Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cowgirl V: Rainy Days and Rainbows


rainy day

The rain this morning seemed somehow to reflect my somber mood.  Just have a case of the blahs the past couple of days.  We just returned from our trip to Alabama to see my mom and sister.  We brought my mom’s two beloved cats with us because she will soon be moving to a special unit due to the Alzheimer’s Disease.   The cats are old and confused too.  I can’t help it!  When I see them, I feel a little sad.  They are  isolated in a spare room until they hopefully acclimate to their new home which includes two cat friendly dogs!  Actually, the female cat has always been somewhat antisocial, and hides out.  The friendly orange tabby, Chester,  just lays on the daybed.  Poor thing, he seems so confused and sad.  The only option besides traveling to Arkansas with me, was euthanasia, and I just couldn’t do it.  Not many people want to adopt a senior animal, and Tuscaloosa is overrun with homeless pets due to the recent tornado. 


The rubble to the left of the Hobby Lobby store was Big Lots.  It was flattened.  What amazed me was that the major hospital in the city was missed by a few feet.  Cars in the parking lot were damaged, but the hospital miraculously was unscathed.



I knew it was going to be bad, but nothing can prepare you for the devastation of a tornado.  Tuscaloosa, is slowly cleaning up the mess, but where do you take all the  junk?




Despite all the devastation all around, Tuscaloosa is a nice town with the beautiful  Black Warrior River meandering through it. Fortunately, my sister’s neighborhood was not damaged at all.  We brought home some of the bounty of her beautiful garden.



We had squash for dinner last night!   This is the squash from her garden!  Perhaps I’ll post my mother-in-law’s recipe for her amazing, delicious squash casserole soon!  Yes, I will!




These red potatoes,  boiled and seasoned with just a little butter, salt and freshly ground pepper were delicious! 




Despite everything, we had a wonderful visit with my sister and her family.  The grandkids swam in her neighbor’s pool, and my daughter and her cousin were able to reconnect and had a great time catching up!  My 7 year old grandson met his cousin for the first time and they were inseparable.  They speculated that being cousins was so great, they might become great friends too!




We drove to Birmingham one evening for some great barbecue, and got to see my niece’s lovely new house.  On the drive there, my husband spied a beautiful double rainbow in the sky.  It reminded me that mourning may last for season, but joy will come in the morning. 

This is the rainbow we saw while driving to Birmingham.




Just feeling a little blue, but families truly are forever!  Little Emma Rose in my arms is turning one year old tomorrow and we will be celebrating at the Purple Cow restaurant.  I suspect Emma will be having some purple vanilla ice cream with her cake!  Happy Birthday, Emma!




teri said...

My mom had Alzheimers, too. It was a heartbreak for me, losing her while she was still with us. She died first, and a few years later my dad passed away -- and I took in his 15-year old cat. Once again, I find so many parallels between your life and mine! Dad's cat turns 18 this September, and though I've never been a fan of felines, I've grown to love this sweet old boy.

KathySue said...

I have a feeling this visit will stand out in our memories of mom because she still at least recognizes us all as "family" even though she can't recall names. Bittersweet memories. While the cats remind you of her confusion and disorientation, their absence reminds me of what she has lost---independence, companionship, control of her surroundings, etc. This disease is relentless. I keep my prayers aimed at improving the prevention strategies for Alzhemier's and other related memory disorders. I also pray that our society will be more accepting of those with such diseases instead of labeling them "crazy old people". The rainbow reminds me that God has not forsaken any of those afflicted with the disease and I can only hope He holds them close and that they can sense His presence. I am thankful for family and friends that support us in this life challenge!

I am going to take this opportunity to put a plug in for a facebook site that I have found very insightful for both those suffering with memory disorders and anyone affected by such afflictions. It is called "Memory People" and you can find it through the search tab on Facebook. It was founded by Rick Phelps, who has Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease and he is trying to improve awareness worldwide. The site includes people from "across the pond" and it is extremely interesting to compare the similarities and the differences in the challenges and the sources for support in the different cultures. He tries to do a daily video of himself talking about personal challenges of EOAD for himself and his family and what he hopes to accomplish while he still can....

Iron Needles said...

Understanding so much, even the tornado part. My hometown is Greensburg, KS, that was similarly hit in 2007.

Sending good thoughts.

Happyone : ) said...

This year has been just awful for tornados. They have left behind so much destruction.
Glad to hear you had a nice visit with your family.

Anonymous said...

Dad had Parkinsons related Dementia, an akin form of Alzheimers. I believe his mental condition worsened with the medications he was taking for Parkinsons. I am interested in the info Kathy Sue gave and will investigate "Memory People."
V, don't be too harsh on yourself for using those rainy days to slow down. It's a good time to reconnect with yourself and rest. I love rainy days. Loved the generation picture. Reminds me to quickly get pictures of my family with my grandmother who is 110! She's amazing and still has a fairly good mind. A little slow, but who wouldn't be at 110!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Honey, I went through the Alzheimers with my Mom, who got so bad she called me, her first born, "Buddy." I burst into tears.

You were a good soul to rescue the old cats. Thanks for that.

Take cheer from the rainbows.

I send you a pocketful of joy,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

panamamama said...

Tornadoes are so freaky. No rhyme or reason. I hope you're feeling better. (It's sunny today!)

Pondside said...

Life and landscape change and those changes are so hard on us....but for those who are lucky to have family, as you have, can weather the change because families really can be forever.

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