Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom

Mom, with her only granddaughter, Kaitlin
Today would have been Mom's 79th birthday. We lost her in December 2008 after an eight year struggle with vascular dementia. I don't think you ever truly get over the death of a parent. No matter what your relationship might have been, there's still an enormous part of your life that is suddenly missing. And it's a void you can't fill with anything else.

Mom's illness blinded us to the signs of Dad's creeping dementia. The things we did notice -- forgetting names, not being able to figure out the cell phone we bought him, not remembering something we'd told him in a previous phone call -- we put down to the stress of taking care of Mom. It wasn't until Mom had passed and Dad's growing dementia led to extreme paranoia (with extremely bad results) that we realized we had another uphill battle to face. It was only five months or so after Mom's death that Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Sending you a hug and a kiss for your birthday, Mom. We miss you.

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Thank you for sharing this journey with us.