Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Sweet Day


The March Slice of Life Challenge- 28 of 31 
          Thanks to Ruth and Stacey, at Two Writing Teachers.  It's only a few more days, so come over to visit some bloggers, to see what they're up to!
      Tweet at #Slice2013


            When I think about the slices of my life, several parts of my life come to mind.  I work, so slices can be about school.  I have family both near and far away, so I could write about them, or about friends and our activities together.  Yet, the overarching part of my life that means a slice every day is visiting my husband.  Arvie has been in a nursing facility for a little more than a year now, since March 18th, 2012.  Yes, a huge thing happened on that day when I knew I could no longer care for him in our home.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, connected this time with what is called Lewy Body Dementia in 2007, and declined from that time cognitively and less physically for a long while.  I won't share what I believe is too personal, but during those years, and then in this past one, I have lost my husband, yet he is still my husband, still sees me and smiles, showing that I am someone he knows as familiar.  He is happy with the staff and shows comfort when they care for him.  I am thankful more than my words can say for this caring, but also professional staff.
           My slice today is also about my granddaughter Ingrid, who spent yesterday with me, and part of our day was visiting Grandpa.  Her mother and I don't think she needs to go often, but for now she is at ease visiting, is friendly with everyone and not alarmed with any 'different' behaviors.  Everyone is just old to her, and some talk to her, all smile, and she is a little shy, but okay.  And she is wonderful with Arvie.  She greets him, pats him, and today felt comfortable enough to sing "Baa, Baa Black Sheep" to everyone, especially Grandpa.  We sit in the dining/common area, and residents wheel in and out as they are able.  Ingrid loves to sing so I was teaching her "You Are My Sunshine", and perceptive (my grandchild!) child that she is, she asked who my sunshine was.  I answered "Grandpa, of course."  And then I said, "And who is yours?"  She answered, "My Momma!"  Sweet moment.  But then she asked if I knew who might try to take our sunshine away?  Remember the last line of the song?  Ah, four year olds, or almost!  


             We finished our visit, said goodbye, went for a bagel and a schmear, walked along the street of the row of shops near my new home and played with shadows, then went for ice cream!  We walked home; I'm just a couple of blocks from the town centre, and read some books before nap time. I introduced her to Klassen's This Is Not My Hat--lots of chuckles! It was a very nice day, and I am happy that Ingrid helped me with my daily slice with Arvie, and my daily slice here with you!




51 comments:

  1. "who might try to take our sunshine away?" -- what a question Ingrid asked! Sounds like a poem in the making. Thanks for sharing this sweet day.

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    1. You're welcome, Tabatha. It was a good one!

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  2. That was a precious day. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. I wish they could all be such, Dina. You're welcome!

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  3. Your story today puts a smile in my heart and a tear in my eye as well as reflection in my mind. Your husband and your granddaughter are both lucky to have you in their life sharing the mundane and the wonderful little experiences of real life. You makde me think of my own kids visited their grandfather in a nursing home every Sunday for 7 years after he could no longer live alone or with us. While we often worried and wondered about the effects, they accepted so much more readily than we did asking questions we as adults would never dare to ask and growing up in front of the residents so to speak, I hope no one is able to take your sunshine away for too long.

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    1. Thank you for sharing with me, Anita! I wanted to write about it for several reasons, but also, for those who don't have the experience, to know that children do so well in visiting, and it brings such joy.

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  4. Thank you, Linda, for sharing your slice and your family with us today. I am sure that your granddaughter brought smiles and laughter to many including your husband.

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    1. Yes, children brighten everyone's world, don't they? Thank you, Judy.

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  5. A dear family friend we took care of for years was in the nursing home for her last few years. My mom often took my boys there. She said children light up the place like you can't imagine. I'd guess that Ingrid brought a smile to many faces that day. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Katherine. I think it's such a gift that children give in this setting, and it lightens everyone's mood for sure.

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  6. Aw, precious. I feel warm inside reading your very special slice about your husband and granddaughter. Love the pictures too. A day filled with Sunshine!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. It certainly was a good day!

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  7. It just doesn't seem like it's been a year...
    Kids are such very special beings who often have a wonderful connection and communication going with those who are older and in need of their sweet spirit.
    One more beautiful day!

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    1. Thanks Donna. Those grandchildren fill our hearts, don't they?

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  8. I have never been married and cannot even imagine how hard this might be. And yet you are living this chapter of your life with such beauty and joy-- how I admire you. It looks all three of you filled each other's day with sunshine! That ice cream picture needs to be saved for her pre-wedding slideshow!

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    1. Oh my, Carol. Now that we save the pics electronically, it will be hard to 'lose' that pic, won't it? Thanks for all!

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  9. Others are right. Kids just seem to light up a care facility. And they are so much more accepting of the rhythms of life that adults. Thanks for sharing your day with us. You know I love grandkid stories!

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    1. It's not long for more of your grandkid stories at the lake, Deb! Another month? Thank you!

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  10. Linda,
    I remember that slice last year when you shared your story with us. I remember feeling so shocked and frustrated with the words I had to let you know how much I felt for you.
    It's amazing that your life can be so full given this tragedy.
    Your pictures speak to us,
    Here's my hug,
    Bonnie

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    1. Thanks Bonnie. It's just not an option to stop living, I think. I am more aware than before of the challenges so many face, and mine is not easy, but not the hardest by any means. I am thankful for what I've had, & continue to have.

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  11. Linda, Thank you for sharing this slice of your life with us. You did so in such a graceful manner. The song by your granddaughter was precious and sweet and also heartbreaking and profound with her line of questioning. Children are truly poets all on their own, it seems. May you continue to find peace, joy, strength and healing.

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    1. Thank you Dana. It was lovely to hear what she had to say about the song. Amazing what kids notice!

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  12. Our lives have so many slices in them. You have a very special slice with your husband that is close to your heart. It is a special post when you share this part of your life. Ingrid has so much life that is shared with all who come in contact. So cute! It was a full day, I bet she slept well that night.

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    1. Yes, I imagine so too. It was a special day-so glad she has spring break too! Thanks, Elsie!

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  13. I read this slice and it felt like I got a glimpse of something fragile, beautiful, and precious. For me the slice is about life and love and your heart. For me the shadow picture is symbolic -the sunshine and darkness, the child and an adult, the visible and what we can imagine.

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    1. Thanks for your beautiful thoughts, Terje. I like hearing what others 'see'.

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  14. I wish I didn't know what you mean by I've lost my husband, but he is still my husband. It's hard to describe how hard it is to watch someone we love slip away and to explain how we miss them so much, even when they are still there? So hard! Ingrid is learning important skills of empathy and acceptance, as well as a core belief that we take care of each other. This was a hard post for me to read, Linda, but a really important one--please don't take my sunshine away will stick with me for a while.

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    1. Thank you Melanie. It is actually a challenge as to whether to post or not, but I feel I owe my husband an acknowledgement sometimes (and perhaps myself), and this particular visit turned out so happily that I wanted to share.

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  15. The slices you share everyday with Arvie are precious and private so it is with care and tenderness I read your seldom shared words today. It is something that is " over arching" in your daily life which has prompted many of the things you do share to come about. How could it not be a difficult journey, yet you do face the unimaginable with grace and thankfulness. In sharing this lesson you are giving us all a model and a gift. I greatly value your words.

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    1. Thank you Kim. It is personally a choice to do my life this way, and your words are a wonderful support. These pieces (slices) of our lives that we share are powerful ways to show the myriad sides of who we are. I imagine people saying "here, here, look at this," or "this is how I do these hours; how do you do them?" and then "let me tell you about". All together, they form a life, the one we live.

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  16. Lovely that you shared this deeply personal slice with us today, Linda. Your husband and grandchild (adorable Ingrid!) bookended your day in such a special way- how sweet she was with Arvie, and what a sweet time you had together, shadows and all.

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    1. Thank you Tara. It was a good time, & I'm glad I captured it.

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  17. Your granddaughter is lovely and so adorable. What a treat for you to have her with you.
    It has to be so hard on you to say goodbye every time you visit your husband. At least he is cared for by such caring people.
    Thank you for sharing this difficult slice. Your vulnerability makes me want to reach out and hug you. Your words are so heartflet and honest.

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    1. Thanks Beverley, you are right, it is hard, but it is a place full of caring people (as I said above) & that has helped immensely.

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  18. It was a delightful day for you--the young with the older. You've had a long journey and have Ingrid to keep your mind fresh. I'm glad you're sharing your journey with your writerly friends. You are a sensational woman in all respects. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you. Have a blessed Easter, Linda.

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    1. Thanks Tam, same to you too. I guess you enjoyed some Easter with family last weekend!

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  19. What a treat to read your slice today, Linda. There is beauty in the exchange between you and your granddaughter about the sunshine song, in the way your husband is looking at Ingrid in the photo you captured (she has him charmed for that moment), but most of all there is beauty in the way you carry yourself through life. I am not sure if these are adequate words to express your impact, but there is something in your slices that always makes me want to strive to be a better a person. Your grace today is something to aspire to.

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    1. Thanks, Christy. I appreciate that you liked the post, and am honored by your words. Just moving along in life is what we do, isn't it?

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  20. Linda, he is such a handsome man. I am glad you are still able to share your love with him, and I am glad he has great care. I hurt with you, and I hurt for you. Gosh, I cannot imagine. And your posts, so full of love and life. You are quite a lady. Your granddaughter is a cutie, too. Interesting we read and get little slices of life, but sometimes it seems like we really know each other and share each other's pain, humanity, joy, and love. Thank you for sharing yourself and your slices of life. You are a beautiful person, inside and out.

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    1. Thank you Maya. It is good to hear about each other, isn't it? I like it very much, the good and the not so good!

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  21. She is just precious! I'm sure she was a ray of sunshine to your husband today. I'm glad that she helped you with this special slice of your life. My heart breaks when I think of you visiting him, and how it is him and yet not really him. Ingrid's question about the end of the song reminds me of myself when I was little -- one time, I burst into tears in the kitchen because my mom sang "Toot, toot, Tootsie" and I thought she was leaving because the lyrics talk about leaving!

    P.S. I got your comment just as I was reading your post -- it's like we were visiting each other! :-)

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    1. Even though I'm on break, I don't seem to be able to read many slices except early morning, until the evening, & that is when you usually post. It is just like we were visiting!

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  22. I enjoyed reading, as usual, the glimpses into your life. There are so many different relationships within this post. There is the one between you and your husband now and the relationship that is hinted at from the past. There is the relationship between you and your granddaughter, who is adorable. And then there is the relationship between your husband and granddaughter. All of those relationships are solid and yet changing every day and you handle that and write about it with such grace and wisdom. The way you speak of life is inspiring. I think you must be the sunshine for many people around you. I know I enjoy a few of your rays each day! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Robin. I enjoy your perception of the relationship-so right. Ingrid had a wonderful beginning relationship with her grandpa from babyhood, so even if she doesn't remember, she is at ease with him. Imogene, the 18 month old, will be a different one we suppose, and we're sad about it. She'll miss a wonderful grandpa!

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  23. Linda, we have much more in common than I would have anticipated, when you supported me in helping me set up my blog for this writing project. My husband (actually ex-husband) who I support still like a husband is in a nursing home and he is there because he has Parkinson's disease as well. Thank you for posting this. I am grateful for our connection.

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    1. Wow, Deborah, connections amaze me. Perhaps we can connect more if you would like to. I realize there are differences, but if you would like to share, I am willing.

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    2. Yes. I would like that. I am now following your blog and we can email each other. Interesting how life connections happen:)

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  24. Linda,
    You have been through so much. You have had to make difficult choices. The love for your family surrounds you like a favorite blanket. I am glad you have your grand-children they need you. They need your wisdom and your humor. I send you virtual hugs and many prayers.

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    1. Thanks Ruth, I think I am so lucky to have all I have here & my family, then all of you too. You have been a wonderful support. I hope we get to meet some day!

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  25. This post made my heart swell a bit. There is so much love shared here. Your granddaughter's smile is a delight.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!