Oh how I’ve missed you!

Hello my beautiful darling angels!  I’ve been away far to long and I’ve missed you so much!  So many things have happened since my last post.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s settle in for a chat okay?

The last time I posted I was in the middle of the J a day for St. Jude’s project.  I was working at the flower shop and things were clicking right along.   Oh but how a moment can change your life.  I woke up the next day and my computer died.  I don’t mean kind of dead where you take it to the computer doctor for repair.   I mean dead like green and red data lines flowing in a vertical pattern when I booted her up.  She served me well for over six years but she was done.  I started saving my pennies for a new one and then my mom came for a visit.  She surprised me with a gift of computer cash and I was back in business!  Or so I thought.

She went home and two days later I got a phone call.  My precious mother had fallen getting out of bed and broken her neck.  Yes, that’s right.  She got up to get out of bed, fell and hit her head on the floor.  She broke her C1 & C2 vertebrae.  These are the two that control breathing and motor function.  It is nothing less than a miracle that she is not only alive but is having no motor skill or breathing issues.

They put her in a neck brace and she had to wear it day and night for about  2 months.  During this time we noticed that she was having difficulty remembering things and also some difficulty doing math.  Then she fell again.  No injury thank God but another fall.  Then one night she was out having dinner with her companion.  He had gone to get the car to pull around and pick her up.  He looked into his rear view mirror and she was laying face down on the grass.  He immediately took her to the ER and they kept her.

My mother is very independent and was anxious to get out of the hospital.  The doctors told her that she wasn’t going anywhere until they could surmise why she kept falling.  After a battery of tests they discovered that she had some very serious vascular issues with her heart.  The blood that is usually pumped to her brain was being rerouted into her chest wall because of a malformation in one of her main arteries.  This is what was causing the falls as well as her memory issues.

After a 5 1/2 hour surgery with two neurosurgeons working on her at the same time, one from the arm and the other through the groin, she was put in ICU.  We took turns going up to visit her and were both thrilled and relieved when she woke up and was doing well.  She was black and blue from the surgery but said she was feeling mostly okay other than the soreness.  The doctors had warned us that there was a risk of her brain swelling after the surgery because of the restored blood flow.   After a few days she was released and we got to bring her home on Thanksgiving day.  The day after Thanksgiving I had just finished taking a shower when I heard her screaming.  This was a scream like I’d never heard before and I hope I never hear again.  I knew something was wrong.  I ran into the kitchen where she was sitting and she just kept saying her arm was hurting.  We called 911 and back to the hospital we went.

They gave her some steroids to reduce the swelling in her arm and gave her a shot of morphine and after several hours, sent her back home.  We were all really surprised by this.  We figured they would keep her since the general consensus seemed to be that she had thrown a blood clot.

The following Monday she went to a follow-up with her doctor and he hears something unusual in her arm.  He admits her for more tests and they find out she’s got a tear in the artery in her arm.  That is what was causing all of the pain.  So they patched that up and now she is back home and recovering.

I have to tell you that I have always known that my mother was a very strong woman.  But seeing her go through all of this and watching her work so hard to get back to health has given me a new respect for her. We had a lovely Christmas together.  I made her a “No Worries Wanda” doll from paperclay.  (I’ll post about Wanda later.)  She loved her and that made me really happy.

Just before I left Florida we had a long talk.  We encouraged each other to keep moving forward and we made a promise to each other that we were both going to work to get healthy be the best we could be.  I feel closer to my mom than I’ve ever felt in my life and she says she feels the same way.  I gotta tell you, it’s pretty amazing.

So, true to my word to my mom and myself I came home and got busy painting.  I had prepped several canvases and then I went to lunch with a friend of mine.  We were talking about how life can really throw you a curve ball sometimes and she said, “That’s why they invented alcohol.”  We laughed and I said, “Some of us don’t drink!  It’s just life on the rocks.”  That got me to thinking about how prayer had been such a part of my mothers healing and how much it comforts me.  A lady that is part of a forum I belong too even asked her mom to go to the wall in Israel and say a prayer for my mother.  I can’t tell you how touched I was by this.  My mother had people praying for her all around the world!

All of these things gave me the idea to paint an angel.  I titled this piece “Prayer on the Rocks”.  I love the double meaning of the title.  Here are the pictures of the progress of the painting.  It’s now SOLD– Thank you!

First few layers for shading

Adding more detail and texturing her wings

Almost there but something still missing.

A flower halo and glaze and she's finished.

Well my sweet babies, that’s it for now.  If you read through the entire post you get a gold star!  LOL!  I’m home again and getting things back on track.  I will be posting daily again and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you.  I think it’s funny how we don’t realize just how much we need others until we don’t have them around for a time.  I’m so glad to be back and I hope to hear for you all soon.  Be kind to yourselves and remember you are loved beyond measure!

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm  Comments (4)  
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Happy Mother’s Day and rehab.

Hello my friends.  I have some excellent news.  My mom doesn’t have to have any surgery.  I did the happy dance for quite a while when I heard this news.  🙂

She has a fracture in her C1 vertebrae.  This is the vertebrae at the very top of our spine at the base of the brain.  She is going to be in a neck brace for quite a while but they are very optimistic about her recovery.  She has no swelling in this area and she has all motor function and sensation. 

They moved her to rehab today.  I talked to her on the phone a couple of times today.  She’s tired but is doing well all things considered.  She asked about me and Maddison the wonderdog when I wished her a happy mothers day.  I am so incredibly grateful that her injuries were not worse, but I feel so sorry for her right now.  She is in for a long and uncomfortable recovery.  I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away.  Since I can’t do that, I think the best thing I can do is keep a positive attitude and keep reminding her how much I love her. 

I didn’t make a J today.  I’m going to have to play catch up with the J’s but I promise I will be back on track with them very soon.  Not only do I want to remain committed to this project, but my mom wouldn’t want me to quit either. 

I just wanted to take the time to update you all and thank all of you who left comments and emailed me.  I am always so warmed by the kindness of others whenever some type of tragedy or emergency happens.  It continues to renew my faith in the human race.  I know there is more kindness than evil in this world.  This is such a comfort to me.  Thank you for being such awesome, incredible and absolutely glowing individuals.  Thank you for sharing your love and light with me!

Acknowledging grief and vegetable soup.

Hello my fellow seekers of light and harmony.  My adventure with my mom continued today.  We went to the grocery store and bought all of the ingredients for her homemade veggie soup.  I quickly learned that my main error in trying to copy her vegetable magnificence was my choice of meat.  You see, I like ground beef.  I love to brown lean ground beef with onions and mushrooms and then add that to my vegetable soup.  And don’t get me wrong, this combination is quite tasty.  It is not, however, anywhere near as tasty as my moms soup. 

Today I learned how she begins her soup and therein lay the answer to the mystery.  It seems that she starts with a top sirloin cut of beef.  She cubes this and boils it for an hour before doing anything else.  I also found out today that long slow cooking is another difference in our soups.  I’ll share pics tomorrow night.

As we were making soup we were laughing and talking about my step father Tom who passed away and my Granny Dot who also passed away.  We were recalling different funny stories about them both.  My mom stopped and looked at me and said, “You know when you and I are doing things like this together, I really wish your sister could be here with us.”  We lost my sister to cancer at the all to young age of 34.  My sister was a ray of light and I don’t know anyone who didn’t love her.   I looked at my mom and saw the pain in her face mixed with the love and happy memories she has of my sister.  I felt what she was feeling too.  All I could say is, “I know mom.  Me too.”  We both just smiled and went back to making soup.  We didn’t really have to say anything else.  We both understood the others pain and love.  

It’s a hard thing to regroup and find new ways to relate when someone central is suddenly gone from your life.  We are both working on that.  I love my mom.  I want her to be happy.  I want to always respond to her with love.  She deserves it  and so do I.  We both have a lot of pain to heal from, and we are.  I know God is working on me and I see Him working in my mother too.  I feel closer to her than I ever have in my life.  It’s a warm and wonderful feeling and one that I cherish.  We made magic tonight, in the form of vegetable soup, acceptance and love.  The magic of love.  It’s a powerful thing. 

Todays J a day is made out of….come on….guess…..LOL   Veggies of course!

J25 Veggie Delight