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Monday, April 11, 2022

This Is Hard

You know it will come.  You just do not know when.  Each day you look on Facebook to see the morning sunrise posted by her.  It is still being there.  Sis #1 is hanging tough.  She is mad as she can be at having this demon child of the devil eating away at her insides.  Quietly stealing the anticipated joys from her.  But not just her, her two remaining children.  They are not young children, 62 and 60.  That does not make it any easier.   Especially since their dad died in 1999 at only 65 years old.

Sister #1 being placed in hospice care brought the reality home.  With Niece #1 being the primary person to be with her mom she is not handling the end-of-life issues at all well.   Something about being told how to help her mother pass in less pain has actually made her ill.  Neice #1 is sensitive mainly because she is so full of love for my Sister #1, her mom.  Niece #1 is torn, though she has not said it aloud.  She wants to spend as much time with her mom as possible.  But to be there, alone, in the final moments is just too much for her to even consider.

Since death would most likely give a warning, Niece #1 would probably not have to be alone.  Her brother, his family, her husband, and some of us sisters would be nearby.  There would be possibly some of the grandkids and maybe a great grandkid or two.  That is just how our family works.  At least that is how it was when our Dad passed.  Kids, grandkids, wife, sister, and a SIL were standing vigil.  Watched machines recording his last breaths, heartbeats, and finally a flat line.

Relaxing in the sun during sister time
I was alone with my mom when I found she had passed while I stepped out for a potty break.  That is not the same as administering the final doses to reduce pain for a loved one.  Not even in the same world.  So Sister #1 is discussing where she can spend her final days and lessen the burden on her children.  Her final act as a loving mother.  Because this is hard.

If there is a time in the next month we sisters and our daughters plan a get-together, Sister/Daughter time.  We originally planned to do a short cruise or something like that.  Then cancer reared its ugly head.  And that is only one of the reasons for us beating and breaking things during our recent sister time.

There you have the story behind the photo of four sisters standing holding buckets of breakable and not-so-breakable items.

All you folks take care out there!


Friday, April 8, 2022

Sister Time March 29 - April 1, 2022

Since the day in January 2015 that our mother passed away, we four sisters have worked to have what we call Sister Time.  Four Rogers girls gathered at different locations just enjoying each other.  Time together has been shared in Oklahoma, Argyle and Austin TX, and even a trip to an Oregon wedding.  We have had some real adventures together.  Sis #2 had her grandaughter make us sister shirts.  While none of us know when the end of our life may come, we do know Sis #1's days are much shorter than expected.  

We sisters had been planning a sister time for the title dates for about two weeks.  Sis #1 was told only days before our gathering that #1's cancer had become uncontrollable.  The 'devil child', as Sis #1 had named it, had spread to her bladder.  This sent a chill through our extended families.  Sis #1 asked only for daily belly laughs.  I asked what her favorite dessert was.  Without hesitation, she responded, "Momma's banana ice cream".   I set about gathering the ingredients so I could make her this dessert for our Sister Time.

Sisters all like root beer floats.  If you are unfamiliar with that concoction, it is simply vanilla ice cream with root beer poured over it.  Stir the two ingredients together and you have a great treat for a hot summer day.  The ratio of ice cream to root beer depends on your own personal preference.  Sis #1 and #2 like their floats to be heavy on ice cream.  Sis #4 and I are a bit heavier on the root beer than the ice cream.  That was dessert for our gathering on Tuesday, March 29.

On Wednesday it was time for banana ice cream preparations.  Sis #1 had Mom give her the recipe several years before she passed away.  I had attempted to make the ice cream from the memory of watching Mom mix it som many Sunday afternoons.  Mine never hit the mark.  Sis #1 recounted the recipe to me.  Ah ha.  I had not noticed two ingredients, almond flavoring in addition to the vanilla flavoring was one.  The second was a TBS. of flour.  The mixture was not cooked.  It was always simply beaten in sequence and poured into the chilled freezer canister.

Mom almost always turned over the actual freezing to Daddy.   I followed tradition and turned the mixture over to Hubby to manage the actual freezing of the ice cream.  That whole process took well over three hours.  Completion was announced by the electric motor coming to a stop.  At that time would be a couple of hours before dessert would be served.  The canister of ice cream was placed into a refrigerator freezer.  Once it was served up by the hostess, Sis #4, the comments were unanimous.  The taste was perfect.  The texture was creamier than Momma's because I used heavy cream and a small amount of whole milk.  Mom always used just the whole milk.  We decided we liked the creamy texture.  There was enough left over to have a dish of the ice cream two more times.

It took me much longer to prepare the mixture than it had ever taken my Mom in my memory.  All about repeated actions.  Knowing when the eggs were beaten to perfection by simply looking at the mixture.  Knowing when the sugar was completely melted into the eggs.  Mom had that all down to muscle memory.  I'll never make that many freezers of ice cream.   But for this one freezer full of that delicious mixture I did not care if it took a full week.  It was my oldest sister's only request for her favorite dessert.  With a heart full of love I gladly gave it to her.  Because I might never have the chance again.

Take care all you folks.  I'll have more about sister time in a few days.


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Just A Sample

The last week found me really busy with my sisters and other parts of the family.  We celebrated Sister Time one more time and hopefully not for the last time.  Rather than writing a bunch of words about this precious time together, I'll share a few photos.  Explanations to follow later this week.

I did the mixing, Hubby manned the electric freezer.

Sis # 2, Sis # 4, Sis # 1, Sis #3 (me) Taking time to smash the heck out of cancer.

Sis # 1 got a real surprise!

Reviewing family histories.

Stay healthy and love,