My Own Death Becomes Me
I admit that I think about death and the there after too much. It is hard not to when I am…
My Own Death Becomes Me
I admit that I think about death and the there after too much. It is hard not to when I am…
I admit that I think about death and the there after too much. It is hard not to when I am constantly surrounded by people who deal with it. When I am told that Al is really sick. There will come a time when death will be the last thing I think of. Instead I will be thinking, beach, cabins, love and sunshine.
So thus stating this; you will understand my next sentences. I was laying in bed last night. My body ached, so I lie on my back. Suddenly my mind saw a casket. It was my casket. I was imagining what my own funeral would be like.
How would I look to others?
Would there be make-up plastered on my face so I was unrecognizable. What would I be wearing? What clothes would my children pick out for me?
I imagined how comfortable I would be stretched out in my tight-fitting box. Do you think the casket companies can make these in an extra-wide, like they do in shoe sizes? I have a few layers of fat that roll to the side when I lay on my back.
I even noticed that my once perky boobs were now fallen to the side; although my stomach did look flatter.
I practiced positioning myself in my bed as I would be sewn together to stay in place in my casket. I placed my hands over my stomach and closed my eyes. Head facing the ceiling I lay there for only a few moments when I started getting a headache.
I realized than that I can not be buried like the conventional person. I must have changes made for my own personal comfort. When I pictured how it should be I saw a whole different scene play out.
First of all, let’s kick off that granny, print dress. Let’s change that formal look to one I am more comfortable in. Let’s throw on some shorts and Tees. Let’s get rid of that hair spray and stiff hair that smells of old age and throw in some casual soft curls.
Get that thick make-up off of me and just let me be myself, natural. I like a look that you will have no doubt in who I am.
Now take me off my back. After all I don’t want to have to order that extra wide coffin.
And the headaches have got to go. Lay me on my side. Let me prop my head on my arm which is tucked under my pillow.
Now I want my bible tucked towards the side of my arm. I like to rest my hand on it as I fall asleep.
Make sure you put a couple of cartons of smokes and a few lighters beside me. Just sort of hide them. There may be non-smokers at my funeral and I don’t want to gross them out. I know, they are bad for me, but I have some bad habits, don’t you?
Next, but not last, is the flowers. Make sure I am surrounded by beautiful flowers. No roses please. I am terribly allergic to roses. If I start sneezing and I rise and look around and see those flowers, I will know I have an enemy somewhere in here.
Instead just bring some pretty plants and some Lilys. I love Lily flowers.
Let’s not have any of that sad organ music. Instead let’s have some of my old-time favorites. My favorite group to listen to when I was a teen was The Carpenters.
Let us all rejoice that today is the birthday of my new day in heaven.
Let me out of the washing machine. I am being spun around and washed until there is no dirt remaining. Can’t you see me in here? I am punching the safety glass, blowing more bubbles through my nose than even the soap has and yet no one rescues me.
Every day someone throws me in another dirty pile of crap. Expecting me to come clean, to know all the answers. Well listen here, I am just a plain Jane gal from the small midwest and I don’t know anymore than you do.
Take me out of the washer and place me in the dryer with some towels that will grow fluffy as they dry. I will bounce around falling gently on each soft piece of cotton. I will lay my head down and let the warmth of each slice of fabric wrap me gently up and cradle me through the timed cycle.
When the buzzer goes off, you have been warned that I am now in perfect, like-new condition once again. Hold me gently. Fold me evenly and lie me carefully on the shelf. Remember my color and please don’t grab for me first. Let me rest for a spell. Let me get my thoughts back together.
Then come for me. I promise I will be at my best. You can pick at my fiber and maybe I will not look you in the face with a dumb blank stare. Maybe I will be useful immediately when you probe me. Maybe I will be the best darn thing you have looked at all day.
This was my morning friends. My brain isn’t even a wake yet and already the phone is ringing. People want answers. People ask about Al. How is his pain, does he need anything? This is great, I couldn’t ask for more. But, can you give me five seconds to wake up? Can you wait until I have had my first cup of coffee or maybe splashed some cold water on my half-closed eyes?
You have to remember that I don’t get as much sleep as I used to. Al has rough nights and sometimes isn’t asleep until wee hours in the morning.
As I had to do a complete bed change on Al’s bed this morning and also change my bedding, fix him breakfast, wash him up, get him dressed, shave, brush his teeth, pick out which car he was taking to Day Program for Show-n-tell, fix his lunch, make sure he had pop money, start the laundry, put new sheets on the beds, answer the phone, answer the cell, I was pooped. I had all this done by 8:30am.
As I left to meet with the Hospice nurse I saw an accident waiting to happen on my way to town. A very elderly man was riding a riding lawn mower. He was mowing close to the edge of a pond. He was also on a slant. He was so darn close to the edge I just had an eerie feeling that the pond would suck him in at any moment.
I actually stopped on the edge of the road and watched him a few minutes and then I prayed for his safety. I met the nurse and she asked me 20 questions. Hospice and two doctors are considering taking more of Al’s medications a way. Letting him ride out his journey in more comfort instead of continuous side-effects.
This is something that I am totally mixed up about. If you take a way his medications what will happen? Will his heart stop? Will his blood pressure soar? Will he be more comfortable? I don’t know the answers, please don’t ask me my thoughts. This is my baby brother and I have been the one all along dragging me feet in the sand.
Don’t put this pressure on me. Ask someone else who isn’t close to him. I am not a coward. I just don’t want to be the one responsible if Al dies earlier than he should. How could I live with that?
I left the meeting and went to the car wash and washed the car. It was so full of bird poo that I am surprised the paint was not starting to chip a way. I stopped at my favorite little shop that sells used consignments and bought Al some Coca Cola post cards, a coca cola battery operated radio, and some coca cola coaster. I can’t wait to give them to him when he comes home.
I collect a few things. One of them being shakers. The old-time giant salt shakers? Yes, those. I found a really old one. The lid was tin and pretty thin, and the shaker was worn itself but the word salt was still clear and the shaker is in that old yellow color. It was a good buy so I got that to add to my shelf.
That was relaxing. Although I was thinking of Al while shopping, wondering if I could find him something, I wasn’t answering questions. I was alone and it was nice.
I stopped at the grocery store and got Al more prune juice and pop. I never want to be without either one of these. My sugar dropped too low while I was in the store so the deli gave me a chicken strip and a little cup of apple salad.
I stood there eating it kicking that stupid Diabetes right in the butt. I hate being a diabetic, I really do. When I am not hungry of I am busy I don’t want to take the time out to eat. But when my legs became jello and black shadows were forming around my eyeballs, I knew I was in trouble.
Thanks to the store I made it safely on my way and now am home. Thank goodness, I have an hour and a half before Al comes home.
Rice In His Hair?
It’s been a busy day. Getting Al up and fed. Next washed up and dressed. Teeth brushed, bed…
It’s been a busy day. Getting Al up and fed. Next washed up and dressed. Teeth brushed, bed changed. Then it was time to take him down the ramp to catch the bus. Now this is when I have decided to take my own medications and eat breakfast. Through the week this works out pretty good. Nine a.m. is not a bad time for me. On the weekends I am a little off considering we both sneak in some extra sleep.
I then do the morning dishes, and laundry if need be. I clean what needs to be clean. Then I get online for my free time. Today at 1:30 I had another appointment with the business that I am working for taking care of Al.
I knew this appointment would go on forever and I was right. She and I do so much chatting it takes forever to get through all the paper work. She left at 4:45, just 15 minutes before Al pulled up in his bus.
She and I apologized to each other for being such talk-aholics when she left, but we were both laughing realizing that we had a great time.
I didn’t get my nap today so I am a little extra tired tonight. I don’t think I need a nap only because of Al, I think I am just getting older.
Al pulled up and I went and got him off the bus and took him back up the ramp. We ate left-overs tonight as I really didn’t have time to cook a real meal. Tomorrow for supper we are having spaghetti. I will cut his up pretty well and hope for the best.
This is a test meal, I shall observe how well he handles this type of food. Will he be able to eat it with his silver ware or use his fingers or will it be too slippery. Time will tell. We are really picky here about the foods that we eat. Al has to have everything just right or he will choke.
The cat, Rhino has been acting so weird tonight. He keeps going into Al’s bedroom and meowing at him and Al said last night Rhino jumped up on his bed and sat next to him. Tonight Rhino goes in and looks at Al. Then he rubs up against the wall meowing. Then finally he lays up against the wall and stares at Al. I don’t know what he is all about tonight.
I am now officially on the payroll for caring for Al. I just still find it such a down right miracle from God, I am almost speechless. Only God could have put this plan together. They hold back a week which I think is normal and so my first check will be in a week and a half. It will be for today through Saturday night at midnight. I think I get paid ever week. My very own check, wow.
Well, it is time to change Al’s brief and get him into bed. Now I can say this has been a busy, nice day. Al did pretty well tonight. I have to add one more thing. The flies are bad here out in the country. We had rice along with our supper tonight. Flies would land on Al’s neck or face, and I was trying to keep them off of him with my hand. But when I wasn’t quick enough Al would try catching them with his fingers, and of course he ate his rice with his fingers.
If I could have gotten by with it and not embarrassed Al I would have snapped a photo. Not only was rice all over the floor. It was on his fingers, on his glasses, in his hair, and on his neck.
I knew I was going to have to clean this all up and the floor but I had to laugh. He looked so cute trying to swat those flies and the rice just added an extra little touch. So this day is over and I made a few dollars. Al did good and all is well at our little house.
I can’t draw worth crap, but my Dad was a good artist. After spending a day with my girlfriend, she…
I can’t draw worth crap, but my Dad was a good artist. After spending a day with my girlfriend, she suggested I start sketching what ever it is I am feeling.
I bought the sketch pad but let it lay for a while. Then today for some odd reason I was just angry at the world. It came and passed pretty quickly. I think seeing Al the entire hours of a day have opened my eyes.
He is sick, really sick. He struggles for everything he wants and does. The video I posted last evening is just a small sample of his life. Getting up out of bed, is a real chore for him. The first thing he has to do is get those legs to work.
Something has changed since he has been home. I can’t put my finger on it, but something is different. In many ways he is calmer, but in other ways, the only thing I can think of is he has given up.
Not the kind where he cusses up a storm. It is like his body has given up or he is tired of working to survive. He barely touched his lunch, but he did drink his chocolate milk and his cookie, just like kids do.
I wanted him to stay in the living room with me after lunch but he insisted he go back to bed. I changed his brief and laid him down. I don’t know what led me to do it but I came out and got that new sketch pad and drew this.
I have no idea what it is, I just let my mind draw it.
I wonder what life would be like if I was not a believer in Christ. Would that red-horned creature leave me alone? Would I be able to do what ever I pleased in life with no consequences, or maybe no conscience?
Just when I think I am climbing the mountain and I see the top not too far off, I stumble over a rock again and come tumbling down.
I have everything running smooth. I have done all I have been asked to do. I even bought the groceries for Al today. I am so proud that I finally got this task done and forgot nothing.
The first response on their side was pretty much negative. No time, no extra spaces. As we talked longer and longer she and I clicked.
In the end she ended up telling me she would make a phone call to the lady working from the day program and see what hours were available and she said she would make something work out.
I knew that there was a chance that Al may not actually go in at 8:30 am as there are many wheel chair riders and not enough buses. It goes on and on. I have to remember that this is a big company.
Then the bomb fell. She told me that the community I live in is a place they are not welcome to bring the buses back into. She said the owner is something else and that he is mean and rough and I have to agree. I can remember back to last summer when we had the wheel chair ramp built for Al. The owner stopped by and told me I had to tear it down immediately.
Now I knew that I wasn’t going down without a fight. He and I argued, he threatened to kick me out that night. I knew he could not legally do this over night but I just really didn’t need the hassle from him.
I understand that he is mad at the world. His wife was placed in a nursing home last winter and he has been mean and an ugly monster ever since. He will come by and practically measure my grass that grows around the bottom of the ramp.
Oh don’t get me wrong. He isn’t just picking on me, he picks on who ever is near him on any day. I just get tired of the fight.
Now this is where I asked the question in the beginning. Is God constantly testing me to see what direction I will take? If I didn’t believe in God would I be faced with all these challenges? I will not turn my back on God no matter what, or I should say I hope I never do.
I will fight this battle for the life of my brother. I know that I can not get him in the car and down to the main gate every single morning alone. I need that bus. It will make it easier and safer for Al to go straight down the ramp onto the bus ramp.
I have called the owner’s assistant manager and I am waiting for him to stop by. He is out here in the neighborhood. I have a little more faith in him than the owner. At least he smiles. But on the other hand he will have to run it pass the owner.
I need a written letter giving permission for the bus to stop here at the house. What I really need is tons of prayers to turn this monster into a prince and say yes. Can you help me by sending lots of prayers?