Friday, August 22, 2014

SHE'LL ALWAYS BE MY MOTHER




SHE'LL ALWAYS BE MY MOTHER

How can I find the words to express all the feelings bottled up in me since returning from spending four "precious" days with my mother? This was a special trip in which we celebrated her 90th Birthday.

The first two days mom was exuberant as she shared many different stories with us, some that made sense and others that did not. It didn't really matter what she said for it was a miracle that she was feeling so alive. Her smiles and laughter melted my heart. She was energetic and it reminded me of how she was before Alzheimer's crept into her life.

On day three she seemed more interested in running around in her Merry Walker than speaking to us, and, on day four, she expressed how tired she was, sounding more like a lost child, as she questioned every second what she should be doing.

Fortunately I was able to enjoy every moment with her and did reflect on my trip after I returned home. After sharing this with my husband I realized how much my heart ached for her and how much I already missed seeing her.

It will be four "long" months till I return to Florida. It's been difficult living so far away and having such limited time to share with her. This time in January I will be staying a whole month so I can spend more quality time with my mom.

Mom said some special things that I hope never to forget. The one I want to always remember was when we were walking down the hall together and she said that she "will always be my mother".

I know that she is my mother yet I still cannot help feeling how I want to take her in my arms and protect her from everything in her life that could possibly hurt her. I want to hold her, cuddle her, and kiss her as I tell her that everything will be alright.

Friends and family always ask me if my mom still knows me. I want to think so yet at other times I may not be sure. Today, I believe she knows she is my mother and that I am her daughter. It's a bond that can never be broken no matter how much Alzheimer's may steal from her.



MY MOM MY HERO is for all the special people in your lives. Over 150 great reviews.

Available on Amazon & Kindle & now Audio worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch



 

Friday, August 8, 2014

ALMOST 90 YEARS "YOUNG"



ALMOST 90 YEARS "YOUNG"

This photo was taken last year in August after mom entered the nursing home. She certainly looks happy and content in her new surroundings. Mom never wanted to leave her home, yet last year my brother and I decided that it was best for her. Fortunately, she had no idea where she was going or how she even got there. If there can be anything comforting about Alzheimer's it is that whatever upsetting feelings or thoughts that fill her mind disappear as quickly as they surface. It seems that they are washed away being forever lost at sea

In one week I will be visiting mom to celebrate her 90th Birthday. As the time approaches I start to feel excited and nervous. The combination of mixed emotions, whenever I go to visit her, has been happening for quite a few years.

Being a long distance caregiver I never know what to expect even though I speak to the nurses each day. My brother sends me pictures as well as keeping me abreast to his weekly visits. Since I do not see her as often I immediately witness the changes that Alzheimer's has had on her. I can see how much the disease has progressed.

I know that I must keep my upsetting feelings suppressed so that I may enjoy the time that I get to spend with her. I do not know how many more birthdays that I will be able to celebrate with mom, yet I know that each one of them is so very special. Turning 90 is no "spring chicken," although many people are living longer.

Each day that mom can still laugh, speak and smile is a day I cherish. Life is so precious and it is a treasure that she can still say my name. My love for her is so strong and to be able to celebrate her 90th birthday is a moment I will always remember. So, in less than a week, my sentimental voyage to mom will begin.

MY MOM MY HERO is for dedicated to all of our mom's. Over 150+ great reviews. Available as a Paperback, E book and Audio.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch
 








 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

RUTHIE MY SWEETIE


RUTHIE MY SWEETIE


Most of the time mom seems to be so happy, strolling the halls of the nursing home stopping at every one's door to say hello. With a smile on her face she whispers that she "loves" them. 

The nurse have share with me that she stops to speak to some of the other patients who sit alone in their wheel chairs as they wait to be brought to an activity or the dining hall. I've been told that even those who no longer speak, at moments utter words to mom as she approaches them. She runs around in her Merry Walker nonstop, with so much energy, in search of something, or perhaps just being the "welcoming committee".

I've been told that everyone loves mom including the aides. She makes them laugh and smile. I personally witnessed this when I visited as they stopped to give her a big hello. Before mom became ill she was always friendly and stopped to speak to everyone she knew.

Now she is one of the few at the nursing home (on the Alzheimer floor) that still speaks and has mobility. She seems to attract much attention with her joyous disposition. Ruthie is turning 90 years old on August 24th, and is not on any medication; except for having Alzheimer's and macular degeneration, she perhaps, is healthier than most of us.

During the summer there are students at the nursing home who love to spend time with her. We are so fortunate that her personality is delightful and that this disease has not made her aggressive or agitated like so many others.

Who knows Ruthie one day might be elected the "mayor" of her facility or perhaps win the "most liked award". For me my mom, Ruthie, certainly is my sweetie.


MY MOM MY HERO is for all the special people in your lives. Over 100 great reviews.

Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MOM, ROCHELLE & ME



MOM, ROCHELLE & ME

I was so touched on my Birthday that I wish to dedicate this post to my(almost) sister-in-law Rochelle.

My birthday started off with waking up in the middle of the night from terrible cramps in both legs. This landed me in the emergency room after falling and banging my head. I received five stitches right above my eyebrow. All I could think about was getting out of the hospital and going upstate for a two hour boat ride on the Hudson and dining on the river. I certainly wasn't going to let this accident ruin my day.

I remember thinking about my mom and how she recently fell in the nursing home.She also had a bad cut (no stitches needed) right above her eye. Mom, because of Alzheimer's, could not understand what happened and kept trying to pull off her bandage. The hospice division assigned a 24 hour nurse for several days to make sure that mom was sturdy on her feet and would not fall again. I was pretty impressed with the care she was receiving.

I understood what happened with my accident and I thought about how mom could not recall anything about hers. The way she fell and how she hurt herself remains a mystery to all of us. Was she pushed, did she trip, or perhaps loose her balance? I was just happy that she did not lose her eye.

From the very first time that I met Rochelle almost 4 years ago, I was moved with how kind and understanding she was to my mother. Her own mother and grandmother had Alzheimer's so she understood what mom was going through. The sensitivity and caring that she showed mom came from deep within her. Ro's kindness deeply touched my heart.

On my birthday I received a message early in the morning from Ro saying that she was going to visit my mother today and would call me from the nursing home. She wanted me to be able to speak to mom on my birthday.

I thought that this was so sweet. When she phoned my mom was able to sing Happy Birthday to me, three different times. Each time she said my name she added in "sweet Lisa." Mom at the end of the song shared how much she loved me. It was truly a miracle.

My heart was filled with such joy as I melted from her words. As our day came to an end my  husband shared with me what a "trooper" I was. What started out as a fiasco ended up being such a special, special day. Not only was I able to speak to my mom, I was also able to hear her express her love. This turned out to be a Birthday which I will never be able to forget.

 P.S.Thank you Ro for being who you are.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

MY BIRTHDAY MOM CANNOT REMEMBER


MY BIRTHDAY MOM CANNOT REMEMBER


My mom gave birth to me. She raised me. She taught me right from wrong. Yet she has no idea when I was born. On good days I think she knows that I am her daughter and knows my name, and on other days she is not sure who I am. Then there are the moments that she thinks she has seven children.

After almost ten years I still find it hard to believe that Alzheimer's can rob my mother of her whole life. You would think that by now I would be able to understand this disease and how it removes one's world as if it never existed.

In my wildest imagination I cannot believe that if I were to become one of the unlucky ones,there could be a day that I, too, could no longer know my husband and son. This thought sends shock waves and chills through my entire body.

Quickly,I must remove myself from such a sad depressing thought. Today, I am free of this disease and, as I celebrate on July 12th my birthday, I will enjoy all the beautiful things that exist in my life. I will hold onto all the images that I adore and appreciate the warmth of the sun on my face. I will look at all the beauty that surrounds me and enjoy each and every day.

I cannot thank my parents enough for bringing me into this world and for all the love that they gave me. I  know that if mom could find the words she would surely wish me a Happy Birthday and share with me how very much she loves me. If only she could remember.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I LOVE HER SMILE


I LOVE HER SMILE


Mom's smile surely melts my heart. This picture was taken several years ago. Alzheimer's had already taken over, yet when I look at this, she seems to be so healthy, free of any disease.

It is getting much harder to speak to her. I wonder if she misses the sound of my voice. Why should I be the only one missing her presence? She of course is my mother and mom's are suppose to always care and worry about their children.

That's the way it should be yet when one has dementia this is not how their universe works. Mom is carefree without a worry in the world. She doesn't need to know if it's sunny, raining, cold or warm. She does not have to think about what to wear, nor what she'd like to eat. She does not need to plan what friend she would like to see or what movie she'd like to go to.

In her world she is surrounded with no worries, no delights, no sadness, and no joy.What a sad place to exist in. I wonder why she spends almost every wakening hour walking the halls of her nursing home in her Merry Walker. What can she possibly be looking for? What could she be thinking?

Perhaps she's looking for a way to escape, not just her surroundings, but also her world. I decided to present the same question to all the different nurses. "Why do you think my mother roams the halls all day long?" Their answers were all different, yet some of the staff thought the same.

" Compulsive behavior. She must have been like that before."

" Likes to talk to people.Looking for people to be with."

" She's very friendly. She's happy walking around and must like it."

" She has lots of energy. Her mind tells her she has to go."

" Anxiety, nervousness. Releasing tension."

" Maybe she feels good. She's in control of something almost like driving a car. Sense of independence."

"She must have liked walking and in her brain it has kicked back in."

With all moms' roaming, I hear that she still mentions she has to go home. To her, home is with her mother claiming that her mom is worried and looking for her. Back in August when she first entered the nursing home this was the theme she kept repeating.

I guess I'll never understand why she does what she does. I'm not complaining for mom is getting a lot of exercise which is important. I only wish that I could understand why she roams around all day.

If I asked her I'm sure that she'd reassure me that she's happy and doing just fine. My mom would never want me to worry; she would only want the best for me.

Nothing would delight her more than to always see a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Whenever I see her smile, I feel such warmth and I seem to glow from deep within my soul.







 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

                                ALZHEIMER'S THE LONGEST DAY- JUNE 21
                          
 
                             
 
   ALZHEIMER'S THE LONGEST DAY-June 21 to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's . I Honor my Mother and all of your Mothers.
                                                   MY MOM MY HERO
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

A LONG, LONG WAY FROM HOME


A LONG, LONG WAY FROM HOME

I just love her smile, laughter and the spirit that resonates throughout her. One second she can light up my life while the next moment I can feel a deep sadness within my soul for her. Living far apart does not make it any easier.

When mom first became ill and for several years thereafter, I kept inviting her to move back to her home town, New York. Her answer was always the same. "I'm never moving back, for I love my home".

I knew that it was impossible to relocate to Florida, and since my brother lived nearby, I accepted and respected her wishes. I often wondered why she would not want to be near me, nor her favorite one and only grandson. New York was where she was born and raised, a place she had lived with my father till they moved in 1985.

The distance that now lies between us is something that bothers me very much. I only get to see her every few months for a couple of days and, after I leave, she no longer knows that I was even there. I'm always left with different feelings about how she is doing. I question her mere existence of what I describe as "nothingness".

My next scheduled trip is in mid August, when I will be celebrating mom's 90th Birthday. I'm thrilled for I have decided to make her a party at the nursing facility. A surprise one at that! Yes, she'll enjoy the cake and songs, although I wonder who this celebration really is for. Her or me?.

The other morning I received a phone call from hospice who shared with excitement how well mom was doing, and that they would be removing her from their care. I replied with "oh that's good news," although that was not exactly how I was feeling.

If mom had a chance of recovery, I would be jumping for joy, yet understanding this disease, I really cannot feel too delighted.

I wish that mom and I could be living closer. Then I would be able to spend whatever precious time I have left with her. I just know that she is a long, long way from home. A distance that is much too far away for me.

My love for her is so deep that I wish she could live another ninety years!


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WITH EVERY BREATH I TAKE



WITH EVERY BREATH I TAKE

If my mother could really understand, she would be so proud of her children, not that she wasn't before her illness. It's just different now. My brother and I have become closer than we ever were before. Mom's disease has bonded us with a deeper sense of love, and for me I have gained a different respect for my brother.

She is the reason for everything. She is my shining star. Mom has stirred up so many emotions, all filled with love. She has opened my eyes and world to many things that I might never have thought were possible. Without her, I never would have started writing this blog.

Yet, I am not capable to do the same for her. I miss and yearn to hear the sound of her voice, her words, her thoughts and her opinions. How I wish that she could share her feelings with me. I wonder what might still exist in her universe.

Over this holiday weekend my husband and I took a ride to the country. I cherished seeing the brilliance of blue skies and the trees as their bright lush leaves glistened in the sunshine. There was a warm breeze that felt divine as my hair swirled in circles. I was feeling alive as I embraced all the natural beauty that surrounded me.

I then thought of my mother, how she can no longer appreciate any of this. Because of Alzheimer's her eyes can no longer recognize the glorious blue skies, nor the lush trees. I started thinking that her world has been robbed from her. It is no longer just her memory, but the simple beautiful things in life that no longer exist for her. I drifted into thinking, what sort of existence is this?

I know that ones life can end in a split second. With Alzheimer's it has been ten years that we keep watching her disappear into her world; a world that is certainly unknown.

I know that my mother is still alive yet I question, "is she"? With every breath I take I pray that  a cure will be found for this horrific disease. A disease that not only robs you from seeing the world through rose colored glasses, but destroys a life that was once worth living.


 
MY MOM MY HERO is for all the special people in your lives. Over 150 great reviews.

Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch

 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

SENTIMENTAL FEELINGS


SENTIMENTAL FEELINGS

As I sat down to write my blog post I started thinking about this past Sunday, when it was Mother's Day. Mine was a special one, since I was able to celebrate and be with my son.

Of course I missed seeing my mom and called the nursing home several times trying to wish her a Happy Mother's Day.  I was unable to reach her, yet I did speak to the nurse and asked her to please send mom my love and kisses. In truth it did not really matter for mom would not understand what I was speaking about.

The distance between us keeps us apart, although I think that I was missing more the pieces of mom that are no longer present. I missed the laughter and conversations that we once shared. I missed being able to call her and describe what was happening in my life.

I wanted to get away from feeling unhappy, so I decided to choose a picture for my blog that would bring me some joy.  I picked a picture of my mother and father from the mid eighties. Logan, my son was around three years old, and mom and dad in their early sixties. These were very happy times, ones that I love to recall and reminisce about.

Today mom's journey is so different. She is slipping away more each day, and dad passed away over nineteen years ago. Life seems to go round in circles, the young grow up, we become older, as life continues to moves on. 

I choose to focus on the brighter days, ones that were filled with a love so pure and strong. I hope that the memories I have of my parents will remain with me. I want to cherish whatever life I have left, and to feel as much happiness that each day can bring.

Today is a gift for no one knows what tomorrow holds. So let's try to celebrate our lives and not hold on to the things that are troubling us.

I wish that I could take away mom's Alzheimer's and bring her back to whole, yet I cannot. Having the strength to be thankful for what we have, is certainly a gift that I want to treasure.


 
MY MOM MY HERO is for all the special people in your lives. Over 150 great reviews.

Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch

Thursday, May 1, 2014

WHAT IS A MOTHER?



WHAT IS A MOTHER?


If we asked the question what is a mother, there would be quite a few different answers, though most would be filled with love.

 I have found some that I would like to share:
"A mother is someone who loves unconditionally and places the needs of her children above her own, on a personal level, and not only with words, but also actions."

"A mother is someone who loves you and who cares for you in every way. She sits down and listens to what you have to say."

"A mother is the one who loves, nurtures, raises, finds puzzle pieces, helps with homework, kisses booboos, and reads bedtime stories".

"Choosing to adopt is sometimes an agonizing decision, but such a great one. Providing a child with love and a home, what could be better? Mother can be a birth mom, technically. To be a mommy, that is the real privilege."

"Mother is the woman who raises you, who is there for you to hold and comfort you when you are sick or hurt, the woman who laughs with you, who cries with you, who loves you, even when you aren't exactly lovable, for whatever reason. This is a"real"mother."

"There are many descriptions of the word mother, and many are applicable. Only those with "closed eyes" can't see that there are many meanings to "mother." A person who gives birth is a mother. A person who raises a child is mother. A person who loves and cares for a child is a mother."

"Being a mother is the hardest job in the world!"

Each one of us who has a mother with Alzheimer's, or has lost a mother to Alzheimer's, or any other illness, know that they will always be our mother. The love they feel in their hearts for us, whether they can express it or not, will always remain.

As my mom drifts further and further away and our roles have reversed, it is a privilege for me to love, cherish and care for her as she had done for me. I myself am a mother, I know so well that being a mother is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs in the world!

Please take a moment and reflect ,with a smile on your face and joy in your heart, of how lucky we are to have had our mothers. This disease might have stolen them from us, yet not all the love that they have showed us.

Although my mom most likely has no idea what Mother's Day means, I want to share with her all the love I have in my heart for her, today and forever. For all the other mothers I wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day.


MY MOM MY HERO book is dedicated to my mother and yours.  Over 150 great reviews.

Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A DEEP & PURE LOVE



 A DEEP & PURE LOVE


Many moons ago my mom's world was sunny and bright. It was filled with excitement, love and joy. She had no idea that one day her entire life would vanish, as if it never existed. Truth be told, neither did I, for I had never heard of Alzheimer's.

Even into her later years mom yearned to continue learning. Her passion for knowledge was important to her. She loved to read and through reading, and taking college courses, she continued to stimulate herself.

Today because of this dreadful disease almost everything she learned has disappeared. She has been robbed, even more, by having the memory of her entire life swept away as if it never existed.

My brother just returned to Florida after visiting me in New York. As he was here I continued to place my daily calls to the nursing home. With each call I reminded the nurses that my mother would not be having any family visitors for the next two weeks. I was aware of her being all alone that somehow I was trying to protect her. Yet in her world I'm sure she did not even realize this.

 This realization had me wondering about all the other people who live in a nursing home (especially those with Alzheimer's) and have no family or friends to visit them. Perhaps they are "locked away" without any key to free them from this awful world they now live in.  It is a world entwined and disguised as one.

Although the facility that my mom now lives in has no fancy hallways, activity rooms or bedrooms,  the nurses and aides all seem happy. When I think of the kindness and care that my mother is receiving I feel some sense of security and know this is what is most important.

My heart could easily break in two, if I allowed myself to think how my mom just wanders the hallways alone each day. She seems to be mesmerized, lost in her world not knowing where to go and what to do.

I realize I am fortunate that my mom is still alive. The love I feel for her is deep and pure,  a bond that can never be broken. Each day I lose my mother a little more, yet each day I also get to love her some more.


MY MOM MY HERO is for everyone who loves their mother. Over 150 great reviews.

Available on Amazon & Kindle worldwide.

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers-A-daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389797650&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch