Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Longevity, BM'S & More Calaca Love

Well, hello, fellow bloggers.  It's been a while but I just don't know where the time went.  I don't intend on finishing this blog today since I have many miles to go before I lay my weary head, but I'm going to start it today and see where I finally complete this mission.  First, where in the hell did the summer go to??  I mean, it's still a bit warm here in ol' far West Texas, but it looks like the hellish temps have taken their adieu for now and it's actually a bit milder, in the lower 90's-upper 80's...hey, around here, that's mild.  I was looking at the temps in Chicago, where my stepdaughter and grandson live and today, it's hitting a mere 56...that's what we call "winter" out here!!

I'll explain a bit where I've been lately, other than not being online.  My mother turned 90 Sept. 12th and two weeks later, she ended up at hospital.  Actually, she's been feeling a bit under-the-weather since last year, but it all came crumbling down last month.  The first tell-tale sign, was her inability to get her balance.  Sometimes, she'd just fall forward, no tripping, or slipping, just a forward fall.  In a matter of 3 weeks, beginning the week before her birthday, she went from using a cane on rare occasions, to using it constantly, and within a couple of days, from the cane to a walker, the next day, a wheel chair.  The day after the wheel chair shock, she called me and told me she was dying.  It's times like these you wish you could find a worm hole and be there in a matter of seconds.  I ended up calling the ambulance and she was rushed to a local hospital. While there, she was in a lot of pain and discomfort complaining of spasms and pain in her legs, problems breathing and complete lethargy...with no oxygen going through the ol' system and brain.  She had 3 docs attending her, 2 of which were specialists, a cardiologist and a nephrologist.   Fluid had been found in both her lungs and heart and her kidney's were also compromised.  The feelings were that her anti-anxiety medication, which she has been on since '95, was causing a sodium deficiency.  After loading her up with fluids to replace her sodium, the cardiologist said to remove them due to the build up and has limited her to 6 cups of fluid per day plus, oxygen round the clock.   She was there for three days and was released to my care.  I brought her to my home and there, her recovery began.  She's now back at her own house with my sister newly moved in to care for her.  Please keep them in your prayers and as she told me the other day, "I just ask God to allow me to live a bit longer so I can enjoy my beautiful remodeled house!"  That's my mom!!! LOL

You're probably wondering what's with the BM topic on my subject line??  Well, one thing you don't know about my mom and her family, is that they are very conscientious about their "daily" bowl movements.   Many years ago when I was dating my now ex-husband, he came over to meet some of my family members, maternal grandparents, aunt, uncle and their cousin.  Thankfully, he wasn't able to follow the conversation since everyone was speaking in Spanish, but it then shifted to English when my aunt made a comment about being rude to my boyfriend and she understood that, since her husband was from Ohio.  Anyway, they started all over again and the poor ex just didn't know what to make of it. He sat there quietly and after we said our good-byes and left for a bite to eat, we got into the car, he started the engine and said, "I've never known a more shit-conscious family in my life" and began to laugh, told him, "Welcome to my life!"

So while my mother was in the hospital, in all her pain and discomfort, "poop"  was on the brain in her world!  Even though she slept through most of her stay, she kept a mental record of how many times or rather, the lack of it.  Once here at my house, fully conscious, the "poop" anxiety was at full throttle.  I know that I'm at a certain age where I personally don't give a "poop" about what people think of me, because when I went to Walgreens, mom's dictated list in hand, I asked the young man who was in the healthcare products section where I could find Fleet enemas and adult diapers in front of a long line of folks waiting to get their flu shots.  I noticed a few jaws hit the ground and some "yucky" faces in the crowd, but as a good friend once said, "Here's 50 cents, go call someone who gives a sh-t!" I didn't even blink when I asked for directions.  So I filled my basket with an econo-size box of Depends, Fleet enemas, baby wipes, a rather large bottle of prune juice and a bag of pistachios for me!!!  If the the vast majority of Texans had their way, we would have voted for liquor to be sold in drug stores, but the good ol' boys in the Texas legislator won't hear of it, but if they did , I would have picked a large bottle of vodka instead, but pistachios would do.  So off I went back to my house, holding said items in bags and handed them to her; you could have sworn it was Christmas morning!!!!!!!  She then eyed my pistachios....nuts are good for constipation apparently! I'll finish the story here since I doubt any of you are interested in the end result.  I can feel eyes rolling right about now!

So on to "longevity," what's the big deal??  It runs on both sides of my family, regardless of serious health issues, people don't die young, and that's a good thing.  I watched the decline of my wonderful maternal grandparents, my grandfather's leg pains due to circulatory problems, among many others and my grandmother's beautiful mind destroyed by numerous strokes.  My oldest son, Joel, has only one memory of her, we had gone to visit my mother, where she was caring for my grandmother while my aunt and uncle were on a well-deserved cruise.  My grandmother was sitting across from three year old Joel and  14 month old Andria, and was being fed  watered down oatmeal by the lady who cared for her.  She was oblivious to anyone in the room and began choking on her food.  It was quite a scene...all of us were scrambling to get her breathing again, but my children sat there, eyes wide open as they watched the very scary site play out.  Joel's only memory is that one.  I told him that when he was 3 weeks old, I took him over to meet his great-grandmother and she held him, kissed him on the head and called him, "Mi capitansito, " or my little captain.  She had already lost her sight from several mini-strokes, but she managed to maintain that sparkle in her eye. She had this wonderful wit and humour about her and I've been told by my mother and my beautiful late aunt, I reminded them of her, that's a compliment, a huge one!

I am reminded of the day I had to cross town   to my aunt's house because my grandmother refused to take her medications.  She kept accusing my aunt and uncle that they were poisoning her.  My mother went over and tried to remedy the situation, but she also accused my mom of the same thing.  She then asked her who she trusted and her reply was, "Mi Toti!"  So off I went and arrived seeing my grandmother quietly sitting on the edge of her bed.  I was able to give administer her meds without incident and she then asked me to take her to the bathroom, which was right off her bedroom.  She instructed me to put on her coat, which somewhat confused me, but did so and wrapped a red rebozo (shawl) that was on a chair and carefully guided her to the bathroom which was just a few steps from her room.  She asked me to do the strangest thing, she asked me to take the old broom stick that was hanging on the wall and check for snakes or spiders that might be hiding in the toilet.  First of all, there was no broom stick on the wall and I knew darn well there were no snakes or spiders hiding inside the toilet.  It suddenly occurred to me, she was back in Pitiquito, her childhood home in Sonora, Mexico, and I was taking her to the outhouse!  I took the opposite end of the plunger that was behind the toilet and pretended that I was checking for varmints and that seemed to satisfy her fears!  My grandmother passed away quietly in her sleep in February of 1980, she was 93 years old.   Her wake was a celebration of her life and for the exception of an aunt who had not been very kind to her, all of us thanked the good Lord that she was now with my wonderful grandfather and other members of her rather colourful family.

Now my other grandmother, who I wasn't particularly close to because she just wasn't a very warm, nurturing, loving or kind person, but that's another story, lived to be 101.  About a week before she died, I went to visit her in the hospital and she said, she wanted a sandwich, to which I asked her what kind, she told me to make some suggestion.  I went down the line till we stopped at cheese.  I called the nurse in, asked her if she could call the kitchen and have them bring her a cheese sandwich. The nurse said she was on a restricted diet and that wasn't on the menu.  Really lady, come on, she's 101!!!!  So I went to my parents house, fixed her a cheese sandwich, brought it back to her where she ate every crumb.  She passed a week later; I've always wondered if I was responsible for that!!!

Of my mother's family, there's only three left, her brother and her first cousin.  My poor uncle, who's 92, is in some horrid parallel world and has no idea who anyone is and has to be fed through a tube in his stomach.  I spoke with my cousin the other day and she was telling me stories about how she's been handling all this, and we both laughed till we cried.  I told her she needed to write a book about her experiences since she also cared for her mother before she died.  I told her there is a very special place in heaven for people like her.  My mother and her cousin are still lucid, but her cousin is about 8 years younger, or more, don't really know.  Like I said, longevity rules in my family, but at what cost.  I watched my father, aunts, and uncles suffer well into their 80's and 90's.  So what does that mean for my generation, perhaps we'll be the record breakers.  It tore me up to see my mother in so much pain and worse yet, all that confusion.  She's always had a sharp mind, but age is robbing her of it, except her memories of her life with dad and we children.  She's always repeating the same stories to me as if they were being said for the first time...I just sit and listen to them again and again.  I watched her during her recent visit at the hospital and I began thinking, "I don't want to do this, I don't want to live like this."  So in conversation with my daughter, I stated that longevity is over-rated, she then said, "Don't worry mom, I'll make sure I get you a really good nurse!"  I then told her not to waste her money, hire a hit man for cheap, she then said she wanted that in writing; I told her not only would I put it in writing, but I'll have it notarized!!!  LOL  This is how we deal with sadness, we laugh about it.

Now on to "art."  Well, I haven't been doing lots of that lately for obvious reasons, but I was able to complete some of my calaca masks which I began earlier in the summer.  I'm so put out with Michaels since they only sell so many of the calaca paper mache masks and when that shipment is done, they make no effort to order more.  Come on Michael's, you must consider regions when it comes to your stores... we have the perfect demographics for this sort of product and we need more paper mache skeleton masks. One size doesn't fit all!!!  Last year one of my blog buddies was working in Atlanta, GA at the time and they didn't seem to be very popular where he was at, so he sent me a box full of them and for that, thank you, Judah...couldn't have made them this year if not for you.  I guess I'll just have to jump on the Michael's truck as it arrives at my local store to get a chance to buy more next year.

This also will fulfill my "Calaca Love," display.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm participating in Rebecca's Calaca Love, a calaca per day for the month of Oct.  Please go on over to her blog, link is in this past Sunday's post, and check her out.  She's a fabulous artist and one hell of a writer.  Better yet, follow her and get involved with all the wonderful offerings she has...it's fun and a great way to meet other like-minds.

The only venue I have for any thing I post is through me.  I haven't updated my Etsy page in over a year and I will eventually, but for now, if anyone is interested in any of these "beauties," let me know...send me an email at http://barrobabe54@yahoo.com.  Well, I think it's time I take it down the road and get going on some more fun stuff.  My daughter asked me to make a pretty pink mask to hang over my granddaughter's crib.  Hmm, wonder how many years of therapy that's going to cost them!!  LOL  I'm also sending another one to my grandson in Chicago...he loves "Meema's bones," as he calls my skelly art. He's four years old, going on 4000, hence, why I call him the "4000 Year Old Midget!"  Have a great week and I shall be posting more calacas as October passes on by.  Peace out.


Linda Wildenstein said...

Your family is a constant venue for laughter and head shaking. And your telling of their misadventures ain't bad either. So glad your Mom is doing better and also glad your Sis is there to help with Mom.
Love your calacas, always such a happy art fest.
xoxo La Otra Vieja Loca

rebecca said...

oh my goodness...what an epic post! long lived would be a perfect description, just like your colourful family! loved every word as i felt i was right there beside you listening intently. love love love your calacas; wonderful and inspired as are you dear friend!!!

Yve said...

You do make me laugh with your epic poo flavoured posts Georgina, never a dull moment ;o)

Lisa DiNunzio said...

Love, love, LOVE these masks! And all the other Calaca Love on your blog! And you are such an entertaining writer...thanks for the laughs :D♥