Just breathe

My family has always been really close.  My Granny was the youngest of 8, and my entire childhood was spent visiting those great aunts and uncles.  My mom’s life included lots of first cousin time, while mine included second cousins.  It’s sad how the next generation isn’t spending that same quality time with third cousins and beyond, but that isn’t the point of this post.

So those first cousins were close.  There were many “girls” and not as many “boys”, so you can imagine the fun and laughter that must have happened.

Just almost 3 weeks ago a handful of those first cousins got together for lunch.  In their 60’s and 70’s now, they had a great time together, remembering, laughing, loving.  One of those cousins had been fighting cancer since 2009.  She was in remission and was actually going in for a scan two days after lunch.  She wasn’t feeling well.

She and her sister didn’t fill the cousins in on what happened at that scan.  But the cancer was back.  Fast growing, horrid, mean cancer.  It was in her liver, her bones and her lungs.  She started chemo again.  She was so sad she was going to lose her hair again.

Last week on Wed she went to chemo.  She wasn’t feeling well and on Thurs was feeling worse.  Her sister took her to the Dr and they gave her 3 units of fluid.  That should help her feel better.  It didn’t.  She stayed at her sister’s that night.  On Friday she was scheduled for another chemo, they went and were sent immediately to the hospital.  More units of fluid, and they realized her kidneys had failed.  She was in so much pain.  They started a morphine drip.

On Sat she started slipping into a morphine coma.  She only came out of it twice I think.

Finally on Sunday family started getting the word.  On Monday afternoon (yesterday) I went with my Mom and another first cousin (I am the one who always goes with my Mom when things like this happen) to visit her.  She wasn’t awake.  Her breathing was strained and full of fluid.

While we where there, talking to her sister, she stopped.

She stopped breathing.

We were there when she peacefully passed away.

Now, you folks don’t know me, or that I was caregiver for my Granny the last 7 years, and that just 8 months ago I was with her when she quietly stopped breathing.  #dementiasucks  You don’t know how this affected me, and I’m sure my Mom.  And I’m not asking for anything from you.  I just needed a space to write it down.  A space to return to when I figure out why I was supposed to be there.  My own space.

Hug your loved ones.

#cancersucks  #dementiasucks

my plot of land

I bought my house in 2002 and it sits on a delightful .5 acre near downtown.  Nothing fancy, and a corner lot, but it had a pear tree.

I love that pear tree.  It is covered up in pears almost every year and I can tell it is old, and has a big crack and hole in the middle of its trunk to the point I am surprised it is still living.

A few years ago I planted a second pear tree in case the first one died so I will continue to have pears.  I also planted a fig tree that is just now putting out figs worth counting, and 5 hazelnut trees.  This past winter I had 2 nuts from one of those trees.  I am hoping this winter I have a small harvest.

I got 2 blueberry bushes and a blackberry vine that are still to young to produce any real fruit.

Two years ago I also got 5 chickens.  They are the best and deserve their own post soon!  🙂

And then, the garden!  I made it twice as big this year and have corn, cauliflower, okra, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, onions, beefy tomatoes, jalapeños, green bell peppers and salad cucumbers.

The corn is doing well and I’ve already picked a few ears and grilled them.  They were so good!  Earlier this summer I picked a head of cauliflower that was HUGE!  It was delicious!  The okra is just now being harvested and I plan to fry a bunch for dinner tonight!  I have had so many tomatoes and cucumbers I sell them to my neighbors!  The Brussel sprouts are growing, and I’ve never grown them before, so I have no idea what I am doing with them, but they look good.  A few of my jalapeno plants died, but the one that remains continues to produce beautiful peppers as well does my bell pepper plants.  But the broccoli and onions didn’t fare as well.  I need to do some research on broccoli and how to keep grass and weeds from over crowding onions.

I love gardening.

This past fall, 9 months ago, I lost my sweet Granny to dementia.  I had been her caregiver for 7 years.  She loved her flowerbeds.  I took flowers and plants from her yard and planted them in mine and love spending time out there.  Kinda in a spiritual way, still spending time with her.

The joy of harvesting and eating your home grown veggies is so comforting.  I just hate this dang heat.  It is mid 90’s F here every day and sweltering.

First blog post.  No idea what I am doing, but enjoying the ride.