Friday, December 28, 2007

Tonight we Laughed

We are in line. These past few days with daily and evening trips to the Care Center where DH's ma, my MIL is now living since this summer after she became deathly ill, but survived, we are becoming oh so much more aware of our mortality's. We look at the residents here and think we are next in line and age wise we are. It's an awareness one might rather ignore, deny, put off, and I suppose it's not ours tomorrow or the next day, however, we are just more aware of it being the next part of life. As Ma says to us: "This is my final resting place." Meaning the last place she shall call home.

Ma is doing well physically. At 87.8 yrs old her body is doing well, her mind is pretty sharp but she is suffering the early stages of dementia. She knows it too. But her sense of humor is very much in tact. Tonight was a good example of this. DH got her laughing with his silly antics and we all had tears rolling down our cheeks from laughter. Then Ma found these two night gowns in her closet (hospital gowns) and started showing us what silly things they were and even started to dress herself in one and again she was laughing and we were laughing with her. It was so funny...more than how I can describe it here. And then there was a phone call from a relative she could not recall and she became very frustrated and then angry...we were able to calm her down and the moment passed.
Then it became fun again...but this is her new world, of memory coming in and going out...and leaving her frustrated. And then she talks of one of the young men who care for her there and tells about having a crush on him. And we are all smiling and laughing again, especially Ma.


  1. Lovely pictures. Looked like fun was had by all. Your SIL in those pix looks like Diane Keaton. ;-)
    My Aunt and uncle, My Dads older Brother, are going on late 80ies & just told me yesterday that they are going on a cruise for their 63rd anniversary next month. He will be 90 next Fall. Good stock I guess. They still live on their own and in good health. But one can never tell when that could change. But for now they are amazing me.

  2. It is so hard to remain present in the moments when life reaches the other end our our comfort levels. And we have the knowledge and the desire to use it, but begin to feel the ability slipping away.

    Bless you for remaining present in these moments and living through them instead of ignoring them.

    For remembering that even within grief, within anger, that joy exists and you can find your way back to it.

    I don't have to tell you to cherish these times...but I will THANK you for reminding US to.

    blessings to you and your family

  3. A lovely post, Lynn. I guess i know where yr DH got his sense of humour. Man, is that lacking in my family. We rarely laugh laugh. Maybe a faint chuckle ever ten years.

    Laughter is wonderful and I just think your MIL is so lucky to have such wonderful children and relatives.

    Blessings to all.

  4. This brought tearful memories of my mom. The saddest time for her and all of us was the stage you describe here. She was so angry and sometimes frightened when caught in those moments of loss. After an episode of confusion, especially when she first began to not recognize the people and places dear to her, the returning of reality was sad and painful as she knew it would come again and often. And watching her agony was painful for us.

    I'm glad you are treasuring these times. :')

  5. I already went through this dementia stuff with my own mother who died 15 years ago now...It was excruciatingly painful I know the ropes so to speak, and I am only here for a short time, so this is "easier"...and MIL has a changed personality now for the better, somehow she is more up beat with it all, amazing really, and in the here and now with us at least she is positive and happy and funny and fun. Like I said I have only seen one slip into anger and frustration. I love it when she says "there are 100s of people here and they all know me! I don't know who they are but they all know ME!" Her eyes get very big and she is just in awe of this.
    She lived with her daughter before moving to this care center. But she was getting very forgetful and as SIL works she was on her own and it was becoming dangerous. She would forget food on the lit gas stove, try to shovel walks of snow, become frightened if daughter wasn't at home and she'd forget where she went or when to expect her back. So she had to be in a care center after this last (and her first ever) illness. this is actually a very good enviornment for her.
    That said, the idea of being placed or needing to be placed scares me to death. Would I adapt to being in that small room with a bed and a table? Would I be okay using a walker to go to the dining room to eat and try to remember how to get back to my little room?
    Would my family come to visit me?
    It's not a pretty time of life folks. As they say not for the weak or faint of heart.

    So enjoy what you've got NOW. It doesn't last forever!

  6. Hi Lynn, I read this post and it makes me wondering how we all cope with life...It is not easy. But I love your collage of family-fun photos, and the way you describe your mother in law, the changing attitudes, in and out of memory...
    I send you all my love

  7. Lynn, you are blessed to have one who will lead the way for you. I think that about those I know who are leading the way for me. Annie

  8. Interesting to think of it as a blessing Annie. I think I am between being scared to death, and wanting to climb into denial. LOL
    I just hope I can do it gracefully when the time comes. (This aging thing).
    In the meantime I want to live, laugh, create and love to the inth degree. (Love includes helping others...which I hope I do in my work life)...

  9. Here and now...yes! This is the key to many of our problems... In this way, we do not judge (about ourselves, others,etc.) all the time...
    You are a real mystic... a practical one...
    Lots of love.


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!