“Like a bull in a china shop..”

This about sums it up. Spilling and sending dried flowers cascading and sprinkling across the low pile carpet fibers.. it’s a gift… this clumsy behaviour of mine.

Each and every time I try to be quiet, and careful , the opposite occurs, and there is an accident of some type.

My grand entrance is not so grand, more like “ Kramer” entering the room on a “Seinfeld” episode. Sliding in trying to be cool, hair standing on end, looking startled, and bewildered, and not quite pulled together, braced and ready for the catastrophe .

“You are like a bull in a china shop.”

I’ve heard these words throughout my life. My Mother would often tell me this. My Mom is not wrong . I acknowledge this fully, and embrace it even. I tend to go full throttle, in some kind of a race against myself with the speed and sound of the “ Tasmanian devil” from “Walleye Coyote and Roadrunner,” all flying around in circles making all manner of guttural noises. I don’t really know why, except that if I was ever in a beauty pageant and was required to walk with elegance down a flight of stairs, in high heels

and an evening gown, with an audience, I would certainly trip, and take a header.

There are just certain things a person accepts about themselves when they get to be a certain age.

My disruption to the calm of her room, and the serene setting made her smile… This was not my initial intent, but what a welcome happenstance.

I was met with the grandest of smiles, and blue eyes sparkling in my general direction. I was funny, not on purpose , but I’ll take it. It is worth it. She may not have recognized me if I had entered quietly and stoically I reason to myself.

Her teeth smiled broadly and her mouth kept grinning especially when I sent everything flying. Again… with the spontaneous laughter.. I cannot say enough how the giggles get me through .. gets us through.

I put on “ Frank Mills” “ Music Box Dancer ,” on her CD player, and then the dancing from her bed ensues. Fingers tapping, brows lifted, smiling, and humming. We were transported together. Fellow travelers from the bed where she lays, brought into unison by the undeniable power of familiar tunes. All is not lost yet.

“Writing a song is like writing a letter, one must have a reason to write, one must have something to say and it must be said in just the right way.” ( Frank Mills)

I agree with you Frank. My sons used to enjoy this music very much.

Thank you for the gift of music that stays familiar, and lifts the spirits of the listener to their “ happy place.” Keep playing the music…it stays intact in the brain, and is so powerful. What a tool of comfort.

After our evening supper as my children were growing, they would routinely ask that we put on this exact cd to play. This cd is about 30 years old. They would commence racing around the kitchen table, and throughout the family room coffee table at breakneck speed. They would be laughing and happy, until some mishap, where usually Zach would crash into Logan, sending him sprawling across the carpet, then there would be hurt feelings, and big dramatic tears.. and possible “time outs.” This cd brings back all of these memories to me, and there is the undeniable feeling of being hugged. Music can do that for you. It is an embrace of the heart. She is enjoying the tunes profusely, and it does my heart good.

As the organ booms out in different pieces, I remind her of visits to “The Organ Grinder” Restaurant in Toronto, where we would eat multiple varieties of pizza and big pitchers of root beer, and listen to The “ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” symphony of sound. My Dad loved this place, and all of “ Ed Mirvish” restaurants downtown. He loved to go as a family , and it was always a fun adventure.

My friend gifted me this book as I came back into town, and it has been a welcome comfort to the start of my days.

Thank you Sharon for this book, “The Red Sea Rules,” perfect timing, and my welcome bedside companion.. Rule #1 hit it out of the ballpark. Resting in this present reality, and feeling fortunate to be here with my Mum for right here, and right now.

Getting a surprise face time call from my son Logan put the icing on the cake this afternoon. He showed me the additions to his tattoos , and also sported a new piercing in his nose. I teased him, and said, “ please don’t pierce anymore body parts,” and he retorted with ,

“ I can’t make any promises Mum.”

I love him.. His heart, creativity, humor, loyalty, and dedication.. He makes me smile. He loves with his whole precious heart..

Mum was not too receptive to his call, as she tends to be more alert in the morning, verses the afternoon. It was still worth it though, even though I know it is hard for him to see his beloved Grandma like this. Loving during the hard seasons and not looking away no matter how much it hurts.

I follow this blogger, Elaine M. Eshbaugh, PhD, and her blog title is “ When Dementia Knocks”. “ Living, Loving and Laughing through Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias.”

She is a professor of Gerontology and Family Studies. She has some good insight, and I have found her writings insightful and helpful as I navigate through this season with Mum. I find I can’t get my hands on enough reading material, and always crave to know and understand more about what’s happening inside of my Mother’s head.

The protocol has changed since I last visited over a week ago. After I check in at reception, my temperature is taken, and I show proof of a “ negative “ result coved test, I am handed over my PPE, and I walk to the elevator.

After I reach the third floor, I am greeted by a series of tables that block residents from wandering into the elevator foyer area.

I navigate through, and pass along the hallway to my Mother’s room. Outside I “don and doff “my PPE, gown, new mask and gloves, head visor , and prepare for surgery, or I mean, prepare to enter my Mom’s suite. It is a proceedure, and I want to do it correctly. I’m sweating with nervous energy even before I put everything on. It would be good if these gowns had little fans inserted inside them, especially for those of us women of a certain age that have spontaneous hot flashes at the “ drop of a hat,” and generally at the most inconvenient of times.

There are a lot of hallucinations I see my Mum exhibiting. Reaching and grabbing at things from mid air. It is disturbing and heart breaking to witness.

As the staff tells me, “ it’s ok to tell white lies here.” I can see that it is necessary, and I’m learning to be ok with this process. It’s a step by step, day by day reconciling.

This is often called, “ the long goodbye.” As if good byes were not hard enough, now they are long, this seems impossibly cruel, and it is.

Taking the time to smell the fresh flowers, reminding her of the lush and calming scent of eacalyptus, and describing the colors, and the blooms in detail , capturing the moment, and being captivated by it. Guiding her hands to touch the red berries, and her inquiring,

“ can I eat them?” That question, out of the blue, makes total sense.

I say, “ no they are not eat-able .”

She awkwardly handles the fragile blooms in her hand, where once she would know how delicate they are, she now doesn’t quite comprehend what she is touching. She reminds me of this bloom.. Fragile, and easily damaged. I know that she can hardly see them, but even the memory of what they are is escaping her now. Her understanding of what she once loved is fading.

So trusting and yet mistrusting within the same moment in a space of time.

Empathy… compassion.. it is required here within these walls for the both of us . Respect for the moment, and a sense of honor that I get to share in this sacred, naked “ mask off” encounter with my Mother .

A sachet filled with lavender.. she loves the scent, as do I

Let there be color, and fragrance, and texture, and eyes to see the ❤️ Let the sun shine deep within and bring its warmth to flow through our beings no matter where we are.

May we remember, He is with us, and remains,

“ Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Though we change, and morph, and age, and disassemble, and break bones, and become diseased, and die, this promise I clutch in my tight fisted hand, there will be a new day, a reunion to come in the heavens.

A family reunion in the sky .. imagine the possibilities ..

2 thoughts on ““Like a bull in a china shop..”

  1. I just LUV your grand entrance and I can just visualize your mother’s smile welcoming it!! O and I just luv that Frank Mills Album. I have the piano book of it and I believe I can still play Music Box! But my favorite from that book is The Poet and I! The name alone kinda reminds me of u and your son! O yes, The Organ Grinder, I dont think Frank ever sang again with his music, did he? Yet that song was my intro to him. Your other blog about hanging onto those hands on the clock, yes even rather that they went backward, is my yearning! I just loved talking with your mom in 2019, because her mind was so bright, reliving the past (in SK of course) and thats exactly where we loved that the Lord had raised us (insert heart emoji!) Still praying for and thinking of u both, enjoying life together, embracing these precious moments still alotted (which speaks for us all!) Hanging on to our hope and never letting go of His Promise of Perhaps Today! Luv u Jill and so much luv for your mom, our Denise. xo


    1. Oh Shannon somehow I just knew you might be able to play this same tune. The whole album is so pretty, and she is enjoying it so much. I’m so grateful to have it. The impromptu hymn sing that happened from the doorway of her room was just so precious to be a part of as well. These current memory makers are priceless..


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