Saturday, November 20, 2010

my book of life

I may be closing one chapter in the book of my life

but my book is far from over

I am taking the love that grew

the strength I gained

along with the knowledge I have inquired

and starting a new page

but before I close out this chapter

I wanted to say

Thank you

thank you for letting me love you

thank you for loving me

thank you for helping me grow

thank you for letting me help you grow

thank you for good times and the laughter and love

thank you for the bad times and the tears and struggles

I knew from day one..

our journey would change me forever

I never had any doubt that this journey was one God intended for me

to teach me

about so many things

but mostly about faith

I am so blessed to always have you both

as a chapter in the book of my life

I know that in future chapters

the lessons and love

will return

to be revisited time and time again

that's how much of an impact

our journey has had on my life

I close this chapter proud

proud of myself

proud of all the things it taught me

and as I start a fresh new page in my book

the possibilities are endless

God has more big plans for me

and with each new stroke of my pen

I will continue to make a difference in peoples lives

my days of giving it my all ..are far from over

because of what I learned in our journey

I know my heart has no boundaries

I can open it far and wide

I can be hurt

yet still show love and compassion and forgiveness

I can be misunderstood

but that will not stop my heart from loving

that will not stop me from being there always for the people I love

I am strong

I am compassionate

I am God's Child

and I will continue to follow his lead in my life

I will take risks with my heart

because those risks make life worth wild

I will continue to share my chapters

in hopes that they might touch another

I will continue to be me

and everything that entails

because You love me just as I am

and through this journey you set before me

I learned to love me ..just as I am

Thank you God for leading me down this path

I will continue this next chapter

hearing your call

listening to that inner voice

without doubt or hesitation

so take my pen..take me and lead on!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ray Colin Watson

Ray Colin Watson of Richmond Mi, formally of Gladwin MI and Algonac MI age 85 went to be with God and all those who traveled before him on 11-18 2010
at Medilodge of Richmond
Ray Watson was born 06-18-1925 in Detroit MI. He served in the United States Navy during the Second World War .He loved Fishing and enjoyed spending time with son Floyd Specially at the Blue Water Bridge Port Huron. He was proceeded in death by his wife Mildred Watson in 2006 and his parents Arden and Edna Watson . He is survived by his step son Floyd Nichols and wife Carole Nichols of Casco MI and his long term care giver and grand daughter Lorri Nichols of Richmond MI. He will be greatly missed by his family and his care takers.
A special thank you to all those who took wonderful care of Ray at Medilodge of Richmond and In House Hospice and his in home care aids ..You all made the final years of his life filled with love and laughter and a lot of happiness, we can never repay you or express to you how much each of you touched Ray's life and Ours too ...

May God Bless you all.

my Angels along the way

I call them angels

but they are just like you and me

they have had lives filled with trials and tribulations

but it's like they are heavenly sent

they come into my life

into my experience

and share them selves

their experiences

their lives

with me in my darkest moments

when I am seeking comfort

when I am questioning myself

they appear and share of themselves

share their thoughts

their experiences

their loss

their beliefs

and while they might even not know it

I know these encounters

are more then just a coincidence

God placed them in that time and place

to help guide me

to help bring me comfort

to help give me strength

just by the most simplest act

of sharing of themselves

and while they may not even know it

I know that in that moment

God worked through them

he had them open their hearts and show me their pain

show me their truths

show me the inspiration in who they are

their lives

their love

their loss

their reason for being

I am struck by knowing everything comes full circle

not just in my life

but in complete strangers lives and friends lives

their words have brought me comfort all along the way

I see these encounters

and know they are no accident

and as we part ways I know

that not only did they touch my life

but maybe ..just maybe

I touched them back

maybe they needed to be reminded me

what a remarkable person they really are.

And that's why God picked them

to be an angel to me..

so I could return the favor.

listen to their stories

relish in the inspiration of who they are

what they been through

I am so very blessed

Thank you for being my angel along the way

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the bitter sweet journey of one special purple bear

When my grandma got sick ..
One day me and gramps stopped and got her flowers ..
I saw this purple bear with a rose on its chest.
She loved roses and bears ..
she had tons !
So gramps picked out flowers
and I picked up the bear and we gave them to her..
She adored her bear ..everywhere she was ..there was the bear
in her bed ..on the couch ..she wanted it around her all the time.
When she got very sick and we called in hospice to help ease her pain
This special purple bear sat on her lap every moment of every day till she passed away.
after I got her cremated remains back I put the bear on the top of the urn and there it has stayed for me to see and remember ..
I took it up to gramps a few days ago .
for him to hold or just have it around him ..
The first night he picked it up and tossed it off his lap ..
I had to chuckle.
But the next night when I went for my midnight visit ..
he had it in his hands yes I took a picture ..maybe it's weird but It touched my heart and I want to always remember.
It is one special purple bear that I will always cherish.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Day and updates on gramps

Grandpa Ray is resting peacefully, I played tapes of christian music today to him ..while he is sleeping most of the time ..he opened his eyes slightly while I held his hand ,swaying it with the music ,whispering to him that we are dancing. I knew some of the words to some of the songs ..only song I knew every word was amazing grace so I quietly sang it to him as we "danced" I spent a few hours with him this afternoon ..The Chaplain Terry came in and he prayed with us again ..he was also there yesterday and I shared my journey with my grandparents with him and Mary the hospice social worker and Peggy the hospice nurse ..they are truly amazing people, I feel blessed to be able to share our journey with them with all its twists and turns ..lessons and love and so many things that have come full circle. How taking care of my grandparents have changed my life in such a positive way. I truly am blessed not to just have taken care of them over these years but to have fallen in love with them.

Yesterday was such a profound day ...filled with such love. When I got home from my day I got a phone call from my dad's doctor ..a test they ran a few days ago on a growth on my dad's neck is a non aggressive form of skin cancer. Next week we are having it removed ..and everything should be fine. I didn't fully explain to my dad just that they need to remove the whole growth. thinking that would be enough explanation for now ...but as soon as I left he asked my mom if he had skin cancer. My mother told him well they just want to remove it before it turns to skin cancer we lied, but it's for the best right now. I know my father he will freak out and think his life is over he has cancer ..we are hoping to avoid the depression he falls into when the doctors give us not so good news about his conditions. I hope he just does not worry and let's me worry and take care of things ..Like I always do.

Today was another busy busy day ..running mom all over town getting things done ..while on the phone with medcure answering everything I could about grandpa so that we can donate his organs after death to research in hopes that someday maybe a cure of some sort can be made by the researchers who will study his organs. After they cremate him and return him to us I can have him and grams together forever... While we always talked about end of life care for them ..I never thought to ask what I should do with the ashes later nor did they say what they wanted for a while I plan to keep them close and some day in the future take them to a place they loved to visit up north where there is a log cabin chapel in the woods that I even went to as a kid. it was one of their favorite places and one of my fondest memories of traveling with them when I was little... everything now is in place ..when the time comes I can just spend my time with him ..making sure he knows he is loved and not alone...

When I got mom home I noticed one of her cats outside ..laying on the ground ..for one shes never that far from the house and two she just didn't look right I walked over to pick her up and she had a really infected ear I called my vet from my cell phone and took her right in ..gosh it never is dull around here huh? lol anyway they drained her ear and gave her meds to help ..she should be better soon that's good I am glad I caught it before it could have got worse.

Now I am home ..let Dave see my face lol making dinner then maybe a hot bath ..a quick nap then back to sit with gramps for a while ..check who's his aid tonight and then maybe sleep ..John is off tonight ..gona miss him. He is such a good helper for gramps and all of his residents. Gona have to do something special for all these wonderful people after this is all over ..but what to do? how do you say thank you for loving and caring about my grandpa and about my family ..these same people every day ask about my Dad ..such wonderful people I have met through grandpa's care ..I am so blessed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

revisit some older blogs

With everything going on I wanted to share some older blogs
these are from my old blog I used when my Grand Mother passed away
now with grandpa in his final days in this world
I wanted to revisit them
find comfort in them...


One year ago this week ..
I called hospice to help stop my grandmothers pain..
Looking back today it was the most Faithful act in my life far
when you come to that moment ..when you have to make that decision
you have no choice but to act in faith ..
I struggled with the choice ..I questioned ..I Prayed
but in that moment ..
I had to depend on my Faith ..and in my grandmothers wishes
I faced my fear ..
I faced my anger ..
I faced my selfish wants
I faced my pain
I faced facts
and acted in faith
Many times over this year I have felt times of question
wondering if God understood ..
in these times of wonder ...I have been shown my answer
a bible passage ..
a friend ...
my church pasture..
my grandfather ..
my grandmother's things appearing out of place
Hearing her now still saying .."your my angel "
a reader whom gave me several messages from her and my Nana
whom returned to me a piece of the past that touched my heart
and validation of those messages only Grams and Nana could give ..
A year ago I never knew if I would have peace in my heart ..
I can tell you today ..I have peace in my heart in so many area's of my life ..
I was truly given such a gift in the experience
it made me more faithful ..well maybe not more faithful...
more like I finally understood what it really was ..
to just depend on faith ..nothing more ..
and to realize I had it ...I had faith
and through her dying experience my faith in the after life was confirmed over and over again
I had always questioned my strength..ever since my Nana passed when I was a kid..
in a lot of ways the reasons for my choices to even care for my grandmother was because of her.
I couldn't take care of her ..I couldn't make her better ..I was a kid
As a kid when she passed I couldn't say good bye ..I was to scared of what I saw in that hospital room
I always regretted not being able to voice the words ..
I love you Nana
I asked my mother to tell her for me ..
But in all this I was able to see my strength..
I was able to say ..Good bye Grandma ...I love you ..
Tell Nana Marie I love her ..
Some how in this whole experience I was able to forgive the child in me who was not strong enough..
I was able to come to terms with not only my Grandmothers death ..but my Nana's too..
While I knew from the beginning that this experience would change me forever ..
I truly never could have imagined healing all the wounds I held from childhood.
I truly never could have imagined I would find peace within my self ..

Aug 20, 2007

Grandma’s passing
In late October of last year I called in hospice care to help relieve Grandma's pain
While I was against the thought of doing so, Knowing the outcome would mean her passing. I could no longer sit aside and watch her in such pain it would have been weak and selfish of me not to take the steps to help ease her pain. We had talked openly before the pain was this bad and I knew her wishes was not to be in pain for me to help the doctors stop the pain. I very much battled to do what was right even though I felt God should be in control.I didn't see at first he always was..
When her pain started to ease which took high levels of pain meds and she smiled at me and said no pain pain anymore ..your my angel and smiled

I knew that I had done the right thing and that God was on this path with me whispering in my ear and giving me strength I never knew I had. In the first few days she was feeling no pain while she didn't have an apatite she did have many moments of pain free reflection with me ..grandpa and her helpers. Three days into the treatments her pain at ease she awake to see all her helpers gathered around her. I had not called them but they where all there while we talk and tell "millie" stories

She awoke to ask me Lorri am I dying? a quiet shock came over everyone's faces .as I bent down to place my face closer to hers so I could look her in the eyes
I told her with every strength I could gather I said I believe so Grams but I am not God ..I cant tell you everything I said in those next moments when I finished she smiled at me then said what a beautiful way to die. I looked up to see everyone in the room in tears Peace over took the room she loved so much

See I had filled her room with colored lights and inspirational and christian music cds played 24 hours a day..she had soft lighting in the room for us to see but the room glowed from with in I had many of my crystals laying about area's of the bedroom and on her lap every moment of the day sat a purple beanie baby I gave her when she became so sick. Clear quartz crystal lay within her palm..Angels and her favorite teddy bears positioned just as she would have wanted.A place for grandpa to spend his final moments with the love of his life ..and the two hummingbirds on her closet doors above her "the sign from above" she was in the right place when she called this house ..home.
We spent 6 days caring for her I was there pretty much twenty four hour's a day ..even though I had her wonderful helpers here I had to be there ..when it was time.I called in Pastors and spiritualist they read scripture and Prayer for Grandma.They where kind to me and allowed me to cry, allowed me to feel any way I needed to feel at any given moment.For them and my friends I will forever be grateful. I helped cleans grams aura and get her ready for her passing. We talked openly and honestly her final days in her awaken moments..and when I needed to do things for her that I knew would be uncomfortable I would talk to her telling her how sorry I was that I had no choice ..when I needed her reinsurance she would supply it ..saying it's ok angel
the day before she died ..just me and brenda in the room she seemed aggravated so we tried to calm her best we could ..when this fragile old women decides to try to lunge forward in bed and yells Jesus WAIT! brenda and I looked at each other and laughed inspite of ourselves ..I said GrandMa! you don't take your Body to heaven! brenda and I both laughed as we laid her back into bed.The next twenty four hours was the hardest grandpa was so sad and I was so tired I can barely remember now much of what went on..but the morning she passed away I was there no helpers just me 4 :30 am I gave her, her meds one last time. I washed her up and changed her night gown to the favorite purple one she loved so much. I laid her cross on her lap and her beanie baby still sat right on her lap.I brushed her hair putting in her favorite butterfly clips and I sat alone in her room ..I did all the talking that morning her breathing was very shallow and her time was almost gone..I sat holding her hand telling her it was time to go ..that I would take care of grandpa now..

I released her I believe then ..

till then I kept holding on but in that quiet calm of the morning I knew I had to let go ..
I went out of her room around 5:45 am and sat on the couch and cried myself to sleep didnt seem long but at 6:30 am I heard a voice say good by and I awake to find myself running down the hallway to her room I passed gramps door he was up too ..he started to follow me when I stopped told him to let me check on her first and I'll call you in and a little bit .He complied and went back to his room when I entered the room I already knew my grandma was gone. My medical side took over and I did the things I needed to do and then the grand daughter side came out and as I said my goodbyes I cried and held her hand..and Prayed for her.

I went out and went to call my dad..Then I told grandpa she was gone ...I had cleaned her all up and she lay peacefully in her room ..grandpa spent time with her said his final goodbyes and then came out to greet my father.My father went in shortly and then he and my grand father left the house while I waited alone for the visiting nurse and the funeral home I had prearranged to come to the house when time.I made phone calls and let everyone know she was gone..the nurse came and went ..then the funeral home came and they helped me by removing her rings.I just couldn't do that.They took her body away and I went home for a short while sat and cried and knew my life was forever changed I sat and cried I relized then I had really grown to love her so much wouldn't be the same now

but the experience I will never forget nor regret.

Even her favorite rose bushes knew what was coming...
outside their front door was a wondering rose bush my grand mother loved so much. She would bless the bushes,cut them back ,tie them up ...she gave them life. When they first moved in the bush was nearly dead but when grams moved in the bushes every year got bigger and fuller. This years roses where just amazing the branches reached for the sky and the roses bloomed on every branch. She was so proud..and it was so beautiful.

It's been almost a year since grandma passed..

the rose bushes she cherished so much..
I still see her so proudly pruning and blessing them every year..
Well They didn't bloom this year..
Guess she took them to heaven with her..
I am not surprised..

~Thank you God for leading me down this path~

rest in peace grandma Millie
Oct 30 2006

Friday, November 12, 2010

Grandpa Ray

Tuesday Nov 9th Spent hours yesterday at the hospital with grandpa, he has a raging infection that his body can not fight. He is now in a coma like state. Hospice care starts today ..we had to make some hard choices for his care, keeping his wants in mind. Grandpa never wanted anything done to prolong his life, he made that perfectly clear along with my grandma, who passed years back on her terms. They are treating him with heavy antibiotics to help him fight the infection but the doctors really don't feel that he can recover from this ..this time. Time will only tell if he is able to make a rebound. And while I want to give these antibiotics a chance to work ..I hate that he is in the hospital ..I want him here in richmond with us at the nursing home ..where I can visit anytime ..stay as long as I want and he would be around the people who have cared for him .. and grown to love "uncle Ray" at his nursing home. My only wishes are that he feels no pain and that he is surrounded by people who love him. I made a promise to my grandma and I intend on keeping that promise. Today will be filled with phone calls and decisions. I wish I could split myself in two and be there with grandpa and still do everything I need to do for mom and dad. I went home last night and slept most of the night but my dream world revolved around everything going on so ..I don't feel I slept at all mind is racing. The hardest part of everything last night was seeing my dads face when he saw grandpa, I had no choice but to take him there to sign papers and make choices with me ..I begged him to just not go in and wait for doctors ..but my dad wanted to see for himself. It broke my heart to hear dad say ohh my buddy is going to die huh Lorri? Seeing the fear and pain in his face knowing its not just about grandpa but his own fears for his own passing. I only let him stay a few minutes when grandpa started choking and gasping for breath I had to get my dad out of there ..he does not need to see this ..hell I don't want to see this but I don't internalize it to think about myself my dad does. It's understandable at his age and all of his own health issues. So I am also concerned if grandpa pulls thru will he lose his bed at the nursing many questions many choices to make ..I know God will lead me just as he did when I had to make these choices for grandma. I wanna give the meds a chance to do what the can do ..but I want to see him back home where he is loved and cared for in his final days not some hospital where nobody but me knows grandpa. I am waiting on calls now to see when I should or if I even can move him back to his nursing home and have hospice take over his care there. So many questions I give him time at the hospital to see if meds help? and take the chance that he passes away there ..alone? they wont let me stay there with him and I can't stay there with him I need to be home here in richmond for mom and dad and if grandpa was here too I could do everything I need to do ..the hospital is only 35 minutes away but it feels far away when I have so many things and people who depend on me here. I pray these hopes and wishes all play out for him ..I want him to be surrounded by love ..every person who passes away I wish would /could be surrounded by love. If it's in my power to give that last gift to him ..I will

Update Thursday Nov 11

Today Grandpa came home to his nursing home this afternoon, where he is surrounded by the people who love him ..and he is at rest just knowing he is back in his own bed with his "Girls". taking care of him. The lights in his room have been dimmed and music is playing softly in his room ...and Hospice nurses are making sure he is not in pain.

On my way to the hospital this morning, I got a phone call from his doctor at the hospital letting me know exactly what happen to grandpa Ray..and I am still shocked at some of their findings ...

Grandpa ray has Leukemia, probably has had it for many many years. It was in his medical records dating back long before I took over his care. I was never aware of this condition but I know now that even my grandmother most likely knew. But because grandpa Ray for the most part was healthy his doctors here never addressed it or brought it up to me. But the nursing home doctors have known all along ..yet I didn't. Well the Leukemia makes his immune system weakened this infection being so bad , his body is unable to fight it. His body is in septic shock from E coli most likely from feces that found it's way into his body through a open sore or through his urinary track, which happens to many elderly with incontinence issues. Normally an antibiotic can take care of this ..but with grandpa's leukemia and not showing signs of an infection till very late in the infection he just can't fight it this time. The infection has entered most his organs and they are slowly shutting down. And while in the hospital he was in a coma like state ..when I would visit grandpa would respond to me even talk with me I believe for the most part he was shutting his caregivers there out and going to a place in his mind where he could just be left alone. Once back home to his bed at the nursing home he is now responding to his usual nurses just as he does for me. Grandpa used to do the same thing when living with me when he would get mad ..almost like a meditative state. While he is sleeping most the time ..he will respond to our voices when asked questions and when we say his name. He even said hello to my dad today when I asked him too. Tonight I sat with him a while alone in his room ..and we had a good talk about what is happening to him and that waiting for him is grandma and his mom and dad who he was very close to. He kept looking over my shoulder saying yeah she is waiting...and while nobody was there that I could see ..I know someone was there with him waiting for him to go home with them. I spoke to him about grandma and the end of her life, reminding him about the love and care she was given in her final days. I assured him that I would and others would be there to surround him with love too in his final days ..I assured him that I would be okay and that I would take good care of my Dad and Mom and that I wouldn't have changed a thing about our journey together. That I loved him and that these past 8 years have been a wonderful blessed experience and I thanked him for letting me be a part of his life.

While we have no idea how long this process will be ..I know that I have done everything I could. I am keeping my promises to him and grandma by doing everything I could to keep them healthy and well taken care of ..and now by making his passing something calm, respectful and loving. I will miss him when he goes home to be with grandma but my life has been enriched by the experience and the love I have for them them both...