Monday, October 20, 2008

Finding My Peace

Our trip was wonderful. I laughed and cried, found time to be a kid, and time to be totally with my kids. It was truly healing. While we did spend the majority of our trip at Disneyland, we also found a few days to venture out and see some of my favorite Southern California sites. My favorite, and a place that I wish I could spend days and days taking in, is the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.

The only way I can explain the Mission it is that it is amazingly alive. You can feel and connect to an incredible array of energy, past and present, happiness and sorrow, struggle and calm. It's all there and it envelopes you as soon as you step foot through its 4 foot wide adobe walls.

The fountains and gardens were so inspiring. These gold, green and red, lily pads were my favorite. The huge brightly colored Koi fish were icing on the cake. Everywhere we walked there were artists painting on small canvases and easels. They painted pictures of of small sections of the old adobe walls with their amazing patinas, doors, arches, fountains and gardens.

The tiny Church was gorgeous. The oldest part dating from 1777. The richly decorated Spanish architecture was awe inspiring, the colors took my breath away. You can tell with no uncertainty it has been well loved over the years.

I took over 100 pictures that day with my silly little 100 dollar point and shoot. I was burning it up! It was easy to do.

The 300 year old Baroque Alter is from Spain. Brought from Barcelona about 1806 its 196 parts are hand carved and gold leafed.

As much fun as we all had I'm glad to be back to my haven, my home, and am really looking forward to the Holidays. We didn't do holidays when I was growing up due to my parents religious beliefs. Let's just say I feel like I'm making up for lost time now. :) I have mental lists a mile long of all the projects and baking and fun I want to do. See you soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

We are off for a week at the Happiest Place on Earth for some fun, laughter and maybe a few moments of being a kid again. I love all the holiday decorations at Disneyland, I always come home inspired. Look for some fun projects to come next week. See you soon!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wire Halloween Tree

Hi everyone! First I want to thank you all for your prayers and support, it truly kept me sane during these last few days. I loved opening my email every day to so many loving thoughts and stories. Blog land is so wonderful that way!

Things are slowly getting back to normal, and I have been trying to keep busy. My version of the Glitter Lady's wire tree is done and is sporting some scary ghouls, ghosts, ribbons and spiders. I am working on few more spooky items to add to this display. I'll share them another day.

Here is the finished TV nook. We found a buffet that fit perfect and I really like how it turned out. These nooks can be tricky and expensive to find furniture for. Once I finally stopped looking for an "entertainment center" there were all kinds of furniture pieces to choose from.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's been a brutal, confusing, heartbreaking 4 days. My Mother passed from an accidental drug overdose, yesterday at about 11:30 in the afternoon. 19 hours after we made the decision to take her off life support. My sister, brother, grandfather, and Dad were all with her.

My sister Kristen and I arrived in Santa Barbara California on Sunday afternoon, at that time Mom had been on life support for approximately 24 hours. In the ICU we were greeted by a group of apparent drug addicts (one of which claimed to be her husband) all giving us their condolences "I'm so-and-so I knew your Mother...I'm so sorry". My mind was screaming, my head feeling as if it would explode at any second. "You don't know my mother!! You don't even know her name!!" I wanted to scream it a thousand times into their faces. I wanted to claw their lieing, smug, unfeeling eyes right out of their sockets. I wanted to kick and punch and pummel all of them into tiny little pieces of blackness. Instead, I smiled a pain filled smile, acknowledged their pain and went on.

My 90 year old Grandfather (sharp as a tack yet far to trusting) had been sucked into my Mothers illness, believing and using her excuses to protect her. Right off the bat, before we had even had a chance to see her, he blamed my sister and I for abandoning her. His denial, made my head spin, it enraged me, it hurt me to the core.

Kristen and I were shown into her room alone. As soon as I saw her I knew she was no longer with us, I didn't feel her energy or spirit I didn't feel the deep deep anguish and pain she carried. As broken as she was she still had a very strong life force that I was very connected too. My first reaction was the feeling of wanting to pull all of the machines off of her. To see her reduced to a machine breathing for her was surreal. The sound of it is still ringing in my head. It's amazing the quantity and variety of emotions that goes through you at times like these. Minutes feel like hours, there is no night or day, no month or year. It's like a vortex, a tunnel. You see nothing around you except for the things you are profoundly paying attention to. Everything is deafening and silent, you can't see your face in the mirror, you can't taste yet food tastes so wrong. I think it's an alternate universe. I think you can forget to breath.

After we were given some time with Mom, we starting the process of sorting through the facts, establishing who she was, her birth date, her history. The people that had brought her in had not know her but for a few months. And had unknowingly giving false information, they knew her as "Summer Choura" 45 years old. Her name is Debra Keating 53 years old. I think she had been using aliases and false identities to be able obtain the Morphine she was so desperately addicted to.

Family started arriving, her sisters, brothers and their spouses. My mom was the baby of the family. The youngest of 4. The room just spun as I tried to explain her addiction to her family, she had thought she had hidden it so well, however almost every single person I spoke with had some idea of her troubles. And all where not surprised she had finally lost her life to them.

I had decided before I got there I was not going to play into the despair of losing her and that I had to for myself be very real about who she was to me. Make no mistake, I am in a great deal of pain after losing my Mom. But there is also a sense of relief, knowing where she is and that she no longer lives in pain, that shes not cold or lonely, that maybe now she knows how much we all love her and only wanted her to live a sober healthy life.

I walked out of the Hospital yesterday after she took her last labored breath and went straight to the airport. I am done. I didn't say goodbye to anyone, I didn't hug my family, I didn't look back.

As she lay dieing I did all that I needed to do, I said everything I needed to say, I brushed her hair, and listened to her heartbeat, I laid my head on chest, kissed her eyes, smelled her hair, held her hand. I read her my favorite poem, I prayed. I was there when they took the tubes out and she labored and moaned, coughed, and gagged. I rubbed her legs and told her to let go and that the next time life will have a better one.

Well this update turned into more of a jumbled ranting emotional journal, so I will stop. There is much more to share, and I will. There is an criminal investigation that goes along with this story too, but I'm finding that part something I can't do right now. I'm glad there are people in my family that can. But for me, it doesn't matter in this moment. She made the decision to be in the situation she was, and unfortunately she paid the biggest price.

She lost her life at 53, alone in a house full of strangers.

Thanks to everyone who was thinking and praying for us. I could feel all of you and it fed me. It kept me focused and strong. I can't thank you enough for that.