91 Years Young

My father is 91 years old. I’ve had the privilege, particularly over the past couple of years, of spending a lot of time with him and going on adventures, as well like to call them. The biggest fear he has always had, like many of us as we age, is losing our independence and needing assistance to live.

I’ve always used the word “young” when describing my Dad instead of “old” but that changed yesterday when for the first time, I truly saw his as old. His body wearing out, his eyes a little more sunken and his body much more thin. You see four months ago, he was riding a bike, golfing (okay 9 holes instead of 18) but still. We celebrated his 91st birthday 🥳 by going out to dinner with friends. We talked, we reminisced, we laughed. We even went downtown and rode the carousel 🎠 in the town square. He was a kid again in a way and he enjoyed every minute of it.

But that all changed a few weeks ago. I was isolating at home with Covid, which in my case felt more like a really sever head cold. My throat was sore and my voice was hoarse when I spoke. I called my Dad on one of the days (he lives in a different state) to tell him I had tested positive and check in to see how he was doing. He sounds hoarse as well and was coughing. I jokingly said “you sound like me, are you sure you don’t have Covid?” He said it was just allergies and he would take some Benadryl.

A week later, he’s in the hospital with non-Covid related pneumonia. His left lung had filled with fluid and they were draining it. He was in the hospital for 3 days, then they sent him home with a strong dosage of antibiotics. He was home through the weekend but by the next Wednesday he was back in the ER, his lung filling up again and a sort of mental confusion setting in.

I came from out of state to be with him in the hospital and give some relief to my other siblings who have been with him. I have to admit, even after getting updates I was not prepared to see the man who I had ridden the carousel with a few months earlier in such a dire state of confusion. He’s lost weight in the hospital, can hardly carry on a conversation and I had to feed him dinner last night because he couldn’t remember how to eat. The doctors are still trying to pinpoint the kind of infection that grew out of the pneumonia, or vise versa I’m not sure. But it’s hard to watch.

One of the nurses is referring to his confusion as “hospital lirium”. Is that really a thing? Particularly in seniors? He’s been back in there for a week this go around.

So it now begs the question, will he take a turn for the better now being on a stronger antibiotic and having the fluid drained? Will his hospital lirium go away and his cognitive thinking return? I have glimmers of hope for that. Last night we phoned my Son and he spoke to Papa via FaceTime. All of the sudden he was “Papa” again. He carried on a conversation for a few minutes, even laughed and spoke coherently. But after we hung up, he would not speak the rest of the evening. Just kept touching his head and saying he was confused.

We will see what today and tomorrow and the next day bring. But at the end of the day, I know my father is ready to go, if that’s God’s will. He longs to take that great adventure in the sky and hold tightly to the family and loved ones waiting to embrace him on the other side. 🕊

Papa

#heaven #papa #hospitals #pnemonia #delirium #adventures #livelifetothefullest #confusion #independence

Peace on Earth

What’s happening in the world today is most definitely a tipping point in history. Amongst all the horrific injustices to the people of Ukraine, it’s bringing the world together in a way I have never seen in my lifetime.

Prayers for the determined, the fighters, the hero’s, the martyrs. Would you in the same situation take up arms like the people of Ukraine have to save your lands, your freedom, your brothers, your way of life?

I sincerely pray 🙏🏼 for all Ukrainian people, may your sacrifices not be in vain. 🇺🇦

#ukraine #peaceonearth #standtall #proudnation🇺🇦

Why Am I Here?

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves many times, “why am I here?” It’s a simple question, yet it’s meaning can be so broad. Why am I here on earth? Why am in the country? Why am I in this job? Why am I in this relationship? Why am I in this situation? Why am I in this moment?

Right now, I’m asking myself the same question. Why am I here? In this town? Having met these people I would have never met if I hadn’t moved. Why am I here, doing the work I’m doing and what bigger purpose is it for?

I moved to the town on purely a gut feeling that this is where I’m supposed to be. I just felt it undeniably. Within 3 weeks of coming here to “check it out” I moved. In so many ways everything has fallen into place so easily that it really makes you stop and ask. Why am I here? Why was I drawn to this place and why has it so quickly and comfortably become home? I’ve met some great people who quickly become great friends. The kind of friends who you feel you’ve always known. Am I here to be a part of their lives or they a part of mine?

This past week, one of the dear friends I have met here in this new town passed away. She was a very loving vibrant person who despite having health issues always had a smile. She and her husband were together a very long time and he will most certainly be lost without her. I’ve spent more time with the two of them since I’ve moved here 2 1/2 years ago than with any other friends I’ve made. I’ve gotten to know their kids & grandkids and they’ve become friends with my Dad and Son. She will be missed. 🙏🏼

And again I wonder, why am I here? I’ve had my share of dealing with the passing away of loved ones and now I seem to have been put in a surrounding where I’m interacting with others who have lost a loved one and are looking to rebuild their lives, or find a new purpose, a reason for trying to understand why they are still here. Was I put in their lives to be a comfort to them in dealing with death or are they comforting me in our now shared grief?

I don’t still fully understand yet why I’m here. In this town, at this moment in time, in this neighborhood, in this line of work, meeting these people. But I do know it’s for a reason, someone higher up is trying to ensure I understand the lessons I need to learn to become the version of me I’m meant to become. I hope one day it will be clear and I’ll know exactly why I’m here.

Until then, to my dear friend Vinny, who lost is soulmate this week, the one he was supposed to spend the rest of his life with, I’d like to say that your dear Wanda, instead, got to spend the rest of her life with you. And I don’t believe she would have wanted it any other way. 🙏🏼✨❤️

Resolutions

Happy New Year!! 🎊 It’s January 2022, how are you doing on your New Years Resolutions? I’m doing great, then again I gave up making resolutions when I figured out that nothing really changed at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. Sure we had something to celebrate, another excuse to over indulge on food and spirits, and start the New Year with one nasty hangover. Is that really a great way to start off New Years Resolutions? Now don’t get me wrong, I speak from experience. But once I decided I didn’t want to start the new year with a hangover I stopped drinking on New Years Eve. Maybe that is a resolution after all. 👍🏼 🕛

This year, like so many others, I watched the ball drop in Times Square. Not in person, and not even at midnight. But by the magic of television and live broadcasts I saw the ball drop at midnight in New York City 🍎 and I got a couple extra hours of sleep. I did wake up at midnight my time to the sound of fireworks in the neighborhood. 💥 I watched them from my bedroom window, then promptly went back asleep.

What I do still marvel at however, are the people I saw on the televised midnight celebrations who were literally hugging, kissing & in tears. Why does the changing of the clock into the next year elicit such strong emotions in people? Is it the letting go of a really bad year and the hope of things be different in the new one that would bring a person to tears at midnight on New Years Eve? Remember 2 years ago when we hit another decade and everyone was so excited and posting about the next decade of the Roaring ‘20’s? Well they’re roaring alright, maybe that’s why people are crying.

But when it comes it each of us individually making New Years Resolutions, in my opinion, the only thing you can really change is your mindset, and that’s not something that’s typically done overnight. So if you still made those resolutions, to lose weight, to make more money, to be a kinder person etc,, did you also have a change of mindset to help you accomplish them and sustain it into the next year? Or are New Years Resolutions just a one month thing? I mean there’s always next year, right?

What kind of world would it be if everyone only had One New Years Resolution – to change your mindset. It’s a work in progress for me, but the goal everyday, not just every new year is too look at life and people through a broader lens. To be open minded, enjoy life for where you are now, in the moment, look forward & not back. Let go of the things that have been draining you and holding you back. Change your mindset and your life will change. I hope you will join me in making that Resolution. 🥰

Photo credit, MyPositiveOutlook

#newyears2022 #resolutions #goals #mindset

My Sister, My Friend

Being a Sister is a beautiful and sometimes complicated relationship. But for me and my youngest sister we were best friends for 53 years. We had a lifetime of love, hurt, laughter & pain. Because that’s what Sisters do.

As a teenager, I helped raise my younger sisters after my parents got divorced. It wasn’t always easy, I was 16 and took on a parental role. Not trying to take anything away from my parents but they were thrown into the career / working worlds and I was at home with my two younger sisters. I worked at McDonald, was a sophomore in high school, dropped off and picked up my sisters from school, made sure we did our homework, fixed dinner, did laundry, paid bills & dragged them to the high school football games because I was on the drill team. In a way, at 16, I became a surrogate Mom to my younger sisters, while still trying to be a teenager myself.

We built a bond no one else will ever understand. Friends always asked me why I “didn’t date.” I made flimsy excuses, such as “There’s no one I like”, but the truth is, while my friends were going on dates, I was home with my sisters. If I did go on a date, I made sure it was something I could do & take my sisters with me. Roller skating was the go too. We came as a packed deal.

I was pushed into a grown up world at a young age. I didn’t look at it that way at the time. My parents were divorced and my Dad was living in a different city & my Mom was working out of town or late at night. She would send me money to pay the bills. You know, Utility, Power, Gas, Groceries, etc. And if there wasn’t enough, I used the money I made at #McDonalds to supplement it.

Right before my Senior year, I had a decision to make. Move with my Mom and her new boyfriend to a new city or go back and live with my Dad and finish high school at the school where I at least knew some people and had gone to school with them in Middle School and 1/2 of my Sophomore year. I chose that & moved back in with my Dad.

But what happened next caused a break in the relationship with my Mom that I’m not sure we ever fully recovered from. My two younger sisters told my Mom they wanted to go with me. They chose to go where I went to live & didn’t move with our Mom. At 17 years old, I was their stability. I became the parent in a way that followed us well into adulthood.

I lost my older brother when I was 22. But never did I ever believe that my baby sister would go before me too. In a way, I can’t figure out if I’ve lost another Sibling or a Child. I raised her. But one thing is for certain, a part of me died with her. The part of me that was a part of her. Now, I’m working to figure out who I am, in this new world, without my Baby Sister. 🦋🤍

We have 2 choices after the loss of someone we love. ❤️ Either it destroys us, or it inspires us. I think we know the answer, go find out who you are now. There’s a new you, a happy you, a content you, just waiting to emerge. Let go, you’ll find you. I promise. 🤍🦋 It’s what they want for you. ❤️

Stars

I wish I had a camera exceptional enough to capture the stars I’m seeing right now in the night sky. The Big Dipper is right in front of me and a million stars are overhead. Nowhere else but in my hometown have I ever seen so many stars in the sky. No wonder as a child I was fascinated with astronomy. ⭐️⭐️

The constellations, the heavens, the stars in the sky, whatever you want to call them, they give us hope. They give us meaning. They give us a reason to keep believing in something bigger than ourselves.

As a child I was fascinated with the stars. I was the child who my Dad woke up in the middle of the night at 10 years old to see the Milky Way, or the Comet, or the Shooting Stars. I was the child who won a Blue Ribbon in the 6th grade science fair for building a telescope. I’m sure in today’s world it would seem rudimentary, but back in the early ‘70’s, I won a blue ribbon for it.

But more than anything, the stars remind me, I’m Home! ❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️