Thursday, September 9, 2010

Three More Weeks

I've got three weeks left here, then, I'm gone again--12th move in four years.


This move makes me very happy... this move was planned... this move takes me back to NYC.  I will miss my weekly visits with my two daughters and my grandchildren.  I will miss our chats and having my mother here, and all of us bonding.  I will miss that far more than I thought I would.... in exchange, I'll have some friends in NYC, my niece in Brooklyn, a good friend sharing my space and Sophie.

It's a year in the city, after that, I suspect I'll come back to Colorado and settle down... but, in that last year?
I plan on exploring and listening and watching and living as much as I can.

And writing it all here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Dear Dad,

You'd have been 83 today.  Imagine that, 83!!  I still miss you every day--I don't have the guilt I bore for so long, wondering if I'd done enough, if I'd been a good daughter....since living with Miss Ruby, I felt I had done all I could do at the time for you...I regret we didn't have the chance to live together again as we planned, when the kids had moved out.  Only a few more months, and we'd have had that happen.  You've missed a lot... graduations and HRH's wedding (she wanted you to walk her down the aisle)... Miss H and her kind ways, Zori's birth (you'd be amused by her)

 and Jarhead leaving the service with his stripes and now working hard, making a name for himself in the film industry, his work ethical and honest.  TheInvestment growing up, becoming a man, still as witty as his Papaw...and, I believe one day he will be as noble.  Zenmaster getting engaged, his wedding on the way.  Adds and 'Kenna remain in California... we are again in touch with each other.  You wanted to know them better--I wish you had.  Mother and I are finally friends...and that gives me great joy. 

We all miss you, more than I can say.

I envy HRH....she dreams of you, finding peace there.  I seldom have you visit me, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I feel you at peace, though.  Your personal things are divided... I did keep the bulk of them, however, I feel no wrong in that.   Your ring is on my chain around my neck, it keeps you close.

I gave your theater books to Oddship.  He also has your St. Joseph's bean... and he treasures those things.  You'd like him, I think.  

Then, there is this little one. Like you, he enjoys eating.  For now, unlike you, he's not too discriminating on what he eats.

He'd have stolen your heart--and you'd have loved him.

Odd for me to say that--I feel you love him from where you are now.  You still watch over us, love us, guide us.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  Wish you were here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Miss Ruby: 1924-2010

It has taken me some time to absorb all that occurred over the month of April.

Time went on in it's usual way, with Miss Ruby and I settled in over the winter.  I'd taken a trip in February, one much needed, to see my dear Laura and her children in the UK.  I called daily to talk to Miss Ruby, to see how she was... and always, her Southern voice would as, "When are you coming home??"  I brought her chocolate and treats and hugs and from there, we went back to our little routine.. one that slowly changed as her strength failed.

She savored the bi-weekly visits of Zee and HRH.  She oohed! and ahhed! over the daily photos sent to my phone of his progress.  She read and drank her coffee and listened to CNN, while her body continued to fail.

By the mid-March, she'd lost all strength in her legs, and we moved on to using the wheelchair full time to transport her about.  No more showers--it became a daily bath while she sat on the toilet, dignified even then.  We'd laugh and talk and I'd bathe her, put lotion on her, brush her hair.  By the end of March, I had to tell her no more pants of any kind... I simply couldn't pull them up while holding her with one arm.  She took it graciously, and I bought her pretty housecoats (as my Mamaw called them)... little lady numbers that buttoned up the front, in a variety of pastels--the bulk of them in pink.

I had to bring in the aide full time... it was too difficult for just me to move her anymore; she'd gone to complete dead weight.  We had an aide that was a horror... good to Miss Ruby, deliberate in her attacks on me.  She left.... keying my car as a final good-bye.

April came, I bought her pansies, potted them and brought them inside.  I could see her lack of interest in life, her desire to sleep more and more, the reduced output from her bladder.   Kidney failure loomed.

April 13th, she declined to get out of her bed.....I changed her and bathed her and dressed her and cranked the bed up so she could read and have her coffee.  She didn't turn on the TV, refused food, slept.  By Thursday, I knew she'd not ever rise again.  Hospice came out, assessed her, told me what to do.  She was in renal failure, and it was simply a matter of time.  Very little time.

Saturday, we went through our new routine.... waking up, bathing, changing, dressing.... she asked for my Mother and two of her friends to come visit the next day.  I'd already called them, told them it was the end.. plans had been made for company.  She asked me, "When is our baby coming to visit?"   I replied, "Wednesday."  She thought... "Hmmm, I think maybe they had better come up tomorrow."

She knew.

Her wit remained sharp.  On that Saturday, I announced after rubbing my legs, "You can tell how active a woman's sex life is by the length of her leg hair."  She laughed and tutted me.  The next day, when I came down after my shower, she asked where had I been.  "Showering, remember?"  "Well, yes, but, you took so long!"  I proceeded to say I had shaved my legs--and before I could finish the sentence with "....because I finally bought a razor", she grinned at me, and said, "Ohhh!! Hoping to get lucky?"

Sunday was a day of homemade coconut cake, putting her pearls on so she could receive company, chairs in her room.  I'd already dug out a number of her plants from the garden, repotting them and placing them so she could see them no matter where she looked.   Her nephew by marriage, who made sure she was well cared for and protected, called me.  "She's waiting for someone so she can go.", he said.   I agreed, but, between us, we couldn't sort who it could be..who was she waiting for?

HRH walked in with Zee around 1PM.  Miss Ruby's face lit up.  Her arms reached, slowly, shaking... "How is our little man?? Did he come to see his ladies??"  Zee settled in next to her on the bed, where she tickled him, cooed to him, laughed when he'd break into his delight of a laugh.

He was who she was waiting to see.

Her breathing started to stutter that night.  Hospice had me start giving her valium and morphine to settle her down.  I was up most of the night, giving her the dose, sitting in the chair next to her bed.  Finally, I slept from 4-6 AM.  I went into her room, to give her the next dose of medicine.  Her eyes were shut, and I slipped the dropper into her mouth.  When the morphine hit her tongue, those baby blues flew open, startled.  She frowned... I said, "Pretty nasty, eh?"  She nodded, then, did what she'd do when I would tease her--bring her hand up as if she was going to strike me, then patting my cheek.

I laughed with her, and then bent over to pull her into my arms.  I put my face in her neck, in that place between neck and shoulder that holds a person's scent.  "I love you so much."  She kissed my cheek.... "Oh, you will never know how much I love you."

She didn't want to be raised up that morning, no coffee, nothing.  She didn't talk much after that either, telling me she preferred to sleep, "....I'm with Art then."  I told her, holding her hand, whispering.... "Go with him.  He loves you."  She'd smile and go back under.   She spoke one other time,  when she opened her eyes, looked around her room and said to Mother, "This looks just like a room I use to have!".

By Tuesday morning, it was a death watch.  She was in an coma-- her brain stopped around 3PM, her body struggled on.  She had seizures, when her eyes would open, blank and dark and empty.  I'd hold her and soothe her, even though I knew there was no comprehension left.  I think I did it for me.  I was told to up her meds, to keep her calm.  She had no pain, I knew what to look for--face scrunching, moans. 

Her blood family called, yelling at me, wanting to know if they could come to the house after she died, wanting to know if she'd changed her Will.   I had to stop answering the phone... I was trying to help her die, and they were stopping me in my job.

She died at 11.06PM, in my arms.  I felt her heart take it's last beat, I saw her sink into that void of death, sensed the huge "WOOSH" of her leaving with Mr. Art.  We bathed her, dressed her in a beautiful pink suit, and put her favourite hot pink fuzzy socks on her feet.  Brushed her hair, put on her make-up, and I waited for the funeral home people.  Hospice had come out--our nurse, Ali, was a rock for me.  She took care of all the calls to coroners, the funeral home, other people.

By 4AM, I was in bed, well medicated and falling asleep.  By 6AM, I was awake again, fielding calls from the vultures, finally putting Caller ID on the phone so I could avoid their meanness.

I went to NYC five days later... I needed the break.  I saw a couple of people, sadly didn't see others, rushed everywhere, remember very little.

I am in the house for six months... to help sort it out, prepare garages sales, etc.  Her service is in July, when her garden will be in full bloom.  We've had them set out a handful of ashes for me to put with her roses.  The rest will go into the same grave as Mr. Art.  Her headstone will read, 'Beloved', because she was just that.  How many people can go through life knowing they were and felt that way towards another?  

The estate remains in limbo... the family fighting over things that meant little to her.  She left me Pumpkin, the 16 year old spoiled rotten cat--oddly, no one is asking for her.  Makes me smile.

The photo below is her and Zee that Sunday... she does not look like a woman who died 48 hours later.  Even with her loved ones about, she had a wall between us and herself... watching us.  It was only with Zee that she fully engaged.

I miss her.  I have a hole in my life, and work now to fill it up.   I'll move in October, more than likely to NYC.  I have a trip  to Qatar planned later in the same month, where I'll see one of my 'sisters'.   I feed the cats and they all sleep with me, and the garden continues to blossom and grow.

Thank you, Miss Ruby, for making me a better person, for giving me your trust and love and laughter.  I will try to be like you... kind, generous, and wicked bad.

Love you forever.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

and in the end....

i'm at a place in my life where i'm no longer able to find anything to write about in this blog.

it started as a way to tell friends and family back in the land o'utes how life was in new york, so i'd not have to write long emails to everyone.

because of this blog, i've made a number of people i honestly call friend. i've traveled to new york, back to utah, to new york, visited england, discovered neville and margaret, went to some great gatherings with fellow bloggers... it's all been a great time.

now, i have nothing to write about, to be truthful. my days are so similar, i often forget what day of the week it is--not once, but, quite often.

so, i'm going dark for a bit... perhaps life will change, i'll find things that catch my eye and my ear and make me feel great joy when i write of those things. right now, that isn't going to happen. the biggest things i find are seeing the grandson, worrying about his kidney problems and taking care of miss ruby.

i will post the final chapter to neville and margaret... then, it's quiet time for a bit.

thank you all, who read here, who comment, who have reached out to become a part of my life and who have honoured me with allowing me to become part of your own.


my favourite photo of z (so far)

Friday, February 19, 2010

the play carries on...

working with a group of children this year--at least they know their lines and cues,bless 'em.

i miss my chats with peggy and tim every day... i will be glad to be home for that reason alone. funny how you miss voices, isn't it?

hrh sends daily photos of zavier... keeping me abreast of his growth and changing. i have bought him far too much stuff here.

but, i can, so, there!

our neville fact:

mimsy (aka sondra) bought her house on london rd in the village, not a few miles from neville and margaret, but, where she'd pass their cottage daily. she's stroll slowly past, walking her yorkie, 'captain blackjack', and when she spied neville in the drive, powerwashing the cars, she'd wave and skitter over, batting her mabelline jet black mascara'd eyes. she'd spread her lips (coated in sugarplum pink) in a smile, sliding them over her teeth without leaving a bit of colour on her lips.

at first, margaret would look out the lounge window, and tut at the brazenness of sondra, wondering when it was going to end, deciding it was best not to say anything, as neville really was clueless, and she saw no reason to direct his attention to sondra's wiles.

it was after she and neville joined the silverstone 'silver shoes' morris dancing team, that things heated up. all the village knew margaret was scheduled for a bunion operation, and would be unable to participate in the county was then mim...sondra joined as an alternate, that margaret set her jaw, and went about dealing with the situation head on.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

still chillin' --and neville is back!

cold and snowing.

inside, cups of tea, warm radiators and slippers take off the dampness... well, part of the dampness. the rest is held out by doors shut, steam from the kettle and left-over chinese from last night.

tonight, we open our little play... and at the moment, we wonder if anyone will show, as quite a bit is expected.

still, i'm content...if creatively blocked.

our neville fact:

last year, our neville and margaret went on a posh cruise with a number of their friends. one of the people they met was mimsy barker-smythe, from steeple-aston. mimsy insisted all call her sondra, as she felt this was a much better name, and fit her vision of herself.

sondra found neville to be a wonderful partner in draughts--they won the ship contest, giving them a bottle of champagne and a trophy. neville kept the trophy, handing over the bottle of champers to sondra to share with her roommate and best mate, vivian miller.

in the past year, sondra has continued to keep in touch with neville by email and currently on facebook. neville had started his facebook account to keep in touch with various friends from his old working days, and really didn't understand the entire thing. usually, he only played farmtown, something he enjoyed and excelled at doing. margaret usually handled his account--answering messages and doing the occasional post.

thus, margaret found the more and more personal messages to neville from sondra. she was fully aware that neville had no thought to respond, and pooh-pooh'ed the entire thing.

sondra, however, had neville on the mind... and fully planned on wooing him away from margaret. thus, when an opening at waitrose's appeared in the area here, she applied and received the job...and she bought a small semi-detached house in the village, putting her in neville's home area.

margaret was not happy--not happy indeed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


i feel as if i've arrived home.

almost a week here, and i'm finally catching my breath, catching up on sleep, catching myself drinking too much tea. and each of those things is perfection in my life right now.

i call miss ruby every other day... she asks when am i home, that she misses me, the cats miss me, come home. i reassure her i'll be back, and that i have her big bag of cadbury's already purchased. my mother is staying with her (along with the 24 hour aide), so, she's safe.

as for me... i'm finding my balance again, accepting i'm a bit depressed, looking forward to a trip to london next week.

i'm posting another photo of our zavier.. why you ask?

because i can.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

noni quin

hours of labor, an epidural and copious tears (mostly mine) later.... we have our boy.

zavier joseph was born on 21 january 10 at 11.14pm. he weighed 8lbs 10.6ozs and is 21.5 inches long. hrh did a great job, assisted by her husband who coached her right through. the waiting room contained her father, theinvestment and me. i spent the last hour hovering outside her door, flinching with each moan she put forth. the doctor announced, "baby boy, 11.14pm" and....


my heart stopped. we all leaned forward, listening... and there it was! his cry. with that sound, i fell in love before i even saw his face.

his kidney is still not functioning properly, however, the other one is working perfectly. he is a binky boy (like his mom and uncles) and is loved to death.

miss ruby cried when i told her he was born... and enjoys the daily updated photos as much as i do. i have come to realise... i am one of those people who insists you look at photos of her grandchild.

i'm good with that.

he's flexing his guns.

Friday, January 8, 2010

birth and death

it's been a month since i posted something--i suspect it is due to the sameness of days.

the holidays passed without much fanfare... i live here at miss ruby's now, and, i found the two main people in my world at this point are on parallel roads in life.

miss ruby and hrh move with slower and slower steps. each changed how they eat. each one listens with an inner ear to some voice we do not hear. hrh waits impatiently for the birth of her son, miss ruby waits patiently for her body to finally fail, giving her birth into that next place of our existence.

hrh sat next to me in the theater on christmas day, holding my hand on her ever moving tummy...our little lad slowly flipping and twisting, trying to fit his already over average body size in her tiny self. miss ruby sat next to me later that day, holding my hand, telling me she knows her husband still watches for her from the other side...she knows this because he put us back in each other's lives again.

i agree.

hrh rests more and more, taking cat naps during the day. miss ruby's sleep time is now around 15 hours a day. while hrh is up quite often in the night, finding it difficult to fall back into sleep, miss ruby lies down and doesn't change position for the 12 hours she sleeps in the night.

they both take pills... vitamins for hrh, a plethora of pills of varying shapes and sizes for miss ruby. both have that look of waiting on their faces.

both have me in their lives, waiting with them, loving, caring, concerned. a birth and a death. these two things wait to happen in my life...

two things that will change my life forever, each in their own way.