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I was looking at my Mom sleep, I looked at her little wrinkled hands and thought how hard they've worked over the years.

I thought about them changing my diapers, curling my hair, wiping my tears away and holding me close. I thought about all the grandkids she rocked, bathed and loved. And the patience, smiles and humor with which, she taught us how to raise them.

This brought me to another thought. Just how private she was/is and how humiliated she'd feel if she knew how I told so many strangers, of her late in life struggles.

But I totally believe in people helping people. Sharing our invaluable, experience, strength and hope, compassion, frustrations and grief. In short, I need you guys and I, like you, am not afraid to ask for help. :)

Having said that, our LO's were more then just demented, confused, clueless souls. They lived amazing lives! Even if they were only amazing to us.

So this thread goes beyond the Pampers, poopies, non bathing issues. Beyond the baffling insurance, medical, boundaries and NH questions.

It's a love thread. What was your LO like before? Share a special memory.

Did your Mom forgo meals so you kids could eat? Did your dad teach you something you treasure and utilize to this day? Did your husband work a crappy job to feed the family? Did your auntie put a little light in your world when things weren't so good at home?

Whatever you're proud of, whatever you feel made you're LO awesome....share!
I, for one, would love to know!

I just want to thank Pepsee for starting this conversation because all to often, in this hectic world in which we live, we don’t stop and think about those who have gone before us. I could write a book about my Dad and another one about my husband. And I journal about my wonderful loving, caring, self-sacrificing mother who suffers on her journey to paradise but never complains. God bless you, Pepsee, and God bless everyone, everywhere!
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I'll post since I'm already bawling. I might as well bawl even harder.

There are so many fond memories I have of my dearest Mom. Trying to pick just one would be too hard.

I have lots of memories of laughing so hard with her. When I was a teenager I was awkward and insecure, didn't have many friends, got bullied a lot. So Mom and I would go coffee shop hopping. We'd have coffee at one place and then drive a little further and have coffee at another. Then there were the times we would go outfit shopping for me. I'd always find a top I liked at one store and then we'd spend the next four hours looking for something to match it. Sometimes we'd end up going back to the original store and taking the top back cause money was tight and I wanted something that I really liked. But those were such fun days. Stopping for lunch and then stopping for coffee.

Mom sacrificed so much and gave so much that it would take me a thousand days to describe all the wonderful, loving ways she had. But it was those companionable days that I miss the most. My dearest Mom and best friend.
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My mom was someone who widowed at age 46, had 3/4 of a mortgage to pay on a wage of 88 cents an hour, worked until 80 years of age after locating a better job, who loved her church, who made fudge from the age of 14 every year until her death at 94 years of age. She was the epitome of "sweet."
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its funny when i was young. i was always embarrassed by my parents. they were so quiet and private.(square?) they were both so well mannered? growing up was pretty average i guess.

i guess i never knew how very lucky i was at the time.

as i got older the respect for my mom and dad grew! before i knew it, I had become both my mom and dad! ....everything they did for me, made me who i am today.

dad helped me with my algebra, mom sewed all night to finish that outfit.
...... they taught me so many things just by good example.

idk i cant even think about all the different things. im afraid it take me all day!
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I’m blessed in that I’m still learning from my dad. Also blessed in that I had a wonderful mom who though quiet in nature, taught me so much. If I get started on specifics I’ll write a book so just a couple of quick things that come to mind—my dad only letting us as kids drive in the cemetery, saying it was the only place we couldn’t kill anyone as they were already dead, and he’d just laugh! Telling us to remember that no one ever borrowed their way out of debt. Correcting our homework and telling us we got one wrong, but never which one so we’d have to figure out where the mistake was by checking it all, it made us more careful! Always having time to fix bikes or throw a ball....
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Today in church, I realized why I can accept, understand, and rejoice in God's all-forgiving, all-saving love, when so many people cannot.
It's because of my own daddy showing me that kind of love all my life. My dad probably wasn't perfect, but he sure did love me with that perfect love; and that's the sweetest, best lesson he could have given me.
He passed away 22 years ago, and I am still learning these things he taught me.
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Fortunately or unfortunately I never had to care for my aging parents.
My Mom died when I was 11 and my Dad died 4 years later.
Between the time my Mom died and my Dad my Dad took care of his MIL in our home.
So from my Dad I learned...
To care for a loved one in our home, to comfort them, care for them and love them. In a home setting not what would way back then been a "nursing home" (My Grandma had cancer of the mouth and tongue.) ...by the way 10 days after my Mom died my Aunt died so in 10 days my Grandma lost both her children.
When I met my Husband I felt a connection to him that I can not describe. But after being together for 25 years he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I also think he had vascular dementia. We then made the long journey together for 12 years.
But from my Husband I learned :
Patience
Understanding
Forgiveness
Gratitude
Tenderness
unconditional love
That love does not have to be spoken
Stronger faith. (does not have to be an organized religion just know there is some greater power and you need to trust that things will work out...may not be the way you want but isn't that the mark of FAITH?)
I learned that one person can not do it all by themselves
If you need help ask
Research all the possible ways to get the help that you need.
You need support from others going through the same thing...and you need to pass on the knowledge you learn to others that are going through the same thing, you may not help everyone but if you have helped 1 it was worth it.

There is truth to this saying that I was told in a Native American saying..
Perhaps they are not Stars but rather openings in Heaven where Love shines through.

Y'all give your Dads a hug for me. Happy Fathers Day.
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I could read these all day! Thank you for sharing some intimate parts of yourselves with us.

Keep sharing, someone's always listening.🤗
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I lost my Dad in 2004 when he was 85 years old. He suffered greatly but never complained. My Mom is 96 and “lost” to dementia and I do my best to care for her. They both worked very hard all their lives and I thank them both for the gift of faith! If it weren’t for my faith I wouldn’t be who I am today . . . A servant for the Lord. I lost my husband of 35 years last year and I grieve for him daily. Thank you to those three loved ones for all they gave to me, did for me and helped me to be the best person I can possibly be. Thank you, Pepsee, for this thread. God bless all.
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My Dad was a really good Dad, exposed us to many things and taught us many things. He *insisted* that I take typing in high school despite all of my resistance. That was definitely a good call! He went on roller coasters with me and was a wonderful Grandpa to my 2 boys. He adored my Mom. Thanks for reminding me to think back on how he used to be and not just how he is now.
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My Dad was a Minister who only took the tiny country churches that 20 people or so attended. His income was so low, we qualified for free food. My Mom was active in all of the Women’s groups in each church, plus there were lots of revivals and meetings to attend. Despite this, when I was young, there were always “hobos” from the trains at our dinner table. They weren’t allowed to talk to us children, but they always got a good meal and a prayer before they moved on. My parents also took in a teenage foster girl to help watch us when they had to be gone. So there were always extra mouths to feed on very little.

My Dad finally retired, and don’t you know, he hated it! His boss talked him into taking on three country churches at once. Each paid $25 a week. Good thing he had his pension. He was so much happier preaching again and calling on shutins.

My Dad died at 84 from a massive stroke and my Mom lived on her own until she passed at 97. They were so loved that people came to their funerals from all over the state, from all those little churches they served. They were rich beyond money.
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My dad was a functioning alcoholic, probably not when I was little, but I am sure he was later on. When WWII started he was already a foreman at Bethlehem Steel in Long Beach building destroyers. He was considered essential to the war effort and was there all during the war. He made me little bracelets out of stainless steel welding rods. That job killed him because he died of Mesothelioma from the asbestos and fumes from those welding rods. He was a worker and was a good example for my bother and I when it came to work ethic. To be on welfare was a shame. After the war he joined the Plumbers and Steamfitters union and he worked all over building refinerys and pipelines.
Like wi57twin he made me learn to change tires, fix brakes, service a car before I got my driver's license. One of my favorite memories occurred after I was married and had kids, we lived near his work yard and he would stop by after work with Orange Crush for the kids. He really loved his grandchildren.
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My dad wasn't perfect by any means, but my dad certainly was extraordinary in many ways. I was born with a heart defect and not expected to live long without surgery. In the early 60's, heart surgery was not very successful on a 2-week old, so my parents opted to put their trust in God. My dad worked nights, and attended college during the day, but on his way home from school he always stopped by my school and watched me play at recess. Sometimes he brought a dozen Winchell's donuts for me and my friends. For our 6th grade promotion, all the 6th graders were invited to a BBQ in the teacher's outside lunch area. You can imagine how proud I was to turn the corner to see the man in the chef's hat at the BBQ was MY dad!! He gave us the best 6th grade surprise ever! We all felt pretty good that day! He did great things for my little brother too. I remember him going on field trips with him. He took neighborhood kids whale watching, miniature golfing, to the big slide. He was never stingy with his money when it came to his kids, and even other kids in general. When I was in middle school, my dad saw me walking home from school. He asked me why I was looking at the ground. I told him that I always look at the ground when I walk. He told me to walk with my head up, "chin up" he said and reminded me often. That was a great lesson for me! Later, he cut the strings that he had on me and let me fly. His example of faith in God, his compassion for others, and his generous heart are all characteristics that are so dear to me. As I watch him with some of his struggles now, I thank God for my dad...for who he taught me to become.
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Pepsee,

My mil always had 2 faces for me, so it seemed, much like her kids and it is unfortunate.
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And then the other "Dad" in my life, the love of my life husband who fathered our 3 beautiful children. He passed away 20 years ago this week; and I miss him for me, but also for my 3 children who lost their dad at such young ages. He was such a wonderful guy and the best dad to his kids! What a hard worker he was.... and there are too many stories I could relate about him, hard to narrow down to one memory. I guess that he was always there for me and our children. Thank you, Honey, I love you! Happy Father's Day in Heaven.
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My dad when I was still in high school on a cold late fall day make me learn how to change a car tire by rotating tires on my car. No help for him after showing me what to do. It was a miserable but very helpful experience.
The other time is when I was learning how to drive a stick shift and I kept on stalling the car at a stoplight. Must have sat at that intersection 15-20 minutes before I finally got the shifting correct to drive. Dad would not change places with me and drive. I had a lot of crabby drivers behind my car.
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Murphyclm, there are several similarities in our dad's. Mine also taught me the hard work and honesty ethics which I totally value. And my dad also passed away in 2003 and worked at the post office. I remember one time when I was young, thin, and pretty walking into the post office to see dad for some reason, and one of the guys called out red alert! Dad later told me that was because of me :) for the others to "check her out" :)
Dad always worked hard on our house; he and my mom roofed it and painted it themselves. Mom kept the inside clean and decorated for the different holidays but helped Dad with his many projects around the house and they both loved working outside planting, weeding, etc. I guess one of my cherished memories is how much he enjoyed his little girl combing his hair and making little ponytails on car trips .... on his short thin hair :) And taking us out on our small boat in nearby lakes and the 4 of us (brother, too) and our dogs swimming and having a picnic lunch on the shore. Thank you, Dad !!!
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What a wonderful spot to be today! Thank you for reminding me of ‘my mom’. One of my fondest memories is walking with my mom. She made just walking an adventure. I even wrote her a poem about it. She would see everything as if it was for the first time. A leaf, a bug, a funny crack in the sidewalk all became wonderful exciting. Her pace was crisp and probably why I am a power walker today. She was as if she was let out of a cage (my dad, God love him, was verbally abusive to mom) and she celebrated each footstep. Thank you so much for this post. I will hold dear these thoughts and memories.
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I've got my dad on my mind today (Father's Day) rather than my poor mom with Alzheimer's (who is today, as per usual, physically fine). He passed in 2003, and we didn't need to care for him as he was hospitalized after his one and only too-late cancer treatment and died within days there. He was a good hardworking man, the type of guy the neighborhood adults could talk to and kids loved, outdoors any chance he got in the summertime, washing the car, doing yard work, drinking a beer in the garage. When I was a teen, I was embarrassed to death by him, which of course he thoroughly enjoyed. I thank him in particular for my strong work ethic. He bought me my first typewriter back in the mid 1960s (I happily ended up making my living for 38 years as a medical transcriber). He got me my first car in exchange for a weekend paint job when he was laid off from NCR before finally securing a job at the post office. I'm very grateful I had a dad like him even though he didn't hang around to help out with mom, lol. Thank you, Lord.
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For me (I'm 26) it's my granddaddy(mom's dad) and memaw (my dad's grandma) My granddad was always close, my mom told me once about him coming over (he lived next door, our family farm so everyone's pretty much together) and taking me when my mom needed a bath or something, what I remember is gardening. My grandfather was a cow farmer until not sure when but he always had a garden so I rode on the tractor with him, followed him around doing little tasks like helping him plant seeds, at home I would shuck corn with him, get peas out of the pods (not sure what the word is... strip them?) Snap green beans... and of course he'd read to me while mom n grandma made supper. My dad's grandma was a totally different story. She would take me to dollar store, maybe go for quick lunch, or we'd eat sandwiches at her house. I'd bring cds over and we'd listen to music (probably one the few teens who likes same music their parents and great-grandparents do... country and bluegrass) or we'd watch a DVD I brought over. She got me into a lot of older shows as well (which I hadn't heard of until then) Beverly Hillbillies (where my bluegrass started) Green Acres, pretty sure there were others but unfortunately no one plays these anymore so I don't really remember :( but unfortunately my granny (other great-grandma only one I didn't have these relationships with) from not sure what age but definitely I'd say 12 I started realizing exactly how she was. I did go out for lunch with her but (you'd have to have met her) she was probably one of the most condemning? Person I ever knew. I wear the wrong thing she has a problem, wrong song, show, ect PROBLEM and she was never shy to tell you or why it was a sin (not even positive everything she said was wrong was really wrong... least half I think was her opinion so if she said it was wrong it was wrong. She's been gone think since December honestly I don't miss her at all... sometimes it's like I wonder if it's wrong but I don't. But aside from her all my grandparents/ great-grandparents have honestly unique ways I remember something great.
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Dear Pepsee,

It's hard to believe that our loved ones lived full lives before they were elderly. I often wonder what one thinks when they reach their 80s and 90s or even to 100.

My father told me, he didn't think he would want to live to 100. He was very proud and independent man. He painted his own house and tried to fix as much as possible on his own. He had a hard life. And I often hoped that when he retired in his 60s as his daughter I could ease some of that burden by caring for the house inside and out. I tried to get all his favorite foods and not nag him about the smoking. He was a grown man, he made his own choices. I tried to be his advocate but I fear I failed him in the end.

I can hear my dad's voice. Whenever I feel sorry for myself, I know my dad would just tell me to get out there! If you are bored, find something to do. No matter what I lost in the house, he would tell me to go find it yourself. He strongly valued a dollar. I tried to be careful of my money because of him. I remember how happy seeing his grandson made him.

Thank you for starting this thread and reminding us alll, we had lives before we succumb to age and frailty.
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It's incredible how different families are, maybe that's why I am having such a hard time adjusting to caregiving for my mil.

My own grandma passed away in 1986 after a stroke, had 14 children that didn't fight over who was supposed to get what, and my grandpa was much older than she was and passed in 1968. My parents are in their early 80s and if I wasn't here taking care of the mil I would probably be there taking care of my own mother. But my mom and dad actually have the means to do stuff. At one time or another I think all my mom's brothers or sisters lived with us, taking care of my little sister and I. What a great family to be a part of.
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This is certainly a tender subject for many...

Frazzled, your grandpa's story about the friendly window wipers Billy and Charlie is so sweet. He must have been a kind man indeed, to understand what a little kid is thinking and feeling like that. It's a beautiful memory.
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I wanted to share also about my grandfather. He was actually my step-grandpa (mom's stepdad) but he was just grampy to me and the only one I really knew. He passed on in 2007.

He grew up on a farm in the 30s and 40s, had an 8th grade education, but was and is the smartest man I ever knew. I have a passion for current events and politics because I grew up watching TV commentary with him, and him talking to me about history, the presidents and current events. His stories of being a teenager during WWII were so interesting. My oldest son (17) now shares that same passion, particularly for history.

He believed in me, pushed me to be a better person, and loved me unconditionally.

I was afraid of windshield wipers when I was little (the way they looked going across the windshield at night) and he made up a complete story about them. Their names were Billy and Charlie and they went on lots of adventures. I wasn't afraid anymore :)
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Sadly, my experience has been a lot like Sue's. I've been a mom to both my mother and myself for most of my life. I just thank God that's He's always been there, or I'd have never made it :)

I do have a couple of positive things I can say about my mom though. One, she worked hard and made sure I didn't go without food, clothes, a roof over my head, etc.

Two, she may have made them about her, but she always did praise my accomplishments in school, and I saw her go back to college at 35 and graduate, which I guess helped instill in me never to quit or give up.

She's had to swim upstream most of her life, fighting the current, also dealing with an abusive mother and daughter (my sister), and men she could never count on, so I guess I can understand why in part things are like they are...

I guess the biggest positive in all of this though is that my experience with my mom has made me a better mother to my own kids.
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Pepsee,
I'll give it a go but it's a sad commentary and not what I think you're looking for.

As ya'll know, Mom was a narcissist and we weren't close, so I don't have any "warm fuzzy" moments to share. However, she gave me a piece of advice that I held onto and it has served me well. She said, "Never depend on a man" (to support you). (That came from a woman who had 4 husbands!)
So, thinking in that mode, I went to nursing school so I could always support myself. It has come in handy at times.
I wish it could have been a sweet moment to share but it was darned good advice, that I have shared with my step-daughter (who we are putting through University to become a dietician).

Mom's sister, my aunt, is my Godmother. When I was baptized at 5 she gave me a little book with prayers for children. In it was the 23rd Psalm. I liked the illustrations and, over the years, it became a beloved verse.
Auntie called me the other day asking if I would be her "contact person" at the Independent Living facility where she lives. There is no one else for her. I agreed. I advised her to get a POA and let her know she could count on me, if necessary.
Then I thought back to the time she told me it would be better to let my husband die than spend my retirement money on him as he lay dying in a hospital where we lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have forgiven that statement but I will never forget it.
I'm trying to be a better person than she is.

Now let's hear it from those who can share tender, loving times. I'm all ears, ugh, eyes!
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GA,
BIG BIG HUGZ Special Lady 💕
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Pepsee, I tried to start a post but it's just too emotional a topic at this time. Perhaps some day...
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