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!
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.
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!
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.
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 :
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.
Keep sharing, someone's always listening.🤗
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.
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.
My mil always had 2 faces for me, so it seemed, much like her kids and it is unfortunate.
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.
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 !!!
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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!
BIG BIG HUGZ Special Lady 💕