Monday, December 18, 2017

Fire


Sunrise December 12
My twin brother Michael was supposed to drive down to see our mom on Sunday, but his plans had to be changed because of the Thomas Fire. This is one crazy huge fire, third largest in recent California history and shows no sign of stopping. It has been roaring since December 4th. Michael isn't sure when he'll be able to hit the road south, because the route goes directly into the hardest hit part of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. This is the second time in two months that trips to see our mom have been cancelled due to fires. I wrote about  having to postpone our trip in October. Who would have ever guessed that in December such huge fires would still be raging? Certainly not us. The smoke from the southern California fires have blown so far north that we woke to a smoky sunrise last Tuesday. That's 700 miles of smoke.

I have been calling my mom every other day for weeks. Lately she's been sounding less and less like herself and more and more far away. Hardly a coherent thought is ever expressed, only the wispy sounds of love come over the phone. I say, "Hey mom would you like to talk to my handsome husband?" She says, "Yes, I'd love to talk to Roger." They have a brief "conversation." Then he gives the phone back to me, and she tells me something I don't understand, and then we tell each other how much we love each other. We hang up. I sigh. I miss my mom. I was so hoping Michael would be there with her. When my mom and I talked on Friday I told her he was coming down and that he's so helpful, he'll be able to solve all of her problems. She liked that. I hope those fires are under control soon.

We're still going out walking everyday, even when the crazy winds are blowing 22 mph and the air is chilling us to our bones. My eyes tear when I'm out there. It's the cold wind I say, those winds that make me cry.


18 comments:

  1. I hope those fires are under control soon, too. Beautiful post, Robin, I was so moved by your last paragraph.

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    1. Colette-- I really hope those fires are controlled soon. Such devastation. Thank you for your kind words.

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  2. Sorry about your mom. Old age is tough on the old and their loved ones-- especially for some of us. The thing is we get no guarantees coming into this life or how we'll go out. Makes it tough. Glad you can enjoy nature as the healer.

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    1. Rain-- It's true... the only thing we can be sure of is that we don't get out of this lifetime alive. I think the one thing we can plan for is to make our exits with awareness and without fear.

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  3. Walking is good medicine. Tears are good medicine, too. My eyes tear in the cold wind. I don't remember that happening when I was younger. The weather here is predicted to be in the 20s for the rest of the month. Today may be the last day in the 40s before the Winter Solstice. I love California. The fires this year make it seem like a war zone, and I grieve. Your mother's wispy sounds of love show how powerful love is. Sending love.

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    1. am-- I love the idea of tears as good medicine. My eyes always tear in the wind. Stay warm there and thank you for your kind and thoughtful words.

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  4. It is just hard to fathom that the fires are still raging and don't seem to have an end in sight. I so feel for the whole darn state for even those not in the path are feeling the effects like you and Michael not being able to see your Mom. I'm sure she doesn't understand how wide spread it is. That is hard for any of us to comprehend.
    So glad that at least she is able to understand the love messages and can return them.

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    1. Patti-- This fire is really challenging and crazy big. It does surprise us how "fire season" has made the little traveling we do impossible at time. Yes, to love!

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  5. Oh Robin, the wind, does all sorts to us. I struggle against that same wind daily, no fire here, just a heavy heavy grey fog and flooding down by the river.
    But midwinter is just around the corner. Think about that.

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    1. Sabine-- Oh one of my least favorite weather conditions: FOG. I hope the fog dissipates there soon. We've been having sun and really clear skies and chilly temps. I think about solstice all the time. It may be the first day of winter, but really it's halfway to equinox!

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  6. I was reading about that fire yesterday -- I can't believe it's still raging, all the way to Santa Barbara! I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I can identify in some ways, although my mom is hard to get on the phone these days. She almost never answers when anyone calls -- she just lets it go to the machine.

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    1. Steve-- It's a crazy big fire. Now approaching the 2nd largest in recent history. My mom stopped answering her phone too. So now we call the staff at the facility, and they bring her the phone.

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  7. Robin - I'm sorry that your mom seems to be drifting off more recently. The long goodbye. So hard. However, it does seem like she's reasonably happy, and that counts for so much.

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    1. bev-- My mom is reasonably happy. I love when I ask her how she is, and she replies, "I'm great." That's the best.

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  8. I have commented on your blog frequently about my Mom, who also suffered from progressive dementia. She passed away last Thursday and, although we grieve her loss, we know she is at peace, free from the dementia that she struggled with. We know that we gave her all the love we could, and as we put her to bed the night she died, she looked straight up and said "it's beautiful."
    I guess my point is that, when you show your love readily, your Mom will respond to that, and you will be forever grateful for having shared so much. I am certain your Mom knows she is loved. Blessings to you and her as you continue this journey.
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy-- I am so sorry for your loss. I have appreciated your stopping by here and sharing the stories. It is good to know that at the end your mom said, "it's beautiful." Such wonderful words at the end of life. And yes, my mom really does know she is loved. I send her a homemade card every week full love and hearts. Goofy and beautiful. Last Thursday on the day your mom died, a friend here lost her 100 year old dad. So much love and loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family. May your mom's memory always be for a blessing, Cathy.

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    1. Mark-- And getting harder all the time. Sigh.

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