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Yes, at 1 a.m. it's now Christmas Day. All I remember about last Christmas is getting a phone call at midnight on Christmas eve from the NH that my mother had fallen, cut her finger and was at the nearby ER getting a couple of stitches.


I visited her the next day and got a blast because I didn't run to hold her hand ... um, it was midnight, I live in the middle of nowhere and there were 3 or 4' snow drifts. I could expect no more as she'd been the mother from h*ll my whole life. When you grow up with it and friends and family are kept away, that's all you know.


She passed in September and I'm finally coming to grips with the fact that she'd probably been mentally ill life long. The hatred and bitterness is subsiding such that I can only feel sorry for her, a life wasted.


I just wanted to drop in here on Christmas Day. So many of you are going through so very much that "Merry Christmas" just doesn't cut it. Wherever you are I wish you peace this day and hope for better times in the year ahead. Dog Bless you all ... and that's not a typo! :)

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Carla I live in SW Ontario, Canada. Last winter we got hammered with snow but this year we have a green Christmas. This tiny "Little House on the Prairie" as I call it is all electric. The wood stove provides tremendous heat and saves on the electric bill.

Book that is so sad. My handyman/helper guy was here today.. He's the handyman at my late mother's NH where there are 60 residents. Christmas day a few who were mobile and with it were taken out. Some had visitors, many not but the staff went above and beyond to make Christmas. Anyone who was alone the staff chipped in as a Secret Santa to get a gift ... and these people don't make a lot of money. Warms my heart. I don't do religion. It's all about how you treat others on a daily basis.

My caregiving role is over. Why am I still here? I guess because my experiences may just help someone else.
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Hi Ashlynne. Thanks for updating us. I'm glad that you're able to see your mom in a different light now that you have time to reflect. Helps to get rid of all that bitterness.

My family celebrated xmas as usual on our long front porch. Dad's hospital bed is in the livingroom, in which the porch is just outside his window, and the door. He can hear us talking but no one came in to say hi or greet him, other than fave sis and her 2 daughters. He was complaining that no one said, "Merry xmas" to him. Sad, that my whole family and their family can celebrate xmas right outside his window but refuse to come in to at least say hi.

Only fave sis got him xmas gifts - which he appreciated it very much. He immediately wore the cap, and told me to hide the rest of the gifts before someone 'steals' it.
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Surprisingly enough my Christmas visit with my mom went well. Mom was plesant boardering on sweet. I think it helped that I wore one of those hideous Christmas sweaters. My mom had several and wore one every Christmas. My two SILs would also wear one. I stubbornly refused to wear one at each Christmas it would piss her off to no end. When I walked into her room her eyes went right to my sweater and she smiled - I think she recognized it for the peace offering it was meant to be. Mom was happy with her gift and we chatted for over an hour - although conversation is tough as she has a hard time completing a line of thought and skips to different subjects before finishing the sentence she was in the middle of. Regardless - no hostility or guilt and no anger
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We had a great family day together. We had to call it quits early, because the thunderstorms and tornadoes were moving in as it was getting dark. Everyone got home safely.
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I feel so blessed! Sis and I celebrated Christmas with mom and dad and two of our visiting college age kids, and caregiver all together. Later my son was taking a nap, and his babysitter from years ago who still occasionally cleans for us, surprised us and dropped off a tray of his favorite Tamales. So kind of her, warmed my heart.
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Ashlynne, my wife and her family are down at the barn putting the horses to bed. I've got some quiet time checking e mail etc. We've had a great Christmas. Just want you to know your musings about your pets and the thoughts of our elders in care were very touching. You state your thoughts very well. Thank you.
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Ashlynne - Thanks for still being here and sharing even after your caregiving journey is over. So where do you live with those snow drifts and wood smoke? I want to come visit! (Sweating today in Florida, even though it's Christmas).
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And my thoughts today keep going back to those in NHs or ALFs. The staff in my late mother's NH did everything possible to make Christmas for the residents. Most have dementia or alz. I was in and out of there 3 times a week for three years and I know many had no visitors. Though their minds are gone do they in flash backs remember past Christmases, family gatherings, children and grandchildren, times before dementia/alz? My heart hurts for them today.
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It's wonderful to hear from you all. I slept in and it's been a pleasant day. Wood stove going and I've cooked a turkey and all the trimmings. As far as movies are concerned last evening there was only miracle on 34th street and scrooge, both before my time, but I did find a couple of movies showing dysfunctional family christmases (which is often a reality) and they were really funny.

The four cats, Charlie, Pixie, Katie & Lucy, are all asleep and the dogs, Sue and Ashy, are snoozing too but with one ear open for a piece of turkey :) I'm going to stoke the fire, put my feet up for a while with a glass of hooch and be so terribly thankful for a quiet and peaceful Christmas.

Dog Bless you all ... wags and slobbery kisses lol
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Merry Christmas, Ashlynne. It's funny that I don't really know you but since coming to this site I think about you frequently. You have been so open regarding your life with your mother that I identify with you - seems our moms may have been twins separated at birth. I too am open here regarding my - sheez- I can't even find a word that describes my relationship with my mom. Hostile? Dysfunctional? Adversarial? Complicated? Anyhow - here I can vent, rage and purge all the hate I feel without worrying too much about judgement - and that here people also know that in spite of all that - that I am still capable of feeling some love for her. You seem to get it and are an example of it. In a few hours I've have to go see mom - take her gift. I'm dreading it. Which mom do you suspose I'll find. The martyr is my guess. So old, so sick, all alone and abandoned. I'm sure there will be a helping of guilt thrown in and most likely anger will poke thru. Last night I said to hubby "how much do you want to bet that there will be some crisis tomorrow? Probably as we sit down for Christmas dinner? Will it be a fall? A trip to the ER"? I hate that especially on this day of all days I can't scrap together any compassion for her - but that well is dry. She used and misused all I had. I long for a Christmas I can spend entirely of my choosing. Ashlynne - I remeber how you said you would be spending today - hunkered down with your furry babies, eating what you want and watching movies. I'm envious but wish you a wonderful day filled with peace of mind and soul. Movies have been my hiding place since childhood. I had a tiny black/white TV in my bedroom as a child. When my parents would go at it I would turn it on, find an old movie and escape. Saturday's and Sunday's were the best - this was in the day when there were only five channels to chose from but one station showed what was called "Hollywoods Best" - four old movies in a row! But for today I will end with a movie quote from a fairly recent movie - French Kiss with Meg Ryan "Eveyone loves their mothers - even people who hate their mother, love their mother". Merry Christmas and Dog love you, too!
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Happy Holidays to all!!
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Heard about the dyslexic agnostic? He wasn't sure there really is a Dog.......

Happy holidays everyone!
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Hello Ashlynne, I'm sending you thoughts of love and peace on this Christmas morning. It sounds like you're beginning to recover from the stress your mom's chaotic life placed on you. Peace and comfort to you and all of the rest of us caregivers out here in the year to come.
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Hi Ashlynne. You're a faster healer than I was to quickly recognize her mental instability - which in turn is helping you to feel sorry for her. Thanks for updating us. {{hugs}}
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Good for you Ash. Sounds like you're well on your way to moving forward. I am convinced that humans (caregivers especially) are much stronger than we think we are. Wishing you peace and happiness.
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Blessed be to all of the caregivers. Listening to my old Pyrenees mix girl snore and chase squirrels in her sleep. Take care of you!
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Ha ha Ash, it's been a long time since I've had any "dog love", or "kitty love" either, but I appreciate the sentiment!
I'm glad you are beginning to find some peace with your relationship with your mother. When I read your posts (and some others here as well) I always felt bad for her and you, both entangled in the bitterness of such a wasted live. My Christmas wish for you, sleep now in heavenly peace :)
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