Thursday, September 18, 2014

I love my dad

On Labor Day, my dad was out moving a hose when he fell. He has fallen a couple of times in the last few months and has fractured vertebrates in the process. These have been painful, but he was still able to get around fairly well. The pain was intense and he was scared of falling again, but he could still do what needed to be done. But, we saw a change in him.

This last fall he broke his shoulder. It was a clean break. For you or me, they would use screws and reattach, but because he has osteoporosis so badly, they can't. His arm is in a brace, holding it closely to his body. We are hoping it will heal.

The thing about it, it is more than a fall. I guess it is because he is almost 86, but it has really made him take a turn for the worse. I went up and cared for him full time for 4 days last week. It was hard to see that he can't walk alone anymore. He is not surefooted and he looses his balance all the time. He can't even stand on his own much. I had to help him walk, help him out of a chair and dress him. It was an honor for me to help serve the man who has served me and my family so well. Not to mention, all the people he has served in our church and community. It was hard for him however, to have me do things for him. I saw him struggle letting me put his shoes on, helping him wash, helping him walk.... He even said trying to get over pride was hard.

I love him.

He is very underweight and feeble. We are trying to get him stronger in hopes when his arm heals he will be able to get around by himself with a walker. He won't ever physically be the same again. It has been hard for my mom to see this change and to know this is where their life is going.

On Sunday, the young men in my mom's church came over and gave them the sacrament. The two boys knelt in their family room and blessed the bread and water. My mother broke out in audible tears. She said she had this overwhelming feeling, that my dad's life wouldn't be the same now. He would need care and would have to have others' assistance. It was hard for her.

My  mother is a trooper! She is always in pain. She has neuropathy, fibromyalgia, bad disks, hammer toes, arthritis, but she never stops when it comes to my dad. I am so proud of how she has stepped up and taken the lead. She works through her pain and tiredness to make sure he is cared for. I went up to give her a break, especially at night. Some nights she was only getting 1/2 hour of sleep. While I was there, I knew she had to have some full-time care. I talked to my wonderful siblings who live close and are there every day to get him up, put him to bed and check on him on their lunch hours, and we decided to try to get them full-time help. Mom didn't want it. She wanted to do it. She said he was her responsibility. After I left, she did finally realize it had to be. Full time care started today.

When I called their house and the helper answered and said she "was Glenn's caregiver, " I started to bawl. It just hit me that my dad is in this place where he has to have a care giver. It makes me sad. I know his time is limited. I have known that for years, as they have aged, but this is real. Its happening. It is hard.

I am going back up in a few weeks to spend 4 days, over the weekend when the full-time care can't come. I am happy to do it. My dad is an honorable, Christ centered, compassionate, hardworking man. He deserves my help. I love him.

I wish I could just fix this all for him and for my mother. Its hard to watch. Its wonderful, however, to see the love they have for each other. It is inspiring.

Monday, September 1, 2014

3rd Annual Dirty Dash

I ran the Dirty Dash again this year. Kenzie came with me (her 2nd time) and Maylin did the very end with us. It was a lot of fun! Kenzie was only nervous on the fireman's pole. I wore Alex's GoPro. It was cool. He made a fun video with it afterward. Austin, Alex and Jay followed us around and took pictures. Maylin didn't feel well, but joined in at the end and got sprayed pink. She wants to do it with us next year. By the way, Kenzie and I made the Salt Lake Tribune! It was a picture of us coming off the wooden wall pictured below. It was cool.

Before we begin.....nice and clean.

Kenzie participated in a hoola-hoop race and almost won.

Get set go!

Finish line

Forest fun

In July,  I went to Idaho 3 times.  On the first visit, Maylin and I went alone. We stayed a week.  I helped my mother with her history. I only got up to 1992, but that's a lot considering she is 84. I try not to think that I only have 22 years left to do. It seems overwhelming. It was really fun to read about their life before me. I enjoyed reading about things I had forgotten and to read my mother's perspective on events that happened in my lifetime. I also took Maylin and my parents to our cabin for overnight. Maylin and I played games and cleaned, fed the fish in the river and she waded. I went walking through the woods which I enjoyed. My parents were with us, so they watched Maylin so I could walk. I know those woods like I know my neighborhood. When I was a child, I took ever trail possible. My mom and I would walk on a different trail every time we would visit the cabin and she would sing, "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" to me. These are wonderful memories to me.

While at my parents' house, I would get up each morning and walk before we started the history work. I walked all over the neighborhoods I knew as a child. I saw the houses of old friends who have now moved, my old church, the park and my old elementary school. I was pretty devastated to see my elementary..... they didn't even ask. Am I that old that the school I attended had to be knocked down?

Poor old Longfellow Elementary. They built a HUGE new one next door, but what was wrong with the old one?

Maylin enjoyed walking to the park with me to ride the amusement rides. She rode the Octapus, my favorite and got my lucky seat number as a child......#8.

 This is the Octopus. I loved it when I was young. Now, it makes me dizzy so I just watch.

While we were in Idaho, Alex went with his Teacher's Quorem/Scout Troop on a 50 mile hike and camp out. They climbed the highest peak in Utah. I sent him off at 5 am and then later left for Idaho. He had a great time although he suffered from Altitude Sickness the first two days.

 Here he is on the top of King's Peak. He is feeling better at this point, but it was a miserable few days before this.

The next week, we all headed back to Idaho for my parent's 65th wedding anniversary! I love my parents. They are the best. The thing that warms my soul is how much they love each other. As they are getting older, they are so worried about one of them passing on and leaving the other alone. Neither one of them can handle the thought of being without the other. I checked on them one night while we were there and they were snuggled up to each other sleeping. My mom says she wakes in the night just to make sure my dad is still breathing. I am so glad they love each other so much, but it makes me sad to think of them worrying about being left alone.
I brought this cake from Salt Lake. It was a vanilla cake with a fresh strawberry filling. It was AMAZING.

My kids with my great niece Kennedy. This is the first time we had met her. She belongs to my brother's daughter Natalie. I only had two nieces and 7 nephews. Natalie was so sweet and this baby looks a lot like she did as a baby. 

Her is Maylin with Sheldon, my great nephew. They are quite the pair when they get together. Sheldon loves to flirt with Maylin. 

This is Alex and my great nephew Nels. Nels belongs to my nephew Trent. Trent and Alex look a lot a like. Nels was named after my grandfather, Nels Antone Nelson.

Here are the happy couple!

Feeding each other cake. My favorite part.

Here I am with my niece Natalie and her baby.

It was a great weekend to be together.

The next weekend, we travel back to Idaho and went to the cabin. I was excited to have the whole family there. This was Austin's first trip back since before his mission. He really enjoyed being there again and had a new appreciation for the cabin. We brought Israel with us, a boy from Spain that was Austin's mission companion. It was fun to have him. He enjoyed seeing so much of the West. He ended up staying with us for 3 weeks. We loved his company! We floated the river, waded, rode horses, and visited Yellowstone. We loved making fires in the outside fire pit ad enjoyed the smores. Israel didn't know what a smore was so it was fun to teach him. Maylin also brought her friend Kamryn.


This tree is on a hill next to the highway that takes you to the cabin. Since as far back as I can remember we have called this tree "my tree." As a little girl, we would look for the tree every time we went to the cabin. I knew we were pretty close when I saw it. It was the only tree of its kind on that hill. It was perfect. When I was a teenager, the top split. I always said it was okay because I had a split personality too. I've never really stopped and looked at it, since its on a highway, but this trip I made Jay drive really slow so I could get its picture. Next, trip I want to have Jay drop me off and I'll walk through the forest to the tree. I really want to see it up close, after all its my tree and after knowing each other for over 40 years, we should meet.