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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

For Mom

It's been one year since I got the phone call, the one that I knew was coming but had no intention of accepting until I heard the words from my sister; Mom died. It was early in the morning on this day one year ago when I was told that my mom's battle with Alzheimer's Disease ended, as my wife held our 2-month old son Gavin, and I started dealing with the pain I've felt every day since then. I remember being strong for the first few minutes until my dad called and just hearing his voice forced all of my emotions out and it took everything I had just to answer his questions. Trying to speak at her funeral service proved harder than I imagined, and once again my emotions took my voice. I've yet to reach the point when I can think about her without shedding tears, mainly out of frustration but also out of sadness that she never got to meet my son, her third grandson. Underneath the tears is a great deal of pride and great memories and I am happy when I think about her, but also very sad to think of how hard it was for her in the early stages to deal with knowing what she was facing.

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.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Jason, this post reminded me so much of how I felt in 2006. That entire year was filled with more loss, sorrow, and fear than any of the previous 23 of my life. It also rocked my faith to the core. But - as cliche as it sounds - it was the year of the most growth for me. And though I hope to never repeat it, I am now aware of my strength. And though my faith might still be a little so - so, my faith in myself is rock that's something.

The point of my ramblings is this: I know that you are strong and will make it through whatever life throws you...and you'll do it with determination and grace.