Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Heard Your Voice Today


I heard your voice today.

An echo of our past stirred memories in my mind.

Thoughts of skinned knees and hand made dresses.

Days of swimming in the pool and visits to the beach.

Nights of watching The Muppets and Wheel Of Fortune.

I heard your voice today.

An echo of your talent forever remains preserved in my home.

A needlepoint to hang upon the wall.

Ceramic figurines for each holiday.

Afghans to keep my children warm.

Bowling trophies I kept from your home.

I heard your voice today.

You heard mine.

I heard your voice today.

You knew who I was.

I heard your voice today.

You were angry I bothered you.

I heard your voice today.

It wasn’t you.

 @@@
For the much lighter side of my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease I wrote THIS (way funnier).  You have to laugh about the disease, you have to have a sense a humor and not take it seriously or you’ll be a heap of tears on the floor – at least, I would be a heap of tears on the floor. 

I’m still painting and getting the final touches done on my son’s room and it is looking great!  I’m excited. I LOVE painting, it feels good being so productive.

 I don’t plan on being around much the rest of the week or next week either.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!

Be well!

47 comments:

  1. Hey Elsie! My grandmother had Alzheimer's and so does my father in law. The disease is a monster mainly for the fact that it is so hard on the loved ones. I too used humor with my grandmother, and you know what? It made her laugh to be picked on and I think it's because she was able to flashback to fun times.

    Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

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    1. It is a shitty disease and it's hard for the patient and the family. I could see it in my mom's eyes in the beginning and then after awhile, they became vacant. My mom loves(d) humor and busting chops. The last few phone calls have been different though, she has become agitated with me so I have a feeling the anger is finally taking hold. It sucks ass but I knew it was coming. I'm grateful she still knows who I am, that part is awesome.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Barfly!!!

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  2. Awww Elsie this is so beautiful reading it made me feel like I wanted to break down and cry a little, it's so beautiful and is EXACTLY how I feel every time I go to visit my grandmother. I hate dementia so much, like you say even though the voice is there the person isn't really and it's so horrible, I loved this.

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    1. I recalled your Grandma when I wrote this, Matthew because of what you are going through. I hope you know how important and valuable it is that you are seeing her. I'm so glad you are taking pictures and spending time with her, you are such a great grandchild!!! Give your Grandma an extra big hug today!!

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  3. sorry to hear about your mom, Elsie.
    Can't wait to see the pics of the room, hope you will show us the finished work ;)

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    1. Thanks, Dezzy. She's had it for, gosh, about 15 years or so and it's just now getting severe, so we had a long time to prepare mentally for these days to come. =)

      I havent' decided if I'm going to do a big reveal yet. Hubby did an awesome artwork on the wall that pretty much says "Junior goes here" LOL

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    2. is she with you or is she in some kind of home? It can be such a burden to the kids as well when their old parent has such an illness :(

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    3. I had to put her in a nursing home a few years ago. I took care of her for as long as I could but she became a danger to herself and others so it was for the best that I place her into a facility. She was pretty mad at me for awhile...whew!

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    4. I can imagine, it isn't easy for the old people to accept it, either :( But as you said it really is safer and better if they have professional help all the time.

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  4. Dementia/Alzheimers sucks so bad. :( Glad you are having fun painting; I hope you post pics! Have a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, JoJo.

      I love painting, what a blast! It can be challenging cutting in but how rewarding!! Now I see why you love to craft. Not sure about posting pics though...see above comment =P

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  5. Surely not something that is easy to go through at all. But yeah making fun of most things can sure help. Like the fact that your a painting, one eyed scary with voices in your head hahahaha the cat had to go there. For you are going to be productive everywhere else and not on here, that is just rude. Such attitude.

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    1. You know I have to make fun of everything - that's just how I am. ha ha ha <--- see

      Duh, I called her on the phone, hence the phone picture, no voices in my head and how she heard my voice LMAO!!!!

      Yeah, maybe I'll even go and paint another room while I'm away from blogging land! PFFT!!!

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    2. The cat likes his version better. The cat doesn't include the phone. haha

      Geez you painting rooms, anne painting figures. Do you guys like the fumes or something? haha

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    3. Of course the cat thinks he's all that and a bag of Pringles chips.

      I can't speak for Anne but I love the smell of paint in the morning...

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  6. This is beautiful! My grandmother in law is...unwell... and we have had to let go and live with relatives who live on a wonderful small farm, where she will be safer...to her herself and the kids in the family.


    Thanks Elsie!

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    1. Aww, Xena, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother in law. I'm glad you have family able to care for her. My mom is in a facility out of state with my brother. I took care of her for over ten years, the last two she was in a home. It's tough. My heart goes out to you!

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  7. Sorry about your MOM dear Elsie always I think is really hard the people we love so much have this:(
    My mom has two friend with alzaimher and was really hurt when they dont notice her, OMy, send you huggs dear Elsie!!
    (Im happy you post again :)

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    1. It's a very hard disease to watch, especially because it's gone on for so very long. She had it set in at an early age after a stroke which triggered seizures. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's friends.

      I won't be around again for a bit, but after Thanksgiving it'll be normal again - whatever that means in my world!

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    1. Thanks, Ray. It can suck at times and others we use it as an opportunity for a good laugh.

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  9. My grandma had alzheimers and it was getting pretty bad before she died earlier this year. And yes, you do have to keep a sense of humor about it. As is the case with alzheimers, the same conversations tend to happen over and over again. I would always give a different answer each time just to keep things interesting for myself.

    My mom would always say how cute she was, basically being a child again. Mom asked her about some cookies she was eating and she cupped her hand over the cookie to hide it saying "My cookie!" just like a little child.

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    1. Oh my gosh, Dan...the same conversation happens all the time! It's funny in a sad funny way. She gets mad at me for not sending her soda, I still don't know why.

      My mom had a stage when she acted child like but quickly passed through it. I'm not sure why that is for her. I'm sorry about your grandma, Dan.

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  10. Seriously Elsie. How do you know. My grandpa doesn't have Alzheimer's BUT they are in the middle of ruling out a stroke or brain bleed and he wasn't recognizing everyone. I hope it was just that he didn't have his glasses. I've never been worried about him being in the hospital. This time I totally am. And while this was sad, it did help me. For real.

    You have a fabulous holiday and I want to see pictures of the room when you are done. You know how I love pictures!

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    1. My mom's was brought on by a stroke that caused seizures when she was only in her early 60's. It began with little things - forgetfulness, only eating certain foods, repeating the same things in the same day. Then it got a bit worse, one day she got into someone else's car and that was the breaking point. I took her to a neuro and had her tested, they did the MMSE and one for cognitive skills and she failed and was at a level 2 so it was recommended she be put into a facility.

      I hope your grandpa is okay, Mel and he gets better soon. Sending healing vibes his way!!

      Happy Thanksgiving, I know you'll be cooking up a storm!

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  11. My dad died from his kidney failure and strokes taking their toll before Alzheimer's became a bigger problem,Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans!

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, Lurk. My dad had a stroke too and complicated heart problems but was sharp as a tack...and was a bit of a wise ass which must be where I get it from.

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  12. Yes we must keep a sense of humor!! I am now writing over here please come follow me here now Elsie, Janice had to go into hiding from haters but sadly it isn't working out funny how people get so consumed on hurting others they do find a way to find??? ~Janice~

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    1. Oh no! Janice are you kidding? I'm so sorry whoever it is, is finding a way to make things worse for you. So unnecessary! My heart goes out to you. I'll find you, sweetie!

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  13. A happy thanksgiving to you too Elsie and it's great you're enjoying all this painting. Both my parents right now are healthy but I don't like the idea of either of them losing their sanity or going senile, but I will deal with it if it happens. I won't try to pretend I won't be upset, because I will be, and I don't know if I'll be able to laugh at it, but I've gotten good at putting on a brave face.

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    1. I am almost done with the painting. I would have been done today but had to go back to the dentist. Grrrr!!! Stupid crown.

      My kids already think I'm insane. They tell me all the time, "Mom, you're crazy." They're probably right. I'm kidding of course (kind of, I think I've heard them whisper it to each other when they think I'm not listening.)

      Seriously though, I put on a brave face when I need to but don't always because if there is one thing I've learned from the hell I've been through in my life (Senior's death, Devin's addiction, my addiction/recovery) putting that brave face on crushes my real emotions and then it all comes crashing down around me if I'm not careful.

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  14. It's so distressing to see a parent go through this. Cherish old memories and any happy new ones that still are possible. Hugs to you and your Mom today.

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    1. I am so lucky to have so many good memories (along with bad too) with my mom. I came to learn when Senior was killed (my first husband) when I was 27 that nothing in life can be taken for granted and we need to cherish each and every day and every person in it.

      Thanks Debra and what a great post you did today!!

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  15. It's difficult to down this and empathize. I mean, it's done, it's just difficult to be in.

    Happy thanksgiving

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    1. It's a toughie, that's for sure. When people say "Cheers to good health" in a toast, I always wonder if they really understand the enormity of it as they clink the glasses together....

      Thanks D4

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  16. This is one of the most moving things you've ever written my friend. I read it twice and I cried both times. You've captured my feelings here, the sadness, the loss, combined with the poignant memories of what once was. You paid homage to the things that were and showed that they have a place of pride and honor in your home and your heart.

    I'm so glad that you are able to handle this with humour. I wish I had, had that gift. I was a puddle of tears and still can become one when I remember how my mother suffered for those long empty years at the end of her life. When I think of her I try to only remember the wonderful person she was before the disease stole that away.

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    1. No! Don't cry, Anne! I never want my friend to cry.

      I think I may have known, no, I know I knew, what was coming down the road when I started taking things from her house before I moved away. I wanted to make sure I had little tokens of memories. She had color coded stickers for each kid too, for what she wanted each to have, before I moved her into the nursing home. Just little nick knacks for them each, she knew too.

      It also serves as a reminder for me that when she is being mean, it's not her anymore, it's her disease. I try not to get my feelings hurt and cry for what I've lost and try to embrace the memories but it's hard. She's been battling this for so freaking long.

      That's why I wrote the piece about the funny stuff she did because of Alzheimer's - cause it is some funny shit!!

      You can still remember your in a positive way and all the great qualities she instilled in you that you passed on to the kids. The beauty and grace you posses, the artistic ability you are blessed with! Beautiful!!

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    2. The crying was a good thing, sometimes you just have to do it when you feel it. Now if only men could get the knack of that!

      I'm glad that she thought of things to give you in advance. My mother didn't do that and immediately after she died my father threw every single thing connected with her in the rubbish. I only have a handful of photographs of her because he got rid of those as well.

      Visiting in the nursing home is hell isn't it. I mean no matter how good the facility, it's still depressing to see that many elderly people in that kind of shape. So sad what the future may hold for each of us.

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

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    3. I agree, Anne! Sometimes, I just need a good cry and I'll watch a movie to do it to! My dad was a crier. He would cry at a flippin' coffee commercial, it was hysterical! Then again, he was the only boy in his family of many sisters =)

      I am very grateful my mom thought of giving the kids stuff before she got very sick. I'm so sad your dad threw your mom's stuff away. That's heartbreaking, Anne! Why would he do that? Did it hurt him to see her things?

      The nursing home is terrible. Even though they tried to make it a fun place with games and actives and was just depressing as hell. =(

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  17. i love painting too! it always leaves things fresh and clean.

    Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. I can't imagine losing my mind...but it is funny stuff. i remember my friends grandmother talking to me for half and hour about her vagina, and itches, and certain creams, and if my vagina itches and then she showed me how to really scratch her own vag....funny stuff!

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    1. You wouldn't believe how much my mother's boundaries changed after she got sick. It was crazy the stuff she would say. She went from being prim and proper to being a potty talking embarrassment. I couldn't take her out to eat at a restaurant it got so bad!!

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  18. This doesn't run in my family (thank God), so I can't pretend to know what it's like, but I bet it can't be easy. On a lighter note, my father-in-law always jokingly says about my mother-in-law, "It's okay if you get Alzheimers, because then I can get the privilege of introducing myself to you and making you fall in love with me all over again on a daily basis."

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    1. I love how your FIL assumes he can get your MIL to fall in love with him all over again. Imagine if she was like, "Nah, I'm not interested in the likes of you!" Now that would suck!

      It would be like 50 First Dates!! LOL

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  19. I love this and I wish my mom could read this or understand it if I read it to her. Have a wonderful thanksgiving and give everyone my love.

    Love,
    Meemaw

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    1. Meemaw!!!! I didn't know your mom has Alzheimer's too, I'm so sorry to hear that =(

      You have a great Thanksgiving and give those grand babies big hugs and kisses!!

      Love,
      Elsie!!

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    2. I will do that and you give everyone my love.

      Meemaw

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