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My mom has had a very rough go of it for decades now.

Starting in the early 1990s my dad had a series of failed back operations which began his slippery slope. Within 10 years he would be so much of a burden that he had to be sent to a Veteran's Administration hospital. What was wrong with him? Here is a short list… prostate, incontinence, Diabetes, Neuropathy, gradual decrease of mobility finally seeing him end up in a wheel chair and using a bed pan and expensive machinery to get him in and out of bed, Dementia and much more. He was on more meds than the 911 first responders who ended up with major respiratory issues after working on the pit at Ground Zero after the EPA's Christine Todd Whitman said that the air was safe to breathe and they worked their for months breathing in an airborne stew of asbestos, concrete, tiny airborne particles from computers, dead bodies and so much more. My dad took more meds in his last days then they do.

Finally my dad's slippery slope ended up in death on the Memorial Day weekend of 2013. In actual fact, even that didnt go smoothly. He had a living will that said he did not want resuscitation in the event of a heart attack. My dad was transferred to an actual hospital from the VA as had happened many times before and even though he was semi comatose the care there allowed him to feed himself the food they brought him. My dad gagged and choked on the food and had a heart attack. Not being aware of his written instructions on the living will which he had written not once but twice, they spent 20 minutes resuscitating him and they did. Now it looked like my dad was going to live on as not much more than a vegetable. They sent him to hospice to give him extra care before returning him to his VA hospital dwellings. At this point my dad willed himself to die and passed on. It was almost comical that the hospice workers were befuddled as to why he died but I had no such befuddlement. My dad's favorite song had lyrics about being the captain of one's destiny.

Perhaps in another article I will write about the time that I saw my dad a few months after his death but that isn't what this article is about. This is about my mom. The other main source of travail for my mom in recent years was her mother. My grandmother was in a residence home in Brooklyn NY right across the street from the Atlantic. Her facilities were very elegant and there were lots of people that she could have engaged with there if she was that kind of social personality but she wasn't. My grandmother died at the age of approx 99 years and 9 months in October of this past year. In her final years she was losing her grasp on what we agree is reality and she was seeing many disturbing things and being argumentative with my mother because my mother didn't see the things that she was complaining about (little men, horses, snakes, etc in her apartment at the residence home that nobody else there saw).

For years my mom had to take care of both of these burdens and there was always a catastrophe happening or my dad complaining about something in the care he was receiving and being a general terror to his aides and the VA hospital workers, although one can hardly blame him considering his condition and that he was surrounded by dead and dying people all day every day for almost a decade. My mom had to bring the cell phone with her when she went to the bathroom because she never knew when the next disaster might occur or she might get an angry and abusive call from my dad or a confused and upsetting call from her mother etc.

Then within half a year they were both gone. Within a month of her mom passing on my mother decided to go ahead with knee replacement surgery. And she is just now getting over the intense pain and discomfort that this surgery left her with. The blessing in disguise in this situation was that now, for the first time in decades, my mom's attention was centered on herself but it took this pain in order to accomplish this. My mom would not have had the knee surgery if she was still having to take care of my dad and her mom because she was too concerned with her responsibilities to them.

My mom is 75 and has good health overall and has a good number of happy meaningful years ahead of her. Now maybe she will be able to enjoy it. One has to wonder why so much suffering had to be endured but we are all here to experience and grow and apparently this is what she had to deal with in order to evolve spiritually. But it certainly seems like she has had more than her share to deal with.

Yesterday my mom told me that a 93 year old woman down the hall pooped on the carpet in the hallway outside of my mom's apartment and later that day that woman was rushed to the hospital. The superintendent of the building applied some harsh chemical to clean the carpet and now their is the odor from both in the hallway and in my mom's apartment!!! I told my mom to light a candle or several to lessen the odor while she gets building management to do a better job of fixing the problem. So I guess the adventure continues for her. I wish her happiness and peace for years to come and whatever spiritual growth from all of this suffering she has had to endure.


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