Sunday, October 30, 2011


My mom was so young when this picture was taken. Life was perhaps for her joyful and yearning for adventure.

Today when I called my mom, I was told by her caregiver that my mom had expressed pain in her hand and that it was both swollen and red. Normally when I ask my mom about something that I was told; like she complained of a stiff neck, my mom would answer that her neck was fine, for she would not remember that she had just recently said something about it.  Not today. Today was different.  My mom when I questioned her about the pain in her hand she answered that it did hurt and that she could not remember what had happened to it.  Life at times can be painful, and getting old for some, is not fun.  Today definately feels like one of those days.

My post on my blog is from a year ago after I had visited my mom.  It was titled "Broken Heart". Can the title  have been any more appropriate for how I now feel.  I doubt it.

BROKEN HEART (Aug. 2010)

I have been noticing this whole week when I call my mom that she is not sounding happy, not her usual self.  She sounds down, sad and lonely.  The total opposite of being euphoric.  I had tried a little to get mom to sing and laugh, although she just seems not to want to.   I’m hoping that this is just a “phase” like we all have our down moments.  My mom took our departure back to New York very hard, sharing all her feelings that were rather upsetting to Logan and I before we left.   I have avoided telling her on the telephone, how nice it was to see her or how much I miss, her since I am trying to avoid bringing anything up to her that might upset her.   I’m not sure if what I am doing is better or worse.   I know when I left her home to go to the airport my brother said just say goodbye and do not make a big deal about it.    

Yesterday I actually asked her if she was okay, and she answered yes.  Mom then asked me why I was asking her, and I replied that she did not sound like herself.   When I mentioned who would be coming each day to visit, Elaine her caregiver, or Trudy, Elaine’s daughter she seems to really want their company.   She seems to hunger to have them with her.  She tells me that she keeps opening the door to see if anyone is there.  It is seven days since I was there and mom keeps asking me when I am coming back.  I answer “mom I just left, although I will be back in three months".  Mom said “good, just call me to remind me”.   She almost seems like she wants to get me off the telephone.  Does she feel like I abandoned her?  Or do I feel like I did ?

 My heart hurts for her loneliness and once again I am trying so hard to get my brother to get her more time with her caregiver, so mom does not need to be so alone for so many hours.  I have faith that Gil will come through.  It is our mom and I hope that he too wants her to have what she deserves.  So as of now I just need to be patient and wait.

When I called my mom the next day I heard the same lonely sad voice.  I tried to get my mom to sing and mention to her that she is not making me laugh as she usually does.  She makes a comment about” what do you want me to do just laugh” and does an imitation of a laugh and stops.  I tried to come up with some humorous things to say that I hoped would have her respond in a positive alive tone.  She actually rushed me off the phone again, as I said I loved her and wished her a nice day.  Mom did not say I love you back or did she throw me any kisses.

I hung up and went to my Pilates class with a feelings of a broken heart.  There has been no smile on her face for almost nine days now.

Today Aug 18th 2010, Wednesday when I telephoned my mom I think I got Mama Mia, Princess Ruthie back.  She laughed and when I asked her to sing a song for me she asked, “Why I can sing”?   And I said” you sing like a canary and I feel happy that you are laughing again”.  My mom started to sing I’m So Happy, I’m So Happy, and continued putting in her own words, and phrases that sounded like poetry to my ears.   We told each other how much we loved one another and and blew each other our daily kisses to each other.  I hung up the telephone with a great big smile on my face and warmth in my heart.

 I realized how down I was feeling and how I became elated to hear my mom sounding happy again.  I felt relieved and lightened up, for the moment I had my mom back.  

As I reread my entry from a year ago I see how my mom’s condition has worsened, and in some ways how her Alzheimer’s has remained in the same stage.  She does not seem to be getting that much worse ,yet I do see that she is regressing.  She sings a lot less and although she still can spell, it is not as good as it was.  Until Ruthie forgets who I am, or does not recognize me, I will hold my head up high and delight in all that we still can share together.  Ruthie, my mom, my sweet mom.

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