Saturday, August 31, 2013

One, Two, Un-Buckle My Shoe

My Father At Graduation 1948
On Saturday August 17th, 2013, two hours into another arduous dialysis run my father called his nurse over and told her to unhook him, he was done.

A new journey had begun. The nurse called me, and I met dad at the rehab facility. "I want to go see Mary", were the first words out of his mouth. He usually calls my mother, "mommy" or "mom". This was serious business, I knew he meant it this time.

My older brother, David, needed a break. Just one weekend to recoup, regroup, caregiving is hard work. If you read the post,"Due To Circumstances Beyond Our Control", you will know why he needed a respite. His lovely wife Sandy, made the weekend special (I heard), yay Sandy.  So, I called my younger brother and let him know what was going on.

My younger brother lives in San Antonio, and is exempt from caregiving. He is not exempt from worrying, fretting, feeling guilt at not being able to be there. He loves our parents with the same ferocity his brother and I do. He consoled me, and started making plans to get here.

Since father had changed his mind many times (living with terminal disease is HARD), I waited until Monday to have the doctor call hospice. My "adopted" sister named Kathy was with me. "When should I have my little brother come out", I asked the doctor. "Ten minutes ago," remarked the doctor. Kathy lost it for a minute, I was strangely calm (this time). The doctor told us, "He will not last three days."

I cannot say enough kind words about "Hoffman Hospice" (click link to see webpage). On Tuesday we met and within hours our father was in the comfort of his own home. Nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers, bathers, you name it, we were treated to first class service. The goal, " Dying with dignity intact." They did a grand job.

It was so very surreal. Dad had a strawberry milkshake, (thanks Kathy). We played Zonk (a dice game). People came, people went, days passed. My Aunt Margaret, his sister came, and he comforted her in his big brother fashion. How sweet it was to see him put his hand on her back and pat it with brotherly affection, their heads close together in quiet conversation. My brothers and I fully expected the old gent to get up and say, "I was just kidding," at one point.

Then the real business of dying began. My father's smile can light up a room, no really, it can. When people would come he would look up in response to their greeting. A smile would radiate from his face and then an "Oh Hi". We don't know if he recognized all (though he did call my sweet sister-in-law Donna, Texas). But he greeted everyone with a smile and a warmth in those big baby blues.

Then all responses stopped. He lay there with his big, arthritis ridden, work worn hands, resting on top of the sheets. We prayed for his final journey to be swift, and yet, he lay there breathing with little shallow breaths. All activity seemed to cease, as we waited with baited breath for him to take his last.

To say that we were all tired is an understatement. We were ready for him to meet mom in heaven, at the same time hoping for the miraculous (but only if he was completely "well", no diabetes, no kidney failure, no congestive heart failure, etc.). We all ask God for a lot, don't we? And usually on our terms. God must shake his head a lot.

At 3:20 A.M., Thursday, August 29th,2013,  David George Sampson took his last breath on earth. I'm sure he was greeted by a multitude of friends, loved ones, and relatives. He hastily flung his hefty crown at our Lord's feet, and started to explore the wonders of heaven. Ever the carpenter, fisherman, and father figure he is walking the streets of gold, and greeting new and old friends. He's with mom at last, never to be parted. We love you, dad. Give mom a kiss for us.

A special thanks going out to my cousin Patsy, and our "adopted" sister Kathy Stephens. You guys are my idols, and thank you for always being there for us. You have helped all along the way even before the final journey began. You are special and loved, and must have huge old crowns waiting in heaven.

Also, thank you to the Lara's, mom and dad's neighbors. You gave them a feeling of security for many, many years. You watched out for them when no one was around. You are our angels unawares.

 Another thanks to our Pastor Ken Wilcox, and his wife Collece. May all your dreams for Sonrise Church of God come true........ I wish you could have known our mom and dad when they labored at the church, dad, even before his salvation....

Soon, I will get back to the business of Mobley. I hope you will follow along.

Blessings, Theresa

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Over The River And Through The Woods...To Compromise We Go!

I am mildly excited. Okay, I am totally nervous. We have finished for now our first room. Is anything ever really done?

I love this cozy room. It brings back memories of times when overnight guests were welcomed with homespun and quilts. A softer, gentler time. I hope the guests who stop over will find it so.

We call this room, "The Lodge Room". It is my husbands room in lieu of a man cave, lol.

I forget sometimes in my little ideal decorating world that there is a husband to consider. He is human and has likes and dislikes, he collects items, and he has a fondness for eagles and flying. Plus, he is a Spartan, harrumph!

The airplanes I could work with. But the eagles, now, that was a different subject. I said to my husband, "Husband, could you do without your eagles in our new home?" He said, "Wife, could you do without your craft room?:It was like the hand of God came down and wrote on the wall....

                                                                                                                                                                   There are little red airplanes ready to fly around the room, and framed souvenir programs from the Kern County Airshow. I was raised in Ridgecrest, California by the naval weapons center at China Lake. We got to see the Canadian Snowbirds, a top flight precision airplane drill team and I got to visit my old hometown. We saw the Snowbirds two years in a row.

Needless to say we compromised. I shut up and did my best to display his eagles and he gave me a room twice the size for my craft room. Really, he insisted. I love that guy.

I had an old bakers rack, voila', an old eagles rack
Our overnight guests will have a small cozy room to enjoy. I will have a large room with a work table I can walk around, woot!
Remember, I warned you about my quilt addiction!

I did not spend a dime on this room. I had everything from the old chippy iron bed, to the quilts. Mike had his eagles and airplane memorabilia. I made the curtains from some green pillow ticking fabric (love it), and the window blessing is a sweet little garland purchased long ago.

A little window blessing ("as long as it doesn't hang over the edges," says he) 

I love the old fashioned look of ticking. It was too bright outside to show you the true color.
                                                                                                                                                                               The room is pretty masculine, but I added some feminine touches just because. It makes me think of nature and God. God made the cliffs and mountains stark, strong, angular, masculine. Then he proceeded to soften the granite with lacy ferns, and delicate floral coverings. Male and female made He them.
I wish I could have captured the colors. The reds and greens are lovely together!
I know, I know, the curtains low like this are rather more French than English,
but I won't tell if you won't tell! So functional! They provide privacy from the street when the blinds are open. P.S. When my fortune arrives, lol. the first thing to go will be these awful vertical blinds.

Thank you Michael for my huge ol' craft room. This post's for you!

Blessings, Theresa