I am sitting in Starbucks writing this post trying to make good on a promise that I made to myself over two weeks ago. In short, I know that I need to exercise and walking is my preferred form. I know that I want to write more, but I find that I am too distracted at home. So, I want to try to combine the two into one (hopefully) manageable routine. There is a Starbucks exactly 1.1 miles from my home. My plan is to walk there – have a cup of coffee and do some writing or brainstorming or journaling – and then walk the 1.1 miles home. In addition, I thought during this Lenten season I would use this time to listen to praise and worship music, rather than my usual Coldplay. My drive for efficiency is in high gear – can you tell?!
On Wednesday the temperature was in the high 60s and I thought it would be a good day to start this new routine. I set out on my first walk – but the traffic was bad and waiting for the crosswalk seemed to take forever, so I went a different route. On Thursday the temperature had risen to nearly 80 degrees; I felt adventurous and went a totally different direction. Yesterday was too busy to take a walk (or at least that is what I told myself). Today is the first day that I actually took the walk with the expressed destination. the temperature was far from ideal, however: 40 degrees with a wind of at least 20 mile per hour. I was fighting it the whole way. But I was determined.
So here I am, sitting with my skinny cinnamon dolce latte, writing a blog post about my spring break – such as it was. I will warn you in advance – this is nothing but a bunch of rambling thoughts and probably not of much interest to anyone.
On Monday I went to a quilt store with a friend. Since I had done so well with my Bitty Baby quilt, I thought I might like to try something bigger. And I did. I am now in the midst of trying to quilt a 50×50 throw for the baby to lay on. I have cut out all the fabric (a little scary – and time consuming) and have actually pieced 4 of the 25 blocks. I am rolling along – ha! I am doing the piecing by hand – mostly because I am afraid of the sewing machine, but also because hand piecing is portable and I can take it with me anywhere. I do plan to put the entire quilt together on my mother’s machine, but that is probably a few months (years….) away.
And speaking of Mom….while in the quilt shop I received a phone call from the hospice nurse. She relayed Mom’s vital signs and said a number of other disconcerting things. Finally I asked her if “eminent” would be an appropriate word. She said that it would be a very good word to use. Ok – so my plan goes into motion. I email all pertinent parties, and I go to visit Mom for what I think might be the last time.
On Tuesday I visited her again for what I thought would be the last time. On Wednesday the hospice nurse said that she must be holding on for some reason – for some unfinished business. Could I ask everyone to call Mom and say their final good-bye. So on Wednesday night another email is sent.
On Wednesday night I wrote Mom a 3 page letter because….well….I tend to say things better in writing than I do in person. On Thursday I read Mom the letter. By Thursday afternoon all pertinent parties had called and spoken with her one last time.
On Friday I visited Mom and the hospice nurse came to check her out. She told me that any breath could be her last. I stayed and read Mom scripture after scripture. Finally I said good-bye – thinking that it was for the last time. I waited on pins and needles all night for the phone to ring.
And now I sit here in Starbucks preparing to go see Mom again “for the last time” – but fully expecting to see her tomorrow as well. I am mentally and physically exhausted and I must be prepared to teach the hardest two months of the year starting Monday. Spring break was anything but rejuvenating. My new mantra has now become: May 23 — May 23 — May 23. By that date I will lose a mother – become a grandmother – have my youngest graduate high school – and then I can collapse!
On another note….I had my first art class this week! I have been attracted to mixed media art for quite sometime and a friend of mine has offered to help me learn how to express myself in a new way. We met for about two hours on Monday night – talking a lot and instructing a little. She has an idea for me to try to do a series of four paintings: Molly the daughter – Molly the mother – Molly the grandmother – and Molly the person. My “portfolio” will be a 12×12 scrapbook – which I will fill with 12×12 trimmed Artist paper. This will allow me to create a fairly large project that can be shown to others, or kept private (somehow canvas paintings on a wall are far too public for me). I have already found the pad of paper – I plan to use a Michael’s coupon this week to find the scrapbook – and I have started collecting memorabilia, photographs, and iconography to use for each of the paintings. I probably can’t start the actual projects until after the magic May 23 date — but I can collect, brainstorm, and reflect a lot between now and then.
I hope that in this season of spring breaks you are all experiencing warmer weather, budding flowers, and renewal of spirits.