Thursday, December 15, 2011


 This is an email I sent out yesterday to my children, cousins, dad & U., aunt and uncle, and very close friends.
   After I read it again this afternoon I realized that it contained some information that I didn't put in my blog post yesterday so I thought I would post it for you to read.
   I'm also going to include some pictures of my mother so you can see how dear she is/was.
Now I'm going to tell you where we are now.
   This may sound somewhat like the first "mom" post, but it will give you some more information. 

Mom has been released from "the clinic" (i have no idea what it's called) where they were able to find the right medication for her to allow her to go to sleep at night.
After a couple of nights of sleep it's amazing the difference in her "attitude".
So, that seems to be working for the time being.
 we do love to shop!! 
this shopping trip was in downtown kalamazoo. so fun.
Mom has been diagnosed with vascular dementia as a result of the fall she took about three years ago. 
She has been released from the clinic that determined her dementia and her medication.
She is now residing in a facility called Claire Bridge in Kazoo. It's independent living (I think I'm the only one that wonders if this is what mom needs. we'll see).
The facility is gorgeous. If you would like to send her a card, not that she'll understand - she may think you're her sister - I know personally how wonderful it is to get "fun" mail. Let me know if you want to send a card & I'll give you her address. You'd be such a blessing to her and to me.
 Mom & Sophie; Sophie LOVED the ranch. 
Every year she spent three months with us and we had so much fun!
This is a picture of mom holding a newborn goat which Sophie is checking out.

She has an "apartment", kinda like an efficiency apartment. Her bedroom is at one end and a sitting/TV area is at the other end. And, of course, there's a BR.

We, her kids, have taken all possible measures to make sure she will be safe in her new setting in addition to what the facility provides.
My sisters and brothers have had some of her furniture moved like her couch, end table, bedding, some of her amazing ccs she has on her walls, etc.

Her first night was last night and even though she is given a 24 hour private nurse for her first 24 hours, Eileen went ahead and spent the night because she
was restless and confused. (the word "confused" never hurt my heart before now)
 Mom is on the right. This is her family when she was in high school (I think).
Today's report is that she is "pissy" (a sibling's word, not mine) which basically means that she's being mean and uncooperative because she didn't 
get a good night's sleep. She's very upset that no one will take her home to her mother's.
This is our eldest, Craig, and his sweet Grammy, my mom.
Needless to say, this has been a roller coaster for all of us. She only started showing symptoms a month ago.
The doctor said that is how vascular dementia postures.
   I haven't been there yet; you know I'm going the first of the year, but I think she's almost full blown from what I've heard. I could be wrong (oh, so doubtful). 
Russ has been able to fly up several times as his flight from Florida is 200.00 round trip.
I've been stuck in Texas because round trip from here is 800.00.
So, we've all had our own type of Hell handling this.
   But, though we all have done what we can, I must give a shout out for my little brother, Russ (he'll love that!). He has really made me proud the way he has stepped up and taken over many of the aspects involved in this process.  
 My mom when she was younger. 
She was a knockout (though the haircut isn't showin' that too much).
If you've never experienced having a parent w/ dementia, I sincerely hope you never do.
It's horrible. It's so horrible.
When I drive up the first of the year I'm going to see someone other than my mom.
This woman is going to be confused, she probably won't know who I am, and there's a good chance I'll witness my gentle mom being evil.
God help me to help her.
 Clayman holding Sophie, making a silly face (that's new)
with his Grammy.
You can't possibly understand the dread I have as I face this trip north.
(I'll be there from the 3rd - 17th *approx.*)

I'll keep the updates coming if there's any change though I don't feel there will be.
I will send you pictures of her new home so you can look for them.
My SIL, Eileen, helping mom separate ccs thread.
Mom's love for so many years has been doing very complicated ccs
projects. I'm going to miss seeing her work on her pieces.
Pray for Junie/SAJ/Grammy/Aunt/mom.
And, please pray for her kids.
The most eloquent prayers for me because I'm her favorite. 

Be sure and let me know if you want her address. Blessings.

Love, Jan

Mom as a little girl.
pls. respect my copyright

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This post is going to be plain Jane. No photos, no funny comments, just the truth and sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it hurts badly.

You might remember that my mom fell and landed on her head about three years ago. She was like 81?? Anyway, she had to have brain surgery because blood was pooling or something so they did surgery and she's been fine since.

About a month ago my mom started having trouble sleeping and without sleep she was not good company and she began to become weak which makes all the sense in the world. She soon started having some hallucinations.

It gave me pause as it probably did all of my siblings. But I kept my thoughts to myself and we went on. Finally (finally), one of my sisters that was spending some time with mom decided that a second opinion was needed. (really??)
I don't know how, but they got her in this amazing clinic that was able to stabilize her and get her on the correct meds. Things started looking up. She's been sleeping pretty regularly.

Things started looking up, here, at least.
I'm in Texas.
My brother, Russ and his wife, Leslie, are in Florida.
My two sisters, Joan and Jean, and Randy and my SIL, Eileen, are all up north with my mom who lives in Kalamazoo. It's actually all of them that have done all of the "heavy lifting". I'm here in Texas where it costs 800 dollars to fly round trip to Michigan so I am living in my own little Hell, different than theirs. Russ is able to get to Michigan from Florida very easily and he has really stepped up.
I'm very proud of all of my siblings for stepping up and fighting the fight, all of them working for the good of mom. Even when there might be a disagreement, they step back and do what's best for mom.  It's been really wonderful seeing them work together - all for the good of mom.

And, I sit here in Texas, praying, reading updates, participating in conference calls w/ doctors, reading more many emails that some days it feels like that's all I do, discussions about specifics, you get the drill. And do you get that all of this has happened in one month????

Are you feeling my sense of helplessness? It's been incredibly hard but I have done what I can and will continue to do my best for my mom from here and when I make trips up north.
I leave the first of January for two weeks with my mom.

Mom's been moved to an independent living facility in Kalamazoo that is for dementia patients. I've seen photos, it's so, so nice, and so, so expensive. LOL (Why I'm laughing, I don't know). There's a library, small TV rooms, a small kitchen where the patients can bake or cook with their OT, an atrium, craft room. She has her own huge room and her furniture. Looks great in the photos I've seen.

Last night when they took her there for her first night they told me that she was restless and confused.
Oh, sweet Jesus, that word. That word, "confused". It breaks my heart to hear that my mom was confused.
Or that she was ugly, hateful, my mother. MY mother was ugly.

My mother is confused.
My mother is hateful and says ugly things to her children.

Oh, God, I want my mom back.
This is killing me.
I want my mom.

It seems like I spend a huge amount of time crying.
Do you think I'll cry less after I see her?
Doesn't sound like it at this point.

I don't want to go.
To Michigan.
I don't want to see her.
I'm so afraid she's not going to know who I am.
I haven't talked to her for a little over a month.
She doesn't ask for me.
She never asks for me.
I know she doesn't remember me.

She will never live in her home again.
And she will never come to the ranch again.
She loved the ranch so much.
And we loved having her here.
She got to see her Texas grand kids
and bake Clayman his favorite cake like 5 times in three months.
It seems like every thought I have connects to her and
every thing I see reminds me of her and I am so sad.

I know that I should be grateful that I had her for my mom and
that God blessed me in so many ways with her as my mom.
(Yes, I know she's still my mom. I get that.)
And I AM grateful.
But, right now I'm very sad and a little scared.

Pray for me?
I'd really appreciate it.
And pray for my brothers and sisters, my family.
And pray for my mom.


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