Before my Mom’s death, I worried if I would have any grieving left in my body for her. She was unwell for so long, and we had so many sad times through her illness, that I was afraid I had cried myself out.
Anybody who has watched a family member go through dementia will tell you that it’s hard to pinpoint when it really started. Was it the time that Mom accidentally threw out my paycheque? Or was it when……(insert one of many memories here)? .
The road to that final day was a long one, longer than we even knew at the time. Looking back at it now, it crept up on the whole lot of us. By the time we realized IT had taken over her mind, it was too late. There were only glimpses left of the amazing person we knew.
She was the life of the party, a kind hearted loving mom, who always seemed to know the right thing to say and when to say it. She gave of herself to no end and often passed over her last five dollar bill to one of us, her three children, who were too immature to realize how much she sacrificed for us.
She taught us right and wrong, she showed us how to love and respect not only others, but also ourselves. It was taken for granted that Mom would always be there.
Mom passed away from the ravages of Lewy Body Dementia. Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which Lewy bodies (abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein) build up in areas of the brain that regulate behaviour, cognition, and movement.
It can present with a range of symptoms including problems with thinking, memory, moving, sleep and/or changes in behaviour. It also affects autonomic body functions, such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and bladder and bowel function. Progressively debilitating, LBD can also cause people to experience visual hallucinations or act out their dreams. LBD is the single most undiagnosed disease in the world.
Our own family only received the diagnosis three weeks before her death.
Watching her go through Dementia was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life. We learned to take advantage of the brief glimpses of her personality as they happened.
One day I spent at her side singing gently to her, even though she was mentally vacant the whole time. I was content to sit by her side and just be.
She surprised me that day. She slowly turned her head towards me and said ever so sweetly “Bobbi, will you shut Up!!” Now in her heyday, it probably would have been a bit more spunky..like ‘Don’t give up your day job, Bobbi”, but I gladly took the silly little moment and giggled to myself. Happy that for just a second, my Mom knew I was there
After many moments of her frying popsicles, chatting with her deceased sister, picking berries that only she could see, and 24 hour care, we lost her. My world turned upside down. I compared to it going outside and looking up at the sky and it not being there.
It. Just. Didn’t. Compute.
I knew she was gone, but it wouldn’t sink into my head. If I had some great news, I would pick up the phone to call Momma. If I was sad, I wanted my Moms shoulder to cry on.
It didn’t really hit me ’til we were closing in on the first anniversary. As the big ONE crept closer, I got more and more anxious and more and more unlike the calm, cool person I had always been. It had dawned on me that after the first anniversary, the numbers would only grow after that. There would only be two years, three years….fifteen years, since I had seen my Mom.
It made me realize how hard it must have been for her, to go all those years without her own Mom. I was still learning from her!
March 31st marked the second anniversary of her death. I miss my Mom like nobodys business! My friends are used to sharing hugs from their own Mommas with me, and Dear ole Dad has been a awesome constant in my days. The daily calls I shared with Mom are now his and I’ve just had the honour and privilege of sharing a family holiday with him..something we haven’t done together since I was a little girl.
Mothers Day is here again. Everybody is getting geared up to honour their Moms on that special day, with Mothers Day gifts and restaurant reservations so Mom doesn’t have to cook. To me, Mothers Day is just going to be another day, although not in a bad way at all. I’ve learned to honour my Mom every day.
I’ve learned to celebrate her life and all that she was. Sure, we’re gonna shed a few tears while we reminisce together, but through the tears, we will laugh, smile and remember the woman she was. We will be thankful for every day we had with her.
As you celebrate Mother’s Day this year with your Momma, realize what you have while she is with you. Talk to her, ask her about life when she was a girl, or when she first met your Dad. Soak up every moment you have and celebrate all that she has done for you. Its an investment in time you won’t regret.
That’s it for this time, if you have any questions, or comments, I’d love to hear them. If you’re really enjoying the BPA blogging adventures and don’t want to miss out, click follow me and add your name/email to our growing list of blog subscribers. We’ll email you when a new blog post happens, then you can read them all at your own leisure…..and remember, I’m no expert, I’m just a painter gal with some thoughts to share.
Did you know my mother? Whats your favourite memory of your Mom? Did you enjoy this blog post?