Here I am up at 1:30am thinking about Greeting Cards.
Lately I have been working on a project to scan all of our hardcopy photos and then getting storage containers to hold the photos themselves. The old photo albums are falling apart and are destroying the photos. This was spurred on by receiving my parents photos after their passing last year.
It was tough to scan old family photos, I won’t deny that at all. A lot of emotional baggage came up, especially since I haven’t dealt with their passing. Wolsey says it has set me off into a depression. While I want to say that isn’t true, I am not looking from the outside so maybe it is.
I had finished the scanning of hardcopy photos (I still have hundreds of negatives, but those I have in one storage book so they can be done as I go) so I switched to combining and setting up storage for greeting cards.
Greeting cards are always a weird thing for me. They have always held a weird place in my family, compared to other families I have known. No matter what was happening each event, my parents would get us a card with a handwritten message inside them for each birthday, anniversary, promotion, holiday or end of quarter (and a dozen other special holidays). No matter how poor they were at the time. There would always be in quotation marks the last two digits of the year as well.
Wolsey and I would always smile, thank them and get home joking about the cards. No one else I know of received cards on this level (a lot of times with flowers) for even random small events in our life. I have some cards from other family members, but our receiving them varied on if they were mad at us, if we had drifted away in talking, whereas my parents would have one every event, no matter what.
Yesterday I got my greeting cards storage box and went through the cards. I was surprised it was the hardest thing I have done. It was harder then going through the photos, harder then going through the remnants of their personal belongings in storage, harder then anything except maybe the letters my dad would sometimes write.
It was a quick process, and all the more sadder because it was quick. I had over the years kept most of the stuff they gave us, but we have moved so often, downsized and in general would lose some of them. Now I can see the holes in the different holidays because the cards are missing and it makes me sad. There were important events to Wolsey and I, that I realized the only people that commented/congratulated/consoled us were my parents. I think that is probably the worst part of it, knowing those will be the last cards I will receive from them.
I am glad though that something as small and eccentric like that was a habit they had. It reminds me how much they did care about the little things that happened with us. In that light, I am very fortunate to have the cards, and to have parents that cared about me and my husband so much.
I woke up a little confused this morning, dreams of my mom and dad. Then when I sat down I realized she had passed away a year ago today, on their 46th wedding anniversary (today would be their 47th anniversary). Of course it happened that way, my parents loved each other too much to go long without seeing one another. My mom liked holidays so this seems perfectly in her style to pick one of her favorite holidays to pass.
She didn’t do well after my dad passed away in February of 2016. She was lonely a lot, and I couldn’t be with her daily (but at least weekly I was). I did call her multiple times a day, every day and she seemed buoyed by it. Then my brother stayed with her. She tried hard to keep things going, but in the end her body couldn’t hold up to her grief.
Although she was incredibly brave, and remarkably at peace as things failed her. She didn’t want to be here anymore. As her heart was giving out, we talked with her and she went into hospice. By this time we were driving up daily to see her. So many things happened I will talk about later. I remember her asking me for the days in hospice what day it was. She wanted to make it so badly to their anniversary. It was important to her.
I kept telling her it wasn’t “today” yet. Eventually that day did come, no matter how much I wished it wouldn’t. Their anniversary arrived quietly on a hot summer day, and as we went up to see her in the hospice house I knew it would be for the last time.
We arrived there, met with family, drama and a desire that I could whisk her away somewhere she could get true peace. We sat with her for hours, she was slowly fading, but would occasionally stir and say something garbled.
I was holding her hand most of the day, she was less responsive then the previous days. I leaned over and whispered to her that it was ok, today was her anniversary she had been waiting for and it was ok to go. She was mostly unconscious but she still squeezed my hand.
We stayed a few more hours, and I thought I had been wrong. Not more than 30 minutes later, while we were still driving through Mount Vernon on our way home, I got a call from my sister. She had passed away. I was numb for the rest of the car ride, but that will be talked about in a future post (along with everything else that happened around her passing).
I love you mom. I still miss you and I hope you are in a better place. Even with all the issues our family had, I am grateful you were my mother. I know you loved all of us deeply.
It is funny, I still remember you more towards the way you looked in the 1970s.
Oh, and my mom was a stickler about holidays, ALL OF THE HOLIDAYS, so I know she expects me to wish her and my dad a happy anniversary, 47 years ago today. So HAPPY 47th ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!
I love you, just wanted you to know that we love you, and we miss you and dad.
I don’t really have a witty title for this dream, I wouldn’t call it a nightmare really, or even a bad dream, but it did wake me up and I needed to write it here. Because I only woke up three or four minutes ago, please forgive the grammar/spelling issues.
I was sitting in a living room, sort of similar to my mom’s parents old house. I have very little memories of the house, but it seemed to fit. The room was bathed in a morning light, bright, but diffuse with the curtains, sort of a golden yellowish light.
I looked around the room and there were packages everywhere, getting ready to be delivered. I noticed a very large package sitting in the chair. I never really saw the outside edges of the package because I noticed the package had a hole at the top front.
I could make out a person inside. Part of me knew exactly what I was looking at, even if in that horrible dreamlike state it still moved forward with a “reveal”.
Looking back at me was an older woman, although not quite as old as I remember, the last five months of her life without my dad had aged her. Her skin had a waxy complexion, with what appeared to be warbles. It looked like her body had been through a rough time after she had been embalmed. The reason I thought she was embalmed was the same waxy look my grandparents had when they were buried.
A side note, my mom wasn’t embalmed, both my dad and mom wanted no embalming at all, so I knew even in the dream that it must be a dream, at least part of me did.
Her eyes are what caught me. They were different, damaged, or else changed in a way that I couldn’t tell. I want to say they were golden, almost cat-like in color but with my colorblindness that may not even be what they were. Her eyes would have been a focal point in filming her if it was a monster movie, slowing panning across them. As I was looking at her eyes, trying to figure out what was going on, they shifted and looked back at me.
The dream stuttered for a moment, and then there I was same place, with my mom sitting in the chair (the packaging was gone). Everything else was the same. She had the same complexion, the same weird goldenish eyes that didn’t look right. Her hair looked like it had been dyed sometime recently, it had that straw-like crackle to it, but it wasn’t grey.
We were talking as if we meant to see each other. She was asking me how I was doing, how the hubby was doing, and what had happened after she was gone. It was a very nonchalant conversation.
I then apologized for her eyes and told her I had them donated when she passed, and while they found they couldn’t use them for a cornea transplant, they could use it for research (this is indeed what happened). It dawned on me that is what was wrong with her eyes, the corneas had been removed.
I told her that it is almost a year since she had passed (July 2016). She was reassuring, even with those eyes staring at me. She seemed pleased I had tried. We continued to talk, but the dream was fading. I knew she loved us, and she knew we loved her..
I woke up, hubby woke up a bit too and I told him a little bit about the dream. He reassured me and I told him to go back to sleep, he needed it. He has a lot of recovering to do. Finally he fell back asleep.
Even as I was in the dream, I knew this dream is more of me dealing with the hubby’s surgery, especially since this is the first major thing I have had to work through (his surgery) without having them still here to talk to me and reassure me that things were going to be ok (well, their deaths was the first time actually, but that doesn’t count).
So I wrote it up here in the dark hotel room, listening to my husband beside me snore and the random HGTV show on the TV.
I am just sitting here missing my mom.
Yesterday went well, got to see my dad and help take care of him a little. My sister and brother are really working hard at helping them as well.
We purchased the burial plots. Honestly they are really nice and in the older part of the cemetery near a lot of the large maple trees. I will post photos after I go up next.
The plots ran $3,428. It was expected and worked out fine. I had enough on my credit card to pay for it for now. The one thing I was not expecting is you can bury 5 cremations on top of the casket so each grave could hold up to 10 people if 8 of them wanted to be cremated (which funny enough is what my spouse and I would prefer). It means though that I can take care of any family, friends or others that want to be cremated.
I am trying to avoid pulling any money from here until he passes. The grave liner and opening/closing the grave fee is about $1,600 in addition to the burial plots (and the funeral services will probably be close to $4k) and I am hoping to not have to withdraw the donations until that point in time.
I don’t think I can thank people enough. The outpouring of not only financial but emotional support has been huge. I don’t even know what to say about it except we are touched.
Thank you for everything. I have attached the picture of the purchase. I think it is incredibly important that people see exactly where the money went and what it was for. I realize most people do not do this (and it probably isn’t needed) but I always want to make sure people know what is exactly happening when they have been this kind to us.
I don’t know how to thank everyone. The response has been overwhelming. I know that the GoFundMe page posted an update, but I will post it separately as well just to thank all of you!
We got up this morning and were overwhelmed with the help. None of us really know what to say except thank you. Anything helps, and just the outpouring of support has made this easier. I am going up today to visit with my father and to take my mother to Bayview Cemetery to look at plots. I will come back and post what we looked at and what we got.
On a humorous note concerning my father (is there really anything humorous right now, I guess only a Bradley finds it funny). My sister was in the apartment watching over him.
She was in the living room and he was in the bedroom and she heard a thump. She was worried he fell out of bed and went into the bedroom to find him standing there (he has been bed ridden since Friday before (4 days before). She shrieked and evidently he burst out laughing, thinking it was the funniest thing he saw that she screamed and was worried about a zombie for a few seconds. He spent the rest of the day in the living room, eating a couple pieces of candy corn and having a cup of coffee.
It doesn’t change what is happening, and I don’t know if he is conscious this morning, but in my dad’s typical style he never does anything the easy way. Even as he is dying, he is still doing it on his own terms.
When I pull any funds out I will share exactly where they went. I believe I owe everyone here so much, the least I can do is be exact on where the generosity I am seeing here goes.
I don’t know if I could ever explain exactly how overwhelmed (in a positive way) that we feel with the love exhibited by friends, family and future friends/family (no one who helps is truly a stranger).