#WATWB: Restaurant of Order Mistakes

Most of you know that I lost my mother in February to the complications of age and dementia. Dementia is a disease that I witnessed firsthand and one that had me always looking for the bright spots as mom’s memory and health declined. So, it’s no surprise that the following story captured my complete attention and heart. It comes from Tokyo, Japan. The story is from 2017, but its premise is completely positive for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. “TheRead more

Gravy Goes With Everything

My earliest memory of Pauline was of her standing on top of a chair, screaming as a mouse ran across the floor. This would not have been the usual, stoic, keep-it-together mom that was obvious to me later in life. I do not remember other episodes of this woman being hysterical, losing it to furry critters or when life was a bit topsy-turvey. I seldom saw my mother sweat, but perhaps growing up the youngest girl in a family ofRead more

Processing 16 Years

Over coffee on Saturday morning, a friend asked me, “How are you processing?” She was asking about moving forward from my mother’s passing in February. A number of friends have asked this question in various formats, with concern in how I’m handling a new chapter of life. It’s a question that’s contemplative in response, at times difficult and at times easy to put into words, but I will try to answer. This is more than about mom, it’s a journeyRead more

Faithfully Home

  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 Mom found her way home last Friday, February 15, 2019. Home to her family of 15, home to her husband Evan, and home to her Savior, Jesus Christ. It was time for the dementia to take a hike and for Pauline to feel freedom from her physical restraints. Mom went peacefully in her sleep, a blessing that most of us desire whenRead more

The Working Girl’s Purse

The last “mom” post was in August, when she turned 99. Not much has happened since, other than she keeps eating, drinking coffee and taking lots of naps. She’s having a hard time holding her head up as this is one of the effects of dementia – her brain is forgetting to tell her body what to do. When I visit, I never know if she is going to be alert or have a sleepy day. The most recent visitRead more

She’s Ninety Freakin’ Nine!

That’s what Natasha exclaimed on Saturday morning. We were talking about mom. Monday, August 6th, is Pauline’s birthday. She will be 99 years old. Ninety Freakin’ Nine. Although mom’s health might be considered “poor,” the fact that she is still on the planet is amazing to me. My cute, little energizer bunny has outlived her husband, all of her siblings, all of her friends, and most people who were born in the year 1919. She has lived to this dayRead more

Huh?

“What did I do?” That’s what mom asked me on Sunday. Twice. I answered, “I don’t know,” twice. I did not have a clue. Did she spill her coffee or steal someone’s oatmeal at breakfast? In hindsight, I should have answered, “I don’t know, but do you need bail money?” This post has been brought to you by the question of the day. It has also been brought to you by Linda G. Hill’s “One-Liner Wednesday.” All you need to play alongRead more

Her Hands

  “God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” ~Billy Graham~ Long, slender fingers Touched by the passing of ninety-eight years And the slight wrinkle of a Shar-Pei Daughter squeezes memories of her childhood Of wars, depressions and political elections Of marriage, babies and Catholic faith A fleshy grip that once held adult refreshment Now holds a warming cup of thickened brown The digits shake dinner’s fork and spoon And point toRead more

SoCS: This Door

This door I walk through every week It is her petite figure I seek Sleeping in a brown broda chair Wrinkly forehead under gray hair I say, “Hello, mom, how are you?” She says, “Who are you?” I tell her my name is Mary but she seems a bit wary It goes back and forth most days This unknowing haze Am I sister or daughter? Is it March or October? This door leads to Pauline The Energizer Bunny machine StillRead more

A Letter to Charlie

Dear Charlie, It’s hard, isn’t it? I saw you wipe away the tears today and it broke my heart. I wanted to get up from my chair and give you a hug…but I barely know you. Instead, I remained silent and still. Your wife, Margie, has aphasia and it must be so difficult when you don’t understand her. She has attempted to “talk” to me several times, usually with a smile, and I simply nod and smile back. I haveRead more

#WATWB: Fox Valley Memory Project

Fox Valley Memory Project As many of my readers know, my 97-year old mom has dementia and lives in assisted living. We have had quite the journey together with the various stages of dementia – watching the decline, keeping mom from being anxious and trying to have peaceful conversations. It is no wonder, then, that my heart lit up like a Christmas tree when I found out about the Fox Valley Memory Project in Appleton and surrounding communities. “The FoxRead more

Imperfect Relationship

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”   ~Donald Miller~ Mom likes me. Her mind has accepted me as her sister or her friend or the nice lady that comes to visit and holds her hand. When I was younger, prior to the care of mom and dad as they lost their independence, mom had a critical side. She always felt the need to tell others what was wrong, rather than whatRead more