Posted in Family, Mom

Blessings

Blessings can come in many different ways, and yesterday I received one that touched multiple people. Unexpectedly and without my knowledge of such grand, scheme, plan, I received a few pictures from Mom’s cousin yesterday. Wednesday was what we used to call “salt day”, and every first Wednesday of the month we went to the salt pools to let all the troubles float away and enjoy a few hours in great company. I remember the first time when she convinced me to go, and I am sure glad that I did. I got to learn so much more about her, meeting a beautiful soul with so much in common, and the rest has been history ever since. A fond friendship was formed that never existed prior and perhaps couldn’t have as timing is everything and our life experiences often mold us together, bringing the right people into our lives at the right times.

We have stayed in contact ever since, and yesterday she sent me a few pictures. It was salt day and it is not uncommon that she visits Mom on those days to say hi. Mom has her own fond memories of a younger time spent with her cousin and they share a beautiful, natural bond that touches my heart. I didn’t know about the plan of taking the visit to the next level, and she, along with her boyfriend Herbert (such a sweetheart, she met at the salt pools while I was there), took Mom on a little trip out of the nursing home. I instantly welled up seeing Mom so happy and carefree, for whatever amount of time possible. It was huge for her and I can only imagine how it must feel to be in the same room day after day without feeling the sunshine or being able to be outside. Her last trip outside was on October the 13th 2018 with me, and I am grateful for the blessing of seeing Mom smile from ear to ear, and the blessing that was given to her by enjoying a different quality of life and a few hours of distraction. 💙

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Posted in Celebration, Family

Happy Birthday Emily

Last year I got to celebrate this special day with my niece Emily (bottom left) while being in Germany. It is always during those special events that I reminisce and miss home just a little more. I know the celebration will be special and another year will have passed. Funny how when we are jung time seems to move so slowly, letting us believe that we have all the time in the world, and then before we know it, time races and some of us may even stop celebrating all together. We really shouldn’t, and just like in those younger days, we should celebrate and be grateful to yet add another year to our human clocks. It is a privilege denied to many.

Happy Birthday Emily. May all your wishes and dreams come true. Love you 😍

Posted in Family, Life, Mom

Ice cold reminders

Mom has no concept of time and to her each day in the nursing home probably feels like an eternity. I get it, but for me life looks a lot different and time is passing. I am recovering from being at the bottom, and although there is progress (thank God), it is slow to gain my strengths back. I filed for my unemployment yesterday and it looks like it was already approved, which means that I have to look for a job now. That’s gonna throw a major wrench into things and the time I need on the personal front such as clearing a life of 30 years, a house and getting it ready to be put up on the market, in the hopes of selling and getting out from underneath it.

Talking to her yesterday, I could tell that something was bothering her. Her facial lines were hard and it didn’t take all that long for the issue to surface and vocalize. Today was not any different and she was still consumed with what happened. She couldn’t let go and finally it all escalated during our conversation.

She tells me that her doctor was there to draw blood etc. and asked for her insurance card. Her card is kept downstairs in the office (I’m not sure if it’s the same with everyone) in case of an emergency or if she needs to be admitted into the hospital. It’s merely so they have her information on file, but explain this to Mom who for as long as she remembers always had the card in her wallet and doesn’t understand why it was ripped out of her hands (literally) from one of the nurses who has zero personality, (a total other issue), and why it was not given back to her. I tried many of times to explain it to her, and sometimes it works and she calms down, other times she doesn’t. Anyways, her doctor asks for her insurance card knowing darn well that it is kept downstairs and rallies her up for no reason at all. I have seen him do it before and there is simply no need for it. It’s the same doctor that rather talked about US politics, and the president to me as I came to his office in a frantic attempt to prevent Mom from coming home after a hospital stay. The one who told me to turn Mom over to the state and maybe that will make her wake up. Yeah that one. You might remember that post and I have no respect for him due to the things he has pulled. Now that, and the information about her insurance is the same as always, hasn’t changed, as a matter of fact he has it on file and knows it’s kept downstairs, so why? I don’t get it and it makes her relive those moments all over again that she is simply not in control over her life anymore. Why put her through it, standing there and smirking like an idiot about her response. I remember the first time. That’s a doctor. Also the same that couldn’t care less about me as I needed help. It is scary to Mom to not be in control anymore, it requires adjustment, as it would be for anyone. He doesn’t care.

It turns into a big deal until the nursing home shows her paperwork of which I signed that apparently says that it is ok to hold on to the card for safe keeping. She doesn’t understand and I better not sign anything else for her or else. Here we go and now she is mad at me and I’m the scapegoat. Just that quick and no matter what I do good and right, it never is enough and I’m caught in the middle of an unbelievable battle that can’t be won. “You better come back and get me out of the nursing home because I DO NOT want to stay here” she says. It’s now all my fault that she is there and heaven forbid she finds out that this is not the only paperwork I have signed and that I truly have committed her. Perhaps it will be the end of our relationship and she will never talk to me again. I don’t think she would ever understand. At this point in our conversation, I’m choosing my words very carefully because she has already reminded me that I wouldn’t behave this way if my father was alive. Do we really have to go there again?

Mom lives in an unrealistic world and she has no concept of anything. Even if I was to return to Germany, this wouldn’t happen for months, and I’m not sure what she is thinking. I told her I’ve been very sick from all of this, but she is too scared about her own situation to even acknowledge mine. It doesn’t matter. Is one life truly more important then the other!!!! I’m all she has and she seems to not have a problem to place the entire burden into my lap. “At least you are free and can leave whenever you want to” she tells me. “There is nothing wrong with me, except I can’t walk” she says. “Wouldn’t you not think that this is major deal and enough to justify that you can’t take care of yourself anymore” I ask in reply.

We finally end the call and say our goodbyes on good terms, but I can only imagine. This one could have been avoided I feel, but soon or later, I know she will get angry with me and might not talk anymore. Perhaps she feels like this already at times, but knows she can’t really afford to. I already dread that day and honestly had hoped it would take a little longer until we got to this part. Hopefully tomorrow is a new day and a better one at that.

Posted in Family, Holidays

German Christmas 🎄

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.

Posted in Family, Origami

Origami family night

  • I found out why Emily and Leni thought that the “Hippie Time” postcard was a perfect fit for me. It all started with “Fern” my little flower power pink VW bus. Although he came with me to Germany, sadly the projects to photograph it in various location fell a bit to the wayside and was never executed with success.
  • Secondly my desire of one day owning a bus to call my home played a role and was a sign as well. It was enough to associate the postcard with me. ❤️
  • Here is a picture of our folding Origami night where we created a few cute bunnies. Another folding creation is under my belt. 😉
  • Posted in Death, Family, Life

    10/8/1974

    I sat on the cemetery’s bench and cried yesterday. It’s not the first time that I felt overcome with emotions visiting Dad. Not the first time that I wished that he was here, and definitely not the first time that I told him of how much I missed him. I remembered the day of his funeral, I was ten, in shock and unable to cry. I remember the eyes of the “Village people”, the community of my small town on me, watching my every move. I can hear the talk and I definitely still feel the pain over the loss of my Dad. I accepted his passing, (did I really have another choice), but I never got over the pain and it catches up from time to time.

    10/8/1974 is the German way of writing for the date of August the 8th, as we write the day before the month. An important date that passed this year as if it was a day like any other.

    Watering Dad’s grave today, the anniversary of his death jumped out at me and I completely had forgotten. It was 10/8/1974 and I felt like a bad daughter, ashamed, being here so close, able to visit his grave site and that I forgot about it. I know that I feel close to him every day, and don’t need to be at the cemetery in order to do so, but still. I know that there are other forces at hand that have left me vulnerable, questioning how a loving daughter could forget a day like this. And I know that I am unnecessary hard on myself. There is a void, a pain inside that has to run it’s course, whether it is influenced by outside experiences or my own standards and inability to give myself too much slack. I was here in Germany on the day of his death’s anniversary, I should have visited and brought flowers. At the least I shouldn’t have remembered.p and talked to him.

    Life has changed so much since coming to Germany. I have gained some things and I have lost some things. It’s a delicate balance of give and take, of craziness and sanity, it’s a daily struggle. Some days I win, some days I don’t, and yet I’m still standing. Some days feel like I can take on the world, others I want to hide and give in to the endless tired and exhausting feeling. I find myself on my knees more times than I would like to, but I have always managed to get back up. It has been a journey packed full of emotions and immense growths. In the end, I know that I chose this path for the sake of everyone.

    Posted in Family, Fun

    Garden-Beautification-Party

    A few weeks back my little niece Emi asked me if we could have a garden beautification party. Well it is finally here and tomorrow is the day. I made a special little invitation card for the kids and I hope to take some fun pictures to share with you tomorrow.

    The garden has been such a big secret and I only shared a few bits so far. It’s been hard work and honestly it still ain’t ready. There are still things to do when it comes to my little outdoor shrine, and I have a feeling that it will fill a little more after my birthday later this month. However, what better way to celebrate 13th and share with you the work in progress.

    There will be pizza and snacks, drinks and something for all ages. Artists where encouraged to bring supplies to decorate and beautify yard stepping stones or other crafts. There are still tons of things to do until then but I’m very excited. It’s been a long time to host “A little evening” with family and friends.

    My handmade invitation for the kids 😉

    Posted in Family, Fun, Gardening, Shrine, Altar

    Chores and fun

    It’s Monday and Monday’s usually belong to me for chores or fun. I thought I try something new and combine both today. After a healthy breakfast, the laundry has been started, and I will move on to cooking lunch by making Gulasch with Semmelknödel, a kind of potato dumpling that is yummy.

    The garden and outdoor shrine is taking shape and even the neighbor noticed this morning that the savannah with the long tall weed-grass has changed dramatically. Last evening Moni and my two nieces Leni and Emily came to visit and we enjoyed our time in the garden. Leni has taken over the hammock and it seems to be her favorite hangout, while Emi is mostly on the move, dancing through the yard like a beautiful little fairy. This would have not been possible a few weeks ago as the garden was still full and overgrown with unsightly weeds. It’s a true blessing to have this time with these wonderful people I’m lucky to call family.

    Later on today in between chores, a little bicycle trip to the local flower Palast (a gardening place) is on the agenda, and the ideas for the garden are ever growing. It seems like all my inspiration is being sucked up into small little projects for the garden. Emi is already envisioning a garden opening party and soon we will spend a “Little evening” and what my family calls a little get together on the patio amongst family while overseeing the garden. The kids are planning to spend the night and we will have a full moon slumber party once school is out. It was also Emi who requested a painting party this Friday as we often paint and create together. It was this morning that I had an epiphany and again, just like I said before all my creative efforts pull into this outdoor space right now. We found ten square stepping stones yesterday and sectioned off the yard to plant wildflowers in between. How about painting those stepping stones? All of us could create a one of a kind that could add color to the yard and memorialize our adventure and painting evening forever. I like the idea and will make cute little invitation cards later for the kids to see what they think of the idea. I think it could be a fun memory for all….

    Hammock time last evening

    Posted in Family, Life

    Cherry season

    It’s cherry season here in Germany and I got to pick a bowl full at my aunts house yesterday. It was a day that started rough and scary, not knowing what would be and where it would take us, but which ended well and spent in quality time. Thank you for the love and light that I got to experience today and for a few carefree hours of balance.

    Posted in Family, Humor

    Meet the mechanic

    A special present arrived today and I am now the proud owner of my own bicycle. I plan to become good friends with it and ride it as often as possible to offset the times of sitting and to get some exercise whenever my joints allow me to. I know there can be too much of a good thing and wear and tear, but there is also the saying “If you rest, you rust”. I guess once again it comes down to balance and listening to your body.

    I put the bike together as best as I could by myself. There really wasn’t much to do other than put on the pedals, tighten the saddle and install the front wheel. All I needed was air and I felt pretty good. After scheduling a quick appointment with my mechanic after soccer practice this evening, I rolled the bike to his house for further inspection and to fine tune the brakes. “Oh my god, quick, take off the front wheel, luckily the brakes are not broken” he almost yells. It takes a moment to understand him telling me that I assembled the wheel backwards and the disk for the brakes is on the opposite side of the brakes. I finally realize the severity of my mistake, but luckily I only pushed the bike and didn’t ride it to his house because the air was low in the tires. I have to laugh but he insist on a “Phew, you got lucky”. He must really know his stuff and I believe that I did get lucky that the air was low. Otherwise in utter and complete madness I might have ridden the bike and broken the brakes. I’m impressed and no wonder he is the # 1 fix it guy for the family.

    Meet the mechanic ~ Noah