Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday with a twist....

As you may or may not know Wednesday's are the day that my Mom and I would usually go to lunch after I got off work at 12:30 and then run errands or go shopping etc... so today, I went to one of my friends house to pick up some information I needed for my new calling and asked if she wanted to go to lunch, a move, a pedicure or all three.....conveniently she also happens to be not only a dear friend but one of my VT ladies!!!! We were able to fit 2 in before I had to get back to meet MITS and get Aileen. I had been warned by my sister about the movie 'Love Happens' because she went not knowing it was a movie about dealing with death...but I thought...why not. So we saw that at the Movie Tavern and had cheese fries, diet cokes, and really doesn't get any better than that! A movie and my favorite foods! lol!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A New Calling....

Sarah Anderson, Bessie Treber, Lois Brown & Morgan Wurz

Sunday, I was set apart in a new calling as 2nd Counselor in our Ward Relief Society Presidency! I am excited to be in Relief Society again, but a lot has changed since I was in a RS presidency before....they use to call me the Homemaking Counselor when I was in before....and since our General RS broadcast last night I'm not sure what I'm called now...before last night I would have said the Enrichment Counselor.....maybe since everything is called RS Meetings now, I will just be 2nd Counselor....that simplifies doesn't it! lol!

I am very excited to be serving with our President, Sis. Bessie Treber, and Sis. Sarah Anderson, 1st counselor, and our Secretary Morgan Wurz! These are all women that I look up to and try to pattern my life and service after, so it is humbling and very awe inspiring to be working with them now. I do know that we have big shoes to try and fill as our out going R.S. President and presidency was amazing and they brought joy, laughter, and spirituality to our R.S. meetings!

It's been so long since I have been in R.S. I will have to learn how everything works again, but look forward to the challenge and will do my very best to serve the sisters in our Ward the way my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ would have me do!

I love all of the sisters in my ward without reservation, they are amazing Christlike women....who just very recently helped me through a wedding and a funeral all in matter of 2 or 3 weeks! I loved them unconditionally before all this happened....but grew to appreciate and love them in a deeper more spiritual way...... a feeling that these truly are my sisters and we are truly daughters or our Heavenly Father, who loves each of us and that we are on this earth to help each other, love each other and serve each other until we can go home to him again. I thought I already knew this and I probably did to some degree......but didn't truly know until these past few weeks!

The General RS Broadcast Saturday was amazing and I learned a great deal from it. I probably listened in a different way then usual because of knowing I was about to receive this calling.....I loved all the references to that fact that RS is a "Faith-based" work. And that RS legacy is passed form heart to heart. I would like to say to K our outgoing RS President, you have passed on your RS legacy to my heart and I will try my very best to live up to it and pass it on to others hearts.

Here is a picture at Saturday night's dinner with some of our RS Ward sisters sitting at my table before the broadcast!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Game...Shower....and Broadcast!

So last night my friend MA called up and asked if I wanted to go the NCHS Homecoming football game with her? I think she really expected me to say no because I haven't' had anyone in high school at NCHS for a couple of years now but I said, "I think I do!" She came and got me and when we got to the game we ran into MW, whose husband is in the Sports Medicine program in Medical School. And because he was going to be on the side lines observing one of the Doctors she was going to just sit in the stand by we were very excited to have her come and sit with us especially since I could get my baby fix holding her cute baby!

This morning, while Alan went to Dallas to the temple to see two of our friends and ward members go through the temple for their endowments and then be sealed together in the Temple.......I went to a baby shower! JS, is one of the sweetest people I know whom everyone loves, and I mean everyone! I'm in primary with her and get to watch her be a great primary chorister......and I have a soft spot for primary choristers having been one for at least 15 yrs of my Church Service life...... Anyway it was a fun shower that her sister HJS had for her, and it was fun watching her get all this fun baby girl stuff! Congratulations JS!

Then tonight I am looking forward to very much, as it is the General RS Broadcast! I look forward to this every rejuvenates me spiritually and gets me ready to watch General Conference and really ready to be filled spiritually! I particularly love this broadcast as it is directed specifically to the women of the church! A lot of times Aileen and I snuggle up in bed and watch it on our TV at home as we get the BYU Channel, but last year and this year I want to be at the Stake Center and participate in the Satellite broadcast there!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Relief Society General Presidency

Now this is what I call a Saturday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank you to those who do......

Yesterday was a not so hot day, but today has been much better! I think it started when I saw all the girls at the high school I drive by on the way to work wearing their homecoming mum's - who cannot smile when you see all these cute girls with HUGE mums on their shirts or around their necks and it made me remember Allison's and how much fun she had getting hers to wear......and that They always had one for Aileen at the school! Her wall in her room has 4 Mums at least hanging on it and I know she loved bringing one home and being just like all the other girls at school! Good memories.

Also, I want to thank all the many many people who helped our family during this sad time and big change in our life! That is why the title of my post......thank you to those who do....

  • Sent baskets full of snacks to the family at the hospital as they are living at the hospital.

  • Bring meals and all kinds of food over to the home because no one has time to cook and so much family is coming into town and everyone is running on different schedules it is such a blessing for food to just miraculously be there!

  • Picked people up at the airport....and stayed to pick them up even when the weather was horrible and their flight got sent to Oklahoma City and they didn't really land until 3 or 4 hrs later!

  • Visits up to the hospital.

  • Blessings of comfort.

  • Phone calls to check in.

  • Someone even weeded my mother's beautiful garden beds so they would look good for all the company coming by.

  • The luncheon for the family after the funeral - all those that brought food, and for those dear sisters that served us all and made the luncheon beautiful!

  • Everyone who sent flowers and plants - my mother loved flowers so much, a fitting tribute to her.

  • Not having to find a substitute for my calling because someone had already taken care of it

  • Only needing to tell one person and then everyone getting the information

The list goes on and on as you can see I could go on forever - I am just very grateful and feel extremely silly for even having a moment of anger..... I am so very grateful.

In my thank you to our Ward's Relief Society, I said that I probably never really understood the meaning of our title "Relief Society" until now. It was such a Relief to our family and a comfort as well! Love you all and Thank you!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Nephew's 8th birthday!

This past weekend we celebrated my nephew T's 8th birthday! We went to Plano and watched him play in one his basketball games...which he is always the star of.... then he wanted to go to Genghis grill to eat dinner afterwards, which I had never been to and thoroughly enjoyed. We then went to my brother's home to have cake and ice cream! The cake T picked out this year was a hamburger cake. It was about the cutest cake I have seen in a long while and tasted fabulous as well! It even had french fries beside was great. The fun part for me was watching my brother George coaching T's game and his interaction with his boys! He is such a good Dad!

Another thing that happened this weekend is that my niece, V, who is now a Young Single Adult and in college came back to Ft. Worth, this weekend for a YSA Conference, where President Uchtdorf was going to be a speaker. She was so excited because not only was the conference awesome and she loved every moment of it...but she got to shake President Uchtcdorf's hand and get a hug from his wife! But I think she would agree that the hug she got from Grandpa was every bit as good.

It was a good weekend!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slide show made for My Mom's Funeral

I think I've gone crazy.....

O.K. so I think I've gone crazy....or I really am in morning....because I ended up at Albertsons with this pair of shoes on......which as you can see is not a pair, but I sure thought I had a pair on...I waved to people I knew and walked confidently around without realizing I did not match until I got home.....SCARY!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are you tired of hearing about my mother yet????

If you are you might want to just skip this post! Because I'm not ready to stop talking about her yet!

I have tried several times this week to sit down and write thank you notes. Just can't quite make myself do it yet. I apologize to all who should have them. They are coming....just not sure when.

Wednesday was hard, because when I come home from work on Wednesdays at 12:30 Mom and I would always (well, almost always) got to lunch and then run errands! It was a time that Mom looked forward to so she could get out of the house and I enjoyed our outings. There was usually a lot of catching up and laughter involved. Our most favorite place to go was "The Olive Garden" but sometimes we ended up at TGIF or Charlestons. And sometimes instead of or along with lunch there were pedicures involved! One time when Allison was home for the summer I didn't go with them, just Allison and Grandma went and Allison said, "you are going to be sorry because we went and got pedicures too"! And I was.

One of the stories that was told to me about my mother that if you were at the funeral you would totally think, "Of course that is what Phyllis would do". One of the families that she gives piano lessons to, when they found out about Mom's passing, told someone else in our ward that "Sis. Clay gave the gift of music to my children". When they first started taking lessons they couldn't afford the lessons, so my mom taught them for free. So she really did literally give them the gift of music. My mom did things like this all the time that we didn't even know about.

One year when we were first married and Anne Marie was just a little baby, we didn't think we were going to be able to buy a Christmas tree, but all of a sudden one day there was one laying up against our door. I don't know how long it took me to figure out that it must have been my mother.....but it was.

Also, when I had just given birth to Aileen and came home, my brother George who was probably 8, wanted to bring dinner over to my mother helped George and his friend bring over and cook spaghetti and some kind of cake that had 8 layers and looked like a tower that George was so proud of! I remember thinking and saying, "Wow, mom that was really nice of you to let George do this and kind of a hassle, sorry" and she said "if George wants to do something nice for his sister, I'm not going to stop him!" And I must say it was an awesome bonding time with my little brother!

Ruth remembered a time when our family was watching some children whose family was very poor, so much so that every day they would have to be bathed and re-dressed because they were dirty. The little baby didn't have any cute frilly dresses, so my mother spent hours making this beautiful frilly dress with ribbons and lace etc... at a time that probably my parents couldn't afford that extra expense, because if you have ever made a frilly dress with lace and ribbon, its not cheap. She even stayed up all night at a time when she was also working full time and had gone back to college, so it was a sacrifice to make this dress so this baby would have something beautiful! Ruth asked Dad, "why is mom doing this, it's crazy" and my Dad said "Never stop a giving heart".

Just recently, my mother went to a couple of movies with my sister and I at the movie theatre! That was unusual, because of her instability in walking and her walker etc... she would rather watch a video at home together than go to the theatre. But just recently we saw two new movies at the theatre together, they were fun outings and times that I think Elizabeth and I will cherish!

I do miss my mother. I appreciate everyone who is calling to check on us. We are sad, but we do know that we will be with her again! And that her love and our family is an eternal one. I do not know how people go through something like this that don't have this knowledge. That is why my Dad can go to the Temple today to cover his shift and tomorrow his calling, and why Alan and I are back doing our callings and trying to magnify them.....even when people might's too soon......are you kidding? We've got to be busy working on our Salvation so that we can be with Mom and LaDean again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My oldest is 29 today!!!!!

Happy Birthday baby girl! I love you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Andy, our Marine, goes back to California today!

My sister is taking Andy to the airport as we speak. He has to return to Camp Pendleton tomorrow! Elizabeth, Dad, Andy and myself met for Breakfast this morning so that Grandpa could give Andy a tour of the Place that Grandpa works at and so we could have one last time together! It was a nice way to say goodbye. After the first of the year he will be going to Afghanistan so that is worrisome, but we are all so proud of him and know that he will serve his country well.

Now I think the reality of what has taken place is starting to set in. I go downstairs all the time to tell Mom something and then look in her room and remember that she is no longer here. Ruth said that she wanted to call and tell mom something the other day, and then remembered that she couldn't. Dad came home exhausted Tuesday night and just went to bed, almost unheard of, so yes, it is finally sinking in to everyone what has happened!

Yesterday morning, I was crying and upset over things that probably weren't that tragic, but when Alan said, "honey whats wrong?" I gave him the list of silly things and then said, "and my Mother just died". To which he came in and hugged me and tried to help set the other things right as well.

My only worry is if my Dad will let me take care of him and let me be the kind of daughter I would like to be for him right now!

Monday, September 14, 2009


After it is all over I think is the hardest. While you are having to make decisions and get things done and ready, you are sad and you have moments of breakdowns, but the true sadness doesn't come until after you have taken the last person to the airport and everyone has gone home.

After taking my children and my aunt and uncles to the airport Sunday morning I drove by the cemetery on the way home and swung in and took a look. She would love all the flowers. We had to take a lot of them with us if they were plants or in baskets so we used them for the luncheon and then left them for Sunday services the next day! We have many at our house as well. But she loved flowers and I know it made her happy to have them all around her and us!

The part of the cemetery that she is buried in is called "The Garden of Gethsemane" and has a statue of the Savior praying in the background, which has always been my father's favorite picture or figurine of the Savior. So it is fitting. I found out later that not only did I drive by and look, so did Elizabeth and Ruth, and Dad, each of us without the other knowing that we had gone. I am so glad we buried her close by, it will be nice to go and see her often.

After the funeral services they have the family follow the casket out and then they tell us all to go and get in our cars and line that is what everyone did, but my Dad went back in and thanked all those who came.....and I feel horrible that I didn't know that was what he was doing....I would have gone back in too, because I have no idea who was there. Isn't that horrible not to know who was there? Thank heavens that people have made comments or posted on my facebook, so that I know who was there. I was just trying to get through the day and really to be done. I really wanted to be done. My dear friends who came, Thank you! Thank you! Please forgive that I didn't get to see you and thank you in person.

I loved that my children were here! That was probably the thing that kept me going....even after it was over, we still needed to be with our children and it kept Alan and I going. It wasn't until after my 3rd trip to the airport on Sunday that I laid down and slept! I needed to sleep so badly.

Now today I have to go about normal business and work and act as if everything is back to normal. It will never get back to will just become a different normal. I miss my mother. I hope that I will live the rest of my life in a way that will make her proud so that I will get to see and be with her again!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday was a beautiful day!

Yes, it rained, and not only did it rain, but between Friday and Saturday at times it poured! But it was a beautiful day!

All of my children were there. All of my siblings were there. And almost all of my brother's and Sister's- in-laws were there! All but one of my nieces and nephews were there! It was a beautiful day! Today was the funeral of my mother!

The viewing was Friday night and despite the horrible rain storm many people came out to be with us! My father kept saying that he had a feeling all the rain was my mother reminding him he needed to water her flowers!

Everyone in the family had their assignments to make the viewing and funeral a perfect tribute to Mom. Jill did the slide show...which we all loved so much! Ruth wrote the obituary. Kim drew the beautiful picture that was the theme of our tribute to mom. Elizabeth typed up the program and played the piano for the grandchildren's special musical number and then had to practice and perform a piece with me. I played the violin in honor of mother. George paid tribute to Mother at the funeral services as the representative of her children, and came up with the idea that all the pall bearers wear blue ties as that was Mom's favorite color. It was also the song that was special to George and Mom that was the music for the slide show! And the grandchildren sang! President Reed and President Besselievre gave beautiful talks as did Elaine Davis. The beautiful music by Michelle Smith, whom Mom loved dearly and Lisa Dansie who has always been important to our family was perfect and I believe Mom would have been pleased. George did such an amazing job paying tribute to Mom, she was so proud I am sure!!!! And I believe probably having her grandchildren sing would have been her favorite part, except for Dad's eulogy, she always loved Dad's words and stories especially when he was talking about them and falling in love! Edward dedicated the grave and Alan gave the family prayer!

It is done in this life now, for my mother, she is buried......but not finished by a long shot. It was so wonderful for my Dad that a lot of his siblings and their spouses were here with him today, I know he appreciated their love and support, as did I!

The luncheon by the RS sisters in our Ward was fabulous and I now know why that is so important. I would not have eaten today if not for that when it got to this point of the day I was emotionally and physically exhausted! My RS President and dear friend was by my side through this whole experience if not literally, then spiritually, but always where I needed her to be. I will always be grateful for that. And my sisters in the gospel were all so helpful and loving and quick to give a hug and food or both when a hug was needed! And 2 very dear friends came all the way from Kansas just for me!

It was a beautiful day and I know my mother was pleased! Love you Mom!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Mother and memories

Yesterday, my sister and I went to the funeral home to dress mom! We also asked 2 of my mother's friends, and 2 of my very dear friends, one of which was our Relief Society President. I have never had this experience before so I was not sure what to expect and right before it was time I started getting a nervous stomach. The day before another of my friends had come and taken my mother's temple clothes to wash and press so that she would look her very best.

I think I was a little nervous as to what she would look like, but when Ruth & I walked into the room, the funeral home had done an amazing job on her makeup and she looked beautiful! That made us cry for a moment. But we were very happy with how she looked! We started with prayer and then went to work. Everyone told me that it would be a spiritual experience that I would never forget. And it was exactly that! Getting her ready to meet her Heavenly Father and Savior again!

Then my mother's hair dresser, who is also one of my mother's very best friends!!!! You know you tell your hair dresser things you would not tell anyone else, so he is a trusted friend, he came and did her hair. Once her hair was done, her glasses and her jewelry just looked like she was asleep and that she would open her eyes any moment! But she did not, and she was very cold. But her spirit was there! I know it!

While everyone (my siblings & myself) are here we are trying to take care of things that we don't want Dad to have to do after we are all gone....taking things to goodwill, making sure all his clothes are washed, ironed, and put away etc.. etc.. and I loved that Elizabeth said to Daddy, while we were working in his bedroom last night, "Dad after you get done at the Temple every Saturday, we should start the tradition of you coming to my house for dinner before you come back to Ft. Worth" I loved that she had thought of that. And I know my dad loved the idea!

While we were up at the hospital with Mom one of the stories my Dad told us that none of us knew, was that when my mother married my father she had a full ride scholarship to Julliard, and to another college that was like the 4th best college for music and she turned them all down and married my Dad and became a mother! She did go to BYU, or course, but still!!! We knew she has always loved my father, but that really told us to a degree that we had never known before!!!!! And also told us how much she loved each of us as well!

After dressing mother yesterday we went to Sonic in honor of her and got 2 route 44 diet cokes, and while we were talking I said that I really had hoped that Mom would get to have great grandchildren before she passed away and then Ruth said, "Well, Mom always told everyone that she auditioned her children in the delivery she will be able to audition them before they come down to her family" and I loved that thought very much! So I will be getting some very talented grandchildren some day!!!! whoohoo!

Anne Marie is in town now (my oldest) and I just hugged her for a long time when she got here! I need my children around me right now. I'm anxious for Allison & John to get here as well! We got the kids a motel room as its a little crazy and full at our home and my siblings that live in Plano and Rowlett, have house fulls as well, so Anne Marie invited me to stay with her last night and I went with her and I know I fell asleep mid sentence of telling her something, and didn't wake up until 10:00 am the next morning when I had to get ready to go to work. I had been running on very little sleep and I think that did more for my coping ability then anything to get 1 really good nights sleep!

Allison loved all the pictures of my mother in her wedding dress and had wished actually that my mother still had it so she could have worn it....after Allison had picked out her dress, my mother told me, "I knew she would pick a dress that was all lace, because she liked mine so much" I think it made my mother happy that she felt Allison had picked a dress to be like her!!!

It still surprises me what silly things catch me off guard and make me cry! But I know this is all part of the process!

Thanks again to all who are bringing, food, flowers, cards, and phone calls.....they are very much appreciated!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Funeral

Funeral services for my mother will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2009, 10:00 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5001 Altamesa Blvd., Ft. Worth, TX 76133.

The viewing will be Friday, September 11, 2009, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Laurel Land Funeral Home 7100 Crowley Rd, Ft. Worth, TX 76134 and at 9:00 am on Saturday prior to the services.

Today Anne Marie flies in and Allison and John fly in on Friday! I cannot wait to get my arms around my kids, I need them right have them close by.

Everyone has been very kind with food, notes, and comments on FB and my blog, I really look forward to sitting down finally in the wee hours of the morning and reading what everyone has said. It has meant a lot to me and has really meant a lot to my Dad, as I have read him what everyone has said about Mother!

Now, that I am more myself again, I have a few more things that I feel I can share:

When Mom seemed to be hanging on I started to pray for her Mom and Dad to come and get her so she wouldn't have to suffer any longer. Right after Mom passed away, I was telling my sister Elizabeth this and she said, "Well I certainly hope they had LaDean in their arms when they came" to which I told her that I was sure that they would. When I told my cousin about this she said, "Wow, isn't that a picture"! And it really is an amazing picture that I can now see in my minds eye!

One of my friends MA said that she thought it was fitting that my mother would die on Labor day "Lois, I felt it was appropriate that your mother chose labor day to leave this life. She labored in so many ways to bring joy to so many both in music and doing family research. She made it possible for her family and friends to always celebrate her life's labor by always remembering her on Labor Day. She will be remembered for the valiant life she lived by all who knew her, and it is a time to celebrate her labor as being done in this life. I'm sure there are thousands celebrating her return. You truly have been blessed with wonderful parents."

Along with this comment it reminded me of something I found out --- while we were all telling our special memory and/or experience with Mom almost all of us told about something Mom had done that was giving service that she just did because she wanted to or knew there was a need that she could fill...and she never did it for the recognition or praise she just quietly went about doing it.....Whenever we would tell of something Dad would say...."I didn't even know she did that"

My mother had a great group of friends that they do things with....but it was really fun for me to see the younger sisters in our Ward get her sense of humor and wit and really appreciate her! Here is what I read to my Dad from one of these younger women: "We love you, Lois and loved your mother. She was a wonderful woman and I'm so glad that I got to spend time with her in Primary. She always had me laughing during Junior Primary with her funny remarks or just a look that she'd give me. She really was special and will be greatly missed." When I shared this with my Dad he said....."and Mom really loved her too"! Which I knew was true!

My sister Kim, when we were all telling about what we remembered about Mom, she told about how many lives our mother had touched with her hands, whether it was by her sewing baby clothes for a baby that didn't have a cute frilly dress, cooking , playing the piano or organ, leading an orchestra or choir, quilting, her genealogy work, temple service and the list just went on and on, it was a very special moment for all of us to realize that she was always quietly doing the Lord's work!

I Know that when the movie "Music of My Heart" came out that my sisters and I said that they always thought of mom when they saw the movie or heard the song, but I didn't know that George did and that he had even given the song to mom and sang it to her when she was having her Whipple surgery! He said that Mom always believed in him and that when he would say that he wanted to be a sports agent, others would say, yeah, that's nice George and chuckle or something like that, but Mom was in designing his business cards and Stationary! Everyone needs a Mom like that! We were the lucky ones who got her!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The business part of dying....

Can I tell you I do not enjoy the business part of dying! We went to the funeral home, it was o.k. and we did pick out things that we thought Mom would love, but I hate that you have to worry about money at such a time! So we have the plots for Mom and Dad, the headstone will be for both of them and I really hate that it has all my Dad's info on it except his death date....but then he said to me...."you mean you wouldn't want me to be comforted knowing that I am ready to be with my wife again and that my name is next to hers".....well, then I shut up and said well, when you say it like that it is quite beautiful and comforting. We are buying flowers and caskets, etc.. etc.. etc.. I think after this experience my father and really myself, quite frankly, will have everything spelled out and hopefully paid for ahead of time. I never realized in a million much it costs to bury someone! George my youngest brother said, "after this experience, Amber and I are starting to prepay for our funeral right now!" The neat thing is we are all working together so amazing for 6 people with 6 different opinions and 6 different degrees of testimony and gospel knowlege.......except then I have gone crazy or something on the normal things that don't matter!!!!! What is up with that?

Interestingly enough, I feel like I am not like myself at all right now and I don't like it. I have been a little selfish and have gotten angry over things that would never get angry over at the very time that I need to be the older patient big sister....I'm really quite embarrassed and I think I have added to my father's grief and that I should never do no matter what I am feeling. I sometimes feel like my younger brother and sisters are being the mature older siblings while I am having my selfish party. But I am going to make an huge effort to hold my tongue and be better.

Last night we had a sing song around the piano after all the business of planning the funeral program was many memories are at the piano with our family all singing songs. It was a sweet time for all of us. When we all went home or to bed that night my dad said "It was a good day today!"

Yesterday, I went to Sonic to get at Route 44 Diet coke and I ordered 2, then I said, wait a minute I only need 1 and started to cry....the sonic guy through the intercom asked me if I was o.k? Yes, I said, I just realized I only needed one. I have a feeling there will be a lot of times like this that happen!

I am so far behind at work with the transcriptions for the Doctor for the patient's charts because of all my time off for the wedding and he was out of town this last week for 3 days and it was suppose to be my opportunity to get all caught up. But then the night before he left, my mother went into the coma and I have been at the hospital every moment that I was not at work.

Last night I was so exhausted but I had to get some of the tapes done (behind 5) so I stayed up all night and did 3, I was hoping to get 4 done....but I could not keep my eyes open and I had to take 3 -20 minute power naps just to get through it, and then my transcription machine broke....of course it did!

But at least I can take 3 tapes in today so I won't be so far behind, but I know that we are seeing patients again, so for however many I take in to the office there will be 1 more new one to add to the pile! I know such a silly thing to be blogging about.....but I'm so stressed, so tired, and acting like a child instead of a 50 yr old woman. But I'll be better tomorrow!

Monday, September 7, 2009

There is a celebration in Heaven today!

We got a call between 5:00 and 6:00 am saying that my mother has begun the final stages and will probably be gone in 3 to 5 hrs. So those of us that had gone home to get some rest threw on clothes and headed back to the hospital. When we first got there it was obvious why they had called us....but as the day went on she got more color and seemed to be less labored with her breathing and everyone just kept saying what a strong lady she was. So we spent the day watching and waiting. Since it was Sunday and we were missing church Dad had a little message that he wanted to share with us that was very meaningful and was from a new book he had gotten from the LDS bookstore about Temple Covenants. And he talked about how the picture of the 50th Wedding Anniversary was her celestial kingdom and that she believed in all of us that all of us could be in that picture again all dressed in white and endowed worthy children of our heavenly father.

Then a little later in the afternoon Dad had asked us to all tell our favorite memory/story/experience of Mom. That was very spiritual and something I am so happy that she got to hear. Everyone of her children but Edward was at her bedside so we speaker phoned him in and he was able to participate with us as well. And it was truly beautiful to hear what each one of us remembers and the special moments each one of us had and yet all different from one another. She truly knew each one of our personalities and knew just what each one of us needed from her.

Edward I believe has been the most unselfish of all of us. He really thinks things through and internalizes things and thinks of every possibility and then acts. He knew that Ruth was having a hard time not being able to be with Mom, so instead of him buying a ticket for himself to come and be with Mom, he made it possible for Ruth to come. I truly stand in awe of his kindness and love for his sister!

Then my father laid hands on her head and told her that it was alright to leave this life and to go on with joy to the next stage of her eternal progression! All day there were many who stopped in to see Mom for the last time, but I was not surprised that it was not until it was just her family that we noted a pretty rapid decline.

12:35 am Her eyes were opened wider than I had seen them maybe ever and she looked at each one of us as we all held her hand or arm or leg and everyone knew without saying a word that we were saying goodbye. All her children that were present stood around her bed and sang "Mother I love you", "Families can be together forever" and watched her calmly and peacefully leave this life to go to a happier place and to the most joyous reunion we can't even imagine. It really was one of the most amazing and spiritual experiences I have experienced. I know that she is with her parents now and LaDean and all the thousands upon thousands that she did the genealogy work for! By 1:04 am she was pronounced dead. We of course mourn for us, but I am so happy that she will be with her family, her Savior and Heavenly Father again and know that if I am faithful to my covenants and her example that I will be reunited with my mother again! This is not the end this is just the beginning of a new and exciting stage for our mother who has been tried and tested and found worthy of our Heavenly Father's plan of exaltation! I cannot wait for the day that we will be reunited again. This is just for a moment!

Picture is of Aileen saying goodbye to Grandma - Aileen, Lois', and Grandma's hands

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mother Update

Doctor came in and informed us that the vegetative state that she is in is all we can ever expect. So now it is just a mater of waiting for her to die. Hard news to hear and hard news to really comprehend, because even though I knew that my father signed a DNR order (which even I knew were my mother's wishes) it was still shocking when I realized that that meant no nourishment or fluids for her as well. I wasn't quite prepared to realize that, but knew that as healthy as her heart and all her vitals were that she would live for the 2 yrs the Doctor had mentioned time table wise and that would be cruel to her. So after the few moments of shock I came to be at peace with what was taking place, still didn't like it, but knew it was best. So they moved Mom to the hospice part of the hospital where their whole goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible until she passes or after 10 days they will then move her to a nursing home. Earlier that day as the social worker came to talk to my father about nursing homes....once again it didn't seem too shocking until they asked what funeral home we had chosen. Then it became all too real again! So you can see that you understand what is going on and you feel that you know God's in Control and has a plan, but it still hits you right between the eyes sometimes what is really happening and that it is not a dream.

Our Bishop has been up many times to visit, and he is really sensitive to all of the family and not only did he give my mother a blessing, but my father a blessing of comfort and offered one to me as well. But when he asked do you want me to give it or your father, I chose my father of course before I realized what a difficult task that would be for him. Up until this moment I had only had a couple of very special moments with my father and having him break down and cry while talking with him about Mom and her situation, otherwise he of course has a strong testimony of the Gospel and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Plan of Salvation so he knows that she is going to be in a better place. But when he started to give me this blessing it was very difficult for him to speak and I think we were both sobbing. I felt that even though I love getting blessings from my father maybe it would have been kinder to have the Bishop do it.

One thing that has kept me strong through all of this is that I have a sister that only lived 2 days and I have been thinking that maybe it is LaDean's turn to have her mother. That my siblings and I have been able to be with her for a long time and now LaDean needs her mother! Dad also talked about LaDean, and my mothers parents and her being able to bear her testimony to her father which she has wanted to do for so many years. She really does have so much to look forward to. Anyway, it was a very spiritual and special experience and even though it undoubtedly was hard for my father I'm so glad I was given that opportunity.

I have really almost resented that I have had to go to work, and yet I love my job and it is important to do some normal things and I only work 1/2 days. But I have to tell you after so many hours have passed that I have not been up to the hospital because I am either running family errands or at work....I am so anxious to get up to the hospital I am almost in tears with anxiety to be there and out of breath once I do get there.

She has stopped opening her eyes for most of the day except for when they rotate her from side to side, where as other days she would open her eyes and sometimes I think she was looking at us, but not today. She seemed to be resting much more comfortably. When they moved her from ICU to the hospice room, it took many hours before she looked calm again. She cannot swallow so sometimes, actually mostly, her breathing is very labored and rattles a lot due to fluids accumulating at the back of her throat.

One thing that we have found out - originally the doctor said that because she had just had surgery they could not give Mom the blood thinners that they would normally give to people who are having strokes as a counter measure and a way to help them recover from having a stroke because she would bleed to death. But Mother's strokes were so massive that even if she had not just had surgery they could not have given her the blood thinners etc...because she would have bled too severely in her brain. So this really is and was it for my mother no matter the situation.

We brought up the big family portrait to hang on the wall from the 50th Wedding anniversary and the quilt that we made for them to lay on her bed. My nephew Andreu, who is a Marine at Camp Pendleton in California, called and said he was arranging for leave to be able to come and he needed the Red Cross to send a message to his commander. This was a new experience for me, as I didn't really know how all that worked. The Hospital Chaplain and Social Worker came and got all of Andy's info and contacted the Red Cross and all should be clear for him to have leave and come to be with us on Tuesday! It has been over a year since Kim has been able to see her son and longer than that for the rest of us! I know he has felt like he has missed so many things, the 50th Wedding Anniversary, Allison's Wedding, but he will be able to get leave for this.

Today Dad brought up the CD of her Senior recital that she performed on the violin after she had gone back to college to finish her degree at the age of 45. We have all listened to that as well as a CD my family made when Kim and I were married and away but Ruth, Elizabeth, Edward, and George all participated in. When we were playing the music she started opening her eyes more. I also believe it was because we had told her that Kim and her family and Ruth were coming today! I really believe she was waiting for Ruth and for Kim. Once Ruth got there she really looked at her for a long time and I wish we could have really known what she was thinking for sure. I believe I know some of the times what she has been feeling and trying to say to us. But mainly I hope that she knows how much we all love her!

So with her being much more alert today it has been a little unsettling because you wonder are we doing the right thing? But then I ask myself, would she be able to swallow, eat, drink, communicate with visitors or able to do anything more than just lay there and open her eyes every once and awhile and have trouble breathing? And the answer is always no! The strokes and bleeding in her brain were so severe it will never be more than this....... And then I know that yes, we are doing the right thing. I know that is what I would want, and Alan has told me several times, "just so you know, that is exactly what I would want too" to which I usually say "ditto!" The nurses have also said that there is always a time of rallying before the inevitable.

Pictured above, Ruth, Sarah, and Mom

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Mother!

My mother went in for a hernia operation on Monday Sept. 1, 2009 and this is what happened and my account of things as the unfolded! My mother is an amazing person and I love her so much!

afternoon of 9/1/09:

I just found out that at 3:30 today(9/1/09) my mom went into a coma today after her surgery. She is at Baylor All Saints downtown 2nd floor ICU #8, I don't know if that is room #8 or bed #8. I wondered why they hadn't moved her to a room yet. and when i called my dad at 6:30 to say Alan was just leaving work and to explain why I was late in getting up there...that was when he told me.

Oh my gosh, it was just suppose to be a simple in and out thing. She had a hernia the size of a cantaloupe and she wanted to wait until after the wedding to have the surgery so they put it on the calendar for today and we really didn't think it was going to be a big deal...after all the other 7 surgeries this should have been a piece of cake. When they took her into surgery it took 3 hours, which was longer than they said that it would be, so Dad was concerned I think even though he didn't say so. Then when they came out of surgery and took her to recovery they said that instead of sending her home, they were going to keep her for 2 or 3 days because there was more damage inside when they got in there then they suspected. (you may remember that she had the whipple surgery last year and I don't know if it was some of that that was affected or not) then as they were waking her up from surgery she was complaining about a lot of pain, and So they gave her more morphine and she fell asleep and then they couldn't get her to wake they turned the morphine down and then at 3:30 she went into a coma. She is getting an MRI and EEG right now. We don't know the results yet. One doctor thinks she had a stroke another thinks it’s a blood clot, and in other words they don't really know what happened, that is why they have begun the testing. As you can guess this was not at all how we expected today to go! I'll keep you up dated as I find things out!

Late night 9/1/09:

Even though she still remains in a coma state, she has opened her eyes 2 or 3 times tonight and squeezed my hand. We take this as a good sign, however when they took her down for the MRI, she started vomiting so they had to stop the test and put a tube down her nose to release the gases in her stomach. They took her back down after a couple of hours for the CatScan or EEG I don't know which and those test came back negative. They will do the MRI in the morning, but we are very encouraged.

Afternoon of 9/2/09:

O.K. the MRI came back that she has had multiple strokes and blood clots. they can't give her blood thinners which is how they usually treat this problem because it would kill her so they can't do anything basically. I think we were overly optimistic by her opening her eyes a couple of times last night. She basically remains in a coma/vegetative state (vegetative state is the Doctors words) even though she has opened her eyes and moved her left hand a couple of has never been for very long and she has never spoken or done anything on the right side. She basically just goes back into the deep sleep/coma. Several times tonight she acted like she was trying to say something but could not. It seems she has trouble swallowing and it seems obvious to me that the right side of her mouth can't move. I don't know if she recognizes us because she looks so confused and scared (just my opinion) when she opens her eyes. So the doctor says that the next 24 hrs will tell the ever much she recovers by then is all she will ever recover for the rest of her life, or so the Doctor says. It is truly in the Lord's hands now!

Thanks to everyone for their prayers, calls, love and concern! Lois

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More humorous wedding stories.....

This is a funny story. At the Reception in Utah during the dance part of the reception John danced with his sister Jessica and David (John's brother) danced with his sister Becky and Elizabeth my sister, and Edward my brother, were standing next to each other watching when Elizabeth says, "Wow, that is pretty neat that John and David are dancing with their sisters" to which my brother, sheepishly smiles and says "Yeah, it really is" and then just keeps standing there. Elizabeth just laughs, like I can't believe you aren't taking the bait! My brother is too funny. I call him "Mr. Personality" but I love him dearly!!!!! You're too funny!