Friday, December 3, 2010

one day at a time

This is how the sky looked last Friday morning when I got up.

I'm afraid my postings are going to be a little narrow of focus for awhile. We are playing tag team over the next four days or so, my sister and her daughter and a friend today and I so that there is always someone there to help my BIL and be his advocate while he is in the hospital. He has been moved to a regular room and the nurses are very busy. He is eating again so that's good but he is still mostly supine and needs help eating and drinking and stopping him from fidgeting with his IV and oxygen.

He is still an invalid and his mental clarity did not return. He still gets confused, forgets things on the one hand. On the other, he knows who people are and you can have conversations with him as long as they aren't too long. Now and then his charm and humor show through. He knows now that he has cancer but he also thinks he has had a heart attack. I don't think he knows that he is dying. And he wants to come home. I don't even want to think about that part of it yet.

It's a sad sad situation as Elton John would sing.

a learning curve

This weekend is also the holiday glass art open house that we are participating in. Our friends the glassblowers host this at their studio every year. Marc is having to do it without me though I might drive to Houston after I leave the hospital on Saturday, spend a few hours at the open house to see my friends.

Since we just started making some new cast work what we are going to have at the open house is our learning curve. All the stuff left over from when we were first learning how to do pate de verre. A lot of it we gave away (holiday gifts from us were very predictable for a number of years), some of it we sold and the rest got put in boxes and stored. When we first spread it all out I thought we couldn't possibly sell this stuff, it's our history. The story of our learning. Each piece evoked a memory of where we were and what we were doing and what we were learning. I selected a few pieces to keep, looked the rest of it over for a few days and now feel no qualms about getting rid of it.


  1. That sky is incredible. Love the two pics. The glass pic is a kind of reflection of the sky pic with all the clouds so carefully arranged.

    Thinking of you with so much love. Thank you for keeping us in the loop.

  2. Looks like you have very full days ahead. It is such important work to accompany and support the dying. Not easy, but vital.

    Stephen Levine who did so much hospice work, used to ask if the patient could bear just the next minute or next few seconds with him, rather than wondering how they would get through the next days and weeks. "Just this much?" he would ask demonstrating with his fingers a tiny portion of time. Then when both are totally present in the'just this much' moment, there is an experience of the true meaning of eternity. Your photograph is incredible and so fitting.

    Thinking of you.

  3. Ellen, I've been busy and missed your recent posts, so I'm just now getting caught up.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your BIL. Cancer is such a cruel and brutal disease. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Hospice is a wonderful organization. Some of the most amazing people I've ever met were the nurses from hospice who helped us with Jill. It takes a special kind of person to do that kind of work.

    All the best to you as you walk this long and difficult road.

  4. Your BIL is blessed to have a caring family. Even though this is such a hard time for all of you, it is as Bonnie has said so important for all. I am and will continue to lift all of you up in my meditations and be ever present as your friend. Thanks for letting us know and be there for you as well. Blessings, Linda

  5. In life there are some amazing ups and very sad lows. Your sky photos is one that would have had me just standing there looking up. I am so very sorry about your bil. It's times like this that one asks why.

  6. Love the sky (although it kind of reminds me of a desert scene where there's been water & now everything is cracked & dry). LOVE the glass - so much fun.

    These are going to be difficult days. Wring from them what you can... I'm still praying for your family.

  7. So sorry to hear of your what you can and take care of your BIL and yourself...just being there can mean so much...we're all thinking of you...

  8. Dear Ellen, I have scrolled back to the last post; I had no idea that things have progressed so fast.

    My friend had metastasised lung cancer and she lived for just a couple of months after diagnosis.
    I was very glad when it was over. For your family's sake and your bil's I hope it won't take long. Death is inevitable, the shorter the period of suffering, the better.

    Make ever second with him count.

    My very best wishes and much love.

  9. PS The sky picture is wonderful.

  10. Your blog is like a sensual & a very free spirit puzzle. Thanx for comments & for being there in my blog world !!! And don't forget this..... Never worry about the size of your Christian tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall!

    Peace & Love

    Agneta, a frozen swedish one ;)

  11. Sending positive vibes your way...The glass is beautiful...

  12. wow ellen - like the sky you're held together by almost invisible filaments. so tough - it's so very very tough. i'm thinking of you of course. steven

  13. The sky is amazing but so is your art.

    Hang in there, you are in my thoughts daily.

  14. Continue to Pray.
    The Sky photo is Heavenly♥

  15. Bittersweet to be able to know that death is approaching and to be there to ease the way. Sometimes the hardest things we do turn out to be the very best things we do. I am holding you and your family in my thoughts ....

  16. Sending warm, supportive hugs your way. Lovely photo.. beautiful art.

  17. Sorry to hear about your loved one. It's a tough spot to be in. My Mom exhibited some of the same problems before dying. One minute she was her old self and the next she seemed confused and lost. She, too, thought she was going home, but it was not meant to be.

    I know it's hard, but you are doing what's best by being there for him and your sister and neice. Hang in there and I will keep you in my thoughts.

  18. Even your learning tools are beautiful and interesting.

    That sky is unbelievable! Wow.

    I am so sorry about your BIL.

  19. That sky is amazing. Reminds me of a Georgia O'Keefe painting!!
    I hear you about throwing out older work. If it doesn't move you and it was for learning has accomplished it's task. Time to move on!!
    I will continue to pray for you BIL!!

  20. Life gives us grief as well as joy. Love resides in both. I'm sorry this is so hard.

    Wishing that there were something useful I could do, but there isn't.

    Keeping you and yours in my thoughts.

  21. Ellen I am so sorry to read about this terrible pain your family is experiencing. And I'm angry that a lack of insurance kept your brother-in-law from seeking medical assistance when he first began to feel unwell. I send much love and caring to you all.

  22. Ellen the sky shot is beautiful. It reminds me of a huge painting I saw years ago of a landscape & sky similar to this. It had the puffy clouds, blue sky with pink in the distance. Gorgeous.
    I left you a note on an earlier blog and hope you understand my absence. I hope you have better days ahead and that your BIL finds peace & rest. My thoughts are with you.


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