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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Let Us Give Thanks.....


I wanted to start this post off by saying what I was thankful for this year. All I could come up with at first was that I was thankful that I had not punched anybody in the face this week.
I feel like I fell into a deep dark well and I'm reaching up for a hand to pull me out and there is no one there. The water just keeps rising....

Then I remembered Joyce....


We went to see Gerry's mom this week. She is in a long term care facility, nursing home, old people prison. She is also in a prison of her mind. She had back surgery in 2003, oxicodone was prescribed for pain, then more and more opiates, narcotics, prescription drugs were added to counteract the effects of that pill, and before you know it, there were literally plastic grocery bags full of mind and body debilitating prescription drugs. At one time she was being given 14 pills a day!

The doctors like to call it Alzheimer's. I like to call it malpractice, resulting in drug induced dementia.
It is a pitiful destruction of the most amazing person that has ever come into my life.

And so, instead of being snarky, because I really am not in my happy place at the moment, I thought I would just take a breath and be thankful that Joyce Broome came into my life. She is the kindest, gentlest, most thoughtful person I have ever known. She was the kind of person that took time to listen to you, she looked right at you and paid attention, then thought carefully before responding. And her responses were always wise and considerate. I went to her so many times with problems, sadness, worry, and also joy and celebratory things and she was always there for me. She helped me raise a baby while I worked full time and traveled all over the place. Her influence on my child runs deep and I am grateful for it. Wesley will be a better person for having had Joyce for a grandmother.

Joyce was there for all of us. Every birthday, anniversary, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, we all got cards, a gift, a special treat. For Easter she would make every child and grandchild an Easter basket. For Christmas, she made all of us stockings and would spend days laying out all the things for each person on the guest bed, making sure all were equal and unique for each child. She got so into it, she had to trade the stockings for big burlap sacks. Each had our name on it and they were given out one at a time at the end of gift giving. What I would give to dig into that big burlap sack once more.

Joyce showed me how a mother should be, how a person should be, for that matter. Not that I always remember, I don't seem to be remembering much of what she taught me at all these days. But being with her this week, looking into her big brown eyes, still filled with kindness and curiosity, it reminded me of who she was and how much she filled up the hearts of each of us.  Even with her not able to form coherent sentences or take care of her own basic needs, she smiles. She reaches out her hand, her eyes twinkle, she searches for a memory, and she smiles. If only I could fill just a portion of her shoes. Impossible.....

I miss her terribly and I wish I could just spend one night on the sofa like we used to, talking until late in the night, laughing, crying, sharing. She made me a better person, and so for that, on this Thanksgiving, when I am not so much in the mood for this ridiculous holiday retail hell, I give thanks for my mother in law and the lessons she taught me. May I strive to be just a bit more like her.

8 comments:

Michèle Hastings said...

What a gift to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

cookingwithgas said...

It's those gifts that are given without thought.
Things go in cycles, God's, bad, amazing, bad, good, peace, love, amazingly good, amazing bad.
It's okay.
Love to you and yours.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Michele:
Yes she is a gift to all of us, we are very lucky!
M. God is not my best friend these days, I tell you that..... love to you too!

littlemancat said...

Really lovely tribute - I'm sure, through the haze and maze of her thoughts, she knows and feels the love you and Gerry feel for her.
Good wishes sent your way -
Mary

Laurie said...

Such a blessing to have had someone like that in your life. Happy you found some peace in the remembering.

handstories said...

Oh, Tracey, she was/she is/this post are gifts.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Mary, I know she is in there somewhere, you can see it in her eyes, if only all the brain cells could get together!
Laurie, she is still pretty amazing, even with all she has been through. Yes, a blessing for sure!
Cindy, the best gift ever!!

Lori Buff said...

She sounds like a wonderful person, you are lucky to have each other.