Things are still on a decline with my grandmother, I believe she is getting worse every day. Something happened today that makes me so sad to think that I once called people that are "related" to me "family". My uncle who cares for my grandma 24/7, went into town, and had to leave my grandma in the car for a very short time until he ran inside and got some milk, bread, etc. Anyways, in his rush, he turned a corner and ran right smack into the 3 sisters that have abandoned my grandmother, all laughing as they turned the corner. Out for a lovely day's shopping, while my uncle who has had no sleep is frantically trying to grab staples for the household and rush back to the car. He lost his temper and starting yelling and cursing at them, two of them walked away and the one who hasnt seen my grandma in over a year, no matter how bad she's been, just stared right through him and walked away also. My mom said he was almost hyperventilating when he called her from his cell phone when he got to the car, almost 3000 miles away from us.
It is sad what our family has been reduced to......I really cannot talk about how I feel towards them, as I'm afraid I would sound an awful person.
I just cannot imagine how it was for him, unexpectedly to run into them, laughing and enjoying "life", while he is going through pure hell. Needless to say, none of them went near my grandmother who sat outside in the car.
Last weekend, there was a big parade that my family has gone to every year for as long as I can remember. My uncle took my grandmother, and apparently was told by one of the bandmembers, that my aunts were sitting about 200 feet down the street.....they know where my grandmother sits every year, yet they make a point to sit further away from her.
Is it any wonder she calls out for them when she is crying helplessly? That she thinks they "hate her?"
I used to think that this illness destroyed my family, but I no longer believe that. I believe it has just shown people in their true colors, the signs were always really there, but illness has really brought it to the surface.
For all of you who care for your loved ones, whether at home, or whether you continue to monitor their care in an assisted living facility, god bless you all for loving your families....and for not abandoning them. Your loved ones are truly blessed to have you.
Love, Carsam xo
My heart goes out to you...what a wonderful; caring; Granddaughter you are! I've heard it all as to why people don't visit or even realize what our loved ones are going through.
Part of me thinks it's ignorance towards the illness; part of me thinks it's just their way of protecting themselves against reality.
However, your Grandma will remember the unconditional love your uncle is giving her, along with you...believe me. My mom has dementia and even though she doesn't call me by my name, she often calls me "Mom"...which tells me she knows it is someone who loves her.
Bless you for the maturity in dealing with this. Your Grandma is also blessed to have you and your uncle in her heart. That is something she will always feel comfort in.
Last edited by sunnydaze1; 07-18-2008 at 07:03 PM.
Oh carsam...I'm glad you have shoulders here to lean on.
Bless your uncle for trying so hard! Nobody here would ever make a judgement towards him for blowing up at your aunts......they have it coming!!
This disease is a master at dividing families. It has divided mine also...but parts of me are much stronger because of it. Shame on your aunts for ignoring their Mother! I'm tired of hearing the excuse "it's just so hard for some people to deal with this"...do they think it's EASY for those of us who have become the only caretaker or visitor?!?
It is very seldom now that my Mom recognizes me...she has not known me for many years...but she seems to realize I'm there for HER! At yesterday's visit...she actually lifted that tired little head and gave me a huge smile!
A gift I'd been waiting for.....in a tiny moment she slipped away again.
Your challenge is much different than many of us who gather here....you have so many miles of seperation. Please know you are in our hearts....sending comforting prayer your way.........Pam
Pam, isn't amazing how people react with their excuses? I am the one that has dealt with seeing my mom at her utmost worst, not them, and I can handle it.
Why is that? If anyone shouldn't be able to handle it is me! I'm the one that did all the work and caring for her beforehand.
All I can think is that I've gotten strength from my Mom's weakness. I had to be strong for her because nobody else can, and I always will be until the end.
Even selling and closing on her house today..everyone else was down and depressed..not me! I'm glad it's done so I can finally put my feet up on the weekends instead of..."I have to go over to the house for an hour or so...which turned into HOURS OR SO.
Maybe I've just come to believe that this is the cycle of life, and my Mom has lived a good one, she's an angel here on earth, that's for sure.
Yes, Carsam, that was a profound remark -- this disease brings out either the best or the worst in all of us.
In our case I was humbled by the caring, helpful attitude on the part of my brother and sister in law, who literally saved me from having to continue as Mom's live in caregiver for another 2 or more years when it became apparent that after 5 years I was not able to do it any longer.
The disease also brought out a very sad and depressing attitude on the part of my sister. She not only did not volunteer to take Mom to live with her, or come to live with Mom for a little while to give me a break, but continued right to the end to deny that Mom had any type of dementia.
At Mom's funeral she was the only one who repeatedly said, "If only I had taken her to live with me" and "I would have organized all my friends to take Mom for walks so she could get out of that wheelchair, get well, and come home. Then she would not have died."
Apart from the fact that no amount of walking was ever going to repair her broken hip, which never healed right, and no changing her residence to somewhere in another state would have prolonged Mom's life by even one day - after all she was 99 - the display of regrets told me that sister was feeling guilty.
My brother and I were sad to lose her, but really rejoiced that Mom was now at peace and back to her normal mind -- we did not feel the death came too soon.
The relationship between sister and brother and myself is only very slowly healing. We did speak on the phone twice since Mom's funeral in January. But there have been no visits and no invitations to come and visit, hardly any emails. It is as if she is still critical of all the things I didn't do 'her way' when I was alone with Mom ... things that in her opinion would have cured the forgetfulness! Example, more drinking water, less TV , more classical music. I shudder when I think of how upset and angry I got when Mom had had a bad day, I had called sister to tell her about it, and her solutions were so simple and so useless ... while she blamed all Mom's symptoms on me.
Famiies - we don't choose them, we are born into them. Carsam, I pray your grandma is soon released from her suffering, and your Uncle gets to have a life of his own.
Thank you dear friends for your responses.......the kindness on this board can only come from people who have hearts big enough to recognize how hard this illness is to deal with.....
Pam - you are right when they say that is hard to deal with.....they dont think that its not any easier for us? In my uncles case, he is one of 10 children, and he got left with caring for my grandmother simply because he was single and living with her, and the rest were all married with families. Does that mean he's any less entitled to have a life? Sadly no, but that's not what they see. To make things infinitely worse, once my grandmother is gone, which in many many ways will be a relief, but he will then have no home as her money is what pays the rent for the house. So I do not even begin to know what kind of future this poor man has? He will most likely come to stay with my mom, and I live on the same street, but that will be temporary as he would not be allowed to actually live her without immigrating and I dont know that he would want that.
Sunny - I've read your recent posts, and I so admire you for getting through the really emotional ordeal of selling your mom's house......I'm so glad you're able to see it as a positive and that you will be able to have that time now for yourself, as it is so well deserved.
Martha - honestly, what a silly and pretty much "ignorant" thing of your sister to say about your mom. I can only say that statement is spoken by someone really who does not have a clue. My aunts also chose to bury their heads in the sand, except now there is nothing they can do to "pretend" her illness away, it is in plain view how ill she is....nothing left to deny anymore.
I admit to all of you here, my friends, that I am full of anger towards my family - I know it isnt healthy, and I should let it go. For all the pain it's caused me, I could probably do it in time.....but for what it's done to my mother, to my uncle, and for the heartbreak they've given my grandmother, to think that she will leave this earth thinking her daughters "hate" her.....I can not ever see myself letting go of that resentment......I wish I could, but for now, I just cant see it. Their ignorance has caused us to much pain.....and our family I know as I breathe air is beyond repair.
Grandma gets really bad at nighttime, hallucinates.....sobs constantly....I think she is on a medication, but not sure which one.....they're tried anti-depressants....dont work....nothing seems to work.......and again, his last resort, is this mental hospital..........he has tried some places over the last couple of years, and sadly they were not good experiences. Unfortunately we have run up against only the type of places that make people afraid to "let go" of their loved ones. Either way, I know my grandma will "go" while at home.....it's just a matter of how much my uncle can take. My mom goes back now every 3 months, and basically lives life by the phone, to be someone he can reach out to.....as he has no one else....
As I said....it's just very sad......5 years ago this past June 11th, we had a 90th birthday party for my grandmother, and most of our family were there. We flew over especially for it. Even then my cousins whispered to me they didnt want to be there......and 5 years later, it's like everyone has disappeared, and my grandmother is alone. How heartbreaking to raise 10 children, lose 2 sons to cancer, develop this god-forsaken illness, and then have your 3 daughters abandon you.....knowing they are only 5 minutes away......I believe this is a horrible illness, and I believe the best medication for it is "TLC"....your loved one knowing that they are loved, and safe.
Thanks ladies as always for listening.....I do find such comfort here...