Sunday, June 28, 2009

High School Graduate

When Margret was in High School, and getting ready to graduate, her teacher suggested she compose a speech for the commencement ceremony. She asked me to write the speech for her; I refused and had a little chat with her teacher. So, she and her teacher worked on the speech together. I asked how the speech was coming. She told me "It's a surprise," and gave me a bright smile.

On the big day, dignified in her bright gold cap and gown, she stepped up on the box placed behind the podium to bring her four foot eight inches high enough to see over it, surveyed the auditorium and began.

I wish I had a transcript of her speech. I remember it as being thoughtful and moving, but I cannot remember exactly what she said.

Her choice of a graduation present wasn't what the average graduate would choose, either. She wanted a photograph of everyone who came to her graduation. After the ceremony ended, we piled in the cars and headed over to the photographer. Two of the party members had to go, delivering papers and baby sitting, if I remember right, and I might not, so they didn't make it into the photo. Sorry. But there we all were, the rest of us: Margret, her father, her sisters, B's boyfriend, me, my husband, one of the girls who lived across the street.

Yes, she invited her father to come to her graduation. She is the only one of his daughters who did so. He came by bus. When I mentioned he was going to ask the bus drivers where would be a good place for him to stay, another daughter suggested I let him stay in our house. I was surprised, but checked with the other siblings, and with my husband, and it was agreed. He stayed with us.

As I drove to the bus station for him to head back home, he said he was glad I'd married my husband, calling him "someone the girls can look up to". Upon my return, my husband said nice things about how fascinating the father was, and how well he spoke. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised that they got on well with each other.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Year Ago This Day

A year ago today, I woke to the music of Margret's voice. She was talking with her sisters, and sitting up in bed.

She came back to be with us for such a brief time. Although it was only to be for a few more weeks, I am grateful for every minute we were able to share.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Year Ago

A year ago yesterday was the date Margret got her first (and last) helicopter ride as she was transferred from the local hospital to the hospital in Philadelphia where she could be cared for by her specialist.

A year ago yesterday was the day she said, with fear in her face, "I'm not ready to die!"

A year ago today, she had enough with the pain and the hard time breathing that she said, "I quit!", threw everyone out of her room and then lay unresponsive until her sisters came to see her. While the sisters and I were discussing possible birthday party plans, she wiggled her toes. The next morning I woke to the sound of her voice. I was so very very happy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Margret's Pill Learning Hint

We all need a nudge in our memories from time to time. In my search through assorted saved papers, I came across a page with the following written out by hand. I can always recognize Margret's printing when I see it.

I make lists to help remember everything I'm planning to do in a day. I have a pen and a square note block by my bed, because I often think what I need to do in the next day as I'm getting ready to sleep. - Margret's mom

I take pills in the morning and in the evening, plus one in the late afternoon. Mom thought it would be a really good thing if I knew what I am taking. My mom took a photo of my morning pills and labeled the picture in photo software with what each pill is. She took another picture of my evening pills, and labeled them, too. That's how I learned exactly what I'm taking. - Margret M.

As it happens, I remember an occasion when I handed the pill cup to Margret, and she said, "Mom, should there be two of these?" I looked, and replied, "No. Good catch!"

There was another time when the pharmacy changed suppliers for one of the generic medications. The pill changed shape and color. I got them home, opened the bottle to start setup for the next week and freaked out. I called the pharmacy and spoke to the pharmacist, who apologized. I wasn't notified about the change because it happened right after I had picked up the last month's supply. The pharmacist thought I already knew.

That night, Margret picked out the new pill and asked, "What is this?"

"Good catch," I said, then told her the change story.

I think all our kids should know what they take, and what it's for, to the best of their ability. And if there are medications that they should NOT have, they ought to know about those, too. Good reason to have a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace as a backup.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Craft It Forward

I've seen this on a few blogs I've been reading recently. Those posts were mostly back in March, and it has suddenly become June... where did the time go?

Here are the rules:
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! This offer does have some limitations:

1. You will not know what it's going to be, and there are no guarantees that you will like what I make! It may be something simple and small or I may go crazy and do something amazing.

2. It’ll be done this year. Translation: you may be waiting a little while.

3. Most importantly, you must offer the same deal on your blog - the first 5 people to comment on your blog (or Facebook or whatever, if you don't have a blog) get something made by YOU!

My variation on this meme (I think that's the word that means these things that get passed around from blog to blog) is that if you've done it already, you don't have to do it again to get something crafted by me.