Posted in Family, Health, Life

Days of Wine and Chocolates

We are, at last, on our way home. We’re doing it slowly, with a three-day stop-over in the Finger Lakes of New York State. This is a wine-growing region with big tourist appeal. The wines are better than they used to be and some are downright respectable. Cheese-makers have recently begun to take advantage of the many dairy farms out here, with some luscious results. There are also a few micro-brewers and at least one place that produces hard ciders from apples it grows on its own property. New York is an apple-growing state (as is Massachusetts). We picked up a bottle of cider, a bottle of wine and two packs of raw milk cheddar, one Colby and one with garlic. Yum!

My mother is stable for now and I can leave her without either feeling guilty or terrified. She has close to 24-hour care and Medicaid is going to be kicking in at some point in the near future. I’ll probably be back in August to check in on  her and see if she’s in any better shape. Right now she’s still in considerable pain following her accident in May. She’s due for a minimally invasive medical procedure on her spine in mid-July. Everybody in the family is crossing their fingers and hoping it will be effective.

And, if anyone’s interested, my mom suffered a compression fracture at t12. That means she has fragile bones and osteoporosis and, when she fell in May, fractured a vertebrae in her lower spine. Recovery is slow and painful. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

Posted in Family, Health, Life

Labors of Love

I’m still in Buffalo, NY (actually, Kenmore) tending to my mom. The improvements are slow, but sure. She’s less tired and steadier on her feet. She wants to walk around more and look at different things. I have a table of house plants set up in front of her chair, which I water and prune. I also bought a New Zealand Impatiens plant for her to enjoy. It’s a large planter which could hang from a porch railing, although I might just transplant it to the garden once she’s able to sit outside. Right now it’s a bit cold, but will probably warm up throughout the week.

We’ve passed a major hurdle in that we’ve had Medicaid approve of the coverage my mother needs, that is, 24-7. We’ll have aides throughout the day and at night. Once that’s in place and settled, I’ll be able to go home. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I’m back with my husband in Arlington by the end of this month. We’ll see.

Working here is impossible. I get started then have to stop to do something. I have a laundry list of things to do and no opportunity to do them. Very frustrating. I feel much more sympathy for caregivers, now that I know what their life is like.

Here are the impatiens:

Flowers for Mom!

The flower pot is on the front porch. I bring it inside to show to her, especially as new buds open and bloom.

I’m exhausted and my back aches. I’ll be indulging in a massage tomorrow (Friday) and hope to rest up a bit over the weekend.

Posted in Family, Life

Coming Up For Air

Just posting before I drop for a nap. My eyeballs are about to fall out of my head. I received a call about a week and a half ago, requesting help with my mother’s recovery from a fall. She’s been in a rehabilitation facility for about a week or so and I’ve been here about that long. My family lives in western New York, near Buffalo, NY. I live in the Boston, MA area about 500 miles away.

My mom’s elderly (86) and not in the greatest of health. She’s experienced a number of falls over the last few years, resulting in broken bones and other problems. My brother and sister are maxed out, both in terms of time and emotional energy. So, daughter-from-Boston has temporarily uprooted and is providing some much needed additional care and sibling relief on-site. Not to mention a little bit of company and support for my 91-year-old dad!

It’s taken me an entire week just to read through all of my emails and news feeds. Interruptions and mini-crises have been the order of the day. I’ve already spent two days out of the five or six I’ve been here in hospital emergency rooms. Thank God I brought my GPS with me. By the time I’m done I’ll probably know how to get to every hospital and elderly rehab center in town.

Good news: mom is coming home tomorrow morning. I’m learning how to assist with “activities of daily living,” including physical assistance walking, getting into and out of a car, going up and down stairs, getting to the bathroom, etc.

I’m very close to my mother and it pains me to see her this frail. But, for as long as I can, I’ll be available to help. When she’s ready to “go,” I’ll know in my heart I was there for her.

Love the purple hat, don’t you?
Posted in Holidays, Valentine's Day

To Fond Lovers

Saw the hubby last night, after a migraine laid me low. We had dinner, then I wandered upstairs to my new study to take off my computer and shut down for the night. As I entered the room, I saw this:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!

Posted in A Bit of This, A Bit of That

Vicious Nonsense

Letters of Note is fabulous website that usually has me laughing or at least smiling. This letter made me sick to my stomach.

Evil Woman

Ayn Rand is a darling of many on the right, and seems to be the guiding spirit of corporate capitalism, the kind that takes no prisoners. You know, more work for the same or less money, layoffs, paying people pennies a day in third-world countries, working conditions that resemble the slaughterhouses of The Jungle.

Compassion. Love. Consideration of your fellow person. Rand scoffs at them. Read on and keep your barf bag handy.

In a letter in 1948, a reader asked what the sentence referred to below meant. This was Ms. Rand’s reply:

Dear Ms. Rondeau:

You asked me to explain the meaning of my sentence in The Fountainhead: “To say ‘I love you’ one must first know how to say the ‘I.”

The meaning of that sentence is contained in the whole of The Fountainhead. And it is stated right in the speech on page 400 from which you took the sentence. The meaning of the “I” is an independent, self-sufficient entity that does not exist for the sake of any other person.

A person who exists only for the sake of his loved one is not an independent entity, but a spiritual parasite. The love of a parasite is worth nothing.

The usual (and very vicious) nonsense preached on the subject of love claims that love is self-sacrifice. A man’s self is his spirit. If one sacrifices his spirit, who or what is left to feel the love? True love is profoundly selfish, in the noblest meaning of the word — it is an expression of one’s highest values. When a person is in love, he seeks his own happiness — and not his sacrifice to the loved one. And the loved one would be a monster if she wanted or expected such sacrifice.

Any person who wants to live for others — for one sweetheart or for the whole of mankind — is a selfless nonentity. An independent “I” is a person who exists for his own sake. Such a person does not make any vicious pretense of self-sacrifice and does not demand it from the person he loves. Which is the only way to be in love and the only form of a self-respecting relationship between two people.

Ayn Rand

Letters of Note: The love of a parasite is worth nothing.