Thursday, April 07, 2011

Making a Baby Quilt: Japanese Strip Noodles



I am now on my island in Alaska in the my childhood home caring for my little 85 year old mama and doing my best to make her laugh, exercise her tiny arms and legs gently, and get her to eat enough during the day to keep her from losing any more weight.

Last night we have leftover spaghetti in a softly warmed tortilla shell. Tuck in the bottom, roll the spaghetti up inside and she can hold it herself and eat bite by bite. She did really well and finished it all off. Than a sugar fee 'ice cream on a stick' for dessert and many sippee cups of ice water to prevent dehydration. Her tongue an lips are bright purple and they make us laugh..,.but that is from eating two big bluebery pancakes with sugar free berry jam for breakfast. With a little sugar free energy milkshade...she is fulled of and and ready to face a new day.

While most of her days are spent sleeping, we move her arms and legs for physical therapy. Bend in, bend out...stretch!!!! Touch your head, touch your nose, where is your mouth? Good job, mama!

Each contact, each conversation, each and every connection is so good for her and for us. When she first greeted me, I announced with my big hug....

"It's your daughter, Michele, come back to give you a great big hug and a smooch."

"Oh" she said she laughed.

"Did they tell you I was coming?"

"Yes, they did and I said...you will have to introduce us, again. It's been a long time"

Then we both laughed. It is still so amazing to all of us that she will occasionally say these wonderfully witty and quite long sentences. And they all delight us with their charm.

I was here in August and September for my father's passing and 7 months is a long time to miss my mama and have her miss me. Yet time is not relative to her, it comes and in goes in a heartbeat. But there are also times when the heart connection has to stretch out across our thousand miles to connect us. I can feel her and know how she is, and she often feels me and talks about it.

Each trip is $800 to $1,000 for a ticket and they add up quickly, trip by trip and year by year and it is very hard. This year a brother and SIL paid for my way and I am so very grateful. My SIL and I have been cleaning drawers and closets...room by room. We are preparing the house for a brother and his family to move in when I leave again.

My mother can never be left alone. Even though she cannot walk, or roll over, we can not take any chances that something else could happen unexpectedly within the house and harm her. So, round the clock, someone is always here. But we clean and we putter, we do the laundry and prepare simple meals and always we are touching base with her and giving her a kiss and making her wake up enough to connect and to laugh. It is such a blessing when has an awareness back and talks to us as she is spoken to.

She is healthy, we take good care of her, she is not yet qualifying for hospice help, so we do our best. Three brothers, me the only daughter, their sister, and two sister-in-laws that do as much as we can...and we make it work. It is hard, it can get very confusing and towels and washcloths and adult diapers, and medications can be set in new places without thinking and we have to search and refind and organize things and lists and shopping, each and every new day.

Grandogs come and go, a beautiful great grand baby comes and fills the house with giggles and grins and we try to bring joy in as much as possible to override the challenges and our own exhaustion.

We do it all and we do it together and as each day is done and a new one begins...we know that we are simply a part of the cycle of life. You can live your connective link with resentment and anger or you can live it with joy and gratitude :)

shown above:
I finished the Japanese Noodles quilt from the last weekend in Oregon.
With the spirit and intent for the healing of the land of Japan...it will be giving to a baby of Japanese descent within the loving and extended cultural circle of our family in Anchorage. I It will fly away in the arms of love, land and touch ground at its place of 'anchorage' and provide the warmth and the love of our family down here in the Juneau area, to those farther north as we share in the joy and delight of new birth.

My way of extending the healing energies of love for empathy, love, and acceptance of all. Monies donated to the Red Cross in Japan, but a quilt that can be more easily delivered here just heartbeats across the ocean waves to a family that is blending the healing energies we so needed to heal after the battles between nations. Blessings to all of the Japanese peoples and may you feel all of our love and kinship.

"Japanese Noodles" made simply in a an uneven 'noodles' quilt pattern. Just cut and piece varying widths of fabric and it makes a lovely but quick to make little quilt.

8 comments:

  1. What a precious post by a wonderful daughter. It's beautiful to see such a caring family come together at a great time of need. Awesome to see!! Hugs and love

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  2. Hang in there. What a lucky mother to have her kids care so much!

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  3. I fully understand what you and your family are dealing with. I had the same siuation with my mother and my younger sister as well as my step dad in the last several years. You will be at peace later when you can think about things AND you will know you did all you could for your mother when she needed you the most! Prayers for all of you!

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  4. Oh Michele...blessingson you and all of your days and heart-felt hugs to you and your dear, sweet mama.

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  5. You are a special lady caring for a special lady. God bless you both-

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  6. Blessings to you and your family. Sending you love and prayers.

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  7. Your Japanese Noodles quilt is so pretty! You used such bright and happy fabrics! What a blessing your family is....very caring and supportive!

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  8. Elaine, I love your noodles quilt...the design and colors are really great! Bless you for all that you do (your family too)! Sounds like you have the "system" running smoothly. So glad that your Mom is responsive. God bless!

    Karen

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.