Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mom and Ike

This morning I had a long talk with my brother Isaac, who lives with and care for our Mom at our old family homestead in Pennsylvania. I haven’t been able to get in touch with them for a few weeks. We discovered the problem was that the phone was out.

Mom is 85 years old now. She has been in declining health ever since our father died August 22, 2000. They were married 61 years. Each one was the half of the other. Much of her problem seems to be depression. She also has a balance problem and is on a number of medications. Both of her sisters (one of which is now deceased) developed dementia. I’m afraid the signs are now showing Mom is also developing dementia.

I have two younger brothers. I live in Delaware, and my youngest brother lives in South Carolina. My Mom lives with my middle brother in Pennsylvania. We would prefer for her to move to my brother’s place in South Carolina where she can receive more professional care but she prefers to stay where she has lived for the past 61 years. I understand her need to be in her comfort zone. We will try to accommodate her as long as we can. She has her cats (Molly and Rusty) and her favorite bed set up in her living room. When she's not sleeping, she likes to watch “The Price is Right” and the Fox News channel. This is her routine and it gives her comfort.

Both my younger brother and I are worried about the burden that is being placed on our brother Ike. He has his own medical problems that he has to monitor. I’ve talked to him and he says he is managing. He loves our Mom and takes excellent care of her. Ike has the patience of a saint but there is always a limit before one becomes overwhelmed.

We’re facing a dilemma that our Mom needs to move into a more controlled environment but we also want to respect her wishes to live at her home. Ironically one of the things our Mom was most concerned about was being a burden when she became older.

After talking to Ike, I called my other brother in South Carolina. We also discussed Mom’s situation and we agreed to take it one day at a time. That’s all we can do now. I guess we always knew this day would come.

Note: Picture is of Mom and Ike circa 1954


  1. Ron, oh boy, I wish I had a PEARL OF WISDOM for you. My Mom passed away 9yrs ago. She was only 72. I still wonder if I could have done anything different during that time. Hang in there, we send our support. Mike and Glenn, s.c. ca Oh, did you get my Email with photos?

  2. Mike,
    Thank you for your concern. My brothers and I knew this was coming on. Still, it's a shock to see this strong woman fading away. We've agreed all we can do it monitor the situation day by day.

    Yes, I did receive your e-mail with your photos. I had sent you an e-mail with some photos.

  3. Ron,

    Yes, we know these things will come. You know I understand. We sail in the same boat. My prayers are with your mother and with you and your brothers.

    These downward turns can come suddenly. With the sudden downturn with my father it puts added strain on my mom. I hope this doesn't wear her down. She'll turn 89 next month.

    Are you going to visit your mom on Mother's Day? This year I think I'll drive up there and go to church with her.


  4. Even though we knew this was coming, it still feels like it is happening too fast. We are all a bit overwhelmed here. One day at a time, that's all we can do. Give you Mom my best Lar. She is such a lovely lady, just like your grandmother.


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