Saturday, December 10, 2022

 It is late October and the morning air feels crisp and bright. I always let the wildflowers (weeds) grow tall along my drive way to enjoy the false foxglove, golden rod, rabbit tobacco, wild daisies, dog fennel and sedge grass in bloom. The goldenrod is fading and the false foxglove is going to seed. Nearby I hear dogs barking. My dogs pay them no mind.  A rifle is fired; hunting season is here. 

The deer hang out on my property during hunting season. We did not get any muscadine grapes this year. A doe and her twins ate them all. They were so dang efficient. I grew enough for the wildlife and me. But not enough for that doe and her children. I'll mow a wee bit this month and the turkeys will hang out when turkey season begins. 

We have a large buck that grazes in my yard. When my chihuahua mixes come out. He doesn't stop or look up. When he sees me, he continues. But when my bulldog comes with me, he skips out of sight. One time two of my dogs cornered a deer. Both dogs suffered a great deal of boxing. One had to stay indoors for about a week to convalesce . Apparently, it was horrible. 

I feel a bit jealous when I look at Japanese gardens and landscapes. They are so immaculate. We have very little of that. Calloway gardens are nearby and I don't go there as often as I could. I get very few stretches of time. I do plan to make a plan to go. We live in a warm humid climate for the most part. I use the months of November to February to try to keep my small piece of woodland under control close to my house. The rest of my yard is fairly wild. I used to keep a nice path mowed.

I don't like the idea of zoos. What the big pity is that some endangered animals still exist because of zoos. I decided to do a quick web search and there were many animals of which I had not heard of that no longer existed in the wild. The one I found the most interesting was the wild horse. It was not an ancestor  but more of a cousin of the domesticated horse. The wild horses in North America are actually feral domesticated horses. 

The wild horse which is called the Przewalskis horse is threatened with extinction. It's numbers were decimated in that hunters hunted them for food and with rifles, they hunted them too well. They are using zoo stocks of the horse to reintroduce these creatures to China, Mongolia, and Kyzakhstan.  More Info:

Deer were reintroduced in many states including Georgia. They were overhunted until their numbers were very low around 1925. The reintroduction began in 1925 when there might have been about 20,000. In 1975, the population of white tailed deer was about 250,000. 

My mom used to like to see her dad leave with a rifle. They would be eating meat that night. My favorite story is how her dad brought home a turtle and her mom butchered and cooked it. People were so resourceful. My mom was born in 1930. When I told her about deer being reintroduced, she said that made sense in that she did not remember them in her Northeast Alabama childhood.

My mother started leaving this world on November 2nd. Dementia reared it's head. One night it is just a very tiny black kitten. Another night I had to throw an evil man out of the bedroom. I open the door to the bedroom and order him out. The normally obedient dogs just look at me from their beds. Hospice has begun. I've met the charge nurse. Tomorrow is her first follow up. A social worker and a chaplain came this past Monday. I'm very grateful. I had promised my mom that she no longer had to go to the hospital or meet with any doctors. About a week ago, she asked for a bag of corn chips which she munched as the rest of us gathered in her room ate our snacks. It was a small and final moment. Now she sips a bit of water late in the evening and no longer eats. 

My family has been very lucky. Sarah, the younger sister of my childhood friend has been coming and helping us out with sitting with my mother. People give me much more credit than I deserve for my caregiving. I truly am losing my best friend in life. I've had my clashes with my mother and it is damn difficult to take care of an elderly parent. .When dementia settles in, it is vicious. Add to that, like your siblings, your mother knows how to push your buttons. One night I look over at her and she is giving me a look which is not friendly. In her hand is a bank envelop. I looked in the envelop several days later, It is about six hundred dollars. I've had control of my mother's money for over twenty years. 

I have resented having to take care of my mother and handicapped siblings at times. In later years, I have learned it was a privilege. Now that my mother is in the process of passing, I'm surprised to know my taking care of my mother was more from having a deep relationship with her and not so much as my duty to my mother. While Sarah was watching my mother, I took my siblings to the nail salon and then to eat Chinese food. We had five dogs in the car. While riding in the car, I had to tell them to be prepared mentally for our mother passing. We may witness some unpleasant things. 

The suddenness has been crushing and the not knowing how this will playout leaves me stunned. You hold out hope and then you just look at what is going to happen no matter what. When the nurse spoke of a natural death, I winced. Walking down my driveway at twilight, the moon was rising full and orange. It was truly a beautiful sight. You would think in your grief that the world would be quiet and disappear from view.

Today, my widowed mother asked me about what my father wanted. From what she has said to many, clearly my father was what she loved most in life. During her first hospital stay this month, a nurse came in and asked her how she was feeling. My mother replied, "Have I told you how I met my husband?" All the stories are going with her. 92 years is a heck of a life to live. There is never enough time, eh?  


  1. Oh my gosh, Ann... I'm so sorry. I can certainly relate. My mom is 93 and in the last year, dementia has gotten more and more pronounced. We kept trying to make her remember, but then read somewhere not to do that because it's only upsetting and the memory is just gone. But it's hard. We're afraid of what is to come. So far, she is cheerful and happy. I hope it can stay that way.

    1. Even with dementia, the thought of losing them is as bad as before dementia. I know how you feel. When you have written about your mother, I knew we were in similar places in life. My mother's body is worn out. I'm surprised by the sadness and loss that I feel. There is no acceptance of what is happening. Just acceptance that you can't change fate. As people have been saying, at 92, my mother has lived a hell of a life. A rocky one as I have I have witnessed but a lot of joy too.

      Dementia is a funny thing to enter. That night kicking out the buggarman was surreal when I realized even the dogs were in on it.

      One day, I hope we meet. Have you gotten to see the big eruption on the main island?

  2. Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring are flowing your way.

    1. Thank you Sue. That love is coming back to you multiplied. I hope you are well.

  3. Aww your mom is in good hands and you are a good daughter. Each loved one that passes, it’s hard to imagine how it will eventually affect us. That is a beautiful photo of your mom. Wishing you strength for the days ahead. Try and find time for yourself.

  4. Thank you Debby. It is a bit overwhelming. Like many things in life, it is what it is. I know you have faced some deaths and understand.

  5. Dementia is a tough one to deal with. My mum had dementia for a while before she died (at 96) and it was sad to see someone who used to be so bright and lively descending into a sort of brain fog and losing all contact with the outside world. A very distressing business.

  6. Wishing you the warmth of friend's embrace since I can only send cyber-hugs, and the strength to finish the sunset walk with your mom. Bless your heart. Your mom raised a daughter with a caring soul. The next time I walk down my driveway toward the light of a full moon rising, I'll think of you, dear Ann.


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