Saturday, September 23, 2017

September Update

I copied the following from my other blogspot post, wanting to update both blogs at the same time, but not wanting to write different text for each.

A lot has happened during the past ten months. Following my aunt D.'s death in October 2016 and my mother's death on the 15th of November 2017, my father died, a few months after his 100th birthday, followed by three of his brothers, my last uncle on my mother's side, and on the 5th of this month, one of my last three aunts, my father's sisters. In December of last year, I was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. I've lowered my weight by 37 lbs. and my A1C by 5.5%, and before the end of this year, my doctor wants to discuss how much to reduce my medication, with the possibility that I can rely for the most part on continuing with exercise and proper diet.

Through hospice, I enjoyed working with a grief counselor, who came to my home every month or so, our last visit being during August's second week. Since I have fragrance and chemical sensitivities, I cannot do groups or other possibly toxic environments. Our meetings have had a profound effect on my grieving process and the ways in which I recognize and can deal meaningfully with the inevitable and unexpected losses of life.

Our parents' estates were settled, the last of the paperwork going through in...August? This month? I have forgotten. The brother and his wife who provided so much help to our mother during her final year bought the house for as low a cost as we could justify; if they have not already done so, they should very soon be moving in, needed repairs having been made. Everyone chose favorite keepsakes from the house, personal papers went to the sister who volunteered to transcribe and preserve letters, family history, and such, and the remainder, clothes and appliances and excess furniture, was given to charity or hauled away by city waste disposal department.

From my mother's trove of quilting creations and supplies, my sister-in-law from the Twin Cities asked me to choose a quilt top or two, which she has promised to make into finished quilts for me as she has time. And so I will have at least one more of Mother's quilts...if only to cover me in my coffin, although I look forward to using it as a bed cover at night. I must mention that to her and to my husband. At the memorial services and funerals that I have attended recently, I have found such things to be meaningful to many mourners. If nothing else, it gives people an extra something to talk about.

In my dreams just before waking, Mother looks happy and much younger. In her forties to early fifties, which is when we spent the most time together.  She was wearing her favorite red t-shirt to which she had added embroidery and her blue shorts, casual and relaxed. When I last saw her, she was coming out of the woodworking shop in the back yard, which my husband and I have built during this summer. She smiled as she walked toward me, just before I awakened.

This post can be found on both of my blogspot blogs, where I place occasional updates, as I do here. More often I can be found at WordPress (themomentsbetween, straycoffee, quiltedpoetry, theartofdisorder). And Mother's website is still RhodaBerry, also at Wordpress.com, where there are photographs of her art and her quilts, the family, and a page about the books that she finished and published before her eyesight failed, the last one or two years of her life.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My Father Died

On Sunday, late evening, my father died in his sleep. We had celebrated his 100th birthday, last December.  With Mother gone, he slipped away, for no particular reason; physically, he was active, in good health, with no mental deterioration other than an occasional lapse of memory. Fully engaged in life, the world around him, and still holding solid, fact-based opinions on local to international concerns.

Is still a shock.