Together Again

Last night I learned that T., mom’s love, passed away on Aug. 28. He was 99 and four months shy of turning 100. I was quite taken aback as to finding out one month later but totally understand. The funeral was in New Jersey, there were logistics to tend to and his daughter just couldn’t call at that time. We talked on the phone for about an hour last night reminiscing about him and how much he loved mom, me and my family. He passed peacefully in his wheelchair in front of the TV watching the Dolphins play on TV.

As a friend said, if there is an afterlife, he is with the two loves of his life. Amen to that.

The call also came at a time when my world has temporarily stopped.

To make a long story short, after complaining of headaches for several weeks (which she never gets) daughter L had an MRI of her left temporal lobe that showed a spot – 4 cm or about 1 1/2 inches. A biopsy last Monday revealed a lesion of abnormal tissue. She was also seen by an infectious disease doctor before her discharge.

I, like probably so many others, am a doctor’s nightmare as I quickly took to the internet to read up on brain lesions, microglial cells, etc. Well, our wait will shortly be over. We are meeting with the doctor tomorrow.

Until then…


Baby steps, but another milestone

I hit another milestone today – I shopped in one of mom’s favorite stores for the first time in more than two years. And, it didn’t feel strange. I felt like it was almost a celebration of mom because she always enjoyed shopping there.

I continue at that crossroad where when I think of mom I no longer think of loss and gloom as I did in the past. I continue to be able to think of her with smiles, chuckles and reminders of the fun times we had, even when she might not have been having a great day.

I do miss her of course. Every day. And so sorry she can’t hold, kiss, coo or smother her first great-grandchild with her love. Mom, no need to worry. I’m doing that for both of us.

Remembering the past, embracing the future

It’s quite amazing the strides I have made in my grief journey. This time last year I would never have believed that I could be where I am today.

As I wrote in an earlier post, I was experiencing signs that that I was moving on from grieving. There have been other signs, like this bamboo plant of mom’s, which is not doing well. Despite caring for it, it’s dying. And every time I pass it my heart sinks a little, like I’m losing a little bit more of mom. But it’s a sign to me to continue to move on.bamboo

But on March 5 we were blessed with our beautiful and precious first grandchild, William, and mom was blessed with her first will sleepingThese past two years have been a struggle but, life is getting better.

A Sign?

I have been absent for a couple of months. I think I’m taking this as a sign of healing — that I don’t feel the need to pound out my feelings on the keyboard as much.  Don’t get me wrong … I still grieve for mom. I still miss her every day and she is in my thoughts EVERY day. But I think I’m slowly learning how to live without her.

Since losing her, my family has gone through wonderful life cycle events – the marriages of my daughter and son, and now the pending births of their first child, my first grandchildren and mom’s great-grandchildren.

This past Monday my husband and I celebrated my birthday with friends, one of whom shares the same birthday. The restaurant chosen was the same one we celebrated mom’s 89th birthday. My heart sank a little. If I was given a choice I would have vetoed it. There are still places I can not go into because of mom. After arriving we were shown to our table. Of course it turned out to be the same one used for mom’s birthday. I was hesitant as we approached the table. As I settled into my seat and looked around, I took the restaurant choice and the table as a sign — a sign that it’s time to move forward.

The second anniversary of mom’s passing is a month away. I feel I have made great strides in the past six months, although peppered with some small setbacks, which I expect will re-occur from time to time. I am trying to do my best to remember mom, not with thoughts of sorrow, but with thoughts of all the wonderful things about her and the wonderful times spent together. I continue to be a work in progress.


As Mother’s Day Approaches…

As Mother’s Day approaches, my thoughts naturally turn to mom, although rarely does a day go by that I don’t think about her. But particularly with Mother’s Day, I’ve been remembering ones from the recent past like when my brother came down and surprised her and me making a special meal since we both hated going out to eat on Mother’s Day with all the crowds. I probably got that from her!

This will be my second Mother’s Day without mom, and not surprisingly, my feelings of loss have not waned.

While looking for a birthday card for a friend I was bombarded with Mother’s Day card displays. I couldn’t help myself and began looking through some that I might have considered had I had someone to send it to. Mom and I both preferred cards with very few lines of words but that conveyed a loving and powerful message. We both favored simplicity.

It’s not just Mother’s Day but every day circumstances that continue to bring memories to the surface, like this morning. The smell of turkey bacon cooking in the microwave at work took me back to the brunches we shared at her independent living facility – how the wait staff served her, how her friends greeted her, and just the special time we spent a couple of Sundays each month.

As I drive by the Botanic Garden, I remember our time at the annual Japanese Festival and the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit. At our local performing arts venue I remember the concerts and plays we saw. In essence, just about everywhere I go there are memories of mom.

And so, as this Mother’s Day approaches, I lovingly remember the last one we spent together in 2011, with her wearing a sticker from a card one of the kids gave her – “Best Nana Ever.” That she was.

mom MD 2011

A year without mom

A year ago yesterday, on Feb. 10, I lost mom. I still can’t believe it’s been an entire year since she’s been gone.

I have now gone through an entire year of holidays, family celebrations and birthdays without her. And this year, there will be another wedding of a grandchild without her.

When I think of mom (which is practically a daily occurrence),  I am slowly starting to think of her with warm and loving memories and not the profound loss I feel. I know, and I’ve said this before, that mom would be furious to know that she’s caused so much sadness in my life. I can hear her saying, “Oh, Jane…”

Since her passing I have suffered from situational depression. Some days have been worse than others. Some, really not too bad. Weekends have been the hardest since mom and I spent practically every weekend together for nearly five years.

After counseling via Dr. R and my hospice bereavement counselor I decided to give an anti-depressant a try. Now, anyone who knows me know how anti-pills I am and if I don’t have to take one I won’t. But constant bouts of crying, losing passion for things I once had and just a general blah and blase feeling about things prompted me to give it a try.

I hated it. Almost immediately I started waking up several times in the middle of the night and it paralyzed any normal emotion I had. I understand it’s supposed to do the latter but I hated it. I even tried thinking about things that would normally evoke crying from me but I couldn’t shed a tear. After two weeks I knew I had to stop it. I spoke to my doctor and luckily this was one drug that you didn’t have to wean yourself from. It was surprising to her that it acted that fast on me. It took a full three weeks to get it all out of my system. I never thought I would be so happy to cry again, but I was. I got my “self” back.

I still have not been able to re-visit certain places mom and I used to go to and don’t know when I will.

I am learning to live with my “new normal.”



























One year ago today

Recently, I’ve been reading posts relating to mom’s rapid decline from last year that correspond to the current day’s date in 2013. I’m not sure why I’ve been doing this. Maybe to see where I was emotionally at that time.

According to the Jewish calendar, Feb. 10, 2012 – the day we lost mom – corresponds to 17 Shevat. This past Jan. 28 marked her yahrzeit  – the anniversary of her passing (still can’t say the “D” word) – which corresponds to 17 Shevat. –

At any rate, in reading last year’s post, I so vividly remember today, last year.