Monday, October 5, 2009

Life.....

Another day in the life of the Franklin Clan. A very interesting day...one that has us thinking.....

Max and I were awakened this morning by a voice having a conversation. It was coming from the Monitor that we have alongside the bed. The other part is next door at Mom F.'s house. And she was the one having a conversation. And she sounded very alert. So, after a minute or so of listening and not making out what she was saying, I got up and grabbed my sweats and headed next door. I was very quiet as I unlocked the door, and then found my way to the kitchen and flipped the light on. As I walked down the hallway, Mom said "That light is so bright". So, I ambled on in, and asked her if she was feeling okay. She said "yes". So then, I asked her who she had been talking to. (Now, you need to know that she had her glasses on). She said that she had been talking to a "girl", but the girl wouldn't answer her, so she had just put her glasses on to see her better, and it was at that time I had turned the light on and come on down the hall. I looked around the room, and by the door, which is where Mom said the girl was. No one. Only the clock blinking the time. So, I told her what time it was, and told her she could get a couple more hours of sleep, if she could. And, I'd be over later to check on her. She laid her head back and said "isn't that funny"....

I came home, told Max and we both went back to sleep for an hour. I went over about 8:00, and she was up waiting for her coffee to finish. So, while we waited for the coffee to finish, we talked about it. She told me that there had been 3 women at the foot of her bed. But no one would answer her. They just stood there looking at her. She could see 2 of them very clearly, but not the "girl" at the far end by the door. And then when I came in "they left". She said it was the "weirdest thing".

So, I have been a member of this family for 30 years. And we have done lots of traveling with Mom, and then the years in AZ, where she slept in the living room.....she had NEVER, and I mean NEVER talked in her sleep. (Now, Max does......, boy, does he....).

I came on home, and sat down with my coffee. The phone rang. It was Larrie, Maxs' cousin. He called to tell us that Verna, (the wife of Dad F.'s cousin), had died. He had just got the call. So we had a nice long chat, and then he told me the time that she had died. My hair stood up on my arms. So, I told him about Mom's "talk". And what time it was. The hair stood up on his arms. Then he was quiet for a minute, and said, "Eva is the last of the three left". The three, born in 1917, were Larrie's Mom, (Aunt Winnie, who died in 1999, I think), Verna, who died today, and Mom F. The three had spent lots of time together in their younger years, (they were all married to Franklin's). And had corresponded regularly until recently, when Verna couldn't really see to write, and Mom wasn't able to write very much either.

I went over and asked Mom if she had recognized the two women she had seen. She said she couldn't remember. But when I told her about Verna, she got a funny look, but wouldn't say anything else.

So....here is the rest of the story........when I came home from town, Mom was over here with Max...(we got her to stay for dinner....YAAAAAAAAAAA!!!), and she asked me who that lady was that died. I said "Verna"? She said she guessed. But she couldn't place who she was. And how was she related, and how did they know each other. I told her it was Dad's cousin's wife. And said "you and Verna wrote back and forth for years and years....and we stopped to visit her when we were traveling. She said "really"? Then, "I have no idea who she was". Max's face fell. My heart started to cry. How sad is that. I know that we are going to go through all kinds of stages. And Dad spoilt us. He died at 89, and was sharp as a tack minutes before he died. Now, as I type this, Max has brought her a plastic bag full of hard candy to choose her piece. He hadn't undone the tie. She is trying to figure out how it opens. Lord, this is so hard..............

And Verna? We are so going to miss you....................

16 comments:

Karen/My Colonial Home said...

Oh Jan, I just know it was Verna at the foot of the bed with the rest of the girls...I truly believe the spirits try and tell us sometimes.
My mother in law saw her sister who had passed away several years before and she kept saying yes, janice, I'm coming but just not yet and that was a couple days before she passed. She had seen her and talked to her often the last few weeks of her life.
I hope it gave your mother in law some peace even though she couldn't remember who it was. Obviously she did while she was talking to them.

Hugs, Karen

Donna said...

Oh my goodness! What a story! I am so sorry about your mom. The memory is there, but it must be locked deep into the subconscious.

Jan said...

Karen, Thank you. I know that is what it is too.....but it is nice to have validation. How peaceful your MIL must have felt when she did join her sister. God is so good!

Jan said...

Donna...I think you are right, and it is locked deep. I just want her to be happy. It was so hard on Max last night. I am really feeling that this is the reason we aren't in GA or FL right now. How frightening this would be for her if she wasn't at home....

Gettysburg Homestead said...

That is really an awesome story. I understand the stages you are going through with your Mother. I see people and have had family members going through the same thing. It breaks your heart to see them like this. Thinking of you.

Mary

Jan said...

Mary, Thanks! It helps! I thought last night that I knew what could be....but when it happens? It is like I had never thought about it!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Jan ~ An aging parent with dementia is so heartbreaking! My mom is 89 and the dementia is getting so bad. We now have 24 hour care for her, but seeing her this way is so hard. My heart goes out to you.
I, too, am a 10 minute hooker. It helps inspire me.
Pug hugs to you :)
Lauren

Jan said...

Lauren, Thank you...it is nice to be reminded that there are others dealing with this. I love the 10 minute challenge.....it helps me find some restful time. Although, I really want to finish this rug! There are so many more floating in my head!

Irene said...

I wish I was a ten minute hooker. I just stumbled on your blog from Donna's blog. I can't believe how many of us are out there watching our parents with dementia. Some days I wish my mother would just yell at me, like she use to, usually about not using enough salt in my mashed potatoes. My cousin say that her mom talks regularly with her dead mom, and never talks otherwise. She says it truly freaks you out. And you are right God is good, I believe He lets our loved ones see comfort through these visions. Take care.

Jan said...

Irene, how good to see you!! Don't you just love Donna?!! There are a lot of us out there, aren't there? Thanks for sharing! Do you hook? If so, you have to join! It really helps. I am putting my rug away that I am working on now....and starting the one I REALLY want to do!

Irene said...

I don't hook. I can't take on yet another hobbie, I'll have to move into a bigger house. This past year my mom moved into a Long Term Care Facility, because she is now completely in a wheelchair, and has forgotten how to walk. I could not part with many of her old pieces of furniture, so right now my home looks like a warehouse. I'm taking an upholsery course so I can do something wonderful with these pieces. But hooking does interest me.

Jan said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom...that is so hard. Is she happy there?

I think that upholstery would be a great thing to learn. You would always be able to use it!

We too, are in a small place...at the moment we have 400 sq.ft....but are going to add another room. Which we need...as I have so much stuff....I didn't plan on rug hooking....I have a huge list of stuff I either do....or want to learn to do.....but Christy and I were in Snohomish, WA one year....and well, there in the shop was the hooks, the wool and the backing. And a pattern...so, we decided that the Lord obviously wanted me to learn to hook, or the entire shebang wouldn't have been there, staring me in the face..(I am quite the Queen of Rationalization). So, I bought, brought it home, and it sat. So for Christmas, Christy and the rest sent me a pattern...and I was "hooked"...I love it. It is relaxing. I have a long way to go, but for now, I am happy to muddle along!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Taking care of an elder is one of the hardest jobs in the world! I took care of my MIL for six of the last eight years of her life and there were many, many times I thought I just couldn't do it. She had dementia and some days were worse than others.
I don't think your story is odd at all; it's as much a part of life as living but so many of us are far removed from the aged, death and dying. It's a shame because that which we know not, we tend to fear.

Jan said...

Sandra, Thanks so much for your comment! It is a hard job, at times. But I love her dearly...I have a hard time watching....it's a "there by the Grace of God" go I thing, I think! And you are so right, we do fear that which we don't know. I think that I will not fear death, I have been with my FIL, now Mom, and then there are my parents.......life does move right along, doesn't it?

Kim said...

Oh Jan, this post breaks my heart. My mother suffers from Alzheimers and currently lives with me. Her sister lives with us to be the caretaker while I work. It is no fun to watch this disease steal our loved ones. I am praying for your strength and all those others caring for elderly parents.
Kim

Jan said...

Thank you, Kim, prayers really make a difference! I am sorry to hear about your Mom...it seems that Alzheimers is just about everywhere....and it is such a cruel disease. How sad to lose those precious memories as one ages. Sometimes that is the only compensation for aging...