MY MOM IS actively dying. I'm part of a vigil at her bedside.
Hospice professionals have politely told me and my brothers that we need to take care of ourselves just as we continue to offer the best care for mom in her final days. So as part of that personal healing process, I need to vent a few thoughts on my blog, reflecting some of the cryptic log entries we've recorded in the final weeks of 2014.
It sounds oxymoronic to write about "active death" and yet that is a term used by some hospice nurses when a patient enters the final 12 hours of life. To her sons, "active dying" means mom will continue to beat the odds and will extend her time by a factor of three, perhaps dying sometime very early in 2015.
I AM PART of a vigil with brothers now watching my 88 year old mother (in photo snapped 70 years ago) slowly wind down life through rationing of fluids and medication. In some ways, what's happening now to my mom is part of her cycle of life. That's because she grew up in an era where rationing happened during the Great Depression and she knew rationing as a high school student during WII.
While living on an Iowa farm, mom's family received their first "Sugar Book" (War Ration Book Number One) as mom was finishing her sophomore year in high school. The books were distributed in May 1942 through networks of schoolteachers, PTA groups, and other volunteers.
ALL FIVE of the Honeysuckle Lane Goldbach brothers are joined in a bedside vigil this Christmas season as my 88-year-old mother barely hangs onto life, I wonder what mom thinks of her sons now that we're well into our mid-lives.
THE BEST KINDS of Christmas involve joyful days shared with children. That happened in spades for our Frozen family in Cashel, County Tipperary.
Uncle Pat arranged for USPS to fly an oversized box containing Anna and Elsa and everything Frozen from the States to Ireland. I captured the joy on a short video and also recorded The Opening of Presents with 7yo Mia offering the best perspective on Christmas--a memory I will cherish when I rewind and listen in later years.
[Bernie Goldbach is an Elder Blogger ex-pat American in Ireland.]
AFTER LISTENING TO FRUSTRATED students explain how they have to work around limited processing power while rendering complex objects, I've started looking at building a rendering farm. I first visited sites running IBM's BladeCenter HX5.
I have a soft spot for IBM systems because in the early part of the century, I used heavy iron from IBM to help a small animation studio get on its feet.
The IBM HX5 extends eX5 architecture into a bladed format. That means it's quickly scalable and comes with high performance specs.
ON THE 28TH OF AUGUST 1988, I observed the worst airshow disaster in Europe. The day marks a change in my pathway through life.
It has taken me more than 20 years to gain the perspective needed after a horrific afternoon at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The smell of the incident still lingers with me. I drove one of the support vehicles around the site while helping to mark scorched body parts. The emotional response of the audience remains etched in my memory too. Within a few minutes of the initial impact, the crash zone went from a cacophony of excited observers to a still reverence of a cemetery.
I KNOW A STRONG exercise routine helps me think better and create more interesting learning experiences. I just cannot get back into the routine needed to take me to higher levels of creativity through high quality aerobic activity.
I talked to my six year old daughter (shown on this blog post from her first experience on an exercise bike) about trying to extend the swimming we've enjoyed together this past summer into the next six months. My goal--to get back into swimming a mile during a single session in the local pool. Hitting the pool four times a week with Mia on my back as I swam the 25m lengths gave me more strength than I realised I would enjoy during those fun-filled sessions.