Posts Tagged ‘Aunt Mae’

In so many ways I wish this wasn’t the end of 2015, as once again I find myself looking back over the last year with great sadness.

Mum 70thWhile 2014 had not been great as Mum was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, she had coped well with the chemotherapy so I had certainly started 2015 full of hope that 2015 would bring good news for Mum. Sadly my hopes were dashed early on, as we got the news in January that while Mum’s treatment had helped to a certain extent, the lymphoma had continued to progress so were told they no longer hoped to cure Mum, but still hoped to get her illness under control for as long as possible.

Despite a course of radiotherapy and then starting a course of oral chemotherapy, it was clear in July, Mum’s illness was progressing, and so Mum was admitted to hospital for further tests/treatment. after further scans/test we were summoned to meet with the doctors and Mum, and were told there no further treatment they could offer Mum as her illness was continuing to progress quite aggressively. After a few days of discussion with Mum and the palliative care nurse, Mum agreed to go to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, initially just for a couple of weeks so we could all be sure she was going to be able to be safe if she went home. Sadly though, Mum never got home, as on the 6th on September she passed away peacefully in the hospice.

TiggerMum wasn’t the only member of my family to pass away this year, as in April we also had to get our cat of almost 20 years, Tigger, put down. We got Tigger as a wedding present on our 1st wedding anniversary, so he would have been 20 years old this July. There was a huge emptiness in our home after Tigger died as other than the first year of our marriage, he was part of our married life, so it was a big change for us not having Tigger around the house anymore.

That wasn’t the end of things either as another member of my family passed away from dementia/Alzheimer’s – my Aunt Vida, passed away in August less than 3 weeks before my Mum died.

I’m not quite sure how I’ve got through these last few months, particularly as this included clearing out my Mum’s house, which had not only my Mum’s belonging, but also many of my Dad and my Aunt Mae’s things too (they both died in 2013) – This was one of the hardest and most upsetting things I’ve ever had to do. I feel that in these last few weeks, that Mum’s death has really hit me hard, as prior to that I was so busy clearing her house and getting organised for hubby and I moving to my Mum and Dad’s house, I don’t think I really had much quiet or alone time to stop and think about all that’s happened this year. One thing I do know though is that my world fell apart when Mum passed away. Other than my hubby, Mum was the last of my immediate family who remained, so now Mum’s gone I feel so very alone – Mum knew how I was going to feel when she passed away as I remember her saying to me just a few weeks before she died, that she wasn’t ready to go yet as she wanted to be here for me. I really wish Mum was still here for me, but sadly her time here on earth was up, however I am reassured in the knowledge that Mum will now be with her Lord and Saviour, and that we will be reunited one day.

Just as in previous years, it’s not only been the bereavements that have been on my mind this year, as there have also been several other ongoing life issues to cope with this year which have added to the stresses and strains of 2015.

I’m finding life quite tough just now, as I really miss my Mum and continue to miss my Dad too. After my Dad and my Aunt Mae passed away 2 years ago there was one song that stuck in my head for a few months as it reminded me that no matter what I’m facing, and how bad life seems, God is there for me and He will always be there for me, and that song has once been going through my head again – so here is Kutless with Promise of a Lifetime:

So as you can see 2015 has been an awful year for me. I really hope and pray 2016 is a happier year for me and my family!

I hope 2015 has been a far happier year for you than it was for me, however if it wasn’t, I hope you have had the love and support of family and friends to help you through the year.

I pray that as we look ahead to 2016 you may go forward with confidence knowing that whatever situations you have to deal with, God is by your side not just during this Christmas season, but all year-long.

The Promise of a Lifetime by Kutless
 
I have fallen to my knees
As I sing a lullaby of pain
I’m feeling broken in my melody
As I sing to help the tears go away Then I remember the pledge you made to me  I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime Will you help me fall apart
Pick me up, take me in your arms
Find my way back from the storm
And you show me how to grow
Through the change I still remember the pledge you made to me
I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime  I am holding on to the hope I have inside
With you I will stay through every day
Putting my understanding aside I am comforted
To know your always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime.
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
Looking back at me
I know that you can see
My heart is open to the promise of a lifetime 

Well thank goodness that’s us just about at the end of 2013, because for me, although it seems to have been a very quick year, it’s been a really rotten year!

Dad at our weddingI’m getting a feeling of deja vu here, as I seem to recall saying at the end of 2012 it had been a tough year for me…if I’d know what lay ahead in 2013, 2012 would have seemed like a walk in the park!

So we’re almost at the end of 2012. I don’t know about you, but this year seems to be over nearly as soon as it began! I know some will tell me that’s a sign of getting old, but I refuse to believe that, as I think it’s simply been because there’s been so much going on in my life this year…again.

I should have known when 2013 it was going to be a tough year as right from the start of the year it was apparent that Dad’s dementia was deteriorating, as from just before the close of 2012, Dad would not eat or drink anything, and thus was hospitalised on 4th January for the 2nd time in a few months.

Sadly this time he did not recover, and at the start of February Dad was discharged from hospital to his nursing home on end of life care. I think it was only when the nurses at the nursing home said “end of life care” that Mum finally realised what the hospital had been saying for the last couple of weeks. On the 21st of February, my Dad lost his life to vascular dementia.

Aunt Mae (Aug 2011)In January my Aunt Mae (Mum’s sister) was moved from her care home to the nursing home my Dad was in, as her dementia was causing her to become violent towards the staff at her care home and they could no longer cope with her there.

The week after Dad’s funeral, we got summoned to my Aunt Mae’s care home as they were waiting on an ambulance for her as she had a bad chest infection. It turned out they thought she’s had a mild stroke, but when they went to do the CT scan to confirm this, she had another stroke. Sadly on 3rd April my Aunt Mae passed away, due to a combination of her stroke and her dementia.

I’m not quite sure how I got through those months as being the guardian for both my Dad and Aunt Mae, I had to do all the organisation (with help from Mum and Sandy), clear out both Dad’s and Aunt Mae’s belongings from the nursing home, stay strong form Mum who, as you can imagine, was devastated. To be honest I don’t think it really all hit me until about May and then I really struggled to come to terms with the death of 2 of the people I’ve been closest to.

Unfortunately this was not the end of the bereavements for my family, as in mid November my Dad’s sister died, also from dementia, which knocked my Mum for six again, as we were always quite close with my Auntie Mabel and her family as when I was young, we used to spend just about the whole of our summer holiday’s in Cambridge with her and her family.

Sandy’s side of my family also suffered a couple of bereavements this year, so all in all we’ve had far more than our fair share of family bereavements this year. Add to these bereavements, my hubby’s health issues and my own on-going health issues, and you can see it’s not been a great year for us.

I’m still finding life quite tough just now, as I continue to miss my Dad in particular, but there’s one song that has been stuck in my head for a few months now which keeps reminding me that no matter what I’m facing, and how bad life seems, God is there for me and He will always be there for me – Here’s Kutless with Promise of a Lifetime:

So as you can see 2013 has been a rotten year so I’ll be glad to see the back of it! 2014 can only be a better year can’t it!

I hope your 2013 has been a far happier year than mine has been, however if not, I hope you have had the love and support of family and friends to help you through the year.

I pray that as we look ahead to 2014 you may go forward with confidence knowing that whatever situations you have to deal with, God is by your side not just during this Christmas season, but all year-long.

The Promise of a Lifetime by Kutless
 
I have fallen to my knees
As I sing a lullaby of pain
I’m feeling broken in my melody
As I sing to help the tears go away Then I remember the pledge you made to me 

I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime

Will you help me fall apart
Pick me up, take me in your arms
Find my way back from the storm
And you show me how to grow
Through the change

I still remember the pledge you made to me

I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime  I am holding on to the hope I have inside
With you I will stay through every day
Putting my understanding aside

I am comforted
To know your always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime.
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime

I know you’re always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I’m clinging to the promise of a lifetime
Looking back at me
I know that you can see
My heart is open to the promise of a lifetime 

Aunt Mae (Aug 2011)Today, the 23rd October, is another sad day for us, as today would have been my Aunt Mae’s 91st birthday.

It’s now just over 6 months since my Aunt Mae passed away, but just typing these words have started my tears flowing again. In many ways it seems like just yesterday Aunt Mae passed away, just 6 weeks after my Dad died. However in many other ways it seems like an eternity since both Aunt Mae and Dad were here with us.

I have thought of my Aunt Mae every day since she died.

I have shed many tears every day since Aunt Mae died.

I have missed my Aunt Mae every day since she died.

As Aunt Mae’s dementia worsened, she, just like my Dad, failed to recognised us or acknowledge that she knew us and latterly her personality completely changed, as she went from being a loving caring person to someone who was angry and aggressive…that just wasn’t my Aunt Mae. Having said that, during her final few days in the hospital, she did seem to have a the odd moment of clarity, as at one point when Mum apparently told her I was on my way in to see her she smiled and tried to say my name…

I am in no way saying there was no bond between Aunt Mae and the rest of my family, but I know there was always a special place in her heart for me, after all I was named after her as Mum and Dad gave me her name as my middle name, Mary.

These have been incredibly difficult months for my family, and my Mum in particular – Mum’s struggled to come to terms with the death of first my Dad and then Aunt Mae, but she’s getting there, as am I. I would however ask that today, as we remember my Aunt Mae in particular, on what would have been her birthday, that you continue to pray for us as we continue to grieve the death of two much-loved members of our family, my Aunt Mae and my Dad.

I love you Aunt Mae, and I miss you so much. You’ll always be in my thoughts and firmly in my heart. Dorothy xxx

Today is my Mum’s birthday (and no I’m going to tell you what age she is today!), and is it’s also another day when I’m sure we’ve both thought a lot about my Dad as it’s Mum’s first birthday since my Dad and my Aunt Mae passed away.

I had hoped to take this week off work so I could spend more time with Mum in the run up to her birthday, but that ended up not being possible. I have however spent some time with Mum several night’s this week so that hopefully she hasn’t all her time thinking about Dad and Aunt Mae not being with us any more.

We have arranged to take Mum out for dinner tonight to celebrate her birthday so hopefully she’ll enjoy that and, although we’ll probably end up talking about my Dad and my Aunt Mae tonight as we often do, but hopefully it’ll be because we’re remembering the good times we spent with them rather than focusing on the fact that they both ended up with dementia/Alzheimer’s and ultimate both died because of that awful illness.

So happy birthday Mum. I hope that despite it being a another day when we’ll think of those who are no longer with us, we’ve managed to make it a good day for you.

happy birthday mum

junior_soldiers_promiseI’ve spent a lot of time in these last few weeks and months thinking about my Dad and my Aunt Mae, both of whom passed away earlier this year. One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot in relation to both of them is promises – Promises made by both of them either publicly or privately.

Dad of course promised to always look after me and care for me particularly as I was growing up, however latterly our roles were reversed, as it was Dad who needed to be looked after.

As for Aunt Mae, it’s the public promise she made many years ago, to serve God for all her life, that I’m thinking about. In the last few years of Aunt Mae’s life, her illness meant she was unable to attend the Salvation Army meetings anymore, however whenever we visited her, she always talked about the Army…albeit the Army she was talking about and asking about, was the Army of a few decades ago rather than our 21st century Army.

As far as Dad’s promise to look after me is concerned, he certainly did that, and, as far as I’m concerned, did that very well. And Aunt Mae’s always did her best to serve God all her life, particularly in her younger, more active days when she held various local officer positions at our home corps of Rutherglen Salvation Army.

I just hope that as I live my life, the promises I’ve made already, and any I make in the future, that I can be as successful in keeping my promises as both Dad and Aunt Mae have done. I believe I will only be able to succeed with this, if I keep the promise I made when firstly when I was 7 and then again when I was 18 years old, the promise Aunt Mae also made…to serve God all my days.

Maybe that is why in these last few weeks, as our band (Bellshill Salvation Army Band) has played the piece Guardian of My Soul, I’ve been so emotional – the second song featured in this piece is O Jesus I Have Promised to the tune of Aurelia:

O Jesus I have promised
To serve thee to the end,
Be thou for ever near me,
My Master and my friend.
I shall not fear the battle
If thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway,
If thou wilt be my guide.
 
O let me feel thee near me;
The world is ever near;
I see the lights that dazzle,
The tempting sounds I hear.
My foes are ever near me,
Around me and within;
But, Jesus, draw thou nearer
And shield my soul from sin.
 
O let me hear thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion,
The murmurs of self-will.
O speak to reassure me,
To chasten or control;
O speak to make me listen,
Thou guardian of my soul.
 
O Jesus thou hast promised
To all who follow thee,
That where thou art in Glory,
There shall thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my friend.
John Ernest Bode

 

Today, the 25th April is another sad day for us, as today would have been my Dad’s 86th birthday.

Dad at our weddingIt’s now just over 2 months since my Dad passed away, but just typing these words have started my tears flowing again. It really doesn’t seem like 2 months since Dad died, mind you a lot of that has to do with the fact in that interim time as many of you know, my Mum’s older sister, my Aunt Mae, also passed away. My Aunt Mae’s funeral was just over 2 weeks ago, so I’ve found that since then, I’ve finally been able to grieve for my Dad, as up until then I never really got a chance to grieve because my Aunt Mae was so ill.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean I am not grieving for my Aunt Mae as well as my Dad, as I most definitely am, but as you can probably understand, I am really missing my Dad.

I have thought of my Dad every day since he died.

I have shed many tears every day since Dad died.

I have missed my Dad every day since he died.

Yes, Dad’s illness in his final few years meant he was never really the Dad I knew and loved during, but even in those days when his vascular dementia meant he rarely knew us, or had any kind of conversation with us, there was still the odd time when he’d look at me and say, “Hello my lovely young lady” – something he often called me for many years. The days he said that to me became fewer and further apart, but when he did day them, they always brought tears to my eyes…and they most certainly have again tonight as I typed this post. The sad thing is no sooner would he uttered those words than he would become that vacant vessel again which didn’t understand what was going on around him, who was with him or indeed understand that he knew us.

These have been incredibly difficult months for my family, and my Mum in particular – Mum’s struggling to come to terms with the death of my Dad and Aunt Mae over these last couple of months. Therefore I’d ask today, as we remember my Dad on what would have been his birthday, that you continue to pray for us as we continue to grieve the death of two much-loved members of our family.

I love you Dad, and I miss you so much. You’ll always be in my thoughts and firmly in my heart. Dorothy xxx

What a day! It’s been a day full of lots of different emotions. It’s been a day Mum has been looking forward to ever since she agreed that she wanted Dad to go into a care home for a week’s respite care. It’s been a day that’s been a long time coming, and one which I personally think Mum could have been doing with arriving much much sooner.

The day didn’t start great for me for various reasons, including not sleeping well last night and then hubby going back to doctor’s this morning to be told he’s still not well enough to go back to work (this was no great surprise to me, but I think hubby was expecting a different outcome). That’s now quite a number of week’s hubby’s been off work and to me he’s still not much better than he was when he was first off…this is gonna be a tough day…

Early afternoon and it’s time to head over to Mum and Dad’s to take Dad to the care home where he will stay for the next week to give my Mum a break from caring for him.

When I get over there, Mum tells me she’s explained to Dad countless times where he’s going and why, although he really hasn’t understood. Although at one point he did apparently say he didn’t want to go, and wished the week was over so he could come back home again…hearbreaking.

In the car on the way to the care home, Mum and me were explaining to Dad again where we were going and why, but he just kept saying he hadn’t a clue where he was or what was going on. Then he suddenly burst into tears…heartbreaking.

Mum was struggling, I could see that, but what could I say or do other than try and reassure her that Dad would be ok and that the folks at the care home would take good care of him. After all the care home Dad is going into is the same one my Aunt Mae lives in these days, so we know it’s nice, we know the staff are great and they know us well too because we’ve been visiting Aunt Mae regularly ever since she first went into the care home.

The staff at the care home were as usual marvellous and kept reassuring Mum that Dad would be ok, and that she should take full advantage of her week’s break from caring for Dad.

While we were at the care home we all went to visit Aunt Mae. She didn’t seem too happy today, so that was upsetting, again particularly for Mum as she was already finding today tough. So after visiting Aunt Mae, we took Dad back down to where he is going to be staying for the week, again explaining to him what was going on, but again he was unable to understand. Then came the toughest time…the time to leave Dad…

It was dinner time for the folks in the care home, so we took Dad to the dining room, and got one of the carers to take him to a seat…he didn’t understand why Mum wasn’t going to sit down with him in “the restaurant”…heartbreaking.

Mum wasn’t too bad, she found it tough leaving Dad, however I had expected her to get all upset but she coped better than I had expected.

Spent some time with Mum after we left the care home, and she seemed to be looking forward to her “week of freedom”, though she did keep saying “I wonder how Dad’s getting on”. Despite Mum telling me today not to worry about her and that I didn’t need to spend my whole week off with her, I intend to spend at least some time with her every day this week, just to reassure me if nothing else, that she’s ok.

Today’s been a tough old day, an emotional day – a day I’m happy for Mum’s sake has arrived, but on the other hand, I’m sad for Dad that it’s come to this, him having to go into a care home.

So many emotions for us all. It’s been a tough day all round.