At the age of 56, Mom should have been close to retirement, or working very limited hours just to keep busy, and enjoying visits with my son and my nephews. As much as it saddens me, it also angers me just how cruel life can be sometimes. I've had to watch two very important people in my life and my father's life get ripped away from us in similar fashion. Charlie Kraus, a very dear family friend and practically a second father to my dad, passed away from the effects of Lou Gehrig Disease and his son Randy has struggled with Parkinson's for several years now. I can't imagine a more painful or frustrating end to life than to have your body or mind taken from you well before nature should be taking its course. In my mom's case, I think her problems started much earlier than we all were aware of but simply forgetting things once in a while is so common in everyone that the warning signs didn't appear to be cause for concern.
Mom will forever be remembered for her laughter, her kindness, and her generosity, and also for her courage and ability to keep smiling and laughing despite living under the blanket of confusion that Alzheimer's causes. It's so hard to believe that a year has gone by already, until I think of how much Gavin has grown and how fast the time goes when you have a child. After considering that, it all makes sense but still seems hard to swallow. I'm not a very spiritual or religious person, and only been to church for weddings aside from a few visits with my wife and her parents. However, I fail to accept that she is just gone and I try to envision her being able to see me and my family doing well and seeing my Papouli who she missed dearly, and I never got to meet although I wear his ring proudly. I've seen her in dreams since she left and I don't know if that was just her way of letting me know she's OK but whatever the reason I look forward to her next visit. I love you, Mom.