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RoLo

Mom Is Alive, But No Longer With Us

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Less than 2 years ago when my mom was 92, she was still a cheerful and witty lady with an unflagging sense of humor.

She was very much like her own mom, my grandmother, who I regard as one of the greatest women in my life.

Early last year, mom lost her balance and broke her hip in a fall. Since her hip surgery she entered a downward spiral

that still leaves me perplexed today. To make a long story short, Lois & I visited her today at the healthcare facility.

Mom was catatonic with a faraway look in her eyes, and for the first time ever, she never once mirrored the smile

on her son's face. I can't remember feeling so helpless and meaningless, but this was not at all about me. 

On our way home I said to my wife: "Mom is alive, but she's no longer with us".

 

We all know that no one gets out of this world alive. Even though we have our entire life to prepare for the inevitable,

why do we always feel so ill-prepared? The gist of this message is not for well wishes or solace. More importantly,

it's about expressing your gratitude today for the loved ones that surround you, don't wait till tomorrow   :smiley: 

 

Roger

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 My wife & I are thinking of you Roger ~

 

A-Jay

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Yup, I'm with you on this one.  My step-mother went from being her normal, happy self to somebody who didn't know what happened 10 minutes ago within a year due to dementia (or alzheimers - the docs don't really know).  Now fighting dualing cancers, it's just a short matter of time. 

 

It happened all so fast.

 

Heed Roger's words.  It matters.

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My wife and I feel exactly the same way about life and death.  May be difficult to put into words but our feelings are related to the quality of life that they had and how long they lived.  My dad passed away at 77(22 years ago), the last 10 years of his life was operation after operation, many types of cancer, kidney dialysis, I was sad that he was no longer with us but happy his suffering was over.  My mother is 91, still doing well and driving everyday, when she passes I'll look at how she lived and be happy that she had a good life.  On the other hand my wife's mother passed away when she was about 50.  Prior to coming to America she spent her time in a concentration camp, was very sick.  Came here with no money and much of the time she was bed ridden, she had a crappy life, I'm so sad for my wife.

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The Dr. put my very active Grandmother in a nursing home after she fell and broke her second hip within a month. I watched a woman that was as sharp as a tack slowly go into a mental state of nearly being catatonic. I had her taken from the nursing home and brought to my home where she had home health care 2x a day. Within a day she was back to her old self. She went on to live another 15+ years living on her own in Queens, NY. Tough old Irish girl! I wonder if just being around all the sick and dying folks in the nursing homes just take away peoples will to live.

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Beautiful post, Mr. Rolo.  I'm sorry for the pain you're feeling but it's an excellent reminder to all of us, young and old, to really appreciate the time we all have here together.  I for one believe we will all be reunited together in the afterlife and that gives me peace, but it still is terribly painful waiting here during these "earth years" for that to happen.

 

Thanks for sharing with us and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

 

-Ryan

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As always Roger thanks for sharing your thoughts. My condolences to you & Lois.

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Wishing you and your family all the best Roger. Your message is one that people should take to heart. By the time I was 20 I had lost 4 of my Grandparents and my Father. It's a tough time and something that is impossible to prepare for no matter what the circumstance is. Enjoy your loved ones while they are still here and do your best to show them your gratitude. 

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I'm convinced that dementia or Alzheimer's is tougher on the family than the patient.

 

It seems to me that it would be much worse to be of perfectly sound mind and totally debilitated.  Knowing every moment that you are awake you are totally dependent, and your physical condition is hopeless.

 

My dad had early stage Alzheimer's the last few years of his life.  It never progressed to the stage where he did not recognize family or friends.  He knew that he had it.  He could tell you of things that happened years ago, but he had no short term memory.  He could carry on a lucid conversation. 

 

Physically, he was pretty good, having survived a serious heart attack when he was 59 years old.  In spite of that, he was able to have an active life well into his 80s.  His demise came when his wife had to be placed in a home because of serious physical issues.  He lived by himself, for a couple of years, but without her to see that he took his meds as prescribed he had further heart problems, and ended up sharing a room with her in the "rehab" facility. 

 

Among the things he did on a daily basis was to look through the help wanted pages.  He felt there had to be something productive he could do.  His Alzheimer's prevented him from comprehending that he would never be able to do the simple things he enjoyed such as traveling and gardening.  The thing he hated most was not being independent, but his memory problems prevented him from dwelling on that.

 

He went to bed one night, and never woke up. 

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Sorry for your pain sir. We lost my wife's dad to Parkinsons and her mom to alzheimers.

 

 I'm a newby on here but it seems to me there are a lot of good people on this site. So if at any time you need to talk, I'm sure you can find a friendly voice. Talking seemed to help my wife. Remembering the good times and being able to laugh at those memories is highly recommended.

 

Prayers

to you and yours.

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Roger my mother suffered a major stroke that seemed take her several months before she physically passed on. It was heart breaking. My father was unable to take care of himself without mom around, in spite of my best efforts,  and ended up sharing a room with her at the nursing home. He had moments where he was perfectly lucid and other times when he saw things that were not there. He passed on a Friday and mom went the following Monday. I believe she knew dad was gone somehow, and knew she could now go. I guess what I'm saying is I believe there was at least some awareness for her during those last few months, and I am glad I spent as much time as I could with her.

 

I am so sorry for your loss and will keep you and yours in my prayers. I do agree with you my friend that life is fleeting, and all we have is today.

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Sorry to hear that Roger.  If I can do anything for you and Lo, just let me know.  I'm just around the corner.

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Sounds similar to what happened to my wife's grandfather. He went in to have surgery for a clogged artery in his leg as a lively old man that loved to play practical jokes on people and give folks a hard time whenever he saw the chance. When he came to from surgery he didn't recognize anyone and never really did for the last 2 years of his life. It was a terrible thing to see him and his family go through. Thankfully he's in a better place now. It's so true that you never know how long you're going to have with someone.

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My heart and prayers are with you. Again every day is a gift we so often take for granted. My daughter has fought cancer for over seven years and hasn't really ever had a life as we know it. My dad had dementia and that was soooooo sad to watch. Ended up never knowing us.

Enjoy today....look forward to tomorrow

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Some of us are not the same as we near our end , our minds journey , sometimes before our bodies do , your mom , same as many of my wife's family and mine , left long before their body did , I think a lot of us are prepared for the inevitable end , but are we all prepaired to visualize the end of others surrounding our lives and the way they leave this life for a better life , that smile that you remember will once again shine as she looks upon you from beside our father , it will glow with the light that is heaven , not as a body that lays before us , smile for her as she joins the kingdom , for she is surly happy and at peace.

As a thought to your question , I think that possibly we have given up on faith or question it too much and look for a more scientific approach and become lost in what we should or should not believe as Individuals , I think that personal loss also translates to feeling lost at times such as these and raises questions just like the one you ask of us , I'll prepared we are to see the empty shell of whom we physically recognize as someone else , someone else we are not ready to set free yet , someone else we do not wish to memorize as this in their last moments with us .

Keep in mind that they live though their touch and teachings , for they shall always be with us in this form , the positive impacts they have made shall be passed from generation to generation , so much so that they live far longer than one thinks .

God bless , my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family !!

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Thanks everyone for your empathy and thoughtful responses.

Frankly, I was hesitant about submitting such an intimate post, but now I'm glad I did.

The human experience never ceases to amaze me, and I'm grateful for the incredible stories that were shared in this thread.

 

Though bass fishing is the common thread that brings us together, our members run a lot deeper than fishing. 

The compassion at Bass Resource makes me proud to be a part  :thumbsup3:  

 

Roger & Lois 

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Prayers for you Roger. I can't relate to your situation, but the One that I pray to does...so we can only put it in his hands.

My sincerest thoughts dude.

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Thanks everyone for your empathy and thoughtful responses.

Frankly, I was hesitant about submitting such an intimate post, but now I'm glad I did.

The human experience never ceases to amaze me, and I'm grateful for the incredible stories that were shared in this thread.

 

Though bass fishing is the common thread that brings us together, our members run a lot deeper than fishing. 

The compassion at Bass Resource makes me proud to be a part  :thumbsup3:  

 

Roger & Lois 

 

I'm glad you did too.

 

There's probably a lot of people you know that have had to deal with it, but they may not have talked much about it.  From everything I've learned about this disease, it is much more widespread than I thought.  You and Lois aren't alone.  If you look around, you'll find many others who will be willing to share their experiences with you.

 

I think it helps to open up about this subject, to seek out others for support, and maybe most importantly to provide help with those who are going to have to face this in the future.  It almost sounds like what we all do here @ Bass Resource where the subject is a little green fish.  You're well on your way to becoming a sage for yet another subject.

 

I hope and pray that you'll find peace.

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You'd think after such a long span of time mankind would've found a fool-proof way of dealing with the inevitable-for our loved ones and ourselves.  But it seems the irresistable pull of the tide hasn't gotten much easier to witness or experience.   And yes, it does feel helpless and desperate.  My mom is approaching the end of her life and while I can't say I've ever been as close to her as some of my siblings, it tugs at my heart to see her gradual decline.  She had a stroke about 5 years ago and had, we thought, one foot in the grave, but she made a remarkable comeback (comparatively speaking, anyway) so she (and we) were all given another chance.  If I had to guess, your mom knew how you feel about her before she "checked out."  That's about the best any of us can ask for, I think.

 

My prayers and wishes go out to you and yours.

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Life slips by so fast. Between work and bills and the hustle and bustle of every day life. 5 years ago my best friend of 15 years married a woman that I did not get along with very well. After that I quit spending much time with him because I didnt want to be around his wife. I HATE MYSELF FOR THIS EVERY DAY. He was diagnosed with stage 3 intestinal cancer at only 27 years old and died 6 months later. That was a year ago next month. I look back and think about all the time I missed with him because of my own selfish views.

 

Truth be told, he married one hell of a good woman. She stood by his side every second of every day while he battled this. I speak to her once a week now and I make it a point to tell her every time how much I respect and thank her for being there for him while I selfishly did not

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My kindest thoughts are with you and your wife.

Stay strong, that is what your mother would want.

Celebrate her life and tell her you love her. We

can never know if that might bring some comfort

to her heart.

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Roger, I know of what you speak. My dad spent the last ten years in a nursing home. Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. Maybe not to the victim, but certainly to the rest of the family. Once he started showing symptoms, his decline was rapid. It's been at least six years since he knew who I was. His physical decline was almost as fast. When he died last week, he was not much more than skin and bones. It was a heartbreaking thing to see.

 

My thoughts are with you and your wife. Take as much time as you can with Mom, while she still has some lucid periods. Speaking from experience, it's all you can do.

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Thank you everyone for your kind replies and for having the courage to share your own heartfelt familial experiences.

They are more mending than you might imagine. I also want to say that the compassion expressed in this forum goes far beyond this thread. 

It gives the members of Bass Resource a better understanding of the solid support system that exists here. 

Glenn at the helm of this enormous vessel should not be taken lightly, because he can steer his ship in the direction of his choosing. 

 

Roger

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