Time had changed things. The once-vivacious personality had quietened. The sweetness had not faded. She leaned on my arm as I walked her down my sister’s drive, and she peered at the automobile with a bit of confusion. The car that she and my father had purchased less than a year ago sat waiting. It was the only car there….
Deterioration had been slow. At first, she would have just the momentary loss of a name, then it became more noticeable as she would no longer initiate stories, relate family news, or even talk about church and her social group there. We came to realize that it would not be a reversible process. With two sons as physicians, we knew deterioration was coming. Mercifully, it wasn’t overly long.
Even a month prior to her death, she still could remember that her eldest son was coming for a visit. Queries about families lost the specifics, and she began losing the dignity of personal space. Outside help was required, and the intrusion of her home, and needing help with the softly described “activities of daily living” continued to increase.
In the final two days of her life, she saw three of her four children, her oldest grandchild, and a great-grandchild. She still smiled.
On the last day of her life, my sister kept telling her I was coming. She kept breathing until I was there, holding her hand. She held my hand for my first steps, I held her hand for her last breath, at 7:17 pm on May 15. She waited for me to be there.
July 12, 2021 at 2:06 am
So sorry to hear, most of us are dealing with elderly parents. A tough part of being our age, but the way life rolls.
I have to ask – was this the same sweet mother (Betty) who I talked to for that article? I felt a connection with her, she was a great lady.
My thoughts are prayers are with you and your family.
July 12, 2021 at 2:19 am
Yes, it was. She deteriorated fairly rapidly, passed away in May.
Thank you Fritz. Dad is doing well, thankfully. He had spent a lot more energy caring for her than I realized, I believe.
July 12, 2021 at 2:57 am
Pete brought this to my attention Friend.
Vivacious is a good word for how I will remember her.
My grandmother waited for me to come home from college the day she passed. Gave her a kiss, she went to sleep and she passed that evening with Dad and myself both in the room. Long battle with cancer. God’s merciful ending to a well run race.
What a blessing that you were able to be there.
Prayers sent for you, your dad, and your family
Glad your Dad is doing well.
God bless you Brother
July 12, 2021 at 1:01 pm
So sorry to read of your Mother’s passing. Dementia is a cruel disease. It was a blessing for you that you could be there. Know she is in a better place and whole again, and be thankful that it was relatively quick. As you know our experience lasted for years and was so hard. Hang in there and remember all the good.