Friday, April 29, 2016

Home Again

I was away for just over three weeks.  It's good to be home!  Internet access was limited at my aunt's so I haven't kept up with you all here in blog-land.  In between laundry & house-cleaning over the next couple days, I will start peeking in and seeing what everyone's been up to, and think about/prepare a post or two myself.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Uncle

For the last nine days, I've been here in the Northwest with my family, the family of my beloved aunt who I go to quilt camp with.  Her husband, my uncle, have been married for just under 51 years.  He's ten years older than she.

He came home under hospice care on April 6th, the same day I made the long drive.  His doctors said he likely would not survive a week.  As we know, only God knows the exact day and time.  It's a difficult thing to watch someone go through the dying process.  It's hard to see them suffer, even when you know they're so drugged on morphine and other drugs they likely aren't feeling much.  It's hard watching the closest of his family members as they begin to mourn, knowing that time is limited, knowing that no longer will they hear his voice, or see his smile except where videos or photos reflect them.  They have memories, but they miss the one they love.  It's a difficult thing.

We're facing the end.  We hoped that timing elements might have been different.  The passing will be close to his grandson's 13th birthday.  The same day, his son is taking a very important work-related test that he can't postpone.  The son, my cousin, has been here nearly the entire time, holding his father's hand, often with tears of loss in his eyes at the impending reality.  He and his father have been best friends.  They are very much alike.  

A neighbor who was a hospice nurse many years ago, and who is one of those wonderful neighbors one dreams of having, is here, a calming influence, a knowledge resource, and a compassionate friend, holding his hand also.  My aunt is on his other side holding onto him but assuring him it's okay to 'go on ahead'.  Their two daughters are here working jigsaw puzzles, two granddaughters are busying themselves on their electronic devices, the son is sleeping knowing his father would want him to go ahead with the test when daylight arrives.  And the big, overly-plump half-lab, half-retreiver is sacked out on the floor.

It's "11:55" p.m.  he is gone. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Holding Pattern

I'm in a bit of a holding pattern again, at least for a day or so.  I have a lot to do and I'll be busy, but it looks like I'll be hitting the road again - I just don't know exactly when.

I'll be headed north, but this time not for my dad, though I may visit him.  My uncle, the husband of my beloved aunt, the both of whom I stay with when I go north, has reached the point where his days are few.  He was taken to the hospital Saturday night with breathing difficulty.  My aunt had been saying for days that he was having more trouble breathing and getting up and down, but they had been carrying on as usual after he rallied a bit from using oxygen for awhile.  It was a different story upon going to bed Saturday night, so she took him to the emergency room.  His lungs were filling with fluid and an x-ray revealed a dark area behind his lung(s) - but unsure if it is pneumonia or what.  Up in the air is when he'll be able to go home on hospice care and what exactly that will entail.  The hospital (or insurance) there has a maximum "in hospital hospice care", then they have the patient transported home on hospice and on "comfort care".  They have a meeting with the Dr. today, so they will be better informed as to what's what with him and his care and the expectations.

In the time since I was last in Oregon, my aunt & I chat daily, his memory issues (he has dementia far more advanced than my dad's) have worsened and his overall health declined.  He also has congestive heart failure and another issue that's been treated for a number of years.  He is 83 and has led a long, good life.  He's a good man.  He has a unique, hearty laugh and upbeat spirit, though in recent years that laugh has not been as robust as when he was young and healthy.  His example gave me a love for crossword puzzles.  He has always been loving and welcoming of my visits.  He and my aunt have had 52 years together.  He is 10 years older than she.  They have three great children, my cousins, and six sweet grandchildren.  Some of their kids & grands live right next door, others a mile away and the furthest no more than 20 miles away.  

My cousins have been great with helping their mom & dad, but they need to get back to work, so my aunt has expressed her desire in my coming up to help and appreciation for me to do so.  

Please, if you think of it, pray for my aunt and my cousins as my uncle heads into his final days, and for him.  Also for me as I'll be driving, probably within a couple days.  I'll know more later today, but I have much to do, so I'd best get to it!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Files, Files, Files...a genealogy post

When I last posted, I had shown the file cabinets, and then transitioned to Webs of Thread for the cutting 'table' aspect atop those file cabinets.  I've not done any sewing, but am slowly working on genealogy organization.  

I'm not going to show any pictures, only because they're as boring as the plain written word.  I've alphabetized, in the drawers, all my boxes of genealogy, except for my step-father's.  I haven't yet decided if I want to incorporate his, or keep them separate or just stuffed in a box in a closet.  It might be necessary to get yet another cabinet as I have my husband's lines that aren't filed but at this point those are minimal.  

With the files, I'll be using a 4-color code system for my lines. Blue for my paternal g'father, green for my paternal g'mother, red for my maternal g'father, and yellow for my maternal g'mother.   Today I went to both Michael's, hoping to find some good colored stickers, minimal success, and Staples where I found colored hanging folders, and top-colored labels.  Also some colored hearts (instead of stars) to designate the individuals within those colored files who are my direct lines. 

Michael's had photo boxes on sale at $2 apiece so I picked up five of them.  Photos are included in this organizational effort.  Some photos go with my genealogy records and some are my own personal ones.  I've pretty much decided that I will be disposing of a whole lot of personal photos.  I figure that as mobile as life is today, and with social media, my descendants will have no interest in dozens of photos of locations from my singles days.  They mean something only to me holding my memories of the activities and the people in them.  Pictures with family members are another story, but even many of them need to be culled.  Who needs blurry pictures, or pictures where you can hardly make out who's who?  Digital photos are another animal altogether.  I also shot slides for several years, so will have to deal with those.

I suppose one could say I'm at that age, where I'm ready to rid myself of excess, rather than continually gather, and that which I keep needs to be organized and labeled where applicable so that my descendants will know why I kept it in the first place or how I came to have it.  Eventually, even with that, these things could still end up in a dump, or an antique store, or in a box in an attic or basement until the day the Lord returns to create the new heavens and new earth and then it'll all be gone and no thought ever again given to it.  It's all just "stuff of earth" with no heavenly value.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...