Saturday, May 28, 2022

Bubbles, Furniture, and Anesthesia

We have learned that the pets love bubbles. Well, Poppy and Moxie love them, Maya isn't too sure about these glistening things that float and then disappear right before your eyes. See Maya protecting herself in the cardboard fort?


Poppy is an absolute maniac with them. We get the bubbles out about once a day and give these guys a workout!


Some friends were getting rid of an old table and I've been wanting one behind the couch for keys and stuff right by the door. Now the cats use it as a perch to look out the window and earlier today we were looking for Poppy and Chuck spotted her laying under it. It's getting a lot of use!

At Beth's last dentist appointment he mentioned she had a cavity and the tooth needed to come out. He said the tooth looked really fragile and he was afraid it would break into tiny pieces so she had to have oral surgery. I was nervous about it so I waited until the morning of the appointment (the 25th) and tried to be casual (she knew she was going to the dentist to have a tooth pulled but that was all) when I told her the doctor was afraid the tooth would break so they were going to give her special medicine that would let her go to sleep and when she woke up we'd go home. She was very nervous when we were walking into the building.

We got her checked in and they let me come back to the room. I could tell it was sterile so I just stood at the door while they put on the BP cuff and put a paper hat on her. I told her I needed to go move the car (I had actually parked in the wrong area) and I'd be right back. I sat in the car for about 10 minutes, went into the waiting room, grabbed a magazine, and I'm not kidding, the nurse came out before I could even open it, to tell me they were done and she was ready to go! 

They wheeled her out and helped her into the car. She was so groggy! I helped her into the house and as I'm unlocking the door she quietly says, "I just wanna take a nap." I laid her on the couch and she was out! The next day she said she didn't remember being in the wheel chair!

The tooth came out in one piece, there was very little swelling, and she hasn't had any pain. I gave her ibuprofin before she went to bed that night but she hasn't had any pain at all. All of these things were such an answer to prayer!  She stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday, and she's doing great. Looking forward to church tomorrow. That pink thing on her arm is the stretchy gauze stuff that covered the IV site.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Celebration of Life

My niece contacted me the night before the memorial and said Ken, my brother-in-law wanted us to get there early so we did. It was good to be able to give him a hug.

My sister Deb was already there helping to set up tables and chairs and get food ready. I immediately began helping her and everyone pitched in where they could. We talked with Ken's sisters, I hadn't seen them in years. And his aunt, she was hosting it at her house. She's got to be close to 90 but was still spry as ever: in and out the back door, directing people where to put things, I think she has more energy than I do!

More and more people started arriving. Honestly I was surprised at how many people showed up. It had been 3 months since she passed away, I figured it would mainly be family but there were people there from their motorcycle group, friends they met when they spent time at the desert when the kids were little... there were probably 50-60 people there. I was glad they came out to support Ken. I know it meant a lot to him.

I walked around taking pictures and with each new group of people I'd hear him telling the story of how she died. Time after time he'd be tearing up as he told how he heard her come out of the bathroom but she didn't answer when he called to her. By the time he got to the bedroom, she was unresponsive. I think talking about it was therapeutic for him. Like if he said it enough times he might convince himself. 

My niece Karlene came up to me part way through and said she wondered if we should have people share stories. I suggested we go around to each group and let them know we'd be 'saying a few words' in a few minutes and they would have a chance to share if they wanted to.

Ken, my niece, Deb and I all stood in a central area of the backyard and I introduced myself and thanked everyone for coming, and shared a memory of my own. Of Kathy and I going out to Ocean Beach one day, having lunch at the little cafe on the pier and walking along the rocks by the shore.

A lot of people shared stories, some laughed, some cried. My sister was well loved.

After that people began to leave and we took family pictures by her motorcycle and her ashes. It was a hard day, but it was good.

That's Ken in the white beard


Ken and Karlene

Me, Ken, Deb

Ken, Karlene and Karlene's kids. 

And Ken and Kathy's dog Penny. Her and Ken have been inseparable.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Days Before the Memorial

We got home on Monday night and I've spent the last couple of days unpacking and doing laundry. It was a whirlwind trip and there were a lot of emotions packed into those few days. 

We flew out of Seattle on May 4th and got to the Airbnb around 2:30 in the afternoon. We drove out east and had dinner with my sister, one of her sons and his family. I realized driving back that I didn't get one single picture. 

Everyone else got in on Thursday and we made 3 trips back and forth to the airport before everyone was finally at the house. We've stayed in a lot of hotels over the years plus our timeshare, but there's nothing like coming 'home' at the end of the day.

Our home away from home last week:

 The sun room, master bedroom, and backyard:

My sister Kathy LOVED hummingbirds and this was hanging in the kitchen window. I sent a picture to Deb. It really made me smile every time I looked at it.

Sharaya and Ally wanted to go swimming when they arrived so the rest of us went out to the Ocean Beach Pier. Kathy and I spent some time here a few years ago, just the two of us. When I realized it was possible for me to go again I got so emotional. It was good to re-live that memory. But I had forgotten what a long walk it was to the cafe at the end of the pier!

On Friday we headed to the Los Angeles area to see where Chuck's mom and dad are buried. His dad died in 1961 and his mom died just last year. It took us a while but finally Peter found where they were located. We also found his grandparents and his dads twin sister, who died as a baby.

It was still early afternoon when we left there so we decided to stop at Downtown Disney. Have you ever been there? It's just an outdoor shopping center, but all Disney. And it's free to get in. Shops and restaurants, photo ops... you don't see a whole lot of young families, usually it's the older crowd who wants the Disney magic without the cost and motion sickness from the rides. 😄

We headed 'home' after that and relaxed a little. Played cards. I finished the posters and we all got stuff ready for the next day.