A Tribute to ‘MomIs’:
I am slowly losing my Mom to the tentacles of Dementia, a nasty insidious disease that robs not only the afflicted person, but also their family and friends of the inner person they have known & loved for a long time.
I am blessed that I still have both of my parents as they reach their 94th birthdays this October (Dad 10/17 & Mom 10/31).
Dad has shared that he took an oath on February 15, 1946 that he will be with my mom through sickness & health, good times and bad and he is holding true to that oath. Almost 3 years ago dad realized he could no longer care for mom on his own so they moved into assisted living together and have adjusted to having others come in and help with their health needs and mom’s daily care; it is a challenging journey.
My parents have had more than their share of trials & tribulations, but they have stuck together through it all. I think one of the hardest was losing my younger brother, Peter Preble at the age of 18. Pete had gone in for a tackle during his last game of his senior years as a Naples High School Eagle football player; he stood up and had a convulsion – mom, being a nurse, knew that Peter was gone when she got to his side on the football field, but she held out hope that she was wrong. On Monday, November 24th 1975 – my parents signed the papers allowing Peter to be “unplugged” and donated his heart.
My parents have outlived both of their sons. In March of 2011, they lost their older son, Whitney, to heart disease.
Mom and I used to joke that she is the “real” nurse after I followed in her footsteps and became a nurse. I had the honor of using my mother’s Red Cross Volunteer pin to use at my pinning as I graduated from nursing school fifty years after she graduated from nursing. Mom went to nursing school at Stuart Circle hospital in Richmond, VA and earned her Diploma! A diploma nurse is one who actually learns nursing in the hospital and it’s hand-on patient care from day 1. Mom’s nursing career spanned over 4 decades in various locations and different types of nursing, including serving her country in WWII.
Mom raised 5 children, has three grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Mom had the ability to make each of her kids feel like they were her favorite one, but I know I am her FAVORITE one, because I am the one here with her – of course when my sister, Lynne, visits I allow her to think she is the favored one.
Through mom, I learned how to have compassion and to be empathic towards others. Mom came from humble beginnings and learned to be happy with her lot in life. She did her best to pass that on to me. I have always said if I could be like my mother, my life will be well spent.
During our photo shoot with Erin, mom was having a “bad day”, but she tried to cooperate the best she could. The time was bitter sweet because I could see the devastation that the disease is causing in this kind-hearted, warm, compassionate, and giving woman. Mom would be a bit “sharp” and then try to regroup her thoughts.
All one can do is to continue to LOVE and support a victim of dementia, because they have no control over what is happening to them. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the woman that raised me into the woman that I have become.
I am grateful for my mother and despite losing her to dementia I still have the honor and privilege to hug her and tell her I LOVE HER!