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One year already!
dj okay
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 12:39 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840

It's hard to believe in some ways, but today is the first anniversary of my mother's death.


I've been struggling a bit this week with sadness that overtakes me at times.  But I'm moving forward.  I still have a lot of her things that I need to give away or get rid of.  I thought I would be done with all that by now.  I did donate some of her things this week and that was sort of a milestone for me as I had to do some research to find someone that could use them.  One more thing off my to-do list...


I bought some sky lanterns and I'm hoping for a windless night tonight so I can light at least one in her memory.  I had never seen them until last month and I think they are so pretty.  The weather should be clear.


Most of my flowers have bloomed and faded on the plants this year as I would always cut a bouquet to take to her when I went so she always had fresh flowers in her room.  So last week, I cut a couple bouquets and took to two of the ladies she ate with every day.  It was nice to see the smiles they brought.  It was nice to get the hugs and kisses, too, even though they weren't from my mother.  It was a big step for me.   I've been there a number of times, but this is the first time I took flowers.


I want to thank all my friends here in this forum that have helped me through this past year.  You have made a big difference in my life.  Although I may not really know you, I feel as though I know you more than many folks I see all the time.  Strange...isn't it?


Think of me today as I celebrate this last of many firsts.  I'm hoping it gets better now.

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 2:52 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105



I am thinking of you.  It's incredible how time just keeps moving so fast, barely enough time to catch our breaths.  You are doing well by honoring your mom, the support group you've started, visiting the ladies and bringing flowers. 


In spite of what's happened and through sadness, you are moving in positive directions and still caring for others.  You take care of you, too.  I hope your mom's lantern shines strong and bright tonight for you.

Be Strong 2
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 5:51 PM
Joined: 12/14/2011
Posts: 1751

It was a year ago June 1 that my dad passed.  Even though he had been in a NH for 6 years the end came quickly.

I am amazed at how well my mother seems to have handled it all.  I don't know what she feels inside but does not seem especially sad.  I think the 6 years was a time of slow loss.  I made sure I sent her flowers a week before the event.  She liked that.

This past weekend was their 66th anniversary (I've got to get that right since I just turned 65) and would have been my dad's 90th birthday.  He was a smart cookie, in his own way, or maybe it was my mom's doings, but he never forgot their anniversary.  One of my brothers and all of my sisters were there for the first official, memory family reunion.  I again sent flowers (I love

The other day my sweet wife asked me, out of the blue, where my daddy was? I said that he was in Michigan.  Yesterday, she asked me, if she was going to die today?  That mind might be messed up, but it is working.  I told her, "No, probably not."  She just smiled.  I haven't received a call from her MCH today so I guess all is well.

It's amazing the joys, and the sorrows, we as humans can handle.  We never imagine that we will be able to handle things, but then we do.

DJ, I pray that you will continue to heal and have only good memories about your mother.  I can't imagine losing mine but then I'm sure I will handle that, too.

Remember, we're all in the same boat; and the darn thing leaks!


Little Wing
Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 7:14 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 146

DJokay - I'm sure it seems a bit unbelievable that it's been a year, some days it probably seems like longer, some days it probably feels like just a few weeks.  Please know we are all thinking about you today and over the coming week as you continue to heal.  I'm glad you were able to bring the flowers today, that's great and I'm sure helped a few stitches with the healing.
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 6:18 AM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 726

Oh, dj -- You have helped me so much this first year. You continue to help so many others. I will be thinking of you as you pass the one year milestone.  Hugs...
Johanna C.
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 10:18 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12129

dj, sending you a hug and soft thoughts.  We recently passed the two year anniversary of my mother's death and it is so surprising at how fast time has gone.  It seems like only yesterday that she left this world.


I too find great warmth in giving in whatever way possible to other elderly ladies.  I have always loved elderly folks, but since my mother has passed away, I have felt this even moreso.  I try to do special little things for others and it is always received with happiness.   It is my honor and sincere pleasure to do so.


After Mother passed away, it took me a long time before I went through her things to give to others - I suppose I did not want to give away those bits of her life.   Some items flashed such intense memories, it was very poignant and at times soft tears came.  Though there was definitely heart involvement, it was the final thing I could do for mother and at least it was done with love and not by a stranger who would toss items willy-nilly.  I sold nothing.  I did not want to make a profit from her belongings, so all was given to those in need or who would appreciate a particular item and then I donated the rest. 


Some day someone will be doing this for us . . . strange feeling, but there is no escaping such dynamics as we enter eternity.  I hope that I have left  my family with sweet and loving memories, some to cherish and some to laugh about.


I really like the idea of the lanterns, it is a lovely idea.  May your sweet memories continue to warm and sustain you.


Johanna C.

one daughter
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 12:29 PM
Joined: 1/30/2013
Posts: 1980

Dj, you are such a wonderful & thoughtful person. How kind of you to take the flowers to the ladies. Your words of encouragement & understanding have helped me, more than I can say. I hope you enjoyed the lanterns. Thank you for being here for all of us.
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 6:11 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3723



You too have been an important part of our community.  I'm sure I can safely say we all thank you and are hoping you get through this time as easy as possible. 


Your words about giving away your mother's things struck a familiar chord with me.  It has taken me several years to slowly find places to donate my mother and stepfather's things.  Its a process as you are discovering.


God's Peace,                    





Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013 11:05 PM
Joined: 10/27/2012
Posts: 362

You made it through the first year. That is an accomplishment. Thank you for your graceful and strong example.


Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 1:51 PM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433



I had the first annivery in June. I think the "firsts" are truly the hardest. I hope, like you, that it gets easier from here. I still think about it on the 22nd of every month. I know in time I will only think about it on June 22nd. But for now I am still thinking about it in months. Eventually that will change to years.


I'm thinking of you DJ. You have helped me more this past year than you will ever know. Your kind words have helped me through some very difficult times. You are such a strong example to so many on this board.


Hugs to you!

Good Son's Wife
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:38 AM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 51

DJ, it is hard to believe that it has already been a year. Anniversaries are difficult. Regular days can be difficult too.


It was sweet of you to visit your mom's friends. I'm sure she would have liked that.


Wishing you peace, and hoping that you continue to heal.

Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:54 PM
Joined: 2/21/2012
Posts: 44

dj okay


I read your post and totally understand the anniversary pain you are feeling.  September 6, 2013 will be the one year anniversary of my mom's death.  It was such a terrible year, I was in so much pain that I could not believe it.  I had to go to work at a very stressful job, the first four months - I felt as if I was going to go crazy from the terrible pain and suffering of losing my mom but somehow I survived.  I felt like a lost soul - my mom was the only family I had besides a mentally ill sister in Las Vegas and my niece who also lives there.  I felt like an orphan, as if I was all alone in the world.  Although I have a wonderful husband who loves me very much and has been my friend and my partner for the past 25 years, I still felt like an Orphan when my mother died.  I don't know why - but it was such a terribly lonely feeling to know that she was not there anymore.  Now that I am near her anniversary, I realize how fortunate I was to have her, how happy she was to have me for her daughter and how happy she is to be in heaven right now.  I am doing things to help me heal through this first year.  I went to church and put flowers in the church where her casket was blessed.  I went to the nursing home where she live for 6 years and visited her room, bought cookies for the nurses, etc., then I went to Rockaway Beach where we all grew up with my mom, and I put her funeral flowers in the ocean, she loved the beach, would ride her bike on the boardwalk and sit on the beach for hours with all of us playing in the sand and in the water.  I felt at peace when I walked on the beach, put her funeral flowers in the water, and visited her apartment building on 88th Street in Rockaway Beach.  I was totally shocked when I went into her apartment building and still saw her name on the directory for apartment 8F.  That was a special message, that her spirit will always be in Rockaway, where she lived, loved, played. and loved all of us in a very special way.  Love & Hugs, Foxy Girl

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:55 AM
Joined: 3/5/2013
Posts: 720

I am sorry to have poked into this discussion group but I do have things to offer at times so that is why I occasionally look.  However, tonight I saw something I would like to take with me, that being sky lanterns.  Never heard of such a delightful thing in my life and I want to incorporate these...although my mom is still leaving, my father is deceased.

Just checked on Amazon for their product that got too many poor reviews.  Therefore would you be willing to share the brand you have purchased and if time allows describe how it all works.  

In the meantime I will do my own "how it works" research but I would very much like to have a brand/product that someone has used that they have had success with.

Thank you for sharing this lovely item


dj okay
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 11:38 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840



I ordered them from


The reviews were great, I liked the totally biodegradable product, and I was very happy with the product when I received it.  It was shipped the day I ordered them and received them promptly with the standard shipping.

The lanterns are large, about 40" tall.  I think that may be a little bigger than some of what's on the market.  The directions were very clear and easy to follow.  It does take some dexterity, and really takes two people to accomplish easily, to light the lantern and keep the flame clear of the paper (although it's flame retardant), until it fills with hot air and holds itself up. 


But they are just beautiful when they float up into the air.  Make sure you have a windless night so the lantern rises above the tree line or buildings in your area before it is caught in the upper airstream.  We were able to watch as my mother's lantern sailed about a half mile before it burned out and disappeared.  It is like watching a single star begin at its brighest, soar to new heights, and fade in the distance.


I had never seen these before seeing them at Myrtle Beach this summer.  But the breezes from the ocean kept the ones we saw from going too far or as high as my mother's did.  I began to research them and also heard from a friend that he had gotten them for the one-year anniversary of his wife's passing, which was just 3 weeks before my mother's.


Hope you enjoy them, too.