Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May Blooms



The last two days have been beautiful. Monday morning I was finally able to spend some time working in my yard. I did some much needed weeding, planted some of the flowers I grew over the winter, (the ones that didn't die while I was in Alabama taking care of my dad and mom). I also sowed the seeds for 'Bright Lights' cosmos, zinnias, and lots of sunflowers. It felt so good to be outside gardening!

With all of the rain and warm weather we've had the flowers, (and weeds), are growing like crazy! The clematis at the lightpost in the front yard is blooming as is my one and only azalea. It is the 'Karen' azalea and so far, it is not only surviving, but it is thriving and beautiful in full bloom! I'd love to get a few more of them now that I know they will survive in Indiana!

I've been spending quite a bit of time at the nursing home after my mother-in-law's fall. She fractured her shoulder and has not been doing well. She has been in agonizing pain and is not eating or drinking very much. They finally increased the medications enough to control the pain but that too affects her appetite. A couple of years ago she was put on hospice for failure to thrive because she had lost down to 86 pounds. We went to the nursing home almost everyday and fed her, they too provided extra snacks for her and slowly the weight increased enough that she surprised everyone by being one of the very few to be removed from hospice care. Now she is losing weight again and we are concerned that this just might be the end for her. She has surprised us before and we are hopeful that she will again. With the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, it is difficult to know what to pray for her. We just don't want to see her suffer.

The picture of the hands are of her and her friend. He sits with her and tries to comfort her. I think she thinks he is her daddy. I took the picture of the robin at the nursing home in the dining room while I was waiting to feed Nell today. It was finding worms aplenty in the courtyard.

I will be glad when things return to "normal", for the moment though my life seems to be centered around caring for sick family members. I love my family and I'm so thankful for the flexibility to be able to do just that.

20 comments:

Tatyana said...

Very touching, Robin. It is sad, but I think it's such a blessing when there is someone who can hold our hand at this point in our life.

flowergardengirl said...

Beautiful photos and so glad you were able to do some soul mending in the garden.

I know exactly how things are for you right now. My heart goes out to you.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Beautiful picture of their hands. We take care of our people and then take care of ourselves by working in the garden.

Decadent Housewife said...

Beautiful photos, again. Taking care of our families, old members and the young ones is a privilege. Take care of yourself though, too.

Msrobin said...

You've certainly hit a rough spot Robin, hope you get some normal time soon to work in your garden.

Darla said...

I believe the hand photo is the most beautiful bloom I have seen in a long time. My prayers are with you and your family. Remember, sometimes when you don't know what to pray......listen.

Kerri said...

Oh Robin, the picture of the hands is so moving. This entire post is moving. I will pray for peace and healing for your mother in law.

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely post. You are so correct, sometimes it's very hard to know just what to pray for. I think "peace" is what I would aim for.

Sheila said...

You made me cry. My mother-in-law is in an Ahlzheimer's home & has just quit walking & is having to be fed. She makes me very sad...

Thank you for the picture of the hands. It's precious.

Sherri said...

My grandmother had Ahlzheimer's and my mom is in the early stages. I understand the emotional drain of caring for love ones with this disease.

I agree that gardening can be comforting when our personal lives are in an upheaval.

Kathleen said...

What a year you've had Robin. A lot of challenges and now another. I hope your Mother-in-law will pull thru. Thank goodness for your garden ~ it's so therapeutic, isn't it? I'm sure it felt good to give it some attention. Take care.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

I can relate to what you are experiencing right now. We've just exited a similar extended period in our own lives. You're right... it's hard to know what to pray for sometimes when the individual is suffering. Like your mother-in-law, my father-in-law was suffering from complications due to not eating. In the end, those complications from malnourishment took him. And sometimes it is more of relief than a sadness. Know that someone out here understands and cares.

Hugs and prayers,
Cindy

joey said...

A caretaker's life is important, Robin. Happy that you have a moment to focus in on your life joys. The hands photo is most touching.

Cyndi Wilson said...

I agree with the others about the hands photo. I'm imagining the rest of the picture and remembering what a beautiful lady Mrs. Nell is. Love you guys!

Terra said...

This is a bitter/sweet story, with photos of the senior hands surrounded by beauty from the garden and your MIL surrounded by caring folks.
I trust all will be well, and all will be well indeed.

Naturegirl said...

Robin the hands are very touching to see..some in nursing homes don't have the hands of a friend to touch and get comfort from..your MIL is blessed
wishing her a speedy recovery from her fall. sending prayers.

Diary of a Photographer said...

Sorry to hear about all you've been going through. I love the photograph you took of the hands and I wish I had done the same with my mother, who loved to play hymns on the piano. We pray that God will give you strength as you go through this.

The Plant Lady said...

Robin, this is a touching post and I loved the hands picture, which speaks volumes and reaches everyone, I'm sure.

Plant Lady

Carol said...

Robin, you are such a thoughtful and caring person, and it shows in the beauty of your pictures, too.

Regina said...

Robin, I hope you can get your feeder issues solved. It occurred to me this morning how much I miss your gorgeous photos, so I clicked on your link. WOW - I was so far behind.
Well, I certainly am sorry to hear of your MIL's fall. My Dad had Alzheimer's, too. I think it is part of the advanced stage to lose interest in food. Dad lost a lot of weight his last year, even though Mom faithfully went to feed him nearly every day and sometime more than once - so just to be with him & give the staff the extra help.
God bless you for caring for her. I love the image of her hands. I wish I had taken pictures of my Dad's hands. I miss his touch. He was know for his great hugs.