Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saying Goodbye to My Mom

My Mom had been fighting some health issues for the past several years...especially over the last 2 years. She was a smoker for 30 + years. She had quit and been smoke free for 10+ years, but her lungs were in rough shape from all the other years. This basically meant that she would catch a cold and it would turn into a sinus infection, bronchitis, or pneumonia almost every time. Even though she had other problems like a bad back and early stages of Parkinson's disease, she was still positive and loved life. She especially loved "her boys"--Beau and Joseph. She always wanted to come see us, or have us come see her. She loved making us dinner and making the boys treats when she could.

In the last year, Mom had to sell her house and moved to an assisted living home in Riverchase. She really loved it. She met lots of nice people, and loved having us come over to eat dinner with her once a week. They boys loved it because they could run wild in the courtyard and have Granny cheer them on. In June, I got a phone call that she was at Brookwood Hospital and had been admitted to ICU with pneumonia. I knew this was bad because she had gotten pneumonia 10+ years ago (when I was still at Auburn), and almost died. That is what prompted her to quit smoking. From June-December, Mom bounced from hospital to hospital to nursing homes that could care for her. In August, she made a turn for the best and we started to visit her again with the boys. Then in November, I got another call that she had been admitted to UAB with complications from pneumonia and it was bad. She was moved to a sweet place at UAB called Palliative Care. It was basically similar to hospice care within the hospital. Her palliative care doctor told me they would make her as comfortable as they could (with medications, etc.) until she passed. He said it could be a few days or a few weeks until that happened. My aunt Betsy drove me home from the hospital that day, my sweet neighbor got dinner for the kids, and I was just in shock. Rodney and I sat down that night with many tears, and started the process of getting Mom's affairs in order. What a blessing Rodney was during that time---he did everything. He called insurance companies, funeral homes, Mom's home church, etc. because he knew I could not deal with it. Mom responded well to all of the treatment she was given at palliative care, and got moved out of the hospital and into a nursing home at the end of Novemeber. They told us she was not "well" but "too well" to stay there. She moved to FairHaven Nursing Home and hospice was called in to care for her (along with the staff at FairHaven.) Mom looked the best she had looked in years. It was hard to understand that she was dying because she looked and acted so well. She had so many friends and family that came to see her over the last few weeks. It was a real blessing to have those last few weeks to spend time with her. One of my last visits with her, she told me that Rodney was a "keeper" and that I had married well. :) She loved Rodney almost as much as me. He would visist her every week and eat lunch with her. Which meant, that he would take an hour off from his job, and go visit with my Mom and feed her lunch. because she was often too weak to feed herself. Mom was right, Rodney is a "keeper". He loved my Mom just like she was his own Mom.

On Friday, December 28th, I got a phone call from her hospice nurse that Mom was declining. They were not sure how much longer she  had left...but said it would be a few days to a week probably. I was in Publix getting groceries and missed the call. I realized I missed the call when I got to the meat department at publix. I still feel like I am going to throw up when I am in that same section getting groceries now. ( I know that feeling will ease with time). I called Rodney and he called my Aunts. My Aunts (betsy and patti) met me at FairHaven that afternoon around 2:30 or 3:00. Mom was asleep (they compared it to a coma like state). They told us she could still hear us though. My aunts and I talked about Joseph's upcoming 2nd birthday and what kind of party we would do. At 4:45, we noticed Mom's breathing slowing down. She passed away quitely in her sleep, with no pain. It was very peaceful and what I had been praying for her. Everything that happened after that is a blur. Family and family friends came to FairHaven to help and make sure we were okay. I came home that night in the pouring down rain and kissed my boys as they went down for bed. I was just in shock...relieved she was pain free and in Heaven, but overwhelmed with having to go through the next days. We had a wonderful visitation for her and wonderful memorial service and burial. My uncle and cousin read scripture at the memorial service. Rodney gave a eulogy for mom. It was the so sweet, and captured all of the things she did so well. The day after we buried her, Joseph turned 2. It was such a fun day to celebrate him, but it was so hard knowing that my Mom would not call to tell him Happy Birthday. The past 6 weeks, my emotions have been all over the place. I miss her and wish that she could still be here. But, I keep having to remind myself that I will see her for eternity in Heaven. My mind can not really understand "eternity", but I know it is real, and am at peace knowing I will see her there-for eternity.

I am so thankful I know that my Mom is in Heaven with Jesus-for eternity. I grew up in church--my Mom took me every Sunday and Wednesday, and to every special event. She would even come to Church of the Highlands with us for special events there. When I was in college, I felt like I needed to ask her if she knew where she would spend eternity. She said she did not know for sure, but hoped she would go to Heaven. I had the chance to share the love of Jesus with her and led her in a prayer where she asked Jesus to be Her Lord and Savior. Those next 10-12 years, were the best years we had together as mother/daughter. So thankful I know she is in a much better place. It is the only thing that has given me hope after loosing her. I know she is in Heaven in her glorified-completely healed body. I have even had a dream where she was walking around, and I ran to her to see if she need her walker or a cane. She told me she was fine now , and to tell Bets and Patti that she was fine and that she loved us. I tried to go back to sleep-to dream this dream longer :) But, it was a sweet reminder that The Word of God is real, and this life is so temporary. It has reminded me to pray even harder for my children to know Him, and for any family and friends to Know Him that are lost.

I still miss my Mom every day. I wish I could call her and talk to her about Beau going to Kindergarten next year, and registering Joseph for Mother's Day Out, and about our new puppy Cam. I know she sees it all, but I just miss hearing her voice. The hardest part of it is going to church--especially worship. Every song, we sing is about Heaven :) It makes me miss her and long for that day when I will see her again. I usually end up sobbing during worship. Then, when a sweet friends stops to tell me how sorry they are or that they are praying for me, I start crying again.

I know my Mom loved the Lord, me, Rodney, the boys, her family, and Auburn Football :) I know I will always miss her, but I am so thankful for all of the good times we had together. I saved a voicemail message that she left me--I listen to it when I am really missing her. Her message said "Hey honey--just checking on you and the boys. Love you" So thankful to have that to listen to as well. I am praying that 2013 is a year of rest for our family as we recover from loosing my Mom, and all of the stress that was in last year.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Beau!

Beau had a Cars themed Pool Party for his 5th birthday in June. A week or so before the party, he told me he was "over" Cars and liked trains again. Nice. He still had a Cars birthday cake,invitations, balloons, and plates. My sweet neighbor made his cake and it was delish! She makes the best cookie cakes, cupcakes, and cakes I have ever tasted (besides Olexa's).

We had it at the mtn brook YMCA. It was an overcast day, and I was worried it would rain out the party. The kids were able to swim for the first hour of the party, and then the rain started. We were able to run upstairs and enjoy the cake in the party room. Beau loved splashing around and swimming with his dad, papa, and friends. Joseph (who was 17 months old) drank in way too much pool water (from all the splashing). He threw up for hours when we got home. Lovely!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

4K Graduation

Beau graduated from 4K in May. His class learned songs to sing that were a "secret" until graduation. His class had made pretend graduation hats that they brought home the day before graduation. He did not want to show it to us, and definitely did not want to wear it! The day of graduation, we stood outside our house and took pictures of Beau with our neighbor, who was in his class. Neither one of them were really that excited about the pics or going to school. I guess they were nervous. Beau told me on the way to school, that he didn't think he needed to go to school on graduation. :( Poor guy. By the time graduation rolled around, he was all smiles. (We have terrible pics of that ceremony from our phones, but we do have it on dvd to always remember it) The entire 4K did an end of year video. On it, the kids had to say what they wanted to be when they grew up. Sweet Beau said he wanted to be a plumber like his daddy. :)

Marching in with his class to the Graduation Song (in the blue vest)

His whole 4K group of kids (3 classes total)

Getting ready to walk up and get his diploma from his teacher Ms. Judy

A blurry picture of his graduation cap. Still handsome!

After graduation, we went to dinner at Pablo's with Nona and Papa. His favorite place to eat dinner. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Art Show

Beau had an Art Show at school in April. He loved getting to show us around his school, and letting us look at all his artwork. He was very excited that his Aunt Betty got to come to the show with him. :) Here are some of his masterpieces!

Standing next to his clay bug

Brother trying to share his chair

Beau's teacher put most of their artwork on a big sheet of butcher paper, so we could take it all home easier.

Happy Easter!

On Good Friday, Beau had an Easter Egg hunt at school. I was able to come help with it and be there for his class party. He wants me at every class party and every field trip that he goes on. Love that he wants me with him a lot! We came home and sorted all of his Easter egg goodies...some had to go to Daddy because we were unsure if they contained nuts. Beau is so good at not complaining about this part of his life. He seems so mature with his peanut/tree nut allergy, which makes my heart so happy, yet so sad, at the same time. Still praying for the day when he will be allergy free

We went on Saturday to see Mrs. Patty Cake Live! Beau loves her Easter Eggstraveganza dvd, so he was excited to go. Joseph, however, was not thrilled to go. He did not care for Mrs. Patty Cake, and just wanted to run around the sanctuary. After her performance, the kids had another Easter Egg Hunt. We sorted the goodies, and more goodies went into Daddy's pile due to the nut factor.

We dyed Easter Eggs that night and talked about the importance of the next day. We had a great Resurrection Sunday service at church. Beau likes to talk about Heaven and who all we will see when we get there. He also likes to talk about how he can eat anything he wants to when he goes there because his body will not have any allergies. What a precious child! We went to see my mom after church, who was at Lakeshore Rehab/therapy. My mom and dad gave the boys their Easter basket goodies and the kids had a good time running around the courtyard there. We headed to Sylacauga and had lunch with Rodney's family. Then, that night we had Easter dinner with my family. The boys racked up on Easter baskets, treats, and toys, and mommy and daddy were exhausted from the long day!

Us at Mrs. Patty Cake:

Hunting Eggs with Granny and T

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

So, it is September and I am just getting around to posting from last year. Oh goes my best attempt to catch up! :) I got the Boys the same things for Valentine's Day...2 of everything seems like it cuts down on the fighting around here :) I ordered Beau a spiderman. We went to Whole Foods and got Beau's 4K teacher, Ms. Judy, some flowers. He was so cute giving them to her on Valentine's morning. He had a great time at school giving out valentines and receiving them from his friends. Joseph and I and Beau made a heart shaped cake to celebrate also. Beau made sure to put lots of sprinkles on it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Joseph

Joseph has been such a blessing and a sweet reminder of how faithful God is. He turned 1 on January 1st. We had a family birthday party at our house for him. We had cupcakes and a few snacks. He had no idea it was a party for him, and he just ran around seeing everyone.

He weighed in at 29 lbs and 30 1/2 inches tall at his 1 yr check up. Whoa!!! He is huge. Beau calls him a giant baby! He loves to play and can climb on everything. He started walking at 11 months old, and now runs everywhere. He loves to sleep with his giraffe lovies and his blanket. He sucks his thumb when he is tired. He loves snacks...crackers, graham cracker sticks, cheese cubes, cereal bars, veggie straws, yogurt, fruit, bread, but will not really eat meat or pastas yet. We will try to give him a bite of our dinner, and he smiles and turns his head away. Ridiculous!

Joseph with his cousins...Blake and Jenna

Beau playing cars with his cousin Addison

Joseph did not like his cupcake...he just smeared the icing all in his hair--we told him he was missing out because our neighbor, Mrs. Kim, made the most delicious cupcakes for him! I ordered edible, safari animal cupcake toppers for the cupcakes. They looked so cute, but never got a close up pic of them. Joseph and Beau had giraffe cupcake toppers and everyone else had monkeys, zebras, or tigers.