Sunday Stills: One hundred and one and three quarters

When I saw Ed’s ‘100+’ challenge this week, I knew that I had to post about my dear MiL who is so proud of the fact that she is now one hundred and one and three quarters, and still going strong. Kathleen Letitia was born in Hanwell England on 4th August 1913.

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To celebrate her 100th Birthday, she had two big party’s, one for close family members,

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and another one in the village hall for even more family and over a hundred friends.

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A couple of weeks later, she took her children and their spouses on a wonderful Rhine River cruise. Of course, this lively centenarian was the toast of the ship, and loved to party the night away, even after a full day’s touring around the sights, which was done mostly on foot.

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Last year, she had a bit of a tumble on her staircase at home, which landed her in the ER for a few hours, while “a very kind young lady” put stitches in her ear. The family expressed concern that at her great age, she should still be living on her own, and suggested that she have a two week trial period in a beautiful care home a few miles away. Her decision was, that although it was very nice there, it definitely wasn’t for her. “It’s for old people,” she protested, so back home she went, and is now enjoying her independent life even more than ever. We speak to her every Sunday, and she always has such a lot to tell us, about Scrabble competitions, concerts and shows she’s been to, and friends and family who’ve been round to visit for Sunday lunch, or for tea and her wonderful home-made cake. While she’s following her favourite TV series, such as Coronation Street and EastEnders, her hands are never idle, as she loves to knit, and produces warm, colourful hats and mittens for needy children overseas.

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I hope that if I should live to be 100+, I will look as good as she does, and enjoy life just as much.

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To see more posts for Ed’s ‘100+’ challenge, just click the badge below.

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Making Happy Memories Together

The last few days have been such happy ones, full of fun times with lots of smiles. It was wonderful having our daughter here to help celebrate her dad’s 70th. She also got to see her darling Gran, which was an added bonus. Here are some of the highlights. (Click on any photo to enter gallery and read captions.)

Yesterday, it was time for Mandy to fly back up to Johannesburg. Her family have been coping quite well without her, and her husband¬† has even tried out his cooking skills. My granddaughter told me that although they managed okay, they were all “Just hanging on by a thread” without Mom. She is very good at dramatising situations, but I’m sure they were all so glad to have mom back at the helm in the¬† kitchen, as she’s a fabulous cook.

Time is marching on, and this week, I really must get up on the step ladder and see what delights are hiding in the tops of my cupboards. (Actually, that should probably read “I really must get hubby up on the step ladder.”) I’m sure there are many items which will be going to the Animal Welfare for their monthly fund raising sales. I’ll really try my best to pop in on as many of you as I can, but as moving day draws closer, it will get more difficult to find time to sit at my computer. I really wish I were twins.

My darling mom needs a holiday by the sea.

Yesterday was a lovely day, although somewhat tinged with sadness. Hubby and I went off up the hill to meet my sister, my mom, and two of mom’s dearest friends, Marge and Tom. We met at a local restaurant, and it just broke my heart to see how difficult it was for my once strong and independent mother to even manoeuvre herself from her walker, into her seat. Since her bout of pneumonia late last year, she has become so frail and her mind is very confused. She did manage a cappuccino and half a slice of carrot cake, and we all kept up a lively conversation, trying to include her, but I could tell that her mind wasn’t able to process what was being said, and it was obvious that the bright lighting and ambient noise were bothering her. Tom is younger than mom, and has been a wonderful help to her, after she had to give up driving her car a couple of years ago. He used to take her shopping and to church every week. Marge, who has been her best friend for many years, was so attentive and kind, helping her to get the cake onto her fork, and opening the sugar packet for her. She is 91, a couple of years older than mom, but really bright and capable.

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We took mom back to the care home, and helped to put her to bed, as she was so tired after her little outing. The people who work there are really kind, and I’m happy to know that she is so well cared for, but I find it really distressing to see how little she can do for herself. When I think of the lively, bustling mom who brought me up, now so vulnerable and utterly dependent on other people to do everything for her, I could weep.

As we came over the brow of the hill, and were on the downhill run to home, I decided that what I needed was a long walk by the sea.

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The sound of the waves crashing over the rocks, was somehow very soothing to my troubled mind.

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Soon we were on our way to the lighthouse, the sight of which never fails to lift my spirits.

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Next stop was the pier, which although quite a new addition, looks like it’s been there forever.

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A sprinkling of fishermen were on the beach at the end of the promenade, and we sat for a while, in quiet contemplation, just looking out to sea.

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I was thinking that mom would really enjoy a mini vacation by the sea, and although our house has quite steep stairs, just maybe, with me in front and hubby bringing up the rear, we could manage to get her up and down them. It’s worth a try, so when we get back from visiting our daughter in Johannesburg in a couple of weeks’ time, we’re going to attempt it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

I wish you all a very happy weekend.