Tag Archives: love

Going out on a limb… part 6.

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This will be the last  I never knew River was such a loon unexplained experienced post. Strange things happen, and sometimes you have to blog about them. Which is what I did after my mother passed…. and now again because  Swinged Cat  asked me.

Weird event #6.

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Wow.

Added: Wednesday, July 9th 2014 at 8:54am by rivergirl

I have one more amazing experience to share with you, and for me…this was the most meaningful.

As I’ve said before, the people who work and volunteer at hospices are angels in my eyes. A more compassionate, caring set of individuals you’ll never meet. They were there for me at the worst time of my life…. even when I didn’t think I needed them. They walked me through the process of death and held my hand. Literally and figuratively. They offered a shoulder to cry on and a hug when words weren’t nearly enough. They shared their stories of helping others through difficult times and it ended up helping me.

One woman told me of a patient who had terminal prostate cancer. He was given 3 months to live and was surrounded by his large, loving, Italian family at all times. They came in rotating shifts, cooked meals, read books and played cards. One afternoon while his favorite grand daughter was visiting he told her he was a little tired and wanted to take a nap. She said, “Okay Gramps. But we’ll be right outside when you need us because we’re not leaving you for a minute.” 10 minutes later, forgetting her purse in his room, she snuck back in quietly and found that he was gone.

He needed to spare them the pain of his passing and chose his time.

Make of that what you will.

When you’re sitting in the hospice rooms… there are books, pamphlets and literature on dying scattered everywhere. They’re meant to be helpful, but for days I couldn’t bring myself to read them. Denial is a wonderful thing.

But as time wore on and things got progressively worse, I picked one up.

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It was written by a nurse who has witnessed numerous deaths in her career. And as hard as it was to read…it was also strangely fascinating. Because I learned that it’s a very defined process, death. No matter what your disease or illness….you will die in clearly recognizable steps.

Reading about the months prior to death I realized my mother had been showing the signs. She’d given up reading, which she loved. She’d given up the New York Times crossword puzzle, which she whipped thru in pen. Her appetite had gone from small to non existent. Her sleeping patterns had changed. These are all part of the process….the pulling away from life.

So I sat, I waited, I cried.

And then it happened. It was an afternoon when a social worker had come to talk with me. At this point my mother had been completely out of it for almost a week. You couldn’t wake her and she didn’t speak.

The social worker had gotten up and walked around the room, looking at all the photos I’d brought. We stood on opposite sides of my mother’s bed and spoke of my father and the strange experiences I related here earlier. I had tears rolling down my face when I told her I knew my dad was waiting for my mom. We turned, made our way to the door…. and then? My mother woke up.

Her eyes were as clear as day… and she found me across the room. I rushed to her side, leaned over her bed and held her hand. I told her I loved her. She looked like she was trying to say something…. but couldn’t. Her breathing became labored.  I leaned closer, kissed her and told it her was okay. That it was her time…and that I would be alright. I told her she would be with dad again soon.

I told her he’d been waiting for her a long time and it was okay to go. I told her he was right there with us.

And then the strangest thing happened. She turned her head, reached out an arm and looked right past me….in every sense of the word. Her eyes went completely glassy. Like a curtain had been drawn. Her breathing calmed, she smiled…and I knew. She’d found him.

She closed her eyes and went back to sleep, but I knew the best part of her was already gone. I’m sitting here with a lump in my throat and tears splashing the keyboard, but I tell you at that moment….I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace.

And grace.

I kept a bedside vigil for many more hours. And reread a passage in the book about what happens when death is near…

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Well, I recognized it…. and it was amazing.

She died later that night. A half an hour after I’d left.

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Going out on a limb ….part 5.

I’m just going to keep putting these out here until I run out. If you’re reading them and seeing me differently, so be it. I’m finding it quite cathartic…. and as Bon Jovi says, It’s My Life.

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Weird experience #5, another from my days in the hospice with my  late mother.

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The Crash.

Added: Wednesday, July 9th 2014 at 5:25am by rivergirl

As I said before, I brought a lot of pictures to my mothers hospice room. I hung them on the walls, taped them to the nightstand and tucked them in the tv screen. I wanted to surround her with love and happy memories.

There were many of me and my husband, and our pets and special times we had shared with my mother….

The nurses and staff loved it. They told me it lets them meet their patients in a different way, which considering the never ending sadness they deal with… I thought was very touching.

Most of the pictures were mine, but there were 3 framed photographs that had hung on my mother’s walls for 50 years… so I brought them too.

Here they are:

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Momma & her father

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My mother and her father on Jones Beach.

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My mother and father on their wedding day at the Stork Club.

And this one:

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A very old photo of my mother, in her 20’s, and her first love… Frank.

He was much older and very wealthy. He introduced a young, naive girl born to Austrian immigrant parents who lived in a cold water tenement flat…. to a world of art, culture and high society. They were together for many years, but never married. In 1957 he broke it off and introduced her to a junior partner in his firm….my father. They were married a year later.

I grew up knowing all about Frank. It was no secret she loved him and it in no way diminished the love she felt for my father. First love is first love. It never bothered me.

Now fast forward 50 odd years and her daughter is sitting alone with her in a hospice room waiting for the end. I cried. All day, all night, on and off for days.

During the first afternoon, I was sitting on the rock hard couch thinking about her life, my life and everything in between. I thought about my dad. About how much he loved her and what a good marriage they had.

And then I heard a crash.

The picture of my mom and Frank had fallen off the wall.  It fell face down on the floor and the glass was smashed to bits.

No one had slammed a door, no one had knocked the wall from the next room. There was no seismic shock or tremor that rattled the building. No airplane flew too low and shook the windows. It just crashed.While all the other pictures stayed right where they were.

Apparently while my mother loving Frank didn’t bother me….it clearly bothered my dad. And he told me so in no uncertain terms.

The photo stayed face down on a side table until I brought it home after she passed.

Call it coincidence if you want….

But I know better.

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Going out on a limb… Part 2.

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If you’re back this morning it must mean you want to know how my reading with the psychic went back in 2013. Funny, eight years later and I still have to pinch myself when I think about it. Roll your eyes, scoff, write me off as a nutcase… I don’t care. I would have done the same if I hadn’t experienced it myself. You know me…I’m a pragmatic chicka. A realist. There have only been a handful of things in my life I can’t explain…. and this was one of them. So jump aboard the crazy train and thank Swinged Cat  for opening up my archive with his request for sharing weird experiences.

My evening with spirits…. **Friends only**

 January 29th 2013 at 9:47am by rivergirl

I’m not sure I know where to begin.

And if I start rambling, please forgive me…it was a very emotional experience.

The psychic was a lovely woman who made me feel completely at ease. There was no incense, no crystal ball, just a table and the prerequisite box of tissues. She instructed me at the beginning of the session not to volunteer any information. Only to acknowledge or negate what she said. So for all you skeptics, there was no way she was pulling details of my life from me since all I said for an entire hour was yes or no.

I have to say it felt surreal. The moment we started she told me there was a man, who she felt was my father, waiting for me. I won’t go into all the details since none of you knew him….suffice it to say she had him down cold. There was nothing she related that wasn’t completely accurate. She had his personality, his job, his appearance, his love for my mother, his wartime experience, his poor health, his dry sense of humor, his love of the sea. She saw him surrounded by books, artist’s brushes, animals and gardens. She spoke of his grief over the loss of his brother when he was young, of his regrets in not being able to watch me grow up, his sense of duty towards his widowed mother and awful sister.

(And let me tell you…she had her down pat also. My hateful aunt who the psychic called spoiled, entitled and bitter. Fittingly, she is as alone in death as she was in life. Nice to know you really do reap what you sow. 👍)

I think the most amazing thing I came away from this experience with was the knowledge that our loved ones are always with us. My father said he was glad I had found a good man who loved me. That we were secure financially, that we were happy. He knew my husband had been in uniform and was older than I. He spoke of the big building project we had undertaken (the barn!) and how well we worked together as a team. He said he had been worried for me in my early teenage years right after he died because I, how shall we say….ran a little wild. (Which I totally did!) He said he appreciated the fact that I care for my mother… and to please have patience with her… as he had to, for she is not a strong woman.

The psychic told me of my father being there the night of the Marine Corps ball and how lovely he thought I looked in my dress. Of how proud he was of me for finding my own voice after so many years of being a shy wallflower. (Yeah….I know, hard to believe but at one time I was.) He wanted me to know that our beloved beagle Hiram was beside him now as he had been in life….which made the animal lover in me rejoice. He told me to lead the life I wanted to lead…that it is the regrets we take with us. And even though I never felt neglected as a child, his biggest regret was that he worked too hard and too long and didn’t spend enough time with my mother and me. He spoke of many little childhood memories I had all but forgotten. He spoke of the grief he carried over the loss of my brothers and sister. (My mother had multiple miscarriages early in their marriage) As I said…it was surreal.

Though I did choke up a few times….I didn’t babble. Which is surprising because even after all these years, I can’t often speak of my father without crying. I think I might have been too stunned for tears. My jaw was probably hanging open half the time because even though this was exactly what I had hoped for…part of me didn’t believe it could really happen. I’d happily crossed over into the Twilight Zone… and no one could have been more surprised. But aside from the other worldly vibe? The over all feeling of the evening was peace.

And love….above all, love.

For 35 years I have missed my father…. and wished over and over again that he could have shared my life as a teenager, as a young woman, as an adult. And now, the most remarkable thing I realized?

 He has.

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Dudley update.

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It took almost 3 weeks, but our new boy is settling in nicely and less skittish every day.

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Loud noises like the snow plow still send him under the bed … and the jury is still out on exterior wonders. He spied wild turkeys in the backyard the other day and growled from under the couch for 5 minutes straight.

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But he’s learning to trust us and coming out of his shell. Toys help, and I’ve retrieved that fuzzy ball from under the furniture enough times to require another visit to the orthopedist.

I think it’s safe to say I’m in love.

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Even my girlfriend recognized how much having a little guy around the house again means and sent a congratulations card.

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Dudley loves his squeaky mouse, but not when we wave the stick…. so I rigged up a do it yourself playground.

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I’m sure he’s grateful, though he doesn’t look it.

It should be noted that while I love dogs and all their slobbering appreciation? There’s something about the utter disdain cats show their humans which speaks to me.

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Meet Dudley.

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Lord Dudley Mountcatten to be precise.

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Our new little guy still goes under the bed and shies away from loud noises…

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But when he’s out and about he’s a sweetie. And a bit of a goofball.

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With enough of the typical you were put on this planet to serve me cattitude to warrant his name.

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One minute he’s a cuddle bug, the next he runs away when we walk in the room. I have a feeling this little guy saw some trauma along the way. Patience will be required.

💕

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A purrfect day.

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I wasn’t exaggerating the last week when I said I cried after giving the stray cat back to his owners. It was strange… I knew it was the right thing. I knew I had to do it. I knew he would be loved and well cared for. But when I was at the sink washing out the cat dishes? I kind of lost it.

I’m a huge animal lover and have had a houseful of pets all my life… up until two years ago when we lost our last cat (he was 26!) and the husband said no more pets because he wanted to retire and travel freely. I understood, and I didn’t argue… but I hated the feeling of an empty house. So when that little guy wandered in? He stole my heart immediately. I was complete.

For 6 whole days, then I was bereft.

And bless my husband’s heart, even though I know he didn’t want to… he broke down and suggested we go to a shelter and rescue a kitty.

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I honestly didn’t know I could get dressed and out the door that fast…. but I broke my record and was waiting in the car before he could change his mind.

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We drove north to PALS. ( Protection for Animal Life Society ) It’s a wonderful no kill cat shelter I’d heard about but never had occasion to visit.

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It was amazing. Clean, well run, with an on staff vet and room after room of lucky kitties.

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It was a veritable snuggly cat stacked warehouse.

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We were interviewed and then led into the visiting room to meet the adoptable felines. Some were friendly and outgoing, some were shy and sad. We were told some were permanent residents due to health or behavioral issues.

I would have been happy to take any one of them home… but decided to let the husband choose.

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After much deliberation, this stocky little grey and white fellow was chosen to be an official member of Casa River. ( first photo taken in moving vehicle hence the blur )

He was found wandering as a stray and was surrendered 3 weeks ago. He’s been neutered, wormed, vaccinated and been given a clean bill of health. They estimate his age at 4 years.

He’s very sweet and enjoys being petted…

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When you can find him.

For now he’s skittish and needs to learn to trust us. Lord knows what the poor little guy has been through…but he’ll be happy here.

I’ll make sure of it.

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Heartbroken.

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The beautiful stray cat we fell in love with and gave a home?

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Has been returned to his rightful owners.

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I think you can guess that wasn’t my choice…. but when you receive a call from the local police department, there really isn’t any way to avoid it.

Apparently his people had been frantically searching for him but aren’t active on social media and didn’t see my original posts about finding him. A friend of theirs alerted a lost animal site…

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And there really was no doubt.

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After the police gave me their phone number, I found this on my FB messenger.

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Damn.

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They live right up the road from us.

The guilt was strong, because I really wanted to keep him.

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But look, he has a twin brother.

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Double damn. There were worried children.

I had to call.

So I called.

They came, they thanked us profusely, they took their beautiful kitty, and yes…. I cried.

Now the house seems emptier than ever.

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Welcome to the family… I think.

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Meet our new family member.

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The cat my husband swore we wouldn’t have any more of after our last one passed because he wanted to be free to travel.

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This handsome fellow has been wandering our neighborhood (in the cold Maine winter!) for weeks. A woman down the road took him in, but her dogs kept attacking.

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Our farming neighbors across the street took him in, but they have 4 cats, 2 dogs and 3 kids in a 1,000 square foot house…. so they begged us to shelter him.

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The husband said yes, temporarily while we tried to find his owners.

He’s clean, healthy, flea and ear mite free… and a genuine love bug. Someone clearly cared for this kitty. But after posting on numerous lost pet sites, numerous local Facebook pages and asking everyone I know? It looks like he’s ours.

And the husband who said no way, no more pets?

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Yeah.

He’s been charmed.

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And to think it only took three days.

Such is the power of cats.

💕

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25th is silver, so 37th must be …. platypus?

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The husband and I recently celebrated 37 blissful (read – we haven’t killed each other yet) years of marriage.

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And because he’s a sweetie, a bouquet of flowers was delivered.

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And to my most divine pleasure, it contained colors other than green.

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Required cheesy old photograph of the happy couple.

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And yes, along with the lovely flowers was a platypus.

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Because after 37 years? He gets me.

💕

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