Posted in Life, Mom

I wish you enough…

I came across a little article titled “I wish you enough”, that spoke to me on many different levels. It stirred back emotions, worries and fears, especially today, after a not so good conversation with Mom. I know there will be “those” from time to time, and I know that it is her own fear that is driving her behavior at times.

I wish you enough reminded me of saying goodbye to Mom the last two times I have been to Germany. Once she was in the hospital, sick, and the last time I left her behind safe, but in a place she doesn’t care to be. Although there have been many goodbyes over the course of nearly thirty years away, it is those last two that are burned into my memory. Easily some of the content of this article could be applied to those times, never knowing if it would be our very last goodbye. I can tell you that it weighs very heavy on you, and it will taint your soul with worry and fear.

Perhaps in our case the roles are reversed and it is me who is the one to say I wish you enough. Perhaps it is both of us and I know you care in your own way. You just can’t express love, because it was love and being vulnerable that has hurt you and broke your heart. Regardless of the reason and whether you say it or not, I already know, don’t worry. But today it is me to say to you “I wish you enough”….

I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughters departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said “I love you and I wish you enough”. The daughter replied “Mom our life together has been more than enough”. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough too Mom. They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I sat.

Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking “Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever goodbye?”

“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral”, she said. When you were saying goodbye I heard you say “I wish you enough”. May I ask what that means? She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.”

She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said “I wish you enough” we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them. Then turning toward me she shared the following, reciting it from memory-

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough hello’s to get you through the final goodbye.” She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

You are not forgotten and I wish you enough….

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Posted in Mom, My story

2/28/18

One year ago, actually on the 27th, I made the journey to travel to the homeland, to be with family. I arrived on the 28th and Mom was near death. This picture was taken a few days after I arrived, and I was told that she looked better than what she did. Hard to believe and I remember fearing that I wouldn’t make it in time, that she’d be gone by the time I get there. Times were very scary, unfamiliar and uncertain. I had many clues of what to expect, although none could have actually prepared me for what was to come. I had no answers and felt like flying blind. It took faith in huge amounts and trusting, believing, that everything would work itself out. I braced myself for the unknown, asking my soul to be strong, and my heart to remain filled with love and patience. Strong for whatever would come my way, and patience to break through Mom’s stubbornness, while meeting her with a heart full of love. I never had the best relationship with Mom, although I always fought for her love as long as I remember. She believed that I had left her behind as I moved to the states. That I didn’t care about her, and that it didn’t matter what happened to her. This couldn’t have been further from the truth, but it placed a wedge in her heart and I never knew until years later, that she had placed a fair amount of responsibility for her life onto me. She had taken care of me while I was a child, it was to be my turn to repay the favor.

What I learned, was that there were many barriers to be broken, should she decide to allow me within her walls of protection. Walls that she had built around her heart to shield it from ever getting hurt again. Walls that the circumstances of life, and her experiences made her put up. It was a fortress, with walls so thick I never managed to get close, and she never opened up to me. I wasn’t worthy or deserving in her eyes, I had brought her pain without even knowing. Sometimes I felt that she hated me for what she thought I did to her, and I couldn’t dismiss the disgust towards me in her icy remarks that lacked any emotion. From time to time I broke down when all my reserves were exhausted, sharing my shattered heart in pain and despair. Dealing with what I experienced will remain one of the toughest things I had to do in my life. I know things were not perfect, and from the outside it might have been viewed as my own fault for coming back over and over. It might have been discussed with all the emotions removed, a mere story. But I know that nobody can tell me that I didn’t do my best.

I remember discussing some of these worries with my cousin before I actually left for Germany, and she tried to calm me by saying “Just get here for now and the rest will find it’s way”. And it did, not always as expected, and not always favorable, but it did. On unfamiliar ground I was forced having to admit Mom to a nursing home the very next day. She was well enough to be released from the hospital, but not well enough to go home without care. No other choice, right? What was I going to do in one day, unfamiliar with how things worked, due to not having lived in Germany for the past 30 years. Jet lagged and overwhelmed. I felt like a caged animal, frustrated, vulnerable and alone. I guess everybody else had the chance to see what was going on for so long, it was normal and the only way, while it was all new to me, with zero adjustment time granted. I’m not saying to justify things or because of “poor me”, but it was something I couldn’t wrap my head around immediately. It was normality for others while there was a sense of being desensitized and removed. Furthermore it was “my Mom” we were dealing with, and nobody else’s. I think things always hit a little closer to home when they directly involve you, and none of this is meant as an insult or an accusation. Things always look different from the outside, no matter how close you are, and the love of a daughter always applies to her mother, even when things don’t make sense. And if you, as a mother or loved one experience a love anything less than mine, then it would be reason enough to be jealous of the way I cared and still care for Mom. You can’t tell me that if you were sick and couldn’t help yourself, that you wouldn’t secretly want someone to root for you. To be there, to make you feel loved, not alone, and not pushed off like some inconvenience. I think that is exactly how I felt, Mom would view my decisions. She didn’t understand that the nursing home was for her protection. To her, I didn’t want her to be around, I didn’t want to take care of her, and in her mind….once again I turned my back and left her behind. How was I to swallow that pill?

I struggled for the entirety of my ten month stay and things are far from over. I feel my struggles and views have alienated friends and family, and few could understand, let alone support my beliefs and dedication to Mom. My road with Mom was hard and rocky and I’m sure many would have walked away, but I didn’t. I came back over and over to endure more punishment. Things that seemed so unfair and hurtful at times, that I can’t blame anyone for not understanding. But I did have my own guilt of leaving Mom behind after learning about her feelings, and I actually believed that there was some truth to the way she saw things. I felt sad for her horrible life and her losing my Dad so young. I lost him too, but now still missing him, I felt sad for Moms life on top of everything. I was the only one she had left, and the only one who could help her and save her life. It was much, much bigger than me, and I swallowed my hurt and broken feelings. Mom survived and today she carries love within her heart because of it. She has opened her heart to me and the attacks on me have almost completely vanished.

There is no doubt that all of this created uncomfortable moments and a sense of loneliness which was not unusual considering the circumstances of being away from my own four walls, shacked up in my childhood room, away from my own life. This might sound superficial, but there was much more to it and none of my actions were for selfish reasons. The weather was bad for the RA and I was being eaten alive by spiders and mosquitoes. Literally…I have some permanent scars from their bites and being allergic to them. I stayed for ten month while my expenses in the states continued with no income and this is only the financial side of it, not considering the many personal sacrifices I made for this journey. Nothing was ever selfish about it and I still get rallied up about a blog comment, suggesting that I was shoving Mom off to a nursing home for my own comfort and convenience. That one hurt a lot. It was a time of seeing things for face value, to realize that time had outgrown relationships and friendships with little in common left. Life had simply taken us into different directions and it was now becoming obvious once spending more time, other than the quick two week visit. There was so much to deal with, from so many angles, so much to come to terms with, and sometimes I found myself stuck in the middle of things. It was then that I wished I could lay my intuitive empath qualities to rest, instead of being able to read energies and hear unspoken words. It only overwhelmed and I didn’t have room to take on additional battles.

Two month after my return to the states, the journey continues and so much seems to be unresolved. Mom is taken care of in a place she doesn’t want to be, but she is alive and we won’t have to worry about finding her fallen down or in any other dangerous situation like in the past. Some peace of mind right, but how do you deal with knowing how unhappy the person is there and that you have committed her. That she can’t out because of you. In the meantime she is allergic to the detergent from the laundry service and is itching herself insane. Every other call she wonders and worries about her house that she worked so hard for, her memory of Dad, which now is standing empty, which is less than perfect, and which seems so far out of reach for her. She hasn’t seen it in over a year and wonders when I will take her home, when I will come back. She is expecting me to give up my life and move back home to care for her.

Two months have passed and any progress to clear clutter and simplify my life has been difficult due to being sick. At this rate, it will take me a long time. I do the best I can and it’s all I can do. I couldn’t help anyone if I would want to right now, and for the first time in my life, I have to put myself first and remember that we are no good to anyone if we are not well ourselves. I had to tell Mom and she is in denial. At the moment it is too scary for her to look at it for what it is, as my condition shapes her reality and she is dependent on me. Once more I need trust and believe that everything will find it’s way. It sure feels strange to look back to last year as this journey was just beginning. It’s almost making my body cringe, knowing now all that was waiting for me to be battled. I think it’s scarier in memory than it actually was, because while you are amidst the battle you have no time to reminisce and be vulnerable.

Please look after yourself.

Posted in Mom

Just thinking…again

My girlfriend recently sent me a picture, taken of Mom holding my girlfriends granddaughter Mina. Mom has always loved children and it hasn’t changed. You can see it all over her face, and it’s a big deal when my cousins kids come to visit, or like in this case my girlfriend or anyone else with kids drops by.

I have to admit that I had times where I walked down memory lane, wondering how things would have developed if I could have given Mom grandchildren. How things would have been different. Why even go there and entertain the thought you might wonder. Well it’s not something I dwell on, it just occasionally crosses my mind. As things were bad between Mom and I, I wondered if she had hard feelings towards me for that reason, for never giving her grandchildren, and if it was a part of her thinking so little of me. It’s strange where our minds go sometimes, and I have never asked her. We couldn’t talk about things like that at all until my trip to Germany last year when she finally opened up a bit.

It took a lot of work to establish a somewhat normal relationship with Mom, and this month marks the one year anniversary of when this journey got started. It is easy to look back and visualize all the challenges we faced within that past year. I will never forget that first day as I saw her in the hospital. She looked near death, but was still stubborn as hell and didn’t even acknowledge me. She wanted little to do with me back then, and to this day I am not sure what all she blamed me for. That however turned into history, eventually, and besides all the hardship we, and I endured, we also had tremendous successes that resulted into a relationship today. Everything was hard work, but everything worthwhile is always hard. No matter how difficult everything was, these efforts and fights are not to be forgotten, and overall we succeeded and prevailed. All of us.

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 Life, Mom

Christmas Eve with Mom

This is a special picture and memory for me, one that has been so rare and non existent over the past decades. Spending Christmas Eve with Mom was packed with emotions and full of firsts. Taken in from a much different level than childhood memories, and the adult side now.

I don’t remember ever watching Mom unwrap a present, and here she is overjoyed about the biography book from her favorite hit duo. She was soooo surprised that I found the book and went through all the trouble of getting it. It was almost unbelievable to her that she was actually holding it in her hands. A miracle, perhaps to her. Ahem, yes, thank you, Amazon, 😉 you delivered in more ways than one.

It was a bittersweet night and our last, before departing to the U.S. I miss her greatly and I have been out of touch with her. The iPad I got her also for Christmas to keep in touch apparently performed an update overnight, now asking for a code to get back into which nobody knows or has set. It’s hard to be so far away, unable to resolve issues, with the hopes of getting to talk to her soon again. Luckily my cousin Moni remains to be a big help, but still. It’s hard going from talking and seeing each other just about every day for ten month to nothing at all. I’ve been a mess and I can only imagine how she feels. Sometimes I fear she will forget everything we worked so hard for this year, and that our closeness is getting lost. I know that none of it is really in my control, but there is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about her and wonder what she is doing. How her state of mind is, if she is holding up with me being gone, and no contact at all. It truly is frightening and it’s weighing on me. I might be physically removed from the situation, but emotionally my heart is very much attached and I know it continues to affect my health.

Fact is that’s it’s almost been two weeks that I’ve been back, and I’m not getting any better. Maybe I’m not patient enough, not giving myself enough time and rest, but it’s scary since I have never felt like this. Maybe felt close to this, but not with circumstances like these. With pain 24/7, depression becomes a real contender and I struggled hard today. Nothing is resolved and I know Mom is counting on my. I know she needs me, and yet I am no good to here because I have to save myself first. In a dark cloud this morning I was wondering if it was even possible, and everything was very dreary and hopeless. Seldom have I lost my optimistic side and hope. I finally had to stop and distract myself with something that has always been very soothing to me. I painted while listening to soft music in the background. It felt good and I know that I have to allow myself some time for moments like this to nourish my soul.

Still, where do you start when everything is so overwhelming? When you feel too sick to look for a job. What is it even that I want to do now? What can I do at my age now? When you don’t have health insurance anymore because your company went bankrupt while you were in Germany caring for your ill mother. Which also means you can’t go to the doctor to get better. Guess you are just riding out that storm, fingers crossed you make it through. Oh yeah, and remember to do that with no income but your expenses continuing. What if you haven’t worked in ten month, but you are mentally exhausted? When further issues that need attention such as to dissolve a life of thirty years and all you have acquired. Selling a house, blah, blah, blah. I know I am being negative right now and hopefully I am better later. It bothers me to think of what this blog is becoming. Once a place of inspiration, it has become a place of pain. Whatever it might be, it is authentic and real, just like life, our joys and our shortcomings. It’s a place to show you, out there struggling yourself, that you are not alone, and I think that is important because we all need something to hold in to during those times. Nobody is exempt and we all have the pleasure to experience them.

I am not looking for pity, a ton of advice to prioritize things, and the obvious pointers that I am too hard on myself. The cards will fall one way or another, I just needed an outlet and to get some pressure off of my chest. Thank you for letting me do so and for still coming back to this place. It means everything.

Hugs, Xoxoxoxo 💙🦋

Posted in Mom, My story

Oh Tannenbaum

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.

Posted in Life, Mom

As night-time falls

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.

Posted in Life, Mom

The blues

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.

Posted in Mom, Technology

An “Epic” day

This picture was shot overlooking Moraine Lake in Canada. It was an epic day I will never forgot, and gosh Canada…you are beautiful. This trip is a few years old, but I remember driving the Icefield Parkway as if it was yesterday. I still see the bears (my favorite animal) walking alongside of the road, and after each turn was another majestic peak to be admired. I will definitely be back some day.

Today was another epic day, although of a completely different nature. For the first time I got to face time with my 80 year young Mom. It was nothing short of a breakthrough considering that she has spent most of her life within her four walls, alone.

A few days ago I purchased an iPad for her as an early Christmas present, and for when I’m gone. It was very important for me to be able to contact her and talk to her on a daily basis. It’s the next best thing besides being there in person. It was last Sunday that I set everything up for her and we did a few test runs. Then came my day at home on Monday and I called 24 times the iPad told me today, with no avail. I couldn’t figure out why she would not answer and today I found out why. On the lock screen you actually have to swipe to accept a call vs just hitting the button. Bless it lol, and today Mom learned how to swipe.

After leaving for the day, and arriving back at home, I called her and she answered. It was such an amazing feeling, and I was so happy to FaceTime with her. It was epic on a whole other level and she smiled from ear to ear. Tomorrow morning we are going to try again, and with practice I hope it will become second nature and easier for her to use.

I’m closing and in cases like this we are blessed to have today’s technology. I know there is much controversy around it, about forgetting how to interact as humans and everybody just starring at their screens. But to be able to stay in touch and see each other over thousands of miles away, is pretty significant and awesome I think.

Posted in Life, Mom

Fully aware

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.