appear
And our strawberry plant is flowery and full of strawberries.

I thought it good to write of the natural goodness of fresh grown fruits and vegetables as a theme.  We also have two tomato plants that are loaded with green tomatoes beginning to ripen.  I liken gardens or in this case potted fruits and vegetables but a garden all the same - to friendships/relationships which require time and attention and weeding and caring for and light and love, some times protection.  Left unattended, the garden and the friendship/relationship will die.

There are times the garden needs some extra help due to an attack or a force or plague and if we want it to thrive and be part of our life we must step up and 'do and 'be' and help it thrive. While toiling some may lose sight of the value and purpose and gifts this garden will bring because in its delicate state some think it requires more than they are able to give or so it seems -  and other gardens that are thriving seem more appealing, easier to be with - so folks leave the garden that needs some time and they go to where the gardens are more stable and offers what they think they need, totally forgetting the beauty and life and years the perhaps weakened garden provided - and will again with just a little love and time.  Oh the value of time.

 Some times the garden thrives on its own, -  but the best - is that a well attended garden gives back so much - the fruits of its vines are delicious and beautiful and life-giving. The ole "we reap what we sow applies in gardens and friendships.

Another twist on this whole garden analogy?  Sometimes the garden is doing just fine and really just requires the basic care to thrive and be life-giving - and people leave it to die anyway saying they like the look and feel of the other gardens better -  So sad......

But meanwhile, our garden is thriving - our love garden and our fruits and vegetables garden - and we get back way more than we give.  Guaranteed.  I feel kinda sorry for the people who think otherwise.  

Monday, June 11, 2012


Strange how life comes round - "The House That Built Me' was 4 Pearl Hill Street.  And now, my Mom, my precious brave Mom is in room #4 at a nursing home.  Oh my, the road she has traveled to end up at this #4.  4 Pearl Hill gave us all life - and security - and family and love - how do we now create that for our Mom at this #4.  We brought a few of her favorite Teddy bears, and her quilts, some pictures and a dream catcher to calm her nightmares - her favorite snacks and her comfy clothes. And of course, us.

Did I mention how teeny-tiny her 'space'  is?  It is really teeny-tiny.  Just enough room for a single bed, a recliner chair and an end table. A far cry from 4 Pearl Hill Street and also from her lovely in-law apartment built on to my Sisters' house where she has lived for the past 10 years.
There is a shelf for the TV and she shares a closet with her room-mate Carmel, who, by the way, had an entire conversation with Skipp without her pants on - so she is a tad out of touch -  as are so many that reside at this same facility.  The wheel chairs lined up like a train - folks hollering - talking to themselves - one lady ordered bing cherries via a make believe phone for over an hour - just a handful! (then louder) - "JUST A HANDFUL OF BING CHERRIES!!!"

It is a small nursing facility - 45 beds.  And all on one floor in a "+" shape.  If any of you care to see it, you can google "Watrous Nursing Center" - Madison, CT.  Trust me when I say the rooms are much smaller than the virtual tour promises.  And so we go, as often as we can.  My sister is just a few miles away so she goes twice a day.  I am a bit further - and struggle with transport some days and navigating the hallways (damn MS), so I m going every other day for a few hours. I call every night to have the staff tell her I love her. (her cell phone is on order).  I put on my best face and muster up my best good energy and 'lift her' spirit as much as is possible given the reality - breaks my heart to go, breaks my heart to leave.  I feel guilty when I am home, relaxing in my lovely space while she is so confined.   I have no idea what normal is any more - certainly not this.   I imagine that in time we will get in to a rhythm and it will become more normal, well, more routine I guess.

I like to end on a positive note.  We found out that once my Mom's Title 19 state insurance is approved she will be given $100.00 per month from the Veterans Administration because my Dad was a WW11 Vet.  It is her money to do with as she pleases, no taxes, no questions, no one can take it from her.  She said "my husband is still taking care of me" :-)  I brought her his flag, in it's case that we have had since his military funeral to keep on her night stand..........I salute you Dad and love you.   Love, your Gimpy-Gays (that is what he called me and some still do)

Sunday, June 3, 2012


'Sundowning.....' a new word to embrace.  It happens to older folks who are 'mis, or dis-placed.  My Mom is out of place right now - at the hospital following her second trip to the ER this week.  After sunset older folks, out of their element become disoriented - so be the term "sundowning". She thought she was home and wondered why the man was in her room - he was the orderly.  She was confused as to how how he got in to her house.  She was scared. At least she called and we calmed her.

The plan is a nursing home.  sigh....She can't walk any more - and barely can tend to any of her basic survival needs.  Such loss, rather quickly too.  Well. to reach such a dependent state.  This past Tuesday she collapsed.  Then, on Wednesday I was with her.  Her doctor wanted her to go to the ER for stat labs, a neuro exam and chest X-ray.  When Skipp and I tried to get her in to the car she couldn't make it.  And, if he tried to lift her it was too painful and risky - like she would just shatter so I called 911.     It was just awful for her, and for us too.

She is at Yale for now.  The wheels are in motion for a permanent placement in a nursing home. All of the insurance loop holes and restrictive rules, actually life-threatening rules have us jumping through hoops to 'meet criteria'.  The biggest insult is that we have to cash in her life insurance policy - the value is only $6,000.00, and once we cash it in the face value is only $3,700.00.  And that money has to be turned over to the funeral home now.  We signed for her final expenses which are about $10,000.00.  We have to pay the rest  which was fine given her insurance value - it is NOT fine that we now have to pay almost $3,000.00 more because the state wont allow her  to keep the policy because it is considered an 'asset' and then she is not eligible for the insurance she needs for her nursing home care.  Can you even imagine taking a person's insurance policy away. We are outraged. Enough on that injustice for now.

 She finally said to us _ I can't go home - I will never see my place again......"  How sad is that? And yet she seems reconciled, relieved actually.  Please pray that all goes through and we get placement in a home of her choosing.  Please.......

Dare I say I feel really angry at God - she doesn't deserve to suffer AND selfishly I want to be better so I can do more and get to her easily.  Getting into Yale is quite an endeavor for someone with MS. I did it though - I made it.

That's the update.  My Mom is very brave, and has so much faith.  While we were at th ER on Wednesday she was overwhelmed.  When it was time to transfer her to Yale I said,  "Mom, I am glad I was able to be here with and for you today......", she answered,  "  Me too,.....and I wish I could be more of a mother to you....", my heart shattered and I answered,  "I am so filled with all of your love and wisdom and faith that there is no more you need to do now,...." and they rolled her away.