Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This part of the journey is finally over

My mom passed away this morning.
I'm still in shock and disbelief. But I am so at peace that she finally has no pain.
Thank you to everyone that has been leaving messages and emailing me with their support and concern.
I have not been to sleep since last Thursday and think I will try to catch a few minutes of quiet time.......

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

La La Land

I thought, while things are still fresh in my mind that I'd write down a few things that have happened in recent weeks. So that maybe later I can write them all down in order and have them for family history. So I'm going to start with one story that keeps making me laugh over and over.

A week ago today my mom seemed fine. Not fine in the sence that she was well but fine for a dying woman. Her nurse came to see her and I told Berta that mom keeps getting out of bed and it was scaring me. She brushed it off and said she seems fine. Her colors good she's talking and knowing all of us. I said but I don't think she is.
Well darn it all about three in the afternoon my mom is in bed and sounds like she's on the phone. I think how'd she get the phone? I quietly go to the door of her room to listen and this is what I hear.
Mom: Here kitty kitty.
Mom: Marian, did you bring grammy a kitty?
Mom: Thank you for the kitty, can you bring him here?
I stick my head in the door and say what's up mom? She says nothing, the kids brought me a kitty. Oh I say and walk back out to the kitchen. (My kids are NOT at the apartment) A few minutes later I'm getting ice out of the freezer and as I turn there's my mom not two inches away from me. It suprised the daylights out of me.
Mom: I can't find kitty. Will you help me?
Me: Umm, sure. What does it look like?
Mom: It's a yellow kitty.
Me: Okay.
I start to walk around singing here kitty kitty. Then I asked her if kitty had a name.
Me: Does kitty have a name?
Mom: Yes. Then a long pause. Kitty's name is Meow.
So now I'm really getting into this whole thing and I'm looking under furniture and opening cupboards all the while my mom is crooning in a child like voice kitty kitty.
Then she decides that I should call my sister to tell her to bring cat food and kitty litter. So I did.
Me: Hi
Sister: Hi, what's up I'm about ten minutes away.
Me: Could you bring me some water?
Sister: Why?
Me: Cause the water here tastes like shit and I'm sooooo thirsty.
Sister: I guess, is that all?
Me: Well, now that you mention it, (as moms still calling out for kitty kitty) mom wants you to pick her up some cat food and clitty litter. (I don't know why my sister and I have always called it clitty litter. We are sick)
Sister: What!?
So I told her what was going on.
Sister: You wait until I get their. I'll set her straight. You can't be going along with her like that! I"m not picking up fucking cat food!
Me: Okay see you soon.
Carm brought me a case of water and went right in to see mum to let her know she was here, (She came up from Jersey) and as I was putting the water away my mom and sister were chit chatting. The next thing I know my sister comes out of the bedroom calling,"Here kitty kitty."
See, I said, I knew you couldn't break her heart.
Over the coarse of the evening and into the the night the illusive cat had more than one name. Meow, lucifer and then finally son of a bitch. It was at that point we gave my mom an anti hallucinogenic called Haloperidol. It didn't kick in for quite awhile after that and we listened to my mom have conversations with dead people and people that she worked with thirty years ago before she finally drifted off to la la land.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wish I was sitting on the Dock Of The Bay

I've been trying to get up enough juice for the last week to Blog. I just couldn't do it until now. But now I just don't know what to write. So much has happened but at the same time life seems to have stood still.
So here's a summery of what's been going on. I will try to make it brief but hey we all know I like to ramble.

Mom is still alive. Barely
We believe she had a stroke two Fridays past. At that point they didn't feel she'd make the weekend but didn't tell me that until after she'd made it the weekend.
In light of that my sister drove up from Jersey. My brother also flew in from Nevada. Which I found out I pronounce incorrectly. PS, it is scary to watch your mom have a stroke!!!!
After speaking to all parties involved it still seemed like mom was holding back dying. So in a conversation with her I found that she wanted to see my father one last time.

Now the dynamics of this whole thing are incredible. My father lives in Florida. For him to come and come quickly is a big deal, and would he do it? They have been divorced for eighteen years and have only seen each other once in that time. Now my mom and dad have not seen my brother in twenty years. Are you getting the picture here? I had also not seen my brother in that period but talk to him quite a bit.

So after talking with mom I went out in the hall of her apartment building where no one could hear me and I called my dad.
Me: Dad?
Dad: Yes honey.
Me: Mom is close to dying but we think she has some unfinished business to take care of first.
Dad: Oh?
Me: Dad, do you think you could come?
Dad: I'll call you back as soon as I confirm reservations.
Me: I'm sorry dad, I know you didn't want to do this. (me blubbering)
Dad: It's okay, I've been expecting this call.
Me: I love you, Bye.
Dad: I love you too.

My dad and his wife flew in late the next night. The next morning my dad came to visit with my mom and his wife went with Dave and the kids to watch Mimi's soccer game and then on to an apple orchard to pick apples and tour the farm. They also learned how to make apple juice. My kids already knew this but my dad's wife was born and raised in the Tampa area so this was really great for her. She also didn't interfere with anything, just gave everyone her support. She said to me that it was a shame that my parents never could be friends. She didn't know my mom.

I've read a few books on dying and I believe my mom will die within two weeks. Maybe sooner. Her oxygen is at eightyfour percent right now. She breathes hard and has been sleeping all day. Which makes up for her being up all night last night. (For the second night in a row) Last night I couldn't get her to stay in bed no matter how hard I tried. She is a large woman and if she falls I can't get her back to bed. It was ugly. After many calls to the night nurse I gave up and said I'll just sit and watch her the rest of the night. This morning a new nurse called me and I asked her what could be done about mom getting up (she can't support her weight) because I was worried about her falling. She told me if I couldn't reason with my mom and couldn't medicate her properly with what I had here for her than they would put her in the hospital. She was bitchy while saying this.
I replied in a SUPER nasty voice: If they put her in the hospital they will drug her so she doesn't get out of bed. So you had best send someone over here today to re access her and her medications so she doesn't get out of bed here. Do you understand? She must have because the apartment was a flurry of nurses and doctors coming in and out. Hopefully my mom will be comfortable now and not feel the need to keep getting up. The bad part is now she'll have to wear adult diapers and I'll have to change them. Eww. My sister said I can blog about the first poopy one I change but only after I tell her about it first. So you have that to keep you on the edge of your seats!

Dave and I are back on schedule of me staying at my moms full time and him bringing me the kids before he goes to work and picking them up on his way home. It seems to be coming routine because today Dane took a nap for the first time here.
I have more to say but my jaw hurts. Over and Out. Or Peace Out. Or Bye.............

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Strange Few Days

What I neglected to tell you during the wee hours of Friday morning is that Thursday afternoon I dropped my moms dog off to be put to sleep. The fun never ends around here! We also decided (my sister and I) that instead of burying the dog we would have her cremated. Then when we scatter my moms ashes we can scatter her dogs with her. I have to tell you, though it was sad, I was so relieved.

Friday morning my mom woke and was out of it. I tried to talk to her and she couldn't put any sentences together. She would try to stand to go to the bathroom but could not. It was ugly. As she sat on the side of her bed, her body shaking, I thought , "Oh Lordy, is this it?" I have to say I was having a hard time keeping it together. I looked at the clock and knew that "Berta" would be either at the office or with another patient. I ran to get the phone to call her and as I picked it up it rang and was Berta. I don't remember much except for crying. The next thing I knew, we had ten people in moms apartment. The HealthReach office is in my moms building so everyone that has worked with my mom came running upstairs. They really they took the elevator.

My moms blood pressure was 190 and her oxygen was bad. She didn't know anyone. The social workers kept asking me when my sister was coming. I kept saying the end of the month and they would say no, when is she coming. I was like, do you mean I should call and tell her to come? No one told me no. The people came with the hospital bed for my mom and the social workers told me I should move mom back to my house. AGH! What a morning! During all of this the kids were trying to do their school work. After awhile they just stopped and stared at the ensuing mayhem. Every time we turned around the door needed to be opened or the phone was ringing. Dane was so upset that he peed his pants and it filled both of his shoes. I couldn't get a hold of Dave, cause you know someone has to work. My mom would get upset because she wanted her bed back, it was a real trip.

I finally talked to my sister and told her what was happening and we both cried. I cried for mom and I think my sister cried for me. Dave finished work went home and got the truck and came and took the bed away so my mom wouldn't have to see it anymore. It was so I don't even know how to explain it. Pretty much what it came down to was them explaining to me how to use the Care Pack and that the couple of months that the doctor said on Tuesday wasn't gonna wait.

At three my mom got out of bed sane as could be and told me she was going to take a shower. What the fuck? Four hours before we thought she'd never get out of bed again and now she's taking a shower. After that I fed her Haagen Daz ice cream. She didn't remember anything about what happened earlier in the day. Oh I tried to tell her she had to go back in bed that she shouldn't walk to the shower and she grabbed my arm and told me to get the Hell out of her way. Then she proceeded to tell me how she fell Wednesday night (Which she had thought she'd kept a secret from me) while Kadie was watching her. The whole time I'm flabbergasted.

This evening my mom asked me to cook her steak. She said, I want steak and not a cheap one either. I'm hungry.

My life is weird.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Middle of the night

Well the time has come. I didn't know this time would actually come but here it is. No more denial. I've had to move in with my mom.

After a few times of her trying to use the stove and a time of telling Hospice workers she was going to the store I didn't have a choice. We are lucky she didn't burn this place down! Her progression rapidly worsened two weeks ago. It was sudden and overnight. I'm so thankful my sister was here or I don't think she'd have believed me.

So now I'm sleeping on my moms couch and have been pretty much all week. In the morning Dave will bring the kids to me and I'll keep them until he is out of work. I have most of their school stuff here and we'll just do our work here. I keep telling myself that we can all do this without missing a beat.

I went to bed at eleven which was two and a half hours ago only to be woken by my mom. She had wet her bed and was wondering around trying to find a light switch. I don't think she even knew who I was at first. She was in so much pain. I cleaned her up and changed her bed but she couldn't lay in her bed straight. Just sideways. She is a very large woman so I just left her. I also managed to get some morphine down her throat. I pray her pain stops. She keeps grabbing her side and crying.

The doctor seems to think that the non cancer mass in the front of her brain has caused swelling. She is confused and asks like she has dementia or at the least had a brain injury. Also not helping is she went years with untreated mental problems. So they have started her in on a drug to reduce the swelling. We started it this evening. It is some sort of steroid. If it is going to work it will in the next few days and supposedly it will make her not confused. (Understand that?)
The social worker told me that it would get easier when mom became bed ridden. When she told me this two weeks ago I was floored and even a bit angry. I thought to myself Bed ridden? Not my mom. Now I understand. It's not pretty here folks. Death is ugly and makes people ugly and act ugly. And not necessarily the person that's dying. But the people who surround them. I have never been so sad in my life but on the other hand I see joy all around me.

The doctor was here on Tuesday and told us mom has a couple of months. When I told a worker (I won't say which one) the responded with , "Oh when I hear that I always half it." They also said that since my mom is so large she may linger. So ever since then losing weight has been a top priority of mine. Of course its only been two days since I heard that but I haven't had any junk in two days. So there.

Right now the downtown is quiet. Not many cars coming or going. Every couple of minutes I stop typing to look out the window. When she first moves in we said we couldn't wait to watch the snow fall from here. I don't think she'll ever see it.
Soon, I don't know when, they will order a hospital bed for my mom and we'll set it up here in the living room. I don't know how much longer we can keep mom here or if we'll have to move her back to my house. I guess it depends on how much Dave and I can take of all of this running back and forth. I'll write more later.

I just want to say thanks to everyone who emails me and leaves comments. It really helps.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Labor Day Fun

Labor Day rolled around and Dave and I just wanted to crawl in bed and ignore the outside world. Sadly, once you have children you can never do that again. Chrissy decided that we should have a bonfire eat out back. So Marian and I went to moms and to the grocery and when we got home, Dave, Chrissy and Dane had a nice fire going. The kids drove around on the mower. At one point all three were on the darn thing. I don't have any pictures of that because I was too busy praying. The girls called some friends over to eat with them and pretty soon we had five little girls running around. I didn't post any pictures of them either as I'm not sure how their parents would feel about me posting pictures of their babies for the wide world of the Internet to see. I also used a collage because I can only post four pictures at a time with Blogger. Does everyone have that problem? Or is it that I don't know what I'm doing?

Then as night really started to roll around, and it was such a beautiful evening, it was perfect I tell ya, I asked the girls if they wanted to sleep outside by the fire. There wasn't a no in the house. (so to speak) The girls were running around squealing trying to get their stuff together when Chrissy pulls a sad face and said, "But wait, we have school tomorrow!" To that I replied,"School schmool, we're home schooled!" Mom was number one that night I tell ya. Not so much the next morning when we had to actually had to do our school work.

We decided to take the seats out of the van and put an air mattress in the back of it. as you can see Dane made himself right at home.

We then made s'mores and ate them til our tummies were stuffed and marshmallowy feeling. We had to really watch Dane. He'd stick his marshmallow in the fire and when it lit on fire he'd pull the stick out and proceed to fling the flaming marshmallow in one of our directions. Sometimes I wonder how we haven't lost, maimed or accidentally had one of our children killed.
When it was time to settle down, as you can see by all the blur, that was a monumental feat, Dave sat by the fire and started to read to us The Hobbitt. I read chapter books out load to the kids all the time. Sometimes with school books that we have to read are kind of boring and if I read them to the kids they pay attention more. I also like to act out parts as we go along. Sometimes we don't get any other schoolwork done because we are having too much fun acting out scenes from a book to show Dave when he gets home. Anyway back to what I was saying, Dave was reading and if you know the Hobbit you know all the name are strange and long. I do not want to read any part of this book aloud. Dave on the other hand has a wonderful reading voice and as he read we all drifted in an out of consciousness. I could have listened to him read forever.
After he finished reading we banked the fire and he and Dane went up to the house for the night. We had the back end of the van open and backed up by the fire. The girls and I lay on our stomach's and watched the flame dance around. Soon both girls were fast asleep and Dave was calling me asking how it was going. Great, I whispered what is it? Eight forty five he said. What!? That's it!? I fell asleep too, shortly after that while watching the fire and the moon. It was such a peaceful night. Dave said he kept coming out back to check on us and we were all out like a light. I woke up at two thirty and couldn't get back to sleep. At three, both girls woke up and had to pee so I called it a night and drove us back up to the house and we all grabbed a couch and went back to sleep.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Moms Apartment

I posted pictures awhile back of mom's new place but didn't post any after she moved in. Nice TV huh? Rock, paper, scissors, BABY!!!!
I know I'm twisted. What a view she has. I sit at her computer and try to blog but I can't concentrate because of all the action outside the windows. I could sit forever and watch. Not because it's peaceful or exciting, but because I'm nosey and like to watch the people get pulled over. I'm kind of weird like that.
She has such a wonderful open space. See that big picture on the wall? I DID NOT rock, paper, scissors that. My mom loves that picture so much that she hung it all by herself. Yes she did. I didn't even ask how she did it. I'm sure with enough morphine in your blood stream you can do just about anything. (Except drive, you only think you can.)
She has stainless steel appliances, which I can't stand. I can never get the foot marks off of them. Drives me crazy. Her doors drive me crazy too. They are eight footers. I have to get a step stool to wipe them down. I don't know why I feel the need to wipe down her doors. You should see mine, fingerprints, dirt and bloody boogers galore. EWWWW

We had a long weekend. Or I guess I should say, I had a long weekend with my mom. After working at the fair Friday night and the whole day Saturday I was beat. I went to mom's and got her something to eat and gave her pills. Then I sat down beside her and told her we had to talk. She had been crying. From the looks of her she cried most of the day. She asked me why the doctor wouldn't tell her what was going on. I really didn't want to have this conversation with her. As a matter of fact I had been avoiding it for two weeks. Now I wasn't going to be able to squirm out of it. Damn I thought.

mom: Why won't the doctor tell us why I'm so sick and in so much pain?
me: Okay mom, it's like this, um, we have to be honest here. You know?
mom: okay.
me: You know how you have more spots coming through your skin under your arm?
mom: yes.
me: You know how your shoulder hurts and none of the fluid will drain from your arm?
mom: yes.
me: You and I both know what that is, don't we mom?
mom: (crying) Yes, it's the cancer.
me: Yes mom, I too think that it's the cancer. I also think that we both know that the cancer is spreading faster than we anticipated. Do you think that too?
mom: Why can't I just shut my eyes and go to sleep and not wake up?
me: I don't know mom, (now I'm bawling) maybe God thinks you have some unfinished business here to take care of.
mom: I just want to go.

Now this is real life people. The stuff they don't tell you in school.....
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Circus our lives have become

Good Morning Everyone. Well everyone who reads this anyway. We have all made it through another day and hopefully another night. (I have not spoken with my mom yet.)

Yesterday was a really hard day as we spoke with the Social Worker who informed us that my mom should have around the clock care because of her confusion. Our family has discussed this and decided against it. Life Line is coming in on Sunday to install their product. If she falls and isn't too confused to push the button she'll be okay. If she falls when someone is with her (say one of us or an aide,) that person will not be able to get her up on their own anyway. If she confused and wondering what is this fucking thing hanging around my neck with the big button and pushes twenty times a day then she does. They'll answer her. I hope they don't call her on the phone though because ninety percent of the time she doesn't know how to answer it. Either that or she puts the remote control from the TV on her phone charger and tries to answer that. Now that's not working out out too well for her. Tonight I'll be taking our phones to her house and switching with her. Our phones are white. Hers look like a remote for the TV.

We are frantically trying to obtain a lawyer to put stuff in writing and by Monday afternoon we should have this done. PRAY that she doesn't get anymore confused before this is done. (Or the lawyer won't be able to do this.)

My sister has been her all week and really has been a HUGE HUGE help. We've laughed and cried and cried some more. Plus we've played Rock Paper Scissors a few times in order to see who gets what. We are REAL mature. I'm better than Kadie and my sister. (The TV is mine!) Hee hee.

I just tried to call my mom she didn't answer. She's done this all week to me. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I jumped in the van and made a sixteen minute ride into twelve. That includes the elevator ride also. I would bust in to find her sitting on the couch or chair talking to the Chaplain or nurse like she doesn't have a care in the world. I later found out that she is doing it on purpose. (Probably just to see how fast I can get to her.) So as much as its killing me, I am not driving to her apartment right now. If she has died there isn't anything I can do anyway. Of course it would get me out of working at the Parks and Rec Boothe at the fair today. I worked four to ten last night and today I'm scheduled eleven to five. I hate this kind of thing.

I'll keep everyone posted, thank you everyone for all of the support. It's what getting me through.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I need a peaceful easy feeling today.

I don't have much time so I'll be brief. Mom is not doing well. Confusion has set in and along with confusion comes the agitation. Her cancer is spreading like a wildfire and we are powerless to do anything about it.

I have a big black hole in my heart right now that I wonder if it will ever close. Not even a smile can make my tears stop flowing. My schedule is so over whelming to me that I wonder when and where and who I'm going to flip out on. I pray it will be a stranger that I don't know and not someone I love.

I've been going to my moms at least two times a day for the past week. Sometimes three. Today my sister and I have a social worker coming to her house to meet with us so she can help my mom understand that we need to check her finances to make sure her bills are paid. We are going to try to marathon through this and pick a funeral home plus my moms two brothers are coming. On top of that I have to volunteer at the fair tonight I sent an email asking someone to step up for me but no one has responded. My sister leaves tomorrow so we have to get stuff done. She won't be able to get back for a month unless mom dies. I don't want to have to make all the decisions.

I'll post more later.
Please don't forget all of the men and women that died today because of the people who Hate our contry.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Laying Down Beets and Blue Teeth

Kadie was here one day a few weeks ago to paint Halloween Aprons with the girls. She also took them to get Blue Slushies and their teeth are blue. Which drives me crazy. You should never ingest something that stains your mouth. But sometimes the children overpower me. I do pretty good until Kadie comes and then she turns into the ringleader with her band of merry men. (Or children) They will do or say anything she asks. Even if they know I'll get upset. If Dave is home it's even worse. He'll whisper in Kadie ear,"Hey I bet I can make the vein on mom's neck bulge." To which Kadie whispers as she's laughing, "No dad, don't, she'll get really mad!" It doesn't stop him though it just eggs him on.
Kadie has an innocent look to her. She looks like she's sixteen. I'm not naive though. She left for boot camp two months after turning eighteen and hasn't looked back. She's now twenty one almost twenty two. She still doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. She's kicking around Massage Therapy School but isn't sure if she wants to commit. She should though because she's great at it. DO YOU HEAR ME!? I KNOW YOUR READING THIS!!! GO TO SCHOOL!!!
I'm also not a very up on things parent. I'm getting old.
This picture here is a joke on me though. She was showing me a blunted up face. One night not long ago I was talking to Kadie on the phone and Dave was telling me questions to ask her. She's been partying quite a bit lately. Well probably not to her but to us it seems like quite a bit. Anyway Dave told me to ask her if she was blunted up. So I asked her. Moooooom she said and started to laugh like a hyena. This was not funny. If he would have said, smoked a dube or dubage or a fatty I would have know. I feel like he set me up. Doesn't it sound like that to you? Then after all the laughs had died down, he tells me to ask Kadie if Grand Master B (The name I have for Kadies BF after Bud Bundy) has laid down any beets. "What", I don't know what that means. "Just ask," he said. So I did. Kadie again started laughing and said that's BEATS mom. Not beets from the garden but music.
Why do I fall for this? After the whole ImaJo thing I thought I doing good catching on. Apparently not. I'm glad I can be some amusement for the family.
I have a new momdate coming up but am waiting on the nurses report today, (Tuesday) she has been going downhill rapidly and I really wish I could find someone who has been in my position so I could play twenty questions with them.
Oh yeah, where is ImaJo lately? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Numero Uno

Before your child leaves for BOOT CAMP you need to purchase them cool stationary and stamps so that they can send you letters from there vacation away from mom and dad. (AKA Boot camp)
You'll also want to write your address on the envelope for them so it will be easier for them to write you more frequently.
Like this card here. What a darling little Troll. Doesn't he look like a happy camper? This came in a big bunch of cards that my sister in law gave to Kadie before she left for Boot camp. This also happens to be the very first letter she sent home after leaving for her vacation from me. (I found it the other day while cleaning the school room)

Hey Guys,

It's me and I want to come home. It's Hell here there's no ups just downs. My address is on the front. I'll call at some point. I really, really, Really miss everybody so much. So I'll write again soon. I love you all so much Tell the girls Hi and I them too.

Do you know what happens to a mom who gets this letter? She goes Nuckin Futs. Nobody messes with my baby! I was going to drive to North Carolina an open up a can of whoop ASS! I cried for days. I mean just look at the little Troll! Did she or did she not know just what card to send me? Yes she did! That was the first of many cards and letters that she sent home. We would fight to go to the mailbox. I laugh thinking about it now. In every letter she sounded better and better and more positive.

Then we had Graduation. Oh my God I missed her so much I just wanted to hug her all day. But I had to stand in line because her sisters didn't want to let her out of their sight. I swear she wasn't very big when she left but when we first saw her I couldn't believe how thin she was. Not bad thin but in shape. She looked so grown up to me but as I look at this picture now she looks like a little kid. We were and are so proud of her.