Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year ...and more!

Time has a way of rushing by - it's hard to believe that it's a new year - 2009 already! Why is it that when we were kids time seemed to move so slowly - waiting for that clock in the front of the classroom to strike 3 pm or waiting for your birthday or for your Dad to come home from work? And as adults, life seems to be on fast forward - never enough time to complete things or fit everything into our lives - deadlines seem to arrive almost instantly and vacations are over all too quickly - And the switch from time moving too slowly to time moving too quickly happens without fanfare and without notice until one day we wake up and we're in fast forward mode!

I realize that I haven't blogged in over a month - instead of sharing what was going on here I chose to disappear for a few weeks and deal with everything silently - now I realize after reading everyone's blogs that I probably should have worked it all out with all of you - but things are looking up so here's the mini-version to catch y'all up ....

My Mom at home

On November 15th my Mom's significant other - George H. passed away - they had been seeing each other for almost ten years - they were both 83 years young - and I have never seen my Mom happier - they lived in the same gated community in Daytona Beach, Florida and chose to live apart in their own homes - he had lost his wife a year or so before he and my Mom started seeing each other - my Mom knew his wife - they belonged to the Women's Club in their community together - for almost ten years George would drive over to my Mom's house at about 5 pm - My Mom would fix dinner - they'd eat and talk - and then watch TV or play cards or dominoes - then every evening about 10:15 pm - he'd kiss her goodnight and drive home - they loved to travel and they'd go on yearly cruises to the Caribbean - never got off the ship - and have a wonderful time together - the last trip they took together was last July - George could no longer fly so they had one of his daughters and her husband drive them back to his hometown in West Virginia so he could see it for the last time and my Mom could see where he grew up and see the places where all his stories originated - George had suffered from emphysema for many years - he had smoked for many years as a young man - and then they found a spot on his lung - Cancer - he chose not to have treatment - In September he was no longer able to walk and had to be on oxygen most of the time in order to breathe - my Mom stayed with him at his house from September until the end - She was there when Hospice visited and the doctor and the visiting nurses - she never left his side - and all of his children came to visit him before he passed - on the last day his two daughters visited and left for home - he napped for a bit - he could no longer speak in anything but a hoarse whisper - and called out for my mother - he held her hand and told her he loved her and then he closed his eyes and he was gone -

Ironically he died on what would have been my parents 66th wedding anniversary - my Dad passed away 26 years ago this January 29th - so once again my Mom is alone - and it is so sad on the one hand but when I think about it, they had almost ten years of happiness together - how many of us can say that - or have the opportunity to have two wonderful loves in their lifetime? I went home to be with my Mom and spent time with her as she made her transition to being alone again - it was difficult because each person handles their grief differently and my Mom's way is just being quiet - I tried to honor that while I was there - I let her talk when she needed to and not when she wanted to be quiet with her own thoughts -

I know the holidays were very difficult for Mom - she managed to get through them - my Mom is a very active person and I am happy that she is not sitting home but getting out some and her friends have been great to her as well as George's children -

I was not close to George - to be honest I had a bit of trouble accepting him at first - even though I wanted my Mom to be happy and not be lonely after my Dad but George was not the kind of guy I would have chosen for my Mom - he was ultra conservative - not Jewish (actually was a Southern Baptist and very active in his church) - told offensive jokes - was a bit rough around the edges - but on the other hand, he was most generous and very good father to his children and step- children - and the truth is it didn't matter what I thought - and I eventually came around to accept him because I saw how happy my Mom was and how good he was to her - and I was very sad to see him go -

So I tried to think what I could do 3,000 miles away from my Mom to help her through all this - I call her several times during the week - and I know that George always sent her a dozen red roses - so I sent her a dozen roses - 6 red from George and 6 white from me - and then I created a book for her all about George - (which I completely forgot to take photos of) - I know how pleased she was - it helped me complete my feelings past and present about George - thru my art - and helped my Mom through her grieving process -

My Mom and me at my 2nd niece's wedding in San Antonio

So here we are in 2009 - a year of change - I will write more later about my intentions and goals for the new year - Wishing everyone a year of peace, abundance, creativity, friendship, love and laughter! Happy New Year!


robin dudley-howes said...

Hi Reva
What a bitter but sweet story. Hope your mom adjusts okay and that your new year will be filled with lots of art and happiness.

Sandy said...

Good to see you back. What a heartfelt story. I grieve for your mom and love that you recognize that she had two long-term love relationships in her life. Love is a blessing and when 2 people find it and cherish their relationship...what else can we ask for. The book sounds like just what you needed and also what your mom needed. Hoping for an art-filled New Year for you.

Stampmaiden said...

Hi Reva, what a good daughter you've been to allow your mother the experience of sharing her life with George. Way too often adult children refuse to accept their parent's significant others. Your mother is very lucky to have had this wonderful relationship in her life. Thank God she's an active woman who although is heartbroken, will find a way to keep her spirits up by feeling your love and that of her friends.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing this - I can sure relate to this as I'm sure many can. My Mom is 82 and has beau! He is so sweet to her. They seem to make one another happy. Happy New Year Reba.

jazworks said...

Hi Reva,
Thank you for reaching out to me on our InnerWorks collaborative blog. That's so amazing that you know Nancy Smiler Levinson, the author of the book I chose for my altered book collaboration. These days, I find that almost every day, I see some kind of coincidence or synchronicity in my life. As we know, if we open our eyes, we see a world that for some, sadly goes unnoticed. Best for a happy healthy and inspiring new year- inspite of life's difficult times you've recently experienced. Jill

jazworks said...

Hi Reve,
Thanks for reaching out to me on our InnerWorks collaborative blog. It's such a coincidence that you know Nancy Smiler Levinson, the author of the book I am altering. I find that almost everyday, I see coincidences or synchronicities in my life. Love when it happens. I agree that when your eyes are open, we are then open and are able to see a world that sadly, not everyone can. Wishing you all the best for an inspiring and creative 2009. Jill Zaheer