Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Latest CaringBridge Post

I'm not entirely sure how this next while is going to go, but I think the end is very near. I'm just re-posting the post I wrote for my mom's friends at CaringBridge. Not sure if I'm going to feel like posting like crazy or if my words will be trapped in my head. At least you'll know why.

Last month, Mom decided to discontinue chemotherapy and has opted to receive hospice care. Our first meeting took place two weeks ago. Since then we've had a wonderful nurse, Vlas, who has been visiting mom at home and taking care of all of her comfort needs.  
We're not sure how much longer we'll have with mom. For the last couple of days, she's not been eating or drinking much, which is a difficult transition for all of us. Vlas--and a bunch of other sources--have assured us that the curbing of her thirst and appetite are perfectly normal end of life developments. She's sleeping a lot too, which is also to be expected. 
Pain control has been an issue. They've adjusted the medications several times and seem to be coming to a reasonable level of control. As you pray for us, please pray that she can be comfortable for her remaining time, whether that time is measured in weeks or months. We have felt the power of your prayers many times in this journey, and I know the Lord will answer our earnest prayers. 
Thank you so much for all of your love, support and prayers. 


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Apropos of Nothing

Many of you know that I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and you may have wondered how the daughter of a Southern-Baptist-turned-nudist-hippy mother learn about a belief system that is so hated by both of the worldviews from whence she came. Saturday morning cartoons, of course.

One morning, little 5-year-old me was watching a teeny tiny black and white TV. A tiny cartoon Donny Osmond sang "Puppy Love," and I fell. Hard. In love with a cartoon boy. Not too long after that I saw the commercial for Donny Osmond's greatest hits and began the beg-a-thon. A successful beg-a-thon. I had the album in my possession at the next gift-giving occasion.

He sang songs about little girls with blue eyes who are much too young to know about love. I wanted to marry him. But he was SO OLD! Would he wait for me to grow up?

For five years, I hoped. Then one day my mom burst my bubble.

"He's Mormon. Mormons only marry Mormons."


 "Mormons. It's a religion. Like Catholics or Jews. They only marry people who are in their religion."

 "How do I become Mormon? What do they believe?"

"You have to be born a Mormon. I know they aren't allowed to go sleeveless. All their shirts have to have some kind of sleeves."

I cried. A ten year old kid crying because Donny not only was ten years older than she was, but also would never marry her because she was (by this point) Presbyterian. Honestly, my little heart hurt SO much. I can still feel the memory ache today.

Three years later, I'd mostly overcome my puppy love, and one of my mother's facts on Mormons turned out to be false. You don't have to be born a Mormon. My step-mother joined the Mormon church and when I came to visit that summer, asked me if I wanted to meet with the sister missionaries. (Nuns? Mormons have nuns?) Sure. I guess.

Any guesses what my first question was? Yep. Why do Mormons have to wear sleeves? My second was related: What about Marie? She went sleeveless all the time! So my very first piece of legitimate information about the church was about temple garments as explained by two LDS sister missionaries to a bra-less 13-year-old in a tank top. (I'd gotten to the hippy part of my existence.)

Eventually, I joined the church, but the journey was quite rough, worthy of its own blog post (or two).

This story came up the other day, and I turned to You Tube to illustrate.

"Is that Justin Bieber?!" asked V, my besotted 9-year-old.

"No, but now that you mention it. . ."