I wasn’t prepared. I had volunteered at senior facilities in my youth. During my adult years, I have sung Christmas carols, delivered care packages and even visited my ex-husband’s father when he resided there prior to his death. But never had I dealt with someone I loved being incapacitated. Then it changes.
Some of you may recall about 7 years ago I reconnected with my biological mother after many years of separation. With that much passage of time, there is really no way to form abond like many children or adult children have with a parent but it was still healing in many ways. It gave me a sense of closure to at least hear an ‘I love you’ from the person who brought me into the world. For so many years I felt unloved and forced upon my stepmother. I was part of a package deal knowing it was my father she was in love with and not me or my sister. Our dad had custody of both of us when they divorced as she had left us..
Seeing my mother and getting to know her better, it didn’t take long at all to see why we weren’t raised by her. The flaws don’t take long to come out. But there is a connection there, a love and at times, a real joy. Moments when she is truly the mother I dreamed of having, though fleeting. Much of the time, I dealt with the reality of who she was and was forced to accept, it is what it is.
Now her condition has worsened significantly as her health has not only deteriorated butdementia has kicked in. As the last year or two has gone by, it seems as if everything has accelerated. Maybe it didn’t progress that quickly, when I look back at all the things that have been going on the past four years but, in not knowing her, I had no idea what was normal and what was not in her behavior. There were falls, unexplained lapses in memory, outbursts of anger, odd behaviors out of left field, that left my sister and I calling Adult Services frantic with worry for her well-being. She was placed over a year and a half ago in an independent living center for her own good. She is watched over and provided her meals. Best of all, all of her medications are administered which helps not compromise as much her heart condition and ensure her meds are taken properly. We had hoped this would help stop the downward progression we have seen. It hasn't though but she has been much safer.
I sit here now, full of a heavy heart as we are at the stage I never wanted to see happen. When I pick up the phone, I am never quite sure who will be on the end of the phone anymore. I have only my mother and my sister that I am closely connected too and communicate with regularly on somewhat of a biweekly basis and now my mom is losing it, losing touch with reality. It is as if she is partially dead to me but still alive.
As my husband tries to comfort me, he can’t quit comprehend as his mother died with her mind intact. My mom will call sometimes sobbing in sadness, full of a heavy heartinconsolable like a child. The next call may be her happy full of joy laughing at hearing my voice and in midstream angry at me over something simple like I didn’t call her back over some message she never left or bad-mouthing my sister only forgetting who she is talking to and saying my name. And the reverse happens when she talks to my sister. She has forgotten how to be happy.
The ability to discern truth from fiction is hard for her. Her brain doesn’t comprehend it clearly anymore at times. I am so grateful I had the time to reconnect before this dissension. As my sister and I share stories of a trip or two we have taken her on, we laugh with glee over the funny moments and then stop in silence with where we are now. We remind each other we are indeed blessed with those memories but yet are faced with the fact there will not be anymore of those for us with our mother. She is a skeleton of who she was.
It is refreshing to have each other to share this experience with. There were periods in our lives when we weren't as close. Thank God we are now so that this isn't something either of us has to experience alone. Mom use to tell us she knew her mind was starting to go and was scared. She use to say she was a sorry excuse for a mother and didn't deserve us, both of us being there for her now, as she was losing it and closer to the end. She would apologize over and over again for everything that she wasn't. We let her know as God forgives we forgave her a long time ago. Hate has no place in this world but our relationship would always be different because we are different. I think she got it, she stopped saying it. Now she doesn’t say it at all anymore. She actually doesn't say nearly as much. She is more like a self-centered child with a mind that is not nearly as reflective as her age. I am glad. I don’t want her suffering or realizing her physical condition.
Wow, is it different when it is someone you know, someone you care for, your own parent. The best advice I get is from my friends, to try to not react to anything she says. So when I get yelled at, cried at, begged for something impossible to deliver or whatever, I am learning to simply 'be', listen and respond simply. I must keep my emotions on a shelf, at least while on the phone or with her. No, I wasn’t prepared for this. And yet, I am glad I wasn’t. It would have hurt too much to know in advance.
Thank you God for a few moments with my mom to hear I love you. As her mind goes and one day she leaves this place and goes home to you, I will have some memories shared. I will have had hugs with arms that held me as mothers do to their daughters when they are growing to give them strength and courage. My time has given her peace to know I have forgiven her for her transgressions. And most of all, I have been able to heal from the pain. God bless my mother inside with what she needs to finish her time here.
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I use to think politics were for only smart people. As I got more interested in it, I realized politics is about understanding and being involved in what is going on in government at the different levels be it city, state or the nation. As American citizens, we have a responsibility to be involved at some degree.
Voting is the main responsibility. However, how can you make an informed vote if you are not educated on the candidates? Simply watching an ad or listening to your friends is not a sound reason to vote for someone. Name recognition is not good logic either. Everyone has heard of the Sandman and yet if he appeared on a ballot, would you endorse him?
It does take abit of homework on a voter’s part. Research is easy, simply get on the internet and google the candidates and read up on their views. Compare and contrast each statement. Also, read their bios and see whom seems to be capable of best representing the people of your area and devoted to meeting the needs of your area. The issues you are struggling with are the needs that matter so definitely make those the priority.
If you feel strongly about an issue or a candidate, get outside your comfort zone and make some noise. Sitting at home complaining does no good. It does not encourage others to vote, to sound alarms or donate money to make a campaign for a good candidate successful. In my District, one man sat in the House Position for 24 years, Michael Bilirakis. His son Gus Michael Bilirakis has been in the seat ever since, 2007. Consequently, the opponent, Mark Tager is finding it extremely hard to break through as the name recognition is so strong. Tager has new ideas, fresh blood and creative solutions.
When a representative is in the same position for such a long period of time, it is easy for them to get credit for everything positive that happens whether or not they had anything to do with it. Look behind the photo ops and the media lines to determine, were they instrumental or not? Is their webpage merely tagging on to their party’s successes or are they standing on solid ground with accomplishments that have truly impacted their region? If this is the case, it is time to vote them out and let someone you feel is competent step in.
Make certain you are pushing everyone to not only register to vote but show up on election day. This is a civic responsibility. There is no excuse not to take the time to pull a few levers. If you live here, you need to make the time just as surely as understanding who you are voting for and what they are standing for and against. Your opinions matter as much as theirs do!
Today at church our priest asked a question. "What are the moments in our lives thattranspose us?" What events occur that make us change significantly in ways we can never return back to who we were before? Are they happy or sad events or both?
Reflecting on this, initially no one reacted. He had to pump ideas into the congregation"s head. "Surely someone has had a child." That got the wheels turning and the ideas flowing, shouts began one after another.
When something happens in our life very good, it is easy, initially, to assume it had something to do with us. However, upon reflection, we must recognize it is by divine grace of God we are given blessings, much as we are given life. Many babies are never born, dying in the womb not seeing the light of day. You being here is a miracle. Thus that is transposing to all those that know you and whose lives you touch. Are you making the most of those experiences, impacting others lives in a positive way, lifting people up so as to help them achieve their greatness?
We are also transposed when we commit to relationships, such as marriage and deep abiding friendships. Honoring relationships is keeping them sacred, prime importance in your life above all else. Do you protect other’s love, trying to minimize pain or do you take it for granted? We are to cherish each other's love and feelings as if they were our own. We should be a shoulder to cry on for each other and be there in times of sorrow and need, in good times and in bad. Can we not celebrate and cheer each other on as we are all children of God? In doing so, our lives and others should and would forever be changed.
We are also transposed, as Father pointed out, very much by sad events, such as the death of a child. It truly tests our faith. Hearing the word cancer, said in relation to us, or any life limiting disease transposes us as we now face our own mortality firsthand. We must face the inevitable and deal with it in a real way. With this realization comes the process of acceptance of God as our savior if we are to have peace and serenity approaching death. Understanding that the path of Jesus's resurrection leads to life will help not only us but the loved ones we leave behind.
Being shut out of loved ones lives is the reality of many Christians, such as in divorce or families falling apart. It is never easy to let go of ones you love but sometimes the signs are there that you are no longer wanted. Fighting it will not change the outcome. Transposition is not always something we want to embrace but with God's help, we can successfully.
As Christians we do not create our own life’s plans, we walk in God’s divine plan and make the best choices we can with our daily steps. Accept defeat with grace and those that persecute you, let them be. You must be right with God in the end, that is what matters most. The Lord is with you always, keep an open heart to those that love you unconditionally.
As our Priest said today, only with transposing oneself can a Christian truly grow. We need moments that stop us in our tracks, both good and bad episodes, that affect us in a way we will never be the same. That is called living a rich full life. The price of this is that you will have times that will shake you to the core and bring you to your knees in sorrow.
Anything less than this, though, is half living. And wishing it weren't is taking the miracle of life for granted. So don’t be frightened when you find yourself looking in the mirror and seeing yourself change. That simply means you have lived, you have embraced and you have allowed God to work through you! Amen.
After communion, I looked around and bent my head down, reflecting on how blessed I am to be at such a beautiful loving church. Inspite of all that I miss in my life, I can feel, every single time I attend Mass every week here my Grandmother in heaven watching me. She was a devout Catholic, who I use to watch pray the rosary and talk to me about her faith. I know she is proud of me for converting to Catholism and practicing the faith that was so much a part of who she was.
And yes, Grandma, my faith, your beautiful Catholic Church has transposed me too!
How exciting to find out watermelon is great for you because I love eating it! Foryears I avoided indulging on this favorite because I thought it was consuming way too much sugary water. Now I feel completely justified in eating away and s will you.
Do you know more people get sick in the summer from dehydration than about anything? Watermelon is 94% water! And if you love it, stay hydrated by eating it!
There is so much vitamin content in this fruit, also classified as a vegetable. It is loaded with Vitamins A, B6 and C.
It also contains lycopene, more than in raw tomatoes. Of the produce family, it has one of the highest levels. This little know nutrient, lycopene, is taken by people who want to prevent hardening of the arteries, and cancer prevention, specifically prostate, breast, lung, bladder, ovaries, colon and pancreas! . It’s benefit in reducing risks of cancer is because it helps fight the formation of “radicals” that are known to be strongly linked to cancer. Lycopene is also used to treat some HPV infections which can be a cause of uterine cancer
Lycopene has anti-inflammatory properties too. Watermelon is known to help with muscle soreness. It is even linked with bone health.
Watermelon has antioxidants, amino acids and a small amount of potassium in it. The benefits of these three are more widely known by the general population. This is why it has a distinction of being classification a Super Food. The benefits of eating watermelon are an extensive list indeed.
Over the years, so many spit out the watermelon seeds, perhaps afraid one
It is a misnomer that there is such a thing as a watermelon diet. However, eating it cleanses your body and helps you lose weight at the same time. It contains only 6% sugar. One cup of watermelon is 47 calories.
Watermelon is the #1 consumed melon in the country. If you aren’t on the bandwagon eating watermelon now, you are short changing your body! Eat up and spit out the guilt!