Looking Back, Looking Ahead!

Days of Atonement, clarity, introspection, meditation, taking in the moment are ways I see the High Holidays. The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serves as a time to take stock of the past year, and think about the future.

Usually I start with creating the ritual meal. Shopping items include chicken, matza meal, noodles, apples, gefilte fish, Manischwitz Concord Grape Wine, and a round challah (getting harder, and harder to find).  The meal takes a lot of preparation and while I chop and peel I remember the past year. The lose of my parents is with me daily. I do take some comfort in knowing they are together. But this time the holiday felt different.

In the process of moving I get to look at a lot of accumulated stuff. 47 years of marriage, 31years in the same house, and only in the past month have we become “empty nesters”.  I inherited much from my parents. I found some home movies from early 1960s that I transferred onto a DVD. Technology has come a long way from a Super 8mm film camera. Back to the time of silent movies with exaggerated movements.

October begins a new chapter for the Frankel’s with the move to Fair Oaks (6 miles away).  Not so much distance, but a reset nevertheless. Still don’t know exactly how we plan to arrange our “stuff”. Luckily we have a 3 car garage, and that is where our boxes will go. Then we have another chance to decide about stuff before it finds a place in our new home. I feel excited, and I hope that enthusiasm continues.

Selling a house is not fun.  My house has never been so clean. My Libby is into the routine, and as long as I have her food ready, she jumps into the car in a moments notice.  Trying not to take feedback personally. I just hope that process does not drag on. Listed for not quite a month, and it is starting to feel old. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t go overboard and pick up every little thing.  Thinking maybe that a watched pot does not boil, a spotless house does not sell? My mother would say, “You just need one buyer, and for every house there is one buyer.” Patience. My friend Anne came over and blessed my house to release any negative spirits that may be preventing its sale.  An open house is scheduled for Sunday.  We are doing all we can!

In the coming year I plan to research my family roots. I started my family genealogy while studying for my Libraian credential in 1983. That was before Internet, computer software, and the end of the Cold War. Now there are so many ways wto proceed. New documents are coming on line all the time. I joined the Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento and participated in 2 classes. I am not sure where this will lead. Perhaps a book documenting my family history. Maybe just continued research into the Shoah and its  meaning in my life. Maybe a way to establish connections with other researchers and librarians. I hesitate to involve myself in another group, but maybe I do this for just that reason – to overcome.

I’m not usually comfortable joining a group, but being part of my 2nd Gen group encourages me to try and feel a part of something bigger than myself. I learn, find support and appreciate my CVHEN (Central Valley Holocaust Educators Network) 2nd Gen friends. After so many years, I finally have people I can count on. Photography helped to crack through my isolation. Despite the difficulties I encountered I could use my camera to refocus my thoughts. Getting out with friends, doing something, and creating is the key. I hope I don’t let my friends down. I plan to be mindful and appreciate my friends.

Thinking back over the past year I tried, but may not have succeeded in taking a step back around my family. The role of care taker may have placed me a position of power, and I may have sent the message that I know what is best. There is a delicate balance between taking care, and allowing space. I plan to be more mindful of this. The balance between decision making, and indecision. Some decisions I made were hard, yet I made up my mind for what I hope will be best for my family.

As is said at this time, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”

Finding Beauty in Nature

I wrote this post in April. Saved the draft, and stuff got in the way. Now in mid June with a moment to spare, and the weather heating up in Sacramento I am ready to share. My next post will address some of what has been going on in my life. My picture taking continued, but my blog did not.

Plenty of discouraging things to read about in the newspaper. So on Tuesdays my CTT group heads out to discover natural beauty. Plenty of rain filled the rivers, streams and creeks. The landscape is covered with brightly colored flowers upon a green backdrop.

Checking the forecast is part of the planning stage. So far the rain has found us while we were out shooting, but it didn’t derail our plans. Once we planned an indoor activity, just to discover the sun. You just never know.

It is good for me to get out with camera in hand and away from fb, phone, and internet. Sometime I find it fun to explore new places, and sometimes my return visit takes place at a different time of year. Anyway I always look for new ways to see things.

This a return trip to Crystal Hermitage Garden. Located north of Nevada City, Ca. I visited the Ananda Retreat last year. Then the sun was shining and the tulips were open. My return trip found us shooting in the rain. This is such a peaceful place, and the beauty was not diminished by the weather.

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Unfurling Fern

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Tulips in the Rain

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One of many statues found on the grounds

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Each space planned with care.

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Crystal Hermitage Garden overlooks the Tahoe National Forest

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Stand up to the rain, and be colorful!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Rest In Peace Alina

My mother’s journey on Earth is over. She died on Tuesday February 7, 2017.  When I left North Avenue Villa early Tuesday morning I felt that the time was soon. I felt that Tuesday would be the day. Alina lived without her Arthur for 21 weeks.

On Thursday my Mom was laid to rest at Home of Peace, a Jewish Cemetery in Sacramento. Rabbi Reuven Taff met with me and my brother on Wednesday. In addition to sharing family stories I appreciated the time taken to listen to me. It allowed me some peace at a stressful time. The rainy day seemed fitting.

In the Chapel my brothers and I told stories about my Mom. Each had a different realationship to her. But what made me proud was my son Joshua’s rememberances. And then my granddaughter Alyssa spoke. Right from the heart. My goodness I will always be glad that I included her in my visits to Mom. Time well spent!

My friends turned out to support me. I again asked Anne to help with the Meal of Condolences. Liz offered to host the meal at her house. Such a trememdous relief for me.  Zelda, Eva, Susan, Diane, Liz and Anne are such special friends. Thank you!

I feel sad that our time together is over. I tried my best to take care of her. My parents are together, and they gave me a great foundation. I know that her heart was with my Dad. They met after the war and saved each other!  Another Holocaust Survivor has past. I am grateful for having my Mom.

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 Care for Alzheimer’s 

Trust is something you earn over time. But when I am in unfamiliar territory and new idea float around I do not know who to trust. This is the 4th time I am visiting my mother in the ER. I am becoming familiar with the work up routine. But what comes after disturbs me.  Where to turn? Who to believe? Just met the care takers a couple of times. Change in Mom so dramatic.  All I know is that the ER is not the place for her. Been here since 9:00 am and she looks peaceful at the moment. 

Board and Care talks the good talk but I can’t seem to feel trust. Mom is not settling in by a long shot. All I hear is more meds needed and she is not drinking 8 glasses of water. They have her in wheelchair sitting all day. Only time I hear her do anything (scream) is when something is being done to care for her. So hard to listen to her suffering. 

Social workers just explained hospice to me. Sounds like this might help with trust issue. Or would that be more hands in the pot. 

Two days have past and arrangements have been made. Back at board and care hospice is set up. For the past two days Mom has been on continuous care. Different nurses come and sit by her side.  This is called comfort care. Medications for her agitation and pain. With no food or liquid intake she will be joining Dad soon.  

Today she seemed to rest comfortably, and I understand that she will remain here under hospice care.  It is a peaceful setting. Room is set up with a hospital bed, and hospice provides needed supplies.  I am taking the evening shift and the room is quiet, there are care takers around, and a little white shih tzu named Angel pops in every once in a while. Rosie made me a plate of food, so my needs are even being met. I am feeling better about caring for Mom here at North Ave. Villa.

I imagine that Mom is dreaming of being together with her Arthur soon.