Friday, June 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom

No pictures today -- I'm working on the applique for the Double four-patch.

Today would have been my mom's 86th birthday. She died 11 years ago. We actually lost her 16 years before that -- she had Alzheimer's. It presented itself when she was 59 - which is the age I will be in a few days. I keep having this feeling that I just want to quietly get through the next year without any indications that I also have the disease -- kind of like other odd milestones in my life.
I do get forgetful -- but don't we all. I know the worst sign is not the forgetfulness -- it's the confusion -- it's not misplacing the keys, but not knowing what the keys are for. My poor dad at the onset of the symptoms did not understand any of it. He still expected a lot from her that she couldn't comprehend. She quickly lost her ability to speak and understand sentences. She was frightened and so were we. It was quite a while before we finally got a diagnosis -- this was back 27 years ago -- Alzheimer's was just in the early stages of being a diagnosis. My dad took early retirement so he could take care of her -- which he did at home for the first 8 years (and yes, I helped as much as I could). We finally convinced him that he couldn't take care of her any more, so he found a good nursing home to put her in for the last eight years. He went to see her every day until he died (he even was on his way to the nursing home the day he died). Dad died two years before she did. And, yes, of course, I did what I could to take his place for her -- but I could not go every day.
For all those last years, it was very hard to remember the early years -- the good times. I had a very wonderful childhood -- my parents were both wonderful people and loving parents. I had a sister and two brothers (I was the third child). All that's left is my younger brother and me, but we all had a great childhood - filled with laughter and fun. We knew we were loved and really, what else is there?
So, thanks, Mom (and Dad!). And Happy Birthday, Mom.

9 comments :

Finn said...

Hugs for birthdays, yours and your moms, for loving parents, and patient fathers, for enough love to cover the distance between the beginning and the end...*VBS* Hugs, Finn

The Calico Cat said...

Thanks for sharing, it is truely hard to lose a loved one, especially if you see it happening daily for years.

Laurie said...

HUGS JOANNE...I can hear the love for your parents in you blog!
Hugs
Laurie

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

finn's comment really mirrors my feelings - she has been able to put in words what I feel. Such anniversaries are bitter/sweet to me.

Cheers!

Evelyn

Vicky said...

Such a sad disease, especially for families who watch their loved ones slip away day by day.

I had a really tough time for years dealing with the anniversaries, but now choose to smile all day on those days remembering the happy and fun times.

((HUGS)) for you.
Vicky

Judy said...

I can realte to losing a parent and it's so very hard to lose someone who is still physically with you. Hugs to you and your family.

Hanne said...

Warm soft hugs crossing the big pond to you ((((( )))))

JudyL said...

Joanne, I'm so glad you do have many good memories. It is hard to deal with and obviously still tugs at your heart. It is a very scary disease and like you, I find myself wondering about my own forgetfulness and praying that is all it is.

I hope you have a wonderful 59th year!

Judy L.

Dawn said...

Oh Happy Birthday to your mom. Isn't that just a sad disease. Whenever I forget something lately it always panic's me. I'm getting older too and it doesn't even run in the family! Hugs to you!