Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ups and Way Downs

I know there are a lot of photos of the world's smallest retail space but I felt such a need to catch up and fill my little space here after a long hiatus. The hiatus will be explained at the bottom. Until then please enjoy what has kept me as sane as possible these last three months!
I might have lightly mentioned in a previous post that Paul's Uncle Robbie had come to live with us in August after living his entire 82 years in NYC, 42 in the same apartment. We discovered that he had not been eating or drinking and he was severely dehydrated and malnourished. After a stay in the hospital to get him up and running at least somewhat he came to live with us. What a wonderful soul; what a wonderful person, just as sweet as a guy can be. We quickly discovered that he was suffering from dementia and that was part of his not eating or drinking-to him he was but in reality he wasn't. He had good days and bad and some of both. But his eyes lit up like it was Christmas when we walked into the room. More and more he depended on us to take care of him but he was always cheerful and easy. He was in and out of the hospital with infections which, after 3 months, his body could no longer fight. We lost him last Wednesday morning. During his quiet, peaceful times I worked on art and collages to keep myself sane during the really challenging parts and would run up to the shop when Paul got home at night to take over care. It was truly a blessing that we had these months to be with him (Matt and I'd only met him once before; Paul saw him more and kept in contact with him several times a week-his wife passed away 6 years ago and they had no children) and get to know and experience such grace and love unbound. I kept up with what I could during that time but the guys came first (we still have Paul's 91 year old dad living with us-in fine health, too), this blog seemed to come last. I just didn't want to share what we were going through and I didn't want to not acknowledge it so I didn't do much. Hopefully I'll get back into my overdoing it and keeping you coming back. Next up is a tour of how the shop is gearing up in a big way for the holidays. Blessings to you and your families and don't take one minute of health for granted.


Julia said...

82 years....and nice caregivers in the final chapter. I don't think any of us could hope for more.

I know you have grown in these last few months.

Thanks for sharing this story.

Patrice said...

What good people you are to give an ailing elderly gentleman love and care in his final days.

Tina(Taken over by her daughter, Nicole) said...

Hugs to you Steph..for being a caregiver is hard work. Sorry for the loss, but you made it better for him, I'm sure!! Hugs, tina

Gina M Smith said...

Oh goodness, no idea of course. So sorry to hear. Glad you had the time. I love your space at the shop, and I WILL be back. hang in. Sandy Camarda says hi. I told her we met.

Anonymous said...

Oh my sweet friend, you're a dear one! So sorry to hear of Paul's uncle, but I know there were probably many joys and laughs in the time he was with you. I missed you and sweet Julia at Silver Bella this year; you are my tribe!

Julie B.

Linda Jo said...

What a blessing you were to him. And I know he was an immense blessing in your life. Isn't it amazing where our blessings come from when we are least expecting them!