Welcome to our life!

Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.

Samstag, 29. November 2008

Thankful for all the wonderful things in my life

We're finally back in Germany! And I am hopefully back to slightly more consistent blogging.
I wish I could say that the past few weeks were enjoyable, and I wish I had been anywhere but home, but I can't. Things were crazy at home. My biggest regret, thinking that if we didn't have to spend every second with our eye on mom that we would have time. We even planned to go on a date because, well, we deserve it. Turns out that things were so busy at home, we had to put "us" time on hold yet again.
The wake and funeral were as nice as one can be. I was amazed how many people came out to say "goodbye" to my mom. Lots of her old colleagues from work, and lots of family members I have not seen in at least 8 years. It was incredible. I have contacts now for two of my cousins who I have not spoken with in years. There is something so uplifting to know that people who I thought were completely out of my life are now back in it. I was also touched by all the wonderful things people had to say about my mom. It was all true, my mom could be the most upbeat, positive, and kind person.
After the funeral, we got to work straight away at the house. The house became our pet project that required us working all day from Thursday to the following Tuesday. There was so much work. But, we went through a lot, and found a lot. I found some amazing photographs of my grandmother's wedding, pictures I had never before seen. Actually, there was a treasure-trove of photographs. Besides photos, we plowed through tons of my moms clothes, many of which were never worn (another of my mom's characteristics.) I also found some old jewelery, including my grandmother's engagement ring (that I had never seen,) and a few old pieces of jewelery from my great-grandmother. Going through the house, and rescuing things from the upcoming Estate sale, was difficult but also therapeutic.
Besides the house, were trips to the lawyer and the bank. Lots of phone calls and lots more to make on Monday. I never realized how much work was involved in the resolution of an estate, in this case, two estates.
Despite the sadness, I was flabbergasted by the outpouring of kindness. I am forever grateful to my friends and family. It is truly in the times you are the most down when you truly learn who you can count on. The people at work have shown nothing but kindness, and today, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card from work. So many people have said kind things about my mom, and showed support. I feel I became much closer to some of my relatives, particularly my cousin Katie and my cousin Terry, and my aunt. Even people who I have spent little time with have written with nothing but kindness and concern. And of course, Joern was absolutely my rock throughout these past few months. Without him I cannot even imagine how much more difficult this ordeal would have been.
So while I feel right now shrouded in sadness, I also feel strangely uplifted by support and friendship.
Thank you everyone, even those who are not reading this, I cannot even begin to show my gratitude towards you all.

Samstag, 15. November 2008

An update

Just to let all of you know, my mom passed away last night. She was surrounded by those closest to her, and she was quite peaceful. We had her kept on comfort care since she entered the hospital.
The amazing thing about it all, her passing was exactly three weeks and one hour after my step-father's. She simply could not live without my step-father.
We will probably be back in Germany on the 27th of November, and I expect to be back to work on December 1st. This has been quite a painful year for our family in so many ways. I hope that my mom and Jerry have found peace in being reunited.

Mittwoch, 12. November 2008

Waiting Part II

Here I am at the airport again. I feel so bad that I didn't post for the entire time I was home, and have now realized that during this time, many people turned here for information.
Here is is.
I left my mother this past Friday with a home health assistant. Although she was highly against it, she finally agreed to stick with it for two weeks. I arrived in Germany safely on Saturday morning. My mom called me throughout the weekend to let me know that she was fine and did not need the assistant. On Sunday, she told me that I needed to call and cancel the assistant for Monday. She told me her sugars were running fine, and that she had taken her medicine. She called me on Monday to tell me that she had in fact cancelled the assistant herself, and that she was feeling great, excited to move to Germany, and was keeping herself busy. On Tuesday afternoon, I tried to call a few times, and could not get ahold of her. Around 4:00 US time, my aunt's mother called me to tell me that people had been trying to get ahold of my mom for some time, and could not get through.
My aunt went to my mom's house with me on the phone. She found my mom on the floor, unconcious. My aunt called 911 and went to the hospital with my mom. My aunt and cousin Elizabeth stayed with my mom at the hospital while they performed various tests.
The tests confirmed that my mom had a massive stroke, most probably on Monday night. There is extensive brain damage, and there was extensive swelling. Her breathing is labored, due to the heart problems, and by the time she reached the hospital, her toes were already turning blue. She is not expected to pull through this. Especially because she has an advance directive, no resuscitation and no intubation. Without these things my mother's heart will not make it, and anyway, there is left side paralysis and my mom is in a coma.
I knew she was sick but never expected to be coming back so soon. My mom seemed to be doing well, we had good news at the eye doctor's last week. Plus, we decided that she would indeed move to Germany. She was excited to receive the pictures of one of the houses she was looking at.
Now, Joern are sitting at another airport, 2 1/2 weeks after the last time we were sitting at the airport waiting to go home for a most difficult reason.
I will truly miss my mom, and wish her peace and comfort. I know she will be happy to be reunited with my step-father so quickly.