Friday, March 27, 2009


Tomorrow morning at this time I will be lining up to board a flight to paradise....time with my daughter and husband at their island retreat on Eleuthera! For more than 25 years, I have been hearing about the beauty and peace on "the island" and now I will be experiencing it first hand. I'll have many beautiful pictures to share when I return!

All packing is done, Ms G is safely and HAPPILY settled in with LM and I have this one more day to work. It will be a wrestling match to keep my mind focused today.

This photo of Ms G is especially for my friend Debbie.....this is her royal highness's "I'm waiting for you to do what I want" face. She perches on the back of the sofa which is a perfect vantage point to watch my activities, and she is ready to claim my lap as soon as I finally sit down.
In the 70's I had "another life" as a cat breeder and had many beautiful Siamese and Russian Blue cats....Ms G's coat is very plush like that of the Russian Blue and definitely is silvery.
I'll be back in a little over a week to share all the fun, and wish you all a great week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Last night I was over in Orleans to do some errands and came out of the store into a blizzard and gale force winds. Really had a crazy drive back to my boss's house for my last night this month with the dogs. The wind howled all night and today the snow and high winds continued. That is Spring on Cape Cod. It may warm up by July 4th.

So my happy feeling continues and the excitement about my trip is building. Now that I am back to my house I can focus on my packing. There are countless times during the day that I come across things I want to share with Dad and that feels like walking smack dab into a stonewall, I try to turn the sadness of being unable to share, into gratitude for all the years I had to share Dad's razor sharp mind and curiosity. I am pushing away any of the guilty feelings which crop up and just enjoying relief from the constant stress and planning which made up my life for so many years. Dad would not want me to be doing anything but having a full happy life.

Tonight I visited LM and Ms G.....she was dangerously close to running out of her favorite treats. The love affair is blossoming there, as she is finally making her self more visible and sitting on LM's lap purring loudly. I can tell he is really enjoying her visit. Of course, she did not show her cute little self while I was there. Looks like I remain on her list of traitors!

Each morning I have been receiving e-mail "Kitty Grams" which reveal her overnight activities. LM is so cute about sending them as he knows how much I miss her. We are both wondering how we will get through 8 days with no communication at all. Hard to fathom, but I think it will be a good thing and such fun to be together again.

Monday, March 23, 2009


For as long as I can remember, I've been living with a feeling of dread, anxiousness and a heaviness in my soul which is hard to describe. It seemed to underlay everyday of my life. It is now very conspicuous in its absence. After 3 days of exhaustion last week, the clouds lifted and I feel like a new person. I find myself looking for the angst, and it just is not there. It is strange and I feel disloyal, as I wonder if I should be feeling profound grief right now, or if it will hit me later. Is this normal after an aged parent passes?? I just do not know, so I am choosing to savor these very happy lighthearted feelings. Even being with the dogs this weekend has not seemed any effort at all - nary a bark has been heard - it leads me to suppose they had been picking up on my mental state in my prior visits.

Ms G managed to elude capture by LM on Friday and I had to do the dirty deed Friday night. Oh my, was she upset and that was painful. After whisking her quickly from a loving moment on my lap into her loathed cat carrier, we were off on the 11 mile trip to LM's house, as she screamed, hyperventilated and then threw up. She has made a fair adjustment to being in a new environment. The first night, after 45 minutes or so, she appeared, and was playful with LM and ate a few treats, but the next day she was under an upstairs bed until 7 pm or so. We did see evidence that she had come downstairs in the night and had some food. LM is so "sad" that she hasn't been getting in bed with him but he is "talking" to her all day as he putters around the house. I've been visiting awhile in the evening and she makes brief appearances. We decided to leave her there until I return from the Bahamas on April 8. I do feel I may not get my "baby girl" back when I get home, as LM loves her so much.
On Saturday afternoon, LM and I worked for a solid 4 hours cleaning Bob's house. We packed all the clothes and they will go to donation this morning, and I went through mountains of saved paper work, sorting, pitching and saving just the important papers. That evening LM cooked me a lovely meal of halibut and fresh vegetables and we watched a wonderful old movie, "Fate is the Hunter." A perfect day!

Yesterday afternoon, I went to visit a friend of a friend who has just had a knee replacement. It is such rigorous surgery, and I wanted to offer some encouragement, seeing I am a "survivor" of those rigors. She was feeling very discouraged and having the tearful depression that is so common. We had a great visit and she seems to be way ahead of where I was at 6 days post surgery. Right now she is at a rehab center here in town and will stay about 8 days. I heard through the friend grapevine that she felt much better after we talked. I assured her that she will "love" her new knee in about 6 months.

Last night, I had dinner with one of my dearest friends and we talked about the transitions life is offering us right now - he out of work and needing to be tapping his creativity - and I found myself looking toward my own creativity as now I have the time to maybe quilt again! MMMMMM, things to ponder, but first, the rest of this week will be finishing my packing for the trip and winding up two more days with the dogs. BTW, I think Barkbusters has done wonders for those two wily critters. There was one bark and that is it! Of course, I had a bit of training on how to be "Leader of the Pack" and that was interesting. Seems to work though.....applies to my own life, too!
Meanwhile, I am dreaming of turquoise beaches, swaying palms and sunshine, on this cold and dark 30 degree morning. I will try to share as much of the warmth as I can!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ms G is about to be Captured

Graysea is very intuitive and she knows that mischief is afoot. Her carrier has been removed from hiding and is in my bathroom, and various other things are out of the order she likes. Suspenseful music should be playing here. The dear girl has not ventured into my bathroom (one of her favorite places), since the carrier was placed there last night. She was spotted sniffing the air near the door and creeping around on her tummy with a suspicious look, but not one tiny paw has ventured over the threshold into the room where the carrier sits. It is her arch enemy as it signals a ride in the car!
Sometime today, LM is going to arrive (I will be at work) and he is going to attempt to gather her up and get her in to the carrier (this is a monumental feat). There is only one chance at catching her. The idea is to sneak up on her while she is sleeping, gather her tightly in your arms and take her quickly to the carrier. If one is unsuccessful on the first try, she hides in places where she cannot be retrieved. She is going to his house for a practice run, as, beginning next Saturday, she will stay with her dear LM for over a week while I am basking in warmth and sunshine on Eleuthera. I will miss her terribly but know she will be in very loving hands.
Stay tuned for further news of the capture. Today also launches another 5 days with my doggie friends. They have been visited by Barkbusters and I have a new routine to observe in their care. 'Twill be an interesting time. I'll also be visiting Ms G and LM OFTEN. I am going to miss them both very much!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

National Poultry Day

Being National Poultry Day it seems appropriate to write a little about my Dad, who made his living for over 40 years as a poultry farmer. Specifically he raised hatching eggs which were shipped all over the world for reproduction. Over and over last week, as we celebrated Dad's life, we talked about how fortunate we all were to have our parents there for us all the time. My father's parents lived in the farmhouse so we had an extra set of parents, as well. I, in particular, was very close to my grandparents. For many years my grandmother would help Dad to prepare the eggs for shipping and I just loved being there with her, and we talked endlessly.

In my eulogy I spoke of my early memories of the farm. Dad taught me to collect, clean, grade and pack eggs, as well as prepare chicken houses for the arrival of shipments of new chicks. For some years, we raised our own chicks, and I can still hear the loud peeping as we pulled the trays of newly-hatched chicks out of those huge incubators. We would lift the downy yellow peeping babies into cardboard boxes filled with new wood shavings, place a cover over the top and take them to my grandmother's warm kitchen, until it was time to move them to their pens. They grew so fast and very quickly feathers were forming. At any given time, there were thousands of chickens in our 5 very large buildings, several of which, were multi-storied. Of course, with all those chickens, there was a lot of manure to shovel and all of us were recruited for that duty. When a new flock was due, it was time to completely clean the pens, scraping all residue and then washing and spraying with disinfectant.

For a time, Dad had chickens on the ranges but they were preyed upon by racoons and foxes and soon that came to an end. We also had guard, they could be ferocious and make a lot of noise when anyone approached. As children, we had no fear of them and we could pat them and walk through their gaggle without harm. There was a lovely raspberry patch and a concord grape arbor, and my grandmother had beautiful flower gardens. Last but not least, there were wild cats everywhere. They did their job catching mice! So many memories.
That is just a little peak into what life was like on Twin Cedars Farm. We worked hard. My Dad's days were very long, but there was always time to drive us places, and to have family dinners, beautifully prepared by my mother, every night. Attendance was mandatory, as was sharing one's day and observing good manners. My parents put up with a lot of raucous behavior with 7 children to keep in line! It was a charmed life from my perspective today, and I am forever grateful for my Dad's choice to be a farmer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reflection & Respite

The aftermath of Dad's death, and the ensuing funeral, have left my body and mind and spirit in shock. I'm so tired that I have been unable to work, hopefully, I will return tomorrow.
The celebration of Dad's life was amazing, the day was beautiful, the number of people who came to pay their respects was such a tribute to his life and our family. The services were so lovely and all the words spoken were so touching.
Siblings at Sam's after the funeral.
The party continued on Saturday evening and I love this photo. Brother, Sam is telling a story about my Dad and the smiles and laughter were so contageous.

Sam carried Bob around and we all had a lovely pat just before heading home.
Sunday, was a day to say good-bye to those family members who had come so far to celebrate Dad's life. Daughter, Anne was last to leave but couldn't go without a stop at the Canal for a breath of Cape Cod air in her favorite place. It was so lovely to have my dear daughter near. Her leaving is only eased by the fact that I will be with her again next week. We will be spending a week together at the house she and her husband own on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I think the warmth and her company will help to heal me.
Grief is a strange place, I am so tired that I can hardly move, staring into space, crying, and having times of happy memories. My goal right now is to get my physical self restored by resting as much as I can. Later I will deal with the other aspects of this journey.
Kindness and love have surrounded me both in my daily life and from my on-line friends and I am so very grateful. LM was incredibly loving, supportive and helpful.
It is almost Spring!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saying Good-Bye to Dad

Well, really not good-bye as he is all part of us and now in nature all around us his spirit lives.

Yesterday was a full day of reunions, laughing, tears and non-stop talking. Seeing all my siblings, children, nieces, nephews and various grandchildren in one place was overwhelming and amazing. How nice it felt. We all came through the two calling hour times quite well, many of us sharing a nice dinner in between. There were some very poignant moments which I will try to relate in another post. I am on sensory overload now and trying to prepare to give a eulogy to Dad this morning.

There is a calmness over me and a feeling of peace. I know a lot of that energy comes from many friends who cannot be with us at this time and also reflects how Dad would have been.

LM was too sick to be with me last night but he says today he will be ready and happy to be by my side to get through the services.
The sun is beautiful and it promises to be warmer today. There is a huge party in the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Roller Coaster

A wonderful old wooden roller coaster played a huge role in my life as a small child. Living on a farm as we did, my Dad needed to stay close by to tend to his flocks, and trips as a family were a rarity unless our grandparents took us somewhere or we went with friends. Within a 20 minute ride of our farm was Paragon Park at Nantasket Beach, and once a summer, Dad would get someone else to do the evening chores and we would all pile into the woodie stationwagon and head to the beach in the late afternoon. The beautiful gleaming white roller coaster would come into view as we rounded the corner to the beach, and the excitement would build. We could hardly wait to get to the beach!
Mum packed a wonderful picnic supper (she always brought grape juice mixed with ginger ale to drink) which we would enjoy on our beach blankets after having some great fun in the waves and swimming. After supper, we would go across the street to the park, pass under the beautiful art deco arches, tickets in hand, and head for our favorite rides. I just loved the Red Mill which was a boat ride through darkened tunnels, that ended with a steep climb and a fast ride down the other side splashing into the water again. Then there was the beautiful old carousel housed in an architectural work of art....a round building with the most beautiful rolling roof. We just loved the whole atmosphere. The ferris wheel, too, was a treat with its beautiful views across the water to Boston. The roller coaster was the backdrop for all the other rides and you could hear the shrieks of joy, and probably fear, all over the park. I never did dare to take that thrilling ride but sure loved to watch it, and see the reactions on the faces of those getting off after their rides.

Life right now is like that - ups and very steep downs, there will be shrieking too, when all the siblings see each other, I am sure, although, most of us will see each other for the first time since Dad's death, at the funeral home tomorrow at 1:30 pm. Today has been a day of arrivals and I am sure everyone is pretty tired tonight. Others will be flying in very early tomorrow.

Today I was calm and that was a relief (yesterday was such a painfully sad day and I did not sleep at all last night). I spoke with the minister who will conduct the memorial service and that went very nicely. He will include some prayers, thoughts on Dad's life, some poetry and will intersperse it between family members speaking. I will go first and feel fairly ready.
LM has come down with a bad cold and I am so hoping he will feel well enough to be with me tomorrow night. I can hardly bear the thought of driving two hours home alone tomorrow night after the calling hours end, but if he is too sick, that is the way it will be. I am not surprised he is sick after all the stress he has had for such a long time.

So the family is gathering and I am sure the next four days will be one of wild rides down memory lane, a lot of tears and a lot of loud laughing. I love my family so much and cannot wait to be with them as we celebrate Dad's life. We are so fortunate to all be close and loving and to have some wonderful in-laws to join in with us, too. We will have a huge reception following the burial at my brother's house and Bob the cat will be there to greet us! Speaking of nephew Nate dressed him up for football season last night....wrong time of year, Bob!

By the way, the carousel from Paragon Park, and its lovely building are the only semblance of those wonderful days remaining. Every once in awhile on a Sunday, I stop by and have a ride and relive the times I rode on it with my Dad. About 2 years ago Dad and I rode it together and I will treasure that memory of returning to my childhood with him forever.
The roller coaster was disassembled, piece by piece and taken to Six Flags in Baltimore, MD where it was re-constructed and is still in use.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Going Through the Motions

There has been a lot to do in preparation for Dad's funeral to be held this week on Thurs and Friday. Many, many family members have had to coordinate flights, car rentals, and hotel accommodations, as well as just arranging their home lives and work long enough to be away 4-5 days.
Yesterday, I, the oldest, and Sam, the youngest, visited the funeral home to make those arrangements. We both seemed to get through it on auto-pilot. There is a constant flow of calls, e-mails and caring.
I canceled my surgery which was scheduled for yesterday afternoon, fearing that the implications might leave me unable to speak well on Friday at the funeral.
There is a strange numbness which is over me and somehow my body is getting done what needs to be done, although it goes so far and shuts down. Crying, remembering, feeling a void. Meditating when I can "calm the committee."
Today and tomorrow I will return to work That is about it from me this morning.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


A week ago at this time it was a raging storm outside, I was sitting in Dad's hospital room watching him struggle. He was restrained and very unhappy, although unable to communicate. He knew I was there. I struggled, too, to keep my emotions in check, to handle the many phone calls, and to have the strength to keep going. The days following brought an end to Dad's struggle, in fact they brought him peace in a calm setting, Bob by his side, Trish's love, too.

By Friday, two days after Dad died, I collapsed, as I wrote here. It felt so strange, but I slept and became free of the obsessive worry which had pervaded my life and sleep for so long.

Yesterday, I was still in a stupor as I forced myself to face the day and the tasks at hand. About mid-day, things began to ease out. I went to LM's house, did some wash and hung it out in the beautiful sunshine to dry, and then took daughter, Sara, to have her hair cut. While she was in the salon, I took a lovely walk. After that I returned to LM's house and in the peace there, I found my heart feeling so free. We laughed and when he left for several hours, I was able to sit with a clear mind and write what I will say at Dad's funeral on Friday. By the time LM returned, I had napped a little, folded all the wash, and we shared a nice dinner.

Today everything feels so much better, the sun is still shining, snow is melting away and the family is handling their plans to get home by Wed and Thurs for the observances. Dad would love it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Dental surgery was scheduled for 3 pm yesterday but it was cancelled at the last minute....rescheduled for Monday at 3:15.
I got home and sat down to have some long awaited nourishment when I was just simply broadsided by an exhaustion so deep that I could only briefly type LM a note to say I was going to bed, turn off my phone, and collapse on the bed. I do not think I have ever felt that way in my life. Here I am more than 12 hours later, just waking up and struggling to start a day which has a lot of "musts" in it. I have errands that have to get done today as there is no other free time between today and next week when the family begins to arrive and the observances for Dad are held.
I have no idea what happened. Has anyone else out there ever felt something like that? My body just shut down, and it still isn't too happy about moving this morning. I sit here with my green tea and a little piece of cheese (I do not feel like eating at all), listening to my favorite Saturday morning oldies radio which always perks me up and makes me want to move. Not even the promise of 50-60 degree temps and beautiful sunshine or seeing LM is urging my leaden legs to move.
I know I will eventually get out of the chair. After all, I am telling myself, if I can type, I can get up and do what must be done. We shall back later. Right now the argument in my head about what I can and cannot do is raging!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Losing a parent just plain hurts, a coldness pervades my soul, sleeplessness haunts, and I do not want to go to work, nor do I want to face the dental surgery which will happen at 3 pm today.
Can you tell I am just not having a good morning? It is a deep dark forest, but there are paths leading to lightness and happier times, I know.
In a bright sunbeam there is the news that daughter, Anne will be coming from FL to attend the funeral and be with the entire family. She always sheds light in her presence and it will be lovely to have all three of my children together as we honor their grandfather. Anne is his first born grandchild and I will always remember the celebration of her birth around the dining room table at Mum and Dad's as we all sat and admired her on the day we came home from the hospital.
Off to work!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Mum and Dad on the farm, with me 1944
Dad, Christmas at Jason's house 2006. How he loved an elegant meal!

Family is always paramount for me and today it seems to be everywhere, and I am ever so grateful. I have my biological family which is very busy rallying to be here next week for the observance of Dad's passing and life, my work family which is sustaining me with love, hugs, flowers and fun, and then I have this wonderful cyber-family that has kept me afloat for so long, listening to my angst over Dad. Your love, your prayers, your positive thoughts and bouquets of friendship, are keeping me going. There is an interesting journey of grief and celebration ahead and I will be away a lot and busy over the next 10 days or so, but know you are with me in my heart. LM will be by my side, as well as many other dear loved ones.
The immediate legacy of Dad's death is a huge family reunion which will commence next Wednesday. I will take lots of pictures to share with you.
The sun is shining here today, there is melting and an ease in my struggle, too.
Lots of love to you all!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Dad on his 96th birthday!

Dad died this afternoon at 2:30 pm, peacefully in sleep. Trish saw him at noon and he was sleeping.
Everett Abraham Morse - October 13, 1912 - March 4, 2009

A Lull

There is little or no news to report on Dad. He remains at his safe harbor and we are all just praying for him to be comfortable and calm, prayers which appear to be answered.
Yesterday, Bob the cat worked his magic. Trish toted his beautiful self in to Harbor House and he had another 15 minutes of fame as he was greeted like royalty. He stayed on Dad's bed for a time and Trish lovingly placed Dad's hand on him for a time. Dad seemed to acknowledge their presence and was awake enough to drink some water. Many of the other HH residents were thrilled to have a cat around.
The weather is very cold and bleak, and seems to fit the times. There is a numbness which has fallen over me. LM is deep in some grief of his own and says he is dealing by just retreating for awhile, yet he is assuring me that everything will be fine. I realize his pain is very raw right now and Bob's death has rekindled his grief of losing Lillian to breast cancer. At least he could voice this to me. There is no way anyone can truly understand. I must trust.

Going to work puts a sense of normalcy on things for me, but yesterday was a terrible push until about mid-morning. Many dear friends are praying and sending me peace, and it lifted my spirits immeasurably. My co-worker, and dear friend, Nancy, is truly a kindred spirit and throughout the day she comes by my desk and gives me a hug, something to laugh about or something to work on which helps to distract. She has lots of fun cat things in her office and one is a small black and white toy cat which meows. She came and placed him in my hands and said I needed to keep him close for now. Little things, BIG LOVE. E-mail filled with encouragement and powerful thoughts has been sustaining me, as well as daily phone calls and flowers.
Yesterday morning the heralds of Spring were calling to me......the red-winged blackbirds are back and their calls were filling the air despite the rugged cold. HOPE.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Safe Harbor

Yesterday afternoon Dad was moved to Harbor House Nursing Facility. At first it seemed very disturbing to know he was moved, and despite terrible roads, some blizzard conditions and being very tired, I left work and made the two hour drive to see for myself that Dad was in a suitable place. From the second I walked in the front door, it felt right and "safe harbor" came to mind. There was a warm greeting from the receptionist, and it is very beautiful, quiet and clean. Dad was in a deep sleep and was not struggling as he had been when I saw him on Sunday.

Brother Sam came in to the room shortly after I arrived. He had been with nurses signing some papers. We talked for a few minutes and he was on his way home. I sat quietly and held Dad's hand, again talking softly to him. His nurse for the evening came in. She was very kind and sat with me for a bit asking questions about Dad's life. Everything about Harbor House felt right to me at this time.

The drive home was very long as it was snowing so hard. It was all worth it as I slowly made my way, frequently checking in with LM to let him know my progress.

I'm exhausted and not my best this morning.
This limbo creates a loneliness I never knew possible. Tears from a depth unfathomed.
The focus must remain on Dad, I will do what he would do and get myself ready for work and do what must be done.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

From the Swirling Vortex

There's lots of swirling going on around here, mostly my emotions, Dad's condition and today, the weather. Unable to sleep all night, I did some writing about Dad from 2-5 am, then began to get myself ready to start the day and decide whether I should drive the 2 hours to S. Weymouth in the swirling snow. By 7 am I was on the road. I could not stay away. Having called his nurse, I knew he had been awake for a little bit this morning and been told I called. He was thinking I was still there. She said he was peaceful and comfort care has begun. My drive was a blur, and a battle to stay focused as the roads were terrible. As I got within 1/2 hour of the hospital, I was struggling so to stay awake that I pulled in to a rest are and slept for 15 was handy, though. When I awoke, I was parked right next to a huge container collecting clothes for the needy.....perfect opportunity to get out and dispose of the two HUGE bags awaiting that purpose in the trunk of my car! Off I went on the rest of my journey.
I arrived to find Dad soundly sleeping, and he still seems to be struggling some. He wants to get up. There are alarms on the bed which bring staff running. They are really caring for him so nicely. He had just had a "bath" and a complete change of linens. I stayed for about three hours, quietly holding his hand and talking softly from time to time. One time I think he knew I was there. Once again, as the swirling storm intensified, I said good-bye to Dad and made the long trip home. Made a stop at Trader Joe's but had little interest in anything but the one item I needed there, my daily mid-morning treat, cashew butter.

I'm in a trance and so very tired. There were a lot of phone calls today and each one brings tears. All the other loved ones are hurting, as they are far away. It is all going the way it should and I assume the fact that I am still in a fairly functional state, means that everything is OK. When I arrived home, I fell into a deep sleep for over an hour, Ms G cuddled by my side, knowing, as she always does.
The second big storm of the day is beginning outside with heavy wind and more snow/rain/sleet.
Fits my mind right now.
LM is continuing to recover from his ordeal of the past weeks. He slept until nearly noon today, and he earned that luxury. Dear man.
The outpouring of love and support from my blog friends continues to be a gift of love that seems to be right there everytime I need it most. A very humble thank you! Who would have thought, when I began writing my day to day bits here, mostly for my family and a few friends to stay up on life here at home, that I would gather so many wonderful readers and new friends. Truly the universe does give us what we need when we need it.