Monday, February 27, 2006

Home Sweet Home!

My mom came home today! We've arranged all the necessary home care stuff - man, is it ever complicated. She's all pooped out from her big day. Soon, the home care person will come and get her ready for bed and she'll be off to dreamland - well, that is unless she falls asleep before that.

When I got her home she said, ''Oh, home, sweet home!" She recognized her home. When she was up in her room sitting in her favourite rocking chair she asked me, "Will I ever get my husband back?" I asked her if she meant her husband George - "Yes" - I had to remind her that he passed away. I didn't say 25 years ago! But when I reminded her she seemed to remember.

How scary it must be to forget things and be so confused. How cruel this life is to us as we age. Today when we left the hospital we said goodbye to the other ladies and wished them well. My mom waved goodbye, so happy to have a family to care for her.

I'm so happy she's home. I can rest now.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Four Generations

Up to the time this picture was taken, all of us were living together - four generations in one house. It was an awesome time - much chaos and far more hormones than should be in one house at the same time!

My mom looked so lovely at Sheena's wedding. It was our first child's wedding - grandma's first granddaughter getting married. It was a wonderful and magical day.

We put this picture in an album, along with pictures of all our family members, to help my mom remember. She keeps forgetting who she is and who she belongs to. She keeps thinking that the nurses are family members and the other women in the room confuse her - she wonders who they belong to.

So she's looking at her new photo album reading out what we've written about who everyone is. It seems like new information to her sometimes, but other times, it's like she knows it fine. One day she is confused, another day she knows what's happening and she wants to come home.

That is the stressful part. The other part is, the poor woman can't hear me - her hearing aid broke. We've ordered a new one and it won't be hear fast enough for her! Today I had here TV hooked up so she can watch it. She's fascinated with it - like it's a new thing altogether. She can't seem to understand how to push the channel and volume buttons. Oh well... at least she'll have something to amuse her.

I thank God that up until just a few weeks ago we had my mother with us totally knowing where she was. It was a wonderful blessing to have her at Sheena and Sarah's weddings. Well, actually she missed Sarah's wedding at the church, but that's another story!

I love this picture with my mom. Thank you, Lord, for my mom and all the wonderful memories I have of her.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Amazing Memories

Here we are back in September 1990 - our Welcome Weekend. That's what they called it when you went off to The Sally Ann's training college. Sarah & Sheena are in their little mauve dresses and Derek looked very smart in his suspenders and bow tie. Man, am I ever thin! I was only 140 there! Well, that was about 40 pounds ago!

What memories this brings back. We've been making up an album for my mom so that she can look at it in the hospital and remember us all. I came across this and it amazed me. What a day that was. How nervous we were. Now, I think, if only I knew - I would have run the other way and fast!!!

I can't believe how far - geographically speaking and spiritually speaking - that God has brought us. Our lives have been such an adventure and we've been able to make a difference in someone's world. How amazing that is. What a wonderful feeling that is.

Thank you Lord.


Blast from the Past!

I wasnt' supposed to go to work today, but I was bored at home so off I went. I didn't get much accomplished, but I was there to take a very important call from someone very special. Someone I haven't spoken to in years but often think of. Someone who's pictures are around my house, on the fridge, on the inside of our computer desk, you know what I mean. And so Lisa called. Lisa - the young girl who was like a younger sister to me many, many moons ago. What a joy it was to reconnect with her again.

Sometimes when we're feeling down, and we don't even know what we need, God provides just the right thing. People have been asking me how they can help me since my mom's been in hospital. It's comforting to know they're thinking of me, but I don't know what to tell them. What can they do to help? I don't even know what to do for myself these days. I'm numb, just blank, mind wandering onto insignificant, trivial things. So what do I need....

God knew.

And she called.

And I felt so lifted up after our talk... all the way from England, the place where I feel most at home where I bond with the atmosphere.

Lisa, it was so good to speak to you today. You reminded me of times that were fun and happy. Don't just breeze into my life and then disappear again. Let's not do that again!

Thank you Lord for that encouragement today.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ups & Downs

This past day or two has been much better for my mom. She's talking and laughing although still not making sense all the time. You can tell her speech is getting a little difficult - she doesn't always come up with the right words for what she wants to say. But her mood has improved. She was up watching TV with the ladies from her room in the hallway today while they waxed their floor. They were watching Olympic women's hockey and knew the score - that was great. When we got there she wanted to get dressed and come home. It was difficult to tell her that she couldn't right now.

I'm going to hire someone to come in and clean and organize my house. I can't do it. Ed's too busy and sick to do more than regular maintenance and I'd rather spend my time with the kids than do endless loads of laundry when I get home from work.

That feels selfish. Really, to spend money on something I should be doing myself! But, I just can't do it and work full time. Wherever did society get the notion that a woman could do everything and still keep her mind together. No wonder we're a prozac society!

Sometimes I think that if I could just garner enough faith, or prayer a little more, I'd be able to do it all. But I can't seem to find the time in between running from here to there to actually get my mind organized to pray. Thank goodness God understands this and isn't sitting in judgement on me like I am on myself. Thank goodness He accepts my prayers in the wind as I'm running from here to there, the ones that drift up dreamily from my pre sleep exhaustion.

Well, it's time to carry on and not give up, so much laundry to do, so much cleaning to do so that when I hire someone they don't think I'm a complete slob!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Empty Mind, Empty Thoughts, Empty Day...

Today was an empty day. I went to the hospital this morning and my mom decided she wasn't going to talk. Well, that's what it seemed like until we realized that she was having a problem and didn't know what was wrong. It was sad. I didn't know what to do to get her to talk or try or take her pills or eat her food. She didn't seem to know what to do or where she was. But she did know who I was... and that was a good thing.

I feel so empty. I'm tired. All the running around, back and forth to the hospital, picking up the kids from school, going to work, going home, the birthday party for Nathan. I'm completey tuckered out. I wonder if I'm ever going to get my energy back. I wonder if life will ever again be peaceful, calm, less chaotic. I'm so tired. Today I'm going to cocoon. A good book, under the duvet, in my bedroom away from the noise... mmm... just what I need.

I'll write about the party another day...

grace... I really need it today.. Kathie

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters

Well, as I write this I'm exhausted from a 24 hour ordeal with my mom and the hospital. She hasn't been herself lately and so I decided yesterday that I had to do something about it. She seems vacant lately and her speech and memory were suddenly not what they should be. Even though there was nothing dramatic happening, I still felt I needed to finally take her in. My doctor ended up suggesting the hospital - and so the adventure began.

The doctor she saw today asked me why I didn't bring her in when she had her fall in January. I'm like, why? She got up, she didn't break anything, she seemed fine at the time and the last time this happened - well I was made to feel like I had wasted everyone's time over nothing. On top of that you get the lovely BC Health System (notice the capitals?) which causes more sickness trying to get through it all to get the help you need. Waiting room waits for almost four hours, no beds available, doctors who take forever to get to you and then when they do their so busy with so many cases you feel like you've maybe been imagining it all and you should just go home.

Anyway, my mom is in hospital. They don't know what's wrong with her - she may be having TIA's (mini strokes) or she may have something going on in her corotid artery, or it may be her heart. Either way, she needs too much care to be at home and I can't take care of her in her present state.

I miss her.

Even though she drives me crazy.

Who will tell me my hair looks like hell before I go out?
Who will remind me that my behind is very big these days? Am I gaining weight?
Who will tell me I never come home from work, Im too busy?

It's funny when your parents age. Even though the roles reverse somewhat, and they become like children and you the parent, they still retain that position in your life that gives them the right to point out all your faults!

I miss her.

I hope she gets well enough to come home soon. She asked me about the boys - who is taking care of them? Are they ok? She knows she has a family. She knows she has a home. It's so much more than some older folk have these days.

God help those other ones we saw down there that were all alone.

grace... Kathie

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Deception - a Risk

We've had a young man staying with us since Christmas. Jordan came to us at the shelter and my son decided to bring him home for Christmas and he just never left. We felt he could have the bedroom downstairs and since he said he was starting a new job, he would pay some room and board. He couldln't go home, he said, because he wouldn't join his parent's religion - they are Jehovah's Wittnesses. We took him at his word and it turned out that our trust was misplaced.

Derek was most hurt of all. He'd really put his friendship on the line and it was used and abused. When the web of deceipt came to light it really stunned us all. Derek was, understandably so, very disappointed.

The disbelief that comes to mind is just phenomonal. Even when presented with the evidence of truth you don't want to believe that someone could so abuse you. But that is what happened. The risk was taken - someone came into our home. We opened up our hearts and gave our love and care. Basically, it was gobbled up by someone who just wanted to take. Extreme selfishness was at the core of that. A lust for power and control that lies and theft bring.

So what do you do when someone betrays you like that? How do you cope with the truth of deception? Do you stop trusting people? Do you decide not to help someone again? Do you close off your heart to the cries of help from others?


What you do is pray. Pray for that person that deceived and used you. Pray for God to bless them. And everytime you feel that disappointment, you pray again. Then you reach out and get ready to help someone else.

Not everyone will scam you. Most people won't. But there will be some who do. If you are going to put yourself out and make yourself vulnerable to others, it's going to happen. But you can't let the sins of others determine the course you will take. That would be giving them more control over your life than they deserve. Instead, embrace each experience and learn from it. Will you be a little more careful next time? Yes. Once burned, twice shy? Perhaps. A little wiser, but unchanged.

God be with you Jordan wherever you are. I pray he blesses you. If you read this, you are welcome in our life and we are more than willing to help you face the challenge of positive change.

grace... Kathie

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Sidney is so cute! Sarah & David came over today after church and stayed for dinner. So we got to have some cuddle time with the new baby. Isn't she adorable? Don't you just want to gobble her up and snuggle her? Look at the forhead - that is Sarah all over when she is giving us the "eye."

Babies are a part of our life that make such a difference. Today at church, Sarah was showing her baby to some of the people that were staying in our shelter and it's amazing how a baby can bring a change over someone. That dirty and disheveled person who is absolutely homeless smiles and coos and a transformation comes over them.

Jesus said that we have to be like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Babies bring us to that place...


Friday, February 03, 2006

Sidney Arrives!

This past couple of weeks have been rather preoccupying. Sarah finally, a week overdue, had her baby. And just as Nana predicted - an 8lb baby girl. Mom and Dad decided on the name Sydney Nicole Julie Taylor. I like Sydney- its a nice name.

Sydney is beautiful. She looks just like her mother did when she was born - like a little Thumbelina Doll. A perfectly round head, little turned up nose and perfectly formed lips. Do I sound like I'm bragging! Of course I am!

Sarah looks great. I can't believe how she does it. She gives birth like a pro - doesn't even make a peep until the baby's head crowns. Her sister and I and the midwives can only look on in awe as she does it all with a bare minimum of support. With Sydney only a few hours old, mom hopped off the hospital bed and said, "let's go home." Now here she is a couple of weeks later and mom looks wonderful, baby lost and regained her birth weight in a week, (she's 8lb 6oz now!) mom's milk is in and nursing is going perfectly according to plans. It's too good to be true.

Here is Sarah and baby just after she's born. We've got to get a couple more pictures of Sydney from David. We stayed away and took the older children as we were both sick with colds when the baby was born. Now David's mom is here from Alberta for a week to help out. My turn next week!

grace... Nana