Back -posted, after 2 months of craziness…here is entry from 2 months ago:
As a quick reference to my previous post…we are still off the grid, just like I suspected it would happen. We have found additional spots in the house where our cell phones get reception, so it is “partially” off the grid I guess.
In the past 3 months (it has been almost 4 since we moved) I have tried to make the house feel and look more like a home. With the constant and unconditional help of my (very patient) husband, we have hung several paintings here and there. And added some décor items around. Some of them reminders of our previous home, some brand new.
Almost a year ago, my husband noticed a Latin Art Festival was going to take place in San Diego. We attended and walked through several dozen stands that offered a variety of artwork, from photography, pottery, weaving, painting, sculpture and food. A couple of artists caught our attention, so we took their cards and added our names/emails addresses to their newsletter lists. Ever since, we have attended 2 more art walks in the area. We always take the kids with us. With technology brutally taking over kids’ spare time today, I strongly believe that we -as parents- have to take charge in the roll of instilling other interests. From sports, to arts, to cooking, or just plain relaxing and reading a book for a while. “Down time” seems to be a rare thing in high risk of extinction among children and preteens today…and adults too!
I was very pleased when, at our second fair – an annual event that takes place in Palm Desert, CA- both kids walked out with something beautiful that they chose and loved. My daughter chose a photography of a very calm and relaxing beach, printed in a sheet of aluminum that sits on a stand. My son, a print (of an original painting) of 3 wolves. He met the artist at the stand, she told our son the story of the wolves. They were rescued and cared for as cubs. The 3 of them had different conditions that made it impossible to release them. And sadly, they all died young. The artist did and amazing job capturing the look in their eyes and the softness of their fur.
My husband and I had grown a strong interest in the work of a Mexican artist that paints abstract, very colorful pieces. Alejandro Martinez-Pena. We had been following him since the first fair. And just a month ago, we were able to purchase one of his paintings. It is so bright and colorful we decided to place it at the entryway of the house. It is the first thing you see when the front door opens.
On another note, exactly 2 months ago, my mother fell ill and gave us all quite a scare. I don’t think I will ever forget that 4th of July when I received a call that announced that my mom had been rushed into the hospital. That night, the fireworks at full blast as I stood there in the small area that has cell phone coverage, desperate to receive more calls or texts with an update. I knew close to nothing. It was a horrible feeling; I felt out of the loop, in the dark. Fortunately, my sister was in the area, and she was able to get us both tickets to fly out the next day. I barely slept that night. My brain turned into a type of movie player, and all the trips we took with her instantly came streaming one after the other. Only my player had scents included, so I could smell my mom’s perfume, and her natural motherly sweet smell that I love.
Her laugh, her smile, her many life lessons, her optimism despite the challenges she has faced since her twenties, when the stoke happened.
I tried to remember when and how many times I told her I loved her. Have I said “thank you” for all the many things she has taught me? For shaping me up to be the woman I am now? Have I hugged and kissed her as much as I can on every visit or trip with her?
The flight down to Monterrey seemed to take forever. I felt numb most of the way; I had episodes of non-stop crying, when I was very grateful that my companion was my sister. I felt terrified that something would happen. I felt angry for being so far. I felt sad for her loneliness. My sister held my hand and squeezed it hard to show her support, and me hers, as my crying became contagious.
The next week was one of the worst I have ever lived. My mom was in the ICU, so visits where somewhat controlled and limited. I say “somewhat” because we found ways to bend the rules and flex the hours every single day, so that my mom had one of us with her most of the time. Using the excuse that my mom had a hard time speaking clearly, we convinced the nurses what it was better for everyone of she had one person there as a translator. Whether they bought it or not, it worked. It was bad enough seeing her with needles on her neck (IV) and oxygen and monitors on her chest and forehead. The last thing we could stand was have her being alone.
That week, my sister – who is tiny but as the eldest, the big boss nonetheless- took the overnight shift and sent me home every night. She knows I have a very light sleep, while she can sleep with a Mexican wedding party next to her. So she decided I was to rest at night and be bright and happy during the day, to keep our Mom company, cheer her up, and of course, see to all the visitors at the hospital, who were really visiting us, as my Mom could only see family members. It worked perfect. Towards the end of the week though, I did see the lack of restful sleep take a toll on my sister.
My mom was diagnosed with a condition (forgot the name) where her own blood creates clots. We were all quite surprised that this diagnose had not come up years earlier, as her Cardiologist expressed his suspicions that this condition might be the culprit of the stroke she had 42 years ago.
Not only did I pray hard that week for my mother’s pain to be over, the needles out, the tubes, all the invasion; but also, I prayed for recovery, for a solution. I was so very grateful that she had access to a medical facility as the one where she was, the means to pay for it, the amazing doctors that had her case, and most of all, for an anti-clotting medication that would solve the problem of future clot formation.
My mom’s mental strength (and stubbornness to recover) was so, that after almost 2 weeks in the hospital, in a state where we had to spoon feed her due to the weakness in the right arm, today she is feeding herself again. She can have phone conversations again, she goes out to the movies and to have coffee with her friends taking along her small mobile oxygen tank. She is counting the days so that her doctor authorizes her to fly, and she can finally come out to see our home.
Life is most definitely a mystery, in terms of how long do we get to be around our loved ones. Yes, healthy lifestyles help -quite a bit- but there are so many things moving and happening around us that are out of our control, so many diseases still invincible, that we really never know.
One thing I took away after those weeks of emotional pain : enjoy today….at the fullest. Express love and gratitude whenever you can. Make someone’s day better with something as simple as a sincere smile.