Monday, October 11, 2010

Home Sweet Home

my mothers hands.

My trip back to Wisconsin was a series of ups and downs and downs and ups.  Seeing my mother and
dealing with her dementia was difficult and painful.  She has changed so much since I saw her last year. Now her memory is really failing and at times did not recognize me.  It is like dealing with a repetetive toddler.  She has a hard time getting around but I was able to get her in my car and drive her around the countryside and through the beautiful park and zoo on the lake.  I just let her stay in her robe as she doesn’t seem to get dressed anymore.   In some ways she is easier to deal with and in other ways her bad qualities
are amplified and the feeelings I had as a child returned with a vengence.

I used all of my strength to dig deep in the well of compassion and kindness
and give her love and speak to her about her past and try to give her all of me
that I could.

Because as she am I..

 I pray for my dear sweet brother who has given up so much to care for her in his own home.
 He has a hard row to hoe.       

to be continued...


Von said...

It is so hard isn't it? Watching the descent, the changes and the disappearance of someone you have known all your life.

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Not seeing your mother more often than you are able.... I understand perfectly.
I had taken care of my mother by myself in Indiana for 6 years after my father died...NOT AN EASY TASK.
She too eventually moved in with my brother and sister in law in another state.
And you, like myself.... saw a sad change when I would visit my mother after she moved in with my brother.
I could only get up there once a year. Due to my job and the expense of flying,etc.
I would stay with her for 7 days at a time, to give my brother and sister-in-law a break from her, while they went on vacation.
It was difficult, because I too had an uneasy childhood with my mother..and she still tried to make life uneasy for me when I was with her.
Hope your visit went better than mine usually did..I did that for six years in a row until her death.
Rather sad memories really.


La Dolce Vita said...

I often wonder, was it easier on them taking care of us as babes... or us taking care of them as elders... I think they had the easiest of it... so sending you blessings of love and care...

Gracie's Cottage said...

So glad to meet you at Elkhornm Cynthia; and glad you were able to spend some time with your Mom.
Love given is never wasted - even when have to choose to give it because it doesn't come easily...

Beatnheart said...

I was able to meet Jan at The Elkhorn Fleamarket. So awesome to actually meet a fellow blogger. She has a great blog, and beautiful merch. Do yerself a favor and check her out. A lovely, charming woman. caw

Pooch Morning Glory said...

i am moved by the photos yet dont have words....

Davinia said...

I have a vary similiar photo of my mothers hands, she's 92 but fortunately doesn't have dementia, what a cruel disease it is. I agree with La Dolce Vita, even though my mum's mind is still fairly good it's a battle to reason with her sometimes and she can be very stubborn just like a willful child. Every time I put her wheelchair in the car I'm reminded of putting the childrens pushers in the car, when I do up her seat belt I'm reminded of strapping the babies into there baby capsules and every time I cut up her food I'm reminded of doing the same for my babies. I'm so glad your visit with your mother went well. I always tell myself to be kind and patient with each visit (even though at times it's hard) as it could be our last together and it would be terrible if my last memory of her was one of sadness and regret because we had exchanged harsh words.

Why S? said...

I wish you the best with this struggle. It will take both great love and great strength.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Hello my friend! My heart goes out to you and to your Mom....this is such a difficult time seeing our parents deteriorate. Both of mine are gone now but I often wish I could go back and tell them again how much I loved them. My relationship with my mom wasn't a good one...but she was my mom and I still loved her. I guess very similar to your relationship with your Mom. Thank heavens for brothers like least you don't have the worry of how she's being taken care of. Beautiful pictures of your mom's'll always remember this time with her when you look at those pictures. Take care Cynth. I've missed you. Maura :)

Riki Schumacher said...

Hi Cynthia, I can really feel the pain. I have been there, and it is a tough road. I know the patience required in caring for our elderly parents. It is heartbreaking, but something that needs to happen. One day at a time, thank goodness your brother is there. Sending lots of love and good wishes. Riki

Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's heartbreaking. You're right -- the only way to deal with it is compassion. Your brother and you are blessed with an abundance.

Jacqueline said...

Dear Cybthia,
I so admire this post about your mother.....It is sad fact of life when one's parents get older and it must be so difficult for you when she fails to know who you are but, of course, it is just her dementia. Both of my parents are gone now, my dad being the last at 91. I was lucky that I didn't have to go through what you ar going through but it was still a difficult time as he got older. You are doing as much as you can for her and it must be hard for your brother as well. Lots of love to you Cynthia and I am thinking of you. XXXX

Paula said...

((( Cynthia )))
You are blessed with compassion and love. The road ahead isnt easy. It is however needed to feel comapssion for both. Your mother and yourself. Grieving for yourself and for certain parts of your childhood! Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Fire Byrd said...

Wonderful photo of your Mother's hand and your own, and the words underneath it sum it up really.
Without her you would be nothing is a difficult thought to hold onto when dealing with dementia.It is so much easier to feel resentful. It is that frighful realisation that your mother is no longer the mother you want, the one that took care of you.
A difficult day when I realised my mother had let go and that although she was still alive that the only strength she had left was being used up in dying.
Just hold on tight to the love, its a long time gone.

Just Be Real said...

Dear one I am touched by this post and the photos as well. My heart goes out to you. Blessings.

Rebecca said...

This was such a beautiful post, I am sorry that you and your mother didn't have the relationship that would have made this sweeter. I pray healing for you both and I hope you can take the good out of this visit and hang on to those memories.
Many Blessings

Kath said...

You have my empathic love and good wishes. I care for dementia patients and it is exhausting and often maddening, so I understand your sadness and frustration. Blessings to you and your family.

PK Studios said...

Hi Cynthia, I was thinking about you yesterday and hoping you were okay. Glad to hear you were away visiting your family, as challenging as it may be. I feel for you and your situation and it must be difficult to try to see the bright side. My belief is that even in dementia, your mothers "higher" self/soul is thankful for your love, compassion and forgiveness. Sending love to you, Penny

Just Be Real said...

Came by to give you another hug.... ((((Cynthia)))))

Pam said...

My thoughts go to you and your brother and sister-in-law. I am sure you are all doing the best you can under the circumstances, your mother also. Blessings to all of you - dementia is so difficult - my Dad has it.The photographs of your mother's hands are very poignant. Much love.

Beatnheart said...

Thank you Pam so much for your kind words. However, I do not have a sister-in-law, my dear brother is coping on his own (he’s never been married)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Sorry to hear this news Cynthia. I will pray for you all and send serene thoughts out to your precious brother. It sounds like you were mostly able to stay in a good place, I'm glad.

To answer your question from my blog, still using my little hand held point and shoot camera but I just got a new one for my birthday, the big kahuna - gotta figure out how to use it first. I have no doubt that when we do finally get together, we'll have ourselves some fun.

Privet and Holly said...

Hi sweet lady,
My camera stolen in
August after I'd been
out to my parents and
the thing I regret the
MOST is that I had a
wonderful pic on it of
my mom holding my 93 year
old grandma's hand....priceless.
She also has dimentia and
although when I visit she
knows that somehow we "belong
to each other," she isn't sure
how or what my name is. We
used to be so close; it's difficult,
as you know. My mom sees her 3-4
times per week, so she still
knows her, which is good. I
know it must have been a bittersweet
trip....Looking forward to hearing
more. Big hugs today, my friend!
xx Suzanne

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

It's hard to watch our loved ones change to much--especially when it's for the worst. When they don't recognize us that is hard. It's good you were able to get this time with her while you could. Blessings to you and your family.

1 Funky Woman said...

The picture of you touching hands got me a little teary eyed, thinking of my mother. We just had my mother's 8th anniversary of her passing and she was only 58. I'm sure it was very hard for you, but she knew you were there holding her. Don't have any regrets, it's not a good thing to live with!



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