Since my mom died. I’ve wanted to ignore the fact that Mother’s Day is coming this week. But my grief counselor suggested that rather than ignore it (which won’t really work anyway)that I find a way to honor it. I’ve been thinking about what to do. She was cremated and her ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay. There is no grave to go to. I thought about going down to the Bay but Sausilito on a nice Sunday afternoon will be crazy busy. I am going to send an email to the members of my grief group and see how they were planning on honoring the day since all but one had lost their mom, and of those, this will be the first Mother’s Day without our mom’s. But I learned today that the brick that I purchased to honor my mom at our city hall has been installed. It was a place where she spent a lot of time as a volunteer and advocate, and I will go there and leave a flower. I am also going to make a rubbing of the brick, and one for my brother, to have with me always, particularly since my brother no longer lives here. Then I realized doing a rubbing for my brother to give him is exactly like something my mom would do—give things to others that were important to her and she hoped were important to them. I just had a good cry. I’ve got a major migraine today, but I feel like I’ve found a way to mark the day on Sunday. 2 weeks ago
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My sil posted this on FB today—it had me crying out loud. It so sums up the last few years of my life. For some reason I feel badly because I wasn’t always the best daughter, I was impatient and frustrated and sometimes overwhelmed. But then I know that I did the best I could, and I took care of her with love. The last few years I would take her hand as we walked and she would say “Remember when you were a little girl I would take your hand, now the roles are reversed and you are taking mine.” She would drive me crazy and I wouldn’t see her or call her as often although I was always keeping tabs on her, especially this year.
LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGHTER:
“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m
If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.
And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.
I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.”
- Unknown 6 months ago
Since my mom died. I have bad days, I have so-so days. I have all of the this time off and I’m not enjoying it. I get through the days. I know when I work out I feel so much better. Went to the gym yesterday, have a meeting with my trainer in an hour. The small inheritance that I will get will give me a few more months of cushion. I’m feeling particularly despondent about no action on the job front (but then I haven’t put anything into it). mrrad thinks it will be next spring before I find something and it will be good. He’s probably right.
We had a lovely service for her. On 19 Oct we took a boat out into San Francisco Bay and spread her ashes near the Golden Gate Bridge. As we were letting her ashes go, a large sea bird came and circled the site (we could see the flowers still bobbing on the water) and headed out to the Gate, almost as if it came to show her the way to the bridge and accompany her on her journey. In the afternoon we had a service, which was pretty well attended given that she was an old lady when she moved here and she was almost 93. My brother and I shared our memories of her. We are 13 years apart and have always joked that we were both only children. I also made a video of pictures of her life and put together with music. I was told that it was lovely and well done. Then a nice afternoon tea. It was exactly as I wanted for her. Last week a friend of mine, who had come to the service, told me that she thought she was going to support me (to give the gift of love and support) and said that she was the one that came away with the gift. That the story of my mom’s life, who she was and what her spirit was about was inspiration. And she told me that I had her amazing spirit. I can only hope. And I’ve been told by so many how much I look like my mom, once they see a picture of her in her younger years. I think the older I get, the more I look like her. That makes me feel good.
I’ve called to inquire about grief counseling. I know that talking about it is good. Mrrad has been wonderfully supportive, although this has really taken a told on him too. We’ve been together for almost 25 years, so my mom was a big part of his life too. I think my brother is really missing me and wants us to come for the holidays, but I just don’t see it happening. We just had a big bill to replace our hot water heater this week—that would have been the money we could have used to go for Christmas.
This journey called grief S@#KS! 6 months ago
my phone rang and it was the paramedics telling me my mom had fallen and “dislocated” her hip. It was the beginning of the end. I try not to think about what I coulda, shoulda, woulda done. I know that I did the best the I could and sometimes the best just wasn’t good enough. My mom, in the last few years, was reviewing her life and feeling like she wasn’t a good mother. I had forgiven her a long time ago for not being perfect, and I tried to tell her that she has nothing to regret, she did the best she could, she was human. She would talk to my husband about it, not necessarily to me. Last Friday would have been her 93rd birthday. It was a hard day. Yesterday was mrrad’s 60th birthday and we had a good day. Today, not so much. Grief is such a strange thing. I can’t even put a logical reason on why I feel the way I do. My greatest fear right now is falling into a deep depression and not being able to find my way out (been there, done that). In the last three months I’ve lost my job and my mom. That is a lot to deal with. My home life is not peaceful because of my nasty neighbors so I don’t really get to enjoy being at home because of them. Finanically we are OK, but will not be for long. As bad as I feel, I don’t feel like I’m a victim right now (although that would be easy but not at all productive or useful) There is too much anger that comes from being a victim and I just don’t got it.
I want to believe that I am OK, but there is a part of me that thinks that I don’t even understand the depth of my loss. I guess time will tell. I dread the holidays this year but feel unable to make any plans for those days (not only have I lot my mom, my brother and his entire family have moved to TX—for the last 15 years we spent the holidays all together)
I can only talk about it and experience it—this too shall pass. 7 months ago
I am waiting for the Salvation Army to come to collect my mother’s furniture. All of the small stuff has been donated to Goodwill. I am going to watch the last of my childhood memories be taken off or others to use. It has been two weeks since she died. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. This room that she lived in for the last 21 months was her final home. At least she had her things around her. I took one piece of furniture home, but the rest, things that I know we have had in the family or at least 40 years, will move on. This is the room where my mother fell and broke her hip. It’s a nice room. It was as safe a place as we could have for her. She could have fallen anywhere.
Some of the intensity of grief is easing. But I am still unfocused and absent minded. And the anxiety and exhaustion is bad. There is no way out, only through. 7 months ago
Wow, this is hard! Grief is brutal. There is something very strong about the mother-child bond. I had another anxiety attack this morning, and then remembered that my mom’s body was being cremated this morning. I know she isn’t attached to it, but it is one more step in the road to letting go of her. I’ve spent the last two days at her apartment cleaning out her belongings. Today it was her clothes, yesterday her bathroom. My brother is coming this weekend to help with the rest of it.
There is so much to do but it is all an act of love. 8 months ago
My mother left this world. We were watching the pink painted sky of sunset and holding her hand when she peacefully passed. It was a gentle crossing. 8 months ago
My mom fell and broker her hiP and shoulder on Sunday. As she was leaving the facility with the paramedics she told the nursing director “my daughter is going to be so mad at me!”. When I saw her in the emergency rooms she apologized profusely.
Monday night she had surgery on her hip because I wanted to be sure she had the opportunity to get better and not be confined to bed. Tuesday evening she was sitting up and eating. She has talked a little bit. Yesterday she still hadn’t gotten out of bed. Last night she took a turn for the worse and they moved her to ICU. This morning as I was pulling into the hospital parking lot I received a call from the case manager telling me that she had been moved and the critical care specialist wanted to talk to me.
She is dying. Her organs are shutting down and per her directive she does not want any intervention. They have withdrawn all support except for pain management/comfort care. I am sitting with her listening to her gentle snore. It may be the last night I hear it. I came into this world listening to her breathing and heartbeat and I will be with her as she goes out of this world with her last breath
This feels sureal. This is not what I expected today.
I wish for her a gentle crossing, a peaceful passing. She is comfortable now and seems peaceful.
I have no regrets. I hope she does not. She is almost 93 years old. That is a long full life. She has given me so much. My strength of character, my love of reading, my curiosity, my work ethic, my sense of citizenship for volunteerism. I have been blessed to have her as a mother and I am honored to be with her for here transition. 8 months ago
I am beside myself. I have had the worst anxiety over the last three days and I didn’t know where it was coming from (I thought it was about the nasty neighbors) But now I know what it was. She is in the hospital now, and they are trying to decide what to do. She is in horrible pain, confused, and frightened. I have come home to just have a few hours and hopefuly some sleep before I go back to deal with tomorrow. Her blood pressure is so low that they may not operate. Even if they do operate, who knows how the recovery will go. The statistics aren’t good. The end of her life will be in pain in a skilled nursing facility. I want for her a peaceful, easy transition, not this. I want to go to sleep and wake up like this is all a bad dream. 8 months ago
But I now am more involved in my mom’s care. She has been in an assisted living facility for a year and half. It was not an easy transition and she was very unhappy with having to move. But now she sees the wisdom of it. She has deteriorated a lot in the last six months. For the last 3-4 months she hasn’t wanted to go on Thursdays for her usual outings. She was getting to the point that she only wanted lay in bed all day. She stopped going down to the dining hall (its a long walk and she was feeling fearful). She also wasn’t eating. A few weeks ago I took her out to get her blood drawn and she could barely walk to my care or back to her room. I became very concerned so I contacted her doctor and had her order a wheelchair (she has a walker and a cane but has refused to use them). I took her for a psych evaluation and I am meeting with palliative care this week to just understand the process. I think she is in the last year of her life. I also met with her caregivers and worked up a plan to get her more assistance while keeping the additional costs as low as possible. So we agreed that she would have someone come and take her to and from the dining room in her wheelchair (or her walker), have someone help her change her clothes everyday (which she wasn’t doing), and have them empty her trash daily. So the day after we started this, I went over to get her to take her to get her blood drawn and she was up, alert, changed, smiling, lucid, and cracking jokes. It was my old mom! Amazing what regular nutrition and getting out of her room will do for her. I’m not so naive to think that she is going to be all better now, but I so enjoyed that day to see her like that. I’m hoping that a regular structure will be beneficial for her.
And I feel like I did the right thing for her. The director at the assisted living facility told me that I was doing the right thing by having her checked out, even though what I was seeing was a fairly normal process. I will know that I did the best that I could for her.
The photo is from last Christmas. She doesn’t look that great anymore. 9 months ago
also means taking care of the house she lives in. I am not a homeowner myself so I don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing when it comes to maintaining and repairing a house.
Whenever some house need comes up I cringe and get stressed because I have to figure out how to take care of it from long distance which includes figuring out the right resource to call.
I already have several items on the to do list that I need to figure out. This morning a new, fairly urgent one was added. I got an email from one of Mom’s caregivers showing me a picture of her gutter that is now hanging down off the side of her house.
If I knew of a handyman in her town I would ask him to go take a look and let me know what it would require to repair it. My husband thinks it is a job for a roofer. Not only do I not know a roofer but I’m afraid if I call a roofer they will say “this roof is old, it needs to be replaced!” That would require money she doesn’t have.
I suppose I should join Angie’s list to find reliable workers for this type of thing, but the last time I looked around that site it looked confusing to me.
I have 3 friends in Olympia and it is unlikely any of them will have a resource for me as I’ve tried calling them in the past on similar projects.
What I may have to do is call a plumber that I found to be very trustworthy and find out if they can recommend someone. 11 months ago
while I am laid up and unable to drive the 70 miles to see her. She is getting desperate to see me. Fortunately a friend will take me and my husband down there on Saturday. That is when I will tell her about my upcoming foot surgery. I hope she will not get too down at the news.
Today Mom’s new furnace was installed so nowshecan be toasty and warm. And I’ve updated her meds list and medical history documents and shared them with my sister in case of any emergencies while I am laid up. 12 months ago
my mom is physically doing well right now. It’s a good thing since my broken arm and foot do not permit me the mobility to go to Olympia right now. I have found other ways to care for her without being physically there but we miss each other a lot.
Today’s challenge was that her furnace went out, probably for the last time. I spent time on the phone today with her, her caregiver, the service tech and a furnace salesman. Oh, and her next door neighbor who knows more about furnaces than I do.
I hope to have a new furnace purchased by tomorrow. In the meantime, the company took her some super duper heaters that should keep her warm until we can get the new furnace installed. 12 months ago
on the 16th, I got to spring my mom from the nursing home where she was rehabbing. She was SO happy to get home. Monday wore her out with all the hubbub of the transfer and getting home, so she was exhausted by the end of the day.
Tuesday she had lots of energy both physically and emotionally. Wednesday she seemed to suffer a setback and needed the wheelchair to get around the house.
Then on Thursday morning the snow and ice storm took out her electricity. It got way too cold for her. She’s not used to chilly temps and was really suffering by late afternoon. She called my hubby sounding desperate. Thankfully her next door neighbors used their generator to warm her home 3 times a day for the next 3 days. She was still chilly but not like she would have been. I called many hotels and all were full up. It was very stressful for everyone. Tonight her power finally came back on. I owe those neighbors big time. And I probably need to go buy Mom her own generator as soon as they are available in the stores again. Almost 300,000 homes have been without power so there are no supplies to be had right now.
Mom is doing pretty well physically I think. Hopefully she will get stronger now that she can have her regular routine back and warm foods to eat. I will be with her Monday to take her to 2 doctor appointments and restock her fridge and freezer, etc.
What would we do without angels like those neighbors?? 16 months ago
has taken the majority of my energy for the last couple of months. Since my last post Mom has been through 4 hospitalizations and is just finishing up two weeks in a nursing home for rehab. She should go home Monday and hopefully she can stay at home.
There were several times that I would’ve told you she only had hours, days or at most weeks to live. And yet today she’s so much better and coming back again strong. She’s a miracle woman, my mom.
The process of watching out for her needs and handling communciations between doctors, caregivers, medical staff, therapists, family members, friends, etc. really exhausted me. I even had to fire a caregiver on Christmas week.
Since this goal has been pretty all-consuming nothing much else has gotten done at all. I didn’t even finish Christmas shopping. It was too much.
Thankfully she is much better now though and I am optimistic for a turnaround for both of us. Cheers to the new year! 16 months ago
This falling business has to stop. No really. You’ve gotta knock that off.
On Monday when I was in Lacey Mom told me she has been feeling “off balance” for a few days. I watched her, and sure enough she’s not very stable on her feet. So I made an appointment to take her to see a doctor that afternoon. And sure enough she fell while getting ready for the appointment. Thankfully she was not injured.
The doctors thought she may be a little too dehydrated from her new water pills the cardiologist gave her. So they told me to cut the dose in half and get her in to see the cardiologist in a week.
I called the cardiologist office to make the appointment. The woman told me before they can make an appointment we need to start taking her blood pressure 2 or 3 times a week and let them know the numbers. And the first reading has to be by Friday. I explained that I live in Seattle and only get to Lacey on Mondays, but the woman was unsympathetic. “Get someone else to do it.” Well there is no one else.
So I thought I would just go down one evening, pick up a blood pressure monitoring device, and take it to her and teach one of the caregivers to use it. Upon further investigation a unit had to be special ordered for her because her bicep is only 8 inches and standard ones won’t work for her. Finally I tracked down a unit in Seattle and should be able to pick it up tomorrow before heading to Lacey.
Then this afternoon I got a call from her caregiver that Mom had fallen again. This time she’s okay except for taking the hide off her elbow. I’m really concerned. I don’t know how many times she can fall without incurring grave injury. :( 18 months ago
I just took Mom to see her primary doc last Monday. We had to report that she had somehow bruised and torn skin on the backs of her legs – we think from the running board on a caregiver’s car. The doctor noticed one leg seemed to be healing well but the other he frowned at. There was nothing to be done, but we should definitely keep an eye on it.
Yesterday afternoon I had to leave work early and run down to Olympia to take Mom to the walk-in clinic. It was infected all right. They prescribed some antibiotics and an antibiotic ointment.
Tomorrow if her primary doc is around I will try to get her in to see him about it. I hope it will heal quickly. 18 months ago
Mom’s primary care doc sent us off for an office visit with a cardiologist. Despite my optimism it looks like the second echocardiogram really did not show improvement over the first one. Her congestive heart failure is a chronic problem now and he thinks the fluids are building back up around her lungs too.
He gave her some water pills which I really hope will help. We don’t want the fluids building up to the extent they were before, because she would have to go back into the hospital and possibly have them drained. He also asked her to restrict her salt intake. I’m sure that will be a difficult task for her, and I don’t know how well she will be able to comply. She loves salt. I got her to agree to put the salt shakers in the cupboard so she won’t be so tempted. We’ll have to read labels on processed foods to watch out for sodium there too. 20 months ago
Mom is doing well. A week ago she scared me though with her big sugar frenzy. She got my sister to take her to the Chinese buffet where she ate lots of fried food followed by a plate of sweets. Okay that’s pretty normal for her when she goes to the buffet. Usually it’s not more than once a week so she gets away with it. But then she had Sis take her to the grocery store where she bought donuts and ice cream. For dinner that night she asked for pie, ice cream and donuts! When the caregiver (who is also diabetic) told her no, she can’t eat that way with her diabetes my mother stubbornly said “well then I want nothing!” Probably that would have been best. But the caregiver didn’t want to make her mad so she let her eat the all-sugar dinner. Her blood sugar that night was 336. :(
The hard part is Mom totally knows better. But of course the more you eat sugar the more you crave sugar, and this time it got away from her. I had a serious talk with her about it and she has been behaving ever since. But I need to have a talk with her doctor about this.
Mom had her follow-up echocardiogram on Tuesday. We haven’t heard the results yet, but I am optimistic that the fluids that were around her heart are gone. I hope to hear from her doctor either Monday by phone or on Wednesday when we see him. 20 months ago
Quite a bit better, in fact. At Mom’s doctor appointment last Monday I had them retest her oxygen saturation, both at rest and walking up and down the hall. She passed with flying colors, which means she no longer needs the oxygen! We are all thrilled as that oxygen meant both a big tripping hazard and frequent arguments about when she needed to use it. There is more peace now.
After being the hospital Mom had lots of swelling in her legs and body, which is not normal for her. By last Monday all the swelling was way down. Even her foot doctor noticed she looked great. At her family practitioner’s office the scale went down from 114 pounds the week before to 102 pounds. Yikes! She was carrying that much water weight?? So now we have to fatten her up.
I’m surprised she doesn’t weigh more than 102 though as she has had a healthy appetite ever since she was in the hospital. Unfortunately her appetite for sugar has gone sky high. Not good for a diabetic.
Her energy is still on the low side but she has really bounced back from the last hospitalization. On Tuesday I will take her to get a follow-up echocardiogram and I expect that all the fluids that were around her heart are now gone. 20 months ago
But I continue to work on it. Mom has had 24 hour caregivers since she got out of the nursing home in January 2010. Overall that’s going well. It’s very expensive and I’m concerned for when her money runs out as I can’t afford it, but for now we’re able to keep her in her own home.
Many times she has asked when she can be rid of the caregivers and she tells me she doesn’t need them, they don’t do anything for her. But there is no logic in what she says and she does need them. In the last 20+ months they have kept her safe and informed me when she needs emergency medical attention. This includes multiple calls to 911 and three or four hospital stays of varying lengths.
She last got out of the hospital about a week ago. She was in there a week during which time they figured out there is a bunch of fluid around her heart. She has to have another echocardiogram in a week or so to see if it’s getting better or worse.
During all the hospital visits the caregivers went with her and spent 12 hour days in the hospital by her side. It was a great relief to me because when I couldn’t be with her 12 hours a day they could be. She still needed me plenty, but I was able to juggle helping her with my work. Since the caregivers provide a friendly face she is not so anxious in the hospital. She actually eats in the hospital now instead of “waiting until she gets home” and losing weight to a dangerous level like before.
And while the caregivers are there I don’t have to worry that the nurses will be so busy they can’t take her to the bathroom right away when she needs it or might forget to help her clean her teeth or wash her face. And the caregivers can provide continuity for things like using lotion and watching her favorite TV shows.
Unfortunately, after this last visit to the hospital she is now in need of oxygen when she is up and moving around her home. She hates that and has been fighting the caregivers on using it. I remind her she needs it and she says okay, then later “forgets” that the doctor said she needs it. She will see the doc on Monday and he will do another test of her oxygen after movement. If she still needs it, we’ll have to make sure family members know how to work with the portable oxygen tanks.
She was quite depressed yesterday when my sister came to visit but wouldn’t take her out to eat. She really likes getting out of the house as much as possible. My sister wanted to give her some extra time to heal after her hospital visit and before taking her out. But Mom is afraid sis won’t want to hassle with taking her out any more. I will make sure sis learns what is needed to deal with the oxygen so they can go out together in the future. In the meantime, we are taking her out tomorrow between doctor visits. 21 months ago