Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm not sure what to write anymore

I thought I'd write a little Hello post to all of you but somehow words are few and hard to find.

There was a lovely turnout for my father's funeral, lots of his friends from the business world, telling "Bob" anecdotes. It meant so much to be with his friends and hear how respected and beloved he was.

My father had told me he wanted his girlfriend to be able to remain in his house for six months after he passed away, so that she had time to regain her equilibrium and move to her property she has in another state.

Well ... she's decided to leave the Friday after Easter!!!


So I'm pretty much bonkers over here, between being heartbroken and grieving, little (!) sleep, having to visit lawyers, etc., I'm now having to pick the girlfriends brain for answers to things I need to know before she leaves.

You'll find me curled up into a ball and rocking in the corner ...

I've begun going through the stuff in the house ... my mom and dad never threw anything away, so it's a slow, memory-laden, sorting out and untangling, mess, er, task. The good news is that some missing family movies were finally found. YIPPIE!

If you're still out there, a big thank you for hanging in there with me and I hope this finds you all well and happy! Hoping I can catch up with you soon and hear all of your news.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

nighty night

I just about fainted yesterday when I found this note I had written my dad long long ago when I was six or something?! It was especially poignant since with every evening visit or call to him in the hospital (and many during the daytime, since he was dozing so much), I would say to my dad, "Nighty night Dad, sleep tight".

A few hours from now I will be leaving for my dad's funeral. One young man is coming all the way from the East Coast for it - my father had recently mentored him and he's coming to say thank you.

Nighty night Pop, I love you ...

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

~Henry Scott Holland

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making memory boards

I hope this finds you all well!

I've been a busy bee over here making memory boards and a quick scrapbook of photos for dad's funeral tomorrow.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words, I so appreciate them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do not go gentle ...

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~Dylan Thomas

My dear father passed away peacefully today at 4:30. He fought long and hard to stay here with us, he railed and cursed the dying of the light but his poor body was spent and unwilling.

Thank you so very much for being there for me these past six and a half weeks, your friendship has meant so very much to me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Botanical drawings for Vintage Thingie Thursday

(For those who have been following my posts about my father ... his doctor submitted his discharge orders a few hours ago. He is to go home to hospice care at about eight PM tonight. The past few days have been very difficult, he has become dependent on the BiPap machine, struggling for breath otherwise. So heartbreaking. He had begun to spend the days sleeping again (we think due to the build up of CO2) and saying only a few words - his doctor ordered another blood transfusion yesterday and he is a wee bit perkier today. I got to talk to him this morning on the phone and needless to say it brought smiles and tears of joy. I will be leaving in a bit to go to the hospital but have all this nervous energy and thought I'd do a Vintage Thingie Thursday post while I am waiting for my husband to come home and we leave for the hospital. Thank you again for all of your care and concern and prayers for my father.)

(Please visit Suzanne at Colorado Lady for more Vintage Thingie Thursday fun!)

This post is a continuation of my Rednesday post yesterday, here.

Today I am sharing a few pages from Aunt Lulu's college Biology notebook (from 1891) and admiring her delicate hand again (I have big clunky flourish-y handwriting and would love to have elegant handwriting!) and her drawings (I can't draw my way out of a paper bag!).

Happy Vintage Thingie Thursday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vintage reds for Rednesday

(Please visit Sue at It's A Very Cherry World for more Rednesday fun!)

Needing a little pick-me-up and distraction over here so I thought I'd get back in the saddle and do a Rednesday post of some family treasure I found recently.

I found these wonderful items belonging to my maternal great grandmother's sister-in-law. I think she was what was deemed a "spinster" long ago - she attended college, became a teacher and so far I cannot find that she ever married. I think she must have come to live with her brother and my great grandmother (or with her mother and her items were passed down to my grandmother).

Dear Aunt Lulu. I think she has the sweetest face. Did she really never have a "suitor"? Her school notebooks suggest an excellent and curious mind - perhaps she was an early feminist, wanting/needing to have her own voice, not wanting to give up her own pursuits, as women had to do back then?

(Lulu, in the forefront, seated on the ground,
wearing the same dress as the photo before,
wonder what the occasion was? High School
or College Graduation or???)

I am sharing a red(ish) autograph album that was given to her by three friends and also her red marbled paper-covered notebook from Carleton College, Northfield, MN, dated 1890.

I know my gnome, sprite, elf and fairy loving friends will adore this one! Isn't the little gnome charming?! The cover is velvet and I can't begin to guess what the image is made out of??? Would anyone know by any chance what the material used would be? It's thin and looks like plastic but I didn't think plastic existed in the late 1800's?

The inside has a lovely vintage graphic with a fairy riding on a bumble bee, surrounded by flowers and birds.

For some reason, this lovely treasure was never shared, never passed around for the collection of autographs, the pages left bare. Even so, I have a feeling that it was much loved, being taken out and looked upon, sweet memories of youth rekindled.

(the penmanship in the inscription is absolutely gorgeous!)

Oh my gosh ... and this, her college notebook with her course notes. Her handwriting and neatness are a marvel to me. How on earth does one take "neat and tidy" notes?! I sure never could or did.

I've only just started to read it but I thought this might be an interesting page to share with you ...
Oct. 9

By President Strong

Subject: How to gain concentration of thought.

Use your will power.
Be methodical.
Count every moment worth something.
Learn by your own practice how you can best do what you have to do.
Learn self-dependence. Do not allow others to do your work.
Do not forget the real object of education. The great end of education is not to acquire mere facts but to gain power.

(the "gain power" bit kind of freaks me out! Really, the purpose of education is to gain power? Really??? YIKES, such a weird thought and use of words.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Six weeks ...

Today is six weeks since my father fell and broke his hip and went into the hospital.

I'm sorry I haven't updated - it's just been more of the same but sadder. He had had a wonderful day on Thursday, so engaged and talkative and making jokes but now it's become very clear the ensuing past few days that my dad's lungs are really in dire shape. He struggles to breathe every morning when they take the BiPap mask off and replace it with the lesser mask. We had thought perhaps the reason was the shock of not feeling that blast of pressurized air and anxiety - but heart breakingly no, that's not it - the nurse gave him anti-anxiety meds and he was still struggling. The lesser mask is on the maximum it can operate but it is not enough for my father, so they had to replace the BiPap mask.

And they just completed the final test ordered on my father, a CT scan to see if perhaps he had a blood clot in his lungs. They found no evidence of any clots but they did find some more fluid build up.

The doctor hasn't been by yet this morning so I don't know what will happen next yet ...

Thank you again for hanging in there with me, for your continued kind comments, your support, your prayers, your friendship. It means so very much to me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The best laid plans of mice and men ...

... often go awry!

Or as Robert Burns said:

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley

I was so looking forward to starting a craft project and a new book yesterday but alas, neither happened. WAH! I got caught up in working on my family tree on and time just went wooshing by. Gosh, that's addictive.

Well until today at any rate - when things got oh so muddled with at least four generations of George Ross's appeared and got all crazy and intermingled.

One of my relatives wrote a family genealogy and I have that to refer to but there are other people on who I share relatives with and they have some different dates.

So confusing. And that's working on a family line that I already have info on - all the work has been done for me, I just have to plug in the dates. (but then the dates conflict ... woe is me)

If source documents aren't posted, how on earth do you know what is the real date or fact?!

So I'm no longer having fun - instead, I am muttering under my breath and pulling my hair out. I am moving onto another family branch and leaving the dear Ross family behind for another day when I have eaten my Wheaties!

They moved my father out of ICU on Monday evening - the pinheads moved him into an unmonitored room. The portable monitors they brought in, kept him awake all night long and all Tuesday. ARGH!

Thankfully they moved him Tuesday night (at midnight), into a monitored room. We are hoping that he will be able to come home shortly - we keep hearing in a couple of days but "a couple of days" has passed so many times, that I don't pay any attention anymore.

Can't believe it's Thursday already, I have completely lost track of time - hope you're all having a great week!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm in need of a mental health day

Not doing so very great over here.

Oh boy howdy - am I ever in need of a day off from my life!

I've tried my best to not bemoan and air the family dysfunction I grew up in on here - to keep my blog insanity free bwahahhahhahha. Suffice it to say that this episode with my father is royally dredging up the past for me and I am in a lot of pain.

I keep showing up for a man that treated my mother like doggie doo, a man that seldom hung out with his family, choosing god knows whose company over ours - a man none of us could ever please.

And I'm still showing up, still doing that dance for daddy, the can't you love me daddy dance. And coming up short again.

OUCHERS times a gazillion!

His only interest is in this new woman who yesses him, spoils him ... a woman who doesn't understand the history of her acts and what is being played out, that she is just the understudy, my mother having created the role.

Such familiar territory. Such deep wounds.

So without further ado and a big sigh of relief, today is Do Whatever Sally Pleases Day over here!

May your midweek Hump Day be easy to climb over today and the view fantastic!