Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Little Dirt Here and A Little Dirt There

It's only dirt.  Lots and lots of dirt.
But you wouldn't believe how the moving of this dirt makes me feel.
I'm giddy with excitement....cuz the moving of this dirt is the first step in the preparing to plant our garden.
Our dirt mover is Barry Pennington, a member of our ward.  He's moving dirt from the side lot of our house to the back of the house to fill in an area where we are going to be putting up our grape arbor.  Then tomorrow, he is going to come back and he will be roto-tilling both the back and the side lots to get ready for us to plant our garden this weekend and next week.
We are planting a garden!!! Yippee!!!!
More pictures and details to follow.

Friday, February 22, 2013

All in My Pajamas

This week, I have
     done the laundry
     vacuumed floors
     baked cookies
     swept and mopped kitchen floor
     washed sheets and made multiple beds
     taken medicine to sick children
     babysat grand children
     prepared my Primary lesson
     blogged several posts
     taken out the garbage
     poop scooped the yard every day
     made a yummy dinner every night
     watched BYU basketball and volleyball
     swept and cleaned backyard patio
     cleaned guest bedroom out after company left
     cleaned my bathroom
     entertained a ward sister for 2 hours AFTER she had a temple recommend w/ the Bishop here at the
           house....(had a great time getting to know her better...we'll be great friends)
     applied for two jobs
     went to Lowe's to buy seeds and plants for the garden, and supplies to make our grape arbor
     and a few other things......


Thursday, February 21, 2013

02-21-13 cont...11:00 p.m.

I sent a text late tonight to Becca asking her if there were any results from daddy's visit to the neurologist Tuesday.  The doctor is able to notice a significant decline in daddy's Parkinson's Disease and decided to increase his medications, hoping it will help with some of the symptoms he is suffering.  Becca also said that yesterday and today have been terrible days for daddy.  He's not eating at all now and so she asked if they could try and feed him some textured food to maybe encourage him to eat 'real ' food.  He said he discouraged it, but would let them try tomorrow for breakfast, since he's eating so very little right now.
Becca also mentioned that Jaryn, one of daddy's speech therapists, said he felt that daddy was on his 'way out', meaning 'dying', but that could still mean weeks to a month.  Becca said she felt the same from looking at him today.
I told her I would be waiting for her call.  And when I get it, I will go.
I've decided I want to be there.

Enjoy the Ride

I read this talk the other day; about 'enjoying the moments we live in' instead of waiting for the 'end results'.  Then I found this quote by President Hinckley saying the exact same thing, but recognizing that he was our prophet - and he lived it - Life, I mean.  And what a great life he lived.
In the past two months, with the birth of my sweet grand daughter Madison, and now, with the fragile state that my father is now living, I have thought a lot about the 'living of life'.  It's a given that we are all going to die.  The only thing not known by any of us are the details of the 'when, where and how'. Kind of just like birth - so many unknowns as to the details, but it's an 'automatic' event. But it's from that moment of birth, to the last breath of death that we call...'The Ride'.

Just like roller coasters, life has it's ups and downs, wicked turns, fast and slow moments and of course, the moments we want to 'just get off '.  According to President Hinckley's quote, most of 'the ride' is level and even keel...nothing more than 'hum drum'...normal.  But most of us living 'the ride' know that the excitement comes when on that roller coaster of life, we climb steep hills until we reach the top of a joyous moment and enjoy the exhilaration of having accomplished or achieved some level of success or happiness....only to then, come off the adrenaline of the moment and once again, life becomes normal.
But President Hinckley's message is to not wait for the rise and fall of our life's journey to experience happiness - to recognize the joy; but instead, to enjoy each moment, from the beginning to the end and EVERYTHING in between.  I rejoice and enjoy the pure joy of the birth of our new Madison - such happiness.  And yet, I mourn and sorrow over the impending passing of my father.  Makes sense, when I ponder the sadness the loss of his life will cause so many people.  But I'm forgetting to thank the Lord 'for the ride', the memories and moments I have spent with my daddy; the things I have learned from him, gospel principles, facts of life, love, and all the lives he has touched, including and never forgetting, the lives of my children.  I have only been thinking of what he will no longer be able to do, instead of all he has already done.
So, instead, I will remember all he has been for me...all the strength he has given me - all the memories I have of him, right in my heart.  He will always be a part of me....especially his music.
And now, as we come to the near end of 'his ride', I pray I can enjoy that part of it, remembering the beginning, the highs, the lows, and now the ending.
Enjoy the Ride.

She Doesn't Think So, But.....

...she actually is...
a great mother, that is.
I'm talking about Kylie.
She's right.  She doesn't always get her house spotless clean.  There are usually clean clothes not yet folded, dishes in the sink and toys strewn from one end of the house to the other.  But only because there are happy people who live there and enjoy every moment of their lives.  There is a very happy 2 yr old little boy that loves his mommy and daddy, does NOT care what his house looks like, if he's in his pajamas or dressed for the day, if he has blueberry muffins, Ravioli or cold cereal for breakfast.  Doesn't care if the clothes on the couch are folded because he's too busy helping his momma make a cake for his daddy for dinner and can entertain himself for hours while his mommy takes care of the new 2 month old sister at his house.  Yes, their both in diapers, but mom has started the potty training efforts in between everything else she is trying to be perfect at each day.

To my sweet Kylie....
Don't EVER feel bad about the days that you never get out of your pajamas.
Don't EVER feel bad about the days your husband has to open up a can of Campbell's soup for dinner.
Don't EVER feel bad about the days there are toys all over the family room that have been played with by your sweet and happy Preston.
Don't EVER feel bad about your non- make up, hair up in pony tail days.
Don't EVER feel bad about the things you see unfinished or unaccomplished in your home, but only recognize and consider the things you DID do that day, even if it was only feed your children.

There is not a single mother in this world who has a perfect day, every day.
I learned a LONG time ago there is no such woman as SUPER - MOM.  She does not exist; not in this life anyways.  We are all just trying to do the best we can; some days are better than others.  In fact, most days, we just do our best to survive to the next day.
Give yourself a break...a pat on the back...and a kick in the pants when needed.
You are not perfect...yet.
Give yourself time.  You have plenty of moments, as shown above, that you have much to be proud of.  Remember those.
Your children will.

What Doesn't He Understand?

Oh daddy.
I left Utah early last Friday morning.  That night, in the middle of the night, daddy insisted on going to the himself.  He KNOWS he's not supposed to do that.  He KNOWS he can't and shouldn't, but he still does.
And what happened?  He fell - again.  Of course he fell!  And right onto his back.  The nurses didn't find him until the next morning I guess, so he slept there suffering in pain the whole night.  He was sure he had broken his back but the next two days, he did fairly okay, although in pain.  The facility finally did an 'in-house' xray and found a T-12 compression fracture.  What that means?  I don't know.  Only that he is uncomfortable.
Mother says he's not eating very well.  I'm not surprised though.  ALL HIS FOOD IS PUREED!!!  I imagine that has gotten old really fast and he's had just about enough of that.  All of it is starting to depress him - and me.  I feel so bad for him.
And my mother remains strong - you know, that whole 'British upper lip' thing.  But I can see it breaking her heart too, knowing that her sweetheart is in any kind of discomfort, confusion or inability to function as he is so accustomed to.  My prayers have become more focused on dad's comfort level now and ability to do even the simplest of things. He's had a full life.  He's completed everything the Lord has asked him to do - and he's done it well.  Does that all mean it's time for him to return to our Father in Heaven? 
Only our Father knows.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I'm My Mother

And after having just spent a week with her, I can see it even more clearly than ever before.  I am my mother.
My hands have started to look like hers.  My face/body look like hers.  I speak like her and act like her.  I noticed this past week some idiosyncrasies that are just like hers.  I am very much becoming like her.
But, I guess there are worse things.  Not many, but a few.

My Last Day in Utah

I was hoping that I could stay another week in Utah with my daddy, but circumstances back at home mandated that I come home to Texas and take care of a few issues here.  I was beyond disappointed but realized that life does deal us some situations and people in our lives that sometimes, we can't be where we always WANT to be, but most times, we are where we NEED to be.
My brothers Mark and Phil both arrived to see daddy and daddy appeared to be so pleased to see them both. Of course, it was NOTHING like when he saw his daughters...the tears and touching moments and all.  There is nothing quite like a daddy with his little girls.  But he was glad to see the brothers none the less.

Daddy having his in grown toenails fixed by the podiatrist.

This was also Valentines Day.  We had wanted to surprise mom with a card from daddy, but we knew it was going to take some real time and planning to get daddy to write something.  It took days.  On the inside of the card, he wrote, To Sheila From Von.  That took hours for him to do.
This is what he wrote on the outside of the envelope.
We all cried.

Mark did a lot of daddy's therapy with him so he could follow up during the following days.  We played some games and daddy did try to stay up instead of sleeping the whole time.  At one point, during our game playing, two young ladies, probably in the mid to late twenties, came in the room bringing daddy's a box of homemade English toffee as a gift for Valentines Day.  The ladies were really pretty, and as we all chatted with them and asked where they were from and the details of the gift, I noticed daddy just watching them with sparkling eyes.  When it was time for them to leave, I said, 'Daddy, what do you say to the nice ladies?', hoping a kind 'thank you' would be appropriate.  Instead, he looked over at them and said, 'I wish I had another son!'  Too cute!!!
Later, Von and Ann came over and daddy was able to sing two of his favorite songs..'The Lilac Tree' and 'Patter of the Shingle'.  Both were done with some difficulty, but still, they were the most beautiful to hear.  It will be the last time he sings either of them, I'm sure.  He also spoke some beautiful doctrine and bore a strong testimony, giving counsel and love to all of us there.  Jennifer and her two youngest daughters had come to visit, bringing with them, daddy's favorite....ICE CREAM; with whipped topping, no less.  We made him sing for his dessert and he was justly rewarded with a nice sized bowl of ice cream, which he devoured proudly.
This was the last time, I imagine, I will see my daddy alive.  I'm thinking it will be within 6 months that he will leave us to return to our Father in Heaven.  When it was time to leave, daddy had been dressed by my brothers and mom in his silky green pajama's and they had tucked him gently into bed.  Mark had placed the oxygen around his ears and in his nose and daddy had already shut his eyes when I approached his bed.  When daddy closes his eyes, it's only within minutes that he falls asleep, so I quickly bent over and kissed his cheek.  I said, 'I love you daddy.'  His eyes fluttered open and he barely whispered, 'I love you, Marlys.'

Del had called me first thing that morning to wish me a Happy Valentines Day and then later in the day, Kylie sent me this adorable picture, with a Valentine wish from her family.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

'And Back on the Farm....'

So while I am here in Utah with my mom and my daddy, I still have half of my thoughts back in Texas with my family; specifically Kylie.  Today, she had surgery; a D&C to clean out some masses of placenta that have been causing her to hemorrhage 

It has been difficult for her to leave her children with people and try to make arrangements for everyone to get taken care of, including herself.  If I were there, it would have all been resolved.  I would have taken care of everything.  But I'm not there, I'm here, thus leaving everyone and everything in a state of confusion and anxiety. 
Del sent me a text asking how things were going...I explained I was experiencing a little anxiety with everything on my plate, only to have him respond that he was getting slammed at work, with church issues, family issues and he misses me.  I quit complaining.
I guess it's times like this that you hope everyone back home can step up to help and be where they are needed to help make things go more smoothly.  Kathryn was a huge help in taking Kylie to the hospital and staying there while she had her surgery...then taking her home.  Lexi stayed with Preston and Madison while Kylie was gone and until Mike could get home from school.  Then Mike just had to take off work to help with everything after that.  I guess everyone is doing their part.  Kylie will have a difficult night though, especially if Madison is true to form and doesn't go to sleep easily.

My daddy had a fairly good day today.  He did a lot of walking this morning with me walking in front of him and Elaine following behind with his wheelchair.  He did NOT want to walk again...he was tired.  But we told him he had to if he was ever going to get strong enough to go home.  I would try to make him laugh by smiling at him and saying encouraging things.  Once, when he asked how much further he had to go, I told him 'We have to go as far as Orem, and then we can turn around and come back'.  He laughed, hard.  When he reached the therapy room, they had him work on getting in and out of bed on his own and he did fairly well.  We think he was just glad to lie down on the bed.  He did his leg exercises in his sleep, I'm sure.  And then we walked him back to his room with more humorous encouragement and distractions.  He had a small nap after that, then wanted to play games and socialize with all the visitors that had come.  I left after he had a huge lunch, including tangerines Becca brought and some coconut bread Theresa had brought.  He also loved the fresh apple and orange slices brought and I'm thinking the texture and taste of the 'real food' was a huge highlight for him.
When I went back at 6:30 to pick up mom and Elaine, there were two of daddy's missionaries visiting from out of town.  They were sharing memories and stories with daddy of some of their time in Chile and daddy was really enjoying remembering.  He even made several comments and responded to most of their questions and comments.  His words were clear and fairly easy to understand, but we did notice that he tried to tell one experience over three times.  And in game playing today, he did have one MAJOR no no...When he took the bid, he did discard the Bear in the widow, which was not discovered until the last play of the game.  He coyly asked what was wrong with that??  Really daddy?  Nice try.  We reminded him it was against the rules...he asked to see the paper of the rules.  Mom told him we didn't have it.  He felt vindicated???  I think not. Yesterday when we played cards, he asked at the end of the hand if he had won?  We told him no, but that he had lost.  He replied with 'PIGS EAR.'  I gave him 'the eye'.

I'm thinking I may go home the beginning of next week if I don't go home Friday.  My brothers Mark and Phil will be coming this week, along with Paul's wife Sherrie and their son Adam.  That will mean all 12 of his children will have finally seen daddy.  That will be good.

I received an email this afternoon from the last job I interviewed for.  I did not get the job.  I don't know if I'm even disappointed anymore.  I guess I am...but the Lord must think I am to have that first job I interviewed for at the doctors office.  At least, that's what I HOPE He wants for me.  It's just 10 weeks away.  I will have to continue my patience.  Not my favorite thing to do. I love answers to problems...not more problems.

Elaine goes home tomorrow.  She has been invaluable for the two weeks she has been here...a rock for mother and another tender loving nurse for daddy.  She has been thorough and deliberate in her questions and care for daddy.  There is no possible way I can do the same, nor do I want to.  But I will try to be the smile he needs, and help mom in all areas that she needs so she can focus her time on daddy. 
So, until tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fun Moments with Daddy

I didn't think that yesterday could get any better but today, with daddy, gave me some wonderful moments I will want to remember.
Elaine and I went over to pick up mom and then we went to see daddy, where we found him in the cafeteria eating his breakfast.  He seemed sleepy and the physical therapist didn't seem to be having much luck with getting him to eat his breakfast.  Apparently, the medications that he takes for his Parkinson's cause him to be really dizzy and sleepy.  Then on top of that, they give it to him about an hour before he is to eat his breakfast and go and do his occupational therapy.  The results have been that daddy will seldom do well eating his breakfast and then he has no desire at all to go and do his therapy, so he has cleverly made up the excuse that he needs to go to the bathroom to get out of it.  To top it off, I think the therapist for today doesn't know daddy well enough to know what is normal, or baseline for him and what isn't, so when she took his blood pressure, oxygen level and heart rate, one of them was extremely low, but not taken on an apparatus that was very reliable.  We took him back to his room, where one of the RN's came in and assured us that things were okay...EXCEPT, he has lost another half pound or more.  That has a little concerned as he does appear to be eating well, but it seems to be going right through him.  They are going to try and figure out a way for him to eat more calories without having to eat more food.
He was tired, but we tried to give him a little more food, of which he ate, but then he was done.  It was during this time that he asked mom, 'Can I go to the temple please?'  It was sweet, but of course, mother had to tell him ' no, because you're just not strong enough yet.'  That did NOT make him happy.  We put him down for a nap which only lasted about an hour.  Daddy has a stalker that lives across the hall that tends to make her way to daddy's room where she knows there is always a lot of fun going on, so apparently, while I was gone, she tried to come in the room a few times.  Elaine has had to 'shoo her' away and finally just started keeping the door shut.
When daddy got up from his nap, he needed to go to the bathroom, and when he hadn't come out for a minute, mom went in to make sure he was alright.  She caught him trying to stand up, for which she scolded him and scared him nearly half to death. Once he came out, Elaine fed him his lunch and shortly after, I went back to mom's, then to Becca's house to help her make dinner for tonight.
Near dinner time, Rebecca and I went back to see daddy.  He had had a very successful therapy session and a nice visit from my Uncle Floyd and my Aunt Barbara, daddy's brother and sister.
We arrived shortly after they had left.  When we sat down to the table and said hi to daddy, he immediately turned to Becca and said 'No, no, no'.  Becca was confused and said 'What daddy?  What do you mean?"  He then said, 'She said no, I couldn't go to the temple.'  He was still mad at mother and we all laughed.
Dinner would be coming soon, so to help pass the time, we decided to play a few hands of tricks, a family game.  Daddy has not lost any of his intelligence, just has slowed quite significantly in his ability to show how smart he is.  When it 'would have been' his turn to shuffle, Becca just pretended to hand him the deck of cards and said, 'here daddy, it's your turn to shuffle' at which he bust out laughing.  It was priceless.  He did real well playing cards but was hungry when dinner was brought in, so we finished that hand and put the cards away.
We put his tray of food in front of him, took the lids off of the food, and then Rebecca asked daddy who he wanted to say the blessing on the food.  He slowly pointed to...himself.  We tried to hold our quizzical looks from his glance and bowed our heads and closed our eyes.  Several seconds went by before Elaine asked him, 'Daddy, who do you want to say the blessing?'  He once again, pointed to...himself.  This time, as we closed our eyes and bowed our heads, we heard him take in a breath and begin his prayer.
Oh My.  Daddy prayed a prayer like no other.  And it had nothing to do with blessing the food.  I could hear both of my sisters sniffling and felt my own throat constrict with emotion as I listened to his words being sent to our Father in Heaven.  It was such a spiritual moment, one that I truly did not want to end.  But as we each spoke our 'Amen's', I could feel that I truly had witnessed a miracle in a multitude of, my daddy's words were clear and precise...his words made sense, had meaning and were a direct plea to his Heavenly Father....and lastly, it was not short.  It was a prayer with many words that he was able to speak; more words than he had said for many many days.  I felt so blessed  to have been present for such a moment.
After he ate a great dinner, ( soooo sarcastic...his meals are ALL pureed and tonight he ate a hamburger, French fries and something else...ALL pureed), he began to scoot himself back from the table and looked like he was also attempting to get up out of his chair.  Of course, we questioned his actions.  'Daddy, where are you going?'  Him: 'Atras'.  'What daddy?  Where are you going?'  Him;'Atras'.  One last attempt to try and understand his answer...'Daddy? Where?'  Him: 'ATRAS'....OHHHHHH !  'BACKWARDS'... in Spanish.  Really dad???  It was hard enough to understand him most of the time in English, but now he was going to throw Spanish at us???  Another moment of great laughter.  He is too funny.
As we were getting ready to leave, my brother in law Paul Pickett came, arriving before his family would be coming shortly after.  I was glad they would be there to have some private time with daddy and I was hoping it would be just as memorable for them as it had been for the other grandchildren the night before.
Tired tonight.  I need to run a few errands tomorrow and then I might go with my mother to a doctor appointment she has in Provo.  Today has been very rewarding with my father.  I'm thankful that some of these memories are sweet and funny and will be nice to share with my family when I get back to Texas.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Conclusion to My Sabbath Day

About ten minutes after I finished writing the last blog post, my sister Rachel and her family showed up at dad and mom's house on their way to go see daddy.  They brought dinner in from the car and asked a few questions about daddy that they didn't want their kids to hear.  So while the kids sat in the car, I gave them a quick update on the previous few days and the information we had learned Friday from Mike, the physical therapist.  They were surprised about a few of the things I shared, but mostly were accepting of the news I gave them.  Because they would be eating dinner with us all later, we did a few preparations before getting in the car and going over to the Care facility.
I love Rachel's kids.  They have always been some of my favorites as I did a lot of babysitting for them and so did my girls.  We laughed and joked all the way over to where daddy was, but then I kind of warned them of what they would be seeing in grandpa, so they wouldn't be scared or surprised.  When we got there, my nephew Jacob was there and had just experienced a very tender meeting with my daddy so there were tears already.  My sister Jennifer was there and had also had a good moment with my daddy.  I went over quickly to say hi to daddy and he gave me a smile and said my name before I left the rest of the time for Rachel and her family to say their hello's.  Rachelle, their oldest daughter, had not seen daddy since his accident, so she was a little set back on her heels and cried a little.  The rest of the children, along with Rachel and Mike, all spent some wonderful time talking with daddy and having him involved in some great conversation.  It was sweet to see each of the grandchildren love their grandpa so much.  Rebecca, Lance and Austin arrived just a few minutes after I did, so they also visited with daddy before we all decided we would go into the large gathering area of the center and have a special FHE and sing around the piano.
It was there, we all experienced a very special spiritual experience.  As we sang some of the hymns, daddy would start to cry and would look around the room at each of us, especially his daughters.  Rachel and Rebecca were standing right behind daddy's wheel chair while Jen, Elaine and I were sitting off in the back on a separate sofa.  The harmonizing during each hymn was beautiful but daddy was still only listening.  he did attempt to mouth the words to several of the songs, but nothing really more than that...until Rebecca said she was going to sing the tenor part to one of daddy's favorite hymns, but she would need help with the part. She didn't, of course, but knew it would encourage him to sing.  And he did.  Mom motioned to each of three sitting further away to come over and stand by daddy, singing right behind him so he could hear us all...and he sang his tenor part with us.
He sang.  And the tears flowed.  It was such a tender moment.  Our daddy was singing.  To those who have never heard my daddy sing, you cannot understand the moment that was for us, his daughters.  It was eternal....and celestial.  A moment that I will not soon forget.
But I was also touched by the spirit with the confirmation, that daddy's time will not be long here upon the earth.  He will leave us, sooner rather than later.  But I was also comforted by that same spirit to know, that it will be okay.
Daddy's life is completed.  He has done all he could possibly do and he is truly ready to pass to the next life. I don't want him to suffer.  I don't want him to be in pain.  And I don't want him to have to stay any longer on this earth for someone Else's benefit.  Let him leave in peace.  And soon.
I left shortly after the last hymn was sung and Jen gave me a ride home to mom's home, where Rachel's family joined me and helped me get dinner ready for when mom and Elaine would get home.  We all enjoyed a great dinner, joined also by my brother Von and his wife Ann, who stopped by to get an  update on daddy.
Now, Rachel's family has gone home, Von and Ann left, and I am over here at Becca's house with mom, Elaine and Becca.  While they are watching the newest episode of a show called 'Downtown Abbey', I am sharing this blog post, not wanting to forget the special feelings from this afternoon/evenings events.  My brother Mark will be arriving this coming Wednesday, the same day Elaine will be flying home.  Depending on whether or not I get the job I just interviewed for, I will most likely be flying home Friday, just as my other brother Phil will be arriving.  If I DON'T get the job, I may actually stay another week.  But I just don't know yet.
I'm tired now.  Content, but tired.  Daddy whispered to Elaine as she left tonight, that 'it had been a really great afternoon/evening for him'.  I am so glad there were so many of us there to show him how much he is loved.  It made for a beautiful experience for all of us there.

Staying Focused

It's been a little , shall we say, stressful? the past few days making some adjustments in the being here in Utah.  I'm here for several reasons...One, first and foremost, to visit my daddy and, to visit some friends and family up here, and lastly, to enjoy some personal time before I go back to work and my family in Texas.
I have not wanted to be my daddy's nurse, and I have made that very clear from the very beginning.  I have wanted to watch his care and progress, see his situation and get first hand information for myself, and then also to help take care of the needs for my mother.  I have left the nursing duties and details to those who enjoy doing that part and I have taken it upon my self to have dinner made and ready for those coming home from the care facility to enjoy instead of having to eat out.  I like to go spend the morning with my daddy, but I can't stay there all day.  There is no need for me to sit there 'watching' him.  My mom having a hot meal to eat when she comes home is more fulfilling to me.
I have never been the serious one in the family.  I enjoy humor...I love to laugh, I love to make people laugh, and I like to handle stressful situations with humor.  But not all people do.  So, my attempt at a humorous email giving family members an update on my daddy, did not go over well with a few.  I was apparently, not giving the situation enough dignity.  Yes, I was stung by the disapproval at first, until I realized, I am who I am, and I am a good person.  I will not apologize for being who I am.  So those who disapprove will just have to have to get their information from someone else because I will not change how I see and enjoy my life.  I can't and won't let their opinions matter to me.  I can and know when to be somber and dignified.  They are not always in the same moments as others may think they need to be, but they are there when necessary. Hence, my nasty mood yesterday.  I am re-focused now on what is important...and others opinions is not one of them.
I'm getting a cold.  Last night it was yucky during the night, so I tanked up on some cold meds to get me through, but it also had me sleeping until 9:30 this morning.  I can't go see daddy with a cold as he will be susceptible to any virus and that is the last thing he needs.  So I am staying away from his place today until I start to feel better.  Elaine and mother went in to see him and Elaine mentioned a few hours later that daddy's room had been changed.  When I asked why, it was because daddy had been found early this morning on the floor of his room.  Obviously, he is NOT understanding the mandate that he is not supposed to get up by himself without the assistance of a nurse.  And he can't afford to fall at this point.  So they put him closer to the nurses station where he will be more 'compelled' to be obedient.  Elaine has branded today one of daddy's 'bad days' - nothing he says make sense, he's aggravated, confused and disoriented.  I'm glad I'm not seeing him in this state.  I would cry, and I don't want to cry.
So I am here at mom's house, going to get dinner going shortly and taking some time to write some letters and notes to people in Texas.
Until Later...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

In Utah to See My Daddy

Today is Saturday, the 9th of February and I have been in Utah since Thursday early afternoon  I had to get up at 4:00 a.m. and out the door by 4:30, but Del got me to the airport in plenty of time.
I was able to fly free, compliments of Del's counselor Brother Peterson, who works at Southwest.  He gave me some free flights passes, which required the early departure and then being on standby flights.  But it was right in our price  I arrived at 5:30 where Becca was waiting to pick me up and bring me right to the Care Facility where daddy is staying.  He recognized me immediately and smiled, cried and embraced my face.  He said my name several times.  It was sweet.
I am...let's see.  I am disappointed that he is not as good as I thought he would be.  The pictures and videos that I had seen were slightly deceiving.  He is not nearly as progressive and well as they portrayed.  He hardly speaks, if at all...although, what he did say and how much he has said since I have been here has been more than in the past, so I am pleased I am getting the best of that.
I am not wanting to be a 'care taker'.  I prefer to let others take care of all the medical attention daddy is needing while I tend to just being his daughter.  I am having a hard time with the little bit of dignity my father has left...having been reduced to being called 'Von' by kids in their 20's because he is a patient.  I so badly have wanted to say, 'Excuse me, that is BROTHER Packard to you squirt'.  But I know they are just doing their job with a patient just like all the others.
There have also been a few frustrations and some anxiety being expressed by several of us...mostly because of the difference in the way each of us is handling daddy's care.  I'm feeling there are too many opinions and power struggles where there may be some who feel I am too casual and frivilous over the situation.  I just hate drama...I think too much is made of too many things...too dramatic.
Uh oh...I can tell I'm getting...ugly.  I'm wanting to go home I think...let others just do what they feel is best to do cause I just don't agree with some of the thoughts and or feelings of the others.  I'm going to just step back for awhile.
Anyways...some pictures of my daddy.

My cousin Lisa, whom I haven't seen in probably 30 years?

Tiffany giving daddy's room a 'heart attack'.

The process of these next three pictures took almost 45 minutes

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Captured Moments

I've been able to go over to Kylie's quite a few times over the past week or more to help her with the kids and some difficult days.  I've been able to watch these two adorable children and how Preston interacts with his new little sister.
Kylie took these two pictures the other day.  She captured some really sweet moments between the two and it just warms my heart that she shared these moments in photo with the rest of us.

And my brother Paul was able to go up and visit my daddy for a few days this past week.  And Elaine is up there right now.

We've had visitors for almost a week.  Lon and Loraine have been on a road trip and finally came to Texas for the first time ever...and we have tried to take them to 'Texas' places over the past few days...the temple, the DAM Store, SouthFork ranch and several horse ranches.  I think they have had a good time and they have certainly been great to have around.  Lon has taken a lot of time to help Del with ideas and projects for the yard as Lon is a professional landscaper.  Del is pretty excited now to get started on the planting of our garden and now, a citrus  We bought our first lemon tree.

Additional 'Thoughts' I Want to Remember

Monday, February 4, 2013

Madison's Blessing Day - Feb 3, 2013

AND...of course, it was the Super Bowl.  Ravens vs 49rs'
Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh.
The Raven's win...with Dennis Pitta (BYU) scoring a touchdown.