Saying goodbye… a tribute to Mom…

At 10:10pm on the 4th of July we bid farewell to Bob’s mother, Ruth. She was 98 1/2 years old.

For anyone who has had a loved one with Dementia or Alzhiemer’s, I don’t have to tell you what a long road your loved one travels till they get to the end of their journey. It’s a slow, torturous trip (for all involved). And as we watch them decline to the point they don’t even know us anymore, it’s hard not to feel… simply helpless.

Mom’s 98th birthday, April 2012. From left to right, granddaughter Katelyn, Bob, Ruth. We celebrated with festive table settings and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake!

Our daughter Bobbi and grandaughter Corynn enjoyed the party… great ice cream Corynn!

Ruth was a very sophisticated lady. She wore high heels every day well into her 80s. She hated giving them up, but when they became a fall hazard for her, she grudgingly did so. But oh how she missed her high heels! A couple of years ago, while she was in the nursing home, she got her hands on a newspaper and noticed Dillard’s was having a sale on… you guessed it–high heels!

In her dementia, she grabbed her walker and trotted down to the front desk and demanded her car be brought around. Dillard’s was having a sale on high heels and she was bent on going and getting herself some new shoes! The staff retold that story many times.

In May we moved Mom from a nursing home into a personal care home. She was already on Hospice for her dementia and was in late stages of the disease at that time. My long-time friend and adopted sister Brenda had just opened up her own personal care home and Mom was really her first client. Actually, it all worked out so well for all of us. Brenda was an experienced nurse and had worked as a Hospice nurse a few years earlier. She had also run her own day care center for years prior to this. She is indeed a natural care-giver.

Mom and Brenda playing a harp.

Mom received 24/7 care and Brenda rented a very lovely home for her new business. This house was perfectly laid out for this purpose. As she opened it up, everything she needed was provided by different people… it had to be a divine plan for sure.

Mom was finally able to rest in comfort in this personal care home. We wish we could have found a place like this many years earlier. It would have been a much better alternative to the nursing home.

Mom’s comfortable room for her final days.

Mom finally had comfort and personal care for her final days. She had dignity at last…

Hospice is truly a caring organization. They are focused on the comfort and dignity of the dying. We learned a lot during this final journey with Mom. I used to fear what the end would be like. For me it was pretty much an unknown entity.

I feel much calmer now that I know there is a way to go with grace, dignity, and peace. A way to go with God…

Goodbye for now Mom… we’ll see you later…



10 thoughts on “Saying goodbye… a tribute to Mom…

  1. I’ve been there. My mother and grandmother suffered with the disease. It is so hard on us, the living and so easy on them. You are in our thoughts.

  2. Vicky and Bob –
    Alzhiemer’s is such a heart wrenching disease. You never quit saying goodbye. You and your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Vicky,
    Sorry to hear of the loss of your mother in-law, even though we know it is coming it still hard to hear. Thoughts and prayers to you and Bob

  4. Thank you so much for your tribute to Ruth, Vicky. She was a fun person and we loved her dearly. I especially enjoyed the part about the high heels – she was one classy lady!

    Our love and prayers to Bob and you – and your family.

    • Oh Nancy and Lee… so glad to hear from you. We are so glad you liked the tribute. It just flowed from my keyboard, I did not even write a draft. She was classy indeed. Bob is so happy you responded. Thank you for your love and prayers 🙂

      Vicky & Bob

  5. Sorry to hear about Ruth, God is her caregiver Now and everything is perfect for her.

    Woody and I went to Arlington yesterday to visit with his 98 year old mother – who has been in a Rehab Center for 5 years. Mommaw said she would never go to a nursing home – so this is a REHAB and she couldn’t be happier. She is still so spry and can do cartwheels around anyone. Her 88 year old sister is her roommate for the past 10 mos. Mommaw takes care of her, Marie, who is allmost blind and in early stages of dementia and all the other patients. Mommaw is probably the only patient that is mobile, she stays healthy taking care of everyone else. I am so lucky to have her as a mother-in-law for 51 years.

    Please give Bob and your family our deepest condolences.

    • Wow, your mother-in-law is doing so well. Fortunately she does not have dementia/Alzheimer’s. Bless her heart. We hope she continues to do very well for a long time to come! Thank you for sharing this.

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