Saturday, October 10, 2015


Changes are coming...
I can feel them as the air cools.
I can see them in subtle ways,
and like the leaves, changing right before my eyes.

Mom never calls my cell phone anymore, just our landline (and the number we've had for more than 25 years). She thinks she's working at the Care Center in Prescott, and needs to get home, but doesn't know the code, and she's told Tom, "I know that Kathy knows the code"!
Today she acted like it was years ago that she lived in the apartment at Oakwood...
I kind of wish I had asked her where she lived in between...

Somehow God gives me patience and the ability to answer calmly, over and over, and over.
I try not to look too far down the road,
yet I know that changes are coming.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunshine and Clouds

Sunshine and Clouds
Moments of joy in the midst of tears

The past week for me has been a blur of meetings, phone calls, 
and settling Mom into her new "home" in Oakwood Knoll. 
Emotional and exhausting...
Confusion and disorientation have been very present for Mom.
She has a difficult time realizing that she is still at Oakwood, 
even as we point out familiar places whenever we leave the Knoll, 
and she can see her apartment from her window.
The first afternoon she was convinced that she was in a hotel room in Wisconsin Dells, 
(I don't think she's EVER stayed in a hotel in the Dells!) 
and seemed amazed that we had brought her recliner and her orchids!
It's an adjustment process, and really, she's been a trooper!
She's friendly to the other residents
(the latest is that she thinks she's working at the Care Center in Prescott)
and has had visits from her friends who've known her for years.

Each day seems to get a little better

And I focus on the sunshine rather than on the clouds.

Friday, July 31, 2015


I knew it was coming. I agonized over how the timing would work out... when would a room be available ? How would I know it was time? When to start the Long Term Care policy knowing that there's a 100 day elimination period? Praying for these answers...

and then suddenly...
while talking with the Health and Wellness Coordinator, I told her that I thought we were to the point where we would take it when a room opened up...
and then she told me a private room had become available.

In the next couple of hours, there were phone calls I had to make, and bursts of sobs as I anticipated telling Mom about the move, (would she react in anger, feel like I've betrayed her?) quick facebook messages requesting prayer, and then the drive to Oakwood. I can't say enough about the amazing staff at Oakwood. The social worker was already in Mom's apartment when I got there, and she facilitated the discussion.  Mom  handled it so much better than I had feared, and I felt relief in that we've cleared the first hurdle. I told her we would make the room her home, and she asked me if I was sure about that. I answered that I couldn't be sure, but I was hopeful.

So much to think about, to take care of, paperwork...her move will officially be on Tuesday providing her doctor's forms get to Oakwood by Monday. As long as I'm busy with tasks, I am fairly strong.
Still, breakdowns occur at odd moments or in the middle of leaving a phone message, or telling a friend...

As emotional and hard as it is, it is the right next step, and it is the right time.
God answered my prayers.
I am supported.
I am loved.
I will rely on His strength as I continue to walk on this journey.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Search

Today I felt the clouds closing in as I arrived at Mom's to take her to a couple appointments, and was greeted with "I can't find my purse"...
I started to ask her when she remembered having it last, but then stopped, because of course she wouldn't remember. Instead I asked questions, made phone calls, grasped at "straws", and finally determined that the missing purse must be somewhere in her apartment.
So the search began.
Every room, closets, cupboards...
not just once, but multiple times.
Where would a person with Alzheimers' Disease
put something valuable like a purse?

Praying to God that He would reveal to me where I should look, 
and for patience and kindness in dealing with my mother who is now more like a child.

Meanwhile, one appointment cancelled, and the other kept in the midst of the search.
Mom kept saying how bad she felt, 
and I assured her that she didn't lose it on purpose,
and blamed the disease.

 I kept looking...
Strange places like the oven, the refrigerator,
under the sink, back to the closets...
on the phone with my daughter, I flipped the top of a shoebox.
And there it was...
the missing purse,
in a SHOEBOX!!

I experienced such relief, but also such sadness.
Another step on the darkening path of this journey...

Thankful that God goes with us every step of the way.

Monday, July 20, 2015


In the midst of seemingly endless repetitions of information...
the search for framed photos that weren't in their normal place, 
and eventually finding them in a tote bag...
going through the calendar of life events, 
and making sure the days that have passed are crossed out...
suddenly there was a moment of lucidity, 
(increasingly hidden)
and a question if this was all getting too heavy for me...
my answer that it is what it is,
and we're doing the best we can.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Slipping Away

Contradictions, Confusion, Misunderstandings

the story changes
her world is smaller

Overwhelmed with loss, I blame the disease
she's slipping away...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

New Normal

As I reflect on the past year, I am a bit amazed at what is now "normal"...

Once or twice a week I'm at Oakwood visiting Mom, 
observing and assessing multiple things
(multi tasking at its best)-
mentally and emotionally exhausted when I get home, 
and often in tears with decisions that loom ahead.

We deal with stacks of mail daily
(very little of it ours), 
have now acquired a Buick Rendevous
(which would never have been my choice), 
I do Lumosity training every day
(hoping to spare my daughters in the future)
Just part of the new normal...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hard Weeks

In the past three weeks:
I have tied up the last legal piece...
thought I was going to supper with Mom and ended up taking her to the ER instead...
made arrangements for staff to watch over the antibiotics 
(since she took twice the amount the first day)...
made the hard decision to have her meds totally managed by Oakwood staff
(she hates the locked box on her refrigerator)...
changed her phone number and made it unlisted
(hoping this will end the solicitation calls she forgets to ignore)...

So thankful for the social worker and health and wellness coordinator, and realize I have communicated more with them in these past weeks than I have with many of my friends.

Blessed beyond measure with the people God has placed in my life
who express concern, offer hugs, listen, 
and love me along this road that's going downhill faster than I'd like.

The poem pictured above was shared on Facebook from a site called "A Place for Mom".
It totally spoke to my heart, and is so very true.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A New Twist in the Road We're Walking

The cruel disease is progressing, 
taking my mother, and leaving someone who looks like her...
Such a fine line, a narrow stretch of road in this journey-
allowing independence, yet protecting 

God has blessed me with patience when I'm with her,
answering the same questions, 
finding helpful strategies.
I reassure her that we are on this journey together, and that I love her.

the tears come later...
such painful missing
feeling alone

Yet the sun comes up each new day,
and I'm thankful for the opportunity to honor my mother...
answering the same questions,
finding helpful strategies,
reassuring her,
and loving her.