beckycochrane [userpic]

Checking in

November 25th, 2008 (03:31 pm)

current mood: enigmatic

Back in June, I talked about a print I ordered from Jon Armstrong's Etsy shop. I got it almost immediately after I ordered it--that Jon is efficient as well as brilliant and talented--but it went into the pile of "I'll take care of this later" stuff.

Later came, and I took it to have it matted and framed. It looks so fantastic with the glass mosaic piece done by another gifted artist, Rachael Walker.

Like this:

If the mat looks crooked to you, it's an illusion caused by the slant of the windowsill in the photograph. It's a beautiful piece and I'm very pleased with its frame and mat.

The kitchen is between my office and the dining room, but this is what I see in the dining room whenever I turn to the right:

Rachael's and Jon's creations are next to two of Tim's paintings. The cabinet was custom-made for us by a craftsman in the Heights who I don't think is there anymore. The box on top of the cabinet was a gift from James, and holds all kinds of little treasures (including the tiny braid Tim sent me from New York the first time he cut off all his long hair). On the upper right is an edge of one of five collages done by my friend Geoff depicting the fall of Troy. They were Steve's, and after he died, Geoff gave them to me. The border at the ceiling was hand-stamped by Tom when we painted the room back in 1997.

I certainly know talented people.

Some of the other things on the "later" list that I've been trying to do, in addition to helping develop a couple of TJB book ideas to send to our editor, include:


Making the most perfect corn muffins ever (no sugar!) to go with a delicious beef stew.

Shredding. Every paper in this pile represents a visit to a doctor or a pharmacist over the last four years.

And this would be the pile of the papers I needed to shred pertaining to medical, residential, and financial correspondence and documents.

After all that shredding, I have plenty of packing material. And oddly, the shredded paper has my mother's scent, probably because about half of it has been in the same box since it came from her apartment.

Now I tell you this not so you can say, "Oh, Becky, you took such good care of your mother." Because frankly, as overwhelming as it often seemed when I was in the middle of it, it wasn't anywhere near as taxing as it could have been. Had she remained in good physical health, she could have lived for years with Alzheimer's and I'd have had to continue to lose her bit by bit. Coping with doctors and hospitals, managing medication, and other caregiving was minimal compared to what some people endure. Plus none of it hit me financially, thanks to my mother's frugal lifestyle and my father's retirement/survivor benefits. Though it wasn't always a walk in the park with my mother, she willingly stopped driving and sold her car, made her own decisions about quality of life, handed over her checkbook, and sometimes even refrained from arguing with me, although I tried her patience when she was mentally sharp and bewildered her on her bad days. And finally, I had one HELL of a support system, including Tom and Tim, my sister, brother, sister-in-law, my Tom in-laws, and our friends. In fact, I plan to talk about a few of those friends in a Thanksgiving Day post, so you'll just have to wait.

Overall, my four years were not as catastrophic as what other people with aging and ill parents cope with. And though some of y'all are checking on me because of that holiday-grief thing, I'm okay. And when I'm not, help is as close as the recliner in the living room, the TimLair, the four dogs who make my world brilliant, and the phone.

I do kind of miss That Old Woman, though.


If you own any of the books in the opposite side bar and would like them signed, mail them to:
P.O. Box 924104
Houston, TX 77292
Please include three dollars for return postage. Thank you.

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