Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "kristi_beth" journal:
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I feel like I have to write this because I need some closure. As many of you know, my grandfather died last week after losing a 17-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He stopped eating about a week before that, when he “forgot” how to swallow. I had always hoped that his heart would forget how to beat first, but unfortunately the disease tends to take things backward, and a heartbeat forms within a couple weeks of conception, before there is even much for it to do. (Just looked it up, it happens 22 days after conception. That is amazing!) Since his service won’t be for a month or more, I think I need to reflect on him a little now, so I can begin to move on. With the last two, there was a service that week, but that didn’t happen in this case.
I have always felt that as the oldest grandchild, I was the luckiest as well, because I had the most memories of the old Grandpa. The Grandpa who existed before the terrible disease that slowly took him away from us. I remember visiting his house as a child and seeing his garden. He was proud of his garden and showed it off to me and my dad. I remember he grew tomatoes, and had a lemon tree in the yard nearby. He also grew flowers. Even after the disease started to get the better of him, he would cut gardenias from the bush outside and bring them in for Grandma, because they were on of her favorites. She would put them in a special vase that projected the smell throughout the house, and they smelly just lovely. I still remember the grandpa of when I was little. The grandpa of tickles and funny jokes and tricks. He used to wiggle his ears at me and make me laugh. I also remember the grandpa of practicality. When he was helping me with my math worksheets, he taught me to erase more efficiently by erasing in the shape of the number I was erasing. I remember his taking me out to the pool to swim after work, and chasing me around the pool.
One of my most precious memories comes from when I was just 5. It was the summer that they visited, and the memory is all the more precious because it is one of the few I have of my uncle that died that fall. Sometime during the visit, he pulled me aside with my uncle. He gave me a small gift, with a story behind it. It was a small aluminum cross that said “God Loves You” on it. He explained that he was giving them to the oldest child in each family. He said he had one at home. Then my uncle reached in his pocket and pulled out his cross that was identical. Grandpa made me feel so special that day! My priest blessed it, and I started carrying it with me everywhere when I learned to drive. I wish the selfish person who stole my purse in college would have left me that cross, because it was more precious to me than anything else in that purse.
Later on, as the disease took away the things that Grandpa loved, like golfing and gardening, some things remained. The last time I saw him at home, just 5 months before he went into the nursing home, he was making jokes at the dinner table. They were simple jokes, but his sense of humor remained even as so much else was lost. We went for a short walk on that visit, and I was asking him about his early life. I asked him how you milk a cow, and he just curled his hands like we has holding on and started pulling his hands up and down. He clearly hadn’t forgotten the things he’d done as a youngster in Minnesota.
At the same time, he has left his mark on the world. There is a design in the U.S. Patent Office with his idea on it. There are two young women who remember him as a the Grandpa who loved to play with them. We all played the organ that he started learning to play on. He served in the Navy with our other heroes during World War II. His mark may not be huge, but he has left a mark on our world, nonetheless.
We love you and will miss you, Grandpa.
Current Mood: contemplative
Just a little less than a year ago, my family gathered at my home to take my Grandma's remains to Alington National Cemetary. Today we are in a vigil of sorts, waiting for the end to come for her husband. My grandfather stopped swallowing on Wednesday, and as such can neither eat nor drink. Since he is in late stage Altzheimers, there of course is a DRN order in place, and no one really has the heart to postpone the inevitable with a feeding tube anyways. He's not conscious, and not in pain, thanks to hospice, but there is still waiting to do. I expect a phone call tonight. I've learned that grandparents die on Sunday nights. No idea why that is so, it just is. So I have the day off today, and will go to church and pray for mercy for my Grandpa, and spend the afternoon knitting something complicated to distract my brain from the waiting.
If you are the praying type, please keep Raymond in your prayers.
Current Mood: melancholy
Writer's Block: Splurging for My Future|
What's something you would splurge on this year to improve your future?
DIning room set.
New couch and/or loveseat.
Tags: future splurge, intel, intel sponsors of tomorrow, writer's block
Writer's Block: Clock Punching|
I was a newspaper carrier for the Boston Globe. I started when I was nine, and had the job for a little more than 3 years. I held the route continuously for that time, and earned a scholarship that paid about a third of my parents out-of-pocket costs for my first year of college. Not to mention that it gave me spending money to buy things I wanted. Like my first (and only) 10-speed bike, which is in my basement as we speak. I also bought a camera that died, and various things throughout the years. Some of the savings from that paid for my college applications 5 years later. More paid for my first computer. I wrote the check to Gateway. I did almost all the repairs myself on that computer, because I knew how long it took to earn it, and I didn't want to trust anyone else to touch it.
I learned a lot from that paper route. I can still remember the neighborhood early in the morning. The smell of the newsprint. The sound of the Mass Pike in the distance. The mourning doves cooing. The frigid cold that numbed me to my core. The feel of my bed when I got home and there was a snow day so I could go back to sleep.
Tags: writer's block
Writer's Block: Decision Time|
When you need to make a difficult decision, what kind of resources do you consult for guidance?
My husband and my mom.
Tags: writer's block
It's Been a Month|
Yes, it has been a month since I last posted. I guess I can't complain that no one else ever posts if I don't do so myself. I just haven't had much that I want to say on here. Let's go over where I am in life:
-I didn't get the job I interviewed for. The only call for an interview I got out of tons of apps sent out. I'm not sure where to go from here. I have the same job as last year, so at least I will have steady, if low, income for the coming year. But I don't seem to be getting anywhere with finding a permanent job, and I'm tired of this.
-Still can't do all the things I'd like to the house. Sure, I should start with what I have the supplies for. I'm just having trouble getting motivated right now.
-We can't keep up with the lawn this year. All the rain has made it grow like kudsu, so I have to go out and rake what I mowed on Saturday so it doesn't kill the whole lawn. Don't even ask about the garden. It just kinda didn't really happen this year.
-I did all my traveling in the begining of the summer this year, leaving August as this big boring month with no structure. So naturally, I have gotten nothing done.
-Ok, so I have been knitting a lot. I have several different Christmas gifts on the needles, and plans for like one more to go on the needles. I have some sewing to do for Christmas as well, but I'm well on my way to a sane Christmas. Well, as long as I keep up my progress.
-Maybe today I will go play in my basement sewing room. That would be a good use of a day off.
-We went to the church social last night at the pool club by our house. Now I totally want to join next year. I'm thinking about socking away some money here and there to save up for it. There are a lot of things I'd like to sock away money for, though. And I have to do it secretly, or it could get commandeered in a tight week. Or I might just spend it on yarn. [Slaps mouse away from knitpicks.com]
OK, I'm going to go do something instead of sitting here writing about doing something.
Current Location: home
Current Mood: frustrated
Writer's Block: Firsts|
What was the subject title of your first-ever LJ entry?
It was very original:
First Entry, 5/17/2005 12:10am
I'm blown away.
Tags: writer's block
Writer's Block: Comic Instinct|
Do you think animals have a sense of humor?
I'm not sure. All I know is that every time I knock down the nest that they build RIGHT NEXT TO my front door, the Robins find something new and irritaing to $h** on. Last year, they took a dump right on the screen door handle. This year, they managed to perch on several screens and then have explosive diahrrea that leaves a turd in the screen and a 6" cloud of poop spatters 2 inches in on the window itself. I don't know how they do this, but it is a real pain to clean. Luckily I have the open in windows to facillitate the process.
So you tell me. Are they just vengeful, or do they ahve a sense of humor?
Tags: writer's block
Tuesday Morning Ramble|
Maybe if I post it they will come? Dunno. Anywho, I will post my thoughts into the ether anyways, and people can read it or not.
So this Tuesday morning finds me sitting with the windows open, thank goodness, enjoying the weather. I don't mind the hot weather when I have A/C cranking, which I did last week, but I much prefer the cooler weather that allows me to keep the windows open to fresh air. There is a much stronger pull to go outside when you can smell it and feel the breeze that won't wither you to a raisin. I have been semi-productive in the past week. The house is partially cleaned up from our vacation. (How does the house GET messy while we are away?) I have all I need to paint the kitchen, and I haven't started yet. I worked through the mending pile yesterday, so Joe has an extra 3 pairs of pants in the rotation now, and I got my lavendar sweater back. I ordered new tee shirts last week and promptly forgot to wash them with the laundry, so they will enter the rotation with the next batches of laundry. I've been working through the gigantor pile of laundry. I'm mostly done, but totally amazed at how much could be left. I washed 4 sets of sheets yesterday, hanging them on the line to dry. It looked really pretty, all those fluttery colors in the breeze. I did some cleaning in the sewing room, trying to tidy it up before it looks like mom's did. There's also the fact that i will need space to make a new baby quilt to take to Oregon before I go. I have two adorable sets of fabric to make it from. I kind of figure the rest will go into being made for future babies that come along. The nice thing about stash fabric for baby quilts is that you can start them at any time of day without going anywhere to buy supplies. I now have enough stash, I think, for two boy quilts and two girl quilts. I'm ready for any quilting emergency. I've been planning out Christmas gifts for relatives, so that I can get them done well before November/December. I'd love to have time to decorate the house this year, which will be much more possible if I'm not frantically sewing and knitting gifts at the last minute. I'm going to have to rethink my travel knitting before my next trip, since the projects I'm working on are for the people I'm visiting. It would spoil Christmas very much if they saw their gifts in progress now. So I either have to finish the gifts before I go, or start new projects for other people to take with me. Mmmmmm, casting on new projects . . .
Ok, I warned you this was a ramble. Aren't you afraid yet of what is going on in my head?
Current Mood: creative
It is amazing just how much wood you can get for $40. I bought an apple bin full of wood today. I had been thinking that it would fit in the trunk and backseat of my car if I was careful in the loading. I'm glad that my car was in the shop today, and the the loaner car was a Grand Caravan. I put the back 3 seats down, and filled the back end with wood. Filled it to within a foot of the ceiling. Then I got home. I lost track quickly of how many trips I made with the wheelbarrow. Maybe I made 8 or 10? Not sure. But the result is firewood for many a fire this summer, and likely this winter as well. I am pleased with my purchase, but next time, Joe can stack it.
Now to buy a hatchet to make kindling . . .
Current Location: York, PA
Current Mood: pleased
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