Category: Hospice

FREE Kindle Ebook for Mother’s Day May 7 & 8

May 7 and 8 are upon us!

Download your FREE Kindle copy of The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret at http://www.ow.ly/vfH8E. This version was beautifully formatted by Gary Hall of http://www.greystrokecreative.com. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download to your computer without charge.

It is interesting to me to see that some of what I wrote in this book as a daughter is now being played out in my own life. How could I have known when I wrote The Last Violet that I was writing a guidebook for myself? 

Vignette

Helplessly I watch

as they make their mad dash

to the bathroom

her pale, thin arm clutching his

their weary feet shuffling

over the light Berber carpet

their bodies stopped with

the weight of many years

They've been together since

they were very young

sometimes they've been happy

sometimes not

but here they walk side by side

as cancer interrupts

whatever they were doing

as cancer eats her body

and tears his heart

"In sickness and in health," they vowed

"until death do us part," they vowed

Helplessly I watch

and then

I go into the kitchen and weep…

(Excerpted from The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother)

Thinking of Your Mom?

As you and I wait for the FREE Kindle book download for The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret, on May 7 and 8, I'd like to share two other excerpts from that book:

http://www.loishjelmstad.com/can-you-visit-your-childhood-home

http://www.loishjelmstad.com/you-can-run-but-can-you-hide

I wrote the first part of The Last Violet while my mother lay dying in home-hospice. It was a very confusing, frustrating, haunting time. After Mother died on Mother's Day 1995, I continued to explore our relationship and my grief in an effort to better understand her – and myself. 

I would like for The Last Violet to become a way for you to explore your relationship with your mother – living or dead.   

All my love, Lois

I’m So Excited About My Gift to You

‎Now it's only five days until all my dear readers and their friends and their friends can download The Last Violet: Mourning My Mother, Moving Beyond Regret. Go to http://www.ow.ly/vfH8E on May 7 and 8 and you'll get your FREE Kindle eBook. 

It took a long time, a lot of editing, many emails, a fair amount of money, and a lot of energy to get The Last Violet into eBook form. It will all be worth it if even one more person finds the comfort, validation, courage, and joy I wish for the readers of this second book of mine. Readers have told me that if your mother has died The Last Violet will help you chart your way. They also say that if you are lucky enough that she is still alive, the book can motivate and help you to better your relationship.

I want to share what I wrote about Mother's Day last year. See http://www.loishjelmstad.com/mothers-day-sadness 

Meantime, happy spring!

Tribute to My Beloved Friend

It is four years ago today that my best friend and sister-in-law died of pancreatic cancer.

As I look at her picture above my desk, I miss her as though it were yesterday. Mary Jo was generous, loving, kind. She worked tirelessly in her church, served countless dinners for Sons of Norway, read for the blind, made hundreds of quilts for the Linus Project, and was a caring friend to many. She never revealed a confidence. Tears still burn my eyes when I think of her and I think of her often.

It is in her honor that I share an excerpt from the chapter “Candles Floating on the Pool” from This Path We Share:  

Every day the sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky. Every day Mary Jo’s cheeks became more like parchment and sunk further into her bone structure. Every day her thin arms struggled harder to grasp the side railing of her bed to turn to her left side, her skin damp with the effort. Every day her words became a little harder to understand. Often Les and I sat squeezed together in the big chair in the lobby (of the Hospice of the Valley in Arizona) as if we could create a cocoon and ward off our anguish.

One evening as I kissed Mary Jo’s forehead and said good-bye, she mumbled, “It’s hard to leave.”

“Yes,” I said, "but perhaps it is time.”

Early in the morning, five days later, I was on my way to Sherman House, only two minutes from my best friend’s bedside, when my cell phone rang.

“It’s done.”

As I drove back to the house to tell Ralph and Les that our beloved Mary Jo was gone, I thought back to those beautiful candles floating precariously on the pool. The lights had flickered across the water, offering shimmering memories, shining hope, unaware how truly vulnerable they—and we—were.

(Excerpted from This Path We Share: Reflecting on 60 Years of Marriage © 2010 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)

May we each honor those whom we have loved and lost - today and every day.

 

Why Am I Alive? Why Is She Dead? No. 3

Shoreline
(for Ann)

Everything seems
so distant
now

Is Life receding or
is Eternity
approaching?

(Excerpted from Fine Black Lines, (c) 1993, 2003 Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad)