Monday, April 24, 2017

Pictures of Mom!

I haven't had time to draw or make jewelry lately.
I've been organizing the funeral, calling Mom's friends and relatives.
I'm sure I'll leave somebody out...

Mom was the one who called everyone in times like this.

I'm glad my sister stayed in town to help me with everything!

Today we bought some snacks at Costco and planned the potluck to be held Thursday after the funeral.

After that we worked for hours on a slideshow of pictures of Mom.

An epic job, and every day we find more pictures!

Luckily, we don't have to go back to our regular jobs until Saturday or Sunday.

I'll share some of the slideshow here:

Here's mom with a shopping bag, probably Juarez, in 1947, and her aunts behind her.

When I was a kid, I used to think Mom looked angry in this picture, and she would tell me she was just squinting from the sun.
Now I can just see her full of determination.

Mom didn't have a lot of chances for professional photos when she was young.
Here's a very airbrushed high school graduation pic:

Here she is in the early 60's.

I woke up this morning thing about the missing pictures I took out of the album.
There was one of her and her sister in psychedelic dresses.

"It's where the flowers are," I thought I heard her say, as I woke up.
I looked everywhere I thought it could be.

I even looked on Google.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The day after.

Sadly, Mom passed away a few hours after I made my last post.
Friday, around 6:30 am.

It was very peaceful. Family was all around.

I want to post every detail about how that went.
It might be helpful for people to know about end-of-life care...

But including every detail also makes it too impersonal.
I decided I will save the details for my private journal.

This morning was spent finalizing the funeral services and making calls.
Mom knew a lot of people, including several priests, a florist, and the director of the funeral home.
The choir that I joined for a little while last year, will be doing the music.

Dad had visited the funeral home last week to have everything ready.
They bought their plots 10 years ago, including the services.

Today we went to bring her clothes and sign some papers.
I would have been happy with any casket, but found out that Dad had picked out the most beautiful one.

It has the shiniest wood.

On the corners are a representation of Michelangelo's Pieta, and all the handles have the Last Supper.

(it felt too weird to show the picture of the opened casket.)

The design is very appropriate for a deeply religious person like Mom.
Now I wonder if the clothes and jewelry we picked out for her to wear will be nice enough!

It will be a very special service.

The viewing is at Brown Colonial Mortuary in Santa Ana on Wednesday evening.
The funeral Mass will be Thursday at 11:30 am.
The burial will be at Good Shepherd Cemetery in HB.
Afterward we will have a gathering at the church hall.

I spent the rest of today scanning in photos from at least twenty photo albums.
I am determined to make an epic photo slideshow memorial.

My sister stayed in town and she has been a great help.

(She is much better at distinguishing my mom from my aunt when they were little.)

Unfortunately I took at least two of my favorite photos out of the albums to scan them in, to make a collage last year, and I misplaced them!
And if I scanned them in, which I don't recall doing, they are on the hard drive that crashed.

If only I could remember where I put that folder!
My sister said, "Maybe Mom didn't want those pictures included," so I will tell myself that.

Tomorrow I will be editing the photos I scanned in. At least 200.,,

Friday, April 21, 2017

At home

Last week, we placed Mom on hospice care at home.
This meant that there is nothing more that can be done, and she was no longer going to get any cancer treatment.
It was a difficult decision for the family.
But traveling to all her doctors appointments was just too much for her.
Putting her on hospice also meant that she would get more nursing care at home.

On Monday, Mom had a big seizure and never came out of it.
We took her to the hospital. Since there wasn't anything more to be done, once she was stabilized, we brought her back home (the same day.)

Her seizure gradually went away. She has been unconscious ever since Monday.
My brother and sister came on Tuesday.
They had already planned the trip.
I took a few days off of work.

I was hoping Mom might wake up at some point during their visit, so they could talk, but she didn't.
They are dealing with everything OK.

My brother and sister decided to take their planned flights back home today.

It will not be long now...

During the week I did make some matching bracelets:

I copied one of my favorite old necklaces that I bought when I was 20 or so.

The original is the black one on the bottom and the new one has the pinkish stones.

Since I took a few days off, and had to rearrange my room again so family could use it, I brought some of my collage-ing stuff out to the patio.

The cat decided to take a nap in my tray of papers!

I made several collages, but I haven't photographed them yet.
I offered to show my brother and sister some techniques, but they weren't into it.

Roberto the painter called on Wednesday and said my car would surely be finished by next week...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Better day.

Today I got some better news.
The home health care service has decided that Mom is not well enough to travel to her doctor's appointments, so they will finally send a doctor to see her for things like lab tests.
However, that also means that Mom really isn't well.

We will meet a new oncologist next week, and for that she has to travel there.

Today I made a bracelet out of some tiny beads.

I wanted to make some earrings to match.
I decided to make some round hoops. I made some round-ish earrings a few years ago.

I chose a wire sturdy enough to keep a round shape, but it was too thick to pass through those beads.
I had to use different beads.

I decided I wanted another smaller loop, too.

This is what resulted.

I came across this video of a teacher who finishes his student's doodles:

I don't know if it's true or not, but it reminds me of my school days.
None of my notes or textbooks had a page that I didn't doodle on.
I even got in trouble for making fun of a teacher or two in my textbooks!

I'm not fond of his new name, but I still watch Man of Water's surf videos.

No one else's videos really capture the feeling of the local beach.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Days go by.

Mom has been pretty stable, but so sad lately.

She can barely move or talk, but she is well aware of what's going on.

The insurance is stalling her treatment of radiation, which I am grateful for.
But it is also stalling other things, too.

My sister is coming to visit next Tuesday...

Nobody has much energy to do anything these days

Last week, I made a few wimpy stretch bracelets.

I spread some paint in my altered book:

On Sunday, the water pump on the red car finally gave out.
It had been making noise, but I never made time to get it fixed.

I got up super early this morning to ride the tow truck with the red car to Don's shop.

There is always a million great things to see at Don's shop...

It was not a hard thing to fix, because on this year's model, the water pump isn't attached to many other parts.
However, the water pump was probably the original 25-year-old one, and the gasket had become part of the block.

Don really had to work hard to scrape the old gasket off.

So far no leaks! Yay, Don.

I peeked in at my green car at the painter's.
It was in the corner, still only in primer.

"I'm going to have it done by Tuesday," Roberto said.
I love this guy!

At the same time as my water pump was self destructing on Sunday, unbeknownst to me, a young man was killed practically on the doorstep of the church property.

It happened during the last Palm Sunday service, and a lot of people were traumatized by the carnage.

I walk past the memorial every day.

Friday, April 7, 2017

I didn't think I could have another worse day, ever.

Mom is hanging in there, but the insurance is just being a pill.

It was the worst day ever.
She had appointments all day,
and after waiting and waiting, they just referred her elsewhere.

Well, was not as bad as spending 36 hours in the E.R.


Mom is so tired...
It was all I could do to make her comfortable and eat a few spoonfuls of food.

I didn't work in my garden all week.
I didn't paint.
(I even put it "paint or make jewelry" on my phone's to-do list.)

After my long "day off," I drove around.
I acted as stupid as the little 305 in the red car would let me.

The Long Beach Grand Prix is this weekend, already!

Thank goodness the "race" motor is in the green car in limbo land!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring cleaning

I had Sunday off.
Mom has been doing OK.
She is very sad, because she hasn't lost her memory, just a lot of ability.
She is doing pretty well this week, though.
She can eat better and move her left side better now.

This weekend, I answered an email I got two weeks ago.
Some one from the car club wanted to know if I still had parts for sale.
I had kept the doors, seats, rear lights, and a bunch of other parts from the old green car.

Most of the stuff I wanted to keep is already in the new green car at the painter.

Luckily this guy was able to come on Sunday.

I sold the doors, and gave away some parts that were just gathering dust.
It felt good to get rid of stuff I didn't need.

I didn't take any pictures but I made some art, related to a dream I had the night before.

I dreamed I was at the beach and somebody had just jumped off the pier.
I was not concerned about the people running and yelling.

I went into a busy pub and got into line to order food.
At the same time I was painting a miniature version of car doors in my hands.

The time to order food ended and the cook left.
I didn't get any food and my hands were painted green.

I used some of the money from selling parts to buy new plants for my yard.

I fixed up this part of the yard near an ugly fence:

I didn't like all the mis-matched pots, so I planted some of the plants into the ground.

I got rid of scraggly plants, and bought new flowering plants.

I found enough random bricks around the yard to almost make a wall!

I went to a Lowe's instead of Home Depot.
It was hard to choose from all the plants they had, some that I'd never seen before.

This one is called a Mallow bush and it looks like a purple hibiscus:

It was a nice day.
I spent almost the whole day outside.

I wish Mom could come outside and see the garden, but she didn't want to be moved.