Remember the Lost

The last few days have reminded of that beautiful September day that changed our lives forever. Imagine now, a whole generation born after that day have little or no understanding of what it all means.

Some years, the words flow. This year, after a horrendous span of quarantines, lockdowns, not seeing my mother for months at a time, I feel like a husk, buffeted by the wind.

Remember the lost.

Remember the ones lost since due to sickness caused by exposure during the rescue/recovery.

Remember the ones suffering now, soon to be lost.

Remember those who still grieve.

Yesterday, Today, and Days to Come

So yesterday, I did a thing. I’m not going to say what, just yet, because it’s not official. Let’s just say it’s a thing most people do at a certain point in their life. If they are lucky enough to get that certain point in their life.

As long-time readers know, since my father passed, I’ve been my mother’s caregiver. As the years passed, it became more and more difficult to manage her care and well-being with a demanding full-time job. In December, following a few frightening incidents, we moved her to Assisted Living. After a rocky adjustment period, she begrudgingly settled in. Then Covid happened. Today I saw her for the third time since March 12. She’s much frailer and in dreadful need of a haircut. She asked who was the man I brought with me and were we living together. (LOL – “The man” was my husband, and yes, we’re living together.)

This enforced isolation of seniors in facilities is doing more harm to those with dementia than anyone realizes. A friend jokingly called it, “Pandemic Prison.” It’s not a joke. Dementia patients need interaction. They need mental stimulation. They need touch. They need their families, who are agonizing in insolation themselves over what is happening to their loved ones.

You’ll be hearing more about this, and other things, in the days ahead. I’m dusting off the soapbox. I’m mad. And somebody’s gonna hear about it.

Pi in the Time of Social Distancing

0314_piday

A little more than fourteen years ago, I ventured out to the internetz and discovered an entire world of voices just as disgruntled as mine.  I thought if they can do it, so can I.  And one day I just started.

I didn’t pick Pi Day / Albert Einstein’s birthday on purpose.  It was just the day I loosed my inner pyromaniac.  Some days are bright, happy blazes, and others were full-blown five alarmers.  Regardless, it’s been a slow burn for a long time.

The years have expanded the web’s depth and reach.  And sharpened my resolve as I honed my voice.

In the last several year’s anniversary posts, I’ve hinted at my mother’s decline in health. She is now in an assisted living facility that is currently locked down to protect their frail and frightened charges. She has a cute little room, we call it her “Apartment,” on the end of a hall. It overlooks the back of the property, including a nice little garden. She can see the trees. She has always loved nature and gardening. Hopefully, she’ll make it through this scare and be able to enjoy both. She still remembers me, most of the time. I understand why dementia is called “The Long Goodbye.”  Every time I see her, she is changed.  She is diminishing, slowly evaporating before my eyes.

I visited as often as I could until the lockdown. Now it’s phone calls and dropping supplies off at the door. These are difficult days. The blog has suffered, along with other areas of my life.  But I’m still active on the web in discussions I care about and contributing to other sites.  I know the time will come when I sadly have too much time because my responsibilities to others have ended.  Hopefully, we will still have enough free speech left that I can speak my mind here.

If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all thirteen of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.

Many, many friends have been made and lost along the way. So many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault. She continues to amaze and inspire me.

This never-ending media tantrum, which brought out the worst in all of us has gotten even more rotten.  Let us pray as one for America’s future, protection from disease, domestic safety and sovereignty.

Thorin Oakenshield, the magical Boston Terrier, is now two years old. He rules our roost and charms everyone who crosses his path. Except certain men he doesn’t like the looks of. They must be Orcs in disguise.

Remember, Remember

The 11th of September. A beautiful fall day burned forever into our memories.

Some years, the words flow. This year, all I have is a dull ache, a gnawing grief that will not be soothed.

Remember the lost.

Remember the ones lost since due to sickness caused by exposure during the rescue/recovery.

Remember the ones suffering now, soon to be lost.

Last year’s post.

Thirteen is a Lucky Number

Pi-Day

My, my. Thirteen years old. Mouthy brat.

A little more than thirteen years ago, I ventured out to the internetz and discovered an entire world of voices just as disgruntled as mine.  I thought if they can do it, so can I.  And one day I just started.

I didn’t pick Pi Day / Albert Einstein’s birthday on purpose.  It was just the day I loosed my inner pyromaniac.  Some days are bright, happy blazes, and others were full-blown five alarmers.  Regardless, it’s been a slow burn for a long time.

The years have expanded the web’s depth and reach.  And sharpened my resolve as I honed my voice.

In the last several year’s anniversary posts, I’ve hinted at my mother’s decline in health. She continues to live in her home, but no longer drives. A caregiver visits during the week.  Her weight has fallen drastically and now she’s like a ghostly little bird. She still remembers me, most of the time.  But simple daily tasks are harder for her.  I understand why dementia is called “The Long Goodbye.”  Every time I see her, she is changed.  She is diminishing, slowly evaporating before my eyes.

So I spend as much time with her as I can.  Some days are difficult. The blog has suffered, along with other areas of my life.  But I’m still active on the web in discussions I care about and contributing to other sites.  I know the time will come when I sadly have too much time because my responsibilities to others have ended.  Hopefully, we will still have enough free speech left that I can speak my mind here.

If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all twelve of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, and Twelve.

Many, many friends have been made and lost along the way. So many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault. She continues to amaze and inspire me.

This never-ending media tantrum which brought out the worst in all of us has gotten even more rotten.  Let us pray as one for America’s future, safety and sovereignty.

Baby puppy is now a year old. Thorin Oakenshield, the magical Boston Terrier, rules our roost and charms everyone who crosses his path.

The Hole in Our Hearts

Imagine working beside someone who was ten years old on this fateful day in 2001. Someone who had only heard what teachers and yammering talking-heads have said throughout their school years. Not someone who lost someone that day. Or knew others who lost friends, spouses, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, co-workers, the cute girl at the coffee shop, or an entire firehouse of brave fireman.

America, America. My tears are for thee.

My day today is filled with senseless meetings. My phone will buzz with the annual reminders to reflect on our losses – of Flight 11 at 8:46, Flight 75 at 9:03, Flight 77 at 9:37, the South Tower collapse at 9:59, Flight 93 at 10:07, and the North Tower collapse at 10:28. I will be quiet and distracted. The meeting leaders will wonder what’s going on in my insignificant little life that my phone is suddenly rattling away.

From the 9/11/13 post:

Despite the sadness, and the blustery misdirection of politicos and media hounds, remember those who died this day at the hands of terrorist Islamists that our government now secretly embraces.

Georgia lost four sons that day:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.

Teach your children and grandchildren what happened that day. Never, ever forget.

Ground Control to Major Tom

So, yeah. My overwhelming life just became even more overwhelming.

A quick update:

The Day Job just piled another person’s worth of responsibilities on me. Like a big, stinking barrel of fish. That isn’t smuggling a Hot Dwarf into a down-trodden town. Bad form. Bad form, indeed.

The Mom Job continues it’s long, slow slog into the sunset. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. Tomorrow is her birthday. She will be 84, finally older than Dad was when he passed away. Some days she doesn’t remember him. Too many hard choices lay ahead.

The Job Where I’m Mom has changed a good bit in the last year. Young Padawan got married before Christmas to a lovely young lady. GradSchoolGirlThatsAlmostDoctor gets her hood and silly hat in May, and can officially put the ‘Dr’ in front of her name. We will make our last school-related trip to NY/Long Island. Any after that any travel there will be purely for fun. While we won’t miss the sideways stinging rain that seems to magically appear each time we’re there, we will miss the short security lines at MacArthur airport.

In about a month Hubz and I will be traveling to the British Isles with 200 of our closest friends for a choir tour and mission trip. Besides being a bucket trip for us, the group will perform at many churches and finish up at The Proms. For a family of musicians, that ain’t half bad.

More to come as I scrape the rust off this old thing.

And Yust Like That, the Blog is Twelve.

al_pi

A little more than twelve years ago, I ventured out to the internetz and discovered an entire world of voices just as disgruntled as mine.  I thought if they can do it, so can I.  And one day I just started.

I didn’t pick Pi Day / Albert Einstein’s birthday on purpose.  It was just the day I loosed my inner pyromaniac.  Some days are bright, happy blazes, and others were full-blown five alarmers.  Regardless, it’s been a slow burn for a long time.

The years have expanded the web’s depth and reach.  And sharpened my resolve as I honed my voice.

In the last several year’s anniversary posts, I’ve hinted at my mother’s decline in health. She continues to live in her home, but no longer drives. A caregiver visits during the week.  Her weight has fallen and now she’s like a frail little bird.  She still remembers me, most of the time.  But daily tasks are becoming harder for her.   I understand why dementia is called “The Long Goodbye.”  Every time I see her, she is changed.  Just a tiny fraction.  But she is diminishing, slowly evaporating before my eyes.

So I spend as much time with her as I can.  The blog has suffered, along with other areas of my life.  But I’m still active on the web in discussions I care about and contributing to other sites.  I know the time will come when I sadly have too much time because my responsibilities to others have ended.  Hopefully, we will still have enough free speech left that I can speak my mind here.

Twelve years is longer than two of my career stops. Most cars/marriages/fruit cakes don’t last that long. Many other blogs (and friends) have fallen away. They are missed. Others, not so much.

If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all eleven of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, and Eleven.

Many, many friends have been made and lost along the way. Many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault. She continues to amaze and inspire me.

This never-ending media tantrum has brought out the worst in all of us.  Let us pray as one for America’s future, safety and sovereignty.

Oh, and we got a puppy.

On a Dark Day, Waiting on a Hurricane

Those dark clouds churning to the South are the remnants of Hurricane Irma, bringing the promise of high winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Having been flooded before, the prospect of another few days like that will bring a sleepless night and lots of indigestion.

Looming weather catastrophe aside, do not forget what today is. The sixteenth anniversary of 9-11, when thousands died at the hands of Islamic extremists. The media will bluster about the weather to the point it will embarrassingly resemble p0rn. Last year’s post contains the links to Georgia’s fallen. Remember them always.

Never, ever forget.

Never, ever forget.

Eleven Years, Yammering On!

pi

A little more than eleven years ago, I ventured out to the internetz and discovered an entire world of voices just as disgruntled as mine.  I thought if they can do it, so can I.  And one day I just started.

I didn’t pick Pi Day / Albert Einstein’s birthday on purpose.  It was just the day I loosed my inner pyromaniac.  Some days are bright, happy blazes, and others were full-blown five alarmers.  Regardless, it’s been a slow burn for a long time.

The years have expanded the web’s depth and reach.  And sharpened my resolve as I honed my voice.

In the last several year’s anniversary posts, I’ve hinted at my mother’s decline in health. She continues to live in her home, but no longer drives. A caregiver visits during the week.  Her weight has fallen and now she’s like a frail little bird.  She still remembers me, most of the time.  But daily tasks are becoming harder for her.   I understand why dementia is called “The Long Goodbye.”  Every time I see her, she is changed.  Just a tiny fraction.  But she is diminishing, slowly evaporating before my eyes.

So I spend as much time with her as I can.  The blog has suffered, along with other areas of my life.  But I’m still active on the web in discussions I care about and contributing to other sites.  I know the time will come when I sadly have too much time because my responsibilities to others have ended.  Hopefully, we will still have enough free speech left that I can speak my mind here.

Eleven years is longer than two of my career stops. Most cars/marriages/fruit cakes don’t last that long. Many other blogs (and friends) have fallen away. They are missed. Others, not so much.

If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all nine of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten.

Many, many friends have been made along the way. Many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault. She is now a full-fledged editor of an international faith site. She continues to amaze and inspire me.

This last year’s worth of campaign and election season has brought out the worst in all of us.  Let us pray as one for America’s future, safety and sovereignty.

Who Are These People?

I miss writing here.  I miss a lot of things these days. This little blog has been on hiatus because my mother’s dementia is advancing.  Only those who have witnessed this abomination will understand.

A bright, vibrant, strong Southern woman is now a shell of her former self.  The vacant stares, constant questions, lost bills, sleep problems, lost friends and decline in health are just the tip of the iceberg.

But Wednesday, I realized my prayers for More Time weren’t being answered.  I was sitting at her kitchen table, working on the computer when she wandered in waving a photograph.  She’s been going through old pictures.  Between the two of us, we identify the people and/or places and she writes the information on the back of the picture.

She shows me the latest picture, asking, “Who are these people?” My heart sank.  The people in the picture were her grandchildren.  It was taken sometime during the summer four years ago before my eldest went north, to start her graduate school in New York.  Gently, ever so gently, so as not to agitate her, I help her remember each one, their name, and what they are doing now.  Five minutes later, she’s off to some other distracted task.  I sit there, numb and sad.  So deeply sad.  The windows are closing.

Pray for us.  Pray for strength.  Pray for His Peace to cover us on the road ahead.

Everything happens according to God’s plan and in His time.

Fifteen

There are things you don’t understand until you’re older.

Happiness so beyond measure you think your heart will burst. Pride in the (seemingly Herculian) feat that the obnoxious teenagers skulking about your house just a few years ago have actually turned into fine adults. Grief that never ends. It may fade like a low tide, but it will surge. Again and again.

Every fall, on what always seems to be a perfectly clear day, the wound reopens.

From a previous post:

This day always exposes the dark hole in all of us that believe in America.

Despite the sadness, and the blustery misdirection of politicos and media hounds, remember those who died this day at the hands of terrorist Islamists that our government now secretly embraces.

Georgia lost four sons that day:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.

Last summer, I was privileged to visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. Read that post here.

Even in the bustle of the busy, busy city, it is a reverent place.

Never, ever forget.

Never, ever forget.

Yep. It’s been Ten Years.

pi_boyton

A little more than ten years ago, I ventured out to the internetz and discovered an entire world of voices just as disgruntled as mine.  I thought if they can do it, so can I.  And one day I just started.

I didn’t pick Pi Day / Albert Einstein’s birthday on purpose.  It was just the day I loosed my inner pyromaniac.  Some days are bright, happy blazes, and others were full-blown five alarmers.  Regardless, it’s been a slow burn for a long time.

The years have expanded the web’s depth and reach.  And sharpened my resolve as I honed my voice.

In last year’s anniversary post, I hinted at my mother’s decline in health. She continues to live in her home, but no longer drives. A caregiver visits during the week.  Her weight has fallen and now she’s like a frail little bird.  Over last summer, she was hospitalized twice.  She still remembers me, most of the time.  But daily tasks are becoming harder for her.   I understand why dementia is called “The Long Goodbye.”  Every time I see her, she is changed.  Just a tiny fraction.  But she is diminishing, slowly evaporating before my eyes.

So I spend as much time with her as I can.  The blog has suffered, along with other areas of my life.  But I’m still active on the web in discussions and contributing to other sites.  I know the time will come when I sadly have too much time because my responsibilities to others have ended.  Hopefully, we will still have enough free speech left that I can speak my mind here.

Ten years is longer than two of my career stops. Most cars/marriages/fruit cakes don’t last that long. Many other blogs (and friends) have fallen away. They are missed. Others, not so much.

If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all nine of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine.

Many, many friends have been made along the way. Many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault. She continues to amaze and inspire me.

This election season has brought out the worst in all of us.  Let us pray as one for America’s future, safety and sovereignty.

Does My Vote Even Count Anymore?

Yesterday was the Georgia Presidential Primary. After a great deal of prayer and soul/google searching, I voted for Ted Cruz.

This campaign cycle has grated on my nerves to such a point I’m considering abandoning Facebook and Twitter until 2017, at least. Just because I disagree with your candidate du jour’s position/statement/hair style doesn’t mean you have to scream that I’m a hater/bigot/racist/closet Lutheran and you’re going to get me blocked from whatever social media platform you prefer. Just because I voted for one guy doesn’t mean I hate all the others. Get a grip, people.

I’m listening to my buddy on the radio today. He’s slowly unraveling a debrief of why Georgians voted the way they did. But the callers don’t want to hear facts; they want to bash him for saying he’d never vote for Trump.

Well, cranky callers, I won’t vote for Trump, either. Besides not putting out any coherent policy points, and making up words; he just flat gives me the creeps. Max Lucado said it best.  Be a decent human being. You want the President to be someone you can respect and teach your grandchildren to respect while you’re trying to sneak in a little citizenship lesson. Someone who will project strength to our enemies (who have multiplied greatly under the current regime) and trust with our allies. Not someone who threatens to sue everyone out of one side of their mouth and call the rest ugly names out of the other.  No art of the deal for me.

Somehow, instead of voting, it feels like a lousy participation trophy.  Bleh.

participation.jpg

 

 

Things, They Are A’Changin’

Well, obviously I’ve been away for a bit. I’ve thought a lot about y’all; hopefully you haven’t forgotten about me.

Shortly after my father passed away in 2013, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Since then, I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotion, education and exhaustion.  Finally I feel like we’ve reached a place where we can breathe, even if it may only be for a short time.

As a church friend says, “Enjoy the journey.”  No matter how much it hurts.  There will be joy at the end.

Stay tuned folks, changes are in the air.

 

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