Saturday, December 14, 2019

Back Home in Time to PARTY at the Nursing Home!

I lingered as long as I could Thursday - I even took a nap while Louis Dean was loading his tools and such - but I eventually got dressed, packed up my things and cleaned the camper/cabin and put myself in the truck.

We had about 3-4 inches of rain Monday night and Tuesday morning and it had dried out considerably since then - but it was still really mushy! The new gravel hasn't been down long enough to pack in!

Seems like we had just arrived and now it was time to leave!

We came home to a Christmas House and it all looked so pretty.
It didn't take long to unpack and I was in bed early!

God has given us the gift of restorative sleep.
Sometimes I go to bed at night so bone tired that I don't think I'll be able to get up the next morning....
and yet I wake up to a new day with new energy.

Today I used up every single drop of that energy and then pushed it some more.
Louis Dean and I left the house around 11:00 and did errands until after 1:00. Then we drove over to Fort Worth and the Trail Lake Nursing Home for their Christmas Tree and  Party.

I was a little bit blue and already tired when I arrived but the music and the smiles cheered me right up. I wasn't able to go around and be of as much help this year but I managed to do what I could.

Lillian had a good time!
She looked so pretty in the lightweight shawl we bought out thrifting a few weeks ago.
I told her she would like it!

One of the home's favorite singers was there and that Jingle Bell Rock turned everyone on!
This clip is 1:53 but the last 40 seconds are priceless!

Meet Eula Mae.
She was seated at our table and is 91 years old.
When I first sat down I was helping Lillian open her gift bag and get refreshments and all and I had my back to Eula Mae. When I turned around and greeted her,  I noticed her gifts were all still in the bag and she had no refreshments. Her hands are all withered up with arthritis to the point she can't open them up. She can hold her cup - but it's not easy. I helped her with her gifts and she really had some nice ones. A pair of black slacks - very classy and a really good brand - and the loveliest sweater that felt like a cloud. It was all airy and light and shimmered with three different kinds of threads and in golden colors. It will look so nice with the slacks. Her third gift - and everyone got three gifts - was a box with two sets of earrings. She didn't have any on so I offered to put a pair in for her. Well! MY arthritis hands were so clumsy I dropped the backing and fumbled around but finally got them in! And she was the sweetest thing.

I'm telling you - this place was jiving!!
Even the dog got into it!

There was a lot of dancing going on!

The party brought out the sweetness in everyone - including me.

Roberta enjoyed herself.
She's 101 and still having fun.

I don't know what organization supplies the three gift items for each resident but they do a fine job.
I noticed on the bag for each was a tag that described the three things that person had asked for.

Then another group gave blankets to everyone.
Really nice ones, too.

And yet another volunteer group -  they all helped with the party and wore blue shirts - had brand new teddy bears of all kinds and each resident received one. They were able to choose one from the big colorful bags chock full of bears!

Lillian chose a white 'Prayer' bear.....

Eula Mae got one dressed up fancy!

This little lady cradled her cuddly bear all through the party.

And this lady kept straightening her bears tie.

I was amazed at much they all seemed to love these bears and not one person refused one.

There was a jolly elf there and I did NOT know it was Billy the maintenance man until he came over and talked to me.

Lillian didn't know who it was either!


She does love Billy!

And this is the new activity director.
Lillian really likes her, too!

I'd say it was a successful party!

Lillian had asked me to come so I rearranged the luncheon I had planned for this day and made it for a week later. Lillian said, "Linda, won't you come and sit with me like you did last year when you sat with me and your mother?"  It was important to her and I am glad I came.
Her granddaughter was supposed to come, as well, but she couldn't get off work.

This lady reminds me of my mother - in a very good way.
I don't know why my heart always goes out to her whenever I see her.
She acts like she recognizes me and crooks her finger to tell me to come over.
I did and she had not opened her gifts either, so I helped her and when I held up the fancy silky top - she said, "Oh! That's pretty!!" I got her some refreshments and when her seat mate lady took her cup of hot chocolate - I got her another cup. She didn't make a fuss because she knew I was getting it for her.

As fun as these pictures are and as nice and cheerful as everyone was ......
this was a hard day for me.
Louis Dean and I ate breakfast at Joe's Coffee Shop this morning and as we were leaving a lady stopped me when I was walking by her table and told me how pretty I looked. I thanked her and said I really appreciated her saying that as I was not feeling well. We went on to chat a few minutes and I feel like it was a God thing that we talked. I helped her and she helped me.
I went on to do my day and with every passing hour I grew wearier and wearier.

We left the nursing home and did another round of errands.
I needed to buy some things to take with me to the hospital - I noticed all my comfy nightgowns are old and faded and my slippers are looking ragged. My makeup and toiletry bags came form Goodwill and look like they need to be retired to the trash. So I had some shopping to do.
As time goes on I am in more pain so I thought it would be best to get this done while I can.

We made it back to Irving by 8:00 and Louis Dean has his heart set on Chinese food.
I was so done but I didn't have the heart to tell him I needed to go home - so I pushed on a little bit more. I did let him get my plate for me so I didn't have to walk.

At last we were home and I went right to bed for a little while before I got up to finish this day.

I knew this was going to be a hard day for me when I woke up this morning.
I haven't cried about Mother dying - not once.
I figured I had done all my grieving before.
But today was different. This time last year she was still here. 
The party last year wore me completely out because she was being so difficult.
Throughout this year I have been remembering Mother, not as she was in the last year or two before she died, but as she was in the memories that pop up on Facebook. Those weekly visits to the hair salon and out to eat on Friday and all the many selfies she and I took and the way she liked to look at them and point at the ones to delete and smile at the one to post.

I was struggling during the party but when that little lady that reminds me of Mother caught my eye and motioned me over - well - I knew I was in for a crying jag.
I held it at bay until I started writing about the party.
Thank y'all for listening to me.....but I need to close now.
I don't think I'm through crying yet....


Bluebird49 said...

Losing Mama was very hard for me, too. It's been 8 years and I wish she were here. After our parents go, I think we kind of feel like orphans.
The party looked and sounded wonderful. I could tell by your eyes that you were exhausted, but Lillian looked so pleased!
Hope you can rest Saturday!

Meg said...

I’m brand new to your blog, so....hello! 😊

Such a lovely post. (I was drawn in by your title.) Thankful that there are people in the world like you, who take the time for others. You took the time to notice these lovely people, and to notice what they needed. Beautiful pictures and stories. Thank you for sharing.

I’ve never lost anyone I love, so I can’t say I know how you feel, but I can imagine. When my mother-in-law lost her husband, she missed him the most at the most unexpected times, little things she used to enjoy with him. I think it’s good to remember those quiet, simple moments that bring you the most joy. Sending a big hug from Idaho.

Sandra said...

the party was a huge success, everyone looks so happy with their huggy bears and gifts. I am glad you got to attend, even though you are in so much pain. missing our loved ones hits at different times. I am sure the party brought back memories of the others you attended. hurry January to fix that knee

Vee said...

That party was definitely rocking! You were lots of folks’ angel that day always brightening the corner where you are. When I feel the tears coming, I let them, but then I remember where my Darling is and I think how happy and at home He is. It’s been nearly ten years and I still miss my mother. I think we always will miss them. (Would you believe that my sister and I have both done something to our knees? Good grief! I am in total sympathy. It is an aggravation for certain.) Much love to you and peace and joy. All this is Why He came.

Estelle's said...

Oh seasonal parties at Nursing Homes....they are always a bit depressing to me....I have been through some with my Father-In-Law and I always felt everyone was a bit sad remembering their own holidays at home...even though the staff does their best to make it festive. Y'all were so sweet to attend. Have a great and restful weekend love!

Changes in the wind said...

What a special care home you found for your Mom and now all these people are in your life. Life is a circle isn't it? You have been blessed and have blessed many. There is no one like our Mom, good or bad.

Arlene @Nanaland said...

I understand your grieving Linda. When my Daddy died, it was a blessing but every now and then I just miss him. A picture, a comment and seeing someone who reminds me of him always catches me by surprise. When Joshua was born and Charles and Nancy gave Joshua Daddy's middle name, it meant so much to me. I think we do need to remember the good times, the essence of who that loved one really was!! Thank you for the pretty Christmas card. My friend who reads your blog was here so I got to show it to her as well. We both think you and LD are the celebrities in our lives. We love seeing what you two are up to! You mentioned shopping for hospital clothes. Well I would take out some shorts to wear at home. Marvin had his knee done in january and he wore shorts at home because it was more comfortable. He would pull on Sweat Pants to wear to his rehab. With doing all the icing, the shorts were just easier to deal with and I would put a blanket over him in his recliner. You are going to LOVE that new knee.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

That new activities director threw a great party! How wonderful that the residents get gifts, and so sweet to see how they loved those bears!

I’m so sorry you are exhausted. I know pain and grief will do that, and I’m thankful that your surgery is only a few weeks away. I’m praying for you to regain your energy, but that you’ll not over do it. It’s all about balance! Sit in your chair, enjoy your beautiful decor, watch tv with Louis Dean and savor the season!

Love you friend!

photowannabe said...

Thank you for your honest and pure, gracious heart.
I wish I was there to give you a hug.
Praying for your pain to lessen and that you can get through these busy holidays.
Your servants heart is such a blessing t so many...don't forget to let people serve you too.
Rest well and a good cry is a much needed step towards healing and release.
Love you though I have never met you.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I'm so very sorry Linda. My mom died several years ago, and I am not over grieving yet. I think we never get over our moms passing. It gets better, and we get used to it, but the grieving never goes away. I think you made a good decision to get your hospital things now, and not put that off. My favorite part of the video is the man dancing with the lady in the wheelchair, that is just so cool!! Now she can say that she went dancing at a party. HOORAY, you got gravel at the ranch!! We went to Michael's yesterday and got a wood frame for your painting. It was $36.00, but they were having a weekend doorbuster sale and we got it for $11.00. As you would say, WIN WIN!!

Susie said...

Oh Linda, I truly know how you feel. I have thought of my mom all week. I have had pain and worry I always want my know. No matter our ages, missing our parents seems hard at holidays. I miss seeing the photos of you and your mom as you would get your hair done on Fridays. I am praying for you. You did a very good deed helping everyone. I honestly am praying for all of us. We need God's healing powers. Hugs to you sweet friend. Love you and LD so much. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

Mary in Colorado said...

You are a very dear person and an individual who goes all out for others,those who are close to you and those who are alone. It is a great pleasure to read your blog posts and get glimpses of what and who your days are filled with. I believe your knee has held up amazingly well and got you through most of the important activities of December....and now it is time to get your new knee!! I know so many people who have gone through that procedure very successfully and think you will soon be among them..And now it is your turn to be on the receiving end end of Others' gather your books and cozy blankets, let Louis Dean cook for you and play music for you and relax! Mary in Colorado is thinking of you and wishing you well!!

Carole said...

What a brave and selfless thing you did going to that party... I am in awe ... I think I might have ducked it. Well done you! Cheers

VintageCrafter said...

You are such a lovely and giving person, Linda. You are so generous and kind. It is so obvious that people are certainly drawn to you! I lost my mother 7 years ago and I still miss her every single day. I know your mother must be smiling down on you as you helped so many feel the joy at the senior's Christmas party.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful Christmas party at the nursing home. It's so nice that so many gave of their time to make it a happy occasion for them. Cry all you want, no matter how we remember them, we only had one mother.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts of my mother cross my mind every single day and I have always
heard that we are never the same after losing our mother. So nice that
you could be a part of the Christmas party to make it special for others.
Thinking of you with love and friendship.........Phyllis

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Looks like it really was a rocking party, and the residents had much fun. It must have been hard for you to be there though without your mother this year. You are a very kind and caring person. Prayers for a successful surgery and a speedy and complete recovery. (((Hugs))) from Purcellville, Virginia.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I can understand you struggles at this time of year, Linda. My mother also passed away right before the holidays just 3 days before Christmas and so each year I get a bit melancholy on the date, but it's nothing to feel bad about as it shows how much we remember them.