About This Site

Creating a healthy lifestyle should begin with making small changes, like baby steps, in how you live each day. Small changes in how you live each day can lead to amazing rewards.

The articles below are an eclectic collection of topics that interest this author. They are based on personal experiences, research from a variety of books, magazines and internet sites addressing a multitude of topics such as good nutrition, fitness, parenting, grandparenting, the affects of stress, spirtual well-being, grieving and more.

I thank my son for encouraging me to write. Putting my experiences down "on paper" has helped me to organize sometimes chaotic thoughts into something more understandable - at least to me, and give me new direction of self-improvement. Writing can be good therapy.

There is a wealth of information 'out there' and you are also encouraged to read, read, read and find what works best for you!
Afterall, being informed is a great start to living a better healthier life!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Suffering- a Personal Story

Death is inevitable yes, but I do believe the struggle to live, the suffering from pain, fear, disappointments ..  has to be one of the most difficult things to do in life. 

My Dad passed away in ICU one week following surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor.  The surgery left him unable to move or talk, although he tried so hard to do so.  I can only imagine how he must have felt trapped in a body that could hear and understand but not be able to move or communicate.  Daddy was a hard worker - working two jobs for 20 years to take care of his family.

My Mother passed away in my home, under the care of Hospice, from heart valve disease at age 93.  Mother was a strong willed person.  She was also highly capable of taking care of herself, taking care of her own house, her roses and mowing her own yard until age 88.  She remained in her own home however until the last six months of her life.  I helped her with the house cleaning, meals, yard care.  Mother was afraid of dying - although a devout Christian - it was still a vast and dark understanding as to what happens after death.  She was truly miserable before she passed from losing her independence, her fears, severe arthritis, and skin so painfully thin that it could bruise or tear from the slightest movement.  When Mother was afraid, Mother would react with anger.  She often told me that when she got scared, she got mad.  And when Mother was mad, she became unreasonable.  It was not easy caring for my Mother during the last months of her life, before Hospice came.  I will forever wish our last days together could have been easier for both of us - I am my Mother's daughter.

My Husband also passed away in our home from the results of devastating effects of diabetes.   He was confined to bed in a hospital environment for 11 months, had 8 surgeries, eventually being discharged to our home with daily Home Care to attend to the pressure sores on his legs, toes, and coccyx for another 5 months.  During those 16 months he would make progress and then something would happen to set him back.  We often said he would take one baby step and then his body would leap back two giant steps.  He lost weight, strength and eventually the will to continue attempts to improve - he became to tired to fight any longer.  Unlike my Dad and Mother, my husband was cognative, could converse and maintained an amazingly wonderful demeanor until his death even joking with a long-time friend 10 minutes before.  He had a smile and warm greeting for every person who came into his room to provide care, deliver meals, clean his room, or drop in for a visit.  After 16 months his death came suddenly - he said he couldn't breathe and then moments later his heart stopped.  I know his Soul left his body in our home, but his body stopped a few hours later.  Had I known what the EMTs would have done to him, I would have said NO to reviving him.  But when faced with the question ... Do you want us to revive him?  The panic of losing my husband caused my mouth to utter the words YES!   Then the experience in ER was ... awful.  His body, yes I do say his body and not him,  was eventually transferred to ICU and a few hours later removed from artificial life support. 

My Dad left this earth 49 years ago. My Husband and Mother left this earth a few short months ago. They were buried exactly two months apart. I would not change one second of the caring I gave them, no not one. I held high hopes of making them better! But deep in my soul, knew I could not stop the train that takes all of us to the station at the end of the line here on earth.

Yes, if there was one thing I could change in life - in anyones life - is the suffering experienced by loved ones -  days, weeks, months before their passing.  I do feel fortunate to have been with my Mother and Husband when they passed.   I witnessed the suffering leave their faces and be replaced with an expression of such peace as their souls lifted from their disease ridden earthly bodies. 

My Mother's moment of passing was the most remarkable ... she slowly opened her eyes after a week of having them closed.  Her lips moved as though she were whispering .. and she smiled ever so slightly.  I saw a light, a glow of white light appear briefly on her face .. then her eyes slowly closed as her last breaths ebbed away.  I truly believe, with all my heart and soul, that her Mother had arrived to take her hand and take her Home - home to Heaven.   I can imagine that Daddy and her Dad and all of her brothers and sisters (10 of them!) were all there too!  What a family reunion !  I look forward to attending the next one and pray that I am allowed to leave this earth quickly.  I do not want my children to witness suffering.

My Husband was near death in October. In fact, he talked to me about the experience of leaving his body and being escorted to a vast body of water. The Guide took him to the edge and told him to look across to the other side. My Husband said he saw his Dad, Grandparents, a family horse and a host of other people all gathered and smiling at him. The Guide told him he had a choice of crossing over or going back. My Husband chose to go back - because he said he did not want to leave me.   He had several other visions prior to the first two surgeries (2 days apart); an Angel standing on his left, a group of Angels gathered in his room ..a small boy, an Indian with a buffalo bow ... but this is a subject for another story, another time.

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