Monday, October 29, 2012

The True Devotion of Albert And Tomasina - A Hospice Story~


                                              Tomasina The Ship and The Cat ~
I first met Albert when I was assigned to be his Hospice nurse. He was living in a 9 ft. camp trailer in a KOA Campground.  I had been warned by the Intake nurse to be careful where I placed my feet when I was visiting with him. I soon found that he had a sandbox for his beloved cat underneath his small kitchen table.Tomasina was a white and yellow tabby cat named after the Merchant Marine Ship that Albert worked on for many years. He had a picture of the ship hanging in his trailer. Right off, I could see the love Albert and the cat had for each other; true devotion. I soon learned that Albert did not have any family and very few friends. He was very lonely. He said he didn't go out very much except when he needed groceries or for a trip to the doctor. I knew right away that I wanted a volunteer assigned to him to make visits to ease his loneliness and spend time with him.
Albert was a short stout man with a large toothless grin. He had a charming personality and I liked him right away. I started to visit him weekly. He had been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and was told he only had a few months to live.
Within a week he was assigned a lovely woman to be his volunteer. I discuss with her my feeling that he needed someone to visit him frequently due to having no family. I warned her about the cat sand box. 
A couple of weeks later on a visit to Albert I was surprised at how organized his trailer was. He had just bought some artificial  flowers to put inside the trailer. I asked him why he was decorating with the flowers and he told me it was for the volunteer lady and for me. He wanted to make the trailer look good for our visits.  It was just so  darn sweet. When driving home I couldn't help but shed a few tears for my lonely friend, Albert.
I was paged a few weeks later that Albert had called in and wasn't doing well. I made an emergency visit and found him very lethargic and in some pain. His Blood Pressure was low so I thought perhaps he was anemic or needed a blood transfusion. I quickly made arrangements for him to be admitted into the Nathan Adelson Hospice Hospital. At that time his only concern was for Tomasina. He called and asked if the trailer park manager would drop by and feed Tomasina each day. He committed to do so.
Albert was only in the facility for a couple of days. I increased my visits with him; I could tell he was going down hill fast. On one visit I found him not doing well at all. I called to arrange for him  to again be admitted into the Hospice Hospital. I knew he wouldn't be coming home this time. I  agreed to take his beloved Tomasina home with me and he was thrilled that I would do this for him. 
A few days later I was notified that he had slipped into a coma. When I arrived at the hospital; the charge nurse told me that I should go home and bring Tomasina to the hospital to visit Albert.  At first I refused thinking that he wouldn't even know; but then I relinquished and went home to retrieve the cat. Now this wasn't an easy task. Both my husband and I tried to get the cat out from behind the dryer. He did not like our children so he would hide behind the dryer when they were home. At that time I had a very busy household of 6 children. After a few cat scratches  we finally hauled the cat into the car and off to the hospice hospital we went. About 2 blocks from the hospital the car died. We were able to pull of the busy road. However, at that time the temperature outside was above a 100 degrees; so I knew we couldn't stay in the car for long. I ran across the street and called the hospice. My boss said she would come and get us. She drove up in her nice new car and Tomasina and I hopped in. On the way to the hospice; the cat peed all over me and the car. I of course was upset and I felt bad for my boss and her new car. When I got out of the car I thought this is such a crazy idea. As I went down to the room I thought to myself; OK, I have brought Tomasina to see Albert; he needs to know that. Now when a patient is in a coma we don't ordinarily try to wake them up; but in this situation I ignored that. I shouted in Albert's ear; "Tomasina is here for a visit." At first there was no response so I tried again more loudly. Albert suddenly opened his eyes and looked at his beloved Tomasina and he had one of the most priceless toothless grins I had ever seen. I placed Tomasina under his hands. The cat remained quiet as Albert petted him for a few minutes and then Albert slipped quietly back into his coma. I left the Tomasina there with Albert while I ran home to change clothes and finish up my home visits. When I came back the cat was hiding in the closet and Albert laid there peacefully. I picked up Tomasina and took him back home with me. The tears came gushing forth on the way home. I was so glad that I had brought that moment of happiness to Albert.
A couple of days later I was called again and told that Albert was in the process of dieing. Again, the charge nurse wanted me to go home and get Tomasina; which I did. As we entered into the room; I could tell that Albert was close to death's door.  I placed Tomasina under his hand and then called to see if the volunteer could come and sit with Albert since he was all alone. I was grateful she came and I left to hurry and finish my work for the day. A couple of hours later I was paged and told that Albert quietly passed away with Tomasina still under his hand. I rushed back to the hospice hospital. I was so happy that Albert had not died alone. When they came to get Albert's body, Tomasina continued to stay steadfast on the bed. He dug his claws into the bed; he didn't want to leave that spot. I  finally took Tomasina home to stay for good with us.  I truly grieved over Albert. He was a very dear man and I felt it was a privileged  to be his nurse and friend.
Two months later, Tomasina became sick and the Veterinary  told us that he had Kidney disease and would not live long. This cat passed away a few days later.
I will never forget that priceless toothless grin of my friend Albert. I knew then as I know now that
Albert was not alone when he passed away. I believe that perhaps even Tomasina the cat joined with Albert again.  I could just picture that reunion; Albert petting that special cat, Tomasina. Even now I can't stop the tears when thinking about my friend, Albert and his devoted cat, Tomasina.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook - The Recovery~



 For Today - October 23rd 2012
Be sure and drop by other Simple Day Book Entries here
Enjoy reading and perhaps join the fun!

Outside my window... there is a gray colored sky and the last light of evening is slipping below the horizon.The weather has caused a jump from the brilliant colors of autumn to the gray white color of winter coming on. Flowers have met their first frost and now lay lifeless. The first blast of winter has arrived and now we can look forward to the sweet months of November and December. I love the winter time as long as I can view it from the inside. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays. This year we are going to put up more outside lights; I am excited about that. My husband is really good at decorating trees. He used to help his brother-in-law decorate the ZCMI Department store Christmas window displays. He has promised to do our main upstairs tree this year. It will be beautiful!
 I am thinking...I can hardly wait to be released from the prison of my bedroom and Family Room. Luckily, I am using a cane and I didn't have to use crutches following surgery. I feel I am healing well from my knee surgery. On Thursday I should be set free, I hope. That is when I have my follow-up visit with my Surgeon. 
I am thankful for…my marvelous husband. He has been waiting on me day and night. He is a great nurse and has been changing my dressings. He gave me a wonderful priesthood blessing before surgery and I was at total peace and enjoyed joking and laughing with my nurse before surgery. My husband is also a great cook; so I am enjoying eating and hoping not to be gaining weight.
From the learning room…I am trying to learn patience. I want to get up and get going. I have so much to do and it bugs me to just be sitting here. Of course, I get to read as much as I can so that has been the one sweet thing about all of this. 
From the kitchen...I have hope for dinner soon. My dear husband has gone to the store to pick up a few items. Believe it or not; I have not been going into the kitchen for a piece of chocolate. In fact I didn't even have any for a couple of days. I should get an award for that. My dear husband does bring me a piece at least once a day; bless his heart for that one.
I am wearing....a light brown nightgown and no shoes. I just had my first shower and it felt so good.
I am creating...this post. 
I am reading...The Book of Mormon, of course. 
Just before my surgery I read the book; "Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Brodi is the daughter of a very good friend. 

The book was such a great adventure. I could not put it down. The plot was engaging and within the first chapter I was totally hooked. If you enjoy mythology; you will love this one. If you don't, it won't matter because it captured my heart immediately. This story is romantic, suspenseful and bittersweet. It is a retelling of the Persephone myth. The characters are compelling and driven.  The book will take you beneath the surface and above.  There is a sequel that will come out in January. I can hardly wait to read it.  I can also recommend it for teenagers and young adults. There is no language, sex in this one. The story takes place right here in Park City, Utah. 
I just started to read the book entitled; "The Wedding Letters", by Jason F. Wright. 

If you have read the "The Wednesday's Letters", you will love this one. It is another book that I can't put down. I am grateful because this is the perfect time to read a book without interruptions since I don't have anything biding  for my time. 

I will also be doing a review on a new book written by a friend, Christy Monson entitled: "Texting Through Time -John Taylor and the Mystery Puzzle". I loved her last book; "Texting Through Time: A Trek with Brigham Young". These books would make great Christmas gifts. Some of my grandchildren will be receiving copies of these books.

 I am hoping...after my Thursday Physician's appointment that I will be allowed to do more things. I am hoping I will feel good enough to work at the temple on Saturday; I think that may be wishful thinking. While I am doing less; I hope to accomplish more of some projects I can do while laying down or sitting over the next couple of days. I am at the stage when I feel well enough to do more things.
I am hearing...cars going by and the dryer is going. I am waiting for my husband to come through the door any minute. 
One of my favorite things...is to take a nice warm bubble bath. I wish I could have one right now.
Something new about me.....I have a permit for a concealed weapon. I grew up learning how to use a gun. In our early days of marriage we used to go Deer hunting with my family. We had so much fun together. We would stay in an old cabin up on Fish Lake Mountain and or in a trailer. At night we would play cards and my favorite game was Hearts. These Deer hunting trips were such a great adventure. I even shot a deer once and when I went up by it; I felt so bad. I didn't enjoy killing that deer. My Dad always said if you shoot it; you clean it. Luckily, they didn't make me do that. My mother was a great cook and she would cook the fresh deer liver in onions and it was so good. I don't like liver; but I did like the way she cooked it. Later on my husband and I decided that we wouldn't hunt anymore; but we did go up and enjoy my family and take pictures of the areas we were hunting in. I now have a gun for safety reasons. However, I don't think that I could shoot any one.
Pet Peeves....I hate it when I go through the check out line; they always ask the question; "Did you find everything that you need"? I wouldn't be in the check out line if I wasn't finished. I think they just need to friendly and not say the routine line.
One of my guilty pleasures.....is I love shoes. I have friends that love shoes too. Shoe shopping is always fun. I had a friend that probably has over 100 shoes and her shoes matched her outfits. She dressed so beautifully; she was such a delightful. She wasn't snobby; but she did have a shoe fetish. I don't have very many shoes; but I do love to try them on. I can't wear the higher heels anymore. If I was younger I would be wearing them. I don't care for some of the shoes styles of today. 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...This is our Sammy, taking a nap with his favorite toy~




 




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Modern Day Communications - Plus Update On My Knee~



Now for some thoughts on modern day communications.
 
For sometime now I have been frustrated with how  we communicate with one another. In my era we had telephones and at first there were  party lines.

This meant that your neighbor's were also on your line. Therefore, if they were on a call and you pick up the phone to make a call; you couldn't because they were talking on the phone. It also meant that others may be listening to your calls.
Of course as technology has improved we now have cell phones that we can take with us.
We can receive calls as long as we are in an area that has service. One wonderful thing about this is that you can make an emergency call anytime  and almost anywhere from your cell phone. I think it is wonderful that you can now connect to your children anytime and almost anywhere if they have cell phones.

I  love Skype.

What a blessings it is to be able to make a Skype call and actually talk with and see one another. We have used Skype to celebrate birthdays and other holidays. We have actually been able to celebrate birthdays and see our grandchildren blow out the birthday candles and sing Happy Birthday with them all.
Before all of this technology we used the mail to send letters, cards, and notes to our loved ones and friends. This was a fun because you could hardly wait to receive a letter in the mail. When my husband was on his two year Church mission in Northern California;  I would go out to the mailbox everyday to see if there was mail from him. Also, when my children were on missions we would write weekly letters to them and I would be out at the mailbox everyday looking for a letter back from them.

These letters are kept and cherished. 
As the nurse in the Spokane Washington Mission I was often in the office when the Elders and Sisters in the area would come in to pick up their mail.They loved getting letters and packages.
We can now use email to easily communicate with family and friends. Missionaries can now email with their family and friends. The mission rules are that you can only do email once a week. I still think missionaries like a handwritten letter once in  a while.
The other day I was going through some boxes of letters and found some from my mother who passed away in 2006. I cried so hard. I miss her so much and just seeing her handwriting started me off with more tears. I would love to just hear her voice and my father's voice too.  I am grateful for those precious letters because they connect me to her.
Yes, today's technology is wonderful in so many ways. We have instant communication. However, I think it has taken away the personal one on one moments. Email is one way of course for writing a letter; but receiving a letter or note in the mail is much more personal. Face book is a great place to see posts about anything. Sometimes, I would rather not see some of the things that are posted on face book. Also, with chatting and back and forth communication on face book;  you can't get the whole story. You only get bits and pieces of a conversation. It is wonderful for wishing a Happy Birthday to family and friends. However, it has taken away those sweet phone calls to family and close friends on their birthdays. I am sure many of us still make those precious telephone calls.
Recently, my grandson and his dear wife had our first great grandson. I told him that he was to call me on the phone with the information about the birth and I did not want to find out about it on face book. He was wonderful and did call me.
At this point my children and my older grandchildren text all the time. My husband and I don't text because it takes us too long to do it. I guess with practise we could learn; but I think it is the most shallow of all communications. You can't lay out all the thoughts and feelings behind the words. Therefore, it can be misinterpreted easily. I have even witnessed two family members texting each other in the same house. How in the world can you really communicate with one another this way.  It really is beyond me.
I do love modern day communication. I am amazed at and love the Internet. I like many aspects of face book; but I do think it isn't as fun as a phone call. I wish that there were more phone calls, letters and notes with less emails, face booking and texting with those you love.
OK, I do love blogging. I love the comments. I feel very close to many of you that comment on my blogs. I love reading your thoughts and making comments on your posts. I really feel you are my friends. I desire with all my heart to meet you all someday.  However, I do wish I could extend the conversations beyond what can be done on a blog comment. Just know that I have learned so much from all of you through your blogs.

Thanks to all of you that asked how I was doing after my knee was injured. Here is the update on that. First of all I am so tried of keeping my leg propped up and ice on my knee.

 I hate using a cane. I have had to slow down which is not something I like to do. I have a arthroscope scheduled for Friday. I have a Meniscus tear and a Baker's cyst behind my right knee along with arthritis on both sides worse on the right side. My knee cap is almost bone on bone; so that will be a later surgery down the rode.
Right now the plan is to remove the cyst. and repair the meniscus tear. The total recovery time will be about 2 weeks. I will be continuing to keep my leg up and iced. I will be on crutches for a few days.

 I have used crutches before and learned a lot about being handicapped. First lesson learned while using crutches is that you cannot get into the fridge easily. I must have my food, ice cream, of course and lots of chocolate some of which needs refrigeration. Perhaps, I will lose some weight that would be a plus or my dear husband will run back and forth with what I want.
Love to you all!


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ A Conference Moment~


For Today Monday, October 7th, 2012
 Be sure and drop by other Simple Day Book Entries here
Enjoy reading and perhaps join the fun!
Outside my window... it is a beautiful fall day. The rays of the sun are flooding my bedroom. I love to be in the light.
I am thinking...that I am very tired of sitting in a chair with my leg propped up and a ice pack to my knee. I injured my right knee last Wednesday. I was doing something stupid. At first it didn't feel that bad; but as the day wore on I could hardly walk on my leg. The next day I did go to the urgent care and the NP thought I had a mild tear in the rt. calf muscle. Towards the end of the day I could barely walk. I found a cane that we have and am using it to get around. If I put too much pressure on that leg the pain is excruciating behind the knee.
I am thankful for…for my dear sweet husband. He has been going to and fro all day getting me things. I am walking OK with a cane but he doesn't want me to walk around very much. I think he is worried that I will do something dumb again. He is such a blessing in my life. 
From the learning room… I am learning that I am not a spring chicken anymore and that I need to think before I do something risky.
From the kitchen...my favorite cook will be cooking us dinner tonight. It will be yummy for sure.
I am wearing....a light green shirt with my favorite knee length jogging pants. It is mix and match day today. I have on red and white striped comfy socks. I am also wearing an attractive elastic bandage around my knee.
I am creating...this post. 
I am reading...The Book of Mormon; which is my all time favorite book of scriptures. I am studying it with the Institute manual. I am now reading the writings of Alma. I am almost finished with the Book; "Light and Truth - The Mormon Battalion". There is one other book in the series. I do not know how those 500 men traveled from Nebraska to San Diego, California on foot during the summer and fall. They had to travel much of the way through desert country. These early day Saints gave their all for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have learned a lot about our stalwart Mormon men and women.
I am hoping...that when I go to the Orthopedic physician tomorrow that my knee injury will not be a bad one. I am sure I will be sitting in a chair with my leg up icing the area for a few days.
I am hearing...I am hearing the keys tapping, my watch touching the laptop computer and the cars going by. 
One of my favorite things...is to cuddle up with my hubby and watch a good movie. We have Family Home Evening on Monday nights so we will probably discuss our feelings on our recent General Conference and then perhaps watch a movie.
Something new about me.....is my brother labeled me as a"jailbird" for a while. When I was a Sophomore in high school I went with my friends tubing up Lamb's canyon. There were three cars going up and on the way there was a fender bender accident with one of the cars. A police officer came over to the car and instructed us to go home. After we were allowed to leave we decided to go up tubing anyway. We had a lot of fun. It started to get late and I began to worry about the time. Finally, the friends we were with decided to head back home. We had left a car at the high school parking lot. When we arrived the same police officer came by and we were taken to jail for being out after curfew. It was around 1 am.   I am sure he was also upset with us for not going home when he told us too. They put us behind bars and then waited for a while to call our parents. I think they were trying to teach us a good lesson. We were so scared. Finally a call was made and our parents came to get us. I had to live with the title of "Jailbird" for quite a while. Where were cell phones it that day; it would have saved us and our parents a lot of worry.

Pet Peeves.....is that I hate driving the freeways in Utah. People are so rude here. We have lived in several states and this is the worst area. Also, the stop lights are not synchronized very well. I learned recently that Salt Lake City's first stop light was invented in 1912; one hundred years ago.  You would think they would have it right by now.
One of my guilty pleasures......is dark chocolate Dove candy. As I was laying on the couch watching conference yesterday; I was thinking about making the effort to go into the kitchen to get a piece of this favorite morsel. My husband came into the room and handed me one. I think it is so awesome that he can read my mind. 
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
 This is our youngest great granddaughter, Lilly Leann. We celebrated her 1st birthday yesterday.

Here is one of my very favorite conference messages - Take a moment to listen to this awesome story of Peter and the Savior taken from the New Testament. You will be happy you did. 




 






Friday, October 5, 2012

"Come Listen To A Prophet's Voice and Hear The Word of God"~



Through the years I have loved learning about other religions.  Being a Hospice Nurse gave me the opportunity to attend a number of funerals conducted by a variety of churches. I found that we do have many common beliefs. One thing I learned was that the majority of my patients had a deep faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ. I observed them as they relied on their faith in Christ  through the dying and grieving process.
One thing that we believe that is different than other faiths is a belief in a living Prophet for our day and Twelve apostles.Twice a year our church has a general conference held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.This conference is also broadcast by radio and television throughout the world.
Here the Prophet and 12 Apostles speak along with other General Authorities that assist in the work of the church.
 The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invite all members and friends of the Church to participate in the 182nd Semiannual General Conference on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, 2012.
Messages will be given by the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church. General sessions will be held on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., followed by the priesthood session at 6:00 p.m., mountain daylight time. Two more general sessions will be held on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time; the morning session includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. You can view the LDS Conference here: We believe that in these conference messages we can find answers to our prayers, guidance for our lives and an increase testimony and love for our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you,” Elder Holland says.
Here is a short video on blessings from Conference. 
Take a moment to learn about what I belief. To all of my blogging friends enjoy your weekend. Love to you all!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rejoice In The Gospel~

    

     Recently, I asked my husband if I could have him be a Guest Blogger. I suggested that he share with you a talk he recently gave in the adult session of Stake Conference. The title of his message was; "How I Have Rejoiced in the Gospel in My Life.
    " Prior to his death, Lehi blessed his posterity. Speaking to his sons concerning the agency of man, he said: " Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy".
     To Rejoice is to feel joy or great delight..
(From Alma 26) paraphrasing
     Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni, (the sons of Mosiah) and their brethren, did rejoice exceedingly, for the success which they had, had among the Lamanites, see that the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also verified his word unto them in every particular.
     Ammon addressed them saying: "My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you , how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings".
His brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy Joy doth carry thee away unto boasting."  But Ammon said unto him: "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full;....behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
(From Alma17)
     These four sons of Mosiah, and Alma the Younger were then reunited following 14 years of missionary service. On that occasion, Alma rejoiced upon seeing that his friends "were still his brethren in the Lord" and that "They  had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth". 
      There are at least three causes of Joy and Rejoicing described in those verses in Alma:
    
     ~Joy in serving your fellow man.
     ~Joy in witnessing the salvation of others.
     ~Joy in being reunited with loved ones and witnessing their righteousness.

     I have learned that all occasions for rejoicing within the Gospel have at least three things in common. With each experience: I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost within me, an increased Love for the Savior, and a spirit of Charity.
     I have experienced joy in giving Priesthood Blessings -blessings to aid in comfort, healing, peace, understanding, counsel and guidance.
 I have experienced great joy in teaching the gospel; whether in the class room, the living room, a child's room, during worship services and a funeral service, in an investigator's home, on an airplane, or in a crowded cafe.These are the joys intended for all of God's children, "Men are that they might have Joy".
      Sister Williams and I have the blessing and opportunity to experience joy and rejoicing on regular basis as we serve on our Inner City Mission.
     ~ We rejoice when a member attends church for the first time in years, perhaps even decades.
     ~ We rejoice then someone we are assisting rises and walks to the pulpit to bare a testimony for the very first time ever or for the first time in years.

     ~ We rejoice knowing obedient saints pay tithes and offerings and share what little they have with someone who has even less.

    ~We rejoice when someone receiving assistance - considers the needs of a neighbor above his or her own.
    ~ We rejoice when faithful saints walk blocks - even miles at times and in difficult weather to attend meetings and fulfill assignments.
    ~ We rejoice in the opportunity to teach principles of self-reliance to individuals and couples who listen and follow the Bishop's counsel.

    ~ We rejoice with every small step taken by someone in need, who trusts in the Lord and demonstrates faith in keeping a difficult commandment.
    ~ We rejoice in knowing that the Lord is patient with us, and therefore has like expectations for us to be patient with all those we serve.
   ~ We rejoice in the knowledge that there are faithful and loving leaders in the Ward and the Stake we serve in who have a testimony of this inspired role of the Church - to care for the poor and the needy.
    As with Ammon, I too declare..."I cannot say the smallest part which I feel".
May we all have cause to rejoice and feel the Savior's love as we strive to perform the Savior's work.


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