Friday, February 21, 2014

SHE'S ALWAYS MY MOTHER



SHE'S ALWAYS MY MOTHER


As each day passes my mom has her moments of distance and familiarity. It had been several days since I was able to hear her sweet voice. I phone each day and get updates from the nurses on how she is doing. I have learned to accept this, although I deeply miss the kisses that once ended all of our daily calls.

Today is what I would consider a day filled with sunshine. Mom was just walking by the nursing station as I phoned. She picked up the receiver and as I shared my sentiments with her, my eyes filled with moisture. "Mom I really miss you." She answered back in a voice that sounded free of Alzheimer's. "I miss you, too." I was thrilled to tell her that I would be visiting her in exactly four weeks. Her answer was "that's wonderful," as she dropped the phone.

It was a moment of magic for me to cherish. Somethings never change for just hearing her voice warms my heart and soul. Not one day goes by that I take for granted the miracles left of her life.

I recently watched a movie that dealt with a relationship between a mother and daughter. As it came to an end, I felt different emotions beginning to swell in me. It was the realization that I can no longer share with mom any of the meaningful things that transpire in my life.

In this respect, I recognize that this part of her has vanished. The mom who comforted me or delighted in my accomplishments is no longer capable of doing so. This awful disease has stolen this piece of her. A part that I know will never return.

Yet with it all, we still can share a deep love. What perhaps has changed is that in many ways our roles have reversed. Now it is my turn to care for her, as she had once cared for me. The truth is that no matter whatever my mom can or cannot do, I still am her daughter, and she will always be my mother.


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16 comments:

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    1. Thanks Healthcare Hostages. I really appreciate that.

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  2. I understand completely. The love you share is what matters now. Hold on tightly. Sending you hugs. (I get to see my mom next week. I can't wait to hold her hand and make her laugh.) ~Barb

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    1. Barb, hope your trip to see your mom is something that you will always treasure. Love to you and mom. Lisa

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  3. Lisa,

    As a daughter and a nurse, I thought I knew everything about my Mom before she developed Alzheimer's in 2003; how wrong I was. Her Dad (my Grandpa) had the terrible disease before her so I may have inherited it (I hope not).

    I live with guilt every day that I was not able to take care of her in my home. My husband was ill with a lot of health issues and I was working to help pay the bills. I can still remember the day we took her to the nursing home and left her and she was crying out to me as I went out the door. She had been living in her own apartment but due to safety reasons she was not able to stay there.

    But my husband and I were very strong advocates for her care (even though I have five siblings who did not help). We moved her from one nursing home and monitored her care constantly, making sure she got the care she needed and deserved.

    One of the worst days was the day that I visited and she no longer knew me; I cried for hours because I knew it would only get worse and it did. She stopped talking and sat for hours just staring at the wall never showing any emotion or speaking. We continued to try to stimulate her mind to no avail.

    But we never stopped loving her and making sure she was well cared for. She passed away in June of 2010; she held on the last two weeks until our youngest son (her favorite grandson) came home and went into her room alone, shut the door, and spent a couple of hours with her talking to her. She died four hours later (and we now know she was waiting for him)).

    I miss her every day and will continue until I die but we all do the best with what we are confronted with. I hope that she knows in Heaven that we truly did and do love her and will see her again some day.

    I just finished your book and I read it quickly as it was so interesting. It is a disease that many put out of their minds until it happens in their family or they care for someone with it.

    God bless you.........and your Mom.

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    1. Pam, I wish that I could just give you one big tight hug. Of course I'm so sorry about your mom, yet the love you have shared for her is extrodinary. You were both so blessed to be her daughter and she your mother. xoxo Lisa

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  4. I am an RN also and took my mother who has dementia under my wings. I am her only caregiver. I made a promise never to have her live in a nursing home, promised on my life. I have been on a rollercoaster ride now for almost 5 years. I work full time from home and everyday she seems to get worse, as well as how I am feeling. I'm not sure if what you did and as so many doctors have told me to do is the best thing. I know my mother is suffering, I can see her misery and she is aware enough to know that she does not want to be the way she is now. I feel as though if she did go to a nursing home, the guilt would be worse for me then what I am going through now. I love her, she's always been my best friend. But somehow, it's not the same. The doctors all say, "she's had her life, now it's your turn." I would like to see her in peace, to be happy, to be as she used to be. What more can I say. That day may be coming soon when she will no longer be with me. Will I be glad she is out of her misery, and that I will be free or will it be so overwhelming that I will collapse. I'm strong, but since she's been with me, I'm not the happy, fun person I used to be. Thank you for listening to my story.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, I feel sadden by what you have written and I also can feel your pain. I wish that we could speak. Is it possible for you to join a support group with others who are also feeling what you are. I go to one at my Alz Assoc. I know that they all do not offer them, yet you can also call the hotline for support. Putting my mom in a nursing home and from what others have shared as horrible as it may be it also has some strong points. Sadly we both know from this disease that our mothers can live for years. You too must be able to have some life. If you don't try to take care of yourself also, as difficult as this may seem, then you will be no good for your mom,and more importantly yourself. I'm here for you. If you'd like email me your phone # so we can speak. Sending you love, support & some strong hugs. Lisa

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    2. Thank you Lisa. I would love to talk to you. I have no time to go to support groups outside of home. I work everyday and there is only the night time, when I have no one to stay with her. I do have a 12 hour home health aides 7 days a week, one who has been with my mom for 1 1/2 years. She has always been good to my mother, as well as having extensive dementia training. We have her only for 3 days and on the other days, the home health aides are so terrible and sometimes mean to my mother. I stay in my office and work, often having to jump up and stop them from being rude to my suffering mother or sometimes it's the other way around, yes my mother can be verbally abusive. She hates the way she is, often saying she wants to crawl out of her skin, sometimes wanting to die. I don't know how to help her. She is still playing cards, still walking worse each day, still knows who I am and often blames me for whatever she feels like blaming me for. I have to work,, I have two little beautiful dogs, one who keeps me sane and hopefully healthy. There are times I go crazy with anguish thinking about how I ended up where I am. I have never dreamed of my life being like this. I've worked as a nursing manager at a nursing homes and have made visits to some. I can't imagine my mother, who was once a classy, beautiful woman being in one. Yes, I know I am destroying myself, but I cannot even think of her in one. Her skin is so fragile. I know that she would have skin tears and be bruised from head to toe. I often think of myself in her shoes and that is not what I want when I'm 90 years old. I'd prefer to be dead and resting in peace. She would die, I know it if I placed her. I once said, "mom I cannot do this anymore, I need to find somewhere for you to go." She said holding my hand, "I understand and you have to do what you need to do." Another time she begged me not to send her away. She's tired, very tired of her life, but is physically healthy and that is what keeps her going. She never forgets who I am and also does not mention my brother and sister's names anymore, as they have deserted her. She talks about her mother and father, mostly her mother. She spoke about how she wants to kill herself. She is alert and truly miserable. I do keep in touch with her psychiatrist and doctor often. They know me well. She is depressed. I cry often thinking about how she is and how I pray I never become that way.

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    3. I understand and share many of your sentiments. I have similar thoughts.I wonder why our society is humane for animals and yet in most states not for us. I was able to be humane to my 3 dogs and remove them from their illness, yet we cannot do this for ourselves and our loved ones. Hopefully one day soon, this will become legal in all the states.Yet I am still concerned about your well being. Big hugs to you & mom. Lisa

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  5. That's amazing that you two are so close..just unfortunate your not too close geographically. I loved your write-up, especially: "It was a moment of magic for me to cherish. Somethings never change for just hearing her voice warms my heart and soul. Not one day goes by that I take for granted the miracles left of her life."

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    1. It has become the little things of life that give me great pleasure with my mom.Thanks Dan for your comments.Lisa

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  6. I want to say i am my mother's care giver, she had a pretty major stroke Dec. 29 2012 at 6 am, she has been diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia, she is good most days, and for this i feel i am blessed to still have her in my life as she could have died when the stroke took her she has minimal issues after but yet if you lived with her daily you would notice some things are not quite right, i am her person if that makes sense, if she gets upset the only one who can make her feel safe is me i dont understand, but it happens. I cry when she struggles to do things she used to do with ease and have no trouble and now she does i modify what i have to so she can still help out or do stuff for her self and safety is always the watch word in my house now. I feel love is a great healer and yet i know in time it wont be all i need to give her i know she will forget who i am or even who she is and that is when i am going to be sad.

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    1. Donna, I'm sorry to hear about your mom yet I love the way you love and care for her. She may always remember you. Cherish all that you have each day, for each day is all that we do have. Hugs, Lisa

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  7. This is a very, very touching post. I almost broke into tears! I believe no disease can ever take away the bond between a mother and her child. Even if our parents can’t express themselves any longer, I know deep inside they still love us as much as we love them. Thanks for sharing!

    Trudy Nearn

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    1. ...and thank you so much Trudy for sharing your thoughts for all of us do understand . Lisa

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