Peace & Love!!
 
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This is my favorite picture of my mom.  She was probably around 14 in it.  She was such a beautiful person. 

Today would have been her 82nd birthday.  She's been gone for almost 4 years.

I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone to tell her something or to ask for her advice.  I still miss her just as much as I did 4 years ago.  The pain of losing someone never REALLY goes away - you just get use to them not being around.

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The day she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's is forever etched in my mind.  

She was 76 and had started to repeat herself quite a bit.  There were a few occasions that I would be on the phone with her and she would simply go silent.  

Then one day my father found her lying on the kitchen floor.  She couldn't get up and cried out in pain when he tried to help her.  We ended up taking her to the hospital where they couldn't find anything wrong.  This scenario repeated itself several times - her seemingly falling and then having to be transported to the hospital. The day she was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she went in on a stretcher, screaming at the male nurse that if he touched her she would call the police.  

She didn't know where she was.  That became the norm for the remainder of her life.  

We ended up moving her to a nursing home because she became increadibly weak and needed around the clock care.  The day we dropped her off, I remember wanting to climb in the bed with her. It was horrible leaving her there.  I wonder if she knew it broke my heart.  

She was in the nursing home for a total of 16 months.  For the first 12 months, I only missed two days of visiting her.  One of the days, she ended up with an intestinal blockage.  When I got there, her belly was distended and I had to argue with a nurse to get her to call the doctor, who promptly had my mother transported to the hospital.  I felt horrible.  

We were fortunate that until the day she left us, she knew all of us.  Alzheimer's left her disoriented - she never fully understood that she was in a nursing home.  She thought my father had added on to the house and brought in nurses to take care of her.  It took her strength - she eventually was took weak to get out of bed.  She saw things floating in the air, snakes coming in the windows and cats wandering around her room.  But she remembered her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  That was the one blessing out of all of it.
Four years ago today I took my 4 children and my grandson to the nursing home to celebrate my mom's 78th birthday.  She couldn't get out of the bed but sat up, talked with us, had some cake and knew each one of us.  We laughed, cried and reminisced.  She seemed so alert that day.

Ten days later I received the call that the end was near and I needed to come.  I got to the nursing home and two of my sisters were already there.  They told me that my mom had been mumbling for hours and the only audible thing they could understand was my name.  When I kissed her and talked to her, she settled down.  Throughout the day other family members came to say goodbye. 

She passed away peacefully several hours later, after everyone decided to head out to get some rest.  I should have known that she would wait for us to leave.  She spent her life protecting us right until the very end.
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So, today I celebrate her life.  She was a gift to us all.  She loved her family beyond measure and I believe, because of that strength, never succumbed fully to the disease that took her from us.

Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you!
 


Comments

11/04/2016 7:53pm

Every one should love their mom and they care of them as they take care of you since you can't even speak in your childhood, she understands what you need.

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04/09/2017 9:35pm

This article is very touching and heartwarming. Being a mother is very hard and have the most huge responsibility. I'm very touched that your mother is very loving and very caring person. You are very lucky to have this kind of mother, because my mother is very opposite and always busy with her work. I hope that you will love your mother so much and take care of her if she is very old now.

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06/07/2017 4:06am

Wow! It's so amazing that your Mom reached 82 years of age. Alzheimer's is like a difficult disease because it erases the memory of the person. I am so lucky that any of my family member did not experienced this. Also, your Mom was so brave because I know that She's fighting Alzheimer that's why She did remember all of you before she left. Let's pray for your Mother, and I hope that she's happy wherever she is now.

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Your mother is so beautiful and I'm sure that you are also beautiful like your mother. I can feel that you really love your mother. I know that it is so hard to move on from the past. I can feel the pain that you have. I really love the way how you narrate the story of your mother. Every word that you use is very inspiring. Our mother is the best person that we know and they are the best thing that we have. Belated happy birthday to your mother. I know that she loves you more than you know.

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11/22/2016 4:05am

This post touched my heart. Alzheimer's is one of the serious diseases that some people have. It is not easy for the family that their love ones forgot their happy moments together and the most painful is they forgot their family. It is really important that we show our love while we are still with our love ones so you won't regret anything at the end. Someone who left will always be remembered.

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12/27/2016 4:22am

You just kept your old picture of mother, and I'm impressed to see such a love of you with your mother. We should take care of out mothers as their love is just eternal.

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