Monday, November 18, 2013

Celebrating Mom

My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's years ago. She told us that she did not want us (her 4 children) taking her into our homes to care for her; she wanted us to live our lives. Mom entered a facility in 2005. In 2009, when they could no longer care for her, we moved her to an Alzheimer's home. This past August, because of a new State of Illinois regulation don't get me started!, we had to move her to a nursing home. All of her 'homes' had caring, compassionate staffs. The staff at the Alzheimer's home became family to us - absolutely wonderful people.
Dorathy Meyers 1924 - 2013
Amazing mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother
Equally amazing daughter, sister, wife, aunt, friend
Mom was an amazing woman that fiercely loved her family and loved almost everyone else in the world. She did not even utter unkind words. Children loved her - I think they sensed she was special. She worked hard and did not have the easiest life - Dad died in 1981 - but Mom always made the best of things and she was happy. Oh that smile!

On October 30th, I got a call from my oldest brother that hospice had been called in again. Two and a half years ago, hospice thought she had about 2 weeks to live and then she stabilized. She lost the ability to walk, talk, move etc. sometime ago. She could swallow. Although she couldn't talk to me, I could still talk to her. Sometimes she would respond to my voice or to my touch. 

Then on November 6th she began to lose the ability to swallow. Another call from my oldest brother came on  Sunday, the 10th. This time we headed that way prepared to stay. The days and nights were long and difficult. Hopefully you have never had to watch someone you love more than life suffer. 

Early Wednesday morning, the 13th of November, Mom went home. A little later there was a glorious sunrise. I believe that was a sign she had made it to Heaven.

Thirteen happens to be a lucky number in this house. We were married on the 13th of June. Our oldest was born on the 13th of November. The birthday of our youngest has a 13 if read in reverse. Mom went home on the 13th. No more pain. No more suffering. Mom is free. She is with the Lord and Dad. She is in Heaven. I rejoice in that. Yes, I still look at the 13th as a lucky number. 

I have precious memories. And the phone calls, the cards, the social media, friends and family all tell me others have some of those same memories. 

I sent her a card when we were in Colorado this fall. It expressed my sentiments exactly and I knew the nurses and my brothers would read it to her.

She Who Is My Mom 
by Suzy Totonto
As a child, I opened my eyes for the first time to
"she who" wiped my tears, 
kissed my boo-boos, 
and loved me more than life itself. 
As a young woman, 
I opened my eyes once again and saw 
"she who" was a strong and independent woman. 
She gave me wings and taught me how to fly. 
Today I open my eyes and see 
"she who" is my dearest and truest friend.
 She encouraged my dreams, 
applauded my accomplishments, 
understood my mistakes, 
and has always been so proud of me. 
She's my mom 
and I love her more than life itself! 

Mom's services were yesterday. Many family and friends  came in the middle of some pretty ugly midwestern weather to help us celebrate her life. 

The card from my aunt and uncle was so perfect. It said:

I’m sure you’ll miss her.
The very one who rocked you
In the beginning
Needed you most in the end…

You were there with your tender heart
And your steadfast loyalty,
Doing the right thing
Exactly the way she would have hoped,
Exactly the way she taught you to do.

What a beautiful tribute to your mother.

I rejoice that Mom is home but I do miss her. How I'd love to hold her hand one more time….


  1. Jeanne, I am so very sorry for your loss. I'm praying that your sweet memories of her will give you comfort. {{hug}}

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Alzheimer's is hard to watch happen. I've been there. I'm sure there was a big celebration in Heaven for your mom.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother had Alzheimer's as well. It is a terrible disease. ((Hugs))

  4. I, too, extend my sympathy for your loss. It would seem that "the long good bye" would apply here. May His comfort surround you and those cherished memories forever be yours. Hugs.........

  5. I'm so sorry. I lost my dad to Alzheimer's in 2009. I'd helped my mom during his move to a new nursing home only weeks before he went into the hospital. They resuscitated him, even though he had a DNR bracelet on. God knew that I needed to be with him at the end. We unplugged him shortly after I arrived, and, I was holding his hand as he passed away. Keep the good memories close. They will help you thru.

  6. Jeanne, I'm so sorry for you loss. I hope all the sweet memories you have of her will make you smile as you remember them. Hugs.



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