Key To My Heart – DP#105

Keys

 

The nut doesn’t fall from the tree.

When my mom passed away a little over a year ago I was responsible for distributing and disposing of her belongings. It was an overwhelming task. Not only were emotions running at an all time high… but she had so much stuff squirreled away in that house it made the show Hoarders look amateurish.

The large pieces were easy to deal with. Someone either wanted it, or not. It either went with their decorating style… or was so off the mark it wasn’t even considered. It was the ‘little’ things that tripped me up. Like the keys above.

They are not your garden variety Kwikset keys anyone can purchase at your local hardware store. These are the old-fashioned heavy metal keys, engraved with numbers, flowers and designs… in addition to skeleton keys.

I can envision my mom finding a key and adding it to one of the two rings… appreciating the feel, the weight, the engraving, and the sound they make clinking against each other. These keys represent YEARS of mom stumbling upon a treasure and putting it away for safe keeping… laying in wait for ME to discover them on my own.

Most crafters today are making necklaces out of these keys. They are awesome!! Instead, I have a special project in mind. Once their years of oil, grease, and grime are polished off… I intend to dangle them from chains, enhanced with crystals, forming a curtain to hang in the small stairwell window.

I haven’t quite figured out how to execute this incredible idea… but I am certain trips to Michaels Arts and Crafts and Home Depot are in my future.

I will post pictures when finished!!!

Love Letters…

We all have our stories to tell, don’t we?

On a whim, I stopped in Ocean Grove Pet Boutique to see if an old friend from my childhood was working that day. Happily she was! After the shock of me walking in unexpectedly sunk in, and hugging , it only took an hour to catch each other up on the past 40 years. Marriages, deaths, children, dogs, cats, siblings, schooling… you name it, we covered it all. We talked fast!

Cindy and I had been friends all throughout high school. Actually, I was on a double date with her, her soon-to-be first husband, and a friend of his who was enlisted in the Army… when it was the very first time I lied to my mom… and I got caught! I knew my mom wouldn’t care for the guy… as he was too old for me, so I led her to believe I was going out with my EX boyfriend Kevin. Mom didn’t know we had just broken up, so when I left the house she assumed that is who I was with, and I didn’t set her straight. So see? I didn’t actually lie… right?

Any way… I didn’t make it home by the time I said I would and mom got worried. Remember, there weren’t cell phones back then and to be honest I lost track of the time. When I arrived home… finally… my mother glared at me and announced I needed to call the Ocean Township Police Chief. ACK!!! She described Kevin’s car, an aqua Ford convertible with a white top (although it was really black) and had the police looking for him. YIKES!

My conversation with the Police Chief was brief, and humiliating. He made me promise if I were ever to be late again and couldn’t contact home, I was to contact the police and inform them of my whereabouts so they in turn could contact my mom. Yeah, right… like I was really going to do that. However, I yes’d him to death, died of mortification and hung up the phone; my mother still glaring at me. The lesson I learned that day? Never lie to my mom… pay back’s a bitch! I never went out with the guy again either… he was way too old for me… and he wore too much cologne… or was that booze?

In our conversation today Cindy mentioned she had been married 3 ½ times. Half? I wondered how she got the half… and wanted to ask, but didn’t want to interrupt. Eventually it all came out. She was in love, and engaged when he suddenly passed away of a heart attack. Tears sprang to my eyes and goosebumps ran like ants at a picnic up and down my arms as Cindy looked me square in the face and said, “He was the first guy I ever kissed where my knees buckled.”

I know that feeling. I’ve had that kind of kiss. Not only did my knees buckle, but the first time he innocently grabbed my hand (in a parking lot on the way to dinner… at 7:30PM on a Thursday night many years ago) electric shocks went flying through me like a fourth of July Grand Finale… gee, not that I remember the fine details or anything 🙂 Truth be told, a moment like that is never forgotten. They don’t come around that often.

Cindy’s comment stuck with me the rest of the day. It was still in the back of my head when I began to sort through some of my mom’s papers. While cleaning out her house to put it up for sale, I stumbled over a large, heavy suitcase filled with old letters. Many of which turned out to be ‘love letters’ from different suitors.

Men were ga-ga over my mom back in the day, but the only way to communicate was through the lost art of letter writing. As I read a few my heart pounded. I realized I knew most of these men. My dad passed away when I six years old and I remember some of the men my mom dated. One letter in particular caught my heart. It was from an old neighbor of hers,Tom. As a matter of fact mom told me the story of going to the doctor for fear she was pregnant because Tom kissed her on her front steps (Yeah… that was the extent of my sex education lesson from mom; You can’t get pregnant with just a kiss). I wonder if her knees buckled? Tom left for college, mom moved away, and each married other people. You would think that was the end of the story… but no.

Tom was in and out of our lives. He worked for an ice cream company and always arrived with a gigantic box filled with ice cream treats and dry ice! We were the cool kids (get it? Cool? Dry Ice?) on the block as we pulled our wagon around the neighborhood leaving a white, foggy trail of dry ice gas behind us. Oh yes… and don’t forget the freezer of ice cream! I’m sure we were the only kids EVER to be allowed to eat ice cream for breakfast.

Today I ever so carefully unfolded a brittle and torn sheet of legal size typing paper written in small cursive letters. It reads:

Dear Grace,

It’s been many a moon since I last wrote you a letter. The last serious letter writing spree between you and I was about 18 years ago. As you can see by the start of this letter my technique has not improved much in the love letter writing field. They just didn’t teach me to write love letters in college. I would like to write you a great masterpiece telling of my love for you. The urge is there and I know what I’d like to say, but the words never come out on paper the way I want them to. To sum up my great masterpiece, (that I know I won’t write) in a few words, I miss you, I love you with all my heart, and wish we could be together forever. I’m surprised I got that much out.

The letter continues on with sweet words of how he feels when he is around her… and how he wished he could ‘sweep down on my white charger and carry you off to a faraway castle and we’d live happy ever after.’

He ends with… ‘I’ve loved you since the first day I saw you getting on the bus, and I’ll continue loving you the rest of my life.’

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Sniff! Where did that damn tissue box go?

The top right corner of the page is torn off. I can read it was written in November… but the year is gone. I would love to know when he actually wrote it. The condition of the paper suggests mom read it many times.

Tom was married, not happily from what I remember and had children. It was not an ideal situation, but he stayed with his family and supported them as best he could. Many, many years later life became too much for him and he committed suicide. I knew my mom was upset, as any close friend would be… however I never really knew how much they meant to each other, until now. My heart aches.

So… have you all learned a lesson from this???? If you love someone… LET THEM KNOW!!

I, for one, don’t have the courage to write a letter like that. I take that back… I could write it, I just wouldn’t have the nerve to actually mail it. Funny, I have no problem writing about my life and plastering it on Facebook and my blog… and even my book. But to tell the guy who makes my knees buckle how I feel? Never! Besides… it’s too late.

Ginger Cookies…

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When my dad was a young man his PASSION was sailing. An athletic man, he loved all sports and felt ‘at home’ near water. During the summer he would hang out at the Jersey Shore on weekends with his buddies… Belmar Beach. He was the traditional ‘ladies man’. Tall, blonde, blue eyes, and B-U-I-L-T! Outgoing and gregarious he always had a group of friends around him… and a lot of laughing girls hanging on him.

My mom’s family had a summer home in Belmar and she too spent many hours basking in the sun at the same beach. She and her friends would spread their towels on the sand and slather themselves with baby oil… never stepping one foot in the ocean. Oh no, they weren’t there to swim… they were there to be seen.

Dad, strutting down the beach  one day spotted this bevy of beauties. “Wowza”, (Mom was a real ‘looker’)! A conversation started, dating followed closely behind, a year later they were married on that very same beach… and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now married and children following soon… they join Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, NJ. Dad helped run the club, raced boats on the weekends, updated and repaired the building… while mom and her friends set up the Women’s Auxillary.

What does all of this have to do with Ginger Cookies at Christmas? Monmouth Boat Club is where they met another couple, Mary and Sandy Huntsman. This Ginger Cookie recipe comes from Mary. As a matter of fact she is FAMOUS for these cookies. My mom would make them every Christmas. She would make it a week long project by baking just a few cookies each day. I would visit and eat a whole day’s worth when she would be trying to bake enough to send off to my brother… hee, hee. Only special friends got these cookies.

Now that she is gone I will continue the tradition. I hope when I no longer roam the earth, one of my daughters will take the reins and bake them.

My own children have never had these cookies, a travesty I will certainly rectify beginning this year.

Without further adieu… I give you…

Mary’s Great Ginger Cookies

¾ cups butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ c molasses

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour

 

Cream butter and sugar until blended. Beat in egg and molasses. Stir flour and remaining ingredients until well mixed.

Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours (or overnight).

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Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper

Roll chilled dough into ¾” balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat, place on prepared cookie sheets.

Flatten slightly using the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar to prevent sticking. Cookies should measure about 1 ½” across and ¼” high.

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Bake at 350 for 14 minutes.

Let rest 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

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Tip: Keep dough refrigerated when not in use.

I also make sure the cookie sheets are cool before making the next batch.. so the cookies don’t spread too much.

If you prefer a chewier cookie, roll 1” balls, and bake for 10 minutes.

These are good sturdy cookies that hold up well to shipping.

The dough lasts for a long time in the refrigerator making these cookies perfect for do-ahead baking. Plus it freezes well.

 

I hope you enjoy them!!

Pennies From Heaven…

Of all the things on my mile long ‘to do’ list today, I only accomplished one… rolling pennies. My time management skills seem to be a bit rusty.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… keep those pennies rollin’.

For the past 10 years or so I remember my mom explaining she saves pennies all throughout the year and in October rolls them up and takes them to the bank. This would become her Christmas shopping budget.

My mom’s bank requires all large amounts of change to be wrapped, with your account number written on the outside. Really??? Did the bank have any idea how many pennies my mom accumulated?

The past 3 years I laughed at her and took her pennies every few months… unwrapped… to my bank and threw them in the counting machine. If you guess the correct amount you win a prize. Once I won an emery board… woo hoo! I am no longer a member of that particular bank and the pennies are considered part of the estate assets… so I rolled pennies. All 14,100 of them!!! Yes… $141.00! 282 rolls!!!!!! Where in the world did she get them all?

I was flabbergasted! Granted I hauled home buckets, baskets, vases, and old purses filled with pennies, but never in 100 years would I have guessed there was THAT many and that it would take me an entire day to roll them. YIKES!

My husband was obsessed with pennies too. Every day as he walked around our town he would return with a handful of pennies. Heads up, heads down, it didn’t matter to him, he picked them up and put them in his pocket. Have you ever heard the saying… “Find a penny, pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck”?

One Saturday after his walk he asked me to join him for a quick errand. We hopped in the car. He drove south a few miles, turned left off the highway, pulled over to the side of the road, and stopped. I looked at him quizzically.

“Open the door”, he instructed. I opened it.

“Look down”.  I looked down.

“What do you see?” I leaned down further (almost falling out of the car).

There, embedded under a thick layer of ice in the ditch… was a penny!

He walked pass that penny for days until the ice melted and he could finally pick it up. Crazy man!

My husband also saved his change from purchasing cigarettes. Every evening he would empty his pockets into a jar on top of his dresser. On the last day of school… usually a half-day… he would dump the change out and let the kids count it and wrap it. Divided equally among them it became their spending money for the summer. It amounted as high as $83 a child one year. That could certainly buy a lot of ice cream.

While packing to move to my new house I came across a canvas bag in the bottom of my clothes closet. SCORE! I had completely forgotten about this bag!!! It was filled with Bicentennial Quarters and Kennedy Half Dollars. I hand carried that bag to my new home, clutching it to my chest, thrilled to realize I had an emergency fund.

I was living on a shoestring at that time of my life. Food was considered a luxury I could ill afford. If it wasn’t for a friend feeding me and sending home ‘leftovers’ for my daughter and me I don’t know how we would have survived.

There were a few times I was happier than a pyromaniac with a box of matches that I had that change. It paid for gas, tolls and parking one day when I had an appointment with my lawyers in Philadelphia and didn’t have a penny in my wallet. I looked a little silly driving around with my piggy bank in the front seat next to me… but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Besides, it’s legal tender… at least that is what I reminded the garage attendant as I paid the $12 parking fee in quarters… with a smile on my face while batting my eyelashes.

It also came in handy when my friend could no longer supply meals for us and my refrigerator and cupboards were filled with cobwebs and dust (as was my wallet), instead of food. I didn’t realize how much I depended on their generosity until it was gone. We lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a few weeks until I was able to ‘re-group’. My stomach clenches in knots as I remember this. It is not one of my fondest memories. I guess if I didn’t have my emergency fund I could have gone to the local food bank… I just never thought about that as an option.

I have family in the area also… and I knew they would never let me starve. All I had to do was ask. That never occurred to me either. I can be an independent cuss sometimes. As long as I had my bag of magic money I could breathe. Thinking I might need a portion of those funds to pay my electric or gas bill, I spent it miserly on food. Smart move on my part, as I had to repair my hot water heater after Hurricane Irene. Thank you magic money!

Today as I was rolling and wrapping mom’s pennies my bored brain reminisced about the position I was in a year and a half ago, and thanked my lucky stars I am in a much better financial situation now. It’s time to say good bye to my canvas bag and roll and wrap my emergency fund to deposit it into my bank account.

Emergency Fund ready to rock and ROLL!

I bet you are wondering why I just didn’t deposit the coins into a savings account and earn interest in the first place… right? You will have to read my book to learn why. There is a method to my madness. Muahahahahah…

Every time I am walking, whether it be around town, or just in a parking lot I look down and spot coins… mostly pennies… and pick them up. For a few weeks I was finding quarters. I look up to the sky and thank my husband and mom for sending down those pennies from heaven… but suggest sending me dollars would be more helpful.

I am reminded of a saying a very wealthy woman repeated to me when I was a young girl… “If you keep an eye on your pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves”.

 

Getting to know you…

Do you remember the song with the words… ‘Getting to know you, getting to know all about you’? As I clean out my mom’s house that tune constantly runs through my head. You don’t really know a person until you rummage through all of their personal belongings… no matter who they are.

First, let me start by saying only a daughter (or other female) should clean out another woman’s dresser. Especially the underwear drawer! For heavens sakes… how many bras does one person need? Being a product of the depression era, my mom saved everything that ever came in the door… and I do mean everything. I didn’t count them, but I promise you I must have pulled out close to 100 bras from 3 dresser drawers! Coming from a woman who told me to… and I quote… “Just go without one” when my bra strap kept peeking out of my formal gown. ACK! MOTHER! I was sooooo embarrassed at the thought! Currently I only own 5 bras… How about you?

I understand the mentality of the older generation’s obsession with saving things… because you never know when you might need it again. Zip lock baggies get rinsed and reused, plastic food containers topple out of every cabinet, canned goods not only in the kitchen, but hall closet and basement as well. Enough paper gift bags folded inside each other to last three lifetimes, gift wrap tubes stand at attention in a tall box in a closet. Ribbon from every present ever given is rolled up and stored to be used again… even the gift tags from years of Christmas gifts. I get it. A single woman living in a three bedroom ranch with an unfinished attic and basement which runs the length of the house has plenty of space to hoard things… but hundreds of empty tubes of Fix-O-Dent? Really? I am stumped to think of a reason to save those.

The empty tubes are every where! I have found Zip Lock bags in dresser drawers with about 10 tubes neatly tucked inside each bag. A bedside table held a few dozen more… along with her desk drawers. In the living room she squirreled them away in the end tables, and in the dining room I found them in the china cabinet. I have nightmares of being smothered by empty Fix-O-Dent tubes… (just kidding). My mind is running wild trying to figure out what she was thinking.

Mom was persnickety about her dentures. When ever she was hospitalized, needed surgery, or had an exploratory procedure I was in charge of her dentures. My marching orders were to hold on to them in a special bag, and make sure I was the very first visitor in the recovery room to see her so she could put her dentures in as soon as humanly possible. She felt naked and exposed without them. One time, after a simple exploratory procedure the recovery nurse wouldn’t permit mom to have them until she passed a few tests. “Wiggle your right foot”, the nurse instructed. Mom wiggled her right foot. The assessment continued. Mom wasn’t happy. The nurse finally instructed her to raise her left hand. Mom did as she was asked… but with her middle finger extended! The nurse then allowed her to have her dentures.

So… Knowing how important her dentures were to her, I can understand how running out of ‘tooth glue’, as she affectionately called the pink stuff in the tube, would be upsetting. I guess she thought she could always cut the tubes open and scrape out what she could until she had enough; but HUNDREDS of tubes? Huh? Knowing my mom the way I did, I really think she just couldn’t figure out if she should throw them out in the trash can, or recycle bin… so she kept them instead… for me to deal with. I trashed them.

I am sure you have heard the saying… ‘Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes’. My new saying on the same order is, ‘You don’t really know a person until you’ve cleaned out their dresser drawers’. So… What’s lurking in your drawers that others might find strange? If the answer is NOTHING… Perhaps you should throw a little spice into someone’s life and hide some off the wall item. You will certainly get the last laugh!

My mom…

After a spirited effort to fight lung cancer, my mom passed away silently last night in her sleep. Her frail body and weak heart just Did not have the strength to go on.

As I arrived at her home this morning for our daily ride to radiation treatment the lawn guys were mowing, weed whacking, and blowing away the clippings, just as they do every Thursday, unaware what awaited me inside. The first door was still locked, however I was not concerned. The second door to the kitchen was locked also, unusual I noted and started to become concerned. The TV in the kitchen was not on and as I moved through the silent house the hairs on the back of my neck began to stand on edge. My heart began to race as I headed toward her bedroom.

I slowly entered her room, where I found her peacefully asleep. Uh, no. I called her name, no answer. I then shook her leg, no movement. Reality sank in and I realized she was gone.

I am comforted to know she ‘did it her way’. Quietly, silently in her sleep. She never knew what happened. She simply went to sleep, and never woke up. No longer in pain. No longer fearing cancer. No longer worrying about losing her hair. No more medicine. No more chemo. No more vomiting.

Her last day on earth was a good one. After being hydrated she was perky and happy. A friend had left a funny message on her answering machine which made her howl with laughter. She was full of energy and was making a long list of things for me to do today. After eating a turkey sandwich, she took her medicine and went to bed… No doubt thinking of her busy day… then the angels came for her.

As a mom she was awesome teaching me to be an independent woman, creative, and to think ‘outside the box’. She will always be a hand print on my heart guiding me through the rest of my life.

Rest In Peace Mom… I will always love you.

Day 3

Good news, bad news.

According to the doctor, treatments are going well. All the side effects mom has been complaining about have been expected and medicines have been prescribed to help her through these next horrible weeks.

However… Mom has not been eating and/or more importantly drinking and therefore is dropping weight like crazy… And now needs to come in to the office 3 days a week for additional fluids… At 3 plus hours each time. This full time job has now turned into a time and a half position. The alternative is hospitalization… which we vehemently oppose.

A run down of mom’s week (and therefore mine also) is…
Monday, radiation and doctor visit total out of house time is 2 hours.
Tuesday, radiation in the morning; chemo the rest of the day. Total out of house time 9 hours.
Wednesday, radiation in the morning… Then home, unless there are errands to run like food shopping, pharmacy pick up, and more. Total out of house time 5 hours.
Thursday, radiation in the morning, fluid infusion in afternoon. Total out of house time 5 hours.
Friday, radiation in the morning… then home! Yea! I get to do my own food shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning and such!
Saturday… Fluid infusion. Total out of house time 4 hours.
Sunday… Ahhhh. Other than a run to mom’s to clean a little, make sure she has food, and get her newspaper… It’s a day of rest, or FUN!

For those of you not having a clue as to what getting chemo entails, here’s an explanation.

You arrive at the doctor’s office at the appointed time, where you sit in the waiting room for about a half an hour (on a good day). When your name is called you go to have your blood drawn. Next you wait in the smaller waiting area until you are called to have your vitals taken. From there you are ushered to an exam room where you wait some more until the doctor comes in to check on your progress. Just when you think you are in the home stretch… You have to wait to be called into the treatment room.

The treatment room is divided into two sides… The quiet side, where patients usually take a nap while being infused… and the noisy side where there is a TV and patients can talk on their phones and/or others in the room. It’s kind of a ‘party atmosphere’ in this room and mom always chooses it.

Once settled in the treatment room, in a big soft recliner chair, the nurse comes by and starts your drugs via IV. If you need to use the powder room, you need to unplug your pump and take it and the pole with you down the hall. I get to sit in a hard ‘office type’ chair. At this point you have been in the doctor’s for about 2 hours and you are just now being treated.

Drip, drip, drip, you watch the fluid level in the IV bag dwindle. Mom snoozes after eating the picnic lunch I brought along. She wakes for a cookie break… Then dozes again.

Because the fluid being dripped into her arm is at room temperature, she gets chilled. There is a cabinet in the room filled with blankets… Some are hand crocheted, others are fleece. The next cabinet holds games and puzzles for those so inclined. A library cart in the corner of the room holds an assortment of books, and the table in the middle has every magazine you could ever imagine for your reading pleasure. Mom chooses to nap and/or stare into space.

Family members and friends of other patients wander in and out to visit… bringing food, conversation, and gossip. It’s a very social and happy place to be. Slowly this is becoming my home away from home. Although I will be ecstatic when our total of 7 weeks is over.

My dentist is located in the same building. Next week I happen to have a cleaning appointment at the same time mom will be infusing. Speak about multi-tasking! See, you really CAN be in two places at the same time.

Day 2

Day 2 of mom’s chemo treatment was the longest day in history! I know there are only 24 hours in any given day… But geesh… It felt so much longer… And I didn’t do anything.

It started with the daily radiation treatment. Although mom needed additional scans the visit only took an extra 30 minutes. Just enough time to make it to the chemo office. We arrived exactly on time, 12:45… and finally got to leave at 6:15!!!

Why is it when we go to the doctor’s and they ask how things are going the knee jerk response is, “Fine”? All of your complaints and problems escape your short term memory and you become an idiot.

“Uh, mom? Did you want to mention you were in the emergency room a few days ago?” I lead.

The light bulb clicks on in that head of hers and all of a sudden every ailment comes rushing out. Thank heavens! Medicines can be prescribed to help with the nausea and vomiting… and also the lack of energy and no appetite. The hard part of course is getting her to remember to take them. However, the fact her blood pressure is low and she is not drinking enough fluids causes today’s treatment to run over the originally scheduled 3 hours… and turns it into a marathon infusion session. Lucky me!

I only packed a picnic snack for the two of us. Thankfully we got out of there in time for dinner. Mom was relieved to get home in time for her favorite TV show, NCIS… However promptly fell asleep and missed the whole thing.

Count down… 5 more to go.

Day 1

Today was the first day of radiation and chemo for my mom’s lung cancer. It started at 10:45am as I picked her up at the house. First stop… Riverview Medical Center, Jane Booker Cancer Center for radiation. She breezed through that treatment in just 20 minutes. I barely had time to fill my brothers in via phone and hit the ladies room before they wheeled her back to me.

I say ‘wheeled’ because mom has become so weak she needs the use of a wheelchair to go any further than a few feet. It pains me to see how frail she has become. Simply transferring from the car to the wheelchair demands so much of her strength. Having lost over 10 pounds in 4 weeks doesn’t help matters either.

Next stop was Dr. Laughinghouse’s office (yes, you read that correctly… Mom chose him by his name) for her first ever chemo treatment. Time was on our side and since we didn’t want to arrive any earlier than necessary, we took a spin around Marine Park in Red Bank to kill time. The view of the Navesink River soothed our souls and brought a sense of calm to the situation. Our family has spent many happy hours sailing on that river.

Originally we were told mom’s treatment would last 2 1/2 to 3 hours. How wrong was that??? In reality, once the treatment actually got underway… It took 4 hours. I’m not even counting the hour it took to get her blood tested AGAIN and get her set up.

I packed a picnic snack. We were told to pack a lunch, however mom has not been hungry, and therefore in no mood to eat. I decided to bring along some of her favorites. Saga Blue Cheese, stone wheat crackers, red seedless grapes, blueberry yogurt, diet 7-up, and fudge striped cookies for dessert. BINGO! She eagerly ate all that was offered.

As a friend of mine with an ill wife once lamented, “Somedays I am lucky if I put the straw in the glass right.” Well, today I was lucky… It was the perfect thing at the perfect time. I hope I am as lucky next week.

When returned home mom was exhausted and couldn’t wait to climb into bed. I made her promise to eat, take her pills, and drink fluids BEFORE going to sleep… even though she was nervous wondering when the nausea will begin. I then drove to my own home, unlocked the front door at 7:00pm, and didn’t follow my own advice… I plopped into the oversized, squishy, leather chair… and didn’t move for hours. I am tired… down to my very core.