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Another Chance
Little Wing
Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:27 AM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 146

Wow, having one of those days when I'm really missing my mom, feeling teary and sentimental.  And thinking back the last three years of her life, and all I see is me being impatient and short and frustrated with her.  I pray and pray that's not how she remembers it, but it seems that's all there was.  I know we had some laughs and good times, but I feel like I never understood this disease enough to be more loving and kind and understanding and patient with her.  So much of the time I felt like she was manipulating us or making things worse than they really were and the guilt of that sometimes is very heavy.  I'm sure this will pass, but wanted to get it out of my head before I have myself as a total evil villain by day's end..... thanks.
Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 10:59 AM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 726

I am sure the good far outweighs the bad, and she was very lucky to have you. Please be gentle with yourself.  Your mother would want that for you.
Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:25 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

Little Wing:


I feel very much like you.   I struggle with this, too.  I have to be reminded usually by my husband when I start saying, I wish, I would have done more, I wish I could have done more, I wish I could have done some things differently.  My father passed one year ago and I'm now just starting to ease up on the beating myself up mode.


I think what helps is to think and also write down what you can remember during those years, everything that was going on in your life, in your mom's life.  I think you will find you did the best you could at that time in your life.  You probably had, like most of us, many things to juggle at the same time.  Not only taking care of your mom, but perhaps working, taking care of kids or husband, having life come at your from all directions.  Probably some of those times, you were not feeling well yourself, but you pushed on.


Now write down all the good things you did for your mom during those years, all the decisions you had to make on her behalf, or the things you did personally for her or arranged for her.  Write down what you think you didn't do enough of. 


I can guarantee you, when you see it down on paper you will realize the tremendous care you gave your mom, with all these pressures coming at you from all directions.  To be able to do that is huge.  You will see that what you think you didn't do enough of, will be on the short list and those things are to be expected.  No one person can do a perfect anything, we are human, we just do the best we can and you did.  Your mother would thank you for what you did for her, she would.

dj okay
Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:31 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840

Little Wing,


I think it's good you are working through this.  It is healthy to look at all that you did, like KML suggests.  You need to do this or you will find yourself in an endless cycle of guilt and regret.


It hasn't been that long and there is still a lot of grief work to do.  You are making an excellent start.  It is hard...but it must be done.


I still sometimes think about losing my temper with my mother, but like you, I didn't understand enough about the disease at the time to handle things better than I did.


You're going to be okay.  Keep coming, keep working on it, and always let us know how you're doing.



Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:51 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 3097

I can tell you that a little over a year out and I only have thoughts about the happy times, and a lot of them include when she had dementia.  Just sitting and holding hands, laughing at something, playing with dolls.

I did spend the early days regretting losing patience, not visiting every day, etc.  But I finally came to the conclusion that I took VERY good care of her, to the best of my ability, and I feel good about that.

You will get there too.
Little Wing
Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 8:50 PM
Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 146

Thanks everyone.  I'm sure it'll get better.  DJOKAY is right, it's only been a month since she died.  I'm working on trying to remember things about my mom from years ago, almost from when I was a child, and starting there.  It's hard when so many recent memories are of this evil disease.  I will have to work on myself that way too.  Thinking about how I took care of her, organized meds and did all this other stuff so she could stay in her much loved house on her own for as long as possible.  It wasn't long enough for either of us, but I KNOW it was longer than if either of my brothers had been the main caregiver in the beginning.  At the end, my brother took over a lot of the caregiving, and I think I regret that as well.  I feel a bit like I abandoned her to him.  He took great care of her and got everything done, but I know that she felt safest with me (she always told me that, always said "I feel so much better when I'm with you"), so I feel bad about leaving her with him even though I know it was the best thing to do.  Ugh, she's gone and I STILL hate this disease.  I will work on it, though, promise.  I wonder if most of the time for the last three years i was in such denial of this disease that just now I'm coming to grips with the fact that my mother had Alzheimer's.  What a weird world it puts us in.
Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:15 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

Take your time dealing with this, Little Wing, it's not something you can rush through.  You've been through enough pressure in the last years, you have to let this part run its course.


When we are in the midst of caring for someone, we just don't have the time or energy to contemplate this disease.  It's like putting out one fire after another or spinning plates and trying to keep it all going and not dropping anything.


This is the process of grief, the feelings, the thoughts, the realizations keep coming in bit by bit and sometimes flooding over.  Take your time and find something that soothes you through this process.

Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013 10:57 AM
Joined: 10/27/2012
Posts: 362

Dear Little Wing, 

This disease is insidious in that it sneaks up on us and changes things before we are aware. We react based upon prior relationship, not realizing that the disease has taken another piece of our LO. I too regret my frustration and irritation with my mom. Looking back, I can clearly see how things progressed. In the moment, I was clueless. My breakthrough came when I joined these boards. Suddenly, I was not alone. I received HELPFUL suggestions, information and support from people in the trenches with me. I was more prepared and able to deal with situations and behaviors. I felt more in control in an out of control situation. I recognized many things I did that were, shall we say, unhelpful. I learned better things to say and do. 

Yes, I have regrets. However, I have learned to forgive myself because I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. If you are having a hard time with that forgiveness issue, use what you have learned to help others. Help others avoid the mistakes you made out of ignorance and turn a perceived negative to a positive.

one daughter
Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 11:05 AM
Joined: 1/30/2013
Posts: 1980

Little wing. My brother has been helping out w/my mama since my daddy passed in March of this year. And  the only reason he does is because, one week before my daddy passed, I told him that me & daddy needed a break. But when he does come I feel guilty leaving mama w/him. Like you, my mama would much rather be with me. Bro is kind of loud. Also he does things that annoy her & he thinks the things he does is funny. He's calmed down though. Probably because mama has changed a lot since my daddy passed. But I have to get some time to myself.  You did the best you could, as we all do as CG's. Pleez take care of yourself.
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