Sunday, September 27, 2009

From One Keeper to the Next...

Most of us at some time or another have received e-mails which are like a chain letter or a prophecy of something good happening but only if we pass the message on to many others within a certain amount of time, these I ignore but every now and then you get one which has a nice message and it makes you stop and think.
A friend who cares for me sent me this e-mail and it did make me think, made me think about many things and though I won't be forwarding it on to everyone in my e-mail address book, I wanted to share it with you here...I have made some comments at the end which to me are relevant and important so I hope you will read them...

" I grew up with practical parents who had been frightened by the Great Depression.

A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it.

She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it.

A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.
Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

It was the time for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.

Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.

All that repairing, eating, reusing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.

Waste meant affluence.

Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer 's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most, gets all used up and goes away...never to return.

So, while we have it.... it's best we love it... And care for it... And fix it when it's broken...

And heal it when it's sick.

This is true.... For marriage..... And old cars..... And children with bad report cards......

And dogs and cats with bad hips ... And aging parents... And grandparents... And friends...

We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special.... And so, keep them close!

I received this from someone who thinks I am a 'keeper,' so I've sent it to the people I think of in the same way...

Now it's your turn to send this to those people who are 'keepers' in your life.

Good friends are like stars... You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Keep them close."

Yes my parents did grow up during the Great Depression and were very much aware of the value of things that some of us now have so readily but take for granted...a time when food was short, no work and a struggle just to survive.


I must say that my dear Mother would never re-use foil for cooking but I was always amazed how she managed to cook such wonderful meals for us with the little she had, there was definitely no waste and she cooked everything with love and a willingness to share our food with those who were less fortunate...there was always happiness and sharing at our table.

My dear Dad was a generous soul as well, he could fix just about anything that needed mending, he built our home and helped family, neighbours and friends with his skills...many things were fixed to see another day, not thrown away.

My parents have both passed now, they had a great marriage, they were two good people who were both generous with their time, their love and friendship.
They always taught me that most things can be fixed, you can at least try its only when its completely impractical that you throw something away and replace it.
I never took anything for granted, I was grateful for two wonderful parents and the things they did for me to make my life better.

It was a clear Summer's night when my dear Mum passed away, actually it had been a very hot November day, I had spent the day with her at the nursing home, she was very ill but mostly lucid and I was feeding her a thickened fruit liquid with a spoon that they give to patients when they can no longer tolerate solid food...
She told me how much she loved me and what a loving daughter I had been, I told her how much I loved her and what a wonderful Mum she was; there were long silences as she drifted in and out of sleep, but always holding my hand and waking to make sure I was still there. I would wipe her face with cool water to make sure she was comfortable, and stroke her forehead softly for reassurance as one would do for a child who was ill.
This was not the way it was supposed to be, I had cared for Mum myself for many years but there came a time when even for me it was too much and with her dementia and medical problems it was necessary for her to become a resident of a nursing home.
As I have said I spent the day with her until early in the evening, I knew the end was near, I asked the staff could I stay the night with her but they said no, she was in a room with other residents and it would be too disruptive for them, I protested and said surely there was a room where we could be alone...they said there was none.
So I stayed as long as I could, cuddled her, kissed her goodnight, told her I loved her and said I would be back in the morning and then very reluctantly left.
It was only a matter of a few hours when I got the call to say my Mum had passed away, I quickly and safely drove back there to be with her, for my final goodbye, she had taken that last breath of life all alone, I know she would have been frightened and I wasn't there to comfort her or hold her hand at that moment and there was nothing I could do to change that or' fix' that and I knew there would never be 'any more'.
They let me stay with Mum after she had passed, I sat there in tears for hours and thought why would you not let me stay before, now it was too late, she was gone.

So there are many important messages in this e-mail, appreciate what we have now, don't take people or things for granted, they might not always be there.
If you have broken relationships or friendships do try to fix or mend them even at the risk of seeming foolish for trying which has been my experience; for while we have them we should love them, care for them... it's rare to get second chances. Don't let bitterness into your heart for if you can fix or mend what's broken it will be worth it... if after you try your efforts fail take comfort in knowing that at least you tried because sometimes there just isn't 'any more'... ♥

19 comments:

foam said...

what a wonderful letter to receive from your friend, dianne ...
i would not have forwarded it either.
i reckon if you are a certain age you grew up with parents who were practical, frugal, reused and fixed things over and over. some of this philosophy has stuck with me. my mother was like that too. i reckon my dad was too, but he died when i was 7.

one very practical bit of advice my mother gave me a long time ago though concerning friendships and relationships. .. this very practical, hard working, frugal person who now has alzheimers so bad she barely speaks to me anymore ..
this is what she said when i was heartbroken over the loss of a relationship, a friendship ...

she said this years ago ...
you didn't know them just 2 years ago and your life was fine without them. they were strangers in your life. you didn't know they existed. why let what used to be a stranger to you cause you this much heartache. you have to move on. there are so many other people who do want you. and they will stick with you through thick and then just like you will for them. those are the keepers. some things just can't be fixed ... are not worth it anymore ....

yes, she absolutely did say all these things. she had to say it many times, actually ....

so, even though i've always thought that advice was kind of harsh, eventually, i guess, i've taken it to heart. when i sense that people don't want me in their lives whether in the 'meatspace' world or in cyberspace. i leave them be .....
no matter how hurt i am over it initially ...
i've eventually always gotten over the pain ..

XOXO

dianne said...

Thank you Foamy my dear friend...and you are a good friend.
Yes a lovely letter to receive from my friend, someone who cares about me and loves me for who I am.

Yes my parents grew up in an era where they were practical, lived within their means, clothes were mended and handed down, things that were broken were fixed and there was never any waste.
There was also a lot of love and generosity in my family, everyone helped each other out.

I'm so sorry you lost your Dad when you were very young, that is so sad for you and your Mum.

Thank you for sharing that advice that your Mother gave to you, what a wise and caring Mum...what she said is true and my Mum said similar things to me when my heart was broken and I thought it would never mend again...so sweet of you to tell me that and I was told something very similar by a most unlikely person a few months back.

Yes I know about the keepers, they are the ones who stick by you no matter what happens and I am not one to give up on people easily, I try and mend, but its true,no matter how much we want a friendship to work some things just can't be fixed no matter how much we try.

I think that advice seems harsh at the time because it's not what we want to hear, we want that certain person to want us as we want them, though in our hearts we know that the advice is true.
We just have to finally let go and hopefully the pain and hurt will pass quickly when people abandon us or don't want us in their lives any more. XOXO ♥

Shweta Tiwari said...

A very beautiful letter from ur friend..and i have realized that i dont put so much worth to small things as my parents do.
I feel relationships can be mended, if both the sides are willing to and trying for it. Otherwise if the other one is not trying, this not worth any effort.
But a nice piece of writing.
Take care

dianne said...

Thanks Shweta dear friend, yes a very nice letter for my friend to send me...
True, relationships and friendships can be mended but only if both people are prepared to try,if they both actually valued what they shared...
but when one person is trying and the other isn't prepared to yield a little, to listen and try again then it is sad and can't be 'fixed' and something nice that could have been is lost forever. ♡

Take care xo

dianne said...

Foamy dear friend, I meant to say something more to you in my reply last night...
I'm sorry that your Mum has alzheimer's so bad that she hardly speaks to you any more, that is heartbreaking, it is very difficult to watch someone you love change so much and withdraw into themself...I do understand...
take care Foamy. xo ♡

K9 said...

what a beautiful post -especially the part about your mom. in a way, i felt a sense of panic that my mom was alone right now in her room - and i cant be there as often as i like. your post made me think to go home earlier than i planned. it bothers me that you were made to leave and were not with her when she passed. i hate controllers!

lovely post dianne. i was going to invite you to play mute monday but i think this one is good to stay for a while.

dianne said...

Thank you my dear friend K9
I'm pleased that you found this post beautiful...it was from the heart.
My friend has noticed how I have been lately and sent this e-mail/letter to me, very thoughful I think.
It really did make me think about a whole lot of things, both present and in the past.
I was fortunate enough to be able to visit my Mum a couple of times a week.
I'm sorry you are so far away from your Mom, I didn't mean to cause you any panic as we do worry about them and how they are coping.

I hate controllers myself and even though I was adamant about staying with my Mum, they wouldn't allow it...I guess I can see it from their point of view but I sensed she was going to die that night.

If she hadn't been so frail I would have bundled her up and taken her home with me but that would have probably caused her pain and anxiety so I let it go.

I made sure I tucked her into bed before I left and reassured her and you have read the rest. ♡

I hope you spend some nice time with your Mom, but take heart sweet girl, there is only so much we can do. ♡

NYD said...

It's always a good thing to remember what you have in life and how you got it. I leave little reminders around that let me know how special the folks in my life are. It doesn't much matter if they love me or not, but I love them and that makes me a happier person.

dianne said...

NYD dear, 'little reminders', thats so nice to hear and what a lovely idea.
I know how special people are to me by the feelings I have for them, memories and little mementos that I have kept.
There is so much happiness to be gained by loving family and friends and how nice it is when that love or friendship is returned.
Thanks,very nice to see you again.♡

puerileuwaite said...

I draw the line at reusing toilet paper, despite what management thinks.

foam said...

pug always divulges the most interesting little tidbits about himself ..
._.

dianne said...

Well Puggles my sweet, I wouldn't reuse toilet paper either...what kind of management would expect that?

I think you should be looking for another place of employment, pugs have high standards of hygiene to uphold and their self pride.

It is good to be frugal but nowhere here have I suggested that you should reuse toilet paper, foil or leaves for that matter. :) ♡

dianne said...

Yes Foamy dear friend,
Puggles certainly doesn't hold back, it's nice that he shares so much with us. :) ♡

J Cosmo Newbery said...

That's lovely.

dianne said...

Thank you dear J Cosmo
you are always very kind to me and you are very sweet.
I am always happy to read your comments. ♡

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

tHIS SOUNDS LIKE A REALLY NICE POST, WILL RETURN LATER, TO READ MORE CLOSELY, RIGHT NOW i HAVE TO PAINT A ROOM IN A SHORT TIME, OR GET TOLD OFF BY MY KIDS...

THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT AND OF COURSE THE AWARD IS FOR SHARING! YOU'RE VERY WELLCOME TO IT. AS A MATTER OF FACT, I THOUGHT OF YOU... BUT THEN AGAIN YOU NEVER KNOW WHO WANTS IT AND WHO DOESN'T SO THAT'S WHY MOST OF THE TIME I NOW SAY TO PEOPLE THEY SHOULD HELP THEMSELVES...

INTERESTING SANDSTORM (POST BELOW)!
QUITE SOMETHING! ONE SHOULD THINK YOU'RE IN IRAQ OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT...

HAD SO0ME STORMY WEATHER AS WELL OVER HERE, BUT WE USUALLY ARE QUITE GOOD AT SECURING HOUSES, USUALLY... BUT OUR BARNES AREN'T SECURE ENOUGH...

RE MY FURNITURE, PAINTINGS AND CHINA. I BUY MOST THINGS ON FKLEAMARKETS. THEY OFTEN LOOK LIKE RUBBISH, BUT ONCE RESTORE THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL. MIND YOU WE SOMETIMES ALSO GET STUFF FROM THE RUBBISH DUMP. WE DRIBVE A LOT OF STUFF AWAY BECAUSE OF THE RENOVATIONS AND SOMETIMES WE SEE SOMBODY UNLOADING FURNITURE OR BUILDING MATERIALS WHICH WE CAN USE... WE BASICALLY LIKE TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. THAT'S FUN!
WE HARDLY EVER BUY NEW STUFF. IT'S EXPENSIVE AND USYUALLY BREAKS DOWN QUICKLY.

Helene said...

lol to pugs comment, loved Foams Moms words of wisdom (and Foam I am so sorry your Mom isnt doing well!), and this post was wonderful!

I am sorry about the ending with your Mom. In the end, death is about the living isnt it.. and for the facility to know your Mom was near the end and not let you stay was an abomination!!!! My Mom died alone in a hospice setting as well(like nursing home/hospital for terminal ppl). I had seen her that day but she was in a coma... we knew it was going to be soon. I chose to go home. Having little kids that were going through the loss with me, I needed to be there for them. I got the call at about 10pm. I was shocked. I just always thought I would know when she died... that I would feel it somehow... but I didnt.

As for friends... In my opinion, you only get one chance at family, but you have a lifetime to develope your friendships. It takes 2 to Tango, but in reality, its a lot of fun to dance alone too! =]

xoxo Thanks for sharing this with us.

dianne said...

Thanks Sarah dear, most kind of you to share the lovely 'four leaf clover' award with everyone, I really need it my dear,prayers, my good luck charm, the crucifix and the garlic are not working. ;)

Yes interesting dust storm, visibilty was very limited, the air was just gritty and awful with a terrible odour and taste, one could be forgiven for thinking they might be in the desert or had landed on Mars.
We need some rain desperately, it os so hot and dry at the moment.

I love what you have done with your furniture, I have found things myself at second hand stores and refurbished them, did that with a beautiful solid oak sideboard, just beautiful but I had to sell it as I needed the money. :(
I am so sad about that, I wished I could have kept it as I have never found anything as lovely since.
Still in search of a nice armoire to do up...I have found lots of lovely china and glassware on sale at some of the bigger stores or at flea markets...I just love china and inetersting linen, must do a post on some of my little treasures one day.

Well dear good luck with your painting and I hope your barns will be safe and secure from the bad weather. xo ♡

dianne said...

Yes dear Helene our 'Pug' is adorable and always brings a smile to my face...and dear Foam's Mom's advice is something that I'm so pleased that Foamy shared with me...it certainly helped.

Yes so sad for my Mum to die alone,I knew that it would be the last time I would see her alive... now I will always wonder how she coped and it was terrible that I wasn't allowed stay and comfort her on her final journey.

I'm afraid that's how it is here, as I said I cared for her for years, but when the dementia got worse and she was in hospital with cardiac problems and she had suffered a stroke she needed full time care,something sadly in my situation I couldn't manage.
Sorry about your Mom, its difficult when your children are young, they need you, mine were a little older and though heartbroken at her loss, they understood how ill Mum was.

The hospital gives you a list of nursing homes to look at and you are given a couple of days to find one with a vacancy, not easy, this one was fair to OK, the problem being that we are short on good aged care facilities here and all the very good ones have about a five year waiting list.
I did have Mum's name registered with two of the better nursing homes but no vacancy ever came up.

Yes you only get one chance to get it right with family although I have found that family can be more forgiving and understanding and take you as you are and love you just the same.

As for friendships yes I have some lovely lifelong friends but some friendships can be complicated, especially when one person is investing more of themself and more giving than the other...that inequality can go on for a long time because I give people a chance and don't give up easily...but in the end you get hurt.
Yes it does take two to tango, but sometimes I guess its best to dance alone.
Thanks for your comment Helene dear, I'm pleased you enjoyed my post. xo ♡