Friday, April 6, 2012

I Know I Never Post

Last Post Was March 19th.
At least it hasn't been a whole month.

Not that a lot hasn't been happening - but - well - I can't seem to put anything into words anymore.

1.  We have a mouse.
I mean a real mouse..... not a computer mouse.  We've already been trying to deal with it - but I actually saw it this morning.  Ugh!!

2.  Charlie and his siblings (1 sister, 2 brothers - Charlie's the youngest) have been coming to the rescue of their very smart and very capable and very reasonable and very sound in mind 89 year old mother, Lib.   Her usually good health took a downswing in late February, then she rallied, but on March 11 it got worse. She fell, due to collapsing, and was in the hospital and was very weak and in need of rehabilitation.  That was a week of all four of them working together, 2 getting her into a rehab/nursing home in Atlanta, and the other 2 (Charlie and Mike) physically moving her furniture - as in U Haul - and lifting and  sorting.  Lib is getting stronger after 3 weeks of rehab and will soon be in a Senior Living Center, giving her the opportunity to return to more independence.

Lib and Guy on their Wedding Day

Lib and Guy with their four children.
Charlie with Lib, Amanda with Guy,
Guy Neil front left, and Mike front right.

Charlie on a swing set, and Amanda behind him.

Lib watching National Championship Game with Charlie and all of us in 2010.

Lib with Andrew in 2010

3.  I heard from one of my dearest college friends on March 23.  She and her husband and a friend were traveling from Memphis to North Carolina.  I haven't actually seen her in 25 years - when she visited me in Scottsboro.  Her visit was cut short, then, back in 1987, because her husband called her to say that the adoption agency had called and they had a girl for them - their Kate.  The following year I gave birth to my little girl, Kate.  On Friday night of March 23 I had a message from Deb saying that she and Tim had passed through and would love to stop by on the following Monday, when they were returning to Memphis.  I was giddy all weekend with anticipation.  It was the best feeling knowing I would get to see her again.  They came to my house on Monday.  Deb was crying.  She's a crier.  They came in for a break and then we all traveled to Huntsville, Deb and I in my car, visiting and catching up, and Tim and the friend in his car, being spared all of our reminiscing.  We ate lunch together at P.F. Chang's at Bridgestreet - it was as if the 4 of us hung out together quite often.  So much fun!  

Here is Deb back in 1975.  Deb is in the middle with the yellow shirt.
I am on the right in the white shirt with a brand new Dorothy Hamil haircut.  
On the left, had a hard time remembering her name.  Marilyn.  
We were in Oxford, Mississippi for Deb and Tim's wedding.

another - with Jan Tilghman and Deb and Marilyn

We all had graduated from Auburn in Graphic Design in the summer of 1974.
We had spent many long and sleepless nights working on project assignments.

I have no current pictures of Deb.
I forgot to take my camera that Monday when we were all together.  
Add 37 years to us and be kind.

4.  And then other biggie, to me, is I've been on the phone a lot with 2 of my cousins who live in Tallahassee, FL.  

In the picture below is Rusty, standing, and I am in the stroller.

I talked with Rusty for a good while on Monday.
Giving him my best love and best opinion on decisions they have to make regarding his mother, and my aunt, Florence.  My sister, Mary Ann, had already been on the phone with him on Sunday.
We both had also talked quite a bit with Rusty's younger sister, Rachel.  Florence now lives with Rachel - but it's all becoming quite taxing, physically.  

The lineup, Top to Bottom, 1. Suzanne, older sister to Rusty and Rachel
2. Scott, our cousin who lives in Chattanooga, now.  
3. Rusty, again.  He and Scott were high energy, together - and always so funny.
4. Mary Ann, my sister.
5. Neighborhood friend
On the left is myself, Elizabeth.  On the right is Rachel, with whom Florence now lives.

In my memory bank, life seemed like a party most of the time, growing up.  I loved it.

This is a Christmas Morning at my grandmother's house.
I am kneeling with the new slip pulled over my dress.  I am guessing my grandmother had given it to me and I just couldn't wait to put it on.

The adult is my aunt, Mary, who lives in Evergreen now.  She will be 80 in August.
She is mother's youngest sister.  The little boy is her son, John.  The little girl, looking at Mary, is Rachel.

More of us in the picture below.

Rachel standing in the back.  John with the cowboy hat on.
Scott playing dead.  Mary Ann checking on him.

And below is Florence, getting a bottle ready for Rachel, I have to assume.
The cake is for my 2nd birthday.  So Rachel would be 2 months.
In this set of pics there is a baby buggy and Rachel had been born on May 14.  
This day was July 14, 1953.
That's Mary Ann standing.  I guess I am on the other side of the cake.

We were infused with so much safety and love and respect.

So the blessing to me, after being on the phone with Rachel and Rusty, is that it's all still there.
I hear what our parents demonstrated and lived out before us.  Love and kindness.
There's frustration and handwringing and some despair. 

Bottom line, Rusty said,
"Look, we love each other and we love the Lord.  We'll get through this."
He said in his bass, very husky, 64 year old voice.

Our parents loved us and we love them back.

Florence is 89.

5. I picked up Sarah at the Train Station in Birmingham yesterday.  She's home for Easter
6. I have a friend who isn't well.  We eat lunch together each Wednesday.  God has blessed her family with a lady who comes each day from 9:00 to 4:00, Monday through Friday, to be a helper in the situation.  We are all so very very grateful for that.  

Does a common denominator seem to be in this post?  Giving Care to adults who once were caregivers themselves.  Even my friend, Deb, who visited me from Memphis - when I asked her about her mother - said that she probably has Alzheimer's disease.  They are in the throws of "figuring things out".  What to do?  She and her brother.  

While this all may be somber and sobbering - one of the blessings of it all,  for me,  is renewing my communication with people I've loved so very much for so long.  Our paths have distanced us - but that connect runs very deep.  I've loved, loved the reconnect.  

And here is Florence saying goodby to Mary, her youngest sister, and Melissa, one of Mary's daughters.  Mary, Melissa, Mary Ann and I had taken a day to drive from Evergreen to Tallahassee to visit with Florence.  This was taken about 2 years ago.

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