Alzheimer's Being a Grandparent Life Parkinson's Disease

You Never Know

Remember when you last spoke to a loved one who passed on? Did you realize at the time that it would be the last time?

Life is full of last times. I’m sure there are others but the earliest one I remember is my high school graduation. As we hugged and said goodbye to our friends, we even said that it might be the last time we ever see each other, but at 18 does anyone really take that phrase seriously? So many of my classmates from the Class of 1977 have passed on, and most of them I never saw again after that last time, on graduation day in May of 1977.

What an awful photo! So blurry. . .it wasn’t a digital world back then.

What about when you’re raising children and you can hardly wait for them to be able to dress themselves, brush their own teeth, use the bathroom on their own? Suddenly they are doing those things and you don’t remember exactly when the last time was.

My granddaughter used to sit on the edge of my bed and look at the tiny charms on the rag lampshade on the nightstand. I never even took a picture. I used to take my grandson to a place called The Coop, which was a neat and safe indoor play area for little kids, and then I would take him to the play area in the nearby library. I used to rock my smallest granddaughter to sleep. All these things are in the past. I never realized the last time I did them that it was the last time.

The same goes for my husband. He worked as a night zookeeper and would call me in the evening during his lunch break. He would greet me by saying, “Hey, Nutty, whatcha doing?” When was the last time he affectionately called me Nutty? The Alzheimer’s took the affection away. Heck, it took everything away.

My handsome night keeper. . .

There are so many things we used to do together, or things that he used to say, which faded away as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s stole him from me. I wish I had known when they were the last times, but maybe that would have been just too sad.

Happier times, during a rare snowfall in Texas.

Cherish your moments, the first times, the last times, and all the in-between times. You never know when they’ll never be again.


Life teaching

Wedded Life Wednesday: A Temporary Discombobulation

I’ve been feeling sad the past couple of days, attributing it to my teacher’s soul feeling a bit left behind by the whole world going back to school.  Not that I really want to go to school myself, but there’s a weird feeling of restlessness and purpose-less-ness after thirty years of the August frenzy of preparing classrooms, offices, lessons, and families for the resumption of school activities.
I even went so far as to do some job searching online last night, but nothing I saw in the postings appealed to me.  I could be a bank teller, but that would mean 9 to 5 and possibly Saturdays.  Nah. . .
Retail stores will soon be hiring seasonal help for the holidays but that would mean long hours on my feet dealing with the public.  Nah. . .
Food service?  Nah, double nah!
Child care?  Ha!  That’s a triple nah!
In a funk, I watched three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy last night, ignoring my dirty bathrooms and unclean floors.  That cheered me up.  Not.  I never realized that Grey’s Anatomy was so sad!  But I’m hooked, and on the third season now.  Only six more to go to catch up. . .
But back to my doldrums.  This morning I got up in a better mood, and I had a plan.  I got my husband off to work and I brought some more items to my booth at Uniques & Antiques.  I even sold one of my items while I was there!  Then I took my car to the Ford dealership and got the trailer hitch electrical connection fixed so we can tow the Scamp next month.
And I thought again about yesterday’s discombobulation.  I do have purpose.  I realized this when I waved goodbye to my husband as he drove off to work this afternoon.  For most of our adult lives I have not been here to see him off to work in the afternoons.  I haven’t been able to stay up to greet him at night when he comes in from work.  Now I can.  We keep weird hours, sleeping in every morning and staying up extremely late, but it’s what he wants me to do, and now that I am retired, I have the freedom to do it.
Me with the love of my life!
My purpose for now, until God reveals something else, is to maintain a loving and comfortable home for my family.  And also to write this blog.  Who knows?  Someday it may “go viral” and earn enough money to pay off all our debts.  Until then, I will do what the apostle Paul did and choose contentment.  

Meaningless Drivel Monday: How My Brother-in-Law and I Got Hitched Without Knowing It

Huh-what?  Yep, I married my brother-in-law without even knowing t, and he didn’t know it, either.  It had to be the easiest and cheapest wedding ever, because there was no wedding at all, no dress, no attendants, no church, no cake, no preacher.  It just happened!

Seven years ago, actually.  We joke about it now, but the reason behind it was no joke at all.  You see, my baby sister had been involved in a tragic crash with an 18-wheeler that killed her husband and two children.  It happened in North Dakota, just before they reached their destination of Whitetail, Montana, where her husband was going to be a ranch hand.  A freak snowstorm changed her life forever and our family dynamic for good.

She was stuck in the hospital in North Dakota and somebody needed to bring her home, so it was decided that Rex and I would go.  My children were older and if something happened to us, each family would still have one parent left.  Morbid thinking, but reality.

The local newspaper reported the story, saying that Rex Peel and his wife April traveled north to get my sister.  So we became spouses; hence, W2 and H2.

With no benefits, mind you.  I doubt if there is a husband alive who would admit that two wives are better than one, and I know for a fact that one husband is all I need.  I wonder if the husband on “Sister Wives” would agree?  Anyway, we brought Brenda safely home.  It has been a long road, but we are all beginning to adjust to the new normal for our family.

If you are a praying person, please pray for my baby sister Brenda.  She will always feel her loss.  One day they will be reunited.  
What a glorious day that will be.


From left:  Paul, Jesse, Millie, and my sister Brenda

Wedded Life Wednesday: Don’t forget. . .

“Could you please bring some firewood in from the porch before you come to bed?”
“Why?  It’s not going to get cold.”
“They said it was going to get down into the 40’s.”
“They said 60’s.”
“No, they didn’t!  Please bring some wood in.  It’s supposed to storm in the morning and it will all be wet.”
“Okay, okay, I will.”
Before getting into bed, I remind him.  
“Don’t forget to bring in some wood!”
Famous last words.  Guess what was still on the porch this morning when I got up.  The thermometer outside the kitchen window read 47 degrees.  No firewood.  I could turn on the heat but I prefer free woodstove warmth.
At least it hadn’t stormed yet.  Braving the stiff cold wind in my pajamas, I lug the heavy carrier into the house and start building a fire.
“I forgot to bring in the wood, didn’t I?” he said as he came into the room.  I just rolled my eyes and covered my bare feet with a throw as he chuckled.  I failed to see the humor.  
Later he went to fetch the mail.  “It’s cold outside!”
I wanted to say, “Ya think?” but thought better of it.  All the sarcasm and accusations in the world wouldn’t change anything.  Ah, wedded life. . .