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.
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.
If you don’t do wild things while you’re young, you will have nothing to smile about when you are old.
Time is racing and I’m trying to make the best out of the time I still have left with Mom. I haven’t written much and have fought mental exhaustion. I don’t work and yet I don’t have the time. A strange concept I never understood until now. It’s quite possible to get stuck in a day to day routine that leaves little time for else. I know it’s not helping that I still battle pains from the chronic RA and the stresses of months past. I accomplish more on some days vs others and my life quality varies from day to day.
Soon I will find myself high above the clouds on the long journey back to the states. It’s such a bittersweet feeling and although I’m looking forward to my life the way it was before, I’m worried. Nothing is the same and everything has changed. Few things for the better, but there is plenty left to worry about. I know what you are thinking. Stay positive and don’t worry. Things will always work out as intended. Life finds a way, and you are right. I’m merely stating some current thoughts and emotions as time draws near and it helps to get them off of my chest.
Not all days are equal, and more and more the darkness creeps in and tries to overwhelm me. I try to stay busy, to keep my thoughts in check. It’s when I rest, get up in the morning and finish the day, that it is worse. I know that I simply have too much time on my hands to let my thoughts wander. Of course I know and made good headways today. I got a lot done and tomorrow is another full day trying to accomplish all things that need to be done. I think it’s quite miraculous how some things have worked out on my time table. Someone came by to read the water gauge which is an annual event. Luckily it happened while I was here, on my day away from Mom and while still in Germany. The same happened with a few parcels, which arrived in the same miraculous way. Someone high above is watching out for me. Thank you.
A big peace of mind is that I bought Mom a iPad for Christmas. I spent a few hours setting it up with her yesterday. For the first time in her life my 80 year old mother has an email address and a Pinterest account. We FaceTime’d while I was there yesterday and she still is a big rusty of what to do. She stares at the screen but doesn’t make the connection yet to hit the green button to accept the call. Today I didn’t get a hold of her and we need much more practice until I go. I will have to write some things down for her. It brings me some peace of mind and comfort to be able to reach her once I’m gone, if we manage the process and I’m very hopeful.
I’ve learned a lot this year.
I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put together the way they were before.
I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.
I chipped away at your cold exterior,
Dodging shards of ice until you were no longer hard,
But even though I cracked the surface,
Your heart would not melt.
~ Christy Ann Martin
Picture from last year at one of my favorite hangouts near my house.
Today’s post is personal and I know many of you will relate. May it bring peace to you in reading those lines. May it remind you that you feel everything just a little extra. And may it outline how truly special you are for doing so. Here it goes….
Dear empath, the one who feels everything so deeply.
I understand that your tender heart feels so tired, so overwhelmed by the heaviness of life here. You don’t understand how people can be so mean, so cruel, so vindictive and so angry. But even more so, you just don’t understand why everyone expect YOU to also be that way.
It’s just not in your nature. You love. You see all of life with love, and you only want others to also see the love and beauty that is present in all of life.
You’ve walked through most of your life feeling like an outsider, like you’re from somewhere else, and you’re beginning to desperately want to go home there now. Please don’t give up. You’re not wrong. You’re not the one who is wearing blinders to our true nature. You’ve known the answer is love all along…
The time has come for you to flourish, to learn from your heart and to share the immeasurable joy’s that doing so affords. It’s your time to shine, dear one. And to do so, you simply have to love yourself…Love yourself is fiercely as you’ve loved everyone else. That’s been your job all along – and now it’s your time. Love YOU with all your being, dear one, and you’ll remember again that ALL is well.
It’s not always easy to have a positive outlook, and sometimes life is simply tough. Still the way we view things is one of our best attributes. It makes or breaks us. It teaches or defines, and it definitely makes life a whole lot easier if we can accept our fate gracefully, believe me.
I have learned so much this year in Germany. Some things new and some expanded on a deeper level to what I already knew. There is a calm most days in me now, although I’m fearful of leaving. Mom has changed since I told her that I’m going, and I can see her struggle plain as day. I know she is afraid and most days the sadness marks deep lines all over her face. Yet she can’t articulate any of it. It breaks my heart to see her like this, and I want to wrap her up in a tight hug and ensure her that all will be ok. I’m not sure that she can believe it once I’m gone, and once she is on her own. She is such a fighter, such a strong women, and yet she is so vulnerable and lost. She is unaware and inexperienced about most anything in life. It comes from a life within her own four walls. A life with little to no entertainment besides the TV. I truly think that she enjoyed all the things we did together which ultimately broadened her horizon. It has given her purpose to live, excited to face each day and see what could be discovered new. That purpose, ME, is leaving in a month.
A new chapter begins as I leave and yet nothing is over or settled. It’s merely another phase that begins, and besides the worries about her, other troubles of a different kind are already waiting. Further fights beckon to be embarked on. Nothing is over although it is. It will be a while until I can lay my weapons down, but each battle should restore more peace within.
Just like Mom has discovered new things every day, so am I as I continue on this journey. My life has been in motion for awhile, but it is now or never that I have to reach for the stars. If I want my dreams to be reality and dreaming is no longer enough, then the time to act is now. It is strangely motivating, and deeply exciting, for I have lived most of my life around others, always putting myself last. The time has come and it feels right to think about myself after everything that has expired. The ball is rolling. Some things will stay, others have already been busy in getting lost, while new ones will be found.
The Journey continues….
Love what you do
Do what you love
Begin where you are
Use what you have
Do what you can
Honor the elders
Teach the young
Protect and love your family
Keep your craft and your skills strong
Learn from your own mistakes, not only from others
Look for the log in your own eye-
Not the splinter in your brothers
Be loyal to your friends
Voice your opinion
Stand your ground
Trust your brothers (and sisters)
Work hard, stay humble
Focus on the detail
Wake up early
Temper your body
Live in nature
Walk in the woods
Climb the mountains
Find time to be alone
Hunt when you need food
Rest when you can
Work when you must
Always leave your mark
Take charge when others show weakness
Have more, spend less
More time, less convenience
Craft, not business
Value, not price
Quality, not quantity
To create, not to produce
Hands, not machines
(Picture: Wartburg Fortress – Germany)
Life is bittersweet, and never did I realize this saying to be more true, then during my stay in Germany. I will be leaving next month, but a part of me stays while the rest of me worries as I’m gone.
Never was I more afraid to leave and honestly, I don’t know how I ever did it in all these years, leaving Mom behind. Never has life been so apparent in all it’s harsh realities. Never was the truth so cold and the obvious between want and reality so clear.
Never have I felt more lonely and isolated, more overwhelmed and more pushed into the corner with my hands tied. Never have I been more vulnerable and scared, more devastated and yet hopeful. Never did I have to be stronger and more of a fighter as I have been for the past ten month.
Never have I starred depression more into the eye as I have been. Never did I feel more like giving up as I have been here. Never did I feel such agonizing pain, both physically and mentally. Never did I cry as much as I have cried during my time in Germany.
Never have I stumbled this much and fallen so many times, but always have I made the choice to get back up and face another day and another fight.
Cry me a river…..