*Mom was up, and had eaten breakfast when I arrived this morning. We visited for a short time before I headed to work.
*I had a couple of fun encounters at work today. The first was visiting with a fellow Vandal alum. We were talking about the prostitution that used to be in Wallace, and he said he heard a lot about that when he was a student at the University of Idaho in the 60’s. He was in the Kappa Sigma fraternity, and he believes a couple of his frat brothers were from the Silver Valley. He named Dennis Wheeler and Rod Higgins. The name Dennis Wheeler was very familiar. Rod Higgins also sounded familiar, but I wasn’t sure why. I told him I had also attended U of I, and has been a Tri Delt, and that my daughter will be a senior at U of I this year. It was a nice conversation.
*My other conversation was with a man from Texas who was visiting. I often get asked why Wallace is called “The Center of the Universe”. The reason has a little to do with the EPA. As I talked about the EPA, I shared a bit about living in Kellogg. Then he said he had attended Silver King Elementary in first grade. I told him my mom had been a teacher at Silver King. He asked me what her name was, and when I told him, he said she had been his second grade teacher. Mrs. Carter was his first grade teacher. Then in third grade his family moved from Smelterville to Coeur d’Alene. His name was Bob Guthrie. He remembers having a broken wrist in second grade. I told him I would ask Mom if she remembered him. When I told her the story, she said his name kind of sounded familiar.
*Paul had to be at the theater this afternoon, so he stopped in to say hello, and deliver a lovely gift from one of my kind and lovely friends from church. She sent me a “self-care” basket, full of bubble bath, bath salts, a candle and candle holder, and some bath puffs. She encouraged me in the card to take a bath to calm myself when needed. I was overwhelmed by this kind gesture. When I later arrived at Mom’s room, she had also left a beautiful gift for Mom as well.
*I am glad I have been able to take some time since January to reflect on the graces of each day. And as today came to a close, I was blessed with the gathering of many graces as I spent time with Mom this evening.
*When I arrived around 6:30, Mom was up talking with Bill. She had napped a good part of the day, but was now awake and alert. When Bill left, I talked with Mom for a while. A good part of the time was explaining to her how long she has lived at Kindred, why she is living there, and why we feel, because of her health, it is the best place for her. I was glad when she said she felt she understood now why she was here. Many of us have had similar conversations about this in the past, and probably will continue to have them about why she is living at Kindred and not at home.
*At one point Mom said she was ready to go. I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk, and she said Yes! Do you want your wig on. Yes!! Her oxygen tank was low, so we got that switched out, and off we went around the hallways of Kindred, with Mom smiling and greeting everyone she saw. She had a short visit with her friend Peny Benson, she said hello to other residents as we passed them, and seemed to really enjoy being out of her room. At one point she said she wanted to go outside, so out we headed to look at the fruit trees, flowers and vegetables in the backyard area of Kindred.
*Once we walked around and had our “tour”, with Mom enjoying talking about the flowers, I parked her wheelchair so she could watch the hummingbirds come to the feeders. It was an absolutely beautiful evening. It was right before sunset, and there were no bugs out, and the temperature was perfect. I asked Mom what some of her favorite hymns from church were. All of a sudden, she was singing the first first to In The Garden, and I started singing along. I noticed some tears forming in the corner of her eye. This was a hymn sung at both my Grandma West’s (her mother’s) funeral and at my Auntie Lila’s (her sister’s) funeral, if I remember correctly. She told me it was one of her favorites also. She also liked The Old Rugged Cross.
*Mom also let me take some “selfies” with her, and put on some great smiles for the photos. This evening was a moment in time that I will cherish the rest of my life. It was a gift to be able to have these two and half hours with Mom, some of it spent sharing a beautiful summer evening in Kellogg, watching hummingbirds and singing hymns.
*Last spring I found this poem about hummingbirds, and I feel like it fits as I celebrate the joy of everyday.
Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration.
Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends.
Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday.
The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.