Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Porch Is Closed

UPDATE - My New Blog: lifeaftertheporch
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The End.

My final post to this blog.

I began posting to this blog on Monday, July 9, 2007. This is my 417th post according to Blogger.

According to Sitemeter there have been more than 31,000 visitor sessions. That's rather amazing in itself.

Today is the 10th anniversary of the day that I traveled from my apartment in Dallas to spend the weekend with my Mom and Dad in 1998 and then to take them to the doctor on the following Monday. Looking back that was the closing of one chapter of my life and the opening of another. Then I could never have imagined myself as a caregiver for a few minutes let alone nearly a decade.

I did, some months back, begin writing a book about those 9 years, now turned 10. It does not seem very important to me now and I do not know if I will write more.

The last few months of caregiving were difficult for me. The time since my Dad's death has been difficult. Blogging helped.

I am grateful to all I've met and who have befriended me here in one way or another. My best wishes to all my friends and my most earnest prayers that the Lord sustain and keep you.

My heartfelt prayers for those of you still in the midst of your own caregiving. It is a difficult task as we all have learned. You all have my greatest admiration and appreciation and thanks.

When I started the blog I needed a title and I chose to use the porch.

The porch was where we gathered as a family to celebrate holidays. It was where I found my parents when I came to visit after I left home when I was 20. It was where we watched the hamburgers and the sausage cook on the gas grill. It was where we sat to eat them. It was where we made ice cream on the 4th of July and then watched fireflies and fireworks out the windows.

It was where the three of us sat and visited and watched the world out the windows when I came to live there in 1998. It was the first place Mom wanted to sit when it was warm enough and when she could walk again in 1999.

It was where Dad and I sat for hours at a time after Mom died. We grieved there together. He, in his recliner, and I, in the old springy lawn chair, would sit there together. I would read the paper and in the early days he would read to me sometimes. We both would comment about the headlines and we always read the obituaries. Sometimes we knew some of those people who died. Sometimes we just read their stories in the paper and somehow that made them more real.

We would listen to music on the old CD player that barely worked. Sometimes we listened to the classical station and sometimes we played a CD over and over.

Judy brought us a bunch of People magazines once and we read them all cover to cover.

We watched crews of people build bridges and widen the streets and build the car wash and the tire store and the Tractor Supply.

We watched the old pond and the trees and the creek disappear. We watched the traffic increase. On Saturdays at noon we listened to the siren that always sounded.

It was where Judy and I sat alone together when we first met in person.

It was where I sat alone early on Saturday mornings and sometimes late at night and often on Sunday afternoons.

Every winter about this time it began to be cold on the porch. There was an old radiator out there but it hadn't worked in years. Besides it wasn't the same during the winter months. So it was better to just shut the doors and open them again during the spring.

This time its different though. The porch will not be opened next spring because there will not be a porch there to open.

So this porch, the old porch at Dad's and Mom's house, is now closed.

Adieu and all my love.

15 comments:

Lori1955 said...

I do understand you closing the porch and yet there is a saddness about it too. I come here to your porch every morning when I get up.

Your blog has meant a great deal to me. Sometimes I come here and it's as if you have read my mind or have been a fly on the wall in my life. So many of your posts have touched my heart and many more have really made me think. Of course the birds, I could have done without. :)

I will miss this Terry. I will miss you. Thank you for all you have meant to me. I'm actually crying as I'm typing this. It's like the end of an era. Please keep in touch from time to time.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...
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¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

I'm really going to miss you Flinty. I feel so sad as I read this last entry. I knew this was coming...I think the time is coming for me soon.

Take care, friend. And keep that BP at an even keel;)

Susan M said...

Flinty,

The porch has become my place to read, reflect and think. I will miss the porch and especially you.

Godspeed, Susan

~Betsy said...

I wish I could say something to make you change your mind. I will really miss your blog. Your words cause me to think - sometimes to go places I don't want to be in my heart - but a necessity.

Take care, Terry. Hugs to you, Judy, the horses and the ever loving kitty! Please keep in touch.

rilera said...

Flinty, the porch blog, and you, will be missed by me.

cornbread hell said...

peace, terry. godspeed to you and yours.

with love and respect,
rick

Annie said...

Flinty, you were one of the first caregiving blogs I started reading. I immediately felt a connection when I read your header saying that you and your Dad sat on the porch and watched the world go by. I'll miss you.

Katmir said...

sorry to see you "go." you've made wonderful personal strides-- no small task after a decade... our loss is your gain. good for you!

continued blessings.

nancy said...

i found myself crying as i read your last post. i feel like i have spent some time on your porch and have witnessed some of life's events with you. and i am sorry to see the porch close, but i understand.

you will always hold a special place in my heart. you helped me through a horrific time by not only your comments to my postings but your posts as well.


God speed to you and Judy and your loved ones. i hope we can stay in touch from time to time. i miss you and your blog already. love and (((hugs)))

Joanne said...

Terry, I'm probably one of the caregivers who made a later entrance to reading your blog. BUT, your words have always made me feel like I was sitting right next to you listening to you talk. Each and every post I've read since I began reading your blog have touched my heart, deepened my thoughts, increased my knowledge, and strengthened my spirit. Please know that you've made a difference! Keep in touch. You will be missed.

Cinnamin said...

I am not good at saying "goodbye".

I will greatly miss stopping by the porch.

I too wish that there were words that I could write to make you change your mind. And I also hope that you will keep in touch.

You will remain in my prayers, Terry. I already miss you!

dave said...

Thanks for the effort you put into this blog Terry.
Sometimes writing is cathartic and some times it is painful. I am sure you did both kinds.
Best to you, and thanks again.

dave said...
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Nikki said...

Hi, I'm Betsy's daughter, Nikki.

I'm not sure if you'll read this any time soon, but I thought I'd leave a comment anyway. I thought the blog you wrote about my grandma was wonderful and seeing her picture at the top caught my breath. What a sweet post, you are so gifted with words...you deliver emotion in your writing. Its sad to see the blog is closed, but I hope someday when the time is right, you will start another.