Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UPDATE: on this story. Seems that even though this was ruled a homicide, it is likely no charges will be filed and that is good news. The family of the victim handled this very tactfully. They feel that Mr. Gagne is not at fault because of his memory loss. They are an amazing family who in the face of their own grief recognize that both involved are victims. It's a sad story all around.

This is a very sad story about two residents in a memory care facility here in Minneapolis. It seems that one of the residents did something (pushed?) to another resident resulting in an injury. The resident who was injured eventually died and they have ruled this a homicide. As someone who has loved someone with dementia, I am heartbroken by this entire situation. Not only am I sad about the individual who passed away and for his family, I am also sad for the other man and his family. You see, this other man was former pro wrestler Verne Gagne. We who've loved someone with dementia know that our loved ones are not totally in their right mind. This situation is tragic all around and my heart goes out to these families.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quick Trip to Detroit

I flew to Detroit this weekend to attend my auntie's birthday party. She turned 80 on February 5. It was quite a wonderful party, even in the midst of a Michigan snowstorm. It was great to see Auntie (who is Mom's sister) and my uncle (who is Dad's brother). We are a close knit family because of this. That is them on the right. The lady on the left is my Mom's and auntie's cousin. My sister and her husband also came from Philly to attend the event. It was a wonderful time. I also spent time with my cousins and met some second cousins. The weekend flew by way too fast. One of the babies that was born on the day that Mom passed was there. That was special. He's such a tiny little guy.

Things in Detroit are pretty bad. You can see the impact of the problems with the auto industry everywhere. It makes me sad to see so many people struggling. It's easy to blame the Big 3 automakers but the effect is like a row of dominoes. The economy is really struggling there. I hope things turn around soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Tonight I found Mom's journal from 2004 to 2005. Very interesting. She mentions our visit to her doctor where we discussed her memory issues. She wrote " slight memory loss, may be alzhimers (sic)". Interesting. Once she moved in with me the journaling really dropped off but when she did write it was very cryptic. My poor Mommy. She mentions numerous times that she missed me when she was living alone. I'm so glad that we moved in together and that I was able to care for her and keep her company. It still is surprising to me just how quickly she declined.

I spoke to the lawyer today. She told me not to lose sleep, the situation was fixable. I told her the sleep had already been lost.

I also met with my therapist. She suggested taking a break as I seem to be coping well with Mom's death. I miss her so much but I know she is whole again and Alzheimer's can no longer hurt her or the rest of us.

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Month

One month has passed. It seems longer somehow and shorter too. I miss holding her hand. I miss her stroking my head to comfort me. I miss her smile, her laugh and her words "I love you more". I love you Mom. Twice around the world and back again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Blues

Tonight I attended the Minnesota Youth Symphonies concert at the invitation of my good friend whom I've known since junior high. Her daughter is a violinist in one of the symphony orchestras. These kids were amazing! I was very impressed by them and enjoyed the concert immensely.

Otherwise, my weekend was pretty low key. I did some window shopping at the mall on Saturday and I visited with my friend M who recently had surgery. It was nice to spend time with her and her family as usual. They are good friends.

I'm not really keen on heading back to work tomorrow, but it gives me a diversion from thinking about Mom. We are supposed to have an ice storm tomorrow. That should make the commute to and from work very exciting to say the least. I'm growing weary of winter. Today we had a taste of spring; it was near 40 degrees. I hate these teasers, I just want the warmth and sunshine of spring.

Friday, February 6, 2009

In December Mom's and my financial guy moved to a new firm. We followed him to this new firm. He came down and together we filled out all of the paperwork to transfer our money to his new firm. Unfortunately the person who drew up the paperwork messed up and used the wrong forms. They filled it out in such a manner that made me the primary beneficiary and my brother and sister the secondary beneficiaries. This was a major screw up that no one caught until Mom passed away. So now it looks like we are going to have figure out how to avoid a lawsuit on this in order to get the TOD fixed. Otherwise we would have to pay lots of money in taxes in order to distribute the money correctly. I'm heartsick. We trust this guy to the utmost and he feels so awful that he didn't catch this error until after Mom passed away. Their forms are so confusing to me though, so it's no wonder it was screwed up. However, when it transferred from ML there should have been no problems and all that was set up there should have transferred to the new place. It didn't and I'm angry.

On the plus side, it was 40 degrees here today! I hope the trend continues so that I can experience it this weekend. And, I also heard from old neighbors from my childhood. They sent me a stack of photos including some I had never seen of a trip they took with Mom and Dad back in 1980 on the Arthur M. Anderson. The Anderson was the last vessel in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald. It meant so much to me to hear from them. Thanks for the letter and the photos Pat and Al!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

If you haven't seen the movie "The Secret Life of Bees" I recommend renting it or viewing it on demand. I had read the book several years ago and I really enjoyed it. The movie follows the book, and the performances by the actors are very good. I watched the movie tonight, on demand, and enjoyed it immensely.

Today I spent more time trying to sort through some of Mom's paperwork, making sure bills are paid and taxes are up to date.

I re-read some of my postings from December. Looking back I see an ominous pattern indicating Mom's decline. Of course I cried as I re-read this. I'm so glad that I spent as much time as possible with her. And I'm doubly glad that I documented those precious memories.

It's back to the deep freeze for us temperature-wise. However the forecasters are predicting 30s by the end of the week. I'm so over the cold weather.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rock and Roll History

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the airplane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. There have been so many articles in local media about this day, so I googled it and found a wealth of information including this website which follows the Winter Dance Party tour from city to city. I can't imagine what the promoter of this tour was thinking; the bands traveled in a broken down bus with a heater that didn't work, as they criss crossed Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa in the middle of winter, with temperatures well below freezing. I found the photos fascinating and I sure learned a lot about these artists. I grew up in Duluth and was surprised to find that the Armory concert was attended by Bob Dylan (then Bob Zimmerman). I used to roller skate at the Duluth Armory way back in the 80s.

This website also has some interesting information as does this one.

Today has been a difficult day for me. I have been thinking about Mom a lot and am sad.

Nine Years and Counting

Mom has been gone for a little over nine years. This blog was a huge mechanism for helping me cope with her illness and daily downfall. I...