Weekend Message – March 13, 2011

It’s been another tough week.  I’ve mentioned before that my 88 year-old mother in law was living with us for the past year.  We’ve known for some time that her days on this earth were coming to an end, and a little after 2:00 this morning she passed away.  It was a very peaceful event, and we all know she’s in a better place. 

For the past week, we’ve had nurses from Hospice around the clock.  I can’t say enough for these folks.  They were absolutely amazing, and they made sure her final days were comfortable, while preserving her dignity to the end.  We will be forever indebted to them.

As for Jane, I could tell a lot of stories, and I’m sure I will in the coming weeks.  She was a unique individual, and I can honestly say that in the 33 years I’ve known her, I never did fully figure her out.  I think that’s how she wanted it.  But you always knew where you stood with her.  Always.

It’ll be hard to adjust, especially over the next few days.  Life with an elderly person, especially one with advanced dementia, presents a set of challenges that you can’t begin to comprehend until you’re in the middle of it.  But it also gave us a lot of special memories, and plenty of laughs.  We’ll hold onto those memories as we move forward and adjust to a life that doesn’t involve breathing treatments, wheelchairs, and babysitters.

It’s funny, a week ago before things went downhill, Jane was really concerned about the time change to daylight savings time.  At least a dozen times in three days, she asked us when the time was going to change.  For the past couple of days, we’ve wondered if she somehow knew that was her time.  Some people seem to have a sixth sense about these things.  And as fate would have it, she passed away twenty minutes after the time change.

Knowing Jane, I think she just refused to go in the dead of winter.  And yes, it’s technically still winter for another week, but I think somehow the time change represented springtime to her.  And she wanted to blossom in the spring.  It’s strange how these things work.

And as we welcome the somewhat slow arrival of spring, we’re also looking forward to putting this winter behind us, especially the past two weeks.  Things happen for a reason, and we all go through heartaches in our lives.  But the important thing is, we also have those moments of joy, wonder, and magic that make life special.  And along with those moments come memories – lots of wonderful memories.

I should probably say rest in peace, but if I know Jane the party is just beginning.  A lot of people have been awaiting her arrival, and I’m sure there’s a pretty intense reunion going on in Heaven.  For now, we’ll hold down the fort here.  But it’s nice to know we’ve got one more person watching over us in case we mess up.

So thank you Jane, for everything.  We’ll miss you.

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About Health and Humor - by Dave Glardon

Dave Glardon is a writer, speaker, and stand-up comedian. He has written hundreds of articles relating to humor in our world, and has performed for audiences across the entire United States. In this blog, he shares his insights with the goal of helping you achieve a higher level of physical and mental well-being through a healthy sense of humor.
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33 Responses to Weekend Message – March 13, 2011

  1. Ken Glardon says:

    Again, you have my prayers. Mostly, I hope you will all remember happy times and funny stories. While there are always ups and downs, the good and happy times are by far the best to remember.

  2. john says:

    I was very sorry to here of your loss but marveled at your elequence as you came to terms with the passing of a lady who clearly left a wonderful impression on you.
    Thank you for sharing with me.

    John.

  3. Jan from Montana says:

    My sincere condolences, sympathy and love headed for your family. It’s hard to lose those we love. But yes, I really believe they are still with us, so long as we remember their love for us.

  4. Sue Reynolds says:

    My sincere condolences to you and your family. Losing a parent is transformational, and yes you will find comfort in your stories and in the ways in which you see her reflected in you from now on. My thoughts are with you.

  5. chlost says:

    You have had a lot of loss in your family in a short time. Your sense of humor must be getting tested a bit. Thoughts are with you and your wife. I am sure that you are now entering a new stage,and adjustment to that will take some time as well. Good luck Keep a smile and the good stories close at hand. Take care of each other.

    • Yes, it’s been a lot in a short amount of time, and it’s hard at the time, but I think in ways it’s better than spreading it through the whole year. But we’ve been able to laugh, and that’s what will keep us going. Few things can heal like laughter.

  6. My thoughts are with my Ohio neighbor and his family during this time of transition. Over the days and weeks as you fondly remember your loved one I pray that a smile crosses your lips and a belly chuckle follows.

  7. maru says:

    My thoughts are with you, all of you. May you get comfort someway, soon.
    For her it was time for a change, I think.

  8. Hazel Macik says:

    Dave,
    That was a very nice and touching farewell for your mother-in-law. She must have been a very unique individual and I hope you and Kim remember all the goods times before demetia came into her life as well as yours and Kims. God Bless.
    Love, Hazel

  9. Hazel Macik says:

    Dave,

    I should have “proof read” before I sent it. Take the s off goods and put an n in dementia. sorry!

  10. Sharon says:

    Beautiful. Peace, love, joy and healing energy to you and family who loved Jane. It’s obvious that the time change was important to her transition. One day you’ll find the ghost party is back, this time lead by Jane. Once you acknowledge her, she’ll be on her way.

  11. Gladys says:

    I’m sorry about your mother-in-law passing away. She sounded full of life, even in her old age. You’re a good guy to help your wife with her mother. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t extend themselves to do such a thing. May she rest in peace. Tell your wife I’m sorry about her mother passing away.

    • Thank you Gladys. I’d like to think we didn’t do anything more than anyone else would. Old age can be tough, but it’s something we’re all headed for. When my wife asked if we could do this, the answer was pretty simple. We knew it would be a challenge. I’m not sure if either of us fully comprehended that, but we did the best we could. There were times we both wish we could take back, but overall it was a positive experience for all of us.

  12. ButMadNNW says:

    Condolences to you and your family.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss…this is the first blog I came upon on your site and it was meant to be because I lost my grandmom and I feel that my writing, my stories are a reflection of her because she always taught me that humor is the best gift…even through times of sadness, remember me and laugh…we can chuckle together from heaven…to this day, possibly one day, I can write about her inspiration and chuckle…possibly one day….thank you for sharing this and I am sorry if it didn’t come out the way it did in my mind….

    • Thank you Terri. I’m sorry for your loss as well. It’s hard, even when you know it’s coming and have time to “prepare”. But absolutely, a sense of humor and those memories are what gets us through. I’m glad you stumbled on this blog, because that’s my focus – dealing with everyday life and all of its ups and downs (hopefully more ups than downs) with a healthy sense of humor. Thanks.

  14. Marie Fullerton says:

    We nursed my father in law until his passing at 92 several years ago now. In the last days he was so worried we wouldn’t know what happened to him if he died in the night. One evening we had a family get together and so we were late checking in on him. Everything seemed just fine but I just felt it was not. I checked his pulse, nice and steady, but he didn’t stir so I checked it again, still nice and steady but not so strong. I called my hubby and said I thought it was time. We had a full ten minutes to say our goodbyes before the heart beat slowly got weaker until it stopped. It was such a wonderful passing and, I still say he waited until we were going to be there so he didn’t pass alone and and we knew what happened to him. So many wonderful things out there we have no idea about. He made a promise before he went and kept it afterwards… We have so much to learn in this world. XX

    • Marie, you’re absolutely right – there are so many things we can’t explain, but that doesn’t mean they’re not real. It’s possible the time change was just a coincidence, but I’m convinced she had a sense of when it would happen, and she waited until she thought it was time. I was asleep when she passed, but the Hospice nurse woke my wife up in time to see her take her last breath. I’m glad she was there for that. Because it was a wonderful and peaceful thing. I know it’s not always that way, but when it is I think it does so much for the family to be there and know it wasn’t something terrible.

  15. Marianne says:

    This tribute is beautiful, Dave. Isn’t that something about the time change incident. Life can be very mysterious sometimes.

    So sorry for the passing of your mother-in-law.

  16. egills says:

    Always such a tough time looking after a relative. When my nana broke her hip for the second time she ended up going to live with my parents. Between the three of us we looked after her for 4 years in the end. So when you say ‘babysitters’ I know just what you mean.. many a time I’d get rung by my dad to come sit nana so he could take mum to hospital or such like.
    I always dreaded her most lucid days… having to change her in a hoist because she couldn’t use her legs.. she’d look so sadly at me and appologise – tore me apart.
    Now I think she’s watching over me ( along with Grandad ).

    • Thanks for sharing that Eileen. We were lucky, in that we never did have to resort to a hoist, and she was still able to get around the house with a walker. But her strength was fading, and it wouldn’t have been long. I hate that she’s gone, but I’m glad she missed all that.

  17. Jean Evans says:

    Dave, I am so grateful to you and Kim for sharing Jane with me. Sitting with her or taking her out was always a bit of an adventure. I believe you are right about her having a party in heaven.
    I will cherish the memories. My prayers are with you and Kim.

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