dievca was looking out at the sunset when her brother called. Apparently 6 people saw Mom and Dad’s house today – the first day it was listed. Mom and Dad lived in a small town in a rural area surrounded by farms….so both dievca and her brother were surprised.
There are 7 more people on the schedule for tomorrow. Someone made a cash offer today and the realtor will ask for ‘Highest and Best’ offers by 5 pm tomorrow night to decide. dievca is not sure why the realtor isn’t asking for “Best and Final” offers because dievca’s brother wants the house sold as is and as soon as possible.
That means dievca will have to hustle back and get the furniture and things sorted. It would have been nice to do it in April – not the deep of February. (Shit, why not just pile one more item on a failing dievca…🙄)
Please note that the house is not the one dievca grew up in – just the one her parents built to die in.
Photo: dievca Hudson River NYC 01/2022
A very large , “Thank You” for your kind words and glasses lifted up to honor a good Life.
The thoughts and presentations are so lovely. And dievca is working through her bottle over a long period as she replies to texts and phone calls. A little lubrication to celebrate a Life and ease the pain of kindness.
How are you all doing? What’s going on in your lives?
(dievca’s coming up for air~)
- What makes life worth living?
- What would make life definitely not worth living?
- What might at first seem too much to put up with, but then might seem manageable after getting familiar with the situation and learning to deal with it?
- If you knew life was coming to an end, what would be comforting and make dying feel safe?
What, in that situation, would you want to avoid?
- How much control is important for you to have when facing a terminal illness?
We may see that dying is the better of two choices, and be ready to give the loved one permission to die. The dying person may be distressed at causing grief for those who love them, and, receiving permission to die can relieve their distress. There is a time for this to happen. Before that, it feels wrong to accept a loss, but after that it can be an act of great kindness to say, “You may go when you feel it is time. I will be OK.”
At the time a person is near death, sometimes touch is the best communication. Gentle stroking of a hand or a cheek, and quietly reassuring the person that you love them and that you will be all right is perhaps the most compassionate way to ease your loved one on his journey. In a situation where you are not present at the time of death, forgive yourself and know that you did the best you could to make the final hours or weeks of life peaceful and meaningful.
According to Hospice and an EMT Family Member, Mom is holding on hard. dievca’s one brother is there, Grandchildren are there, a lovely Caregiver, the Great-Grandchild have gone over, dievca and her cousins have spoken and sang to Mom, dievca hopes her other brother has spoken to Mom, but she’s not sure….what are we missing?
dievca’s Dad checked in with everyone and then let go~ We cannot figure out what Mom is holding on for~ she moves her lips when something pleases her and the mention of a bath causes those lips to move. Mom floats with her Osteoperosis. Maybe the simple pleasure of a bath~
Just wish we could figure out what would help.
to get to the Laundrymat to clean towels, pads, and clothing because the wash machine went out….It’s been years since dievca has had to gather quarters for the machines.
dievca’s desperation of not initially recognizing a wine bottle shape in the bottom cupboard was a bit pathetic. The wine is a solid Malbec and a good way to end a day of chores.
Mom is good, dievca got her best – but she is fading. Mom is going to go down with dignity and a healthy splash of humor~
dievca absolutely loves that her Mom cannot remember that she broke her hip twice or what she ate, but she damn well knows that dievca brought her favorite chocolates and asks about dievca’s Apple Green Dries van Noten Platform Sandals. (Note: Mom is bed/wheelchair bound, but dievca has put all the shoes on her Mother’s feet – just to get the “look”.)
dievca schlepped two pair of kick a** boots for Mom to review, platform leather Chuck Taylors, a +J Uniqlo Mixed Knit Sweater a friend gave to her and the crazy print LA Double J reversible down coat. dievca’s Mom loved it all.
Chocolates and Fashion – there is some kind of philosophical “Meaning of Life” in those choices.
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door
You never will get where you’re going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there’s a good tailwind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat
If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don’t be the rule, be the exception
A good way to start is to stand
If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn (Oh you do!)
You mean that it’s just my election (Just that!)
To vote for a chance to be reborn
It was a quick trip to Mom, 4 days. Packed a lot into the time. POA shift, moved Mom on to hospice, need a new hospital bed – motor died (made do with a log and seat cushion to change the angles for Mom), attempted to get quality WiFi (need a new router), attempted to get the gardens/yard into some semblance of order (including picking up 15 cigarette butts on the driveway from a caregiver – what is wrong with people. Are they born in a barn? We have a cigarette repository out there.), maintenance man/snow removal man is no longer working – looking for help (Note his kid moved away and they no longer need to store his classic car in the garage…hmmm? Maybe that had something to do with being unavailable…), cleaned the odd places in the house and the upstairs as best as possible.
Grocery shopped at night and saw ⇑⇑⇑ the MOON!
It’s Full this Evening. Don’t forget to shake your wallet at the Moon!
And think of dievca flying home late tonight. XO
You take what you can find at dievca’s Mom’s House.
Last night dievca found this:
Who on God’s Earth brought this over?
And this afternoon she found this:
A staple at a Chicago Cubs Game~
Both offerings are rough around the edges – but in a pinch, they’ll do~
dievca’s running to the Grocery store late tonight – the next visit won’t be as desperate.
PS. Her Mom is doing relatively well.
dievca is doing it! she is going on a trip that does not involve staying with her Mom, and the guilt has already set in… It’s been fun to pile ALL the clothes she wanted to take on the bed and then weed out a curated selection. And because dievca has tried on EVERYTHING in her closet – all the choices fit well. she’s good to go!
And she is a sleeping more. Is it depression or time to go?
Its the first time dievca’s Mom wanted to sleep rather than speak with her.
When you are the youngest of the two youngest and everyone (Dad/Aunts/Uncles) have passed. Your last tie to an Era will soon be cut. You can only hope that your oldest cousins can answer your questions about Family.
she knows she shouldn’t borrow trouble, but dievca’s heart is hurting.
Her Mom’s Life isn’t really a Life – so it will be good when Mom catches up with dievca’s Dad. She misses him
dievca just keeps sending Love from her mind and her heart.
dievca’s Dad had a Tree Service look at the dead trees on their property. The bad news was to cut and remove the trees would have cost $6K. The good news is that all of the trees would not fall on the house. Dad did not hire the service before he died.
The Midwest had some big winds this winter and a large tree broke in half and came down close to the house – but missed it (photos). Just like the tree service said. What dievca did not expect is that another tree out on the property, leaning away from the neighbors yard, yet, was pushed onto their yard by a significant wind. Nowhere near their house, but it did fall on to their yard.
The neighbor walked over and told the caregiver that it happened and mentioned that they had a service in to clear the tree. The caregiver asked her to speak to dievca’s brother. When dievca got to her Mom’s she heard the tree service at the neighbors, saw the other dead tree from the winter and heard about the neighbor’s vist from the caregiver.
Yes, it was expected that the dead trees would fall at some point (firewood), it was unexpected one would fall on the neighbors lawn -so who pays?
What’s the rule?
- If the tree falls on your property or your property is damaged, you’ll make a claim through your home insurance company. If the tree falls on your neighbor’s property or their property is damaged, their home insurance will handle the cleanup and repair work.
- In most states, if your tree or any part of it falls on your neighbors‘ property and causes damage to their property through no fault of your own (due to a snow storm, winds, hurricane, or another so-called “act of God”), you are not responsible.
The good news is that dievca’s Mom only has one neighbor and there was the only dead tree on that track of land. As for the rest of the trees? Nature is just going to have to move forward unless dievca’s brother decides to hire someone.
Like everyone, dievca has her worries. They add up to create fatigue. Then there is evidence that one of the worries is bucking the trend and involved with something you know brings them shear Joy. dievca started crying when her Mom’s caregivers sent photos of something beautiful:
Mom looks like the Goddess she is…
Give me the damn coffee!
~You get by with a little help from your friend~
dievca is behind the wheel and singing Willy Nelson while heading West.
she is wondering with people avoiding flying, will road trips come into fashion?
Is there a call for the vintage places of interest maps?
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
Author: General Drafting Company
Short Title: Trip Planning Map Of The United States
Publisher: General Drafting Co.
Publisher Location: Convent Station, N.J.
The widest State on dievca’s trip is:
It might be worth it to stop and see something!
Look what you can find in your parent’s basement.
with pretty good coffee!
Actually, the rental car is new and running very well.
Travel across was very easy.
Packing food was a good idea and I’d like to give a “shout” out to Ohio for the best rest stops.
Clean, spacious — amazing.
BTW – gasoline prices ranged from $1.99 to $1.15 per gallon – east to west.
Something interesting to note – the further away from NYC, the more lax people are about COVID-19.
Yes, it makes sense when your area has 180 deaths versus the 13,168 in NYC.
But seeing 65+-year-olds without masks and gloves in a Wal-Mart really stressed me out.
BTW – it was confirmed post-mortem that Dad’s death was not COVID-19.
Why do the test?
So, the Hospice nurses who neglected Dad would come back for Mom’s appointments.
still salty bout that
As for my Mom?
My Mom has blown through the stages of Grief and is getting ready to blow through them, again.
She is eating and sleeping well, for me at least.
Yesterday would have been Mom and Dad’s 66th Wedding Anniversary.
OK – as you read this, I am back in the car – starting Day 2 of the return trip.
POEM of the ROAD – Walt Whitman (excerpt)
To take to your use out of the compact cities as
you pass through!
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward
wherever you go!
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as
you encounter them! to gather the love out
of their hearts!
To take your own lovers on the road with
you, for all that you leave them behind
To know the universe itself as a road—as many
roads—as roads for traveling souls!
The soul travels,
The body does not travel as much as the soul,
The body has just as great a work as the soul,
and parts away at last for the journeys of the
All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments —
all that was or is apparent upon this globe or
any globe, falls into niches and corners before
the processions of souls along the grand roads
of the universe,
Of the progress of the souls of men and women
along the grand roads of the universe, all
other progress is the needed emblem and
Full poem HERE
dievca found a rental car and is making her way to her Mom. If there’s no hotel – sleeping in the car will do. Food is packed for along the way. Always an interesting first 30 miles when she hasn’t driven in a while – but it will be dievca and the trucks most of the way. Wish her “good luck”! XO
My Dad died.
I could hear the death rattle while video chatting with my Mother – trying to think of every humorous or lovely moment with Dad and other family members to distract her. Dad was gasping for air. 99% sure it wasn’t COVID-19, the Speech Therapist said that as Dad lost swallowing capabilities – food/water would go down the wrong pipe, and pneumonia would set in. It did. Hospice wouldn’t come unless Dad was tested…Dad wasn’t going anywhere to get tested.
It didn’t end ugly.
I can Thank our amazing careworkers, morphine, my brother, and the great-grandkids for that. I wouldn’t have called the kids in time to say, ‘good-bye’ – they are all under 7 years old – Dad was such a mess I thought it would terrify their dreams. My brother called and they all trooped over (6+ of them) to see Dad with little masks and gloves.
He passed out Tootsie Pops.
Turned over and died in the chaos with Mom on his shoulder and holding hands with the chain of kids.
That thought sustains me more than the painful video call earlier. Dad would do anything for a kid. Kill himself for a kid. Works for me. Thank Goodness my brother called in the troops. A better way to go.
So, will the kids have bad dreams? I don’t know.
I just know that as I look at my hands which are the same shape as my Dad’s,
I am really craving a red Tootsie Pop.
A pretty sight, right? The pink flowers match the lingerie from yesterday. dievca didn’t get a photo of the flowers before the post. Here’s the order of activities:
- A two-CD mix made for dievca’s Mother took a full day to source and collect songs, then find a burner for the CD’s. Her Dad is failing badly, so she asked the Caregivers to play the music from “Carmen Jones” and “Das Boot” via YouTube on the tablet for expedience. The CD’s are for the stereo – both of dievca’s parents are going deaf.
- The next day after work, dievca took a 1.5-hour walk around the City – to get out of the apartment. The wind was brutal-you can see the birds fighting the chop on the Hudson River. she found one place to walk up to buy coffee – it was a treat tasting a different flavor than her coffee.
- The 3rd day, dievca biked up the Hudson River Park trail in the rain to get to Master. Master’s windows offered an elegant view of two Magnolia trees in bloom.
And she shared dinner and wine with Master after a little D/s play.
If dievca’s Dad dies – she won’t be able to get to her mother for the funeral. There is a two-week quarantine for New Yorkers heading out of State via air travel. dievca hasn’t been sick, but she would prefer to be careful. Understandably, as dievca’s Mom wouldn’t make it through a bout of COVID-19 under Hospice care.
Photos: dievca 04/2020 NYC - graphic from a good friend.
It was a day before 10 am.
Dad hadn’t a movement in 8 days….with softners, prunes and trying to get him to drink as much water as possible, etc..
It took an Army.
Daughter, Caregiver, Nurse, Home Aid – suppository, prune juice & butter, manipulations, tummy rubbing, squat positioning being held up.
All while two people maneuvered Mom into the bathtub.
Then the arguing about taking a shower began – 5 weeks of Sponge Baths in a row doesn’t cut it.
It was a hell of a Birthday for Dad – but he’s loose and clean!
We ALL needed a drink by Noon.
Mom and Dad just took a nap~
Always desperate for good coffee at my Parents’,
M. gave me a coffee packet for the trip.
The name made me laugh like heck!
We’ll see how those caramel notes soothe stressed nerves.
Big February Birthdays!
Dad, he’s still hanging on.
Brother? It’s a big one.
(But in all honesty…dievca is dreading the trip.)
When discussing Hospice and a DNR-order becomes too much,
just do what dievca’s Mom did to stop the conversation –
ask for an Apricot Cookie.
dievca’s brother isn’t sure how much Mom absorbed,
but the cookie went down well with tea.
A tactic dievca plans on using in the future when facing something unpleasant.
A do-not-resuscitate order, or DNR order, is a medical order written by a doctor. It instructs health care providers not to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a patient’s breathing stops or if the patient’s heart stops beating.
So, dievca’s cousin said she didn’t think the Church had orechovnik (nut roll) available, but another cousin said he knew a bakery in Ohio which does mail-order and is quite good.
Note: dievca is the youngest of a SLEW of older cousins with an 8-year gap between her and the nearest in age – you know those Catholics, no birth control. 🙄
dievca ordered a bunch of orechovnik and koláče for her parents and her one brother who is celebrating his birthday. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The koláče went over very well with dievca’s brother and her Mother. Dad prefers his orchnovnik. They froze two extra nut rolls for when dievca arrives in February.
If you read the bakery’s history, it tells about when they decided to focus on one location and online presence – they trimmed their offerings to the most popular items. That ended up being mostly eastern European baked goods.
Apparently a good choice.
dievca found this post in her drafts from 2 year ago. Its from a tough time, but the source of Joy still makes her smille.
dievca’s last Aunt (both sides) passed away in Spring 2017. She was batshit crazy. Her Dad’s sister was bound and determined to live longer than dievca’s Dad – making the act of breathing a competition.
dievca’s Dad is in the hospital with bleeding on the brain – it will go either way. We have no control and dievca has been going home as much as possible, knowing each visit might be the last. she’ll be upset down the line, but right now she is at peace with herself and planning to get a flight after she hears from her brother.
After packing, dievca was digging in the freezer and she found an orechovník that her Aunt sent to her right before her death. It was made in one of the local Pittsburgh area Catholic church kitchens. dievca added the frozen orechovník to her bag. It would survive the flight.
Dad didn’t have a stroke, he was having seizures and the hospital was able to get them under control.
At her parent’s house, dievca pulled out the orechovník and her Mom asked where it came from. When dievca told her it was from the challenging Aunt who passed, her Mom laughed and sat with dievca to have tea and a buttered piece. The frozen orechovník traveled well.
Orechovník is a piece of childhood memories for dievca: staying with a favorite Aunt or visiting any family member. A piece would be eaten with ham, butter, or nothing. Rolls would be packed into the car for the return trip to the Midwest. Kept frozen in a cooler to appear at Christmas and Easter. Rolls would be brought when cousins, Uncles, and Aunts visited the Midwestern outpost of the family.
In the hospital, dievca told her Dad about the orechovník. The news elicited a reaction. An eye-roll for his deceased pain-in-the-a** sister, as Dad had just broken her record for years of being alive.
For all her drama and headaches – dievca’s Aunt left a piece of Joy to share and that turned out to be a moment of peace and humor after chaos.
2020 – dievca’s Dad is still kicking after this episode. He is still on the seizure meds, but has weaned himself off of the feeding tube. Finding this unpublished post and thinking about that damn orechovník made dievca smile. she just might have to beg her cousins to send her one~ and send her parents one, too.
What is an orechovník (nut roll)?
A nut roll is a pastry consisting of sweet yeast dough (usually using milk) that is rolled out very thin, spread with a nut paste made from groundnuts and a sweetener like honey, then rolled up into a log shape. This ‘log’ is either left long and straight or is often bent into a horseshoe shape, egg washed, baked, and then sliced crosswise. Nut rolls resemble a jelly roll (Swiss roll) but usually with more layers of dough and filling, and resemble strudels but with fewer and less delicate dough layers. Fillings commonly have as their main ingredient ground walnuts or poppy seeds.
Nut rolls can be found in the United States and in Central European cuisines. In the United States, “nut roll” is a more or less generic name for pastries of this type, no matter where they originate. Nut rolls are known also by many specific regional names, including gubana, guban’ca, or potica in Slovene; orechovník in Slovak; makowiec in Polish; povitica, gibanica, orahnjača/orehnjača in Croatian and Serbian (walnut variant, makovnjača for variant with poppy seed, in Croatia can also be made with carob); kalács and bejgli in Hungarian; and pastiç (pastiche) or nokul in Turkish.
Regional variations on nut rolls are part of weddings, for Easter and Christmas, as well as other celebrations and holidays.
dievca knows her coffee is as important as Dad’s seizure meds. 😉
Remind dievca that she loves her parents dearly, ok?
she had to lay down the law with her Dad that she’s not in town just to jump and do his bidding. she’s going to sit down and have dinner like a normal human being. If there is a wet ring on the table from condensation on a glass? Well, that will just have to wait until she’s finished eating and chatting with her Mother.
dievca offered her Dad two options:
- Wait patiently until everyone is finished eating and have faith it will be cleaned up.
- Get up with the walker, go and get a towel and wipe the ring.
I understand with age you feel like you lose control and your memory is short…
But, a water ring on a melamine table is not an emergency, nor is buying extra pads for Mom, nor is folding the towels from a load that just finished in the dryer, nor is adjusting the peepee pad so it hangs off the side of the bed, nor is putting your applesauce container in the fridge when we haven’t finished eating, nor is putting Mom to bed just because you want to go to bed.
I only have two hands for removing dishes from the dining table. Some of the dishes will have to stay on the table until I can walk back and get them.
If I haven’t left the house in a car, then I haven’t picked up Mom’s pee pads.
Yes, I got the mail and the newspapers. You’ve asked me four times already. Why don’t you sit on the sofa and read them, so you don’t have to ask me again?
I am really trying to remember that I am going to be the same way in about 40 years.
Let us hope I’ll be the easy-going elderly person holding a glass of wine. ~doubt it~
When someone in the Family just gets it…
dievca was grateful, really grateful~
And that watermelon? That is the way everyone is getting dievca’s Dad to have enough water intake since he insisted upon removing his feeding tube.
Well, he’s not dead, yet!
Umm, Dad might not make it to 88 if he keeps following dievca around the house telling her how to do things…