Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas MOM, I love you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

MErry Christmas

It seems after speaking with all the kids the choice is to send some lovely flowers. As I have said several times of everyone Heather is having the most difficult time with my mother's disease. Perhaps if she had not buried 3 grandfathers and the one really awesome Grandma in the last 2 years along with her favorite Uncle my mother's attitude would not be so difficult. BUT IT IS! I am so tired of going in circles.... Lord help me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I've been thinking

I have mentioned on more than one occasion my mother's disease has taken it's toll on each member of the family. I recently called the nursing home to see how Mom is doing without our visits. The answer to that is she is just fine at least on the surface. Deep down who knows, that part of her mind does not seem to be working any more.
A good friend of mine, had a great marriage, she just celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary alone .
We had an interesting conversation in the hall at Church last Sunday.
In 1998 her sweet husband began to "Slip" away. It took a while for the doctors to say Luke was suffering with dementia. He was home with Deb until 2 years ago. Now this once gentle, kind, spiritually sound man has no clue who she is or any of the the rest of his family! He has become violent and is in a lock down unit in Texas. He can never come home.
We held each other and cried as we talked about what we both thought was "supposed" to happen with her husband and my mother. The bottom line is to make peace and let go of all the "suppose to's."
Christmas is 10 days away I have had conversations with each of the kids about their Grandma. They are all sad at the loss of their Grandparents. I have prayed over and over again.There is a plan, it is no longer based on what was"supposed to be" but what is the reality.
Christmas is about the Birth of our Lord. I am praying that as long as we can focus on Him that the hurt and sadness about where my Mother is will be not so overwhelming. I have to believe that when she leaves this world and joins Daddy we will all be at peace. That when it is my time to go I will see my Lord and my parents and be at peace again.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The holidays begin...

Thanksgiving was wonderful here at my home. We had 11, a nice number.
All day long I had shadows of days past with my parents. Daddy and I cleaning the family silver, me ironing the linen napkins ( which Heather did this year for us), Mom having me chop the fixings for the stuffing, pealing the potatoes, then making mashed potatoes, her making yummy gravy. The house smelled so good , there were always 3 kinds of pies cooling.
The she would get the linen table clothe out good china out and use the silver that Daddy and I had shinned.The table always looked something out of a magazine.
Everyone would sit down and wait for Daddy to begin. Before Daddy carved the bird he would start with what he was most thankful for, he would look at my mother and me. Then say he was most thankful for us. After that each person would follow suite.
Cleaning up was always the women in the family's job. The men would go in the living room and have a cocktail or beer.
The alarm would go off the next morning at 3:30 am. Mom and I would jump in her Mustang, and hit the Black Friday sales! When we were done we would go to Dick Church's restaurant for brunch...just she and I.
This Black Friday Heather and I talked about how hard it is for her to hear from all her friends about spending the day with their grandparents. I didn't have access to my grandparents very much. Until recently Heather had 3 sets of grandparents all who spoiled her with love and lots of hugs. Now the only one left is a grandmother in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.
She and I cried and hugged,what more could we do?
We did not head out until 1 in the afternoon then the 3 of us joined the crazy people. It was fun but for me the shadows kept coming to my mind!
Once again my heart is broken. Thank God for my faith in the Lord, the many family and friends who let me know I am loved.
I hope all of you in Blogland are able to find some peace this Holiday season.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I had a very strong impression to get my Mother's "ducks" in order yesterday. I spent almost 2 hours calling the cemetery, funeral home and the company that does the engraving on the stone. Then I wrote her a rough draft of her obit. I printed it all out put in in her file and emailed copies to my 3 oldest kids. They will most not be happy with some things.Daddy always said he and MOM wanted to be cremated and to be buried at sea. Daddy however is on my bookcase in my office and when Mom goes I will have them both placed in the family plot here in NY which has been where family members have been buried since 1833. I believe Daddy is with the Lord and Mom will join him soon enough I don't really think it matters where they are laid to rest really matters. I feel better having made these plans.

Monday, November 7, 2011

time heals...kinda

This year has been rough there have been several funerals, no births or weddings.WE have had broken feet booth Brad and Heather, walking pneumonia for me as well as an outbreak of shingles a few times. ear infections and now I have Mono...Let's not forget the Broken cars, loss of income.
Even if I had been in an emotional ok place to see my Mom my body has not been well enough. That being said...
I called the nursing home today and spoke to her case worker. Apparently she is fine she crochets non stop talks to the other retired nurses and is in her own little world.
I suppose I will some day accept the fact that my Norman Rockwell image will never happen. I so wanted it to work, I tried.
There are actually hours when I don't think of my mother then there are times when I cry and my heartbreaks a little more.
The women in our family live long, so who knows when the good Lord will call her home. Every time the phone rings late or early I hold my breathe...Because of the number of funeral we have been to I ponder hers. There is a chaplain at her nursing home, I suppose that would make the most since,having her buried in the family plot with her mother. hmmm...I wonder....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I miss her or

I miss who she was and I miss what I thought we would have at this point in life...Christmas will be here in afew months. Some stores already have decorations up. For me it is the one time of year that my memories are for the most part sweet.
The charge nurse left a voice mail on Saturday, Mom feel landed on her bum buck naked again. She has a bruise but is fine. I just spoke with the nursing home, I was told she is in her own little word and happy.
It is almost time for her quarterly review...IT will be interesting...I cry just thinking about how life is not as I had planned when it comes to Mom.
Every time I am out and I see women her age moving, driving, laughing, being with their families I fight back the tears.
My father-in -law passed away last month he was 92 if was quick. HE was a character and in his right mind until the end. Yep death is easier than this nasty disease.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

7 months

I am not sure where the time goes these days. It was 7 months ago today that I last saw my mother. Is she out of my heart and mind? NO! I speak with her caregivers every few weeks. I still pay her bills and buy her whatever they tell me she needs.
She has a routine and they have suggested I don't come visit. They can't keep me away BUT her agitation when I leave makes it difficult for the staff to calm her down. I stay away.
I am told she "hangs out" with 3 other residents in the common room, also with advanced Alzheimer's. They have a common past; they are widows and also were nurses when they were employed.
My mother is placid she has a routine her "loops" and small pieces of memory are all that is left. She spends hours crocheting.
My early childhood was filled with different types of abuse and she and I seldom were on the same page as I got older. We did have good times on my birthday which is Halloween. Thanksgiving and Christmas were of mostly ok and some were truly joyful! Shopping for a tree for Christmas was a great event! We had to find a tree that "talked " to all of us before it was allowed to be purchased.
Then there were the BBQ's, Daddy would insist on having a big family BBQ for Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, they were special times. He did this steak called "startling steak" it had been on the cover of an old Redbook magazine boy was it yummy.
Who was this woman whose lights are almost out? She was, from the stories I heard, a great boss in the OR. In her day she had to have a Masters of Nursing Science to be an OR supervisor and she did it when she was under 22 right after WWII.
She was beautiful, her mother,my Nina, was the first Miss America in 1917 and my mother was as beautiful as my grandma. She had quick wit, she and Daddy were very active with the Democratic party for as long as I can remember.
The women in my family have always been writers my great grandmother had a monthly column in a paper in Missouri. Mom wrote lots of poems and stories; I have written for a few magazines and my oldest daughter, who turns 29 Wednesday, also writes and has been published.
When grandpa passed away my mother took her mother in. Mom kept Nina until the Alzheimer's was more than my mother could handle.
She loved her grandchildren and spoiled them rotten when she could. She was devoted to Daddy. All that is gone now. In her own way she loved me, I have to believe that!
My sweet husband just lost his 92 year old father, his Dad had a good run, almost a whole century. The lose of a parent/grandparent is not easy. Heather knows seeing my mother is no longer and option. She is without any grandparents and my husband is now a 57 year old orphan.
I know that one morning I will wake up call my friend Sami and bring flowers to Mom. I need to see her once more. I am prepared for it to be "stop and run" that is what her therapist said. Go knowing that you may only have a few sane minutes then leave the second it gets bad.
I want those of you who read this blog to know how much I appreciate your notes back to me. With the passing of Brad's Dad I realize as difficult as this is, losing her will be even harder. Why? Because somewhere deep inside me I keep hoping that she and I can find resolution. I know that won't happen but ...when she leaves this world there is no hope for closure.
For now the blog entries keep me from driving my family and friends insane with my ramblings. I cry as I write fearing the outcome for me will be the same as my mother and my grandmother. Once more I thank you for letting me share the insights of my mind, heart and soul. Alzheimer's remains Horrid!
PS I have re read this 10 times please forgive my errors it is hard to write from my soul and check for grammar mistakes at the same time!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

phone call

Mom's psychologist just called I wanted to speak with her about how Mom has been doing since I have not seen her in 5 months.
Mother has her own little group of old ladies, she crochets,watches TV and plays cards with them. She has good days, sick and some days where she just wants to get out of there.
According to her doctor she has "holes" in her memory due to the Alzheimer's and possibly a stroke. When those "holes" come around that is when she gets angry. Dr. Sarah says she is doing fine for someone her age.
Her doctor also told me that it takes more than one person to tend to someone in her condition. She assured me that I am taking care of her by having her in Baptist.
I was also told it was up to each of my family if they wanted to see her. It could go either way as far as how she would behave.
This was the first time I have spoken with her psychologist. I cried she was kind told me everyone needs to make there own decision.
Prayer is the only way I can come up with a decision. Hope you all are doing okay with your family members. Take care and God Bless.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

no word

It has been very quiet here in blogland. No comments from anyone and not a whole lot of new posts. For me it is simply the rest of my life has been very very busy.
I have called the nursing home and left several messages with Mom's Social worker but she has not returned my calls. I would like to speak with my mother's psychiatrist that has not occurred.I am hanging on to "no news is good news".
There was Grandparents day at Heather's school the other day. My sweetie just cried knowing she has a Grandma 18 miles away but that that Grandma is not able to attend any functions. Heather knows it is the Alzheimer's sadly that does not make it easier for my 10 year old. Why would it? It doesn't make it easy for any of us grown-ups.
I had a dream about Mom passing the other night. It was very surreal, oddly I was very calm. I wonder if that is how it will be.
I hope you are all having good days with your loved ones.
Summer is almost here I wonder what that will bring.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Tell me what is worse, the death of a beloved parent,the living parent who never says anything positive to you or the mother who has Alzheimer's and "hates" you?
A Spring bouquet of yellow flowers with several yellow rose will arrive for my Mother for Mother's Day Friday. The card just says, "You are Loved." I don't dare sign the card.
I hate this! I am sorry to complain it just hurts so much. I realized today that I really am not angry any more I am not waiting for an apology that will never come. The really bad times are packed away in box buried in the depths of my mind and soul. I do love her and I want her back, I want the good times. I want the kids to have fun with their grandma. I want to take her shopping and out to lunch.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1st...

On Monday (2nd) it is meet the candidate night. I am running for the Board of Education.My parents had spent a life time active in local politics. IF life was how I planned, even with Daddy being gone, Mom would be right in the middle helping me hand out flyers, helping me decide what to wear. When things were good between us she would refer to me as her "babygirl" no matter what age I was at the time, I miss that.
Tomorrow night she would be right by my side; milling around telling everyone how her"babygirl" would do a great job.
BUT the letter I sent her telling her I was running she tore up and she asked the staff to send it back to me...another reason to hate Alzheimer's!
Next Sunday is Mother's Day. I don't cook dinner on Mother's Day so we will go out.
Rachel and Dan will be over, Joe too most likely . Heather has no choice since she is only 10. Todd will be with Jen and his Mother. Stewart and Carolyn live in Buffalo now so at $4 plus a gallon I'll most likely get a phone call maybe a card but no visit.
If this world was a Norman Rockwell painting. We would all have dinner at my favorite restaurant and my Mother would be right in the middle of it all. She would get mushy cards and flowers lots of hugs and kisses and we would sit around, eat good food tell silly stories and just enjoy each others company.
That is not going to happen.
Mother's Day for my Mother will be just another day in the nursing home.The kids may or may not send cards. Heather will send a card, I will send flowers, no signature. She continues her hate for me and not going to see her is at the request know I have told you all before...
How are you all doing in BLOGLAND? Will it be easier when she passes? I wonder is there relief or guilt? For the moment just sadness.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

ok now

While sewing the nightgowns I actually asked the Lord to take Mom home so I would not have to deal with all this anymore. That made me feel guilty beyond belief.
I brought my friend Sami with me to the nursing home.Her mother passed away last year. By time she died her Mother had no clue who Sami was if anyone understands the hurt, the pain the sadness it is Sami.
We arrived to a packed parking lot; lots of grandkids going to see the grandparents. I quietly walked in and gave the goodies to her social worker, walked out crying. I was pretty much a mess emotionally on Friday.
Our Pastor was raised in the Jewish faith, he converted to Christianity when he was 18. Every Good Friday he does a Passover dinner for our congregation and many Churches connecting the traditions of the Jewish faith with the New Testament.
I really did NOT want to attend I just wanted to stay home and cry. I went and I am so glad that I did.
I don't know about the rest of you who read this for me, as rough as this gets which is pretty bad sometimes my faith in God, the support from family and friends are the only thing that gets me through day after day.
I am okay now, for the moment. I remind myself Mom is still in the nursing home, she still has Alzheimer's she still doesn't want to see me. But with that in mind today as I write I am at peace.
I promised Daddy I would take care of her and I am. Beverly is in a Christian nursing home with a qualified staff that take excellent care of her. I pay her bills and supply all her extras and pray for her every day. She is safe.
I know in my heart when I see God and my Daddy they will be happy at the way I have handled this nasty situation.
I am not great at where different Scriptures are by any means but it occurred to me when the Apostles asked Christ, "When did we feed you, When did we clothe you etc. His response was, "When you do this to the least of my Brethren you do this to Me." That is how it is with my mother, when I remind myself that God loves her too I can do this for Him by taking care of her.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom. The 2 nightgowns I made for you. The Easter basket Heather did and the roses are from all of us. I hope you enjoy your day.I do love you and I have to believe under the anger you love me too.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

My Mother worked 2 jobs, she was off Wednesday and Sunday. On Sundays she would drop me off at Mass then go grocery shopping and pick me up after wards. EXCEPT Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas that is when we would go together. Those were the times we would get all dressed up she would wear a cool hat that matched her bag and shoes and I would wear a white mantilla and the Sunday best dress. After we went to Mass we would go out to breakfast other times we would come home and have brunch.
As we left Daddy would always say,"Ladies you look lovely, say Hi to God for me." Daddy wasn't Catholic so he enjoyed the quiet, sitting in his recliner drinking coffee, smoking, reading the Sunday paper and looking at the TV watching "Face the Nation and Meet the Press."
When I moved Mom into the nursing home I brought her Crucifix which she had forever and a dried up palm branch....
I just called the home. I spoke to Cindy the charge nurse to suggest that perhaps Mom would like to go to Mass. Then I asked her if Mother had enjoyed the letter I had written which was a very nice nuetral newsletter mostly about the grandkids. Cindy told me Mom wanted her to return the letter to me. She wants nothing to do with me.
You would think after all the pain the angry words between us these past 2 years it would be a great feeling of relief. She has told the staff she no longer wants to see me or hear from me. That hurts so much!!!
I received a call from the nursing home the other day with a list of items Mom needs again. I'll take care of it because as we all know that's what we do, we are good sons and daughters even when our parents say they hate us. God, I hate ALZHEIMER'S!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some quiet time

Brad and Heather are enjoying the 55 degrees here in upstate NY. they went bike riding.
I am having an off day nothing to do with Alzheimer's really but then again everything to do with the loss of comminication with my mother because of this horrid disease...most of thetime I would call AZ. and Mom would answer we would speak briiefly and then she would hand the phone to Daddy We would talk for a long time then folow up with an email. emails wee a daily thing then a few days later I would call and the loop would continue.Boy do I miss those phone calls.
This past week there have been the usual family crisis nothing big just life stuff. There is no Mom and Dad to talk to anymore the older i got the more I appreciated their wisdom.
Mom will turn 86 on Good Friday this year. Once in a great while her birthday falls on Easter or Easter falls on her birthday whichever it doesn't matter now. I just checked in 1962,1973,1984 and then again in 2052. There is a picture of the kids and I with her on Easter Sunday her birthday in 1984, I have to dig it out of the trunk.
Her years of wisdom are locked away now, her memory is shrinking and sadly I am not a part of her world. Funny when we fought and disagreed I would think how great it would be if she would just disappear and leave me with Daddy.
I was wrong! As abusive and bad as it was at least she was mentally here. There is no Daddy now and I would give anything for even one argument so we could make up and go shopping or watch an old movie.The farther Mom goes away inside herself the more I would give for just one of those fights and then the time pleasant moments that followed.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I went , I cried....

Why do we have reviews at the nursing homes where our loved ones are now living? It is a law here in NY. On Tuesday the 29th I attended another review. There were 8 staff including the Chaplain. I was pretty upset, I asked if we could open with a word of prayer, after all the name of this nursing home is "Baptist Health." The Chaplain said a short prayer.
Each of the staff presented their statement about my mother: she is sarcastic and testy, eats well, needs to use a walker but REFUSES which means someone must assist her walking at all time,her bathroom habits well she now needs a diaper,plays bingo and hearts, crochets often, sleeps late goes to bed early, is in her own world these days, and as for me well it is best that I still stay away.Even though she has the vodka (it is looked up with the meds) she has not had much of it as of now.
I cried they told I don't need to attend these reviews. I told them my Dad would want me to and after all she is the only mother I have. I was told I am a good daughter and I told them thank you but sadly the person who I wish would say that doesn't want to talk to me.
I thought this would get easier, in a way it is. I remind myself daily I promised my Dad I would take care of her. I am, not the way I thought. She is in a great nursing home with a kind and gentle staff. I will continue to pray for her,go to these reviews, buy her clothes and her extras and pay her bills until she passes.
This Horrid disease took any chance I had of making peace with my mother. I will always regret that.No matter how I look at it ALZHEIMER"S IS HORRID!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My kids in Blogland

You know you think you know your children and you talk to them frequently but when you read their blogs it is like looking into their secret worlds. My middle son (33) and my oldest daughter (28) both are on facebook. I talk to them and see them but reading here in Blogland and how they view the world is different.
I don't comment on what they say and I am not even sure if they know I read their blogs.It is interesting how neither of them have mentioned their Grandma. Rachel has let me know how angry she is at her, and Stewart has lost all respect for her. Why? There is not enough room here in Blogland to explain and to be honest it is to painful. Her past behavior has shown its ugly face and because my children love me they get mad because of how she affects me.
That being said I really am no longer angry at her. Just hurt no that is not the word sad because there will be no mending of what went wrong, no I'm sorry for... no I I love you get the idea this Horrid horrid disease has taken away the chance to mend our numerous broken fences. That is where the tears come from the depth of my soul.

the review

I am trying very hard not to be wound up about the review in a few hours... the truth is my stomach is in knots and I really don't want to go. But like all of us I will because it is the right thing to do...more later...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Never enough time

I don't remember the last time I wrote here.I still have not seen my mother, it has been 3 months today.Beverly's review is the 29th I shall see if things have changed. I have regular contact with the nursing home who tells me it is better I stay away. My mother becomes very agitated when I leave and it takes several days to calm her down. 2 weeks ago I received a call from Mom's social worker at the nursing home.It seems her psychiatrist wrote a prescription so she could have a shot of vodka in the form of a"screwdriver" before she went to bed. What more can I say...

Saturday, February 12, 2011


It used to make me angry that Daddy died and left me with this mess and the Mom with Alzheimer's. It doesn't now, it is just part of my life as long as she is alive and living in a nursing home.
The recertification is an annual thing apparently. It is the way medicaid makes sure we are not using the funds of our family members for our own benefit. IF money is directly deposited to a personal/ private account then paperwork is sent out on the anniversary of the persons arrival in the nursing home.
That would be matter how many times I call DFAS ( the military retirement from Daddy) or Ceridian ( for his pension after 30 years with them) both places have changed their policies. They will no longer send funds to private institutions. That makes no sense because each resistant has an escrow account to protect their money.
You know paper work and nursing homes and medicaid and taxes are a real pain.Why do we all do this stuff? Because it is what keeps our family members safe and sound. It can be annoying and will take time and a few calls and of course stamps.
The home called the other day Mom keeps falling and won't use a cane of a walker, she scratches her skin no matter how much lotion is applied. Most of her teeth are now gone and she refuses to go to the dentist. She is as stubborn as ever.
Oh yes, she still hates me.
Heather cries a lot about not having her grandparents. That is when I do get angry not at Mom but the disease that makes it emotionally unsafe for me to take her youngest grandchild for visits.
That is when I am reminded that, "Alzheimer's is HORRID!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the quiet of the snow

It is quiet today, another 2 inches have dropped on the already 16 inches that are on the ground. Other than the occasional snowplow outside the world seems peaceful. Of course the fact the my phone was out of order for 36 hours helped the silence!
No school yesterday so Heather, my 4th grader, was thrilled to stay home and this morning she woke up "under the weather" so stayed home more less in bed for the day.
While Heather is doing her birthday party invites I decided to read the blogs of those of you who "follow" mine.
Each entry is similar in some ways . Love, devotion and tenederness fill many of the entries. Their is the common thread of heartbreak, frustration, sometimes anger and tears. There is also humor in many pieces I read.
Many of you have your parent near you or in your home others like myself have that parent in a Nursing home. Odd though no matter where the parent resides there is a tug that seems to shout," Is this the right way to take care of this family member. Am I a good daughter?" I know there are men out in blogland that are caretakers, my new son-in-law took care of his Mom for 4 years in her home. Every once in awhile Dan and I ask each other if the death bed promise to our Dad's affected the way we took/take care of our Mom's?
I haven't seen my mother since Dec. 23rd. I am not sure when I will go back for a visit. I was told by her caretakers that my visits disrupted her world for several days. Sigh... for now I am staying away.
Anyway, thank you all for sharing. I hope and pray 2011 brings peace not only to our parents with this nasty disease but to each of us. God Bless you all, Jewels

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


At 9:30 I meet with the staff at Mother's nursing home. I have been up all night wondering what they will say.Then after that off to the VA to continue the fight for her Widow's pension. I hope you are all have a good year when it comes to your Alzheimer's parent. So far mine has been hard.
I read your blogs and I it comes to me that this disease is not the same for everyone. No matter how"nice" the relative is we all have lost the person we once knew and loved....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

it continues

I have come to the conclusion that this blog doesn't really present me in the best light. On review I do complain , whine and generally bitch frequently. In my defense , if I need to defend myself, generally I am a pretty balanced and Christian woman. This disease however makes me crazy. IT also has created in my Mother a woman who 90% of the time gives new meaning to the word NASTY>
Okay it is the disease to a point. Somehow I am supposed to get beyond what comes out of her mouth and just love her. That is not always easy and I admit it puts my Christian beliefs to the test every time I visit with Mom. i promised my Daddy before he died I would take care of her. I am by having her reside in one of the top Nursing homes in upstate NY.
The other day the nursing supervisor called me. Mother had fallen in November and no one had called to let me know. She is fine, I know that because I have seen her several times since then. She and I spoke for a long time and I cried. The nurse was very reassuring about my mothers' less than nice behavior. She let me know that the staff knows I am a "good" daughter etc. I cried while talking to this nice person.
I hung up and cried for 30 minutes Brad did everything he could to comfort me. The tears came from such a deep place in my soul.
What I am left with is a deceased Daddy and a mother with advanced Alzheimer's. TOTALLY NOT MY PLAN.
This place, BLOGLAND, is the only safe place I know where others hurt to the same depths. This woman who wants to strangle me once held me and said she loved me. I most likely won't have that again but maybe God willing I can just hold on to that time.