Thursday, May 29, 2014

Amazing Race - Cemetery Edition

Welcome a special edition of Amazing Race.  Cemetery Edition.  
All were invited to participate.  There were a few rules that had to be followed at all times.  They were as follows.

1.  Must be a team of 2
2.  Must travel between the hours of 9:30 am to 6:30 pm on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.
3.  All teams must travel to at least 2 Counties in their State.
4.  All teams must provide photo's of all graves visited.
5.  All graves visited must be relatives of said teams.
6.  All miles traveled will consist of round trip.  ie:  Starting point, and back to starting point.

Winner will be the team that travels the most miles, counties and graves visited.

Me and Mother-of-Dazee, hereafter called MOD, took the challenge.  

We left Casa Dazee at exactly 9:30 am.  We traveled from Salt Lake County, to Utah County.   First stop was the Santaquin City Cemetery.  Miles traveled, 56.
First Stop

Grandparents of MOD 

Uncle and Aunt of MOD

Father of MOD, Grandfather of Dazee

Mother of MOD, Grandmother of Dazee

Husband of MOD, Father of Dazee
(one of my sisters said that dad's grave looked like he was covered by a blanket of grass.  A great description)

Time to travel to next cemetery.  We traveled from Utah County to Juab County.  Next stop, Mona City Cemetery. Miles traveled, 15.

Cousin of MOD

Aunt of MOD
more like sister as MOD was raised by her grandparents after the deaths of her parents by the time she was 7.

In the car once again and headed to the first of two cemeteries in Nephi, Utah.  Same County.  Miles traveled, 6.

Grandmother & Grandfather of MOD
The ones that raised MOD
Great-grandmother & Great-grandfather of Dazee

Baby Girl of MOD's grandmother

Great-grandmother & Great-grandfather of MOD
Great-great-grandmother & Great-great-grandfather of Dazee

Aunt of MOD
another sister-like figure

And then off to the other cemetery in Nephi.  Miles traveled, 2

Mother and Father of FOD (Father of Dazee)
Grandmother & Grandfather of Dazee

Grandfather of FOD

Grandmother of FOD

Brother or Uncle of FOD's grandfather

Wife of above

Babies of FOD's grandmother

Back up to Provo, Utah, Utah County.  Miles traveled, 41

Mother-in-law & Father-in-law of Daughter of MOD, Sister of Dazee

The following is just a photo I took of the area across the street from my sister's in-laws.  It is called Babyland.  The only graves in that area are of babies. There are over 640 in there.  

After this stop, Team Crazy Daze & Nite Dreams hit a McDonalds for the best coke around and headed back to the starting line.  Arrived in driveway at 6:28 pm.  Miles traveled, 35.

I am pleased to announce that Dazee and MOD were the winners of this very special edition of Amazing Race.  Here are our totals.  

Miles:  155
Counties:  3
Graves:  25

I would like to mention here that MOD made most of the flower arrangements that we left at the graves.  Only about 7 of them were fresh flowers.  She made numerous trips to the thrift stores for containers and artificial flowers.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Making The Bad Times Fun

Two weeks before my dad passed, my mom had her 5th hip surgery.  Needless to say, I know what to do from checking her in, to checking her out of the hospital.  I was there when they wheeled her in to surgery and was in the waiting room, when my sister Margaret came to sit with me.  Lo and behold, this is what she walked in the room with and presented to me:

I was sooooo excited.  I have been collecting sock monkey's and she found this in an antique store, and knew I would want it.  

Now, I have never been one to just sit there and mind my own business and be quiet.  I figure everyone in the surgery waiting room is nervous about their loved ones in surgery, so I had him help with a few of the volunteer's jobs.

Why yes, that's him answering the phone when the recovery room calls looking for a family member.  He was even checking on the computer to see if he could find out about someone else that was in surgery.

You also know you have been to the 7th floor rehab unit way too many times, when the staff is willing to set you up with an outfit for you sock monkey.  Me and my sister decided on the name "Doc" as you will find out in a minute why.  

Here is the Scrubs Family.  "Doc" is the Grandfather of the clan.  "Scrubs", the father of the family, is the purple monkey.  My other sister Ann made him for me.  He was the first one of the bunch and is very dear to me.  One day this year, he brought his girlfriend "Chloe" home to meet us.  She is the red one with the cute red hair on top of her head.  Before long, they welcomed "Scrubs Jr", the little guy, into the family.  

The week after my mom's surgery, Margaret and I went up to visit with my dad at his care center.  Doc went along to do a thorough exam on him.  He said that he was doing fine.  (I have to say, in this picture of him, he did look good, but went downhill fast from there)

As you know, mom is now living with me.  She thinks that "it's been 6 weeks since my surgery, I should be able to do whatever I want".  Yeah, well mom, remember that the naughty chair is there for your enjoyment.  And also, Mr. Dazee will not always be able to bail you out.  (yeah, he took pity, only made her sit there 2 minutes, not the minute for every year of her life I threatened her with!!!) 

To end this photo essay of the last weeks of my dad's life, I'm adding the one I took of me holding my dear dad's hand the night before he passed away.  His hand was just laying on the bed, and I slipped my hand on top of his and just held on, telling him of my love for him, and that it was ok for him to go.    

The last few years before their help started going down, I wasn't really close to my mom and dad.  But throughout this experience, I have grown to love them both more than I would even have known I could.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Once Upon A Time.........

I know, you are saying, "what, is this truly Dazee, come back from the void of time".  

Why yes, yes it is.  

It's been a year.  Or should I say 18 months.  My mom has been through 5 hip surgeries.  Then she had a hernia around her belly button area.  Surgeon went in last fall to fix it, and came out to the consultation room and told me that her poor stomach looked like swiss cheese.  She had seven, yes you read that right, seven hernia's.   He said that is the most he has ever seen at one time.  Like I've always said, when my mom does something, she does it better than the rest.  

My dad, went into the hospital last September.  We thought he had had a stroke, because he just fell and couldn't talk.  He had already been diagnosed with dementia and what we thought was Parkinson's.  At the first of this year, we found out it actually was just dementia with Lewy Bodies.  Just dementia, yikes.  There is nothing like just dementia.  Anydumbdisease, he never came back home.  He ended up in a care/rehab center, and then we finally got him on medicaid so we could move him to a private assisted living center.  I spend the last 7 months watching my dad go completely downhill.  They did a brain scan in March and he had a ton more lesions on his brain.  The doctor gave him 6 months to a year.  It was only 4 weeks later that he passed away.  I, along with a few of my siblings, was there when he took his last breath.  I am so grateful that I was able to witness and finally see my dad out of pain and not being able to do anything for himself. 

So yeah, that's how I've spent my last winter, spring, summer, fall, and winter vacation.   My mom moved in with me and Mr. Dazee in a part of our house that was just made for someone like her.  She has her own bedroom, bathroom, and living room, even her own entrance.  She just has to share the kitchen and laundry room with us.

I have to say, it's been a joy having her around.  Especially because she loves to cook and bake and wasn't able to the last few years when they were living in the retirement place they were in.  Me and the hubster haven't eaten so well.  And the best part.  She feels like it is her responsibility to do the dishes.  I know, right!