Slice Number 27 with Stacey and Ruth at the Two Writing Teachers March SOLC
What a month it has been!
My husband is now in a mental health behavioral center. The goal is to stabilize his mental and physical health so that we can find a place for him that will be a happier place, most probably a nursing home. It has been quite a time this past week, and I'm not ready to process all I have done exactly. There are lists upon lists. Finally a bed opened for him and he was moved from the ER to this center, a difficult move, but he is calm and progressing a little each day. The head of the center just looks at me and says, "Linda, one day at a time, remember?" I am doing that, but so much more. My son flew back to town and we spent (with daughter and son-in-law plus daughter-in-law by phone) time talking, planning, then making some priorities. I am grateful for my children and who they are as adults, and am grateful and blessed they are coming with me on this journey.
I get to visit my husband only one hour a day, from 5:30 to 6:30 late afternoons. I go every day and my daughter goes occasionally. This hospital is across the city from where I live so I'm getting to know that part of the city where I've never really been. I know where the nearest Starbucks is, I know when the best time to cross the city is so I won't be bumper to bumper most of the way, and I know where the Target is in case I have to bring something to my husband. Things, routines, are falling into the rhythm of my life right now, and as I am always one to look for the positive, I really am thankful that it isn't winter. This would be even harder if it was cold and snowy. I am taking it day by day, step by step, and I am okay. I stopped to talk to the people at the day center where my husband went on the days I worked. The head nurse there told me that those dealing with dementia call it "the long goodbye". I am sad, but I've been saying goodbye for a long time. She is right. It is a long time of parting.
And in that journey, there are some little things that I have enjoyed. I actually like the drive I am making with its beautiful views of the city and the mountains. Among the tough things, I am given beauty. I started writing this to tell you all what has been happening since I first posted about my husband last week, but today as I started the drive home across the city, I was so alarmed. My drive starts rather high in elevation, with a terrific view of the city all across the plain while the mountains are on my right. I am heading south. There, in my usual lovely view at about 6:45pm was the sun setting, a little faded, but it was there. And straight ahead was this enormous cloud bank heading east. I had heard there was a wildfire happening up a ways into the foothills, but when I saw this cloud, I knew it was more than a little brush fire. It has been so dry and so warm lately that we have already begun watering. Even the mountains, usually still having snow cover, are mostly dry in the lower elevations.
Now I hear the news that over a thousand acres have burned, the fire is still raging and growing and people have been evacuated while some have lost their homes. It is such a sad thing. I have been to a site after a fire. It brings tears to the eyes to see a forest so destroyed. I found one picture to share. You can find more if you are interested here. I am hoping positive thoughts for the wind to die down and for the firemen to have success on Tuesday. There many kinds of challenges people face in their lives, and I have sympathy for those who face this fire today and tonight.
|This big cloud is smoke, not the usual moisture-laden cloud.|