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Off Topic :
We are falling apart here

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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 6:58 PM on Thursday, April 25th, 2024

WR please be kind to you. If you aren't sleeping let your dr know. You deserve some peace and rest.

Next please stop questioning the why or how come with how this happened. Embrace your faith and understand that you did all you could and know he did not suffer unnecessarily for years in the hospital. He was so very lucky to have you be his caregiver. Embrace knowing he is no longer in pain.

As far as visiting you or giving you a sign, it's often months if not years before this happens and Ai honestly believe it happens further out from these early days of grief to give you some perspective and prevent you from being overwhelmed by it when it does happen. When my Gran passed it was about 8 mos before she visited me and when she did it was wonderful. I could smell her, feel her hands, was met with the most overwhelming sense of peace. When my FIL passed it was about 6 mos before I had a similar dream with him was not as sensory but let me know he was at peace.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20207   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8834723
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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 1:33 AM on Sunday, April 28th, 2024

Whatsright, thinking of you. I'm sure the passing of your H has left such a void in your life. There are areas in our lives that simply cannot be filled up with other people or things when we lose someone. You are doing the right thing by keeping busy. Time really doesn't 'heal' but it does lessen the pain.

"Because I deserve better"

posts: 3731   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2005
id 8835014
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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 4:07 AM on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

Hello sweet friends.

I am going to get through this.

But right now is just so messed up. The best word I can come up with is "void".

I was at the grocery the other day, and something was "wrong"…different. I finally realized that I wasn’t hurrying through my shopping to get home to him. I had gotten to the point where I was just shuffling along like all the other old people. I can stay away from the house as long as I want to now - but I don’t want to.

I have changed out the mattress. I have packed away his side of the closet for when all of my boys are home and can choose what clothes of his they may want. I kept a few things just so the closet doesn’t look so lonely. I have put out "feelers" for those who might be in need of supplies and equipment such as the Hoyer lift., his wheelchair, and our accessible van. I’m hoping we can find people who really need the assistance. Part of me wants to keep those things, but I just can’t – not when I know that others need them. And although some of that equipment is quite expensive, there’s no way I can ask for money for it. I can’t benefit from his death. I guess I will, because he did have a life insurance policy, but not from his personal things. Someone needs them and doesn’t have the money to get them themselves.

I haven’t slept in the bed yet. I don’t know why, but I just can’t. The other night I began to feel such a void. So I went back into the bedroom and just laid on his side of the bed for a little while. After about 15 minutes, I had to get up. Maybe that’s how I will finally get to where I can sleep in the bed again. Just small increments of time building into a full night’s sleep.

Bella is grieving terribly. I googled "How long do dogs grieve their master’s passing?" Answers varied from a few days to several months. She was with him until after he passed away. We were both in there with him for about 10 minutes, which is what the hospice nurse told me to do once I felt that he had stopped breathing… Because sometimes people begin to breathe again after three or four minutes. so I waited 10 minutes. Then I told him goodbye and I had to really encourage Bella to leave. I called the hospice nurse and it was a couple hours before she came. My husband’s sister wanted to go back and sit with him, "because that’s what we do". Referring to her family. Happily she wasn’t there when he passed away, and when she did arrive, the hospice nurse came very soon afterwards. When the funeral home came, and were proceeding to take him away, I left and went to another part of the house. I knew that wasn’t him any longer, but I couldn’t bear to watch it. His sister on the other hand was walking beside him all the way down the hall… I was told. She also got into a slight confrontation regarding the fact that they were going to cover him when they took him outside. She did not want his face covered. The hospice nurse finally had to say to her that this was a community and people did not want to see someone after they had passed away rolled down the driveway.

That started a long list of things that I did that were "not the way we do things". It’s amazing that we are confronted with things like that that we want to handle correctly, but when we are in such a state of grief, it’s so hard. I had my sister be a touchtone for me, and she has assured me that I was never confrontational or unkind to his sister.

She was quite upset that the casket was not going to be open throughout the visitation prior to the service in his hometown. So I set it up that 30 minutes before the visitation began, a casket could be open for family and very close friends only. I guess she got the best of me on that one, because she would wait at the front door of the funeral home and when ANYBODY came in for the visitation a little bit early, she would, encourage them to "see him". I had to stay in another part of the building. Finally, I asked the funeral Director to close the casket. So that we could proceed and not have to stay out of the area where the visitation was.

I tried to be as accommodating as I could be. Years ago when we would talk about what we might want at our funerals, and who we would want to be pallbearers., my husband would always mentioned his sons and his nephews. Two of his nephews did not treat him well through the years. They stole from him, etc. One of those nephews was in jail, so it was a moot point. I called his nephew that he was closest to, and I explained to him my struggles with inviting the other nephew to be a pallbearer. I told him that’s what my husband had wanted, but it was very hard for me. He very gently told me that this particular nephew seem to be doing better, and was trying to make good in his life. So I followed that nephew’s lead and had the other one be part of the service as a pallbearer. It was the right thing to do.

Bella is trying to become a dog. Instead of being a 24 seven caregiver. She is almost completely housebroken… You might remember that she never even went outside to potty when he was here. I put a puppy pad in one area of the bedroom and she used it rather than leaving him to go outside. Now, every time I walk from the den where I spend time with the dogs…and sleep… she jumps down from the couch and insists on going back there with me. And she climbs her puppy steps and goes to the side of the bed where he laid. It makes her very sad. Then when I finish peeing or changing clothes, or whatever was the reason for going back there, she just sits on the bed and looks at me. And when I invite her to leave with me, she will. But then she sits on my tummy as I’m lying on the couch, and I can see the pain in her eyes. We are quite a pair!

It was really very poignant that the son that is home with me now was different to me during this whole process. He didn’t mind spending time with me. And he would talk to me. And it was as if we weren’t "enemies" in his eyes. But it’s been three weeks now, and he is back to displaying resentment for me and he mostly keeps away from me. The two boys that are still incarcerated more often than they used to, they are calling home much more often. I think they’re checking on me. The son that didn’t get to participate in any of the services … He calls me almost every day. Just to see how I’m doing. And sometimes we cry together, and sometimes we think of anything we can to keep the conversation, positive and uplifting.

Not too many months ago, when my husband and I were thinking about how our boys would fare in life when we were gone… He told me that the first thing he wanted any of his insurance money spent on, was to get them a vehicle that they could depend on. Where they could always have a way to get to and from work, and to do the things they needed to do in their life. I told all of them about this. My baby, who has been in jail for so long and who did not get a furlough to come to the service, he sobbed when I told him. Then he said, "He’s still teaching us… and helping us… even now."

Well, I’ve "gone on" too long. I haven’t meant to make you sad. It’s so nice to be able to talk to you all. When I show emotion in front of my family, I see the pain in their eyes and I just can’t do it.

Thanks for being here for me.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 4:17 AM, Tuesday, April 30th]

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8835198
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 1:22 PM on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

It's so good to hear from you WR. I've been thinking about you, your boys and little Bella.

You are an amazing women with such a kind, generous heart!! Give Bella some puppy cuddles for me.

Sending you peace and strength. (((WR)))

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3605   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8835209
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:38 AM on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

Thank you for the update. The adjustments are hard, but you will get through them and adjust to your new normal. I love hearing how Bella is being a little shadow for you - she’s got a loving spirit.

Glad your boys are (for the most part) being extra supportive.

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 6069   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8835313
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:03 PM on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

WR it's going to be a huge adjustment for you. More so than any of us losing our spouse because of the nature of how much time you spent caregiving in the past 5 years. That said here are few thoughts.

1. Engage Miss Bella with others maybe take her to dog friendly stores with you to help socialize her more and make her world bigger than that room.

2. Equipment. Reach out to Paraquad, or other agencies I. Your area to donate to. Or many metro areas have donation or medical equipment libraries where you can donate to for others to borrow at no cost. Especially that van there is such a need for those. And when it comes time to get them it is often cost prohibitive that's where Paraquad may be able to help you.

3. The funeral. You did your best to give him the service he desired. He knows that. It's ok.

4. Consider engaging in a group or club to allow you to start building a friend network. Maybe something like classes for pottery, or stain glass or whatever interest you may have that never had time for before.

Me: FBSHim: FWSKids: 23 & 27 Married for 32 years now, was 16 at the time.D-Day Sept 26 2008R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 20207   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8835325
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jadedangel ( member #26979) posted at 3:13 PM on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

I'm sorry for the loss of your husband.

Another suggestion would be grief support groups.

When my sister's husband passed away, we went to one held at a local church. You do not have to be a member of the church.

They meet weekly for like 13 or so weeks. And you can keep going to other meetings if you want too.

I will say that it was a help to be able to talk to people face to face that were feeling the same feelings.

Divorced 2007.
EXWH died 2011
Remarried 2018!

posts: 696   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2009   ·   location: Central City
id 8835330
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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 5:23 AM on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024

Yes, I will definitely survive this.

Regarding Bella, this latest puppy has been a Godsend for her. Bella has gotten to where she goes outside whenever I let the pups out and she plays and plays with all of the pups. She still insist on going to our bedroom two or three times a day, but she doesn’t stay in as long, and seems happy when we leave it… even though she is the one to initiate going back there.

I have been working a lot in the yard, and the dogs are so happy that I am back there with them. Planted a weeping willow tree today that we planned to get together for Christmas. My husband would have loved it so much.

I’m very blessed to have my family around me, and a supportive church family. As many of you have pointed out, the hardest part is going to be what to do with my time. I am planning a trip across country to visit a dear friend in September. That should be good for me. She has known my H almost as long as I have, and we will be able to laugh and cry together.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8835386
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 1:30 PM on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024

WR, did you end up getting the puppy?

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3605   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8835407
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josiep ( member #58593) posted at 12:12 AM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

I sank into my own little well of something (despair? Disappointment? The old "what’s it all about" thing?) and sort of cut myself off from the world. But I would still come back and read here about once a month, mostly to check on you and Dragon. And I am so very, very sorry to read about your husband passing. And that the prison denied your son a furlough to attend the funeral. But it was comforting to read how well the funeral service went and the support you’re receiving from your church community and especially the love and support you got from your sister. I know you will handle this with your usual grace, but I’m sending you cyber hugs anyway. Wishing you peace.

BW, was 67; now 74; M 45 yrs., T 49 yrs.DDay#1, 1982; DDay#2, May, 2017. D July, 2017

posts: 3237   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2017
id 8835509
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:49 PM on Friday, May 3rd, 2024

T/J nice to see you again Josie! End of T/J

WR - I assumed that meant you got the new puppy — is that correct? I realize you didn’t explicitly say so.

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 6069   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8835564
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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 11:48 AM on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Yes, I did get the new puppy.

The day my husband came from the hospital he was so very sick. We called hospice simply because palliative care couldn’t get there for three days. When my husband and I talked about it, we decided that he could get on hospice and could be given some medication, And then when he was able, we would continue with trying to find out how to help him, and he could just be discharged from hospice. I told him we could always go back later. So that was the plan.

The next morning the chaplain and the social worker came over to visit with him as a new patient. My husband had the greatest time talking with them, especially the chaplain, about his racing, and different things in his life. Somehow the conversation got around to communion. And something was said that prompted me to share that I had a silly "thing" about taking communion. At our church, there are four stations at the alter for people to come down and take communion- at one station are ministers. The three other stations are lay people. I explained to the chaplain that I couldn’t really explain why, but that I always wanted to be in the line where the ordain ministers were. That it was important to me to take communion from someone who was ordained. I’m not usually picky about things like that. His comment was, "Well I have got it out in the car. I can go get it for you right now". I was about to say "No, that’s OK." Because I take communion every Sunday. But, uncharacteristically, my husband said, "Yes, please go get it." So we had communion that day… On Thursday.

I was supposed to go that afternoon to get the new puppy, but I told my husband I wasn’t going. And if she couldn’t hold the puppy for me, then I would just find a different one. But he begged me to go. And he was feeling so well, while he was visiting with those hospice representatives that I made the decision to go on. By the time, my sister and I were on the way back, his sister was calling about what terrible pain he was in, and what else she could give him. That night he was worse. Then Friday, he was much much worse. And Saturday he was unresponsive. For 8 days. With them saying with every visit that it would be hours…not days.

Anyway, I did get the puppy. And she is a total geek. . Goofy. Unbelievably lovable. And she has been a godsend for Bella. She’s helping Bella to remember that she’s a puppy, instead of a caregiver. But I will tell you that Bella is the most amazing soul I’ve ever known. Tonight we had really bad storms at our house. My jack Russell/black lab mix is about 14 or 15 years old. And she has always been mortified of storms. I give her a Xanax when they start up and it helps her get through them a little bit. But she always wants to be me during the storm. So tonight she climbed up on the couch with me, and Bella immediately went to her and later head on top of her back and stayed with her until she was calm , it was just about the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.

Today I am supposed to go to court for my son. The one who has been in jail for so long. He had a charge in a nearby town. He had been told he would get probation. So I’m praying that today he will still get probation, and then, it will be time served. But you never know when you walk in that courtroom. What will happen.

Been up all night worrying about that. And three different times, Bella has vomited. I’m a nervous that something is wrong. I don’t know why she’s throwing up. My son is expecting me about an hour away. I must go to his court appearance. But I don’t want to leave Bella. I guess I’m just going to pray that four or five hours delay in taking her to the vet will not be too detrimental.

I hate to admit it, but I feel like I’m getting a little worse. It seems that I’m crying more each day. I don’t really know if that’s normal. The deaths that I have experienced in the past have been my parents and they were old. And when my sister passed away, I at least had my husband for comfort.

I wonder, when will my memories of the last few days of his life fade? I want to remember more of the good times when he wasn’t so sick. But I have to say that the few times I am having flashbacks of good times, it actually makes me feel worse… Missing him even more.

Anyway, it’s about time for me to get ready to make the trip to court, then hurry back home to an eye appointment, and then to the vet with a little Bella.

Y’all please send good vibes for her. She is the most giving, attentive, caring soul that I’ve ever known. I’m just not able for anything to be wrong with her right now.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8835969
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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 11:58 AM on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

I guess I meant to say in my previous post that with my husband’s comment about wanting communion right then, and with him insisting that I go get the puppy… And with him accepting hospice… I feel like he knew what was going on. I am really heartbroken That he didn’t or couldn’t come to me with that. Express it with me… Give us a chance to say goodbye. Until that night that my boys called from jail to say that they loved him, I had no clue that he was anywhere near the end of his life. I guess that’s on me. I just wouldn’t let myself see it.

It occurs to me that whenever I post, I am totally oblivious of what I’ve posted before, and I’m guessing I’m repeating myself a lot. Please bear with me.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8835971
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 9:55 PM on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

I feel like he knew what was going on. I am really heartbroken That he didn’t or couldn’t come to me with that. Express it with me… Give us a chance to say goodbye. Until that night that my boys called from jail to say that they loved him, I had no clue that he was anywhere near the end of his life. I guess that’s on me. I just wouldn’t let myself see it.

Big hugs, WR. I get this, totally. My sister was dying of liver failure for a long time and I just couldn't see it. I look back now and kick myself at all the clues that I missed, and all the time that I could have spent with her differently had I been able to grasp it and accept it.

Bella sounds like the most wonderful little puppy soul ever. I hope she's okay.

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1340   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8836027
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 2:43 AM on Friday, May 10th, 2024

Sending mojo for Bella.

I do believe some folks know when they are near the end. And I also think they choose not to tell us - maybe to spare us, maybe because this is a journey they have to take alone. I think him taking communion and telling you to get the pup, he was trying to give you something. He maybe wanted to know you were okay both spiritually and had a new pup to take care of.

And grief comes in waves. With all that happens in your life, and the length of time your husband was very sick, you must have TONS of grief and exhaustion built up in you. And it will come out in doses. So don’t worry about that. Sounds totally normal (even though it is not pleasant).

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 6069   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8836044
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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 8:40 AM on Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

I’m sorry I have stayed away from this thread for so long. I have read it from start to finish recently and I had no idea how much negativity I was throwing at you all.

I want to tell y’all how much you have helped me, and have grounded me.

I’m doing my best to move through this as healthy (mentally and physically) as possible. I’m having another bout with laryngitis and coughing. If it hangs around much longer, I’m going to check with the doctor. I’m still not sleeping, but I’m sure that will come with time.

Today was our anniversary - 36 years. I traveled to the cemetery… Me and Bella. 🙂

I find that I sometimes have sad remembrances pop into my mind, and I am shutting them down. I think there’s a good chance that is not healthy, but for right now, I need to focus on the positive. I’m not ready for "less than" memories. I think after healing more, I will be able to address some of that.

I hope y’all are doing well. Again, thank you for all your help.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8836541
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 1:26 PM on Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

WhatsRight, thank you for checking in, I'm sure all of us have been thinking of you a lot, and it is a relief to hear from you as you go through this time.

I too have been dealing with some sort of viral pharyngitis/bronchitis the week after a crowded church service on Easter Sunday. Here it is, mid-May, and I'm still having coughing spells. Somebody in church behind us coughed without covering their mouth and as usual for my H it hit him 2 days later. I got a sore throat 3 days after his symptoms started; he never will learn to cover his cough in the house, gets me every time! But this one is hanging on with both of us and some other folks have said the same.

Glad that Bella is still such a sweet lovey dog. How is she doing? And the other pupsters? Aren't they worth all the hassle and expense?

Mr. Mink continues his training but his teenage stubborn phase is here and his big bad barking spells are getting more and more annoying. Trainer is working hard with us on how to prevent his "triggers" from setting him off, by giving him treats just as he sees or hears his triggers, if possible. It helps me understand trauma better, realizing the dog is reacting to a simple noise or movement rather than some idea it has, like I always tend to think. And it amazes me to witness how giving a pleasant alternative at those moments works to sooth that knee-jerk urge to react.

I think you are wise to concentrate now on what is good and what you can do to care for yourself and your environment, and not focus on what is not good or what you can't do. (Need to take my own counsel!)

I just read about Greek Mountain Tea as an ancient remedy for colds. We need something!

posts: 2073   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8836554
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 1:13 PM on Friday, May 17th, 2024

Thinking of you WR.

Tell us about your puppy when you feel up to it.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

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id 8836840
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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 7:45 PM on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

I found this just today. My sister wrote it shortly after our grandfather passed away…about 25 years ago.

Newmie’s Hands

I’ve always been envious of my grandmother‘s hands. Where mine are square and thick, hers are elegant and expressive, her fingers slender and long. The shape of these hands hint at her talents: canvases filled with her artist’s view of the world, flowers coaxed into masterpieces of symmetry and beauty. Newmie’s hands could peel and scrape an apple and then feed the apple mush to a little girl nodding before the fire. Ceremoniously, these hands presented a gift of oats to me, so I would not disappoint the fish in the pool or the birds gathered impatiently around the feeder. Hers were the hands of Mary, not Martha.

Dadaw held Newmie’s hands every night. By day, we all grew accustomed to bickering made unimportant by almost 70 years of marriage. "Why don’t they ever kiss?" I asked as a child. Not understanding the reticence of the 19th century. But, hands held through endless nights dark and still weave a fabric that endures.

And now? Now my grandmother‘s hands are empty. Her fingers flutter like the wings of the birds that she loves so well. Quietly she asks, "What am I going to do with my hands? "

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8218   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8837592
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 3:44 AM on Thursday, June 6th, 2024

Hey WR— how are you and the pups?

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 6069   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8838676
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