Sunday, February 27, 2011

reflection on choices

Can't believe that February is almost over. That one really snuck up on me. With all that has gone on this month I really haven't had much time to digest the loss of my mom. The choices that were made concerning her memorial I think were good ones. We kept it very upbeat. My cousin played the organ before the service and it was great. Mostly 40's music that was great to listen too. We were able to find some great music to go with the slide show, so that turned out to be extra special. The services themselves turned out great. My siblings made the choice to speak from the heart about mom and it was great. Danelle and I made the final choice for mom today. We gave the final approval for the headstone. It will have her name and dates along with a pin cushion and spool of thread and the saying " Bestest mom and grandma in the world" I am going to miss her terribly but she is in such a better place. Now I just need to make the choices that will help me be more like her.
Trying to give a progress report on the choices I have made thus far. Not doing so well I am afraid. I am getting up early and getting ready for the day, but the exercise thing is still giving me fits. I just have to find someone to exercise with that won't let me off the hook.(Dad is too easy on me). I have got to get it done because I want to keep up with my grandkids and if the past couple of weeks is any indication of things to come, I won't last long with the kiddos. So once again I am making the choice to EXERCISE and will give weekly updates. keep your fingers crossed for me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Final" Choices

Alot has changed in the few days since I last wrote. My mom never woke up. But she slept peacefully as she went to see her family on the other side of the veil. I was able to be with her, a choice that I made, and it was one of the sweetest experience I have had. I knew my brother Craig, who passed away several years ago, was in the room waiting for mom. So I wispered in my moms ear that we would be ok, we would miss her, but it was ok for her to go get that big bear hug that my brother was so famous for. Minutes later she peacefully left this earth. Her final choice, and I know there is a big dance going on in heaven right now to welcome her home.
But with her choice to leave us, we who are left behind have had to make some choices and some have been hard. Planning her memorial has been a bit hard for me because she was such a great person to me. I want her to be remembered for all the things she did for others while on this earth and it is just hard to do her memory justice.
We have had to make the choice of where to hold the service. Myself I think I would have liked the Chapel but I needed to make sure that all my family felt comfortable so we have decided to have the service at the funeral home and the dinner after at the chapel. I think that choice is the best option.
Now what do we do for the service itself. Do we have the bishop conduct, but we decided that we wanted it to be about mom. So we are going to have a slide show, and then just talk about mom and remember her and what she meant to those around her.
I have been able to go through pictures with my sisters and it has been fun to see all the different sides of my mother. See her from her humble beginnings, raising her family, and enjoying her grandchildren.
I hope the choices I am making to honor my mom, will please her, because I know she will be watching. She is not one to miss a party.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Lifetime of Choices

I have been spending a lot of time with my Mom the past few days. Since she isn't awake it has given me a lot of time to thing about her and her life. What choices did she have to make to get her to where she was? Did she wish to change some of the choices she made? I wonder, because I know she had to make some very hard choices to help her family survive.
My mom and dad loved the ranching life and lived in Northern California on the Madeline Plains Ranch. It was owned by the Dodge Bros. Corp. My Nonnie decided to sell the ranch without giving my parents any choice in the matter so they had to move back to Fallon to a Dairy in Stillwater District. This was not their choice, so they weren't really happy. Just goes to show a person, that having a say in a choice makes a difference on how successful that choice is. While in Stillwater there were a lot of things that happened that forced my parents, mainly my mom to make very hard life changing choices.
While here my mom was in a bad car rollover. She had all my brothers and sisters in the car with her. Toni and Kristi were about 18 mo., Danelle would have been almost 7, Bob was 9, Craig was 11. I guess the car was upside down and mom had to make the choice to sit and wait for the car to catch fire or get her family out at any cost. Of course she did what any mother would and decided to save her family. So she put her hand through the window and broke out the glass so that everyone could get out. In doing so, she really tore up her right hand and arm, but no one else was hurt. When the ambulance got there and saw my moms arm they weren't sure if it could be saved. They took her to Reno to get the bleeding stopped and then on to San Fransisco Med. Center where she underwent a major surgery. Now bear in mind this was in 1953 I think. The doctors took the tendons from three of her fingers and reconstructed her index finger and thumb so that she would at least have pinchers, but the nerve damage was to much so my mom spent the rest of her life not having any feeling in her right arm from the elbow down. This probably wouldn't have been so bad but she had twins in diapers and was right handed, and this all happened when she was just around 32 YEARS OLD This is where her CHOICE came in to
play. She made the choice not to let this hold her down. She worked hard to learn to do everything left handed. She learned to put diaper pins in with her teeth and one hand.(way before disposable diapers) She had to go to San Fransisco a lot for therapy, but she always took one of my older siblings and treated it as a learning experience. In the end she could do just about anything with both hands and later in life this became a great blessing to others because she could teach knitting and crocheting to both right and left handed people.
Not long after this an earthquake came through Fallon and did major damage. In fact it went right under the house in Stillwater and did some major damage. The chimney came in through the roof and second floor and ended up in the living room. No one was hurt so that was good. Mom made the Choice to stay and try to make a go of the farm. But.......
They just got things fixed up and my dad suffered a major heart attack and was rushed to Reno and then on to San Fransisco. He had major heart surgery. I can remember the scar on his chest, it went from armpit to armpit. He was in a coma for 4 weeks. Mom had to make some very hard choices in order to save her family again. She decided that they needed to sell the farm and move closer to town. One the expense of rebuilding everything really put a strain on them and also the cost of Dad not being able to do the farm work was just too much. So they moved into Fallon. Dad got better but was never able to do as much as he once had. He went to work for Dodge construction and things were good for awhile.
After I was born, Dodge Construction was sold, so Dad was looking for work and mom made the Choice to go to work to help out with bills. That had to be a very hard Choice to make because she was a stay at home mom. She got a job at a local building supply store called Builders Supply, being their bookkeeper. It was great because it was just down the road from our house and they let her bring me to work.
These stories make me realize that I stress way too much over choices that I have to make. None of them have really had a huge impact on my life. The stories also make me realize that I can make the hard choices when I need to because it is in my DNA. Thanks MOM you are the best.