Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blessings In Disguise...

She sat on the examination table swinging her still shapely legs.
Legs that I always envied.
Her arms hugged her body and her gaze settled on the door to the room.

"Are you cold, Mom?", I asked.

"Yes.  A little", she answered quietly.

"Do you want me to put your socks back on?"

"Yes.  That would be nice."

I bent over her and slipped the thick, cotton socks back on her aging feet, noticing that her toes were bent and misshapen a bit and that it was time for a pedicure.

"Mmmm....that's better".

She smiled and continued to swing her legs back and forth. 
Together, we continued to wait.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ten minutes earlier I had met with her doctor, unbeknownst to my parents. I had slipped a note to the nurse asking to meet privately with him.  When he completed my dad's physical exam and brought Dad into the room with mom and me, the nurse looked my way and said, "I'm going to pull you out of here a minute."

I knew she had read my note.

The doctor walked into the room the nurse had placed me in. 

"What can I do for you, Laurie?" he inquired gently.

Numerous thoughts slipped in and out of my mind.  I caught one and told him,  "I just wanted you to know that the woman sitting in that room is just a shell of the woman that raised me.  A shell of the woman who I knew six months ago."

He nodded knowingly.

I continued. "I know she has dementia. Probably vascular dementia from her strokes and the pituitary tumor, but where do we go from here? She's not only losing the capacity to think of words and carry on a conversation, but she's losing the strength in her legs. She's more depressed and cries so easily. She sleeps a lot.  She can't hear a thing and won't get hearing aids. Does she need a geriatrician? Or a doctor who specializes in dementia? And I can tell that Dad is feeling the stress of caring for her. I can see the weariness in his face and the fear in his eyes. Where do we go from here?  Are there meds she can take?  Extra vitamins we should be giving her? What about support....?

I took a deep breath, realizing I was rambling.

The tone of his voice was soft and caring.  

"I know what you're saying. 
Yes....your mother has Alzheimer's...."

When I actually heard him say those words, it was almost like I was thrown into a slow motion movie with no sound. I could see his mouth moving, forming vowels, but I couldn't hear the words. I was underwater. Drowning. I struggled to break free and concentrate on what he was saying.

"...and she is certainly not going to get any better. She will need more care in the days ahead. It will be a trying time for you and your family.  There is an Alzheimer's Association where you can get more information and support. As far as a geriatrician, I wouldn't be against that at all - if you can find a good one, and that will be difficult.  
She needs to eat three good meals a day with fruits and vegetables.
She needs to get regular exercise, and she needs to get out and socialize as much as possible. 
Don't let her sit in the house and watch TV all day and all evening."

I nodded numbly and took another deep breath as he continued.

"We'll stay on top of this and will give her the best care we can. If and when you need more help or want to talk again, just give me a call."

We walked back the examination room where Mom and Dad were patiently waiting.  

I watched Mom's face as the doctor began to ask her questions while he typed her answers into his computer.  She remembered her last name.  She remembered what month it was.  But her face was pained as she struggled to tell him what year it was, and when her birthday was.  I crumpled inside. I wondered what thoughts were going through her mind knowing that she was failing at her answers.

I watched as the doctor listened to her heart and lungs.  

"Please, Lord....keep her as healthy as possible for as long as possible...", I found myself praying. "Give us the knowledge to know how to help her through the rest of her life. Give her the strength to keep clinging to the strong-willed spirit she was born with."

I thought back to my childhood. Mom always "wore the pants in the family".  She made the decisions in our family life with Dad happily supporting her and backing her up.  She and I butted heads many a time when I was younger.  We had some interesting arguments and disagreements - probably because we were a lot alike in the way we viewed life. But I knew that I also carried my Dad's laid-back attitude as far as letting things get to us. We knew which battles needed to be fought and which ones to let go.

I looked over at Dad sitting next to me.  He looked weary.  I knew that he and Mom butted heads to this day - a sure sign of his frustration and fear. He didn't want to lose the woman he loved, and he had no control over it at this point. She was ever so gradually slipping away from us all. I knew how much he loved her, too.  I had watched his face many times in numerous hospital rooms during the past 10 years while Mom battled for her life with a bleeding liver, clots in her legs, and a pituitary tumor.  He held her hand until the nurses rolled her into the cold treatment room to receive radiation treatments to shrink that tumor.  Treatments that would eventually burn her optic nerves resulting in complete blindness in her right eye and 75% blindness in her left. He was there for her through it all. They were so devoted to each other.  They were bound together by trials and tribulations as well as through the love of God they shared.

Dad & Mom, October 2011

He had stepped into leading the family during these tough times.  He shouldered the responsibility like one of God's faithful soldiers.  He knew it was his time. It was like he scooped up the shattered pieces and and patiently tried to piece them back together. He tenderly cared for Mom while constantly giving time and energy to my brother and me. We became much closer while sharing each others' pain. God planned it that way, I think.  I believe that the trials in this life are His blessings in disguise.

 Mom clung to my arm as she shuffled next to me on our way out of the room, dragging her cane as usual.  I was always reminding her to use the cane instead of dragging it behind her.  Dad headed to the check out window to complete some paperwork.  I took her out to the waiting room and settled her into a chair.

"Where are we going now?" she asked.

"To the building next door to have some blood drawn, Mom," I answered.


"Next door."

"Where's that?"

"Don't worry, we'll get you there, Mom."

"Where are we going?  And where's your Dad...?"

A shell. My mother was a shell of the strong woman she used to be. Her thoughts now jumbled together and her personality childlike. Completely dependent on Dad, me, and my brother. Being faithfully carried in the palm of God's hand through each day.

I will always carry that mother I once knew in my heart and soul. She is part of who I am.  She is the part of me who will stand her ground and not bend under trials. She is the part of me who will claw her way through experiences that are painful and frightening. She is the part of me who will love deeply and fully with the grace of God.

Someday, she may not remember who I am....
but I will always remember who she is.

is bigger than all of this.

I am following Him in my present
leaving tomorrow in His hands...

[ Love & Blessings ]

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  1. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers that God will give you comfort and wisdom for this journey. I know what you're going through; my mom had Alzheimer's.

  2. Laurie, I am sorry to hear about your Mother's condition, I can really only imagine what that is like for you and your family. I wish you strength and peace. You are doing everything you can for her...God knows that and is watching over you all. Blessings <3

  3. I'm sorry, Laurie. I had tears reading your post because I know I would be so, so sad if I lost my Mom in this way. I hope that you and your Dad will get any support or assistance you need to cope with this. Of course, you know you can always rely on your bloggy friends to give you a shoulder {even if it is virtual} to cry on.

  4. Sweet friend, I am so sorry. My heart hurts for you. I cannot imagine. I know the road we are going down with my mom is hard. I know your road is hard. I am so thankful that we have God to comfort fill us with guide us and to give us wisdom. I am so thankful that our moms are in His hands!

    Bless you dear friend. Hold tight to Him!

  5. I have no words except 'I'm sorry'.

  6. There are no words that I can offer, only prayers that I will be saying for you. You will find strength from within that you did not know you had. One day at a time......xo

  7. Oh such a lovely and tender post. Made me cry. My heart and my thoughts are with you as you walk the road ahead of you. I know God is in control, but the road still seems bumpy. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

  8. Laurie, the more I get to know you, the more I find we have in common. My mother has Alzheimer's and Dad is growing more feeble caring for her. He's also showing signs of dementia (not Alzheimer's though). My sister and I are preparing to move them into assisted living - a tough decision, but we saw the care and love that the center will provide and we were able to interview some of the residents. We finally made this decision because we know it's best for their health and safety. My grandmother had Alzheimer's so I was prepared for my mother's diagnosis. Stay strong. Nancy Reagan once said ... Alzheimer's is like the long goodbye. I know what she meant by this statement. I miss my mom. She's still with us but she's not the same person. At least she still remembers me ... for now. Your father is lucky to have you by his side during this trying time. Hugs to you and your family!

  9. Laurie,
    You may not know the journey that lies ahead, but, dear one, hold to the faith that you know the Guide."Mr.Ed" and I saw his mother go down that same road. Our journey with she and his dad was 7 years. Both are in Heaven and we,like you, knew the blessing of loving them everyday they were with us on earth. Gods peace for you in the difficult days ahead, dear friend. I will be lifting all of you up in my prayers.

  10. Laurie, My heart breaks for you and your family. But I'm so glad you have my God to carry you through. You will be in my prayers.

  11. Laurie... Your story is MINE. Reading your words, were as though I was writing them as I read. I sat with my Mother and daughter (who lives with my Mom and is her caregiver) just last week. Alzhemiers is an ugly mean disturbing disease. It strips our family members of their dignity...they no longer know who or what they are...they live in their own world, a very sad world without help. Oh...the pills work for awhile, but it always ends up the same..."lets try another drug". They don't hear...must be part of the disease. We have to say "mom, mother, grandma, Dorris" all the names she once new until she "comes to the party"...realizing we are talking to her. My Mother is much further along than yours... she barely knows whats happening in the moment. A few months back the doctor told us to "keep her mind active"...get her cross word puzzle books... Well, she wore them on her head. Make sure she sees the newspaper... well, she put them down for the dogs to piddle on around the house. We have gates to keep her safe, we have locks to keep her safe. She doesn't know who we are, but knows we "belong". It's a life that is different and so not right....but, we make the best of what we must do. If you would ever like to talk, please please LMK...I'm here for you. One final note: Aricept (not sure of the spelling) gave her SOME life might want to ask your doctor about it. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family... It only gets harder...please prepare yourselves. If I can help... I'm here. xoso Sandy

  12. Laurie, I can relate to your pain as my mother-in-law had Alzheimer's and I helped out as my husband and father-in-law were her sole caregivers. You are right...God is bigger than all of this. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  13. Laurie,
    My heart breaks for you and I know all to well what you are father-in-law has Alzheimer's. It is starting to wear on my mother-in-law as she is still trying to care for him at home. I see the pain in her heart and my hubby's and his sister. Saying prayers for you as I know there will be difficult times ahead.

  14. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. Losing your mother, whether it is through death or a horrible disease like Alzheimer's is so very hard, and something that no one can prepare you for. May you find strength, peace, and support as you walk the difficult road you are now journeying down.


  15. Oh Laurie, this breaks my heart. The pictures are so beautiful and fit your sentiments exactly. My neighbor is a great Doctor and Scientist. He is in the process with a team of doctors and scientists that are on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer's. I pray for them continuously - wouldn't it be a miracle. He is devoting his life to it here at the Scripps Institute in San Diego. If I can ever help in any way by speaking with him about your mom and what he may be able to do if anything, let me know. I believe there is a medication that he is working on and sounds like it is pretty successful in trials. Our last encounter was with a lecture he gave at the institute which he invited us to. It was amazing and gave us all such great hope. My prayers are with you at this trying time. Your mom is very lucky to have a husband and daughter who love her so much. It was very brave of you to share this and you did a beautiful job. Blessings, Tia

  16. My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family!
    I know what you are going through. I work at a nursing home in the Dementia/Alzheimers unit.
    I have been a C.N.A for 20+ yrs.
    My heart goes out to my residents and their families. This is a very stressful, confusing time for all. Take One Day at a Time.
    I will keep you in my thoughts.
    Take care!

  17. Laurie, I am so sorry to hear this. I too, can only offer prayers. And I am glad to know that you have such strong faith. I know that it and your friends will help you through this. My girls and will will include you in our nightly prayers.


  18. I so feel for you.We are going through the same thing with my grandmother.It's so hard to sit and watch them fade away.Prayers and Blessings for you and your family~Kim

  19. So very happy that you have so many wonderful memories of your mom. May they carry you through the days ahead. One day we who love Him will all be well, new, complete. Prayers of hope and peace for you and your family.

  20. I am so sorry you are experiencing such a tough time Laurie. Your post was so beautitful and heartbreaking yet hopeful. Hugs to you my friend. xoxo

  21. What a terrible thing this disease is, Laurie. I wasn't home to see my own father go downhill. I wish you strength get through this heartbreaking ordeal.

  22. I'm a 63 yr. old retired teacher. I have some type of dementia of unknown cause. I will pray for your mother. The thing I dislike the most is being asked to count backwards by 7, etc. They know your mother has alzheimers. Why should doctors upset patients by asking them things that they most likely will not be able to do? I know they just want to see what stage she is in. Is it really that important to know the stage? What I have yet to tell my family is that I may not remember them, but my soul will always and forever. They just aren't ready to hear that yet. I have never lost someone to dementia, but hang on to your mother's love because it will always be there. I promise!

  23. Hi Laurie, This is so beautifully written, thank you for sharing your journey as I'm sure it will help others. Your strength of character is such a testament of your loving trust in our Lord, Girlfriend! Let your light shine :-) Love you,

  24. Laurie, as soon as you described your mom kicking her legs against the examining table, I knew what you were going to say and started crying. My sister and I cared for my mom for four years and had to put her in a nursing home for the fifth year. I spent her last Christmas day with her in the home and a miracle happened. She suddenly knew who I was and could talk about her feelings that day. Over the next month she was able to talk to her children and grandchildren and then she passed away. If that isn't a gift from God, I don't know what it is. Love ya. ~ Maureen

  25. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. I will keep you, and your family in my prayers. This post made me think of my mom. She was always the strong one, who remembered birthdays, and important events. A consultant, caregiver, and friend. I watched her slip before her passing, and it was heartbreaking. But, the memories, and her beautiful spirit will live on forever. As is the case with your mom. I understand what you are going through.

  26. I am so sorry you are going through this. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Your faith will help you stay strong.

  27. My dad has this, my grandmother had it, and my grandfather. I know this road is not easy for you, and frustrating at times for them, but the best part about it, in 5 minutes, they forget that they were frustrated.
    Angels keep save all the things they forget until they are released from this place, so they are not lost. Everything you have had with her, each moment, carefully tucked away.
    She is still there, all of her, in her own happy place that God has made until she is called home.
    You will go on and do what is needed when she needs it and during her transition, from mere mortal to angel, you will be there, helping your dad and brother.
    This is God's gift to you. Your chance to return the love and admiration that she has given all of you all of her life.
    And you will treasure quiet moments, not of conversations of the past, plans for the future, but moments when no words are needed. Those in that moment that do not need to be remembered, but just felt. Shared, slowly.
    God will carry you when your knees are weak, your heart is broken and your strength is gone. He will embrace her spirit, calm her fears and take her home in His time.
    Until then, she's yours to sing to, embrace, and dote over. Refrain from asking her questions that she has no answers to, but be light hearted and carefree in her presence. The peace from you will flow into her and help her through.
    Praying that you will know when it is time to step in with your dad and take charge.

  28. My husband and I have lost 3 out of 4 parents in the past five years. His mama is still living but has Altzheimers and is in a care facility. This season of life is not easy. Sending you a hug and saying a prayer.

  29. I'm so sorry about your mom Laurie. This is a very moving tribute of your love for her, and I know if she doesn't know how much you love you now, God will make she she knows at the right time. I know the decisions made in the coming months and years will be trying for all of you, so I'll be sure to say a prayer to give your family strength and wisdom.

  30. Mi dispiace tanto, Laurie, per la tua mamma e per il tuo e vostro dolore. Hai molta fede e spero ti possa aiutare. Noi siamo qui ad ascoltare le tue parole, quando avrai voglia e bisogno di sfogarti!
    Un abbraccio!

  31. I was so sad when I read what you are going through. I myself have been through the same.
    God bless you all.

    Regards from Sweden

  32. moved me to tears almost from the beginning. I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. My mom is getting very forgetful as well and I'm also glad that Maureen from It's All Connected (my neighbour & friend) responded on comments here...I know her story and if anyone can give you strength, it'd be Maureen. God Bless. xo wendy

  33. Tears in my eyes reading your post....21 years this was my moms life.....and hard to read.......wishing you strength love and blessings to come

  34. Sending you a warm hug Laurie.
    This must have been so hard for you to share and I thank you for it. I know you have the strength and faith to help you through this but just know that when you feel down I send you a hug full of strength.

  35. if i had to write about this i couldn't have wrote it parents are fading fast your mom and mine sound the same she was always so strong the head of the household the 1 her sisters and brothers turned to......its so hard to watch these strong people turn into *shells* it trully saddens me

  36. oh Laurie

    so hard to know the 'right' words to say
    after your heartfelt post

    i do pray
    that in those moments
    when you feel your precious mom
    slipping away from you

    that the Holy Spirit would fill you
    with His perfect peace
    and restore her to you
    memory by memory

    thanks for sharing.


  37. It is the worst thing to have to watch. My father-in-law had alzheimer's. I think it is worse on the caretakers. Praying for you.

  38. Be strong and keep the faith! The circle of life is painful at times. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. xox

  39. so very sorry, laurie. your post is so sweet-hugs to you.

  40. What a true blessing this post is as my husband's mother has started down this very road at only 68 & she lives literally 1/2 a world away in Australia. Jono was able to go back home for Christmas a year ago as they figured it would be the last time she would really know who him & all the kids were. She is still aware of who everyone is but the dimentia continues to get worse. I will be sharing this post with my husband...I think in life, if nothing else, to just know that you are not alone can make all the difference. God bless!

  41. Oh, Laurie, God bless you all. Tears in my eyes blurred much of what I read. I could see my mom in those photos. The road ahead will be a difficult one. There's no way to sugarcoat that. I took care of my mom in the last few years of her life. It was after my dad had died, so it was really hard doing this alone. Look online for support from others who have been through this. Reach out to others for comfort. Those here on your blog, or in your community, who understand your position because they have been through it. There is nothing worse than feeling like you're the only one. When you can, take time for yourself, because you do need a break now and then. Physically, mentally,'s hard, Laurie. Please feel free to email me any time. In the meanwhile, God bless you with the tools you will need to lead your mom to her own "Heaven's Walk" when the time comes. She has raised you for this very purpose.


  42. Laurie, I struggle to keep the tears from falling onto my keyboard. Alzheimers, I fear it like no other. <u amazing Mother has early onset dementia. I send prayers to you, your Father, and your Mother. Let God lift you up when you are down, find strength always in fond memories and in faith. I send you BIG hugs!
    P.S. I am your newest linky follower xo

  43. Halo Laurie,
    My heart goes out to you and your family. Our little family took care of our grandmother who had alzheimer's for 3 years and 3 months until she went on to be with her Heavenly Father. It was a difficult time, sometimes very sad, but I can truly say that God was with us every minute of every day. He comforted and strengthened us throughout that time and I know He is doing the same for you now. May God bless everyone who is involved in the care of your beloved mother!

    Thank you very much for the warm welcome post you left on my blog Laurie. You're number 2 behind my sister and the first person beyond South African borders to post a comment. It was thrilling to say the least! You made my day:)


  44. this brought me to tears. i am praying for you all!

  45. What a touching post. It must have been very hard for you to share. You are clearly committed to being there for your Mom through these tough times. I have been through the same journey with my Dad and all I can say to you (words are so inadequate at a time like this) is that she will teach you much during these next few years. what a wonderful daughter she has in you. God bles you all, sending hugs, Sally @ Enlightenment for the Sleepy xxx

  46. This was really beautiful. Alzheimers is a wicked disease taking away the person who once was, I am sorry you have to walk this road but in the process there will be sweet moments as well as moments of deep frustration. We are going through the same thing, only it's my husbands dad who is 89. take care of you in the process, and it will make it easier when the rough times come.

  47. Oh dear Laurie, I am aching for you right now.. my heart goes out to you. Not fair. I will keep you & your mom in my thoughts. Hugs to you ♥

  48. From one who has been there, I send you be compassionate and caring and loving on the days when circumstances will test your patience. Hold onto the vestiges of the person that you knew as your mother and cherish them. I never allowed the Alzheimer's to ruin the memories of the true person my father was for most of his life. I refused to allow the disease to win, but for a life well-lived and loved to soar above all.

  49. Sweetie you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that He gives you the knowledge, strength and everything in between to help your mom and dad and you.
    Hugs to you!
    love you dearly

  50. Laurie.....oh my goodness....big huge hugs for {{you}} my heart just breaks for you my sweet friend...I will email you. love you.

  51. Prayers for your sweet mom and dad....and for you. It is so difficult to see a loved one go through this, I couldn't imagine it if it was my mom.


  52. My aunt sent this info recently, in case you have not seen it:

    It's just heartbreaking to have to witness your parent lose their health and dignity. I pray these memories fade quickly, and the ones of your mom as she was remain very clear.


  53. My heart hurts for you because I am going through the same thing with my Mom except she is at the beginning. It hurts me to see her like this. You and your family will be in my prayers. All we can do is cling to God and His Word and love and care for them as best we can.

  54. Oh Laurie, how sad...I have tears in my eyes..I'm so sorry my friend...if you ever need a shoulder I'm here! My thoughts and prayers are with you through this hard time. Sending hugs! xokathee

  55. Laurie, This is such a beautiful post and I can read in it how much you love your mom. My heart goes out to you and your family. My father remarried 35 years ago and my stepmother now has alzheimers. Dad is her sole caregiver and I know how tough this is on him. Prayers for your mom and dad. Hugs, Sherry

  56. Laurie, my heart is aching for you and your family, and of course your dear mother. I think Alzheimers seems to be such a cruel disease, as is any disease really, but so hard for everyone. Your mum is lucky to have so many loving people around her and how lucky you have been to have such a wonderful mother. I think always being grateful for every little moment, every day spent, every conversation, hug, special occasion... i believe this is the only way to really cope (aside from faith in god which you clearly have in abundance) It certainly has helped me get through the hard, hard times....
    I am praying for your family Laurie. such a beautiful post to honour your mum...
    sending love and hugs, Laura xx

  57. Beautiful testimony of your complete trust in Him to carry you all through this season in your lives.
    His faithfullness will never fail you Laurie.
    He will hold each one of you tenderly, every moment.

    In His love,
    Deborah xoxoxoxoxo

  58. Oh dear Laurie what a precious and heartbreaking post at the same time. Your parents are so fortunate to have you and I will pray that God will show you each and every decision to make and love them through it all!!

  59. If there is one thing we learned about this disease, it's to live in the moment. When Grandpa no longer knew who we were, we just enjoyed sitting with him...watching the birds, the clouds, the kids. It got to a point where we didn't speak...we just sat. There was frustration...but a lot of appreciation too. After all of the years of him helping to take care of us, it was our turn to help take care of him.
    I will never regret having my grandparents live with us during those difficult times for both of them.
    God will never leave you or forsake you...any of you.

  60. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. How difficult for you all. May God give you comfort.

  61. I missed this post earlier, Laurie. I think I have shared with you before that my own mother had Alzhiemers. It is a dreadful, terrible disease. One that robs the person of who they are, who they were and we have no way of knowing who they will become. I have walked in your shoes and it is a hard walk. I will be praying for you.

    One thing though, sometimes with some meds there is some improvement. AND ONE of the biggest things is to make sure she is hydrated. The BRAIN needs water in her system to function properly. Elderly people never drink enough water...never without prompting.

    God bless you, sweetie! xo Diana

  62. Oh Laurie, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry to learn of what you are going through, wishing that things like this didn't have to happen in our lives. I wish you comfort in between all the moments where you will feel like falling apart. May God bless you and give you strength for the difficult journey ahead. xo ~Lili

  63. Laurie, my husband's father passed a little over a year ago, he had had Alzheimer's for around 12 years. I know where you are right now. My prayers are with you, God will give you and your family the grace to walk thru it. xoxo

  64. I have been where you are and am still on this road with my mother 17 years later. You will cry many times and call out to God more than you can ever imagine. But just know that His will and purpose are perfect, and your mother will be safe. I will pray for strength and wisdom for you as there is no handbook for getting through this. Each patient and each situation is different. Learn to rely on those who have experience and training. And trust everything to our Father; He will see you through.

  65. Dear Laurie,

    A good friend led me to your beautiful blog, and from what I've read, you are a kind and warm human being!

    I've walked in your footsteps twelve years ago, but my father wasns't as kind and patient as yours....he couldn't accept that my mom wouldn't be taking care of him.

    You always kept her dignity which is so important, along with love, kindness and patience!

    Through all this illness or any other situation in life, I always say to would you like to be treated?

    May God give you faith, strength and hope!


  66. Such a touching post. You and your family will be in my prayers and heart.

  67. Laurie,I am sorry to hear about your Mom's condition.I will keep you all in my prayers.

  68. Laura, You are in my thoughts and prayers. This can not be easy. It's our faith that helps us thru. xo, Susie

  69. what a touching post! You wrote it so well. I don't know what it must feel like to be put in that situation, but with your faith and strong family ties, I'm sure you will get through it. So sorry to hear about your mother's health decline.

  70. This is such a wonderful tribute to a life well lived! Your mother sounds like an incredible inspiration to so many. Thank you for blessing me with this post.


  71. (((Laurie))) This is the third time I've attempted to leave a comment, once on my I-pad and just now when everything disappeared. As I read your beautifully written post, it brought back memories of not too long ago when I walked this path with my mother. She was diagnosed about 5 years before she passed away. My husband and I had the honor of taking care of her the past few months of her life. The journey of Alzheimer's disease was bittersweet. So much sadness as I watched her slowly slip away, but so much joy and many blessings along the way. She passed away January 28, 2010 so as I read your posting, tears were streaming down my face. The Alzheimer brain is like a mansion with many rooms that are all brightly lit and one by one the lights go out. We were blessed that my mom remained cheerful and grateful right to the very end. She was like a little child. The illness affects different parts of the brain and some people get very mean and violent. One day, when I'm ready I will write about my journey with her on my blog. It's good that you are writing about it because it's part of the grieving process.

    Your parents look so very sweet. One of the pictures that I have of us together was our last Christmas and she had that far away look in her eyes. She was very confused at times. I was hoping to have her for the summer at our home but she passed away in January 2010. We sat my kitchen table and dreamed of all the lovely chats in my garden while she lived with us. We had her in our home only a couple months. But I thank god every day for the last moments I had with her. If you ever want to talk email me and I'll give you my phone number. I live in Michigan too.

    Big huge cyber hugs to you! You have a deep abiding faith and god will walk you through this one day at a time.

    love and hugs, I hope this comment will make it through to you.


  72. Oh my goodness, my comment was so long....sorry for taking up so much space.


  73. Laurie, I cried as I read this for 2 reasons, one because my heart breaks for you and because I am living this now. Only difference is my parents divorced 25 years ago and my brother lives on the west coast and I am on the east coast. I wish my brother would come for a visit. My husband and Children try and help. But I feel like I need to share this with my brother. I will continue my prayers for my family and now yours. It was nice to read this because sometimes I feel like I am alone. Kathy

  74. Your in my thoughts and prayers.


  75. Laurie -- I can't imagine what you are going through and I am sorry that you and your parents are walking this path. I know that God is with you all and he will give you comfort. I will keep your family in my prayers. XO, Clydia

  76. Oh, Laurie! I have tears in my eyes because I am right there with you. Only it's my dad who is slipping away. My mom wrecked her back Thursday morning and mom, dad and I went to the doc. She was sitting in a wheelchair in excruciating pain and my dad said, "You're just here for a routine check up, right?" I saw the pain and fear in my mom's eyes as she replied that, no, she was there because of her back. He doesn't remember from one minute to the next. This is a horrible disease and one that we have to understand is a physical disease, not a mental one. My 75 friend lost her husband to Alzheimer's and she is now in charge of local "caregivers". She's the one who reminded me to not look at this as a mental condition, but a physical one. So sorry you are facing this tough ordeal. I'm sorry for me too. But as you said, our Abba Father knows all about it and He will strengthen and sustain us as we walk this path. My dad is not a believer and that's what's breaking my heart. I love reading your blog. I just followed you via Linky Followers and added Heaven's Walk to my Inspiration ... blogroll.
    Lynn at Cottage and Creek

  77. i am sitting here with tears streaming down my face -- my heart breaks for each and everyone of you but i love how strong you are and how faithful and loving -- we will never know why these things happen -- we will never know what it all means until we are all together in the heavens. i hate the fact that your mom has fear -- it just makes me so very upset -- a woman that gave of herself each and every day of her life -- your poor dad -- bless him -- he is a good man and needs you and your brother so much during this time. i can tell by their faces that they are good -- kind -- loving parents... i hope and pray that you are given the strength that you need -- the love you have down pat. i wish i could wash everyone's troubles away -- i wish that no one has to go through this -- bless you all God is with you. hugs...

  78. Thank you for sharing this with all of us...puts life into perspective. Your words are powerfully written.

  79. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  80. Laurie,
    Sweet Blessings to you.

    God bless and comfort you.
    d from homehaven in kansas

  81. I remember. I was there for both of my parents. It's certainly not easy.

    Life has a way of testing our physical and mental strengths and this is one of those times.


  82. Oh Laurie I am so sorry!!!
    I can only imagine how hard it is to see your mother the one that was always so strong then see her slowly slip away and there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening. You can see in the picture of your parents the love they have for each other.
    Thank you for sharing your post with us today, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers
    Suzann ~xoxo~

  83. may God give you the strenght for the days ahead.
    We have been through this with my father-in law.
    It is a painful road. Thank you for sharing.
    I wish you a good week,

  84. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Laurie. Keep those good memories close through this difficult time.

  85. Thinking of you and your family, you all are in my prayers.

  86. I know what you are going thur, your post brought back alot of memories of my mom, I'm so happy that she is with more suffering! I'll be praying for you!

  87. I forgot to add that I'm following you in Linky followers, when you have the time stop by, I have it to on my sidebar.


  88. What a beautiful post, Laurie. My Grandmother had Alzheimer's. I understand what you're going through. My husband is a geriatrician (and an excellent one, if I can brag a little). He sees the heartache all day long.
    I'm so sorry.
    Fondly, Tami

  89. Know where you are coming from...but you made me cry !!
    Sending love to you....x Gail x

  90. Hello my lovely,

    I am so, so sorry to hear about your mother, Laurie. My grandmother had dementia and I know how very hard it can be to see someone you love so much slip away in front of your very eyes.

    Please rest assured that you have my support and prayers.

    Big, bug hugs,

  91. Dear Sweet Laurie,

    I lost my mom almost 15 years ago. She was my best friend. My heart goes out to you as you struggle with this horrible disease. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  92. With tears in my eyes I tell you how sorry I am to hear this and understand very much how you are feeling.. We went through it with our Mom for 18 years. She was only 55 years old when she was diagnosed. What a cruel disease this is!!!
    I will keep you in my prayers for strength for you, your Dad and the rest of the family.

  93. Your written words are heartbreaking yet beautiful. I am sorry that you are going through this time of struggle with your mom. Keep the faith and know that God is with all of you. Blessings.

  94. I had noticed your absence as I always follow you on pinterest.Thought I would go to your blog(which is on my favorites bar)to see what was going on with you.You wrote it so beautifully yet so heartbreaking.What can I say to comfort you?It is such a struggle when the ones we love are ill.We just have to do everything possible to insure they have the care&respect they deserve.Prayers are with you&your family.

  95. This was such a beautiful post. Scary. Sending thoughts and best wishes to you and your mother and father.

  96. I pray these days truly are your blessings in disguise.

  97. Praying for you and your parents, Laurie.
    One can experience many blessings through toughest of times.

    May you be strong and retain the joy of the Lord.

  98. With tears I read your post. My family And I are going through this valley with my mom,too. She is bedridden in the nursing home now and my sisters and I take turns feeding her and spending time with her every day. To watch someone you love wait day by day to go to her heavenly home when others are taken so quickly only God knows - His timing is not ours. Treasure the hours and days and maybe even years that you have with your Mom. You will be blessed.

  99. Tears are running down my cheeks, I hurt for you, I will pray for you & your family. Yes God is greater than this!


  100. Oh, Laurie, what a sweet but difficult post. The Lord does use these trials in our lives...but it is so hard. Blessings to you as you serve your dear mother.
    PS Your property is beautiful...especially your red the snow...gorgeous!

  101. Sweet Lady,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I don't know if I ever remember reading a blog posting with tears running down my cheeks as I did now. I guess because I know I will someday be walking in the same shoes as yours with my own wonderful parents. God is good. God is faithful. He will shelter you and yours under His wings.
    xo clare

  102. That was so special...thank you for sharing. I have just started following you and hope you'll visit me and maybe follow back! I have browsed through your projects and love them! Blessings to your family.

  103. Oh Laurie, thank you for sharing your sweet post with all of us... Sending a big hug & blessings!

  104. Laurie,
    I am so sorry to hear about your Mother. May the Lord bless you and your family at this time.

  105. I am very sorry that your family has to go through this. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.


  106. Dear Laurie, My heart goes out to You, I know, the pain & heartache this is causing, My Mom had the most progressive form of Dementia, She was there one moment & in a blink of an eye, she was that empty Shell... I am also an Alzheimer's Care Giver for a lady, she was diagnosed 9 years ago, so there is not A Normal in progression... Please, know that You will be in My Prayers, along with your Sweet Mom & Dad ~ Take this one Moment at a time, there will be Good Days & Not so good days... Anytime you want to talk, just email! We are All here for You! with Love & Prayers

  107. You just completely described my last four yrs and the strength my mom had- from being the decision maker in our home to an empty shell...all the way down to sitting in the exam room and listening to her struggle with's all so heart breaking. I'm so sorry for you and your family. Blogging helped me so much through those awful years- meeting others going through the same heart goes out to you

  108. I've so been where you are. I live this everyday with my father and now with my father-in-law. It's all heartbreaking.

    If I've found comfort in anything it is this...

    I've learned to live for today. To not take tomorrow for granted but to breathe in every moment I can.

    I appreciate my husband, Steve, more and more. I am very aware we are living our best days and so I'm mindful to live them to the fullest.

    Beautiful post my friend...prayers for you and your family.



  109. Hi you find more about the book....

    It was a lot of money...€ 100...but it is money....i really like the book...and make another one

  110. Laurie,

    I'm sorry to hear this. It must not be an easy thing to have to go through.


  111. I can so relate to this post. Even though my mother did not have dementia, my mother was very sick her last few years of her life. She lived with me those last few years, and it was like watching a picture fade as the days, years, months went by. A little less of her each time I held her hand, a little less smile and little less spirit. The worst blow was my Mom had a stroke, and lost most of her speech, It was beyond painful. It was torture for her, her gift to express and just chat. Really this brings up so much pain, again. There's nothing we can do but endure it. I wish you and your family the best, cherish every moment, because these moments are what will get you through it. You will go through a grieving process long before you will be grieving. It it is the journey toward loss of someone we love beyond anything else, our Moms'.

  112. No words, just all my love and prayers.
    I understand.

  113. I am so proud of you Laurie. I know one day I will go through this and this just made me stronger. To be human is such a wonderful thing. To be able to feel and care is a blessing.

    Love to her, good health and strength to you. God bless.

  114. Hello Laurie,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your sweet comments. Yes, you have my support. I'm so happy to see all the support you are receiving on Heaven's Walk. This is a sad devastating disease and I just saw a commercial on tv that stated more money and research is being done and they hope to eradicate in 2025. Sadly, not in enough time for many of us who watch our loved ones slowly slip away. There were many times I would sob at gut wrenching level after a conversation with my mom. Thankfully she did remember that I was her daughter right to the very end. I treasure the little moments of love and god's presence that we experienced and I will hold on to those memories. I thank god every day that my husband had just retired (forced retirement from GM after 32 years). What we thought was a challenge and monetary hardship turned into a blessing because my mom came to live with us and Dave took care of her while I worked. My mom and he had such a wonderful relationship. He would take her to lunch and he was meticulous about making sure she had her medications at the right time. One time I was going to give her some medication and she "no, Dave is in charge." Usually someone will become extremely attached to one person.

  115. Your story now, could have been my story. My Mom had multiple demetias, and became a child. Most days towards the end, she didn't know me or my brothers. She thought my Dad was her Father. The last time I saw her, on a warm lovely Spring afternoon, I left work a wee bit early to attend a concert the nursing home was giving. As I got there late, all the seats were taken, so I sat on the floor in front of my Mom, she placed her hand on my shoulder, and said my name, and how good it was of me to come. She knew me one last time. I knew I would not see her again. I treasure that fleeting moment. She died the following Friday.

    You have a hard road ahead, do your best, love her and your Dad in spite of the disease and the moments when you can't think you will bear it all one more minute.

    My Dad, my strength, and my nemesis at times, died this past October. I would give anything to have both of them back, even with the tribulations and pain. But, that is not ours to say.

    Stay strong and knwo many have walked this way before. Look for the fleeting moments and hold them.

    M Margaret

  116. Hi Laurie...I missed this post and am just catching up. I can honestly say I know how you feel. The wrenching sadness, the frustration, the fear. My mother was diagnosed with dementia 3 years ago. My dad is her main caregiver with me helping as much as I can. So far they are doing pretty good. Last summer my mom fell and fractured her back. The weeks following that were difficult but we got through them. I am thankful for 2 things. First that my dad is in good health and wants to care for her. Second is that I'm close enough to help. Together we have developed a new sort of normal. The mom I knew is gone, but the mom I have now is just as lovable and loving. She's so grateful for every thing we do for her. I am blessed by every day I have with them. You will find a way to guide them through this. God's hand is on your shoulder. If you ever need to talk just let me know. I am here.

  117. No you are not alone sweet girl. It is so hard to see the ones we love fade away from us. No matter how you lose them quickly or slowly like you are it's a struggle to understand why.
    Know that we are all here to listen and pray for you and your family.


  118. Laurie, I am so sad to hear about your mom. No, she is not the same, and yet she is. Inside is the mother you have always known It is locked away, but it is there for you to remember.

  119. So touching. Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Kiss & Tell party over at I Gotta Create! Sending lots of love <3

  120. Oh Laurie, I don't know how I missed this...I feel for sad for you, my friend. As I read your words, I thought of my grandma, it's so hard to see someone you love fade away before your eyes. As my grandma's condition progressed, I held on to the moments where I would see a glimmer of the person she once was. She's gone now, but when I look back and think of her it really is the good times that come to mind, I hope it will be that way for you too when you think of your mom...she's still somewhere inside. Big hugs to you ♥

  121. I missed this post and catching up. I can't begin to fathom what each of you are feeling and enduring. I see little signs in my own world and rue the day it grows more apparent.

    I wish you strength...

  122. I am so touched by your story. It is a sad scary thing this disease. My mother in law has it. God bless you and your family.

  123. Oh my goodness. I wish I could give you a big hug and pray with you. I can't imagine how hard this is for you and I want so desperately for the Lord to take it away from your mom. Sometimes life is so unfair but He is fair and good and I pray peace and blessing for you during this trying time my friend!

  124. God bless you Laurie and your mom and dad. You have a great faith. It will see you through.

  125. Your words, so well written, says what I would love to say in a perfect way. Although my mother only has dementia and it is said she will not forget us, she is not the mother anymore, more she is the child and I the parent now. I feel your pain... I Live your pain! Thanks so much for your words, I hope you do not mind that I link this writing to my own blog for my siblings can read your words written so eloquently. Please visit my blog if you can.

  126. I so rarely cry, but this moved me to tears. My heart hurts for you. Unlike so many of the commenters, I don't know what it is like. Both my parents are alive and relatively well. My grandparents on my mom's side lived into their nineties with very sharp minds to the end.

    This disease frightens me. But I know God holds all of us in his hand. I almost lost my husband to a heart attack at an early age. A friend just lost her husband to cancer last week, and another lost her husband to a stroke yesterday. All I know is that this life is so short. We need to be ready. Heaven waits on the other side.

    I will pray for you and your dad Laurie. Together, and with God's help, you will walk that path with strength and dignity that I see throughout your written words. God bless.


Bless you and thank you for visiting! I read each of your comments and treasure them all. So, please make sure your settings will accept emails, or leave your email address so that I can reply! ♥ Laurie