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I spent most of the day helping out my mom who came home yesterday. My dad had to go to the VA to get blood work, have some tests run, and see a new doctor who’ll be working with him. He had a stroke last February, you might recall, has had a lot of health problems himself, and has slowed down considerably.

My mom is still sleeping a lot, sleep she didn't get in the hospital, but she did get up a couple of times today and was a wee bit stronger than yesterday. Her hospital stay was traumatic for various reasons I won't go into but she's at least resting better at home and continuing on her 12-14 medications. I think I've mentioned that she’s been hospitalized six times this year, all relating to problems with her kidneys, bladder, colon, stomach, diabetes and high blood pressure. I fixed her some lunch which she ate to the last crumb.

I thought that this last stay might have been the coup de grace. Seeing her suffer like she did, hallucinating and so on, was very upsetting, but she may have dodged another bullet. All you can do with someone in that state is to keep reassuring them everything is okay and, so far, it seems she may have turned a corner. I hope so. Thanks for everyone’s good thoughts.

I know I speak for most people when I say that, had they a Christmas wish that could come true, it’d be that a lost parent, or child, sibling, or friend could magically be here again, or that someone we love who is hurting, sick, or discouraged might be made whole.

I always cringe when I see stories of how the season stacks up as a “good” or a “bad” Christmas, as if the spirit of this special season is measured in retail sales, and how well we do in getting what we want. I have always been of the mind that if you truly “get it”, what the spirit of Christmas really means, you can’t help but have a good Christmas, no matter the hurt, because it's really not about you anyway - not in a selfish way I mean.

Yes, there are those who get sad, depressed, and hurt during this season, and for good reasons, and they need their own little Christmas miracles. I’ve had many a blue Christmas myself. Living in the real world is not for sissies. The secret in surviving is in thinking "outside the box".

Then, there are those who are just plain mean, who take delight in hurting others, in inflicting pain, in trying to rob others of the joy they feel and the warmth they radiate. Like the fictional Grinches and Scrooges of literature and the real world, they can hurt, but they can’t triumph.

They should know that but unfortunately they’ve been blinded and tricked into embracing attitudes and world-views that mask the pathos in their pathetic lives and simply seek to make others like themselves. Misery does love company, actually craves it, requires it because it is its validation.

It also seems the more light they see, the blinder and angrier they get. Of course there is always hope for them, I suppose, but how much time must pass, and how many more hearts must be broken? Hope is free too, which again boggles the mind because hate requires so much energy.

They say money can’t buy you everything, and it certainly can’t buy class. Only humility and caring can do that, and isn’t that just too funny and, no matter how simple, for so many people, just too sad.

One of my little friends is fond of saying, "You can make me hurt, but you can't make me cry." I've always liked that. Good words to live by, too.

I can tell my sister by the flowers in her eyes
On the road to Shambala
I can tell my brother by the flowers in his eyes
On the road to Shambala

How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
So glad to hear your mom is doing okay; hope things go well for your dad, too.

Excellent observation about the season & its meaning, Shoji-kun. I've been pretty blue about it, myself - it's my first without my grandpa, & my brother's in Iraq. But if I can get to see my mom & the rest of the family, I will be happy to celebrate with them.

Your amusing little icon makes me think of my mom, actually - she's got a fetish for that film! One of my brothers & I combined our forces (or at least our money), & one of her Christmas presents is going to be a replica of the leg lamp. ^_^
Dec. 19th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
Yes, it's hard to be positive sometimes when our expectations and disappointments are so great. I've just learned that no matter how much I wish things were different, how much I wish I'd be on the receiving end a little more, if I just turn my attention away from myself for a while, I might help someone else to not feel so neglected or disappointed.

There is certainly a joy in that, and especially spending time with people who truly want to be with us. I still resent things from time to time, wish the immediate world I live in was a little more to my liking, but I also know how frustrating and destructive that can be, and how non-productive.

I must try to tape A Christmas Story this year if I have access to a tv with cable. I love it too.

Don't remember Captain Sulu? Of the Excelsior? Check this out:


Yep, Gonna Buy Me A Dog is right. :-)
Dec. 25th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Couldn't have expressed those sentiments better myself, Shoji-kun. I do believe in Karma, & the law of 3-fold, though, so not only is there joy in helping others, but what a person puts out there, as long as it's sincere, will come back to them. So I'm sure that good things will happen for you. We may not always get just what we want when we want it, & very often feel an unfairness when in the midst of negative circumstances (which, as you so rightly point out, can be rather non-productive), but I've had my own times - even quite recently - where things just come together, & feel good & right, & that's what it's all about, cherishing those moments.

Hope you got to tape "A Christmas Story"! I took a couple photos of my mom's lamp. ^_^

Y'know, I think that was a movie I missed...

Yay! Nice to know I can remember stuff occasionally. I love that song, btw!
Dec. 19th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
Is your mom staying with you right now?

It is scary watching parents get old. All someone can do is love them and forgive them, I guess.

I am glad to hear that she ate all of her lunch. That is a good sign.

And you must be some cook! :)
Dec. 19th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
No, she lives in the home I was raised in with my dad and one of my brothers. Yes, it is scary but part of life. I just wish the life that is left for them was a little less consumed with problems like health issues. I try to encourage my mom to eat properly and try to be more active, etc. but it's easier said than done.

It wasn't anything that elaborate (lunch), just some grilled ham with a little cheese on toast with lettuce and tomatoes and some potatoes I cooked and then browned in a little butter and parsley. I try to make everything pretty though and that makes it look more appetizing.

I gave my dad a couple of boxes of rib eyes and ny strips for his birthday and was going to fix her a steak but they were all gone. She likes when I fix a three or four course meal like that with some veggies and a starch and a salad so I may have to get some more for them.

Thanks for the kind words.
Dec. 19th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
Wow, that's cool--mom likes to eat! :)

I hope that you and your family have a happy holiday, Ed.
Dec. 19th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Yes, she likes to eat, but because of her gastro-paresis, has to eat small meals and often has digestive/elimination problems. Just the sight of food will nauseate her. It's one of the reasons I'm always encouraging people to eat their veggies and salads.

Thanks, Rachel. You too! :-)
Dec. 19th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
I'm very glad to read that your mom is doing so well, and that you are taking such good care of her! Healthy appetites are always a good thing.

I'm the last person to give cooking advice, but if your mom is disheartened by having to eat in small portions, maybe skewers (sp?) are in order? I do enjoy food on sticks (on a plate, not carrying it around), and maybe it won't look like such a tiny meal if it's intentionally a small dish. I have a feeling that doesn't make sense, but hopefully you can interpret my meaning.
Dec. 19th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know exactly what you mean. That is actually a good idea because variety and eye appeal are so important. I always made "faces" when making eggs and bacon, etc. for my nieces and nephews to make them eat more. ;-)

Maybe I could make some kabobs with chunks of meat, vegetables, fruit, etc. with some rice on the side. My dad is "old school" and I'd probably have to do it at my home first because he wants to be in charge of everything.

The "last person" thing? *lol* Okay, you've made it clear you're not a banshee in the kitchen, but never let that get in the way of passing along an opinion or good idea, especially with me. I learn a lot from my friends, and I always love an opportunity to tell them how much and that I do appreciate them.
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:31 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that your mom is doing a bit better. Sorry I didn't respond earlier :(. It is never easy to see the parents age and the problems they go through, but they carry on and do the best they can :).

*sending good healing vibes to both your Mom and Dad*
Dec. 19th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Linda. I don't think we can ever do enough to help our parents, who brought us into this world and sacrificed so much for us, or the people who encourage, help us survive tough times, and share in the good.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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