Saturday, October 26, 2013

Catness

There's a little bit of snow forecast for our area tomorrow but today was a beautiful warm day, so Richard and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to put away the patio furniture and clean up the gardens before winter hits. We hadn't been outside more than five minutes when our favourite feline visitor hopped onto the fence to see us. After talking with her owner a few weeks back we have learned that her name is "Catness". She kept us company as we cut back plants, raked and swept, and bagged dead leaves. As usual, it wasn't long before she was up in one of our trees surveying the world from above and chewing on branches.





Is this not the cutest cat ever? She just makes me smile.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Did It

Today was a big day for me. I donated blood for the first time in my life. At the beginning of 2012 I blogged about 10 goals I had for the upcoming year, one of them being to donate blood. A year later I reviewed my success or failure with these goals and sadly I still had not donated blood because of silly squeamishness.

However, life experience changes perception. Two weeks ago I stood with my sister beside my mother's bed and we stroked her hand and face as she breathed her last breaths and her heart came to a stop. I know there was nothing that anyone could do for my mother. Her time on this earth had simply come to its natural end. But a few days later as I was driving near home I noticed a sign advertising an upcoming blood donor clinic and I had thought... Perhaps my blood could help save a life and spare someone somewhere the sadness of losing a loved one. I knew that my time had come to get over my fears.


I did this with my mom in my thoughts and I feel happy about it.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Goodbye Mom

I don't really know what to say except that I am sad. So sad. Tomorrow would have been my Mom's 80th birthday but she passed away last Sunday just 9 days short of reaching it. She was a kind person. She didn't judge others. She tried always to see the good in other people even when they weren't being nice to her. My Mom was a big kid at heart. Even as an adult she had trouble falling asleep Christmas eve night because she was excited about the coming day. She loved to collect Royal Doulton figurines, and porcelain dolls and she had a real soft spot for teddy bears, especially if they were dressed in little outfits. She knew how to choose the perfect gift for a grandchild - not the ordinary, run-of-the-mill toys that every kid was getting - but always something unique and different. She knit hats and mittens for charity and enjoyed buying toys to donate to Secret Santa at Christmas. She was a good person.

After her stroke she graciously accepted her new situation in life and was well-loved at the Long Term Care center where she lived. She always made a point of telling us not to worry about her living there and that she was happy. She didn't complain, wasn't demanding, and enjoyed her days the best she could. One of the condolence messages left for us on the funeral chapel's website says it all:

"My name is Twyla and I work security at the Wetaskiwin hospital.
I have known Pat for only 6 months, but in that short amount of time,I grew very fond of her. I will miss our morning talks and her shining smile that was always present, even when she wasn't feeling well."

That was how my Mom was. Always friendly and ready to have a little chat with whoever went by. Always happy to introduce her family to the staff and other residents of the home.

We knew she was starting to decline over the past couple of months. She wasn't able to speak as easily or find the words she wanted to say but she had a good sense of humour about it and would laugh at some of the things that came out of her mouth. On one of our last visits to see her she wanted to know how Richard was doing with his new CPAP machine and referred to it as his "bubble machine". She rolled her eyes a bit because she knew she hadn't used the right name and then we all had a good laugh. It was sad to see her slowly lose the ability to knit over the past few months. Week after week she would ask Jen and I to teach her how to knit the dishcloths she loved to make and give away to staff at the home, but by the next week she would have forgotten again.

It was very difficult watching my mother slowly slip away over two days but we are thankful that when these final days arrived she didn't appear to be suffering or in pain. She left the world peacefully and Jen and I will always be grateful that we were together and with her when she passed. I'll miss her. 


Mom with Chris and Matt - Christmas Day 2012
Pat White
October 15, 1933 - October 6, 2013

Until next time...
Susan

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Storytelling Sunday - Freddy

I'm joining in this month with Sian's Storytelling Sunday, sharing another one of my precious things and a little story behind it. This is Freddy...


During the summer that I was about 8 years old I participated in an Arts & Crafts group held at our town hall. This was both an exciting and scary thing for me. I guess I've always been a crafter at heart so I couldn't wait to go be creative and make things, but at the same time I was (and still am) terribly shy so the idea of going to a strange place with people I didn't know was definitely frightening to me. However, the lure of crafting won out and I went. I don't actually remember much about the whole experience except for the day we were to bring a sock from home so we could make sock dolls. This had to have been my first attempt at sewing - the proof is in all those crooked, crossed, multi-coloured stitches! I made this little doll, named him Freddy and loved him because he had come from my own two hands. Born of an old sock!

Fast forward a few months to the school year. Jen and I shared a bedroom - it was a mess and really needed to be tidied up. As we were getting ready for school one morning our mother told us that if we didn't clean our room when we got home that day she was going to gather up everything that was lying around and throw it away. As sometimes happens between parents and children, parents make idle threats without realizing how it will affect their children, and children in their innocence take those threats to heart and take them very seriously. I feared that my mother might start throwing things away while we were at school so I grabbed Freddy, put him in my schoolbag and brought him along with me to school. I remember going to my locker at recess, taking him out of my bag and saying to him, "Don't worry, Freddy, you're safe here." It's funny to look back at the situation now but it wasn't funny to me at the time.

I have no recollection of whether we cleaned our room or not and I seriously doubt that my mother would have thrown away any of our belongings. But as an 8-year old girl, with the prospect of losing some of my possessions, Freddy was the one thing that was precious to me and was the only thing I "saved". 

There are lots of great stories about more precious things linked up on Sian's blog. Go and have a read - you won't be disappointed!

Until next time...
Susan :-)