Friday, April 25, 2008

The Barn

I've been in a sort of self-imposed exile I guess you could call it most of this week. There have been lots of things at times I thought I could write about here and there but when push came to shove, I couldn't bring myself to sit down and write.

I mentioned the other day the issue surrounding my aunt -her imminent death, which as of tonight does look like it is coming much closer, closing in on us -her family - now. My cousin, who has power of attorney for her (and her daughter too), called us tonight to let me know that she is in extremely poor condition. Although he said she appeared now to be resting, sleeping somewhat peacefully, her breathing is now extremely labored. So it could be a matter of hours and yet, it could drag on and on for sometime yet too. None of us, her surviving nieces and nephews, want to lose her but we have actually already lost her sometime ago as her mind, her memory, her ability to communicate with us left. We know there is no return possible of the aunt we knew as children, as adults; of the aunt who would have done anything within her power for any one of us. None of us wants to see her languishing like this and we know too she would not want this for herself either, if she had a choice. We accept the fact that losing her would be a blessing for her -as it would give her rest, peace and rejoining her siblings, parents and husband once again. She was a one-of-a-kind person, of that there is no doubt and that person is the one we will all miss terribly too.

My apologies for bogging everyone down here with the sorrows that are within my heart, my children as well as my cousins and their children and grandchildren too.

Aside from that strife here, there have been a few other things a bit more light-hearted at times.

Yesterday, at school, Maya's teacher tried a new way to hopefully work around Maya's fears of using the potty to poop. This has been a big stumbling block with the teacher and her aides as well as with us at home. None of us has a clue as to why Maya is so adamant with her refusal to even try to use the commode instead of insisting on donning a pair of pullups as soon as she feels the need to perform this bodily function. So yesterday, while working with Maya in the bathroom, her teacher kept telling her to "push, push" and at one point, when Maya happened to lean forward a little bit, she dropped some kind of chocolate-type cookie in the commode and told Maya to look and see that she had just "pooped." A little trickery, ya know.

Well, when Maya came home from school yesterday, she was insisting to us that she was not going back to school today. At first she kept telling us she was "Going to go to the Barn" today and then, it switched over to her whining and even crying that she didn't want to go back to school because she didn't want to poop there. What? There is apparently some really ingrained fear present there that none of can seem to break down.

Last night though, Mandy finally figured out what Maya was referring to about "going to the Barn" today. She meant she wanted to go to the home of a friend of ours here in town who has some baby chicks, some grown chickens and a rooster, a bunny and also three huge turkeys! So I e-mailed Patti last night to see if Mandy could bring the kids up this afternoon to visit the animals at her "Barn." If I'd been thinking straight when we went up there, I really should have taken my camera along too because I could have got some photos that would really blow your minds! These turkeys, for openers, both the Toms are humungous! Patti says they both probably weigh about 50 pounds each and the hen weighs roughly about thirty pounds. Big slappers, for darned sure, they are! Maya was not afraid of the birds although the first time the Toms made a sound near her, she did jump slightly but then, eventually she drummed up enough courage to lightly pet them.

The cats Patti has there are also really big ones and the one cat has 26 toes too! Quite the sight to see him lumbering around too, as you can imagine. I don't know what the heck Patti feeds them but they definitely are not on a starvation diet, that's for sure!

It was especially cute though to watch Maya interacting with Patti's younger son, who is about six years old. It would appear that Maya is quite sweet on him as at every opportunity, she could be seen giving him some really big hugs. Don't ever let anyone tell you that autistic children are cold and unfeeling, unsociable too because if you'd seen Maya today, you'd know for sure that's far from the truth! For that matter, even little Kurtis is perhaps if not THE MOST loving little guy, he ranks very high in that category. All it takes is for someone to pick him up and he is almost always johnny-on-the-spot to putting his arms around your neck, head on your shoulder and just snuggling right up to anyone! The only person who takes precedence in the affection department is his mother! After her, anyone is fair game in his book.

When we went to leave Patti's "Barn" today, Maya gave Patti a big hug but reserved a much bigger hug though for Patti's son. He may have been slightly embarrassed at first as we kind of teased him about this but overall, judging by his base reactions, I'd say he didn't mind the attention too much either.

Yesterday (Thursday, that is), I had my regular monthly luncheon engagement with some of the girls with whom I graduated from high school and since Mandy had work yesterday and I had no one to watch Kurtis, he got to go to lunch (again) with Grammy and her friends. While Grammy munched on a really good steak salad, Kurtis polished off almost all the french fries that came with my salad. The whole time we were in the restaurant, he was exceptionally well-behaved - just being his sweet little self and entertaining the ladies too.

That's about the extent of what's been going on here the past week. My Aunt and her death which is looming here, hanging heavily around all of us, is very much bogging us down. Please send prayers up for her if you will that God will be generous in her time of need and give her rest and peace. There are not enough words, nor space, nor time for me to begin to really explain just what a wonderful lady she has always been, what a fantastic time it's been to be around her for as many years as I have and as my children and grandchildren have too. She's one of a kind, of that much, I am very sure.

I did finally get around to putting together the obituary for her that my cousin asked me and another cousin to write -back in January when she really began to fail so much. I have put it off, time and again, but tonight, after his phone call to me, I figured I'd best get it written -at least put together enough that when I see him tomorrow, I will have something for him to read and edit where he feels necessary.

Having done that now is somewhat of a relief for me as well as it was a bit cathartic to write it as well.

I'll try to return as I feel more at ease with my thoughts and feelings and for those who have already commented to me about my aunt, thank you so very much for your thoughts -and prayers.



Mahala said...


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about your aunt. It is never easy to watch a loved one suffer.

When you mentioned Maya's issue with using the potty to go poop, I had a sudden recollection of the son of a friend of mine. He is mildly autistic and also refused to go poop on the toilet. His mom FINALLY discovered (I don't know how) that he was afraid that the water in the toilet would splash. He didn't want to feel the water splash on his butt. I wonder if Maya has the same fear?

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

More hugs coming from southern Italy.

Linda Murphy said...

You are all in my thoughts today and many hugs to you.

Dianne said...

I love ya Jeni. I can relate to the not knowing how or wanting to put into words certain feelings but you always touch my heart or make me smile or laugh out loud. Usually all at once.


My son was afraid of the toliet for a bit because of some commercial he saw - I guess kinda like the Tidy Bowl man but in this one ring around the bowl was depicted as scary creatures and he thought they lived down there waiting to get him.

Took me months to figure this out.

Travis Cody said...

I'm so sorry for the pain your family is in right now. The waiting must be awful. Best wishes to you and your family.

david mcmahon said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your aunt.

You never have to apologise for apologies for ``bogging everyone down here with the sorrows that are within my heart''. Never, ever ever - that's what the blogging community is all about.

We support one another, always.

dr sardonicus said...

Sorry to hear about your aunt. Hope all is well with you and your family. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Minnesotablue said...

So sorry about your Aunt. I will keep you in my prayers.
I think Terri is on to something. I had the same problem with one of my children and came to find out she was afraid of the toilet water splashing on her.

Linda said...

Even though you feel as if you've already lost your Aunt in mind and spirit, it's still very, very hard to have her leave in body also. My grandmother on my father's side was in a nursing home for years and years with Alzheimer's and knew no one anymore but it was still hard when she passed as I still remembered her the way she was before she became someone else entirely.

Best wishes to you and your family and I'm glad that there were a few light moments in the weak to help take the burdens off for just a little while.

Big hug!