Category: hospital

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)

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!

I Can Breathe Again

Dear ones -

Yesterday was emotionally taxing, as well as physically draining. Not totally surprising.

Les and I got up at 4:15 a.m. (four hours earlier than usual, I’m embarrassed to say, but we are old) and readied ourselves for the trip to the hospital.

The registration and prep time seemed very much like same old, same old of prior excursions.

The surgical waiting room seemed same old, same old, too. I worked a Jumble, a Sudoku, and five crossword puzzles. Almost two and a half hours passed.

Suddenly the puzzles could no longer distract me. When the familiar fear that perhaps Les would not come out of this surgery jammed itself back into my consciousness, I grew faint and almost threw up. The physical reaction was as unexpected as it was powerful. I began pacing the floor.

Several minutes later, the doctor came out and gave us good news – although it was more difficult than he might have expected, the procedure had gone well.

I exhaled.

I spent the night on a hard chair by Les' bedside overnight and listened to the music of his breath. This afternoon we came home – he with a sore chest and I with a very relieved, but bruised heart.

Only time will tell if this newly-minted biventricular pacemaker disrupts his heart failure sufficiently for him to have a decent quality of life. We are cautiously optimistic.

But I grow ever more aware of mortality – especially his. 

Thank you for your prayers, cards, good thoughts, hugs, and other support. 

Much love, Lois

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death of a Friend

Almost two weeks ago, I had a distinct nudging to visit a friend of ours. 

Les and I have belonged to a small support group through our church since 1969. Of the original nine couples and one single, seven of the men and three women had died. Floyd, the one remaining man beside Les, had been having a rough spring and we had wanted to visit him and his lovely Lynette in Loveland, Colorado.

Since Les' November brush with mortality, his subsequent pacemaker, and various ups and downs, our doctor had asked us to stay close to medical care in the Denver metropolitan area. Then in early April, with things somewhat stable, he gave us permission to drive to Loveland. We kept trying to make the trip. Denver had four snowstorms in April; Les had bad days. Things just weren’t working out.

Thursday, April 25, I woke with this strong urge. The weather was good; Les was okay. So we went. Floyd and Lynette seemed grateful that we had come. Floyd had entered hospice care the evening before, but he was up walking around, sitting in a chair, talkative, peaceful. The four of us and son Galen shared deeply. Les and I felt the visit was meant to be. Whether or not Floyd and Lynn needed us, we needed them.

On April 30 Floyd died. I want to share with you, my dear readers, the poem I read at his service:

 For Floyd

We can’t believe you’re gone –
hospice, yes, but only six days?
You were just here – alert, alive, aligned
ready to go, most surely, but still participating

You were such a good man –

Working hard and faithfully over the years   
an expert with your hands
building beautiful things
gracing this space with mailboxes,
coffee mug shelves, the reusable casket

Loyal to your church, your friends, your family
generous, giving, always game for another adventure
another trip, another house, another state

You were such a good man –

steadfast in faith
confident in convictions, vocal in opinions
You weren’t always right, but you were resolute

You battled through cancer and heart attacks
and surgeries with more grace and courage
than most of us could manage

You were such a good man –

We honor you in your unwavering love for Lynette –
with gratitude for how you cared for her, protected her,
and lent her your staunch warmth and unshakable strength

Happy trails, dear friend, our love and tears go with you –   
pile into the motor home of immortality
bluegrass blasting, the fishing streams of Paradise forever filled

May you discover heaven to be lovelier than the hills of Arkansas
and may you find the most amazing adventures ad infinitum

amen

Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad
May 4, 2013