Archive for January, 2016

Mom’s Obituary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2016 by drycreekherbs

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sanantonio/obituary.aspx?pid=177227785

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Arrangements

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2016 by drycreekherbs

At last, I think all the arrangements are done. I went to San Antonio Wednesday. Thursday was the dedicated day to get things done. Betty suggested we talk to the John Calvin Presbyterian Church secretary first….smart advice. With her information we went to Ft. Sam Houston Cemetery and spoke with a representative—who just happens to be in Becky’s Sunday School Class. He was especially helpful; it is good to have connections. So, we learned that we could not have any service on a weekend…that created a timeline with the church. The memorial service will be Friday at 11:30, church reception provided by the church women, then graveside services at 2:45 at Ft. Sam. A home reception for family and friends at Mom’s after all is finished. This was all accomplished in one day. David and Frances can come, David will play the bagpipes, Frances will sing. Congregational hymn (Holy, Holy, Holy) chosen and flowers selected. Mom will have her own grave and marker because her name would not fit on Daddy’s flat stone. I think this is best anyway. They had been divorced for over 40 plus years and Mom was a veteran in her own right and so entitled to the cemetery.

I have several friends coming in from this area AND Susan and Bill are coming from PA and Becky and Bob and I hope some cousins.

Decisions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 4, 2016 by drycreekherbs

There can’t be enough pre-planning….We thought we had it covered. Mom said all along she was ok with cremation, and Ft. Sam National Cemetery. That is just the tip of the iceberg. For every decision, twenty more are necessary.

A few years ago, I told Mom we needed to write our obituaries. AND, if she didn’t help me with hers, I said, I was going to make up some lies and put them in print. She would be a burlesque queen. Because she knew I had that capacity she agreed.

I am glad we did it, but sorry I didn’t do more research. For example, the big newspapers charge by word count and photos….makes sense…but how many newspapers and which newspapers? How much detail? How personal?

It is good to know which funeral home…hospice is helpful in that regard. I think if you live in a small town, choice is easy. Friends and family realllllly want to know all the specifics…because they either want to send a memorial or want to carve out time to attend. In our case…..we just don’t know because of cremation schedule and preacher is on vacation.

Hospice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 3, 2016 by drycreekherbs

VITAS Hospice was wonderful….a friend said recently how she had never heard of any hospice not measuring up….actually I know two people who were critical of the care their family received;. I don’t know—sometimes there are ‘helicopter’ families-everyone wants the VERY best for their loved ones…and sometimes they expect no suffering, no disappointments, no disheartening and get cross and unreasonable. I don’t know and maybe there is insufficient care. I know they can’t make it go away. I am grateful to my nurse friend in the infusion center who told me about her grandmother’s hospice care. The earlier hospice can be involved the sooner they KNOW and CARE for the person. The nursing, equipment, medicine, and social work…..it was all so helpful.

So.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 3, 2016 by drycreekherbs

So, it is done.

For years, literally, I have worried over Mom’s actual death. I cried, I talked and talked, I feared, and I ranted. She died December 28, 2015. None of the mind bending, emotional dress rehearsals helped a bit. I want to do this purge in part because I think I might be better off for it and mostly, I want some kind of bookmark about Mom’s leaving.

During October-November it was clear to me from my journaling that I was maudlin, bitter, and probably clinically depressed. If I were a dog or cat, I would have had my head to the wall. Also, writing made the sadness and anger run deeper into my marrow. Sadness and desperation…I thought I reeked like Kimchi. I thought it might kill me. So, good coward that I am, I just stepped away from it. No more writing, few tears, and my heart and mind settled to cold. I chose not to rip and shred every time I thought about her.

So many times I thought, “Well, this is it.” She didn’t go and God knows I prayed and prayed for her release. Although I knew and know that there are no coupons or free passes for a life well spent….no guarantees for easy dying, her discomfort seemed unfair and brutal. Everything she never wanted, she got. Her loving ladies, Aidé and Mary Louisa kept her ‘fixed up’ as much as possible. …especially if they knew I was coming to see her. But propped up and gasping for air, unable to speak, is the lowest possible common denominator.

I was in SAT December 23-25. She was barely aware….although when Belinda and James came by to see her, she gave them a benediction of sorts, “Merry Christmas,” as they left. She chose not to come to the dining room for Christmas dinner, rather stayed in her chair, asleep and dreaming. Len and I came back to Salado the 25th…Billy called me the 27th and said she was asking for me. Forever, I will thank him if he made it up because I went back to her….by this time she was really transitioning, the hospice comfort pack took away her anxiety. Bill, David, Frances and I more or less hovered around her bed. When I was alone with her I told her I loved her, thanked her, and told her to please go in peace. She seemed to rally….Billy and I thought she was coming back into focus….so we all went to bed. About three hours later Maria Louisa woke me. She was gone and thank you, God, released from her suffering. I do rejoice for her and for us because we got to have her as our beloved Mother.

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