Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21, 2014

I put together a website with some of my Mom's photos.  If you're interested, check it out at  There is a way for all members of the site to add their own photos and memories.

I am doing much better emotionally.  After all I had been mourning the loss of my mother since the dementia took her away a few years ago.  We had many happy years before that.

It is amazing to me that words have so much power.  In my last post I wrote that I was a widow.  Just writing "widow" lifted some weight off my heart.  I had to look at lots of photos to make Mom's website.  Many of them included Jim, my departed husband.

Now I can look at his photos and remember some happy moments in my life.  I don't get those daggers of regret:  "how could this have happened?" and "how could he have done this to me?"  I don't want to forget the years between 1998 and 2010 when I was happily partnered with him. Before it was so painful.  Those years are only memories now, not heartaches.

The "man" existing now, Jim Carpenter, is just a shadow of the man I had been married to.  Just a shade, a ghost.  Like any ghost I hope not to encounter it ever again.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 7, 2014: Alone

March 2014 with Mom at Bedford Home

I feel so alone now that Mom is gone.  She has really been gone for several years.  Senile dementia took her from me bit by bit over the last few years.  Mom was mostly content the last 2 years she was living at Bedford Personal Care Home.  She enjoyed being taken care of constantly.  She was actually quite demanding of the staff.  Her favorite was yelling "help, help, help."  That would disturb the other residents and their visitors so she would get the attention she desired.

Once when I was visiting she yelled "help, murder, police."  She had changed up her demands with scarier words.  It didn't matter if I was sitting right next to her.  I'd ask her what she wanted and she'd say "nothing."  She just wanted a staff member to come in and check on her.

I had been looking forward to Mom coming to live with me after Dad died.  I even bought a single story home (which are not very common in Houston) with her in mind.  She moved in with me in September 2003.  Initially she wanted to live in her own apartment.  She didn't want to spend the money to move to a senior living facility.  Then I broke my wrist and Mom took over cooking and taking care of the house. Since she wouldn't go to a place that I considered safe I kept her living with me.

We had several good years together.  Mom, my ex and I were a happy family.  After my ex fell in November, 2010, I had to hire caregivers to be with Mom since I was him whenever possible.  She became used to constant care.  When the ex returned home, it was very difficult to handle 2 invalids.

In December 2011 Mom's legs became so swollen that they were seeping liquid.  She would slip and fall and I'd have to call the paramedics to get her up.  I called 3 times in one week.  The doctor had said to keep her legs raised.  She would not do it.  I even put her in a recliner and locked it so her legs would stay up.  Somehow she shimmied off the chair and broke it.    The doctor told me to take her to the emergency room.  She was admitted and given diuretics and kept on bed rest.  Her legs got so much better.

The hospital social worker advised me that it would be a better transition for her to be moved to a nursing facility directly from the hospital since  I could no longer handle her at home.  So, in January 2012 she moved in to Bedford Place.
Mom's moving out contributed to the end of my marriage, which I wrote about in a May post.  The man I had married was gone.

So, now I am an orphan and a widow.  I work hard at staying positive and upbeat.  Unfortunately, I keep waiting for the second shoe to drop.  Sometimes it's hell having a good imagination.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014: My Mom has passed away.

I was waiting until after I spoke to my relatives before I said anything to my friends on Facebook.  My mother died suddenly yesterday afternoon.  She ate lunch as always and laid down for a nap.  Then she had trouble breathing.  Her vital signs were still strong.  The home called for an ambulance and then called me.  I can't be sure if she passed away in the ambulance or immediately after she got to the hospital.  The ER nurse said that her heart failed.

My friend, Bert is helping me with the arrangements.  Mom's body will be cremated and I will take the cremains to Rochester around the end of July.  Then I will have her remains buried next to my father's.