Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: dementia

A Mother’s Love

I seem to find myself in quite the quandary this month. I feel like I’ve lost my mojo. I had every intention of dedicating this month’s post to mothers, in particular my amazing Mom, but every time I start to write, I find myself struggling to find the right words. I have started the post, but my words aren’t sparking me to move on. I even found a quote I felt would be perfect to set the tone.

Ribbons of Love“Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart.” ~Author Unknown

Unfortunately, I feel so many of my words are the same words written by many before me. See below.

It has been said in more ways than one that there is no greater love than that of a mother for her child. As a mother and a daughter, I can attest this to be true. When my son was born, he became the center of my universe. When he hurts, I hurt. When he’s happy, so am I. When he excels, I cry tears of joy. If we fight, it hurts me to my core. I know I will always feel this way. When he’s a grown man with a family of his own, my love with expand to his children. The amount of love our hearts can give is astounding. I saw this with my mother. She hung in there as long as should could, not for herself, but for her children. Sitting by her bedside her last couple days, you could see the fight in her.”

This is as far as I got. The words stopped. My mind felt blocked. My heart numb. It’s even painful to hear co-workers speak of their Mother’s. This just plain sucks. Best Nurse Ever

I thought I was doing OK until I realized May 6th was Nurse’s Day. You got it, my Mom was a nurse. The best there ever was. Her compassion for her patients reached well beyond her duties. After my father passed, she took a position at a local college and built the health service for the students from the ground up, by herself. Each one of those students became like another child to her and the feeling was mutual with the students. This was evident by the beautiful and touching words written by former students on the school’s Facebook page after she passed. In addition, there were former students that actually came to her services. My Mom was 94, and retired from the school in the late nineties. She started the health service in 1966. The students that attended services graduated in the 70’s. That is truly a testament as to the kind of woman she was.

Just imagine having a woman like this as your Mom. My siblings and I were beyond blessed. Saying goodbye to a woman who’s heart never turned a soul away, even those that hurt her, rips at those ribbons of her love woven around our hearts. When she passed a little piece of our hearts died with her. There is a void where once there was love. Read the rest of this entry »

LOSS Addendum

Since starting this blog a year ago, finding “The Walking Dead” thread that held each months theme threadtogether usually came pretty easy. The link was always fairly obvious. As a matter of fact, it was that thread that moved the theme forward. I could see the beginning, middle and end before I ever typed a word. That was until last month. I had a seedling of an idea but wasn’t quite sure how I was going to seam it all together with my TWD thread. Even with the topic of loss, an obvious issue during an apocalypse, I was at a loss, no pun intended. The light bulb never went off. I did complete the post, but with minimal TWD stitching. I didn’t feel it was best, although my siblings felt it was, partly because it didn’t have a strong TWD tie. (Note, they do not watch the show, but are considering checking it out since I started this blog. Their curiosity has been sparked.)

Part of my struggle with my December post was not just the holidays, but the inner struggles my families personal challenge was and still is creating. (See December post for details.) My mind was clouded and my heart filled with sorrow. Something you’d think would help move the subject of loss along, but not in this case, it frustrated and stagnated me. It made me feel like I should abandon this blog like the many homes and businesses left behind when the zombie apocalypse hit in “The Walking Dead.” It was my personal goal to post monthly that helped me forge ahead. I didn’t want to let myself down. As I pulled my final words together on the 31st, I told myself the TWD thread may not be as strong as my previous posts, but it was good enough and once read, the reader would understand why. As I hit publish with just a few hours to spare on December 31st, a sense of relief filled my soul. I did it despite my struggles. I could toast the new year feeling good about myself and my blog.

As I sat on New Year’s Eve with my cocktail of choice in hand watching AMC’s New Year’s TWD marathon I released all concerns about the December post and let myself be consumed by my now favorite apocalyptic world filled with walker mayhem and unforgettable characters. By rewatching the show from the very first episode, my son and both realized there were quite a few details we had either forgotten or missed. It was like watching it for the first time. We were sucked in all over again.
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Hershel and Beth Greene

Hershel and Beth Greene

In a month normally filled with joyous gatherings of family and friends the subject of loss seems so unfitting, but I found myself profoundly effected by the loss of Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) on “The Walking Dead” mid-season finale and to be honest, I couldn’t quite figure out why. Other characters have been killed off, including ones my son and I were quite fond of and ones that really helped to move the story line along. In particular, Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), Beth’s father. My best guess as to why her death got to me was that she, like her father, was becoming a beacon of hope in an otherwise bleak end of times world. Plus, she was just coming into her own, having grown from a shy, frighten teen, so distraught with the realities of this horrible apocalyptic world that she came close to taking her own life. Any life cut short is sad, but one with so much prospect is truly a tragedy. I realize these are fictitious characters, but, it made me wonder if there were any lessons in the grieving process that could be garnered by the loss of our favorite fictitious characters.

Before I could ponder this any further, my family was forced to deal with the sudden illness of my 94 year old mother, which landed her in the hospital and now in a skilled nursing facility for the remainder of her days. We knew for awhile that this day may come, but when you’re slapped in the face with it and no other options, it can be earth shaking. She has health issues that we thought would be what would take her from us, but some how she kept motoring along. We worked hard to keep her at home, but the reality of the situation hung large over our heads. For years we were watching who she was slowly drifting away due to the ravages of dementia, which was breaking our hearts. When pneumonia hit, along with the discovery of congestive heart failure, we knew we could no longer care for her on our own.
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