Friday, June 24, 2005

An Old Man & His Mouse

A story, about an old man, and his mouse...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


PBS will be showing this month a program called "Thou Shalt Honor". They have shown it before, but are repeating it plus having a national town hall meeting on the subject of our elders, because it's the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Older Americans Act.

MY Mother

doesn't seem possible but Mom will soon be 93 in just 3 weeks. My brother always told her she would live to be 100. I wonder if she will make it and what her mind will be like if she does. She has so little memory now what would another 7 years bring?

I never thought she would be this long in a nursing home as she was pretty bad after the stroke and the reason she was transferred to the nursing home from the hospital. But she snapped out of the stroke just fine physically but took even more of her memory. She sure can remember certain things in the past though but not a whole lot even then. She remembers her dogs and asks about them every time we are together I haven't the heart to tell her they are both gone. I don't even know myself if homes were found for them or if they were put to sleep as I took them to the animal shelter. I keep telling her they are in a good home but getting very old and may soon die, I hate lying to her that I know how they are doing and all but she takes things so hard and makes such a fuss about stuff it is easier to tell little white lies than to tell her the full truth and have her go off into a rage again.

I don't even dare to see her too often as If I go get her more that once a week she starts to get the idea that she can go home again. Seems to accept the nursing home just fine as long as she isn't taken out too often. But take her out a couple times in a week and right away she starts in on when she goes home or that she is going to go home as noone takes care of her there anyhow so she might as well be home taking care of herself. She also gets ornery with the nurses and such in the nursing home. So it works out best to just go see her once a week.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


My mother, Alberta, seems to be very depressed the past Month or so. She has been in the nursing home some 2 years now but for some reason she is now starting to miss her old life and her things. It doesn't help that she has somehow lost her cane the only "possession" she was really left with since being there. It is a plain wooden cane and I wrote her name in black marker on it. Several times she has left it somewhere but always got it back. However it has now been missing since last Fri. the 3rd of June. It was a cane that had belonged to her mother and she really cherished it. She kept it in her bed with her and said she clung to it at night as it was like holding her mothers hand. Now it is gone. I talked to everyone I saw at the nursing home and asked them to please try to find it for her. It is so frustrating as you have to literally strip them of all possessions when in the nursing home because of thievery, so they have so little, then for someone to "steal" or "misplace" her cane the one and only thing she had to cling to is so hurting. I can only hope someone is consciencious enough to try find it and return it to her. I even checked to see if she had been taken somewhere by the staff like to a Dr. appt. when I was gone or something thinking she left it there but was told no they have not taken her anywhere so it has to be in the nursing home somewhere.

She is very unhappy right now and I don't know what to do. She is missing her dogs and her home and all her possessions. But no way can she go back home to live with her memory as it is.

It has to be very hard for her as she is use to being independent and coming and going at will. However the going was OK it was coming back home that was the problem as over and over she would take off and go to the club or the cafe and get there just fine but then she could not find her way back home. It is all so sad. But she did live at home and continue to drive til she was 91 so she did have a long ,good, independent life.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bringing Death Back Home

Even as we face our mothers' mortalities, we face our own.

I was reading about the home funerals movement tonight, and it made me think about how ever since my Dad passed away, and I was involved in helping with his 'arrangements' for the funeral, it has made me rethink everything I ever assumed about the end of life and how it is handled. I've spent a good deal of time researching what the laws are on how bodies can be handled, what are the legal methods of disposal of a body, and what rights I have as an individual to have a say in how my body is disposed of when I die.

I've taken steps to have my body used, then disposed of, in what I feel is the best way possible. I want to share anything useful of my former 'house' before it rots and is no more, by donating anything that can be reused for others whether that is an organ or tissue or whatever. I want to spare unnecessary and wasteful expense by having my body either donated for a medical student to dissect, or if nothing else, cremated. Now, after reading the article on home funerals, I'm thinking how nice it would be if people had a chance to really meet and say goodbye to me, to have a chance to heal, to be 'up close and personal' with my old body, macabre as you might think that sounds.

Personally, I find it comforting to have the chance to be near someone I love after they leave their body. I watched as my own father died, the life going out of his body even before the last breath was drawn, and I could easily see he was long gone, to where, no one knows, because once you are 'there', you don't come back to tell anyone. Anyone that says otherwise is just guessing, don't let them fool you. Some hope for the best, prepare for the worst, while others ignore it. Whatever you believe, it's just that - a belief, and not a fact. Time will definitely tell...