Thursday, May 28, 2015

Worms, Puddles and a Garden


I bought some plants the other day, because I am determined to have something of a garden this year, even if it isn't the full fledged one I long for. I decided I would plant some things in my flower mound in the front yard. Jeffrey worries that it will be tacky, but honestly, is there anything tacky about a fresh tomato and basil sandwich when the tomatoes and basil have been picked moments prior? I contend that it is the furthest thing from tacky there is. Besides, it will look a whole lot better than the weeds that have decided to take up residence there.

Yesterday afternoon, when it finally quit raining, I decided it was the perfect time to go out. I was watching Adrienne's girls, and we all went outside to play in the dirt. Faye and Emily were so excited to start an earth worm farm. Every worm I dug up they greedily snatched up with a handful of dirt, and promptly compared it to all the rest, determining whose was the biggest, juiciest, fattest worm. The babies gleefully found some rather large puddles and happily plopped down, fully clothed, to splash about while I wrestled with the ground covering of weeds, evicting them from my precious flower/vegetable bed. Of course, when there is water to be splashed, the older girls naturally have to compete in that, too. Because they are masterminds when it comes to finding ways to compete with each other. All four girls were happily mucking about in the rain puddles drenching themselves completely, to their satisfaction.

It took quite a bit of self control to not join them. But I needed to get those plants watered and in the ground. Because we really want a pumpkin this year! I had to first create space to plant it. Occasionally a child would wander over to me and offer to help by breaking my trowel, or using the hand rake to shower worms and dirt on us both. Adrienne eventually came to pick the girls up, saw what fun we were having, and decided to play in the dirt with me.

When the girls had were done and didn't want to be wet and dirty anymore, they tromped through the house, into the bathroom, and all four of them climbed into the bathtub together, splashing, laughing, and creating a shallow wading pool on my bathroom floor.

And so, once Addie and I got the girls cleaned up and the bathroom scattered back to rights, I decided I needed to get ready for the day, seeing as how I was covered in dirt and had a Primary meeting in less than an hour.

Adrienne popped some popcorn for the kids (the boys were home from school by this point) and sent them to watch Godzilla vs. Mothera (begged for by her 5 year old daughter. Apparently she is doing this whole parenting thing right.) while I got cleaned up, and then that angel of a friend went back outside and triumphed over those final pesky weeds, and then planted my plants for me. Wisconsin style.

Instead of going home and weeding her own garden!

That is true friendship right there. She is simply wonderful.

I made spaghetti for dinner that night. The kids were complaining about the food, so I did what any tired parent would do:

google image
"Yuck! What's that?"

"Worms, of course. What does it look like?"

"It looks like spaghetti. I don't want spaghetti for dinner."

"Oh good. I am so glad. This isn't spaghetti. We are having slime covered worms."

"No we aren't! If they are worms, where did you get them?"

"Remember how I spent all afternoon in the dirt, digging? You only thought I was digging up the weeds. I was really looking for dinner. Faye, I had to use all of the worms from your worm farm so there would be enough. Thank you. Now eat up. Lots of minerals that your bodies need are in this dinner."

They started laughing and began to toy with their food. At least they stopped whining and complaining about it, even if they didn't eat anything.

By the time I climbed into bed, I was exhausted to my bones, but it was the happy exhaustion of knowing I had worked hard, had a full day, and could now lay down with a happy conscience.

Yesterday was a good day.

That's What All The People Say

I really don't have many words for how awesome life is. We are so busy having fun and playing all the time, I just can't keep up on this here little blog of mine. Instead, I will flood this post with pictures, and possibly a bit of narrative. Mostly pictures, though.
Beth decided to help me with dinner tonight.
It turned into a bit of sensory play.
She had so much fun!
For the past few days, Faye has been making Beth crazy comfortable in a box filled with pillows, and anything Beth could possibly desire, from her binki and juice, to a hat she saw on the floor and decided she just had to have. The box is also full of blankets, stuffed animals, and books. Faye then would push Beth all over the upstairs wood floors, laughing hysterically as Beth squealed with glee. It was so fun to hear them playing. Faye was very upset when I used the box as a tool to carry some of her toys downstairs. Heaven forbid a box be used for something other than play!
I couldn't resist. All the kids were snuggled up on the bed, doting on the cat while watching youtube cat videos. Because cat videos are their favorite things in the world right now. Especially anything that says "ninja" and "cat" in the same sentence.
"Paca Stories" comes over frequently to read to Beth. It made my heart happy to see all of the kids listening to Grandpa read to Beth.
For Faye's preschool graduation I was asked to bring a dozen un-frosted cookies. So I brought ooey-gooey rice krispy treats instead. Yeah, I am a rebel like that. 
Beth has really enjoyed watching the rain these past few days. 
Seeing as how that is one of my all time favorite activities, I am so happy that she is enjoying it, too. I see many rainy afternoons spent together, enjoying the noise and smell and colors of rainstorms with her.
This is the first time ever that Beth has fallen asleep in the high chair. Come to think of it, it may be the first time any of my children have fallen asleep in the high chair.
I was spoiled on Mother's Day. This was my incredible breakfast, and I loved every morsel of it. You can't tell, but those pancakes were overflowing with blueberries. Yum!
Faye has really been enjoying creating a sense of style. I think she told me she was being me in this picture. She has my shoes, and two of my scarfs on. The funniest bit of this photo is how my shoes magically disappeared shortly after this was taken. Suspicious, don't you think?
Faye was enjoying another fashion day. She wanted a headband like Rosie the Riveter.
Just Faye, demanding I take a picture. Of course, I will always oblige when one of my kids wants a picture taken!
This is Keith and his Map Expedition. It was a wonderful presentation, and I am so proud of him! Anyway, see what a stud muffin that boy is turning into?!
I think he was pretending to be an explorer in this picture. That table leg was his gun. I think.
And so, in the great words of Ole' Blue Eyes, "That's Life, That's what all the people say!" It keeps me oh so busy, and ridiculously happy. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spaghetti Syrup


All growing up we looked forward to Saturdays.

Not only were the most amazing cartoons on Saturday mornings, but my Dad would make breakfast, which meant pancakes. Every single Saturday for my whole life we had pancakes, and I never got tired of them. It was something to really enjoy, and treasure. A memory I surely love, and something I have always toyed with doing for my kids.

Except I always want to sleep in on Saturdays, because I don't ever get to any other day.

Last Saturday, however, I decided to get up and make the kids some delicious pancakes, along with homemade syrup, as usual.

The pancakes were delicious. They were perfectly golden and round and delicious. The pan I needed for syrup was in the dishwasher, and it hadn't been turned on yet, so I pulled it out, inspected it, and was satisfied. It looked like Jeffrey had given it a good washing before putting it in the dishwasher. Just to be safe, though, I gave it a quick cleaning, and then began to make the most delicious syrup ever invented. Really. I found the recipe on agirlandagluegun.com and probably will only go back to maple syrup only if we are out of butter. Because, yum!

She calls it Divine Syrup, and it is aptly named. All you need is 2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter. Melt it together in a large saucepan. That part is important. It has to be larger than you would expect because the syrup really foams up and the first few times I made it, I had it all over my stove. A large saucepan. Remember that. Once it is melted together, add 1 cup of buttermilk. I usually just use regular milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Like magic, it makes buttermilk! Bring it all to a boil and let it boil for 1 minute. Remove it from the heat and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Stir well. This is the part that really foams up and will volcano all over your stove if you don't have a large enough pot. On the bright side, if your pot is too small, you will get an impromptu and lovely science experiment, and all the kids will rush to see why Mom is squawking in the kitchen, and then will ooh and aah over the bubbling sugary solution, followed by many fingers in the gooey concoction, happily "helping" to clean up the sticky, but actually planning to spread said sticky all over the house from top to bottom. Because that is how kids work. And that is also why I love my job.

I was so excited because for the first time, I had a pot that was large enough. I didn't have to clean up any syrup off the stove. And it smelled so good! Everything was coming together perfectly. Jeffrey sauntered into the kitchen as I was finishing up with the pancakes and decided to make some eggs while the griddle was still hot. The kids set the table with the fancy dishes, Faye made some orange juice, and we all sat down to breakfast, eager to eat the fluffy goodness called pancakes.

I watched as the amber liquid drizzled out of the decanter it was in and onto my hotcakes, making thin golden designs, and somewhat mesmerizing me as I poured it. It glossed over my breakfast, highlighting the colors, glistening the pat of butter, and my mouth began to water. I eagerly laid the syrup aside, cut a piece with my fork, and with great anticipation took my first bite of pancake.

It was glorious! I happily chewed, swallowed, and the stopped.

While in my mouth it was heaven. As soon as I swallowed, the syrup morphed into spaghetti sauce. The aftertaste was most definitely that of spaghetti sauce, which we had eaten for dinner the night before.

The horrid reality dawned on me. The pan I had taken from the dishwasher to make the syrup in must have been the one which had cooked the spaghetti sauce. And while it had been rinsed out, even with soap, it hadn't had a good sound scrubbing, and so the sauce flavor was still prevalent in the pan, and had transferred its flavor into my lovely golden syrup, thus compromising its deliciousness.

It was a sad pancake morning for me.

Funny enough, though, the kids didn't seem to even notice the spaghetti aftertaste and devoured nearly all the pancakes and syrup like hungry little birdies.

Thank heavens they will eat anything so we didn't have to waste all that syrup!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Banshee and The Green Light

google image
Faye is a screamer.

Like a banshee.

She screams a terrible scream that strikes fear into your soul. Like something dreadful is about to happen.

When something doesn't go her way, she emits the most dreadful noise known to man, which could be used as a torture device. I would do almost anything to make that noise stop. I have tried so many different methods to teach her to stop, but it seems hopeless. We have talked about it, I have imitated her so she could hear what it sounds like to others, she has been sebt to her room for making that noise. Nothing has worked.

On Thursday she was doing it again, and honestly, I just don't have the energy to fight her over it anymore. I had been ignoring it for a while, and she kept on going and going. Finally, I sat down next to her, took her sweaty and tear strained little body in my arms and told her I was going to tell her a story. It went like this:

"While your daddy and I were driving home from the funeral, the strangest thing happened. The road was deserted, and there were lots of hills and sagebrush all around. Occasionally we could see a herd of cows in the distance, but it was just us, the music and the open road. Suddenly, there was a flash of bright green light all around us. We seemed to drive through it. It was so weird! We couldn't tell where it came from or what it was. We didn't really think anything of it, other than the fact that it was weird, and honestly, we sort of forgot about it. Except now, I can tell that it did something to us. See, your daddy and I can't hear screaming anymore. Instead we hear a weird buzzing sound. I can see your face, and read your body language to tell that you are upset, but I just can't hear screaming! I think the best way to get my attention when you are upset would be to calmly call "Mommy, I need you." and I will come running, as quick as I can to see what you need. But screaming for me will just not do a thing, because I can't hear you when you do."

And that was it. Like magic, she stopped screaming. I think it will be a little while before she gets out of the habit, but she is well on her way, which makes me deliriously happy. I love that I wont have to hear that noise every time something doesn't go her way anymore.

And what a blessed thing it was that we went over that on Thursday, because Friday I decided it was time to tackle her bedroom.

We began at nine in the morning.

We finished at 4 in the afternoon.

In the process of me trying to teach her how to clean her room, she tried the screaming, and I am so glad she really thinks I can't hear it! Yes, I lied to my child, but it is in the interest of teaching her to use her words, and I really don't feel bad about it. Finally, at 2, I told her I was going to set a timer and if she didn't help me get it clean in time, the consequence would be that she would have to spend the rest of the day in her room. Including no dinner. I told her I really wanted her to be with us for dinner, and for the fun things we were going to do that night as a family, so I would keep helping her, because I love to have her around me. Mostly, she sat there while I worked, praying for patience and the ability to not get frustrated with her. If she had helped me, we could have gotten it done in under an hour, easy. Without her help, though, it took so much longer. The timer went off, and she was understandably upset. We discussed consequences and how all of our actions have a consequence. When her room was finally clean, I made a deal with her. She could come out of her room and join us for dinner when she got all of the marker, pen, pencil, crayon, and chalk scrubbed off her walls.

And then I went down to help Keith with his room.

We finished his room around 7 last night.

Because when I clean, I get everything. We moved the bed so we could vacuum beneath it, pulled all the papers and books off his shelves that were precariously booby trapped for the hapless victim who decided to move any of them. We dug the dirty clothes out from beneath his mattress, changed his bedding... the whole nine yards. The best part is he actually helped me do it all! And he is so pleased with his room now. It makes me happy for them to be thrilled about their now clean bedrooms. For the first day or so, Faye is meticulous about cleaning her room. I wish it would last. But I think it will be a battle for many years to come, to teach her how to clean.

When I had finished with their rooms, I was so tired, and so ready for bed! I felt like I had accomplished nothing all day, and was very discouraged.

Faye did eventually get all of the writing she had put on her walls off of it, so was able to join us for dinner. But we didn't do anything fun. I was beyond tired. When I put the kids to bed, though, reading to them chased away that feeling of not having accomplished anything. And that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Writing and Remembering

Today was Mimi's funeral. It was the happiest funeral I have ever been to. It was more so a celebration of her life with everyone commenting on her ability to exude love and patience. It was a beautiful service, and though I think many people aim for funerals to end up like that, hers truly was perfect. After the service Jeffrey and I took our kids to our friends' house so they could play with their kids. While the kids were looked after, Jeffrey and I got in the van and drove for three and a half hours up to Jerome, Idaho where Mimi was buried next to her parents. Again, a lovely service. There were stories of Mimi shared that had us all laughing, and we rejoiced in the blessing we had to have known her. Jeffrey and I wandered the cemetery for a bit and found his great grandparent's graves, and those of other distant relatives.

It was such a calm and relaxing day considering.

I have been dealing with Mimi's death in a wholly unexpected way, though. Usually when someone close to me passes on, I get sad. I cry for a few days. And then I am fine. I move on with my life missing that person, but understanding they are happier and it isn't goodbye, it is more of a "See you later. " For some reason, I wasn't able to do that with Mimi at all. I didn't really cry. Not more than a tear or two, any way. It isn't like I was in denial, either. I was happy for her. And like I said, my understanding of life after death has nearly completely removed the sting of death for me. I was ready. I had said goodbye to Mimi on Sunday and I had no regrets with her.

Despite this all, I really didn't cope well. I got angry. I was so grumpy! I yelled at anything that moved. I honestly couldn't be around people without exuding my anger all over them, and I was baffled as to why I was acting like that. The anger and grumpiness lasted all of Monday and well into Tuesday.

When I found myself still being irrationally angry, I decided it was because I needed to cry. That would get pent up emotion out and I would be able to cope and move on. Except I couldn't cry. Not a good cleansing cry, anyway. I tried watching movies to cry, but I barely sniffled. Anytime I got close, something inside of me would block it and I couldn't. Which would frustrate me more, which in turn added to my anger. Finally, I had a memory. Once on my mission I had had a bad day. Everything had gone wrong and I was grumpy. I decided we weren't getting anywhere, so my companion and I decided it would be best to go home. Once back to our apartment, I went into our bedroom, closed the door, got down on my knees and repented. I asked forgiveness for my completely unnecessary bad mood. I hadn't intend to do that, and as I did, the words coming out of my mouth surprised me, but on further reflection I realized I did need to ask forgiveness for acting like a git, both from my Heavenly Father, and from my companion. Once I did that, we had an incredible day! It was a lesson I have never forgotten.

Remembering that experience, I went to my room to pray, except I couldn't find the words to say. So I asked for help to find the words. Once I did that, I expressed my frustration with my impossible emotions, and how bad I felt for constantly yelling at my kids and husband. I asked for help to know how to stop. And then I became obsessed with an idea. So much so, I am not sure if I even finished my prayer. I don't know if I ever did.

The thought I had was to write. It went around my head and left ideas and desires to write in every turn, cranny, and angel in my brain. If I could just write, I would be fine.

And so that is what I did. I waited for Jeffrey to get home and I locked myself in my room and turned on my computer.

and stared at it.

Nothing came to mind. It was completely blank. I could hear echos rolling around my brain, the way the sound of thunder rumbles until it fades into a memory. The cobwebs were shivering in the complete baren wins which twisted through the nothingness in my mind. So I procrastinated, and eventually tried again. After several failed attempts to get anything to my brain, it was suggested to me to try Train of Consiousness writing. I did and after about 20 minutes of that, my brain began to work.

I was determined to have those chaotic emotions resolved before the viewing Tuesday night. I wrote and wrote, and just spoiled the past week out there. When I finished, we had about half an hour to get ready and be to the viewing. I felt a lot better and rushed to get everyone ready to go.

I am usually a mess at funerals. I always cry, even if I don't know the person well. My tear ducts may have been pushed nearer the surface after all my pregnancies because I usually cry at the drop of6f a hat. I was counting on this as we went to the viewing. I even wrote my water proof mascara. Except I didn't cry and my tear ducts were confused. We relief in Mimi's life. Everyone was simply happy to have known Mimi, and people weren't crying.

Nor did I.

But I felt a lot better, and a lot more like myself again.

Today there weren't many tears either, because of the joy and ability to recognize the blessing it was to know Mimi.

Except after the grave was dedicated and people were leaving, the mortician turned on a song.

It was the song I have been singing in my mind since I learned about Mimi passing. We sang it in choir for graduation in high school.

"May God Bless You and Keep You"

I was shocked and humbled and overjoyed at such a tender mercy,so obviously given to me for comfort and a sign that I am lived and watched over and cared for. It truly was an amazing experience when that song came on! And that is when I finally cried,except it was again only a few sniffles, but it was enough.

Before heading home again, Jeffrey and I went with his mother and sister to see the town where she had grown up. We went to the farm and the old apartments her grandfather had built. It was the perfect amount of nostalgia, and I ate it up like s water eats sugar; greedily and quickly, absorbing it until it became a part of me.

And then we came home, got our kids, and snuggle attacked their tired little bodies because we had missed them so much.

I am so happy to report that I feel completely back to normal, and am excited to get back to the daily grind. Yes, I actually am excited to clean the house. Maybe it will be as cathartic as writing has been.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Because I Knew Her


It seems so long ago, now, those quiet days I sat with Mimi. It was just last week, actually. She took a sudden turn for the worse, and the family rushed to her side. My angel mother in law rarely left her bedside, opting to sleep there and take all her meals with Mimi. She had an infection, and double pneumonia. Her heart was working overtime, trying to compensate for the lack of oxygen, and her little body didn't seem to be able to cope with it much, so she slept a lot. Guessing how hard it must be for my mother in law, I would drop all the kids off in the morning with whoever I could find to watch them, and then rush to relieve her so she could go home and shower, or nap, or do anything else. Because she didn't want Mimi to be alone. And I can't blame her for that.

Those mornings, though, will be cherished and remembered for a long time, I imagine. The feeling in Mimi's room was indescribable, nevertheless, I will attempt. It felt like a little oasis of Heaven. The peace was calming and overwhelming and exactly natural, as it always was like that with Mimi. I would sit in the chair next to Mimi and hold her hand while I chatted with Janice, the hospice worker. We had many good conversations about Mimi, life and everything. Deep conversations you usually wouldn't have with a near stranger, but circumstances brought us together and eased the formalities usually present with new acquaintances. I helped Janice change Mimi's sheets, clothes, and everything else. It was hard for Mimi to roll over, and she would hold onto my hand with a grip of steal, wholly trusting me. It hurt her to roll from side to side to change everything necessary, but being able to hold onto someone she trusted seemed to help a lot. When Janice would leave, it would be Mimi and me, except all the exertion of her bath and bedding change was exhausting, and she would fall asleep holding my hand. When I would try to take my hand back, she would squeeze it tighter, not wanting to let go.  I was content to sit, holding her hand, quietly talking to her sometimes, and other times, just letting her rest. One day I decided to paint her finger and toe nails. She was asleep at the time, as she was most of the time now. Another time I found her yarn and crochet hook and started a chain for her and then gave it to her. She seemed to be much comforted by that yarn.
I read to her a little, sang to her a lot, and loved to be there with her, whether she was awake or not.

She began to talk at night. She carried on conversations with her mother. Not made up conversations, but very one sided, seemingly answering questions type of conversations. My mother in law didn't get a lot of sleep, but was very happy to have the chance to record Mimi's part of those conversations. A few times I went back to the home in the afternoon when Jeffrey was home with the intent of relieving Chris so she could get a nap, but she never did. It was so hard for her to leave Mimi, and as Mimi is a much loved person in the community, there was always a parade of visitors wanting to express their love and support, and naturally, Chris wanted to be there as many of the visitors were her friends.

It was a roller coaster of a week. There were so many emotions swirling around. The weirdest part was how much those visits with Mimi took out of me. I loved being there. I loved being with her. I loved the feeling of peace and love in her room. But when I was driving home, I quite often found myself longing for things of comfort from my childhood. One time I had a nearly uncontrollable urge to climb my tree with a book. That was my escape as a kid. Except that tree got cut down when I was in 5th grade. I have been longing for the solitude of the mountains. I have wanted to retreat into a good book, or music, or anything for the sake of retreating. Not because I was trying to run away, but because those are the things that bring me comfort and strength, and I needed both of those after leaving Mimi. I still don't understand why, but it is what it is.

Amidst all of this worry over and visiting with Mimi, my home was greatly neglected. I didn't clean it once. I usually found something simple to cook, if I cooked at all, or I would ask Jeffrey to make meals, and I would go to bed early, exhausted, yet eager to go back to Mimi's side the next day.  I loved to be with her.

Saturday morning there was a new hospice worker. His name was Kirk and he has a son with Down Syndrome, like Mimi. we talked a lot, and he told me that he would honestly be surprised if Mimi made it through the night. Her oxygen was at 94, but she was using 6 liters, which was a lot. Her blood pressure was 88/44, she had a fever of 102.7, her pulse was erratic, her breathing haggard and uneven. She had a little bit of what they called the death rattle when she breathed. At this point, she hadn't eaten anything for 2 days, and she couldn't swallow anything, really. To get water, we would dip a stick with a sponge on the end into a cup, and then put it in her mouth and she would either suck the water out, or chew it out. He told me what to watch for and then left.

I held Mimi's hand, putting cool clothes on her forehead and quietly tried to take care of some of the things I needed to do for Primary. Chris, my mother in law showed up and a few minutes later her sister and husband arrived. Everyone thought that Mimi had been holding on until Joanne her sister could get there, and I expected a call all the rest of that day, to tell me that Mimi had passed on. Meanwhile, I coordinated with Jeffrey's sister what we would do about Mother's Day, and our sister in law's birthday. We decided we would bring ingredients to make dinner and both of us made arrangements so we could be available all the next day.

Sunday morning came, and I wasn't able to get a hold of Chris, so I called Jeffrey's sister. She said that Mimi was doing better. Her vitals were up, and she had shocked everyone, especially Kirk. She was alert, talking, and happy. I suspect it was because she had all of her siblings around her. Joanne from Boise, Chris, and Ron who is leaving for a LDS mission to Madagascar next week. All day she was really good. She was a lot more alert than she had been for a few days, and though surprised, we were all hopeful. Jeffrey's sister and I proceeded with our plan to make dinner.

Jeffrey and I left church right after the kids sang in Sacrament Meeting. As we were walking down the hall to leave the building, Keith asked why we were leaving, and I told him it was so we could see Mimi. Beth heard me, and yelled "Mimi!" with such joy in her voice. She ran down the hall, hands over her head squealing "Mimi! Mimi! Mimiiiiii!" We laughed. Beth has always had a special bond with Mimi. She simply adores her. Anytime either my mother in law or father in law come by, as soon as she sees the truck or car, she squeals "Mimi!" and runs to the door.

We made dinner, ate it, enjoyed each other's company, sang Happy Birthday to our sister in law, and relished the day. Chris came home for dinner and joined us. She made a plate for her sister and brother in law, and I went back with her, protecting the plates from spillage in the car ride. We got there, and Chris, Joanne and Earl went into the lobby area. As soon as the aid was finished changing Mimi, I went back in her room and held her hand. She was so beautiful in her red gingham dress with daisies all over it. She smiled at me and squeezed my hand. I talked to her softly, gave her a sponge drink, and put some chap stick on her lips to help with the dryness the oxygen caused. She looked happy, but miserable at the same time. She would shudder occasionally, or reach out to something or someone invisible in front of her. She moaned occasionally, and as I watched her it broke my heart more than ever to see her like that. I silently prayed that if she had to be taken from us, to please let it happen soon so she could stop suffering. All too soon, Jeffrey and the kids were there to pick me up and take me home. Beth was excited to see Mimi, Faye lingered near her, but Keith took one look at her and walked out of the room. I didn't want to leave until Chris came back. I didn't want to leave Mimi alone. While I had been with her, she had been trying to sleep, but several times she jerked awake, clutched at me, and had a wild and terrified look in her eyes. That look haunted me. I didn't want her to be alone because I didn't want her to ever have that look in her eyes again. When she had jerked awake, she would clutch at me, and when she realized I was with her, she instantly calmed down. I gave her a hug, told her I loved her. She whispered "I love you too." and we left.

At 2:32 that morning my phone rang. I picked it up and saw that it was Chris, my mother in law. The significance of her calling me in the middle of the night didn't kick in. I nearly ignored the call, but for some reason, didn't.

Chris was calling to tell me that at 1:30 Mimi had passed from this world, to join her parents who we knew were anxiously awaiting her arrival. We talked for a few minutes about the implications, and then hung up. The call had awakened Jeffrey, so I told him his aunt had passed away. He said he knew, he had heard the whole conversation.

And we lay there.

Neither of us could sleep.

As I lay there not sleeping, I remember being so grateful that Mimi had passed on Monday, and not Mother's Day or Camilla's birthday. It would have been too hard for them, I worry, had she gone the day before. But Heavenly Father knew that, I suspect, which is why things worked out the way they day. I am also so grateful that after several days of misery for Mimi, she had a good day on Sunday. A good day for everyone to be able to say goodbye, and a day with minimal pain for her and more alertness than she had had for a few days.

Since then, things have been interesting. I am not sure how to explain, or if I even want to. Maybe when I get things figured out, I will. In the meantime, I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support. I am thankful for all the people who watched my kids so I could be with Mimi and have those special mornings with her. It was an amazing time, and I think really helped me with closure. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that families are eternal. I am humbled and overwhelmed by the love and sacrifice of my Savior, and for having had the opportunity to know and love Mimi so well. She has changed me. I am a better person because of her example.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Murphy's Visit.

I have always felt sorry for the man named Murphy. As much of an honor as it must be to have a law of the universe named after you, that is one for which I would hate to be remembered.
However, this past weekend was completely dedicated to him, it seems.

In retrospect, I have to laugh because the whole thing is an absolute joke!

It all began on Friday when the cat ran away. We looked all over for her, but she could not be found. Keith and Faye are very good to follow the rule that they are not to leave the cul de sac without our permission. They said they say Tylee in the neighbor's yard and could they please go get her. I said yes, and an hour later, they still hadn't come home. Jeffrey and I got in the car and went off in search of them. Apparently they had not even gone to that neighbor's house. We drove around the neighborhood for a bit before we found them. They were walking together, holding hands, and playing. It was the cutest thing ever to see, so I couldn't be too mad at them. They had completely innocently been searching for their cat, and exploring the neighborhood together. We talked to them about letting us know where they were going, and then we went home. I had an appointment to show our rental property, so I jumped in the van and headed for the freeway.

It was not to be. As I was in the turning lane for the freeway, something happened, and my van suddenly wouldn't drive. I didn't know what was going on, though. I immediately pulled into the gas station and discovered a massive flat tire. It was fearsomely flat. I have to admit, I was a tiny bit excited to change my first flat tire ever. While I was struggling to get the log nuts off, a very sweet couple pulled up with the intent to help me. The husband was able to get the nuts off, but when it came time to pull the tire off, Murphy was hard at work. It was decided that particular tire didn't necessarily need nuts and bolts to hold it into place. It could have been welded on for how stubbornly stuck it was. Jeffrey, my shining knight came to my rescue. We tried WD40, a hammer, kicking the tire, and everything else we could think of. Eventually I was instructed to pack up Beth, who he brought along as a gorgeous curly co-pilot, and to go wait at home. A few hours later Jeffrey arrived with a new tire and deep gratitude for his amazing brother and his "man boots" with the steel toes. Apparently the tire was no match for the likes of those boots. One swift kick is all it took, Jeffrey said, for the tire to drop is grip and restart to the hills, surrender flags flying. I think it is abundantly clear, Jeffrey needs a pair of the magic man boots. 

Saturday night, I am happy to report, Tylee came home. 

Saturday my temporary crown came off, so we bought some denture glue and figured things were great. Except Sunday morning as I was driving to some meetings, the temporary crown broke. Half came off and have stayed on my tooth. In the middle of my meeting the rest came off. it was awkward and funny, trying to hide the bit of my tooth while carrying on regardless. 

Monday I called the dentist to see how soon I could get in and had to wait until the next day for my appointment. 

It was certainly a doozy of a weekend,and while I don't thank Murphy, I do honor him for the great stories I now have to tell. Because that is what makes things interesting, the days where everything just goes wrong and you can't help but collapse in your bed at night, wiping your eyes from the tears of laughter you have been holding in. And then years from now I will be able to re-live the chaos with fondness.