Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick Update

Mom made a quick call on Thursday evening to thank us for having her over for a "wonderful dinner." She was chatty for a bit and pretty gracious about the dinner we made and our company before she ran out of steam. Dinners at our place are usually a team effort, with Ericka doing most of the cleaning and me doing most of the cooking. I think I'm getting the best of that. Our neighbor and friend Elizabeth dropped my for a moment and Mom was disappointed Elizabeth didn't stay longer. She remembered Elizabeth from another recent visit.

She mentioned she felt weird. Not good or bad, just different. I wondered whether it was more from the medication or the cancer. I think she was both trying to figure out for herself and reassuring me.

I took some pictures of her on Sunday, two of which are posted below. (Click through for larger versions.) We sat outside for a bit. It cooled fairly quickly as the sun was getting low, which you may be able to tell was over my right shoulder as I was taking the picture. She is wearing the nice outfit Terrie sent her.
MkII_06036 Mom
MkII_06034 Mom

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some Days Are Better

Of all the ways Mom could respond to the people I shared contact information with, it sounds like she didn't always use good side of the force. Back to that in a moment.

We had Mom over for dinner Sunday night, Ericka did the chauffering which was very nice for me. The last time I was out with her Beth and I took her to Sea Chanteys at the Wooden Boat Center along with Beth's mother Peg. A long trek, luckily with a wheel chair for Peg which we hot seated so they didn't have to make the 1/4 mile hike. Mom hasn't been very mobile for quite a while, and it seems the mobility is now getting worse and faster. I suppose that is to be expected.

Back to Sunday. We had roast beef and red potatoes, along with stir fried cauliflower. I teased her for adding butter to the cauliflower which had a lot of olive oil, calling butter Norwegian Ketchup. I popped up to the store to get her ice cream and cookies. I don't keep dairy/wheat/egg products around the house much anymore since they don't agree with me and had forgotten about desert. We may have some ice cream left for next time. I sent the macaroons home with her.

She went on a tear about someone calling her. I don't track what she says very well, and that makes two of us. I was left with the impression she was surly to someone. A little background is needed here. I found a number of relatives and friends she had not been in contact with for years and wrote them letters. It was kind of hard to do. I qualified the letters with my ignorance as to how the relationships were left off. Mom has a tendency to burn bridges with regards to relationships, and I acknowledged that in the letters along with the fact I cut off contact for six to seven years recently myself. I didn't want anyone to feel pressured, as I sometimes question the wisdom of resuming contact a couple years ago. I don't know if she was actually nasty to anyone, or was just being nasty to me. I hope the latter.

So why did I go to the effort to contact people? Not just for her sake. I've been told someone I was once close to has passed a number of times, and would have liked the opportunity to have called or written some of them. My goal has been to do that for people as much, or maybe more, than to make her feel people care. Even though the awkwardness is hard, I love the people from our shared history.

She talked a bit about Jack's ashes, being sure she understood from our earlier phone call. She doesn't have any particular date in mind which will make herding the siblings easier if they choose to take part in scattering their (Mom and Jack's) ashes in Neah Bay.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mom and Hospice

I haven't been using the blog so much lately, but I'll be using it for a bit for updates on Mom. I'll pre-date any of my recipe and artistic thoughts, and political rants so they aren't mixed in here.

Last week while on vacation and fighting a nasty chest/head cold I picked up a voice mail from Sherry Wambaugh, Mom's guardian. She told me Hospice had taken over care for Mom, meaning the expectation is she is in her last six months. I found out second hand from my sister that the breast cancer which we had already known had spread to the bone had grown faster than expected and the liver was involved. I've not talked to the doctor myself so those are all the details I have. Talking to Sherry I found they have stopped the treatment at this point, which was a hormone blocker. This was effective at first, but the spread may have been too well along.

I talked to her briefly on Monday or Tuesday, as she was worried about her bed and chair being removed and a big hospital bed being brought in. I told her it was Hospice which set her mind to rest. She responded to the humour when I said it is better early than late. Like most of us she had a taste for dark humor, and has been fascinated with spirituality as it relates to the afterlife.

Yesterday I returned a call on my way home from a Freehold Board of Directors meeting. She was very upbeat about a renewed relationship with Pam. I believe Pam works at Queen Anne Manor, and it sounded like a very positive group encounter/session type thing. It seemed a good time to tell her that I have Jack's ashes, and per her stated wishes after he died August 8, 2001 I planned to spread their ashes together in Neah Bay where they lived for so long. She was ecstatic, and hang up abruptly for her, saying she couldn't be any happier and better quite talking. That was kind of funny for me, as I'm usually the one to want to bring conversations to a conclusion.

  -- Scott Maddock

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