Sunday, June 28, 2015

Grandma's Last Back Rub


 

(after almost dying  Grandma Mary Lu gives  Padre's neck a little rub down from her chair.)



Readers,

It has been one week since my Grandma passed away.




(Grandma, I already miss you. Going to P.T. with Dad then going to see you was the highlight. Now what will get me through P.T.?)
 

Since the picture above was taken, it has evolved and taken a complete 180 for me. Let me give you the back ground information,
 
how the picture made it made it on FB,
 
and , finally , how I am continuing its exploitation.


It all began on a Physical Therapy day that coincided with Grandma almost passing away.
Her almost passing was amazing.
That woman could climb out of death like..... someone who is really strong and can climb out of death. (Where is a good analogy when I need one? Geez!)

 Obviously she did not [pass away]because she is in the picture above. However, it was a close call.

First of all Padre received a call from his father

Marianne Crawford's photo.
(THE Padre of Padres in the Family with his girlfriend, Mary Lu)


 when my grandmother was really bad and he raced over to find that the hospice nurse was there, oxygen was being given, etc. etc.
She was stable and Padre said that we would now make our ritual ride over to P.T.

 It was my first time going to P.T. after the Dr.s finally caught that I had what I now know is called a "stricture."  So I was pretty sore.
 
For some odd reason I thought it only happened in the area beyond my stomach. When I pictured a "stricture" I imagined in my mind that part of your body -that is passed the stomach- being wrung out like a wash rag after you'd washed your table cloth or face, rinsed it in scalding water and then wrung the living day lights out of it to avoid bacteria and hung it to dry on a faucet that, in a perfect world, was washed down with Clorox.
 
Another seemingly dreadful word I glossed over because it was a mean looking word called a: "fistula,"
 
From what my innocent and ignorant eyes saw, before skipping to another sentence, was a word that conjured up in the small, creative corner of my brain, was sinister short cut made through tissue and organs. And it laughed. Yeh, pretty scary. Not happening to me! So I felt no guilt what so ever in skipping those things.
 
 Having an imagination can have some disadvantages- no matter what the masterminds of the world have said in quotes I can't remember.

 
I hate when I am writing and have misplaced in my mind something very poetic to say.
 
(another side effect of the diseases. Probably the rag and the fist got together and jumble the brain.)
 
Where was I?
 
Oh, my feeble Grandmother massaging Padre's neck on the day she almost died. A week before she did Pass away.
 
* Grandma you always put others ahead of your pain and taught by example.
 

Anyone that has had P.T. , a stricture, or both can attest you are tired afterward. And getting your Padre's truck is like trying to roll a washed up whale on the beach back into the ocean before it is too late.
 
So there we were- at Padre's head quarters, had gotten the call from Padre's dad, Grandpa,- Padre got over there along with another sister, and with the help of hospice, grandma  was stabilized- and thus we were able to go ahead with our scheduled appt.

Whew!
 
 It was a close call- we almost lost her!  So after our appt. we headed over. She was in her remote control chair, the one that raises to help her stand. She looked really tired. And with the oxygen tubes up her nose hooked up to the tanks around her- it was sad to see.
 
Padre and I were on the couch when he hung he bent his head in front of me which is code for

"Could you just rub my neck?"
The request comes with a sort of begging/asking/guilt feeling: He has provided a roof over my head.... however, on this day I was so beat:

ME: "Dad, " I croaked in my Boyd K. Packer acid laryngitis voice:
 
"You've got to be kidding me. Four days ago they dilated a stricture in my esophagus, and for some reason it is still burning. I can barely move my arms...." ( diminishing arm strength is a Cushings side effect. So that was totally new to me in the last few months since I read up on dog and horses that had the disease.)

Four feet from us, Grandma Mary Lu, in a voice the size of a peep said: "Craig, if you want I could rub your neck."

Let that just settle on you for a moment Readers. Bow your head, blink your dry eyed/saucer size retina eyes while I tell you that I slowly looked over to my Grandma in shock and awe.
 
Readers, I didn't know what to do.
 
Repent?
 
 The last time I rubbed his forearm, I blew veins in my arms  (Yeh, I have been able to get out of rubbing his neck and forearms due to that side effect for months... there is a plus side to some side effects. )
 
 
ME, in a quiet voice; knowing she is hard of hearing: "Don't you dare let her rub your neck."

Padre: "It's okay, mom."
We talked a bit and she looked at me and said: "If I am ever sleeping that soundly don't wake me." as she was working on eating a BLT. or a drink of juice.
 
She showed me and another family member the empty glass as proof she'd eaten it.
Eventually, we meandered into the kitchen to graze for food.
 
After eating something like a slice of banana bread, I walked into living room where, the above picture was taking place and my cousin was taking a picture.
 
I went bananas.
 
In the car Padre told me that she wanted to and he reluctantly obliged and added that her strength was that of very small mouse trying to rub his neck. Okay, I don't think he said mouse but he said something to the effect the rubbing he was doing was something akin to being light as a feather.
 
The picture made the FB rounds and I think got quite a few laughs due to everyone In the immediate family's  knowledge knew the circumstances.
Grandma put everyone ahead of herself. Even on a day where she almost died.
 
Who does that??????????????????????
 
I guess I need to start.
Padre, who feels FB is the ISIS instant messaging mode of communication flipped out that a picture of his back was on the internet somewhere and of all places: FB.
I think something was said beneath the caption: Proof that you are never too old, close to death, deprived of oxygen, and unable to stand to give your baby boy a back rub.

We like to joke in our family. Grandma wanted to serve you so badly. Or feed you. Even if you were full. She would beg when you came over to get you something. Finally, as a last ditch attempt to bring you comfort (because it brought her comfort) she would ask me:

Can I at least get you a Coke?
(I don't drink a lot of pop but when your Parkinson riddled Grandma puts it that way... you have to say: 'okay.')

Readers, I see this picture differently than when I walked into the room and found my grandma trying to rub my dad's knotted neck.
 
I really do see a contrite and worn to the bone son, a son who had given his mom a lot to worry about- whose kid wanted to go off to Vietnam before he was of age right when and then did when she had a two month old?), a son that gave her heartburn and probably was why she was such a night owl worrier.  
It has been a week since she left. And I find myself grateful that I didn't rub his neck because it gave him the chance to kneel at her feet and for her to soothe his weary neck

one last time.
 
 
 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ancient Hearts & Lulluby Lives

 

.
Living the 'Lullaby Life': T.R.& Grandma
 Grandpa laying next to his favorite girl. My aunt made pins of her and other family members and he wore one every day since. No joke.

However, on Father's Day he lost his sweetheart.

Despite the fact we knew it was coming; she has been battling Parkinson's Disease and a host of other health maladies that would make one's spine shiver and have nightmares for a few weeks so;

~it still hurt like a skinned knee~
Or at least a bad rug burn while on prednisone.
 
Yes, there was relief; she was out of that body that had to struggle to breath and I swear I wish I could have given her my asthma inhaler a couple of times if it would have helped. That would have just prolonged the inevitable.

It's hard to watch a loved one suffer and be unable to help them.
Metal First Aid Kit [large]


The hospice nurse guided our family through a lot.
I was negative about their job at points in previous posts but hospice is end of life care. They aren't there to "save" the person- but make them comfortable as they take the last steps.

Sorry, hospice. Thank you nurse (s) Oh, my. You helped a ton. My grandma went through a lot of the same things that happen at the end and she received a lot of visitors:
She asked:
"Are we making a list?"

(of people for her to write thank you notes to that came over to see her, I guess. )
The Pocket Notebook
*Best Made Co. makes these pocket notebooks. Grandma's Daddy was a carpenter and that's one of the reasons why I love this company, the smell of fresh cut wood, the skill of the craftsman, etc.

 * I was at your viewing tonight and saw all the beautiful cards flowers and plants.
OH! Your viewing was nice. I'm sure you had a view of this as well. But I will help out your daughters and get Thank you notes going. Or at least licking envelopes.

Just seeing the wood chips above makes me cry because my father, like his grandfather, works with wood.
"What Good..." Enamel Steel Sign
(I love vintage saws due to the reminder of my carpentry ancestry. Thanks, Best Made Co.)
When the hospice people gave the "real talk" with my aunts and uncles to prepare them for what was coming toward the end it was difficult.

Even Grandma was a bit surprised that she would be passing pretty quick to be having this conversation- or so it seemed when my Aunt Angie told me that she woke up the next morning and asked my aunt:

"Are you as perplexed as me?"

Great Papa was exhausted and asleep while Grandma braved the last few weeks and, here in this picture, days- These are sacred moments and I share them because for one, they are already on FB but they show the commitment of a couple that was married 68 years.
That doesn't happen much anymore.
This picture epitomizes the devotion that my Grandpa had for her.
And still does.
 
Readers,
No matter what age, what situation, or whatever- death is perplexing.

Life is perplexing.

Like the rubix cube, for instance, except I can't tear the stickers off to solve it.


*They didn't include this rubix problem in  Death & Dying class I had to take for my major.
At the time, I thougt it was a pretty straight forward topic- dying. I imagined they would teach us some things about making buildings more assessable to those nearing death (such as those in wheel chairs, etc. and throw in some cultural differences that we have.
And finally that a "wake" and a "viewing" are the same thing. Just different names.

I thought death was a pretty straight forward topic but now want to go back and take the class because I must have missed a few things. And 'perplexing' might have been an answer for one of the test questions.

By the way my aunt agreed with her; she too was perplexed.

(a doctor perplexed by the illness of a sick doll. That would be hard to figure out if the doll had Crohns or something.)
 

 
God must have heard his aching heart and left us at 9:45 on Father's Day.

(a father fishing using Good Gear made by. Best Made Co. - thanks so much for the pictures and  NickZdon.)

When I first heard red the text/news that her breath was finally at the point...
(One would have to be an anesthesiologist to know all the increments there are to being alive and not alive.)I

I didn't go over.  I'd been there the night before and it had exhausted me.

&

1. It was too late. I had slept in and didn't hear the phone bing.

2. I am dealing with this coming off prednisone and it causes me to sleep so hard I miss the bing.

So I sat up in bed and just thought about it all. I wasn't crying.

After two days of her being gone; it set in. I was simply sitting at the table and looking out the back window at the dry untilled garden,  the old fence wood fence the grass is holding up and the lilac bushes of Harry's. (backyard neighbor)

And then just like that the tide I was riding: that warm fuzzy, spiritual feeling was now a drought like feeling;  crusty like the soil in the garden. Darn it!

I hate that.
(And I hate we don't have a garden this year. I think I will make till it so it at least it brown earth).

You want to the ride the wave of warmth; love and then God allows that feeling to fade so faith can prevail .Brutal necessary cycle of life, eh?.  


The Chelsea Deck Clock (Mechanical)
(Best Made Co. has this clock and I love the phone because Padre is The Phone Guy.

Ugh. Even feeling joy and happiness takes away the cortisol!!!!!!!!!

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I ALMOST didn't go again to say "good-bye", but I am so glad I did, Readers. I sat next to her and held up this star-
 
 
she liked this one from (Piggy & Dirt on etsy.com)  best out of the little stars that would fit on her window above her sink. (Cause that is where everyone will see it the most.)
 
Her eyes opened, she looked at it - I brought it to her bedroom hoping she could maybe connect it to me. She seemed to. Because we spent hours looking at the bright colored ones, then I'd get it and put it up and she would change her mind.
 
Thanks to technology, we had group texts yesterday to find out about her passing. Then siblings started to share songs to listen to or memories.
 
"The Torment",

as you Regular Readers,  know is my older brother  shared a song that Pandora randomly played while he was running around the river and it reminded him then and then today came to him. Pearl Jam & their song: Just Breathe.

(random cute Norman Rockwell picture : Boy to Man)
 
 
Then little sister linked us to a John Denver song:
Sunshine on my Shoulders.

And wouldn't you know- in the speed of light there was a vlog up of Grandma- (Readers it takes me weeks to get something on here worth reading and that is often without editing. Or pretending to try.)
 
Hannah, my cousin put up a video and song vlog or something on FB with Whitney Houston singing in the background and suddenly I was bawling.

 Whitney's voice begging us to not to cry, didn't work- because we will Always remember  Grandma,

Mary Lu
 
and it may make us cry.
 
 Josh Groban serenaded my tears and then it was was all Celine Dion hill from there.
(The top of the hill I listened to was her version of Billy Joel's Good night, Angel.)
 
Why is it that music mends our melodies?

She sings of dark and deep waters in our "ancient hearts."
 
I could wax on about how old our hearts are but we need to wrap this post up.
The Stellarscope
*cool stellar scope from Best Made Co. that was chosen to fill a spot on my blog.
 
In life, some minutes go so fast you can't slow them down if you grabbed the clock and turned the ticking off. Other minute can seem an eternity. Especially if it involves getting back in shape for a sport.
 
Many of you that come to my blog are wanting to read about Crohns or Prednisone. Or the latest on a drug for it to help your illness. Others have hopefully come here for a laugh.

It's all intertwined with my life, I guess. And I can't separate the numbers and cold hard stats of illness without entering into the realm of real life; which is the reason for the medical.

 I wanted this blog to be like Norman Rockwell's paintings- or how he wanted us to perceive them:

As Life Should Be.
 
Stick with me and you will hopefully
find answers to coping with the disease and prednisone and possibly against tragedy, and maybe death of a loved one.
 
If you came and read about my grandmother dying which is not what you expected or is not what you had hoped for0 you may

skip it!

But Here's why you shouldn't: if you are on prednisone I can tell you that the aching of your heart eats up cortisol faster than anything. So plan on suffering greatly if you lose someone, something, or your pet that you love a lot- in a few minutes. Cause cortisol is being eaten up. A stress dose may be necessary.
 
Angela AndDen Hummer's photo.
*Great Papa
 
Readers, most of you have encountered death. Whether a parent, sibling, parent, child, miscarriage, neighbor, friend, health, so on and on.

 
You will have family to talk to and hug, comfort and feel such love that your body can't believe you are putting it through such stress and You are  even Happy.
Be Optimistic Felt Badge
 
Sure, sad at points- back and forth at points-  because you want a loved one's suffering to end and yet  feel selfish for wanting them to

just stay. 

Just like kids on summer break and out playing night games, Eventually, you gotta go home.



 

Friday, June 19, 2015

See You Again ~ Good-bye for now Letter to Grandma






Dear Grandma,

Tonight mom told me that you are dying-

 that the "time" is close.
 
*this was told to me several day ago, Readers.

  You have  been  "dying" a long time now, but now, it is

"official."

 The brothers and sisters (your grown kids) had to  meet with those who have been helping you the last few months (hospice). I don't know how I feel about hospice- how you couldn't just go get help from the ER or doctors. Felt like we were in no man's land for a couple of occasions?


(Moon Stone stars. Piggy & Dirt @ etsy.com)

PADRE always says:

"We are all dying.
From the moment we were born-we are
heading in that direction."

 Good point.

(and reminds me of the rationale that your dad would say when we begged for a certain car, not another car, at another time. We wanted  THAT  car, ALL Hobbs decisions had to go through J's Great Papa: Padre's Dad. The Patriarch of the family.

*Don't ask, Readers. It is tradition that must date back in our gene pool to Adam or something.

"They make them[cars] every day."

This was to help us "dying to drive" kids solace. With all the hormones, it didn't happen but just added to our stress and put acne on our faces.

Moon Stone
(Moon Stone stars with milky points - courtesy of Kurt at Piggy & Dirt store on etsy.com)

But all those moments when you were sick and hanging by a thread..... and pulled out of it. It seemed you were should be a Parkinson's Disease Poster Child. And how come MJ Fox is lasting so long?

 I wish that I could have been healthier these last few months so that I could have helped more; visited more. However you said some of the most profound things on our short visits.

I am glad several of my cousins, cousin-in-laws, and even my sister; are all nurses-  you had the best care we could have hoped to give you. Grandpa is so happy to have a big family to come over and take care of you or watch a game.
 My heart loves you so much more for what you gave to her- time to be with us and no worries.


(Moon Stone Stars- Piggy & Dirt on etsy)

I don't know if you get to read blogs once you are released from the body, that has had necrosis of bones, Parkinson's disease, etc. etc. But please read mine and let me know what you think. If possible. And help me write in cursive like you.

I hate that disease you had.
 
However, I love that, by having it, you understood me and my illness. That  helped you help others understand me and my situation. It was comforting to have you tell Grandpa something in my defense.
It usually was something silly me sleeping and you napping in your chair that has the remote that helps you stand- I wish for one- : ) and grandpa would  walk in and with a chuckle, his hands shoved into his Levi's say:


(do I really love writing? I meanm having to reference everything  that someone else has said or done is a TON of work. Sheesh. Do I need to keep writing you make these stars, Kurt? It's killin' me. I hate arthritis.)

"Well, who the heck is sick here?"

You: "Don't wake her up!"
 
You were one of my advocates.
 
 I loved  that we would call each other on the phone to see how the other was doing.
 

If I called to specifically talk to Papa, he'd always defer to you.

"Let me get Grandma, she'd know."
ME: "Wait, I wanted to talk to you....!
 
Maybe because he couldn't hear, hated talking on the phone, or didn't know what to do when I cry?
(joke, Readers)

 Who knows.
 
And when it was too hard for you to hear and I was sick, we wrote letters.

When you had your back surgery I was so sure I could help you with therapy at your home. And then I had surgery and wasn't there. I am sorry.  
 
I can't believe you rallied back from that
 by the way.


(Aqua Ocean, From Piggy & Dirt;s etsy shop.)
 Heck, you rallied back from more medical maladies, that we thought you were going to be done and gone then you lived- we figured you must be one of the

Three Nephites.
(who were all three men, not women so this was perplexing!)

 (joke here non- and belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Readers.)

 We'd find out what was wrong, doctors would give you something simple,  and there you were, up to the table and eating, or watching

(yes, these guys no longer almost win the title- but You loved them, Grandma and continue to be a true Jazz
Fan. And we have some of the new guys' jerseys his Dad got him.)

(Like this guys jersey. I bet you would love front rows against Lebron. Come on, you know you would!

Jazz games.

Even watching other teams playm you would shake your head or scowl and get into the game.

Basketball

(www.simpson.k12.


or

baseball games


(boothmuseum.org gives us the picture: 'Home Plate' by Norman Rockwell)
on TV was your thing.

You LOVED it.
Norman Rockwell Gramps at the Plate
(Gramps at the Plate- www. best-Rockwell-art.com)


(And shaking your head at that LeBron fella.)

(photo courtesy of forbes.com)
*this was before she knew he changed his hot headed-ness by reading books. and growing up. I have to admit I was a hater, but then watched him engrossed in good books and saw his demeanor change. I don't know if he got paid to do that, surely the counseling had to have been paid out so right there he had some help. I haven't been able to take in any games so I am out of that loop. 

 Honestly, Grandma, he's grown up quite a bit and I like that he reads books.


(espn.go.com for is elementary picture- Actually this must be NBA because of the tattoo rule. In school.)

*however, Abby said that one of the boys poked his head into your room and told you that LeBron lost and you smiled.

So apparently you didn't buy the book thing.

When I found out that your problems were some that I have experienced and were in the realm of what I could actually know- I could empathize and it made my heart hurt worse......

We could have LOST you!!


(OH! Clematis how we love thee! Espically from Town n Country in I.F.!!)

Something so simple to have tested and then.... geez. I guess I don't understand death yet. Even though I had to take classes on it for my major.
Which I still don't have a BA in yet.

Had some detours.

Which, by the way, Grandma, we have A LOT of:  Construction.
 Now that it is summer, Grandma. Be glad you are not sitting in 100 degree weather- I know!

IDAHO hit 100 degrees of sweltering.

The detours have taken me to streets, I have never been on my whole life living here, in I.F.
So I learned new street names and saw some things that were interesting. Like flowers.
Life metaphor.

Town and Country Gardens's photo.
 (Purple Lupine with tips. Again, Town and Country site, thanks others who have taken over for pics for the site because I can't get any pics taken right now.)



Where was I, Grandma?
Oh,

Why couldn't they check those things out or look or care? Was it the hospice program that made it that way-a way that we couldn't get you the proper care and just sit and watch ring our hands and try to understand the health care system.
 
It felt like putting you in hospice care was euthanasia because you kept rallying back. And hospice isn't used to that I bet.

(Mediterranean Blues Star. Piggy and Dirt just keep getting better and better on their stars. Grandma, I think you and I are the only ones that like sun catchers in the immediate family. Or at least a whole window full of them,)

Okay, I got a grip there.
 
I rubbed your feet while you were in the twin bed that one night that you struggled with the simple GI fix.......

You were delirious.

I was at a loss what to do. Something was wrong. Something wasn't right. And you were saying stuff that didn't make sense. Actually, I knew what was wrong but how did we get you the care you needed?
I felt like our hands were tied.
Dumb ropes that tie hands.


(New inspiration from a vacation- Piggy & Dirt are back and have new stars on their etsy site.)

Prayers were said and they were answered in God's time.

They (doctor people or hospice gatekeeper people, gave you some antibiotics and meds and

rallied back.

AGAIN
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You were the Stockton of Sickness!!!!!
You humbly let the Malones of the world take the glory shot, or passed off to the Malone of death and have death take a dunk, because you were in charge and calling the plays. - you and Papa- you were holding on to each other.


[www.keepcalm-matic-.co.uk]


Better than any Skyline vs. I.F. Emotion Bowl come back EVER!
 
Death wasn't going to take you without the fight of a woman who could endure, wait, and, with apparent good longevity genes, staying here on earth to suffer some more so we could learn.

(My Great Grandmother lived to 103. )

No, No. 
 
It wasn't your time!
 
 American Historic Flags
 American Historic Flags

Best Made Company, thank you for the courtesy of letting me put your pictures on my blog as well.

Nick Zdon at the store has impeccable service.
I love flags. They love flags. Two blocks from them was where Annin started to make them.

*Go to the end of my letter to grandma for more information on these two flags.
The one below reminds me of Grandpa right now.
He just holds onto hope, and come to think he isn't giving up ship on a miracle.




Today, this time, it is different. There will be no rally.

How do we know?

Your body has had enough and They stopped all your Parkinson's meds. You didn't even want to take any pain meds.




One tough girl.


*Piggy and Dirt came back with inspiration from Paris- Now they may call their etsy shop Piggy and Sand.
It hasn't been a beach for you.
**********************************************************
I said my good-bye to you earlier in the week- when able to recall who I was.
You did say my name-

"Mandy."

That made me choke up because that was my name as a child- before Barry Manelow ruined it for me in my tween years, and I had to be more "grown up" in the name department for school.
I missed hearing my family call me that name. I wonder if J. yearns to be called 'Bug.' or 'Bubba' or J. Bug?' Doubt it. His pals would roast him.

(Sportsposterwarehouse.com for the picure of some tween golfers.)

One day he will though, huh Grandma? Like when I finally started to ask you about your years growing up, marrying Papa, having my dad, Padre. (not his real name - just the handle for

We didn't need to talk,

I laid at the foot of your bed for a bit and gently stroked your legs. I left  to let you rest. So many want to see you. That happens with big families. Once you told me you were frustrated.
I asked what about.

"That I can't get up and do what grandmothers do."

Which is basically make food and serve it to us........

I have to admit it was nice when you were in good health and made delicious Monkey Bread.
The Heavy Duck Canvas Apron
(Brass Rivets make a tough apron over at Bestmadeco.com- tough stuff. Nick Zdon is you man there. Thanks, Nick for the pictures. And for coming to Idaho to hunt. New Yorkers and the likes are all welcome to Idaho- just remember to not tell your friends about us so we can keep the best spots to fish; secret)

Well, after I laid at your feet, Grandpa came in after me and needed to lay by you.
Visiting hours were over. And I felt peace about it. I don't need to be there at your last breath.
With my mother's mother I felt an urgency at first and then I felt a peace settle over me. I felt I should just take care of my little toddler.

It is a Holy experience; death.


But we should be glad that Christ overcame it and I will see you again!  And yes, this another Piggy & Dirt Star of their etsy.com store. I love it.

Oh, Grandma. I will visit your grave even though I know you will be there watching over us if you get dispatched...
I wanted to simply go to the house and check on  you like I would a sleeping baby. And how you watch over them. I would stare at Jaden for hours while he slept.

He was so special to me and I wanted to memorize his face.

I will stop now, Readers. The rest I will put up later.
You have him really worried and asking for blessings to let you go out of your misery but now that you are not having massive Parkinson's muscle contractions you are still. Too still.

OH!

 
Grandma, I will miss you.

Pattern Points- 9.5 inch clear architectural glass star
(picture courtesy of the man who made all the stars in your kitchen window, Kurt. Piggy & Dirt @ etsy.com)

I thought my faith and understanding of The Plan of Salvation (check out LDS.org)
 made known to us through The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith seeing

 God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ,
would make it
"easy" when your time came. 
 
That time would fly by and it wouldn't be so hard to let you go. I was so happy for you! Like some joyful cheerleader when your team is losing, make it to the play off but dooonn't quite pull it off- but the cheerleaders still have smiles and belief in their team!

You loved your Jazz- had to throw that in there. 
 
(picture courtesy of: icollector.com)

 I found this jersey off Google to make this letter to you more fun,  and I am thinking that instead of sun catchers, we should have collected jerseys and we could have been rich by now!

However, looking out a window while hand  at a jersey hanging from it while having to hand wash dishes doesn't seem as pleasing to the eye.

Like the shade loving globe flower from T&C:



Grandma, they come back year after year!
No maintenance? Too good to be true.

 
They match your old school Jazz uniform and explode with Yellow. We need to look into this flower.
*****************************8
** Right now you are in a coma with a temperature of  102 - I am reassured by family that this is :normal. You aren't feeling anything.

Really?

After reading Martin Pistoirius, the man who speaks with the use of a computer, I'm not so sure.




I will miss your soft, well manicured hands. Your pretty painted nails.

&
The way you smell.

Jergens Lotion. Almond Butter.

(Girl at Mirror- Norman Rockwell)
 
 
Me; not crying and being "happy for you!" -- all that, lasted all of two seconds.

Then it hit.
You are leaving.

You and Grandpa have longevity genes. We had til you were 100.......

WHY? Why did you  have to suffer your whole life.



*I know why but it helps when you cry to ask Heavenly Father that question when you are adding drama to your prayers when really you know the answer but it is as if it will make Him let something ease up or a Grandma stay here longer. I am going to still cry if I want. Actually, I want her there at the same time, so the suffering can end. There are so many conflicting desires and decisions loved ones have to make.

I think I didn't want her to get Parkinson's Disease. Little late for that.
*
Well, I kept control of myself  the day I silently said good bye, Readers.
yes, this is a long letter to my Grandma. -And who edits a letter to your Grandma????

Someone who is arthritic- and it takes forever if your fingers get "frozen" in a spot.

Don't tell anyone this, but I have found, that by taking time to edit- I am remembering things about her. And it is helping me work through the aching heart thing..

ugh. One more reason those English teachers were trying to get us to do to make us better. Blah, blah, I still don't know when to use a comma. *That's why I have journals! I don't have to turn in or edit anything!

I gotta get it right for her. The least I can do for someone with perfect cursive penmanship and kept ALL the letters and cards she ever received. *Like me. I may not be able to tat or crochet like my ancestors but I know how to keep rough drafts for books, drawings J. scribbled in sacrament metting, and cards/letters from friends!

Sigh. Sorry, Grandma. And when in heaven will you ask if the Norwex rags clean windows as well as that elbow of yours and Great Grandma's?

Padre gets his jumper cables wrapped around the axel about the Rubbermaids full of.... cards and paper.
I even keep some emails. Newer version of Snail Mail.
Seashell Star- White shell with white stained glass- 9 inches

My grandma's bed was always made. We were taught to stay out of there at a young age and we did!
They taught things differently back then and it was out of respect for you and Grandpa.
Actually, we just wanted to avoid getting spanked.
Now I will take a break.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
 give more to this another day.

Love,
Mandy

 Oh, what the heck, I am sending all this online. Edit later..

Readers, the room is small, for a small grandma, in a small house with 7 kids; not a lot of space for them, 30 grandkids and who knows how many great grand kids.

The picture of you and grandpa taken together, is now like the pictures of your grandparents and your mom; relics and people etched in stone. That kids don't know unless you tell them the stories and

THEN
those faces come alive.

 Now I know a tad bit more about this remembering and honoring business and pictures.

I  just picked up J's book bag from school from off the floor and unzipped it,
guess what fell out of it?

His whole desk! And his school pictures from months ago. He was totally unprepared..
The week before he had been sick with the worst stomach flu. Then come Monday morning he went to school wearing what he would to basketball practice.

Picture Day. But guess what? They are his best school pics ever!
Take that elementary school photographers! 


Your small frame seemingly turned into a breakable piece of China as time went on.  Hugging you good-bye, I made an effort to notcrush your fragile shoulders.
 
You always kissed us, or me, good bye. Always. We Never left without a kiss from you.
 Grandpa was fine with a wave or the side hug. : )
Sometimes I'd give him a Bear hug to throw him off. ; )
 
(When your boys left the house, they would come over to you and kiss the top of your head or pull you close to them. They love you so much. I watched how they interacted with you and it was touching and you made sure that they were kissed and loved up, no matter how old.)
I loved that as the grandkids came over and saw you before you slept more- you were only able to hold them if we helped or propped up pillows under your arms.

You could soothe any screaming baby and took it almost like it was a challenge or a sport.
The weaker you became you just touched their cheeks and kissed them over and over.
Abby said this is what you did for her little guy.

Every time you went to stand, I could see the strength and independence in you.
 
It took herculean effort.

(it's amazing what a woman can do for a hair cut which you loved to have done at Abby's Salon.)

 
And a lot of time. Instinct made me want to help you but I knew you had to do it by yourself. 
 
You would joke about it, however, it was  simply one more example of your talents- to endure to the end, and not "let on" that you were suffering so much;  the patience to do something yourself, grab onto the handles of your walker and then reach your destination.
 
 
(lemondroppie.com - Norman Rockwell's picture shows we have to start somewhere with make-up! Coloring inside the lines is useful with lips! Especially the reds you wore back in the day!)
 
You loved getting your weekly trip to Abby's to have her do your hair. That got you moving for sure!
 Her salon is located in a place that you can sit in her love seat and fall asleep in the sun.

Which is what Grandpa did.


 
 Abby gently rubbed your scalp with her nails, letting the sudsy, yummy smelling shampoo go down the drain and you melted in the seat. I know that must help- having the Parkinson's make your muscles clench like a vice and not give in.....
 
 
 
I wish I knew how to upload the picture of Owie, nephew 5 or six, of him watching
 'Thomas the Train' videos with you. Precious.
 
One to be framed.

Another Herculean effort you exerted after being in one spot for  24 hours, you wanted to get up and sit in your chair. ????
Tyson and others helped you from your chair and into the recliner. This choked me up. I knew it was going to be close to the last time in that chair.

One Daughter of Yours said:

"Oh, I know what this is about, you want to watch the NBA finals."

I was in Grandpa's chair so he sat in between J. and Padre while the game went on.
But I had to tune it out. Too hard. I would open my eyes to check if you were okay- your girls made sure you have had a quilt over you. You were quiet. And tired it seemed. Maybe I was projecting my own feelings of being tired. So I was under the Halloween fleece
And we had our last nap together.

You made Grandpa so happy by doing that! And I think he thoug
ht you would rally back.
 Jadeite Green Greta Garbo Star. Only one available.
(Jadeite Green Greta Garbo Star. Only One. Piggy & Dirt on etsy.com)
 
 It is hard to swallow your pride and be "twinners" with your Grandma, but I am SO grateful for the canes, a walker a brace. And when old age comes when I'm young than I hope I do it as gracefully as you.
I haven't so far, so maybe you can help me with that from the other side too..help me to wear that

Arizona brace.

It's hot, finding shoes to wear with it is hard and it compromises my left foot. So I am watching you tube videos on how to stretch shoes (for the  brace foot and ways to shrink the other shoe. Very informative.
I am so lucky. Blessed to live here in America.
The Annin American Flag
(photo courtesy of Best Made Company.com  Thanks, Nick. And America- )
Grandma, I just learned that the 'spangled' in the song by Mr. Keyes actually doesn't mean 'spotted' but sparkly. Wow. Glad I looked up the meaning of The Star Spangled Banner for kicks because I forgot some of the words when trying to sing it to Owen the other day,

Grandma, I am enjoying a life that you, and the Hardy Generation made possible. I don't want to let you down.I am lucky I didn't have to run to an outhouse with Crohns disease. Even if I was healthy, I am glad I don't have to run there. (do a long and low whistle here.)

I am grateful for a fan or A/C unit so I do not have to bake all day in the heat for ranch hands like your mom used to do. *she had 15 siblings too. Which meant clean up afterwards.
Three meals a day. How many dishes did you wash and dry, I wonder?
You had the softest flour sack towels in the West. And they were all hand embroidered.

You lived frugally and grateful for the smallest acts.
You showed gratitude by a hand written letter to the person and let them know.
Or a phone call.
 
I will never forget your determination to get yourself to Utah recently.

This is a rose from Town and Country Gardens in I.F.- off their FB pages. .  )
I am sorry I didn't ask to use it. We are sorta related though. (Brett's daughter married your relative

Come, hell or high water,  you were going to get to your daughter whose family faced a very unexpected tragedy.

FATHER OF THE BRIDE~ HAD A MAJOR HEART ATTACK & IS STILL HERE.
(WHAT IS IRONIC ABOUT THIS SITUATION AND THE PRESS IT RECEIVED WAS ALL BECAUSE OF  FACE BOOK.
(Uncle Al told his son and  J. that FB was for people who were bored and wanted attention. My Aunt almost barely missed her daughter posting it online. By doing so, our whole family knew within minutes. )

You had to miss one of the Hannah's wedding.

Hannah and Theresa- granddaughters. I feel like their aunt but we are cousins.

If you couldn't make it clear to St. George for a special wedding- you never miss them

How could you go now?

***********
Readers- this was started a week ago.
I can't worry about editing or referencing.
The stars are all Rebecca and Kurt's.
etsy.com has them at Piggy & Dirt.
Grandma doesn't have much longer. They said hours or days but she has not eaten or had fluids.
She is now in the coma and she looks peaceful my mom just informed me.

HOLINESS to the LORD plaque. Custom made to your color specs. Hand painted and gold/silver leaf. Cast from original hand-carved wood plaque.
Hand carved by Kurt. Custom Orders and Specs.
that you can choose. He does more than stars....


***************************
 
Watching  you struggle to get to a standing position I didn't really know how this could be possible.

It seemed you were in NO position to travel -unless a band happened to be in town and had a private jet or travel bus heading to St. George! You needed two adults for the bathroom breaks and Grandpa joked:
 
"They don't like it when the men go into the women's bathroom but I sure think she'd enjoy the drive."
 
 
(The first Piggy & Dirt Star that went above your sink to look at while washing dishes)

This was How:
 


Miracles started happening right and left. Forward and Backward.

They [miracles] were breaking ankles they were happening so fast!
 
The first was that your son-in-law survived the deadliest heart attack out there and that Face book had people praying for him. I could see the worry in your eyes.

You had missed Hannah's wedding

due to your health but there was an urgency to get down to your youngest daughter, your son-law and the children they had together. . they needed their grandparents
Big families is the way  to gol. We need each other. I can't believe you raised 7....

The baby of my dad's family with her own  daughters.

 "If my presence can bring Joni any peace,
I have to get down there."
you told me when I asked  you if you felt up to the trip. You set the physical maladies in your body and your wish came to fruition.

Everything came Together

Then to see the motor home, get you ready, motor home serviced from winter and ready to go, and your confident mind set to get down there was astonishing.

Miracles and people here-

(some serious busy bees made that happen. clip of wood carving done by Kurt Knudsen. etsy.com sells these now at their store: Piggy & Dirt )
 
 
*Town and Country Gardens in I.F. have the best flowers. And soil. I miss not being able to garden this year.. I lived for those moments in my garden. Will you make fake flowers for me?

*Thank you so much for helping my grandmother, in any part that you played to help her down there.
Thanks, Uncle Brett. For driving them down, for the aunts who helped her once she was there. And Padre for making sure the deluxe motor home was stocked with necessities and had it un-winterized.

For baseball games.



Uncle B. loves to go those Chukars games. . Remember  you went to one last summer or the one before? Thanks, Brett for taking us.

You can't get more America than baseball, your son that is funny told us.
The Annin American Flag
(Best Made Company loves flags like Padre does. And I do. And most Americans. My nephew loves the flag on his old Navy shoes for the 4th and when I sang The Star Spangled banner, he looked and smiled and me)

I have to stop here. I need time to think about you, Grandma. Or talk with family and make sure my stories are straight and just spend time.

The Chelsea Deck Clock (Mechanical)
(Best Made Company provided this reminder that time can go fast. It goes on boats and since I am not Nautical at this time- I don't need this Chelsea clock. It does look coolk, however.)

** I am reading this and looking at the pictures of you, Grandma, and Pops and I now know it's close.

I am thinking of the last time I saw you it outside in the lawn chairs with Grandpa and my Dad.

There was a slight breeze in the shade. You have red and orange red geraniums in full bloom that hang over where you sit.

'To see a world in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wildflower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour
./
-William Blake



These roses are from Town and Country Gardens her in I. F. I will just get  to look at this web site
since those days seem to be over for now. .

Mom took a picture of the rose in the special nook that winds up to your porch. The spout or spicket right there and Grandpa keep yours roses looking heavenly. The picture of the one rose  opened up two days ago...

* buds have since
The blue salvia is mixed in with something that I didn't take in.
Grandma, you have always been a woman who served without needed attention. Once I read a quote about wanting to meet the Savior with nails that had been chipped from working out in the yard, nails with dirt beneath them from helping a neighbor weed. Was this the dream of your heart upon seeing Him again?

(ww.grannie- something but the painting:Norman Rockwell.)

Sorry,  but Aunt Joni manicured your nails and Abby has been doing your hair.
 
 Whether to get a lunch whipped up for an unexpected visitor, or visitors, find a picture to be copied and given to relatives, clean or mop a kitchen, or carefully keep letters, cards, and anything sentimental in the basement in the long area affectionately called:
 
"The North End,"

you made it happen.



piggy & Dirt, etsy.com- their trips to the Netherlands & Paris has helped Rebecca and Kurt rise in the their creativity.

As kids we just thought the 'orth End was the scary area that you were accompanied to when you wanted to play with a Fisher Price toy, kept in pristine condition and probably dated back from the 30's. It was cool and a bit damp in there. The bare, light bulb hung from the ceiling made it even more of a place we had to explore when no one was looking!
You were independent and determined.

And  your mom wore hose dresses in the hot summer time when she canned her peaches, pears, cherries! Oh! Her home made cherries were divine.

I loved that you liked to watch basketball and baseball on TV.

 Often when I visited, you would say a comment about the players or say something to me about the game or about Grandpa when he left the room. Usually it was about him rushing you to eat your BLT.
Which did take a few hours. But when you are sick....
 
Either way it made me chuckle. I seem to be doing A LOT of"chuckling" in this letter. I sound like Santa Claus. I better look up some synonyms.

Below are  some pictures of what Kurt can make and if I send maaterial to him he can make into a star!

* Mom told me that  one of your girls, that can sew up a storm, took some of the vintage fabric that was in in the North End..... T. is getting married soon and so Aunt S. sewed adorable aprons for  the servers  at the reception.

Polka Poppy 9 inch polka dots and flowers

(Rebecca used material to make these quilt like stars called: Polka Poppy for the etsy shop: Piggy & Dirt)


 
 
And I loved to visit because you had cable and then we COULD watch the games.
 
(more Polka Poppies @ Piggy & Dirt. )
You weren't the polka dancing type but you sure loved material and had stacks of it in the
"North End"


You loved Wheel of Fortune and other mid morning shows watched from the kitchen table on a summer morning. Soap Operas. Whatever. We would eat cucumbers swimming in onions and your special water.

Whenever I was over I left with something, whether told to me or given. You loved to show me your flowers and if I pointed out a beautiful rose, you cut it and sent me home with it.


(artwallpapers.com- Norman Rockwell's 'Attic Memories')
When sick, I would get home made bouquets from you, placed in a Mason jar and arranged as if done by a professional. Because you were!

Often I heard stories from you and Papa about my Dad as he was growing up.

 A lot of the time I could rehearse the story I was about to hear but went ahead and let Grandpa tell me again so that I could memorize it myself- to tell my kids one day. Okay- kid. J. is all I have and if I was teaching tiny tots still, the story was appropriate, I'd tell it. Just like my grandparents or parents told it.

Oh, no. I am starting to get sad. At first I was feeling that everything would be okay. I have a belief that I will see my Grandmother again.

Time seems to be flying but she could be gone. And I love her. Having her here even when I was on my back staring at the ceiling most of this year due to being sick- she and I would talk on the phone.

Not for long because of the hearing problem......

However, it took Jaden going through Scouts and needing to learn some ancestry that I got new tidbits on his life. This also has meant a lot to me; knowing your stories.

Which is my Dad's story and interwining is my story.

Grandpa served in the military- Navy.
 
(Not my grandpa. Any guesses of who it is? He is a famous actor. I will tell you at the end of this post. Or better yet- first person to guess gets a patriotic baby star from Piggy & Dirt's store on etsy)




The Chelsea Deck Clock (Mechanical)
(Picture courtesy of Bestmadeco.com- the Chelsea Company made that cool black clock)

So military service is nothing new to our family. It's just that it had never been your own boy to go. Your first born. This was Vietnam. And Padre didn't exactly talk you into the idea that it would be an easy thing.

You knew what could happen, what was ahead and it was hard when my stubborn dad went ahead and joined the army on his own free will. Which is admirable. Though your heart was breaking.

 
(thefederalounge.com- Norman Rockwell:Willie Gillis in Convoy)

I can picture you at the kitchen sink and him coming up the stairs, rounding the bend of the landing climbing two more stairs and then dropping his black shoes on the floor and announcing he was going over to enlist.

This is how I remember it. I need to talk to Padre about it but it is how I know it.
I picture my dad, the skinny rod he was. Tall. Wearing a white shirt and possibly looking like someone off the movie and from the book:

The Outsiders.

( picture courtesy of deviantart.com )
 You like to keep sentimental things and this made the North End quite full, but one of those things kept, were the letters my father sent you from when he was in Vietnam.

(Photo below is called Marine Homecoming. By Norman Rockwell. Found at Poster's.com)



So you knew and it was hard when my stubborn dad went ahead and joined the army.

You like to keep things and this made the North End quite full, but one of those things kept were the letters my father sent you from when he was in Vietnam.
 
Little Patriot
(This star is called: The Little Soldier and is in Royal Blue- my favorite. It hangs in Padre's office.)

Most of them were hard to read due to the thin paper they were written on. However, you opened each carefully with a letter opener on the right end, next to the stamp.

By the creases, and almost disappearing words, I could tell they had been read often and by those left at home.
Dad, being the oldest,  meant that his letters were heard by his younger siblings, his grandparents, etc.
Opened and read. Re-opened and read.

When I talked about you reading them over and over, Uncle B. said:

"She wasn't the only one reading them." he was in Jr. High I think. 


So, when I was ready,  and had time in the middle of the night due to prednisone,
I read them all,
What a Hoot Star. Owl centered stained glass star
(we can be night owls if we want and this night is no exception. I drove by your house later one night a few days and
 and appreciate that you kept them safe- in the very organized,

"North End" .

Readers, I am exhausted as is this computer.


The rest of yoor letter will be in another post.. I hoped to ask ou to tell me again  got the story correct rom you. It's too late, to late at night. I am weary. So I will edit your letter later.
 
They helped me get through some tough nights on prednisone. And I could picture my dad; a young teen sitting in a semi-truck somewhere in the middle of nowhere using his flash light to write on the tissue telling you he would love an ice cold Coke right then and to be home. His letters made it come alive.



(Navyformoms.com- Norman Rockwell painting.)

This wasn't maybe what happened when my dad came home, maybe it was more like the picture above that Norman sketched when he was discharged.



My Dad, like the cartoon, gave you a run for your money. When he said he was going to Vietnam before he was even of age you called your Dad.

He gave you comfort and said: "Well we learn from experience./"
So true. Than Papa said something to the effect that a  fool learns by no other way.

DISCLAIMER: Not that anyone who serves in our military are fools. My Dad wanting to LIE
then get my Grandma to sign the documents: foolhardy. So now I am confused. And sick with
Jackhammer Esophagus. Cool name - feels like a heart  attack.

(Love the brass from the flag. Courtesy of Best Made Co.)
You knew he wasn't a fool but had that same die hard determination mixed in with salt and vinegar, which happen to be some ingredients that go into the cucumbers you let swim in and taste so good.0= really made you worry.

That is history and you know how to write it and keep it. And live it.
 
Because of your love for my Dad, and keeping those letters, I came to know him better. Which helped when making jokes or writing on this blog!

Star Spangled
(This star is called: Star Spangled and is pretty cute now that I look at it more. Piggy & Dirt are so lucky to have such fun stars to sell on their etsy site.)
 
Due to lack of space and stream lining I am keeping the things you have given me and the stories are saved in a different way. However, I still do snail mail like you.
 
And I love that you love that way of communication.

Remember when the Big 40's Band came to town and I took you to the concert?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



















They did a great job at singing war time stories that kindled your mind into remembrance of more stories to put in my journal vaults! That was a fun date night. And it was held
down town in the old Paramount theater.

They have it all refurbished downtown and they call it the 'Historical Theater'

 
(the final Polka Poppy Rebecca made for her etsy shop: Piggy & Dirt)

Lately, as you and Grandpa have aged,
 
With the Grain: A Craftsman's Guide to Understanding Wood
(A Tree. Best Made Co. makes this book called: A Craftsman's Journaland  reminds me of a Family Tree)

both of you have lost your hearing. So there are some funny moments with that. You and he would get frustrated and I loved when he'd leave the room and you would look over at me and say something about it.

(Norman Rockwell photo courtesy of:americanart.si.edu~ 'Telling Stories' is the name of this photo.)

I will miss hearing Grandpa say your name and your very, soft as a mouse voice 
answering and doing your best to holler out his name because you both couldn't hear each other.
Mice don't seem the type to holler or try speak to someone who is losing their hearing.
But you made mice proud when you tried.
 
This latest conversation Abby told me about while you and Pops watched TV made me laugh.
 
You: "I like that suit." referring to a man on the TV. "He has on a nice vest."
 
Grandpa: " What?"
 
You: "The man on the TV. I like his suit."
 
Grandpa: "What?"
 
Then you got that irritated tone to your voice and said as loud as you could:
 
"THAT MAN ON THE TV,  HAS A NICE VEST AND SUIT!!!"
 
Grandpa: "Oh." as if nothing happened.
 
After a shark brand commercial, you commented that it was supposed to be a good vacuum.
I took note. And had a little chuckle cause you wouldn't be vacuuming any time soon- but oh! How you wanted to.
This star is called: Star of the Wedding. In the scriptures there is reference to Christ being the bridegroom and so on and so forth. Anyway, Grandma, you are prepared. You have had plenty of oil for your lamp. You made a comment that you hoped you would "make" it to heaven.
That made me chuckle.

Yes, you will.

My own mom made me chuckle the other day when, like a little girl she said:

"If I don't make it [to heaven] I will feel so bad."

I guess it is those without guile that truly are, well, without guile and have tickets for the front row seats.


If I brought over my ipad and you looked at Pigggy & Dirt's site on etsy- you picked out the brightest stars!

First it was the orange one. I got it, chased all over town for a clear hook during holiday season and
then you changed your mind. It was not "see through."


(Kurt makes matte designed ones but the see through ones reminded me of your tatting.

I was glad I asked you which one you did like because I was way off.
People with deteriorating eye site want something bright so they can SEE it.



(This star is called: 'Orange Ya Glad it's a Party?' which sums up every evening at Grandma's house because the people stay until way late because we must love each other that much.

I did make a note to myself that glaucoma and other eye problems make seeing things hard to, well, see and so if you have an opportunity to pick out a star from Piggy & Dirt, for someone who is older, or someone like me who need Coke bottom strength glasses, go for bright colors.

I would bring over stars to you, Grandma and show you how they would look and match in your kitchen. I almost fell for the pink ones, but your colors are the blues. Abby knew which would be best and that was what we stuck with.



My heart broke when I saw that you could not hang the first sun catcher I gave you- the Mad Blue Bird. (There is a blue bird of happiness, Readers,but a photographer caught one with his feathers all ruffled up to keep warm and guess what?
he looked to be in a bad mood.

NO, He is in a bad mood.
So we think that is kind of funny. Years ago my Grandma gave me a Glass Blue 0

Which is a trait we happen to have.
It matched your kitchen perfectly. However, the chain was cheap, it broke and not even an experienced welder could fix it. (it would melt the whole thing)

Amazingly, I had accidently ordered TWO. So I told you I would take it home and fix it.
Sorry, I lied.



So we hung this above the sink:

(This one is called the Pea Cock- the greens and royal blues are my favorite, too Kurt and Becky)

 I will miss the routine you have had for years- One that was like clock work.

One that involved you and Grandpa doing the same thing each day, growing your roses and flowers visiting the graves and sitting outside the house on a cool evening.

Grandpa mowing the lawn, picking up groceries or driving the Cad with you in it to one of the birthday parties.

Whenever I left you would point out to me which roses had bloomed or looked beautiful and we admired them together. If I loved one you would have Grandpa cut it and send it home with me in a small Mason jar filled with water.

Greta Garbo Rose- white, 9 inch porcelain rose center with white stained glass points
(Piggy and Dirt have new stars on their etsy site. I would have  probably gotten you one of these....

Any time I needed to stop by, I could find some respite- you would offer to rub my back or beck-even  when I  was at home you offered to have Grandpa come get me, bring me to your house and you would rub the spot that hurt. Despite the fact that your "massage" was like the touch of a whisper because you didn't have a lot of strength.

Once, after P.T. we came to your home, exhausted. Dad wanted me to rub his neck and I had no energy. (For the record it was during the time I had just had my stricture)

Your hands were always manicured. And I remember you made sure your mom and Grandpa's mom had the same, manicured hands- even when they had to finally go  into the nursing home because it was too hard to life them. -- You took care of them like the Savior asked us to do. You did such a good job, your mom lived to 103!


When I asked you if you wanted or thought you could go that long, you looked at me with those icy blue eyes
(This star is about what her blue eyes look like, Readers. No joke. She was a beauty and is Beautiful)



and shook your head and said: "I sure hope not."

Who could blame you? The pain you suffered when your bones died in areas, the Parkinson's disease effects and the meds side effects were hard to stand by and watch. I didn't want the day to come when you forgot me.

Or soap Operas on the little TV in the kitchen during mid-mornings when your hair still had to be done and you wore a house dress.

Lately it has been Meridith  and all of your lotions, nail clippers, everything but the kitchen sink close by including the remotes and the phone.

I liked to come over between doctor appts. and take a nap.
You would sleep and so would I.

 it felt safe.

And smelled good. Stiff, new carpet smell. And Papa to check on us.

The new carpet was comfy and smelled new.  I could take a nap in Grandpa's chair but I felt just fine keeping my spine straight on that soft floor.
 
 
The star that Kurt made you hangs in the kitchen window. With 3 others-I sorta went star crazy but you loved to look at the stars on my ipad where the etsy store where Kurt and Rebecca made these stars.
We put the page viewing up to 200%. ha, heh.


Blue is the best color
on you.
But nothing can compare to your eyes....... Grandma! You will have a new body soon ! I am so excited for you.

************************************************************
Okay, I have been writing this for few days and the excitement is gone. My face is red from the ugly cry look and my hair is a bomb. Death is not pretty on the others. On grandma, yes. I kept it together until later.

I think she recognized me and then I laid at her feet as she laid in bed.
In the bed I've never laid in and was off limits! when we were kids. My aunt was there in a chair and then I got up and left and grandpa went in and laid next to her and that when my heart lost it.

I kept tears in.

Got home and J. and I had bed time.

I kept tears in but my body was shutting down. Cortisol leaving me like....... something that drips fast.
It started this at Grandma's house.

Do I need a stress dose to handle this or brave through? I have appts. I have to get ready.
She's leaving, Readers. My grandmother who I knew best simply because my Dad was over there the most- so we were. She is passing back into the presence of paradise.

Good Riddance to Parkinson's- but that body kept her physically next to us.

I would close my eyes and open them to check on her when they lifted her to her chair.
She had not moved for 24 hours then wanted to sit in her chair????

My aunt figured it out- The Final Four. That's my grandma.
You did that for Grandpa, didn't you? Last game together even though you were in and out.

No meds. Not even pain. No water. Just Coke. : ) a Cola.
That's our girl.

I miss you. And you are still here.

*************************************************************************
 
 
The Peacock Star also hangs in the window. Remember you had to have Grandpa clean it before hanging a new one?

No one had walls, curtains, or carpet as clean as yours. Your bathroom has always been charming. The pretty vintage pitcher that held a blow dryer and then the 3 tiered shelving that held lotion, trinkets with pink or blue designs, and perfume.
 
The Window.
 
A
window with sheer white curtains that begged to be swayed by a small breeze from a cracked screen, I recall coming to your house after being trying to go back to college during a very cold winter in 2008. First of all I went to your house after an appt. My body hurt so badly and you suggested I take a warm bath.

I hadn't bathed there since I was a kid! But I went ahead and drew a hot one, laid there and let it work it's magic on my spine and aching muscles. When the water cooled, I put more hot water in. I felt so safe and loved. Everything around me- the towels hung with care, the raspberry colored lining against the white tile that was scrubbed to a shine.

Finally, Grandpa knocked on the door to see if I was okay. I told him I was but let the water drain and climbed out. I sat on the chair by the window and put on some of your lotion. Then I went into the living room and took a nap.

You were my defender and made me rest when my body was so cold after being on BYU-I's campus and then couldn't get feeling better. I drew a bath in the white tiled and pink trimmed 4o's style tub.
I laid there forever, adding hot water over and over. Finally, Poppa knocked on the door to see if I was okay. I was. Only a few inches in the tub for my body just in case I fell asleep.

Reluctantly, I got out, dressed and then slept in his chair! ha!

We shared some good naps. I loved when I was talking to you about something to do with the weight of the world off your shoulders when you finally gave up trying to keep up with the Jones'. You understood and your blue eyes bored into mine the fact.

I can't wait to see those blue eyes again.

Shimmer Star- 5 inch stained glass star in icy blue or lime green
 
(or are your eyes the color blue of this star?? Kurt's Shimmer Star in 5 inches)


I could come over but I know how overwhelmed you are right now. How sick you are. How you need the space to emotionally deal with this.

I wish we could just laugh at the dry jokes you make about Grandpa. Or how badly our family plays pinochle compared to Sandy's. I never learned to tat or knit more than a chain or a misshaped wash rag. OH, well. Someday.

Are you excited to see your parents, Grandma????
Grandma, Your dad scared the livin' day lights outta me. Even if he did offer us a lemon drop. But I love the stories.

Dad is upstairs and he's sad; filled with grief. He gave you a blessing and in it said it was okay to go.

You have lived a good life. This doesn't seem real.
 
I want you to be rid of the pain and the Parkinson's . And anxious for you to get to know me better from a different perspective. I hope I make you proud.

How can any of us forget the color of your kitchen floor, its design, and the food that you could crank out for the huge family gatherings that came over and tried to squeeze into the small kitchen and equally small, round table.




(daytonartinstitute.org/Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving.)

Many of us standing in the entryway, or taking a plate into the living room.

That round table

  held everything about us. The wooden lazy susan on a protected table cloth kept hand salt & pepper handy for watermelon; butter was ready to be lathered onto corn on the cob.

 And there was a  never ending supply of crackers,different cheeses, and green olives kept in the lid to stave off hunger until a real meal was made later on. Grandpa had his seat by the pantry that held the cereal and crackers. You sat on the east end where you could get up and either answer the phone, check the oven, or run to the laundry room to switch it out.

Lately I recall you drumming your fingers upon it and asking me to forgive how messed up your hair was and that you would be going to have it done soon at Abby's.

I recall grandpa cutting a green advocado; putting it on one of the small plates and offering us some to go with our salt. hah, hah.

Because I have been sick it has been awhile that you and I have been able to talk. For a time the house was Grand Central Station. Then it died down and I got a bit better and could come over in between my appts.

I think the whole point in us visiting included visiting, and eating the food you made, along with the stories you'd tell or the grandkids that were worth bragging about.

Lately Grandpa has hardly let ya sleep- he's worried.




but I won't forget you looking over at me that day from your chair and a BLT in front of you and you saying: "By heck, if I get to sleep that hard, no one wake me up!" And you meant business, however, grandpa has wanted to keep a good eye on ya.

The vision of him frying bacon or scrambling eggs to give to you to keep himself busy and you fed.

Grandpa did his best to keep ya fed. BLTs seemed to be his specialty,or your request. And so there he would be, frying the bacon, and you would be in your chair in the living room waiting for something you weren't hungry for. Until much later. However, I loved to translate that you did want  Coke with ice and I would holler the request to Grandpa who wearing his daily "uniform" if  baggy Levi's and a sweatshirt would dutifully respond.

It's late. We are Night Owls.

You always defended me when it came to chronic illness and your ice blue eyes into mine to make sure I knew I needn't worry about what others thought; that it was okay to need to rest.

Grandpa sure wanted to get you fed and make sure you woke up. But when your system is down, it can take forever to finish your food. It hurts to go fast.

Thanks for keeping all of Dad's Vietnam letters. And for sharing them with us. I read them over the course of a few days while on the high dosages of prednisone.  So, at night, when I was alone I got to be with my Dad in places that I never could have imagined.

I always thought of you, hand washing dishes and when those letters would arrive. How careful you were with all of them and neatly stacked them in a box for us kids to read and have. Thank you.

Thanks for

(Rebecca used material to make these quilt like stars called: Polka Poppy for the etsy shop: Piggy & Dirt)


As kids we just thought it was the scary area that you were accompanied to when you wanted to play with a Fisher Price toy kept from the 30's and was in pristine condition. It was cool and a bit damp in there. The bare, handing light bulb made it even more of a place we had to explore when no one was looking!
Who could blame you? The pain you suffered when your bones died in areas, the Parkinson's disease effects and the meds side effects were hard to stand by and watch. I didn't want the day to come when you forgot me.

Or soap Operas on the little TV in the kitchen during mid-mornings when your hair still had to be done and you wore a house dress.

Lately it has been Meridith  and all of your lotions, nail clippers, everything but the kitchen sink close by including the remotes and the phone.

I liked to come over between doctor appts. and take a nap.

You would sleep and so would I.

And it felt safe. And smelled god.

The new carpet was comfy and smelled new.  I could take a nap in Grandpa's chair but I felt just fine keeping my spine straight on that soft floor.
 
 
The star that Kurt made you hangs in the kitchen window. With 3 others-I sorta went star crazy but you loved to look at the stars on my ipad where the etsy store where Kurt and Rebecca made these stars. We put the page viewing up to 200%. ha, heh.


Blue is the best color
on you.
But nothing can compare to your eyes....... Grandma! You will have a new body soon ! I am so excited for you.

************************************************************
Okay, I have been writing this for few days and the excitement is gone. My face is red from the ugly cry look and my hair is a bomb. Death is not pretty on the others. On grandma, yes. I kept it together until later.

I think she recognized me and then I laid at her feet as she laid in bed.
In the bed I've never laid in and was off limits! when we were kids. My aunt was there in a chair and then I got up and left and grandpa went in and laid next to her and that when my heart lost it.

I kept tear in.

Got home and J. and I had bed time.

I kept tears in but my body was shutting down. Cortisol leaving me like....... something that drips fast.
It started this at Grandma's house.

Do I need a stress dose to handle this or brave through? I have appts. I have to get ready.
She's leaving, Readers. My grandmother who I knew best simply because my Dad was over there the most- so we were. She is passing back into the presence of paradise.

Good Riddance to Parkinson's- but that body kept her physically next to us.

I would close my eyes and open them to check on her when they lifted her to her chair.
She had not moved for 24 hours then wanted to sit in her chair????

My aunt figured it out- The Final Four. That's my grandma.
You did that for Grandpa, didn't you? Last game together even though you were in and out.

No meds. Not even pain. No water. Just Coke. : ) a Cola.
That's our girl.

I miss you. And you are still here.

*************************************************************************
 
 
The Peacock Star also hangs in the window. Remember you had to have Grandpa clean it before hanging a new one?

No one had walls, curtains, or carpet as clean as yours. Your bathroom has always been charming.The pretty vintage pitcher that held a blow dryer and then the 3 tiered shelving that held lotion, trinkets with pink or blue designs, and perfume.
 
The Window.
 
A
window with sheer white curtains that begged to be swayed by a small breeze from a cracked screen, I recall coming to your house after being trying to go back to college during a very cold winter in 2008. First of all I went to your house after an appt. My body hurt so badly and you suggested I take a warm bath.

I hadn't bathed there since I was a kid! But I went ahead and drew a hot one, laid there and let it work it's magic on my spine and aching muscles. When the water cooled, I put more hot water in. I felt so safe and loved. Everything around me- the towels hung with care, the raspberry colored lining against the white tile that was scrubbed to a shine.

Finally, Grandpa knocked on the door to see if I was okay. I told him I was but let the water drain and climbed out. I sat on the chair by the window and put on some of your lotion. Then I went into the living room and took a nap.

You were my defender and made me rest when my body was so cold after being on BYU-I's campus and then couldn't get feeling better. I drew a bath in the white tiled and pink trimmed 4o's style tub.
I laid there forever, adding hot water over and over. Finally, Poppa knocked on the door to see if I was okay. I was. Only a few inches in the tub for my body just in case I fell asleep.

Reluctantly, I got out, dressed and then slept in his chair! ha!

We shared some good naps. I loved when I was talking to you about something to do with the weight of the world off your shoulders when you finally gave up trying to keep up with the Jones'. You understood and your blue eyes bored into mine the fact.


Grandpa did his best to keep ya fed. BLTs seemed to be his specialty,or your request. And so there he would be, frying the bacon, and you would be in your chair in the living room waiting for something you weren't hungry for. Until much later. However, I loved to translate that you did want  Coke with ice and I would holler the request to Grandpa who wearing his daily "uniform" if  baggy Levi's and a sweatshirt would dutifully respond.

It's late. We are Night Owls.

You always defended me when it came to chronic illness and your ice blue eyes into mine to make sure I knew I needn't worry about what others thought; that it was okay to need to rest.

Grandpa sure wanted to get you fed and make sure you woke up. But when your system is down, it can take forever to finish your food. It hurts to go fast.

Thanks for keeping all of Dad's Vietnam letters. And for sharing them with us. I read them over the course of a few days while on the high dosages of prednisone.  So, at night, when I was alone I got to be with my Dad in places that I never could have imagined.

I always thought of you, hand washing dishes and when those letters would arrive. How careful you were with all of them and neatly stacked them in a box for us kids to read and have. Thank you.

Thanks for

***************************************************************************


I can't write ANYMORE.  I have added and repeated I am sure.

Love,

Amanda



You past away this morning. You are finally free!
The Annin American Flag


*We love flags at Best Made, and are proud to present alternatives to Old Glory. Made by Annin flagmakers—founded in 1847 on Fulton Street in New York City (roughly 10 blocks from us)—who supplied the flags for Abraham Lincoln's inauguration and funeral. In 1945 an Annin American flag flew atop Mount Suribachi in what soon became the iconic "raising the flag on Iwo Jima" photograph. An Annin American flag was also famously planted on the first moon landing during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, and on Commander Robert E. Peary's expedition to the North Pole in 1909, Admiral Richard E. Byrd's expedition to the South Pole in 1930, and the National Geographic expedition to Mount Everest in 1963.

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