Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day: Reflections and Dementia

Happy mother's day to all the moms out there. Most of us are fortunate enough to have good mothers. Others don't (if you watch TV shows like Judge Judy where horrible mothers appear like in a parade).
2008:Rob's family: Mom and dad in the middle
      Sadly, Mother's day this year for me (Rob) means dealing with the mother that isn't the one I grew up with. That's because dementia has brought out really bad qualities in my 86 year old mother. She used to help others all the time, take elderly friends and neighbors on errands or visit them, she always hosted birthdays, holidays and graduations at my childhood home. Neither her brother or sister's families every hosted anything, and my dad was an only child- so the burden always fell on my mother. She loved to draw and painted "Winnie the Pooh" on shirts and our bed sheets when we were kids. She made my 2 brothers and me shirts (she was good at sewing and could make clothes). She made me a Batman costume , cape and cowl- that I cherished for decades. She used to make draperies for the house. She could cook anything.  Holidays were well-decorated, but dinner making was always stressful... and not always peaceful. Mom loved being out in the yard, and today even still gardens...
but she's had dementia for about 4 years, and her personality has changed.
   Dementia is a horrible thing - it has transformed my mother into an oftentimes mean, angry person. Once out of every 4 or 5 conversations, she'll be lucid and not irritated or angry. However, most times she is. She's mad at my dad for dying in 2008, and she takes her anger out on me and my brothers who are the only ones around for her (which makes it difficult for us to be around). Oftentimes my mother creates an "argument" in her head to get angry with me and my brothers and slam the phone down in our ears. She's been on a downward slide for the last couple of years, especially this year. She's refused invitations and then gets angry at us for not being there. It makes it difficult to call her, but we all call her daily (and brace ourselves for being yelled at). I miss the mother I had as a kid. - So, if your mom has all her faculties, give her a hug, tell her Happy Mother's Day for me.
 - I will say that I'm SO thankful for the world's greatest Mother-in-Law (Tom's mom) and other moms that I've adopted like Mom Feldhaus in Maine. Happy mother's day to all our friends and my sister-in-law Sue, and Tom's sister Lisa.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next