It must have been years since Mom had a Christmas tree. A few weeks ago, I spotted one at the grocery store and bought the small little tree for us to celebrate together. This morning I realized that there have only been a few occasions we actually turned on its beautiful lights, and enjoyed it’s glow. It also filled me with an urgency to change this as there isn’t much time left.
I think the next few days will be perfect as it is gloomy and gray outside. Apparently there is no more sunshine until well into next week, and I took a good look at the last rays yesterday. Rain is in the forecast and I definitely feel it in my bones.
I’m trying to make Christmas extra special for her and I wrapped a few presents to go under her tree. She is excited like a child, asking what is in it, if she can shake it etc. I see that childlike wonder in her eyes, and although I can’t really afford Christmas presents this year, I am grateful for the few things I could get for her that encourages that childlike play.
Fact is: I miss her already, and I am afraid to go. I’m a full grown adult, and still sometimes I cry for her like a small child cries for it’s Mommy. The nights are the worst, after a day spent together, to return back to her empty house while leaving her behind in a place she doesn’t want to be. It’s heartbreaking each time and soon I am going to walk out of her room for the very last time. Not in forever, but in “I don’t know when I will see you again”. It’s so hard.
I fell pretty hard today. Flat on my face slipping on the wet cobblestones. It was after doing some important business at the bank, checking of yet another piece on a hectic agenda of things needing to get done before I leave. All went well and I was relieved. I left the bank in tears and tried to hold it together. Relieved and yet feeling the sting of the “lasts” and final things creeping up, signaling my time is coming near.
Then the fall, and I hit pretty hard. Luckily I was ok besides some scrapes, bruises and a sore knee, but it was such a moment, where I wanted to cry for Mommy. I was overwhelmed, feeling the tremendous pressure of the past months and fears which have not come to pass yet.
I have to get the house ready soon and yet I want to stay in it until the last possible moment. I’m close to Mom and what is meaning the world to her. Her own four walls. I don’t have to fight of holding it together and the tears can fall whenever they feel like coming. I don’t want to spend my last days with family this way, but I struggle to be strong right now.
I know all will be ok somehow. It always is, but nothing will ever be harder then this. Honestly, I don’t know how other people have done it before me. It nearly kills you and hurts so much sometimes. I tell myself to get a grip, but I don’t really want to suppress the pain and bury it deep inside. I don’t think it will ever get easier, and sometimes I think that it is the empath in me that feels everything so much stronger than everyone else.
It’s unavoidable to not end up in deep places from time to time. Such is life and the lessons it has in store for us. But think about it, would we grow otherwise without it? Who would we be without our experiences good and bad?
The lows can be painful and dark, but they too shall pass, and after each low there is no other way but up towards the light.
Picture taking during my blogger meeting with my friend Marcus at the museum in Schwäbisch Hall.
Lake Tahoe…simply gorgeous and a place that never gets old. As time is winding down, everything is bittersweet. There are people, things and places I will always miss, regardless if I am in the states or in Germany. Such one place is Lake Tahoe and the serene beauty of the lake and sierras.
This year has been a year of great progress and no matter how hard, often disappointing, and challenging, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have given it all, and nothing was held back. I am at peace with what I achieved and I know Mom and I have never been closer. There are challenges and just the other day she said unimaginable things again. Those are very hard to hear at times, but I know they are driven by fear and she knows that I am the only who can or would take her out of what she consider hell, the nursing home. I am asking her to be patient and to trust in me. Something she struggles with at times while it’s costing her a pretty penny each month to do so, and while her hands are tied.
I don’t have the answers for the future, but this has never felt right, and I always said that I can’t envision the story to end like this. Who knows, maybe I will in the future and think that she belongs in the senior home, maybe I’m not. Either way I will always fight for her and her happiness.
This is my last week here and my time on the blog will be limited. I will post but most likely just photographs with brief descriptions to maximize my time with Mom. Please bare with me during this tough transition.
I got to visit a few Christmas markets over the weekend and it’s been something I always fondly thought of in the states. There is nothing like it, and it’s fun to mingle amongst people from near and far. Stands line the street filled with homemade goods and rare gift ideas, in addition to all the food vendors.
The top picture showcases my nieces Leni & Emily in front of the famous Käthe Wohlfahrt Store in Rothenburg. It’s a Christmas store that is open year round and usually is packed with tourists. It is a tradition to pose in front of the giant Christmas vehicle and I usually get a picture sent from my cousin. This time was there myself to take the picture.
Emi in front of one of the many magical stalls. The spirit is high at the Christmas markets, and neat things can be found even for the pickiest of recipients.
The family…Moms sister, my cousin and nieces and me enjoying a glass of Glühwein, Children’s punch and a tasty waffle.
Those who have learned to carry their own light no longer fear the darkness. They know it eventually reveals their strength in living color.
~Stephen L Lizotte
Picture: Christmas market booth in Rothenburg o. d. T. ❤️
Inside the church St. George during my trip to Eisenach.
The anxiety crept in again and no matter how hard I try I can’t help it. Time is closing in with only days left until I leave. What a crazy bittersweet feeling. A true love-hate affair. I haven’t packed, a few things are left to do and then there is the house, Mom’s castle and getting it ready to be uninhabited. It should be easy enough to flip the power switch to cut all electricity, but there are also pipes that need to be drained of all water so they don’t freeze without the house being heated. I should do it the day before Christmas Eve as I want to spend as much time as possible with Mom, but then it means I can no longer stay in the house.
I have asked Mom a few times now if she wants to go to church on Christmas Eve and she hasn’t fully committed. Everything is up in the air. A few goodbyes need to be said, but no plans have been finalized. All I know is that I can’t wait until the last minute and some feelings might get hurt. These moments belong to Mom whether she wants them or not.
We hit another wall today with the iPad. One thing led to another and pretty soon the ugly face of the same fight raised its ugly head once more. You see it was never a matter of being worried that she can’t learn how to operate it (she is doing fine with it) but a matter of whether she will use the iPad to talk to me. Everything was fine without it before she thinks, but things have changed she does not want to acknowledge. Her reality about the care home is still out of whack and in her mind I am still to blame that she is there. She does not want to stay there and she doesn’t realize that she can’t get out alone. What she hears is that this is up to her and me. Further there is nothing wrong with her she thinks, which automatically places all blame on me. I must be the one that makes it impossible for her to get home and my Dad would be so disappointed and would never tolerate it if he was alive she says. I will have to wait and see, and can only take one day at a time. While there are many cant’s, there are also many can’s and I’m focused on what I can impact and influence, and leave what I can’t. Easier said then done, and sometimes it works and others it doesn’t. What I do realize, no matter how unfair things seem sometime, is that Mom’s reaction are ruled by fear. The fear of me leaving, the fear of being alone again, of having lost control of her life and the fear of her life which changed from everything she once knew.
I went to bed before 9PM to just rest last night. I took a few aspirins for my troubled heart that gave me much pressure and freight, and just laid down. I focused on my breathing and on staying calm. There is no doubt that the stresses of the year passed has further negatively affected my health. From an active and movement point of view to other reasons, and here too…I am trying to do the best I can. I have to get through it and it’s nothing anyone can do for me.
This evening I will enjoy a German Christmas market and distract my mind while getting some exercise. It is freezing outside, but there is always Glühwein and I’m looking forward to that and taking some pictures.
Picture taken in Santa Cruz, California.
I will be flying over the pacific soon and be near that spot. There is something soothing in the crashing of the waves and it will feel as if I am coming full circle.
My last day before leaving to Germany was spent at that ocean playing the ukulele. Ten month later my first day back might be spent at that ocean, playing the ukulele once more. Everything in between will remain packed with emotions and the memory of never being the same person again. We constantly evolve and change and nothing stays the same.