Sunday, August 23, 2020

CELEBRATING MOM'S 96th BIRTHDAY


What can I possibly say today on my mothers 96th Birthday? That for the last several years I have been wishing for her to find peace, or that I am sorry that years ago, I could not have removed this horrific disease Alzheimer's from her.

Yet through the last 16 years that my mom became ill I have also been blessed to have fallen unconditionally in love with her.

Before mom was sick our relationship had many hills and valleys. Yes, we had some moments and were able to share some touching times together, especially when my dad was dying.

As I flash back, I remember when mom would come visit weekly from Long Island to help me with the business I had started. We would heat-seal bags after stuffing them with t-shirts, stencils and magical fabric crayons to create a craft kit for children. During this time each week we would speak and laugh for hours. As a newly wed, in my early thirties, I remember sharing with her my ambitions, hopes and dreams.

Looking back, I now wonder how and when did our relationship go astray? As a teenager I recall when my friends came over mom seemed to always embarrass me. As I now reflect it was I who had the problem. My insecurities not fitting into the wealthy community my parents moved to effected me in many ways.

How I wish that I could turn back the hands of time and regain all the years I wasted. Knowing that this is not possible, I focus on the present and am quite thankful that I was able to get in touch with all the deep love and affection I have for my mother.

From my experience I know, from the bottom of my heart, that it is never too late to heal one's relationship, especially with a parent.

So mom, on your 96th Birthday, although you cannot hear me, nor maybe understand me, I want to tell you how very much I love and adore you.

As I reminisce on my youth, getting married and becoming a mother myself, I want to thank you for all the love you have given me and, even more, for always being there for me.

As you "blow" out your candles, I hope you can soon find peace. It would be my wish for you even knowing that when the time comes, given the pandemic I cannot be with you. You will be all alone. Yes the hospice nurse will be present yet I, your daughter, will not be able to be there to touch you, hold your hand and whisper, I love you.

My mom, who brought me into this world, will leave this world all alone. As sad as this is to say, this is my wish and I pray for you that it comes soon.



"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A DAUGHTERS DIARY-Part 2

 March 2020

For the last few days I have been shedding tears realizing that I will finally be saying my goodbyes to my mother. As I begin to write my "last" chapter I reflect on the journey that my mom and I have been on for the last 16 years. Then suddenly without notice it seems that the whole world shuts down.....the Coronavirus has arrived.

Second week in March:
I will be leaving in a week & have been locked out of visiting mom. At least I will be departing knowing that she was somewhat aware as I stroked her hair, kissed her and held her hand. In my heart I believe that we both could feel all the love that we have shared.

March 16th:
Coronavirus.... in some ways we are now prisoners ourselves. From no where the world now seems like it’s crashing down. While I am "stuck" in Florida I pray that my mom will find peace.

March 18th:
How does the saying go...I feel like a "man" without a country.  Haven’t been able to see my mom because of shutdown of NH. For a few days I actually forgot about her, so desperately trying to figure out my own life. I pray that my son, his wife and our precious grandson will be okay. Our family and close friends are persistent on us remaining in Florida,

Maybe mom will go to sleep while I am here. Funny for now I am locked in a "prison" like her. The one thing keeping me centered and not falling apart is that each day that I and my husband awake with no fever, I am grateful. How could I possibly ever cry, while the whole world is in the same terribly sad situation. 

March 21:
We were suppose to head back home to NY 2 days ago on March 19. Not sure how long we will be remaining here. It feels like life now stands still as the world waits to come out of their homes. To open their eyes to a whole new world, one that in some ways may feel the same, and in other ways will never look the same.

I of course have not been able to see my mom & I am sad that I probably never will. This week her weight dropped to 80.4 and I was told she is listless.

April 18th:
How I wish I could say my goodbyes. Honestly these last few weeks since I cannot see her I have not dwelled on what I could not do for her. Actually there were a few days as the world was collapsing that I did not even think of her .

My thoughts have been consumed with my husband, son, daughter in law and my precious 9 month old grandchild. I shared with my husband that there would be no one else in the world that I would rather be stranded on an island with.

Update July 2020:
I have been back home in NYC since May7th. I speak to the nursing home weekly. There have been several cases of Covid19, mostly from staff. Up until a few days ago they have successfully been able to keep the figures low. Now it seems like a get a call every few days with another one who has the virus.

Mom does not eat & yet has not lost any weight since I left. I've been told that she occasionally says of few jumbled words, shakes her head to answer, sleeps most of the day as her eyes remain closed. The head of nursing does not understand how she is still alive. Mom will be turning 96 August 24th. I have no idea when my mom will finally say goodbye, yet, what I am grateful for is that in her world she has no idea of what I and the rest of humanity are now living through.

P.S. A day or two before I was leaving I went to her window which was located on the second floor to say my goodbyes. There was a beautiful tree (photo above) that reached her window. It brought tears to my eyes as I remembered what my mother had shared with me. She told me that when she was a teenager in the summer she loved to sit under a tree for hours and read. It's amazing that this tree has been here all these years and I never discovered it. It has now become for me, my mom's tree.

As I now look back through the past 16 years on this journey with my mother I realize many things. I reflect on moments of sadness, yet I also remember even more all the loving special moments that we shared. Way to many to count. It took me until I became an adult to share a bond with my mom that only a mother & daughter could share.

P.S.S. Since my mom is in the last stages of Alzheimer's I did not want to bother anyone to bring her to the window. Yet I did phone a very special aide from outside the NH. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I asked her to please go give mom a kiss & tell her how much I love her. She promised she would as I wished her well and told her that I would come back some day to see her.

Be safe world and please let's all keep wearing our Masks!



"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

A DAUGHTER'S DIARY -Part 1


July 2020

Since the pandemic took over the world, life for all of us is quite different. This certainly includes caring for our loved ones. For me, my mom has Alzheimer's for the last 16 years and lives in a nursing home. She has been in the last stages for the last 3 years, yet somehow sadly enough she will not let go.

I live in New York and every year fortunately I have been able to spend a few months with mom. I arrived in Florida this year on Jan 14th planning to be there for nine weeks. My nine weeks turned into four months yet my visits to mom's nursing home abruptly ended on March 10th. Like many of us that have a loved one in a facility we are still not able to enter to see them.

What follows are my actual notes of when I first visited mom till Covid19 hit the United States.

First visit:
Mom spoke(non stop) gibberish with her eyes mostly closed as she also spoke about her mom. I wondered if I was her mom since she also said to me "I love you". After observing her on my first day I now questioned how anyone including myself can think that those with Alzheimer's are not suffering. I will never know the real answer since she cannot tell me. Yet as I observe her I believe that she is locked in a prison with 4 walls that she never can escape from. To me it is like a living hell.

The only saving grace is that she doesn’t realize what has happened and thankfully she appears not to be in physical pain. What I have witnessed through the years which is more deadly is a slow mental death. I believe that she’s aware just that any thoughts she may have disappear as quickly as they come.

Third visit:
Mom looks so sad. Her face appears to look like skeleton, her eyes are sunken in and red. Today her mouth seemed somewhat twisted. My brother several months ago had noticed it & we questioned if she had a minor stroke. I so deeply felt that she wanted to say something to me but was unable to speak. Her eyes as she looked at me with a blank stare told me she wanted to say something but was unable. I now feel certain that she knows it’s me.  I pray that she hears my words of love to her .

My best friend whose mom passed away years ago from Alzheimer's askes me how my visit went. My response is " I tried to distance myself from being emotional about my mom. There were times I looked at her and was heartbroken". I think that I am immune from the situation yet as the evening comes to a close I can't stop thinking of her.

Fourth visit:
I believe she hears my words so as I was saying goodbye I quietly whispered that it was okay for her to go to sleep. I whispered that I think she would be happier. With her blank stare she just looked at me with a face that appeared empty. One that cried out in silence for someone (me) to help her. Years ago after being in the facility she said to me “kill me” which at the time I thought she perhaps had just made a mistake with what she wanted to say.... now that I look back & think about it I believe that was exactly what she was asking.

End of first week:
I found through the years that many times after seeing mom I needed my own escape. Many days  I would take a walk on the beach and once a week go to a movie just to clear my head from thinking. This week I went to see "Little Woman".

While watching Jo says to sister Amy, "when did you become so wise”? Amy answers "maybe I always was but you were too busy noticing all my faults". This strikes a nerve and has me remember that years ago after explaining my early relationship with mom to a friend she answered, "maybe your mom was always like this but you never noticed". I leave the theatre feeling sad wondering how many years I might have wasted.

Week 2:
Today mom's eyes with a blank stare remain open. She shakes her head yes or no when you ask her a question. She holds my hand so tightly & if not mine, then her own. She moves her arms to wipe her eyes. Today she blows me a kiss. Her eyes continue to cry out in sorrow. She seems unable to speak yet her eyes say it all. I am so certain that she sees( although she has macular degeneration) & understands what I say. She knows I am here.

Week 3:
This is not fair. I see and can feel her pain. I see it within her face. Are the words that remain unspoken crying out to help her? Today her eyes remain open and her lips remain silent as if they are forever sealed .Each and every time that I come and visit my mom it never gets easier.

Week 4:
Saw mommy at 11AM(she's better in the mornings). Showed her a picture of her great grandson(sad because she can't see images) & tried to explain who he was. I believe that she understood for her eyes opened a little wider as I spoke & then suddenly she looked at me as if to say.....then she closed her eyes and slept for the rest of our visit.

Week 5:
As I leave now to go see my mom I feel sick and have numerous sad feelings. Feelings of I can’t keep doing this. My stomach churns, I feel nauseous & I have a headache. Maybe I have been in denial.

Seeing my husband's cousin earlier in the week he had asked how my mom was doing. I responded with how this year seems so much better. He so wisely said "not really you’re just getting use to it".  My answer..."I doubt that for it is something you never get use to."

A Day of Miracles (maybe?)
Today my husband and I accidently ran into moms doctor & the social worker from hospice. Mom has been stable since they have been giving her supplements (Ensure) which is against her wishes. We also find out that the doctor has her on Synthroid(for thyroid) and he claims that both of these are partially keeping her from declining.

We state her & our wishes to get her off of both. We win (hooray)doctors orders are given to remove both. Let’s see how long this lasts before NH doctor intervenes & reissues both. Director of Hospice says we need a symptom to remove mom from nursing facility. Praying that this will cause a symptom so mom can be moved to hospices own facility to fulfill her wishes. Only the next few weeks will tell.

I go to moms room and whisper in her ear that I am trying to make her wishes come true. With tears in my eyes I share that next week I will be leaving (March 19th)to go back to NY. Oh g-d how I wish that I could give mom the peace she so desperately wants and especially before I leave.

Next day:
Mom opened her eyes & threw me a kiss then her eyes shut closed. Before I leave each year almost as she senses it she does something unusual. I know for certain that every time that I come to see her she knows that it’s me.

For the last few days my tears are tears of what I believe will be my final goodbye to my mother.
Yesterday again my mom threw me two kisses. Another miracle.

Just received unexpected call from NH. They are on lockdown. Happened right after the tragedy in Washington State. No cases but no visitors to further notice. Sad because I was going to go starting tomorrow everyday to say my goodbyes; believing that next year she will not be alive & that I will never see her again. Just hung up w my brother crying.

 Part 2 to be continued …….next week.




"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.




Sunday, December 15, 2019

WILL THIS FINALLY BE GOODBYE ?


WILL THIS FINALLY BE GOODBYE ?

The above picture which I cherish was taken in 2012 in front of my mother's home. At that time mom already had Alzheimer's for several years yet she was becoming adorable like a young child. Since then so much has changed. I chose this picture, for the more recent photos are too upsetting to look at. I sure don't want to remember her the way she is now.

In less than four weeks I will be arriving in Florida for 9 weeks. As the date approaches feelings that I have buried throughout the year have been surfacing. I feel sad and helpless, because mom has been dying and there is absolutely nothing that I can do to help her.

The last fifteen years has been a journey filled with both happy and upsetting moments. Coming from a positive place I was fortunate to have been able to cherish and appreciate the good ones. For the last several years those days have disappeared and all that is left is an emptiness filled with frustration and sadness. This has turned into a very long goodbye

The other morning I started to cry as I thought of how fearful I was to see her as she is today. She hardly eats anything, sits slumped over in her chair as her eyes remain mostly closed. My family and the staff at the nursing home are all surprised that mom is still alive.


POEM

She's locked away in a place they call home.

She sits and stares at nothing.

She speaks and says nothing.

She is nowhere yet locked within her own 2 walls.

She reflects on no one yet they say she is still alive.

Is she? or is she not? What am I to believe? What am I to feel?

The pain I now endure for her, deeply tears me apart. I have survived this past year by blocking her from my thoughts.

Yet as the time comes close for me to return these fears resurface.

How can I return from this haunting depressing world or better yet how can I desert her?

She is my mother. She brought me into this world and now I only wish to say goodbye.

My heart pangs, my body feels weakened and my hands seem to tremble.

Death, although final is all that I sadly wish for.

Sleep will bring peace and comfort.

It will remove her from a life that disappeared many years ago.

It is all so painful as I try to say my final goodbyes.




"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch

Thursday, August 15, 2019

WILL I CELEBRATE MOM'S BIRTHDAY?



WILL I CELEBRATE MOM"S BIRTHDAY?

My mom will be turning 95 years old on August 24th and I do not understand how or why she is still alive. She sits with her eyes shut closed, occasionally nodding her head, while weighing only 81 lbs.  I wonder is it that her constitution is so strong, or as the nurses say, "it's not yet g-ds will". I am not a religious person yet I if g-d has anything to do with this I find it terribly troubling that anyone in my mother’s state would still be alive.

This past winter after spending time with her for several months, my family and I were certain that she would pass away within a few months. We are now 5 months later, and it is heart wrenching  thinking of her nonexistence. I pray that she is not suffering.

Unfortunately, the nursing home, aware of moms no intake of food, has increased her daily supplement from one time a day to three times a day and also added an extra protein. This of course will not keep mom alive, yet it is slowing down her departure. After questioning the staff, we were told that by Florida state law they had to provide an oral nutrient as long as my mother would still take it. 

They might have felt this was humane yet we felt that it was quite inhumane, especially since my mother literally spelt out her wishes; stating that if she had an incurable brain disease that she did not want …..etc. It's tragic that I was able to be kinder to my dogs so they could have as little suffering as possible while reaching the end of their lives.

I have recently been invited to two birthday celebrations this year. One is a dear friend’s mother who just turned 90 and the others mother will be 100. I realize how fortunate they both are and if my mom were in their health, I would wish for her to live "forever". Unfortunately and sadly enough, this is not my mother's situation.

So, as my mother's birthday approaches I can celebrate the life she once had, yet I can no longer wish her a happy birthday.



"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

MY MOM


My Mom

It's been a while since I have shared about my mom. It has been a long journey since she got Alzheimer's; one that I will never forget. These past 14 years have been filled with many different emotions, from unconditional love to friendship and laughter, as well as feeling helpless and an overwhelming sadness.

The picture of mom that I have chosen was taken approximately 7 years ago when she first arrived at the nursing home. It brings me back to a time that mom and I were feeling "happy". The more recent pictures that I have from the last few years, all though touching, can also be upsetting. My son Logan is now 31 years old and has a beard. Six weeks ago he became a father for the first time to the sweetest baby boy.

I profoundly remember my mother sharing with me after my son Logan was born how much and how deep her love for him was. I never truly understood that until now.
It's absolutely amazing how much love I now feel for my own grandchild. How I wish that I could share this with her and tell her that she is a "great"grandmother.

Sadly enough she is not aware of this or,"most likely",anything at all.. I use the word "most likely" since in my heart when I hold her hand, kiss her face and tell her how much I love her I believe (or want to believe) that she knows it's me. The nurses have shared this joyful news with her and with her eyes shut closed she just nods her head.

For quite some time now her eyes remain closed. She barely eats anything and seems to be "surviving" on 3 protein drinks and supplements that the nursing home gives her. Something that they are not willing to stop given the laws of Florida. Mom now weighs 82 pounds and is on hospice. The nurse tells me that she is slowly declining and, it is all in g-ds hands. I am not a religious person, so I am not sure whose hands it's in, yet somehow my mother has a very strong constitution.

Mom will turn 95 years old on August 24th of this year. My wish for her, which is something I have wished for quite a few months, is for her to peacefully go to sleep. Truthfully, this would be the best gift that I could give her. I love my mom dearly yet the life she has been living is no way for anyone to live.

Nursing homes, regardless of someone's wishes, will do whatever they legally can to keep the patient alive. It's sad and, after feeling so helpless for some time, now I think that I have just become "accepting" to the whole situation.

Today I just wanted to touch base with all my wonderful supportive friends that I have made over the last nine years in the world of Dementia. Each of our lives have been touched in many different ways but the one thing that we all have in common and share is the understanding of what this horrific disease is all about.


Sending all of you a big warm hug and thank you for always being there.




"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch

 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

IF MOM COULD ONLY SPEAK...

 



IF MOM COULD ONLY SPEAK...                                                                               Year 2019

My husband and I arrived in Florida this past January to, once again, spend some valuable time with my mother. We were greatly taken back when we realized how advanced her Alzheimer's had become. Mom's eyes remained constantly closed as she sat slumped over in her wheelchair. Her face remained expressionless and we witnessed her refusal of any food.

After several days I recalled what I had read the year before in mom's Heath Care Directive. As her daughter and surrogate I knew that I had to do whatever was humanly possible to carry out her wishes.

I phoned the attorney's office who, in 2007 in the state of Florida, drew up mom's directive. She redid it shortly after her younger brother passed away from Alzheimer's. After the attorneys reviewed it they advised me to reach out to hospice which I immediately did.

We met someone from hospice who felt that they could help us. They were going to take mom that evening to their facility to give her "comfort care". After some confusion with the nursing home, hospice realized that presently they could not do this. They too had to comply with the laws of Florida.

After she read moms directive we were at least fortunate to have gained the total support from the medical director of hospice . She said that she never read anyone's wishes spelled out so clearly, yet we still had many roadblocks momentarily in our way.

That evening I had a restless night’s sleep and in the morning my heart remained hopeful that we would be able to succeed in carrying out moms’ wishes.

There was no way that I would give up trying so we decided to approach the administration at the nursing home. I respectfully pleaded with them as I shared what my mother wished for, which was all legally documented. Mom's proxy was sent to their legal department and given the laws of Florida, once again we were told that there was not much they could do.

As mom started to lose more weight the doctor from the nursing home put her on 3 supplements (i.e. Ensure) and protein drinks a day. We tried to stop these drinks, yet the nursing home would not again abide to her or our wishes. Although they were compassionate and understanding I quickly realized that nursing homes are focused on keep their patients alive.

I am trying to accept what has transpired in the last few months. As one can only imagine it is very difficult. I have endured heartache watching my mother as she succumbs to this horrific disease. All I really want is for her to go to sleep as peacefully as possible.

I whole heartedly believe in "Death with Dignity" also known as assisted suicide. I believe that one has the right to leave this world when they are suffering and know the inevitable. When there is no longer any quality left in one’s life it should be their given right to decide when they wish to peacefully pass on.

Currently eight states have passed a bill allowing one to end their lives in this way. I know that this is a long battle yet as soon as New York State passes this bill, which I hope will be soon, I am committed to fight for the rights of those with Dementia. Even in the states that have passed aid in dying having Alzheimer's is not included, even if one's wishes were stated prior to when they no longer could speak for themselves.

I will begin in New York because that is where I reside. If I can help get it passed here, which would probably take years, then hopefully other states will follow. This is my mission not only for my myself, if I were to get Alzheimer's, but for all the others who suffer from this disease. Maybe one day this bill will be called "Ruthie's Law". An honor that my mom would be proud of.

This is my commitment and something I hope that many of you will join with me in this battle! Not only would I have wanted this for my mother, it is something that I wish for my loved ones and myself. It's called the freedom of choice!

If Mom could only speak what would she say...……..



"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch




Friday, January 4, 2019

CAN WE SAY GOODBYE ?




CAN WE SAY GOODBYE?

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 80. For the first several years of her illness, she was able to live at home with part-time caregivers. Approximately six years ago, her cognitive functioning deteriorated and we moved her into a nursing home. Fourteen years after her diagnosis, my mother who is now 94 except for her macular degeneration, is on no medication for any life-threatening conditions.

Several months ago, two members in my Alzheimer’s group suddenly lost their mothers, even though they joined the group after me. Every time this happened I questioned, why my mom was still alive after having dementia for so many years?

I know how that sounds. But please let me explain. When she was first diagnosed, even though we had had a strained relationship, I fell in love with her unconditionally. I devoted myself to managing her care and our relationship flourished. Any ambivalent feelings that I once had no longer seemed important and magically disappeared. We shared our laughter and acted so silly almost as if we were teenagers. But today, after 14 years with Alzheimer’s, things with mom are quite different.

What kind of life can mom now possibly have? She exists, but does she really? She no longer has any appreciation of any of the beautiful things that once surrounded her world. Memories of her husband and children are all but gone. For many years, she’s had no idea of her age, her life, her family, nor even her existence.

Mom use to love to go to museums, movies and theatre. She enjoyed her morning walks or strolling on the beach. She adored reading, had a great quest for knowledge and loved taking continuing education classes. For many years now, none of these things have been a part of her life.

Today she is confined to a wheelchair with her eyes mostly shut closed. She occasionally utters a few words that none of us understand. Every part of her existence is taken care of by the wonderful caring aides in her nursing home.

If she could speak or see herself through different eyes, would she want to keep on living? I believe deep in my heart that I know her answer. The answer is what I would want for myself. I believe that when someone’s quality of life disappears, decisions need to be made.

Regardless of your beliefs I am certain that we can all agree that Alzheimer’s is one of the cruelest diseases. It takes away one’s entire world as if it never existed. There is no cure and the ending can be gruesome. So, I ask you, should someone with Alzheimer’s have the right to choose to die? In several states with other diseases you do have that choice. One can decline treatment, but with Alzheimer’s there is no treatment and one can live for many years with no awareness nor quality of life.

Most of us choose not to speak about this yet it is something that as human beings should be our right. We should be able to make our own choice of how we live and when we should die. My choice has always been that I would die with dignity, through physician-assisted death if need be, in order to have some agency in the process. That is what I so heartily wish for my mother.

In two weeks I will be arriving in Florida where my mom is, and staying with her for eight weeks. I want to hold her hand and share with her how much I love her. I also want to let her know that it is okay for her to just "say goodbye".



 
 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

THINGS I NEVER WISH TO FORGET






THINGS I NEVER WISH TO FORGET

I get a warm fussy feeling inside as I look at the many pictures I have of my mother and family. They bring back so many memories of when we were all much younger. I remember each one vividly as if it was just yesterday. I find it difficult not to reflect on how quickly all of our lives go by.

Seeing certain photos brings back the years my mother and I had our ups and downs. Our relationship completely healed fourteen years ago after she became ill. Alzheimer's was the culprit yet because of it our relationship took on a whole new meaning. What transpired was this new undeniable, unconditional love I felt for her.

Sadly today, although mom is still alive, everything is so different. Her spirit has vanished as well as her memory. For a lady who was once whole, she is now withered away to almost little existence. She spends most of her waking hours sleeping and in the hours she is awake her world remains empty. Life, her family and the world no longer have meaning for her.

How I wish to turn back the clock for a few minutes and let my mind wander as I remember all the lovely things we once shared. The joy of my graduation in school, my marriage, the birth of my son, his graduation, his marriage and the list goes on. The trip we all took to DisneyWorld in Orlando after my dad passed away. I remember how mom loved to read and adored to travel.My parents went to Mexico, Israel and then Italy where they celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Mom loved going to museums, antiquing, theater & movies. One of my fondest memories as a child was going with my parents to visit the Statue of Liberty and Franklin D Roosevelts home in Hyde Park, N.Y.

I can still envision her smiles, her laughter and the simple little things that once gave
her pleasure. These were moments that I unfortunately just took for granted. I did not give her space  to be who she really was. Instead I focused on the negative things. I lost time not loving her for who she was. Fortunately, today my heart is only filled with deep love for her.

It's interesting for several years ago a close friend said to me that maybe my mom was always loving and I just did not see it. Now not only do I see it, I also cherish it. For these things; her smile, her warmth, her tears, her words of encouragement, her laughter are all things I pray I never will forget.

I love this little lady so deeply from the bottom of my heart!



"Letter To My Mom" & "My Mom My Hero" are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch

 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

MISSING MOM SO


MISSING MOM SO (written on July 28, 2018)


Today, July 28th, twenty-three years ago my dad passed away which left me feeling somewhat blue. I wanted so badly to speak to my mother, yet I knew that was not possible. Instead I texted my brother, shared my sadness with my husband and opened my computer to write what I was feeling. What really hit home for me was although my mom is alive I still could not share any of my feelings with her. I realized that in many ways I was somehow now an orphan or a parentless child.

What you are about to read I wrote a few weeks ago which strangely enough is so similar to what I just shared regarding my father's passing.

As I stood in front of the mirror in my bathroom removing my eye makeup I had this overwhelming feeling of how much I really missed my mom. Strangely, I felt her presence there with me. As I reminisced in my head about my earlier years I realized how she was always there for me. I might not have always thought that yet, now as I look back, I am certain of all the supportive things she always said to me.

As a teenager I was the toughest critic of myself. My hair was too curly, I complained about my nose being too long and my eyes were not large and round like my fathers. I always thought he had piercing big blues eyes similar to one of my favorite actors, Paul Newman.

With each of my insecurities my mother always tried to help in building up my confidence and self- esteem. She would tell me how pretty I was and how she wished that she was tall and "stunning" like me. My blue eyes, she said, were more exotic as they were almond shaped. She spoke words that I was just not willing to hear.

Tonight, I missed my mother more. I missed her differently. I missed her love and the lessons she tried to instill in me. I missed how she was always there for me. I missed all the years that I wasted wanting someone else's mom to be mine.

Now it is too late for her to understand all the love and respect I feel for her. How I wish that I could now share with her who I am. I want to talk to her and tell her everything that has transpired in my life. Mom knew my husband and her one and only grandchild yet today she does not recall any of us. Sadly, her life has been taken away from her.

I speak as if my mother has gone to sleep and is no longer here. In many ways unfortunately this is true.The moments that I now wish to share with her have ended for Alzheimer's has conquered. It has taken away most of who she was and has invaded her very soul. So as I said before yes, my mom is still alive yet I question, is she?



"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio, Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch

Sunday, August 12, 2018

LETTER TO MY MOM





Letter To My Mom                                                      

Mom, as I sit down to write my letter I wonder how I can possibly start to share all my feelings with you. So much has changed since you developed Alzheimer’s over 14 years ago. As I gather my thoughts I realize that you will not be able to comprehend most of what I say.

As a teenager I loved you, yet somehow I wanted one of my friend’s mothers to be my mother. Then, after you became ill I fell so deeply in love with you. An unconditional love was born and since then you have inspired me each and every day.

I’m not really sure why my sentiments changed so drastically, I just know that I was given a second chance to feel a deep love and appreciation for you. As I reflect back through these years you have inspired me and have become my hero.
Your humor, your smiles, your sweetness through these difficult years have melted my heart.

Before entering the nursing home over five years ago, I spoke to you every single day. We ended each call throwing each other our kisses. I have continued to phone the nursing home only wanting to hear how you are doing. Earlier on you would take my calls and most of the time you say hello, and after a minute you just drop the phone. You did not even realize that I called or recognize the sound of my voice.

Mom, I am also a mother. My son, your only grandchild is 30 years old. You adored him and yet today you no longer remember who he is. There have been times that you think you have seven children and days when you think you have none. As a mother I cannot envision that one day I might also not know that I have a child. 

I find it hard to believe that a disease like this can wipe away your whole world as if it never existed, leaving your mind a blank canvas. Daddy passed away almost twenty four years ago and I do not believe that you have much recollection of him. I’m actually happy that he is no longer alive. I cannot imagine the pain he would have endured watching you fade away.

Today, in your world, I would have to help you brush your teeth, comb your hair, eat your food and get dressed. As a child you once did all of this for me, as well as comforting me when I was sick, or perhaps feeling a little blue.  Yet with everything that has changed, at least I know that we still have each other to share our love.

What has changed is that our roles have reversed. Now it is my turn to care for you as you once cared for me. The truth is mom that no matter whatever you can or cannot do, I am still your daughter and you will always be my mother.

Life is strange; for out of you becoming ill I have discovered a whole new world. I was given a second chance to love you unconditionally.  You have opened my heart to such a deep compassionate love. Mom as I end my letter, I just want to share with you, how very much I adore you. I feel honored and I am so proud that you are my mother.

 Your one and only daughter,

Lisa



"Letter To My Mom" & "My Mom My Hero" are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio & Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch

Friday, July 27, 2018

NEVER WANTING TO LET GO



NEVER WANTING TO LET GO

My mom has Alzheimer's for over fourteen years and as her disease progresses so does my emotions. I often feel I am on a rollercoaster swaying back and forth as it speeds around many curves shaking up my inner feelings.

This year like the past four years, I once again spent an entire month with my her. As a long distance caregiver having the opportunity to see mom more frequently brings out a more positive responses from her.

On most days we found mom with eyes closed and very little expression on her face. The sound of music that once delighted her seemed to have disappeared. One thing that is constant is that when I took her hand, even when she seemed to be sleeping, she held on tightly as if never wanting to let go.

On several occasions with eyes wide open we also found mom speaking nonstop. Although her speech is gibberish and difficult to understand it still lifted our spirits to hear her come alive. Yet amazingly enough mom said a few profound things such as "people should be happy".

I am always grateful that my wonderful husband joins me. He is so loving to mom especially when I feel a loss for words.  Magically he connects with her and finds the right things to say.

The head of nursing called me today and confirmed that mom is in the last stages of the disease, which I have heard for some time now. She reports that mom has not lost any weight and her blood work came back good. I mentioned that mom will be 94 years old in a couple of weeks. I do not know when she will finally say goodbye, yet in my heart, I do not believe that it is in the near future.

I have shared many times before that this horrific disease also fascinates me. Sometimes I question if I am now in denial or just becoming immune and accepting the situation. The once praying for mom to go to sleep has vanished and a new "space" has opened up for me.

I now feel more serene and have a calmness that is freeing. No more torturing myself of what I wish to be. I know that when mom is ready or the disease has "won", that is when I will have to say my final goodbyes. So for now, I cherish and remember how tightly our hands intertwined never wanting to let go.


"Letter To My Mom" & My Mom My Hero are both available on Amazon worldwide. Ebook, Audio & Paperback.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lisa+hirsch