Monday, February 6, 2012

Live Life to the Fullest and Keep a Sense of Humor!

The photo above of the folks white water rafting is a perfect example of how Mom always lived HER life to the fullest that she could. Mom is in that raft along with my father and my 80+ year old grandfather. The three of them had taken a cruise to Alaska. All her life Mom had always wanted to go white water rafting. I wish I could figure out how to make that picture appear larger so those of you reading this can see the wonderful smile on her face. Mom's placement in this picture is toward the center, there is what appears to be a little white mark to the right of her head...it's actually the word "Mom". The same with my father and grandfather but they are located toward the back of the raft. I love seeing those smiling faces. I have this picture framed and it sits on the mantle over my fireplace.
This post has taken me some time to compose in my head and several days to type and save. I've been going over the past 33 years remembering all of the 'landmarks' of my mothers illness(es). When I was 12 years old Mom was 40. Mom underwent her first of 3 open-heart bypass surgeries. Just a short few months later she underwent her second open-heart bypass because the bypasses from her first surgery had already failed. We were told that Mom would not live to the age of 42. The way I remember this period in my life was, there always seemed to be a constant buzz in our home (when Mom was home from the hospital) of Hospice care in our house. We were preparing for the worst with Mom. She wasn't home very often; seemed that she had a permanent room at Baptist Hospital East. I believe every person on the medical staff there knew or knew of my mother. 42 came and went for my mother....her first of many goals to prove her doctors wrong. All along Mom faught HARD to stay alive.
To this day I remember Mom walking up and down the hallway in our home, very slowly due to the pain of having open heart surgery, shouting "¡Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!" as Speedy Gonzales would shout in the cartoon. Mom NEVER lost her sense of humor or will to live. Very rarely did my sister or I ever see her in a weak moment.
All of these events were BEFORE Mom's dementia diagnosis. Thankfully Mom did a LOT of living before this most devestating diagnosis....lots of travel, lots of fun, lots of family time, lots of laughter. I really miss those times.



1 comment:

Amy said...

Wonderful post -