Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Child Care to Elder Care

With my father-in-law spending a bit of time in the hospital, family members have been rotating Mother-in-law care.
Her recent memory fails her these days with the exception of knowing for sure that the man she has known and loved for just about all of her life is ill and she wants to be at his side. 
He must rest and so I stall before taking her for a visit.

 I sit with Oma, answering her questions and having the same conversation over and over and over again, picking up my stalled Beekman as a diversion.


She is interested to see my knitting and tells me stories of how her and her sisters sat around their kitchen table in Germany knitting or doing various forms of needlework while listening to the radio. 
Ah, the wonderful pre-TV days.

She gets her own aching body out of her chair and begins to pull out stacks of linens from her hutch.


Oma shows me her handiwork all made before her marriage and brought over on the ship when she immigrated to America.




We talk, I admire and listen.
I have seen them all many times before, but on this day I pay close attention. For each pattern there is a set of three: a tablecloth, kitchen doilies, and a cover with a rod pocket that hid the dirty dish towels drying on their rack. I hadn't know about the towel cover before. I always just assumed the pocketed cloths were curtains. It pays to listen and learn.
Her past memory is as keen as can be.


She is happy in that moment and so am I.


Take Care,
Joan
***
Sharing with Fiber Arts Friday

29 comments:

Buttons said...

Oh Joan I can feel your worry my Mom is in the hospital too for a week now and as you know my Dad has been gone for years now.
Oma did beautiful work and the stories are the things that will be shared with all, I love the stories. I do pray her husband comes through this and they will be reunited in their home.
Take care Joan you are not alone. Thank you for sharing. HUGS HUGS B

Sue Speechley said...

There is certainly some beautiful work there. Happy that she has her memories to enjoy and share. I have a few examples that came from Peter's granny, no one seems to do work like that anymore. I hope that your knitting keeps you calm, its not easy to have the same conversation over and over again.

babs said...

It can be difficult to be patient with our loved ones....the repeated stories, the repeated words, over and over. But, we must be patient with them and cherish them. One day, we will look back on those moments and be thankful. Oma's work is wonderful. So great to be able to share those moments. So many of the elderly aren't blessed to have someone to comfort them, love them, etc.

Lynne said...

Loved this Joan . . . bringing tears to my eyes. Beautiful hand work, memories and time together. Even though the repeating, over and over can become tedious . . . how important patience plays itself out. It doesn't surprise me at all that you would give of yourself for elder care and child care all in the span of a few days.

I was carried away with my own personal reflecting . . .

Hartwood Roses said...

Family stories are so precious ... soak them up, write them down. There is so much history locked in the brains of our parents and grandparents. No way to get it all.

Bless you for helping to take such good care of your in-laws.

Cathy H. said...

You are such a beautiful woman to care so lovely for your Mother-in-law. Many wouldn't. Your story touched me today. I'm the only child that lives close to my mom and dad and we are beginning to see them need us more and more. It isn't easy to always be patient, I know! These times we have to share are precious times to be treasured! Take care!

Jenny Short said...

All we can live is one moment at a time. Bless you. I understand completely what you're doing.xo Jenny

TexWisGirl said...

wow. just beautiful, timeless, classic work. bless your in-laws...

Beth said...

Lovely work done by your mother in law. Prayers for her husband.

Loretta Thomas said...

Precious Moments especially filled with memories...well spent!! We wish your father-in-laws all the best.
Hugs & Prayers,
Loretta

Debbie said...

such beautiful needlework....those colors are so familiar from that time period!!

sending you strength and a big hug!!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Amen.

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

Joan, I am sure Oma appreciated having someone she could show her accomplishment to, especially someone who appreciated it. I guess both little children and the elderly require patience, just different kind of patience. I am glad you shared Oma's beautiful handiwork with us. We don't see that kind of handiwork anymore.

Natalie said...

What absolute treasures! I inherited a few of my grandmother's handwork items but unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the story behind each piece while she was still here. You are lucky indeed to have shared that time.

Kathryn Ray said...

What wonderful time together. Her work is beautiful. I hope your FIL will be ok.

Kate @ Daffodils said...

great post

Rose said...

Oh, she would be interesting to talk to. I used to have someone in my life that repeated stories...how I wish I had come home and written them down. They were wonderful...so sad for the love of her life to not be by her side. I hope he recovers..

Ginx Craft said...

Beautiful embroidery. Just lovely. I hope her husband is back home soon.

doodles n daydreams said...

What a lovely memory you both made. Your MIL's needlework is lovely, something we don't see these days with machines replicating everything.

Diana

doodles n daydreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WonderWhyGal said...

What a wonderful treasure to have time together so you can hear the stories of all of her handiwork. I have a box of my grandma's linens but not the story that went with them. Treasure that time.

EG CameraGirl said...

You are very smart to listen to her stories and to write them down. You'll be so happy you did in future years. Her needlework is lovely.

Rosemary Aubut said...

How wonderful to have them! The needlework is so beautiful! Very thoughtful and beautiful post!!! xxoo

Tessa said...

I love the way you have captured this time with Oma.

BENScopingau said...

Hallo Joan,
Du hast sehr schöne Erinnerungen festgehalten. Schöppingen ist zwar sehr weit entfernt, wir denken aber sehr oft an Euch; da spielt Entfernung keine Rolle!
Annette

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

gorgeous church ... have a great week. hope you are well. will we get snow tonight? ( :

Nancy said...

What patience it must have taken to create these treasures. Thank you for sharing Joan and so sorry about Opa. xo

Vonda Cheney said...

It's a cycle. And what a venerable cycle, that is maintained not only within the span of a person's life, but the ways that one can alleviate another person. We always get the opportunity to do this all the time, and we should embrace them when they do come. Although some may not have time to do so, they can still show they care by getting someone to look after their well-being at all times. Especially when it involves the ones who are close to us and who helped brought us into the world.

Amber Care

sheila olson said...

Caring helps a lot not only to uplift the person physically but, mentally too.
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