Monday, May 14, 2012

Nuptials With a View in Malibu

Who would not like Malibu, California? And, maybe going to school in Malibu? Just think. Being able to breathe in the sea air every day as you walk to classes on the lush, green campus filled with beautiful sweetly fragrant flowers, sprawling trees and tropical-looking plants.
Even better, how about getting married in Malibu on the Pepperdine University campus? I hear it's reserved only for alumni, and I can certainly see why. The entire world may try to have a wedding here if they saw the panoramic Pacific Ocean view and heard the waves crashing in the distance. I had the privilege of attending the wedding of a couple's daughter in beautiful Pepperdine paradise overlooking the Pacific Ocean in all its roaring glory. What a spectacular view for new nuptials -- high atop the waves in the horseshoe-shaped chapel.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grieving the Comings and Goings

The more time I spend with my mom at her facility, the more I get to know the other 14 residents on her unit. In an odd way, we have all become family over the months. We eat together. We watch cooking demonstrations together. We do our nails together. We bowl together. We sing together. We dance together. And we grieve together when one of them passes. It's not like some elderly stranger you read about who dies. These are people we see and interact with day in and day out. We get to know their kids, caregivers and family members. They are my mom's "people". Every day. The past 3 weeks have been sprinkled with much sadness as two of the ladies we've spent much time with died. One lady had dinner, went to bed and never woke up. The other fell, broke her hip, had surgery then died. It hits incredibly close to home for the other family members, because mortality has whispered in our ears. One day we are eating lunch or dinner with these people; the next day they are gone. We walk by their rooms, and they are empty -- waiting for the next person to come. As you enter my mom's unit there is a small living room area with a sconce vase hanging on the wall. When you walk by you hope not to see a flower out of the corner of your eye displayed in the vase. If you do, it means someone has passed. Below the flower, is a photo of the deceased. I remember seeing that flower after my dad died. It was surreal. It took my breath away. And for the two ladies who recently passed, it was no different. It put a lump in my throat both times because we know that tomorrow, it could be our loved one.