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Showing posts from October, 2014

A Few Simple Words

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Welcome to Real Life.  Sometimes, a few simple words can be so much more.
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“I love that shirt on you. Is it comfortable?” Mom asked.
“Yep, it feels great,” I replied.

“You know, I like comfortable clothes. And if they look good, well, that’s even better.”

Simple words. A normal conversation. Yet, on this day, a normal conversation with my mother felt extraordinary. It had been a long time since we shared one.

My mother’s health was quickly deteriorating. As her body was breaking down, so was her mind. Her confusion poured out in fearful questions, “Where am I? Why do I feel so sick? When can I get out of here? Where’s Daddy (my father)?”

For months, a normal conversation had been beyond her ability. But, on that Friday afternoon, she and I were like two girls at a slumber party. I climbed into her bed, laid down next to her, and we chatted.

“We’re going camping this weekend. So, you won’t see me until Sunday.”

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“Pymatuning State Park. On the …

They Misspelled Our Name

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Welcome to Real Life. How would my dad adjust to my mom’s death? They were so close, inseparable later in life.
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Before my mom passed away, she assumed we’d visit her grave often. “It’s near the shopping center. You can stop by to see me before you buy groceries,” she used to say, as if we were going to sit down for coffee and donuts with her at the cemetery. But, after she died, the thought of going to her grave made my heart ache. So, I didn't go.

However, as summer was ending, I felt an obligation to take my father to the cemetery before the weather changed. I knew that if dementia had not impaired his memory, he would have asked me to take him. I decided to ask him, “Do you want to visit Mom’s grave?”

“Momma zomrela (died)?” my father asked in Slovak.

“Yes,” I answered.

“How long?”

“Nine months.”

It’s hard to know how much Dad remembers. He knows Mom is gone. She no longer shares his room at the nursing home. I posted her obituary near his bed, to help him remember. …