Life Without Mom.

I lost my mom four years ago.  She suffered a long and painful death due to a form of Parkinson's disease.  The form of the disease is called Lewy-Body Syndrome.  The person or people afficted with this disease are oftern mis-diagnosed with having Alzheimers instead.  That's what happened to my mom.  It wasn't until ten years later when a compassionate and clever Hospice nurse started caring for my mom soon before her passing.  This sharp minded, kind nurse diagnosed what my mother was really suffering from with just one visit with her.  While all this time had passed, the doctors where unaware and medicating my mother with medicine(s) for Alzheimers.  Ten long tortureous years of suffering and being diagnosed with the incorrect disorder/disease.

We, me and my siblings wondered why she wouldn't eat and was always so shakey.   The ability for my mom to stand and or walk on her own was not an option.  My mother being able to bath or shower by herself wasn't an option either.  My mother being able to lift a spoon or fork of food up to her mouth with her trembling hands was not an option.  We siblings took turns bathing, dressing, feeding and loving our mother.  I remember all the times after bathing her and helping her back to her room, gently propping her up on her bed so I could go through her drawers of clothes or closet to pick out her clothes and shoes to wear for the day.  Instead of just grabbing something for her to put on, I always put out three of each items of clothing for her to pick from; from her under garments down to her shoes.  I would hold each garment up to her, starting with her underpants....  "Do you want to wear your white under wear, your pink under wear or your peach colored underwear Mom?"  Without her being able to form sentences and many times words, she would put her hand on her garment of choice and smile at me.  This was always a timely process, but a worthy one.  She needed to feel important and have a good appearance.  Why?  Because she was always a classy lady.  More importantly, she was a human being.  After I would apply her deorderant, she would change her mind about what shirt she wanted to wear as I would be helping her put her arms through the shirt's sleeves.  She often would wind up picking the first shirt she chose to begin with, but no biggie.  She was my mom.  Some days she would do that for her pants, socks and even her shoes.  And boy.... Mom had a lot of shoes.  Once I'd get her fully dressed, I run a soft brush through her thinning and once strawberry blonde hair.  After that, I would lay out jewelry for her to choose from.  A lot of times, she would pick about four or five rings to wear, but always only one necklace.  Afterwhich, I would appy a little blush to her pale colored cheeks before spritzing some of her favorite perfume on her.  After that, we were good to go.  I would summon for my older brother to help me get Mom down stairs and gently placed in her comfortable Lazyboy chair.  My brother would turn on the television to Turner Movie Classics for her to watch as I prepared her meal.

Often times I was late for work for caring for my mom.  Eventually I got "laid off..."  Nonetheless, my mom was worth it.

A day before my mother passed in her bed, I was sitting next to her listening to the radio.  She liked big band, swing and jazz.  She also loved that song "The Rose" by Bet Midler.  We would always sing and harmonize to it together.  We sounded pretty good together.  Anyway, that song came on the radio as I was about to go.   Suddenly she got all fidgetity and started to moan.  I asked her what was wrong.  She quieted down once that Bet Midler song came on the radio.  I sat back down on the bed next to my precious mother and sang that song as she fell asleep.  That was the last time I saw my mom.

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