Love notes from caregivers who have lost someone.

Started by

You have been through the pain of caregiving a loved one and they have passed. So as not to relive the recent pain of caregiving those last days, THIS THREAD IS FOR YOU. To express yourself; be supported by others who have lost their parent, spouse, friend, loved one. A caregiver's grieving and recovering post. If ever you just want to sign in without saying something, put three xxx or three ..., then click post, someone will know you were here, on your special thread, it's yours to say whatever you want. You can even honor your Mom's memory by posting about her.


Ok, I'll start, well many of you know that I am #5 of 6 kid's who grew up in a very close, fun and loving family, and I have my parents to Thank for that! My parents have both passed away, my Dad died in 2003 of a very rare called PSP, Progressive Supranucular Palsy, which was a long drawn out process over about 9 years. It is a hideous disease which is similar to Parkinson's, but doesn't respond to Parkinson's drugs. It robs you of your balance first, then it attacks your diaphragm and your ability to do inspiration and expiration, robs you of your speech, then your swallowing, which was especially difficult because my Dad Loved to eat, and my Mom was a fantastic cook! But, he enjoyed life till the very end, and loved to be doted on by my Mom and his kid's. Even when it came down to being bathed and fed, my Dad was able to see the love and Devotion of his supportive family, and I believe he was proud that He created us to be that way, My Mom was the very best Mom ever, she was the perfect confidant, friend, supporter and Nana, life could offer. My Mom passed away in 2004 of Uterine Cancer, which was such a tragedy as she never smoked, and never took hormones, it just was so unfair that such a wonderful person should get a cancer that became so aggressive and painful. But again, I never heard from her, Why Me?, not until the end when she was really ready to go and then it was from the pain. Her Cancer had metastasized to her pelvic bones and she was bed fast for the last 6 months of her life. So that's the back story, now here's the Front. My parents were born in Wales, UK. Both of them finished school at age 14 as they did back in those days and both worked in the town of Newport. My Dad worked in a men's suit store, he was 1 year older than my Mm, at now 17. My Mom, age 16 worked in a department/variety store, and was in customer sales and was the window dresser, it was dressing a female manaquin that my Dad first noticed her, and gave her a wink. My Mom was So shy when she was young, but he persisted, and continued to show up, at the bus stop, on her lunch hour, on the corner, and finally got the nerve to ask her out to the weekly dance at the local dance hall. She was Smitten! I can write this like I can see it in my minds eye, as I had heard this story so many times, and with added details as She remembered over the years and with different audiences present. Anyways, that was it, he took her out as often as possible, to dances, big band concerts, he was a Big Band Fanatic til his dying day, to the movies, and in those days, there weren't car's, well there were if you had money, but the UK was still recovering from the War. And nobody they new had money, they were still on rations. But he made dates into romantic adventures, traveling to different towns by train or bus to see a new band, meeting her in the morning before work with a pastry and a latte, lattes were just instant coffee made with milk back then, THE ORIGINAL LATTE my Mom used to say, lol. My Mom was the youngest of 5, and her eldest sister had married an American GI, and they went to Seattle, Washington where he was from. They wanted my Grandparents and my Mom, then 17 to come to America, the land of opportunity, and of course it sounded wonderful,but my Mom didn't want to leave my Dad, but she had no choice. So she tried to break it off with him, knowing that they were just waiting for the Ok from the Embassy to allow them out of the country. Well that didn't really work as they were already in Love. So my Dad said he would come too, but his own Mother wouldn't allow him to go and you had to be 20 at the time. So finally their papers were processed, and they were saving the money for passage on a ship, and my Auntie had heard of a line of boats that had been recomissioned from War transports to passenger ships, and would cost alot less than the QE2, so the booked passage on a boat called The Marine Marlin. So they said their goodbyes, promising to write every day. Now,, a cross Atlantic Ocean trip should have been a week, but their trip was fraught with horrible weather and bad sea conditions and the trip took 14 days. It was believed that the boat was lost at sea, and it was reflected in the New York newspaper. My Mom had a cousin waiting in New York, boy were they worried! So then a cross country train trip and they landed in Seattle, this was the winter of 1948. They Loved it here, and being reunited with the eldest sister, who now had had a baby boy. My Mom found work in The Empress Hotel, the finest hotel in Seattle at the time, but my Grandfather had trouble finding work and they missed all their other kids back home so they returned to Wales one year later with the promise to return, but to convince their other kid's and their spouses to come back with them, this time they traveled home to the UK, on the QE2, my Mom was very pleased indeed as she had missed her boyfriend (my Dad) so much! So the story goes on and one by one all of my Mom's sibling's and their families immigrated to the US, all of them, to Seattle, and of course by this time my Dad was of age, 20 came over with her, and they married here, in 1950. They went on to have the firstof their 4 kkid's still living with her parents, that is just how attached my Mom was to her parents, but it was like that in her family, the War year's made everyone hold tight together ,but my my Nana convinced her it was alright and time for her to get on with their lives and they bough their first home. Four years later when I came along, they had moved into a much larger home, and the one I grew up in and they owned until he retired and they no longer wanted the responsibilities of the yard work and wanted to travel more. They provided a beautiful life for us 6 kids, loads of family, cousins, a great big house, plenty of weekend trips, and vacations and Hollidays, especially Christmas and always music in our home! ! They were the parents with the funny British Accents, lol. And then we all grew up and had families of our own, and then they became our very best friends, they were the best Grandparents in the world, and all our children adored them! We often traveled together even up through the first 8 years of my Dad's ilness, and her severe knee Osteoarthritis, but we then just took wheelchairs with us, I mean, they were loads of fun and always rearing to go! That was the most Awesome thing about my parents, up until they absolutely couldn't, they Absolutely Did, they loved the Adventures of life, and they had an incredibly romantic connection, and were always affectionate in front of us kids, appropriately so! So that's my happy memories of my parents and my childhood, I am extremely close to all 5 siblings, and when things got very very tough with our parents ilnesses, we held tight worked together and we got through it, and I do know just how incredibly lucky I am, and it pains me when I hear so many stories of families in discord, especially with ailing parents, it is just so not fair to the one who does it all, and I am the first to admire and applaud you, but I really was just raised by the these two very best of parents, and I thank them for that and for giving me this wonderful supportive family, and I see in each one of my siblings, my parents, which is so comforting! I am proud of my parents, my hheritage and my husband for joining into this kooky family of mine! My only regret is that they passed away so young at 74 and 75 years old, it just sucks to lose you parents when you are only 43. I wish I could have had them so much longer, but I know that they are together in Heaven, and that I will one day get to see them once again! Thanks for listening to my happy memories of my parents! Now you please share your's!
Okay I'll try.

My Mom was born in Tyrone County, Ireland in 1923. She had 9 sisters and two brothers. She moved to Cardston, Alberta, Canada when she was seven. She was brought up on a farm. She always used to talk so fondly of living on a farm.The stories she used to tell about her life there made me smile. Her Dad used to get her to round up the cows before dinner. Then there was the time she said she got chased by a bull and had to jump a fence to get away. She recalled fondly the love her parents shared. She said she never saw them when they weren't holding hands

Her first job was working in a bank. Apparently they gave her a gun to carry when she made the bank's deposits at the end of the day. My Mom said "I told them I'll carry it but don't expect me to use it" After she told me that story I would tease her and call her Annie Oakley.

My Dad was born in Russia. He had 14 kids in his family. His Father was a Baptist minister and in those days it was dangerous to be a Baptist in Russia so my Father's family had to leave that country and they moved to Germany. I'm not sure when they moved to Canada.

My Dad was dating my Mom's sister when they first met. He was 14 years older than my Mom. I don't know a lot of the details of their first meeting but I know they had a small service at the Justice of the Peace with her sister and sister's husband in attendance.

Since I am the second youngest of 7 children and my Dad died when I was 4 I don't have a lot of memories of their marriage or their life before I came along. My Dad died of pancreatic cancer. By the time the doctors discovered it he was stage 3. My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time. She told me a sad, sad, story how when she was recovering in hospital from her mastectomy and my Dad came to visit her. She said he was so sick from cancer himself that she wanted to get out of the hospital bed and let him have it. One of my uncles told me that they thought we might lose them both.

After my Dad died we moved from Ontario to Vancouver, Canada. My Mom had been a stay at home Mom and had never worked through their whole marriage so at first she sewed for a dance company. Sewed their costumes etc. Eventually she went back to school and got her accounting certification.

What stands out most for me in my childhood was that my Mom was at work a lot. My older brothers and sisters looked after the youngsters. I used to miss her so much. Apparently I've been told that I was a real Daddy's girl even though I don't remember that so when he died I clung to my Mom. I used to sit at the window and wait for her to come home from work. Every night when she walked by my bedroom door I would yell out "Love you Mom". I'd leave her little love notes in secret places where she would find them throughout the day.

Even though she worked a lot and I had to share her with 6 siblings I always felt so loved and cherished. We went to church every Sunday and my Mom taught Sunday school. Then she would take us out to our favorite restaurant after church every Sunday.

Things got very difficult when one of my brothers was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. He was very dangerous and violent at times and I lived in fear always that he would hurt my Mom. At night I would lay awake and listen. One night I heard all this shouting and my brother had my Mom by the collar and was hitting her on the head with a chin up bar. I was so protective of her that even though I was terrified of my brother I got between them and yelled "hit me" Eventually the police were called and my brother was taken away but I feel like I may of saved my Mom's life in that moment.

My Mom worked till she was 68 and when she retired we sold the house and my Mom and two of my brothers lived together. I was living on my own but still had that strong, strong connection to my Mom. We became best buddies. Shopping, going to movies, lunches out, long walks. My Mom didn't drink so we used to go coffee shop hopping together. She had the best sense of humor. Sometimes we laughed so hard we peed ourselves.

I noticed the start of my Mom's declining health around age 89. I am sure it had started long before that of course cause she was very sneaky about hiding it from me. When she was eighty she had a triple bypass and at that time the doctors said she would probably be good for another 10 years. I used to always say "don't listen to them, you are going to live to be 115" Wishful thinking. And knowing what I know today about caregiving and how heartbreaking it can be I wonder what was I thinking, wishing for that.

The forgetfulness started. She'd say she was eating and taking her medications but I soon discovered with a little investigative work that she was keeping it all from me. I soon became her little watchdog/care giver. You all know this part of the story of course.

I couldn't begin to describe in a few sentences what my Mom meant to me. She was the kindest, sweetest, most caring and loving person I have ever had the honor to know.

There is so much more I could say. I could probably write a book about my Mom.
But for those of you who take the time to read this, thank-you for listening.
Gershun, that was beautiful, and aren't we lucky to have had such wonderful parents, and especially Mother's who became even more wonderful friends! I really enjoyed hearing about your family and your childhood! Thanks for sharing! It was fun to remember wasn't it!
Stacey it was. Your story was beautiful too. I know we both could of written a whole book. Its hard to summarize a beautiful life isn't it? I think we both did pretty darn good.
Gershen,Yes, Yes we did!
Theres a song by Glenn Frye from the Eagles that just reminds me so of my Mom that I thought I'd put the lyrics here.

I felt it when the sun came up this morning
I knew that I could not wait another day
Darling, there is something I must tell you
A distant voice is calling me away

Until we find the bridge across forever
Until this grand illusion brings us home
You and I will always be together
From this day on you'll never walk alone

You're a part of me, I'm a part of you
Where ever we may travel
What ever we go through
Whatever time may take away
It cannot change the way we feel today
So hold me close and say you feel it too
You're a part of me and I'm a part of you

I can hear it when I stand beside the river
I can see it when I look up in the sky
I can feel it when I hear that lonesome highway
So many miles to go before I die

We can never know about tomorrow
But still we have to choose which way to go
You and I are standing at the crossroads
Darling, there is one thing you should know

You're a part of me, I'm a part of you
Where ever we may travel
Whatever we go through
Whatever time may take away
It cannot change the way we feel today
So hold me close and say you feel it too
You're a part of me and I'm a part of you

I look at you, your whole life stands before you
I look at me and I'm running out of time
Time has brought us here to share these moments
To look for something we may never find

Until we find the bridge across forever
Until this grand illusion brings us home
You and I will always be together
From this day on you'll never walk alone

For Drummergirl
For you, who have lost someone and today is Thanksgiving, your first holiday without that person, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support