Mourning or Missing

Mom and Zosia

Today is the 10th anniversary of my Mom’s passing.

I miss her; truly I do. As my Mom had dementia, the last five years of her life were my mourning period. My brother and I took turns every other night taking care of her, and I don’t think there wasn’t a night that I was there that I didn’t cry. Mom was herself for one week after she suffered a subdural hematoma, but then dementia took her away. She could communicate in Polish on occasion, but talking was minimal. The birthday before she passed away, I was up with Mom overnight. Her birthday was four days before mine. On my birthday, I got up quietly to get dressed for work, and as I turned away from the closet, she looked over to me and said,” Good morning.” It was the sweetest birthday gift she ever gave me.

People commented to me about not crying at her funeral. I said it was a celebration of her life-her entire life pre-dementia. We were genuinely glad she was done with her struggle. Physically she hung in there for five long years. It was time for her body to go catch up with her mind in a better place.

Life has gone on and I miss Mom. There are many times I can feel her wagging her finger at me and telling me “I told you.” She never got a chance to see me retired. She never got to come here and see where we live now. She knew my Zushie girl but didn’t get to know my Kasia that well.

Kasia

At this ten year mark, I’m missing Mom. I don’t think that’ll ever change. I am grateful for the life she led. I just hope I can catch up with her eventually.

And so….

This fellow is turning 31 on Sunday.

Egad! I am getting old.

I remember when I could carry him on my shoulders. He’s now towers over me. We used to play with trains and hot wheels and look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. He’s married and puts up their lights, and I like to think he picked up his love for animals from me. He and his wife have two cats, which warms my heart.

Happiest of birthdays to my Matt. Couldn’t be prouder of you if I tried.

The Gluten-Free Birthday

Today is Jim’s birthday.

It’s the first year I haven’t made him a birthday cake, since I am honoring his gluten free life style.

Before I laid down for a nap he was going to make flax seed crackers. I woke up and he made himself ” cookies.”

They have flax seed, sesame seed, milk, vanilla, peanut butter and honey. They aren’t THAT bad but could have used more peanut butter, in my humble opinion.

So happy birthday to my ” gluten-free” Baker. I wonder what the next year of recipes will bring.

Alyx

Alexandra was my only niece. I loved her to pieces, but I think even she knew I was better with the nephews and her brother. I mean, I got to the point where I could play with Fisher-Price toys, Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Thomas the Tank Engine…you get my drift. Alyx was an Madame Alexander doll girl, and I was Little Kiddles, back in the day. Yet, we still loved each other and hello Kitty.

Today, Alyx would be 38 years old.


Here is a picture of us circa 1994. We are standing in my parent’s front yard. This was always my favorite picture of the both of us together. It is bittersweet, as I was in my first cancer during this time and I would lose my sweet Alyx 3 years later to a mid-brain tumor. It was, kind of, the end of our golden age.

My Dad passed away the year after Alyx, and Mom in 2012. I know Alexandra is up there is good company.

I miss them all.

St.Valentine’s Day

Well, as the song lyric goes, and my favorite version is by Frank Sinatra, “Each day is Valentine’s Day.”

Tomorrow is the 14th of February. Just another day for a whole lot of folks. My buddy,Duch, has her birthday tomorrow! My money is on the chance that most of the people will be celebrating the day set aside for love. From little fingers with construction paper, small cards, red roses, jewelry, or even engagement rings, gifts and cards will be exchanged. I know my Dad proposed to my Mom on the day back in 1941. My sister-in-law’s parents married on 2/14.

My BFF Juls is going through some angst this St.Valentine’s day, praying and worrying about medical stuff. Not everyone is looking for chocolate tomorrow. When you are lucky enough to have a significant other,  the love you have translates into sharing cares and worries together. Love covers a lot of area.


So from me and my girls and Jim, I want to hope all your days, not just tomorrow, are filled with love. Don’t restrict it to a single day a year.

Make each day your Valentine’s Day.

Greg

In the line of family birthdays, my nephew/Godson Gregory is December 19th.

We managed to spend time together on the train when he went to Temple University and I worked in town. We had many good talks together and I miss those times.

He is now a graduate student at Saint Joseph’s University and is also busy working. I am very proud of him and wish him all the best life has to offer.

Happy birthday Greg!

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A good buddy on a downhill slope

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In prior blog posts, I had written about my friend with a degenerative brain disease.

She had been diagnosed about 5 years ago, and has been going slowly downhill, which has been
so hard for us who love her to watch.We hang in there with her though, because she, even in her illness, is a good friend.

If you can’t find the prior post, she is a former neighbor who made friends with me from the day I moved in,eleven years ago. Her fur-child is Eby, a beautiful male golden retriever. We used to tease about Zush being Eby’s wife-we had many a good chuckle over that. Fortunately Zush is spayed so no worries for me.

I can remember her illness coming on as if it were yesterday. Jim,Zush and I were with her and Eby walking the trail of the Wissahickon. She was complaining about feeling off-balance sometimes, which I said maybe the doctor would tell her it was vertigo.

It wasn’t

I always would walk up twice or 3 times a week when I lived on the block, and we would chew the fat for a while. As her condition has deteriorated, I kept that up,until when we moved this last month. Now I only get to see her once a week.

Yesterday was her 62nd birthday.

If you are of some free time, please throw up a prayer or good thought for my buddy. No one should have to go through what she is.

Poinsettia

My birthday is this month. Most of my friends have daisies,rose,or mums for their birth month flower. Me? I get a pointsetta.

It is funny that a plant I abhorred as a kid I now respect as an adult. It is like me: lose your coloring but hang in there, and with proper care, you can have a nice houseplant.They say if you cover the plant with a brown bag at night,from October on, you can get the colored leaves back. I have done this many times and like life, it’s not easy. Some years it works and others it doesn’t .

I have come to appreciate pointsettas.
They hang in there,just like me!

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