Monthly Archives: May 2009

Maybe it’s Catchy…

I find myself, like the Success Warrior, with plenty of time, but nothing to say.  Imagine.

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I’m going to go sit quietly for a little bit while Mom sleeps.  Perhaps something will come to me.


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Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness

Happy Birthday!

Today, my beloved celebrates another trip around the sun, and I get to celebrate another year with him at the center of my universe.

My husband is one of those men.  He is the kind of man that other men look to as an example of what a good man is.

His family is everything.  I never question that the girls and I are his first priority.  He’s always been a very hands-on, in the trenches father; he was never afraid of “breaking” our infants, he got (and still occasionally gets) down on the floor to play with the girls, he’s consented to having his hair braided and he’s orchestrated little-girl birthday parties.  He doesn’t miss a concert or a play or a meet.  He chaperones field trips and volunteers in the girls’ classrooms.  The girls know that Daddy loves them.

I am grateful, every single day, that this man asked me to share his life.  He demonstrates his love for me in many ways, not the least of which by being my unshakable foundation.  He put me through college, he encourages me to pursue my interests, and he’s being an amazing support to me as I help my mother die.  He’s taken up, without a word of complaint, all of the responsibilities we used to share.  He doesn’t comment when I come home late.  He comes home early to meet the girls off the bus.  He makes dinner.

I get to laugh every single day – even on days when I don’t feel much like laughing.  He’s got a perspective on things that clicks with me.  We’ve been together for so long and have enough shared history that, sometimes, he doesn’t even have to actually say anything; often, all it takes is the raise of an eyebrow or the shrug of the shoulder to get me going.

He’s a consummate professional and takes pride in doing his job well.  He sometimes finds this causes him trouble, especially when the people he works with want to get the product out the door now and he wants to get the product out the door right, but he insists that the work that he is responsible for is done correctly and well.

My husband is a good friend.  He is thoughtful and loyal, he is considerate and easygoing, and he is respectful and generous.  He doesn’t have many friends, but the ones he has are long-term and true.

Sometimes, I wonder how on earth I got lucky enough to get this man to fall in love with me.  My life is what it is because he’s at the center of it, and I’m grateful, every single day, that I said yes.

Happy birthday, Mr. Chili.  I love you.

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Photo credit to Kizz, who came to Chez Chili and took some great photos of us last summer. Thank you, Honey!

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Filed under celebration, family matters, Home and Family, love notes, My husband rocks!

Knowing

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get this post started.  I’m finding that there’s no graceful way to enter it, though, so I’m just going to say it: I know that Mom is going to die very soon.

I’m coming to this knowledge through two avenues.  The first is what I can see with my eyes: her pain is getting harder and harder to manage; she used to be consistently hovering around a 2 or 3 on her pain scale, now she’s far more likely to answer “5 or 6” when I ask her how she’s feeling.  She’s needing to be moved a lot more than she used to even a few weeks ago; now she can only go about a half hour or so before she’s uncomfortable enough to want to change her position.  Her voice is different.  She’s sleeping a little bit more during the day than she used to.

The rest of my knowing comes from someplace outside of me.  Call it intuition or guidance or a message from the Universe, but something in my energy tells me that Mom is actively exiting this plane.  I see her talking a lot in her sleep – she doesn’t say anything that I can discern and she doesn’t carry back to her consciousness anything from the dreams – but it’s clear that she’s doing an awful lot of what I suspect is preparatory work.

My knowing is confirmed by the hospice nurse.  We spoke on Thursday (I needed to make sure that it was okay for me to go over to care for Mom with my fever), and she told me that she’d also noticed a lot of changes happening very quickly.  Her experience has taught her that changes that happen quickly usually herald a patient’s passing.  She also mentioned some of the conversations that she and Mom have had that lead her to think that Mom’s getting ready.  She suspects, as I do, that she’s holding out until after her going-away party.  I’m going to keep a close eye on her after the party.

I don’t say any of this to be pessimistic or morbid.  I don’t feel like I’m jinxing myself or Mom, and I’m not superstitious to think that saying this out loud is going to hasten the process.  I can’t deny what I know, however; to do so would be, I think, to deny the gift.

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Filed under compassion and connection, family matters, Home and Family, messages from the Universe, on death and dying, ruminating, strange but true

Quick Hit; 101°

I woke this morning with a fever.  I’m Mom’s only caregiver today.  This is not good.

I called hospice as soon as I got a temperature reading, but they don’t open until 8:00 (it’s 6:15 as I write this).  I woke Bill (sorry!) to tell him that I am sick and, given that I’m the bulldog about people NOT coming to the house with even a suspected illness, I’m certainly not going to risk bringing whatever I’ve got in.  It’s a little bit of nothing to me; I’ve got a fever and a little bit of a sore throat, but a little bit of nothing to me could be fatal to Mom.

This sucks.

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Filed under health, on death and dying

Good Karma with a Thrifty Twist

I love this necklace.

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O’Mama and I saw it in Nordstrom’s while we were killing time waiting for P.F. Chang’s to open yesterday after our Trader Joe’s run.

I have wanted one of these necklaces ever since I saw it in a catalogue about a year ago.  I would have bought it, in fact, but I turned the box over to see the price and immediately put the thing right back down again.

It was $75 bucks.

I don’t think so.

Here is MY interpretation of the theme:

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It cost me ten minutes, $22.50 in jewelry findings and chain, and a plain gold band I already had in my jewelry box.

I like mine better…

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Filed under doing my duty, duh!, Little Bits of Nothingness, messages from the Universe, my oh-so-exciting life, yoga - theory and practice

Gratitude on Wednesday

Get a load of this:

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A whole package of them came, along with a pen and envelopes, from Jules. She made them just for me.

Aren’t they GORGEOUS?! The picture doesn’t even do them justice, either; they’re sparkly and delicate and the dragonfly is in different positions on each of the cards and the cards have different colored borders and I’m babbling because I love them so much….

Jules, silly girl that she is, was nervous about sending them to me because she was afraid I wouldn’t like them. That I wouldn’t LIKE them; can you IMAGINE?!?! I ADORE them, and I’m terribly torn between wanting to write to everyone I know so I can use the cards and wanting to keep them all to myself.

Thanks, Jules!

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Filed under admiration, Blogroll, Friends, fun, love notes

Ten Things Tuesday

I’m pretty sure I’m going to exceed ten.  We’ll see what happens.

Mom has the television on 24/7.  The sound helps her take her mind, just a little bit, off of her pain.

As a result, I’ve watched a LOT of t.v. over the past month or so, and a lot of it is t.v. that I would never, ever watch on my own (Make Me a Supermodel?!  I don’t frickin’ think so!).

Whenever I can, I try to commandeer the clicker and switch the channel to a movie (or, at the very least, a television show that I can bear).  Sometimes, we’ll pop a DVD into the player (thanks, Mr. Chili, for setting that up for us!) and, when she’s feeling up to it, Mom heads for the On Demand channel.  MUCH better than ridiculous “reality” shows.

1.  We watched the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean a few days ago (and just as an aside, I can’t fathom what it is about Johnny Depp that some people find so swoon-inducingly appealing).

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2.  I put in Mom’s copy of Stigmata the other day.  She’d asked for the film for Christmas one year, and I got it for her without ever having seen it myself.  I found the questions the film raised about the power of the Catholic Church to be compelling (especially after having seen Angels and Demons on a date night with my husband a few days later).

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3.  Mom wasn’t sure if she’d seen Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so I brought that by to pop into the DVD player.  It turns out that she had seen it before – she remembered right around the first flying-through-London scene – but she was willing to see it again.

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3.  One morning, while Mom was entirely out (talking in her sleep and seemingly doing a lot of work), I ordered I Am Sam on demand.  It was a film I’d always intended to see, but never got around to.  Despite my general dislike of Sean Penn, I found this movie to be entirely worth the two hours of my life it took to watch it.

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4.  Before I found the joys of free On Demand, I discovered that Mom’s cable comes with a few free movie channels, and one of them was running I Am Legend.  I’m not sure this counts, because I only made that discovery about halfway through the film, but there you have it.

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5.  We re-watched Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men the other day, and we spent the whole time trying to figure out whether Demi Moore’s hair was super-short or consistently done up.  We’re still not sure how we come down on the question.

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6.  Another DVD that Mom has in her collection is Michael.  She was astounded that I’d never seen the film, so she had me pop it into the player.  It was enjoyable, but I can’t give it a wholehearted endorsement.

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7.  One afternoon, while the girls were here, Mom found the second Narnia film; Prince Caspian.  I really enjoy the Narnia fanchise, and had no problem seeing the film again.

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8.  Another film I’d seen before – but that I am perfectly willing to see again (and again, and again, and..) – is Ever After.  Drew Barrymore isn’t my favorite actress, but she rocks her role as the Cinderella character.  Even if she didn’t, the performance put in by Angelica Houston as the stepmother is well worth our time.

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9.  Thursday, when I was with Mom all day, was a big movie day for us.  We started with The Legend of Bagger Vance, which I’d never seen but that I now would like to own.  I’m sure that people who love the game don’t find it surprising that the filmmakers could turn it into such an eloquent metaphor for life, but *I* was impressed by the message.  The costuming was gorgeous (I could TOTALLY pull off the styles of the 20s and 30s). Plus, you know, it stars Will Smith and Matt Damon.

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10.  From Bagger Vance, we moved on to a lovely little bit of fluff called 27 Dresses, starring Katherine Heigl.  It was a film that I thought I might like to see, but it wasn’t something I was willing to subject Mr. Chili to.  It turns out that I was right; it was a quintessential chick-flick, and it was just the right little bit of nothingness for the middle of the afternoon.

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11.  Mom wasn’t ready to go to bed on Thursday night (and I wasn’t willing to leave her alone for very long), so we cued up The Other Boleyn Girl.  I’d read the novel several years ago and, while I enjoyed it, I found it a little disappointing (I’d read it just after I finished the Outlander series for the first time, and Phillipa Gregory novel just didn’t add up).  I found the film to be a little disappointing; the characters didn’t feel well-developed and the timeline felt compressed to me.  Still, I don’t regret the two hours.

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Huh.  Only 11.  I thought there’d be more.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

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Filed under movies, on death and dying, ten things Tuesday