". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories." ~ Emma Lou Thayne

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The HEART of TEXAS

My sister and I went to TEXAS to help my aunt in stage 4 cancer in her lungs and brain for a whole week. I didn't get pix of any of the food we made up and froze for them because she was reluctant to have a camera around, as she wants to be remembered how she was before... I can respect that in spite of my trigger happy clicker... I didn't want to give her any stress, so I kept it in the bag in our room. (I DID get it out when my brother and his family came for a couple shots, though...)  ;D
My bro & family. There's geographically almost the whole continent between us... 
My nephew and niece with me. This was the first time I'd met her!! SO CUTE!!

My aunt is a very SWEET and CARING lady. She has "done it ALL" for her family forever! They will feel her loss TERRIBLY in more ways than just the mourning part. She did the bills, the cooking, the cleaning, etc... NOW they will have to care for her for a time; as well as deal with her diminishing capabilities... She has one grown daughter that is 2 years younger than me and lives about a half hour away from her; who has a husband, 2 children, and does home day care. My uncle is the parts manager for a local RV Dealer and no hope for retirement anytime soon... I pray they will be somewhat flexible with him while he cares for my aunt at this time as needed. She REALLY NEEDS some home care now. She's having a hard time not being able to get up a GO and DO the way she'd like. She was admitted into ICU the day before my sis and I were returning. Any and ALL prayers in their behalf will be GREATLY appreciated!! We REALLY WISH we could be closer to be of more HELP!!

Our MISSION was 2 fold and had nothing to do with seeing ANY of the sites of Houston. (Another time perhaps...) 
  1. See her, VISIT with HER one last time!!! HOW many times do we drop everything and go to a funeral of a loved one... only to think/say, "I WISH I'd known this was coming! I haven't seen ___ in XX years... I would have LOVED to have spent time with  ____ for just a LITTLE BIT!!" WELL, we DID!!! And we CHERISHED EVERY MOMENT being in her SWEET presence!! The last night sitting with her in ICU was bitter-sweet. Knowing that this was likely to be the last time we would be able to sit and visit with her... *sniff* It was good to visit with my cousin again and get to know her family a little. And we saw a softer side of our uncle, who isn't as gruff as he liked to come across when we were young. He has a heart of gold and LOVES his wife dearly.
  2. We wanted to be of help/service any way we COULD while we were there. We didn't want to be a burden in any way. We didn't give them an option and bought all the groceries for while we were there. We got ingredients for different recipes we hoped they'd like. We wanted to make extra of everything to freeze meal size portions to last them a little while. They could just pop them in the microwave, heat, and serve. We saw a couple needs that we just went a got. My cousin was with us on one of the store stops and said our aunt always says she doesn't need anything. We know that's how she is. So we just tried to see the things we observed and could do for her to make things a little easier. Cuz' wanted to help at the checkout and we declined. We told her that we just wanted to do what little we can while we're there and she will have plenty to deal with in the time to come. (((HUGS)))
While we accomplished our MISSION, we were sad to go. KNOWING that they have such a long, hard row to hoe ahead of them... I hope they feel closer, they'll keep us updated and that we weren't too much in the way. So as I had a LOT of anxiety going... we were so busy and had a lovely time! In the end, nobody hates me for my whacko lame brain and ALL IS GOOD!!


I will get the recipe for the Poppy Seed Chicken my sister does (YUMMERS!) and post it on the Tasty Blog.  The recipe for the Convalescent Soup is already there. I called a sweet friend for this recipe while we were down there. This soup was made for me by this friend's mom following surgery when I had gall stones and pancreatitis way back in '99. It has important nutrients, yet is very bland and easy to digest... good for when you can't eat normal but NEED some substance...  ;D  Other things we made were casseroles I've already posted on Tasty... or NOT... and meatloaf.

(((HUGS)))

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