Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{Virtual Coffee} #5: Taking the bad with the good

First of all, I need to bitterly complain about the editing on Blogger. Are any of you  as frustrated about Blogger as I am? Why is it so klutzy?! I can't understand why it messes up the formatting so much when I attempt to use photos and then it'll underline whole sections for no reason whatsoever! I just about gave up completing this post entirely because of the ridiculous system. Argh!! Okay, so my rant is done ~ on to Virtual Coffee ...
Morning coffee with box of chocolates I gave Greg for our
anniversary. The scripture verse on the box was most appropriate
considering what has been going on in our lives lately.

{Virtual Coffee} today includes a potpourri of things. If you were here sharing a cup of coffee with me today, I would have to tell you that my beautiful mother-in-law, Irene passed away on March 16th, so it's been rather sad around here lately as we mourn the passing of my husband's lovely mom. She is in Heaven and free of the worries and stresses of this world, but it is difficult for us.

My son David was in the middle of rehearsing for the musical, Honk! when he was called to say his good byes to his Granny. Honk! is a super upbeat and happy retelling of the Ugly Duckling, so it was tremendously difficult on David by opening night to perform when his beloved Granny had just passed away. The cast was very supportive of him and the shows were dedicated to the memory of Irene.
Standing beneath her beloved apple tree
Irene Supina

The Celebration of Life Memorial was beautiful. All of Irene's children paid tribute to their mother. (Proverbs 31:28-31), A common thread wove it's way through all their words: Love.  She was a remarkable woman whose deep faith impacted many lives. With great compassion and constant encouragement, she joyfully welcomed everyone into her heart.
One of the beautiful things that happened through this was the little miracles in the insignificant details. Irene's favourite flowers were the ever-joyful sunflowers. Sunflowers are definitely not in season; we were told that the florist may not be able to use fresh sunflowers in the arrangements because of this fact. However, as the memorial drew nearer, sunflowers started popping up everywhere! First they started appearing in stores, then on opening night of Honk! all the cast members were given flowers: sunflowers! Then, when I went to the Post Office to buy stamps to mail out thank you notes, I discovered that Canada Post had just released sunflower postage stamps on March 3rd!
Canada Post Sunflower Stamps released March 2011

Although we grieve and we're still emotionally exhausted, Greg and I also celebrate today because it is our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Tonight, we plan to dine in the restaurant that Greg proposed to me in 1984.
The two of us in 1986

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

{Virtual Coffee} #4

Good morning. The sun is brightly shining outside, but it's still -16 Celsius (3.2 Fahrenheit), and the mounds of snow outside makes me glad to stay inside at the moment. It's time to put on the Virtual Coffee pot again ~ welcome! If you were here with me this morning, I would give you a piping hot mug of coffee and then tell you about what the last 16 days have been like.
You see, my sweet mother-in-law (MIL) and my children's cherished Granny, Irene had a massive heart attack on February 19th, and we have been back and forth to the hospital visiting every day. She was in the Critical Care Unit for about a week and then transferred to a Cardiac Unit.
A couple positives that came out of this is that we got to spend time with my MIL and 
my sister-in-law who came from out of province to spend time with her mommy!

Yesterday, the doctor sent my MIL home. I have very mixed feelings about this. Of course I am happy that she is healthy enough to leave the hospital and continue recovering ~ she needs open heart surgery, but her heart must heal more before that is possible. However, she is not a lady who likes to sit around. She also has a lot of stresses at home ~ namely her husband and a couple of sons who demand far too much of an 81 year old woman.

Before her heart attack (which she barely survived ~ flat lining upon arrival at the hospital), she could out-work me, I swear. She would wake up around 4:30 a.m., cleaning, taking time to read her Bible and a wee bit of CH Spurgeon, cooking a full healthy breakfast for "the boys", starting her physically disabled son's van (and I imagine brushing off snow when necessary) so he could get to work on time, and then she would rest. Her first catnap of the day occurred around 8 a.m. then it was back to housework again....

If you were here, sipping your coffee with me, you would no doubt agree that now there must be changes made.  There's the necessity of hiring a cleaning person to come in from time to time (my mother in law has always kept a very neat and clean home). Then there's the meals to consider. Irene is one of the best cooks I've ever known ~ everyone has always loved the opportunity to sample her delicious meals. But now, someone else needs to do meal preparation. We know now too, that she is diabetic, so her eating habits must change ~ for example, the 4 heaping teaspoons of sugar per cup of coffee is a thing of the past. Then there is salt ~ another big enemy ~ one that she always used liberally. Another thing that has to go is her 60+ year smoking habit. Of course, this is a major contributor to her heart attack (along with her enormous stress load). The entire time she was in hospital, she didn't smoke once. We are hoping that she won't give in to cravings ~ especially when faced with stresses ~ and that this deadly habit is conquered once and for all..
Are you still with me? If you were here, I'd give you a warm up on your coffee ...
Decisions will have to be made about living arrangements. The large house on the acreage is not feasible anymore. It actually hasn't been for years. My father in law has had cancer for a long time, and when he was first diagnosed many years ago, some of the family suggested that a move may be wise ... way back then. But no, that idea was ignored and quashed. Now, there is simply no choice. So we will see what happens in the days to come. Because of the family dynamics (ie., Father knows "best" ... well actually Father knows EVERYthing!), my husband and I will be left out of any family discussion or decision making in the days to come, so we can only hope and pray for the best.
Thank you for spending time with me this morning, and have a great week. 
Please check out the other {Virtual Coffee} participants here!