Stories That Inspire

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My Mom

Anna Mae is my Mom's name. She passed away 2/14/2014 @ 6p Friday. Valentine's Day. Some may say how sad that she died on a holiday, I say how appropriate. She was born Christmas time. A week before, I was with her at the nursing home where they were trying to keep her comfortable. I knew it was just a matter of time. She sat at a table, I across from her. Music in the background. My Funny Valentine came on the radio, Mom who was just about holding her own began to sway with the music, I said Mom you remember this song? One of your favorites, she looked into my eyes and smiled. The tears flowed from my eyes as I looked into my beloved Mothers eyes and saw the Mom I loved and love so much. The next wednesday I held her in my arms all day and stroked her face and kissed her. She was so weak....the next two days we had a snow storm and I couldn't get to Pennsylvania....then God took her home. Thank you Lord for bringing her to you for eternal peace and happiness. Alzheimers is cruel. You watch someone you love lose bit by bit on a daily basis. You get to enjoy fleeting moments when they remember. They take you back in time with them when they were of all ages. One day they know you the next they don't. I can only say that my Mom may not have remembered my name but she hugged me, smiled at me and called me her angel. Never give up on your parents if they are diagnosed with dementia/alzheimers. Be patient, cry, laugh, always be gentle. Do whatever you have to do to make this transition for your parent as easy as possible. Go to every extent to bring them comfort. Never, never stop loving them. They need to be held, to laugh, encourage them, pray for them. Thank you Eddie(and Lisa) for allowing Mom to continue to live with you when things got harder. Thanks Steve, Dad , Carole God Bless.

Christine
Cranford, NJ

Best Mom in the world

My Mom was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 5 years ago and was a Crossing Guard for almost 30 years...almost everyone in town knew her. She was the glue that held our family together. Once she was diagnosed my sister and I prayed that she would 'go home' before she forgot us and her grandchildren. Mom had 'functioning' Alzheimer's and was still able to do a lot of everyday things, but once she was diagnosed she was told by her doctor that she had to give up her Cross Guard job and she was devastated (as were we). Mom handled it well, like the strong woman that she has always been and continued to be 'our Mom' for many more years. A few months ago she got a very bad UTI that advanced her Alzheimer's faster than we could blink...but she still remembered us :) My Mom passed away two months later and with her last breath, she told me that she loves me...best gift I ever received!!! She is missed every second and thought of, by many, every day.

Anonymous
Salem, NH

MEMORIES OF LIFE WITH SHIRLEY CHAPTER 1

MEMORIES OF LIFE WITH SHIRLEY CHAPTER 1

My mother was a strict disciplinarian while I was growing up. There were 7 of us children for her to contend with. As well as working nights as an R.N. Sometimes my Dad would work 2 or three jobs to support us all. But we never went without. There was always plenty of food, (especially sweets, since he had a sweet tooth). We did not feel deprived of anything. In their free time on weekends, they would take us on outings to the Amusement Park, the Beach, or King’s Castleland, where we would dress up as characters from storybooks and play in the storybook houses. As we turned to teenage years, we all had our run-ins with our Mom, who would keep a tight leash: don’t stay out past 10; no, you CANNOT go to that concert. You are grounded. These are the years I hated my parents. My mom’s Alzheimer’s disease has made her a different person. She is happy, friendly with everybody, and sometimes wants to just skip through the day. Some families have children who dwell in the past and want to blame their parents for whatever their life has turned out to be. I know my parents did the best they could. Now, my mother is the child and we all do the best we can by her.

b.a.roger
Pawtucket, RI

Taken advantage of by family.

My mother-in-law lived with me for around 11 months. I took her to her doctors appointments and helped her with her personal hygene when it became necesary. When she was hospitalized and there was no durable power of attorney or living will already in place the hospital recommended doing so as soon as possible. None of her 4 children wanted to or would step up and make these decisions or be appointed DPOA. So I did. Once she was out of the hospital and placed into a sklilled nursing facility her daughter became demanding and paranoid. By this time my mother-in-law was in active congestive heart failure and her dementia had progressed. My sister-in-law went to the facility, while I was at work, with her sister-in-law and a notary. She convinced the social worker that my mother-in-law was alert, oriented and competant enough to change her DPOA to her sister-in-law. Someone my mother-in-law does not even like. I went to the nursing home ever day and physically looked my mother-in-law over, changed her, bathed her, and helped her eat. My sister-in-law goes there 2-3 times a week durring the day to see if her clothes are clean and not wrinkled. I really feel sorry for my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law for showing her true colors and how selfish she is. I just wish I knew where to turn to report this injustice.

Anonymous
IMPERIAL, MO

Miracles do happen

In April of 2010, my hubby at 58, was told he had 15% shrinkage of the brain and the dr told me early onset. Get his affairs in order,4-5 years, he would have no memory. He prescribed donapril. I am avid researcher and started looking for everything I could to slow progress. He kept working even started a business on the side, worrying about us. I got a book and started him on all recommended vitamins. Then a friend sent me an article about coconut oil. I fixed coconut oil fudge. He had regressed & was a vegetable on wkends. 3 weeks later, he improved got up and has been going fine as long as he has his fudge. The VA took new pics in January & no shrinkage. OF COURSE we prayed without ceasing also. I think further research needs to be done in this area.

Brandi Shelton
Auberry, CA

Missing my best friend

My mom recently passed away on April 30th, she was on hospice and I am blessed that I got to take care of her at home and was there until her last breath. She suffered from Alzheimers and I (her daughter) was her primary caregiver. December of 2013 she suffered a heartattack and then in February she broke her hip which made this journey extremely hard. I learned how to transfer, how to change a bed with mom still in it, how to change and bathe, wash her hair, dress all while she was in bed. At this time we moved in with my son and his wife to help with the caregiving of my mom. I think of her every day, she was my best friend and as much as she needed me, I was the one who needed her more. Every day I used to tell her I love you more and more every day and her response was I loved you first because I had you first. Life is just so hard now without her here, I am so lonely and sad and cry every day because I miss not only my mother but my best friend and I miss her so very much. Love you, always and forever mom...

Dolores Landavazo
Albuquerque, NM

SHIRLEY AND BARBY

SHIRLEY AND BARBY

Caring for a person with dementia at home requires the dedication and talents of all members of a family, and each person has unique ways of contributing according to different circumstances. When I think of my sister Barby and her role in our mother Shirley’s life, I think of a kind and gentle woman who keeps Shirley connected to the outside world and all of us in the family connected to each other. How does Barby do this? One of the actions which Shirley repeats many times daily in her dementia is to check for mail. And Barby is the one who has been faithfully sending notes several times a week ever since the passing of our dad three years ago. These colorful notes are always embellished with photos of the stuffed animals she calls her “kids” and brief, clever captions which Shirley can, and does, read over and over. Shirley always looks forward to retrieving and opening her own mail and saves every note. When family visits, she shows them these treasures and happily reads them out loud and chuckles at them. In addition, Barby (like our sisters Nancy and Bonnie!) provides many little gifts of knickknacks, decorations, or “stuffies” for Shirley to enjoy as she constantly rearranges where to put them every day. Because Barby lives out of state, she communicates regularly with Shirley by telephone, again connecting her to the outside world through activities which are routine for most of us. When Barby visits, she always takes Shirley for an outing where she can observe the world around her. Not only does Barby concern herself for our mother, but she keeps our whole family connected through her weekly “Friday Thoughts” shared via email with her siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family and friends. I can’t imagine Shirley’s life without Barby providing such wonderful moral support. So thank you, dear Barby, for all that you do so quietly and often in the background. You are a treasure and dearly loved and appreciated by all of us.

Pat
Brockton, MA

My life  with Bob

My life with Bob

About 7 years ago it was brought to my attention that maybe I should have my husband checked for Alzheimer's. I knew he was having problems but I didn't want to admit it to myself. Took him in for testing and got the news. This terrible diesase was taking my love away from me. The first years weren't as bad as I thought they would be but as time goes on he continues on a downward spiral. It scares me to think of what will happen next. He doesn't drive very far. He is afraid of getting lost! At least he is aware of it! It is tough being the caregiver. His family has nothing do with him. My family lives too far away too help much. I work full time and worry about him. Keep us in your prayers as I feel the next few years are going to get rougher. I will never leave him and will do everything I can to take care of him. He is my life that is slowly disappearing.

Nancy Stouffer
Mitchellville, IA

Inside my sister Kim, her heart brings her peace. "My Heart and Soul"

My Heart and Soul by Keleen Bailey There is a place where some of us will journey, as we move toward the end of our lives. It will feel frightening at first, but that is because you don’t know what I know. I am here to reassure you and share the meaning and purpose of your heart and soul. When our brain becomes old and tired and you try so hard to do, say and think of everything we have ever known, we fight with ourselves and struggle to remember. I am here to tell you, there is no need to struggle. You are coming to a time of contentment. Your outward appearance may deceive others, but your heart and soul are unchanged. Your mind will try to confuse you but your heart will soon be your new reality. Memories will come from your heart now. They will be just for you. You are going on an amazing journey and will be free to visit everything you have ever loved. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Who do you want to talk and laugh with? You can visit beaches, forests, cities and foreign places. Old friends and loved ones can take you back to your childhood. And you wont have to fight your failing mind & body to enjoy them. You will visit them with your heart. God will gradually share more and more wonderful, beautiful and peaceful thoughts with you. He will protect you as you span your lifetime with your heart. Just imagine, free of restraints. Free from worrying about money, time, and obligations. Gone are fear, depression, aches and pains. Your brain will try to make sense of it all but you will transcend the restraints of your mind and begin to see what your heart sees. Everything the heart sees is pure and good and full of joy and peace. Contentment will fill your soul like you have never known. And when you smile, others will know you are at peace, and that you feel safe and loved. Kim

Keleen Bailey
Aurora, OR

A Journey of Love

My husband was 59 when he was diagnosed with early onset alzheimers. We traveled the rough road of alzheimers for 10 years. During those 10 years I watched the man I loved fade away. He was never mean or angry which was good. He did lose his ability to carry on a conversation. I cared for him at home until his death 5 months ago. We had been married 49 years. At the end he had a cerebral hematoma and a craniotomy. He could not come back after that. After a week in the hospital I had no choice but to put him in a nursing home for the last 6 days of his life. That was so hard. I stayed with him and even slept in his bed with him. I don't think he ever really knew where he was. I feel so alone now. He was my life.

Sharon Ackerman
Twin Lake, MI