Did we jump the gun?

publickmanAugust 13, 2012

Kevin and I had a very difficult trip to Texas, and we thought that our mother was going to have surgery while we were there. Unfortunately, that did not happen because she was not well enough, due to dehydration, etc. We left Texas expecting her to have the heart valve surgery this Wednesday, but today we got a call from our sister to inform us that our mother has advanced cancer (somewhere in her abdomen) and that the surgery has been cancelled. At this point, they are merely taking care of her to make her as comfortable as possible until she dies, and no one knows when that will be, although the current estimation is in days instead of years. We had been told that the heart valve surgery would add 2-3 years to her life, but now she has only 2-3 weeks, or so is seems. She may not last another week. In any case, we will next return to Texas for her funeral, and she is already picking out what she wants to wear and whom she wants as pall bearers.

I left work today at 3:00 PM when I got the news, but I think I will feel competent to work again tomorrow. I saw my surgeon this morning and learned that my own surgery went extremely well, and I will see my regular doctor tomorrow after work. My surgeon wants a 3 and 6 month check of my calcium levels.

At this point, I can hardly feel like I am getting back to normal after my surgery. I took my last antibiotic pill this morning (These pills made me extremely tired and lethargic), but I do not feel like a new person, as I was led to believe that I would. I have to wonder whether we should have stayed another week. I think we did accomplish quite a bit the week that we did stay, but Mother was very upset to see us go when we did. I am positive now that I have seen her alive for the last time. We talked with her a bit on the phone yesterday, but she was becoming too weak to speak more than just a few words.

Anyway, depressing as it may be, I thought I should give you this update. I apologize for the dire thoughts/messages I have been posting, but do appreciate your very kind responses. If I seem distant or strange to you in the near future, at least you may know why.

Lars

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cloudy_christine

Oh, Lars, what awful news. I'm so sorry. I'm sure it comforted her to have you visit.
Take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:40PM
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centralcacyclist

Oh, Lars, I'm so sorry. What a rotten development. I was wondering why you hadn't posted an update yet. Hugs and hugs.

Eileen

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:42PM
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diinohio

So sorry Lars, losing a parent is never easy. Don't second guess yourself. You went when you were needed.

Take care of yourself.

Di

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:51PM
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lsr2002

I'm very sorry to read this also, Lars. I had been checking here often to see if you had posted about your Mother. Your news about her is tragic.

I think you are doing very well after your surgery. There is no way with the stress of your trip, even if the outcome had been very different, your own stress of recovering from surgery, and the continuing stress for you of her failing health, that you could be feeling like a new person. If your doctors are happy with the way you are progressing after your surgery, you should share their positive feelings and give yourself a break. You, and Kevin and the rest of your family are going through He!l now. I hope you can love and help each other, and that you know we want to listen to you. I wish I was close enough to do more.

Please post an update after your next doctor's appointment.

Lee, sending you all positive thoughts

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:34PM
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momj47

What heartbreaking news. You've been clobbered this summer by so much, and then this happens. Your strength has been an inspiration to us and we are thinking of you. Continue to take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:36PM
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ann_t

Lars, I've been checking in daily waiting for an update. I'm so sorry that the news is devastating. I lost my mother in January and it hasn't been easy. My thoughts are with you and Kevin.

With all that you have been dealing with, I'm not surprised that you are not bouncing back as quickly as you hoped. Take care my friend.

Ann

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:13PM
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wizardnm

Lars, it's not surprising that you don't feel like a new person yet, you have much you are trying to deal with. One day, the fog will lift but it does take time.

Nancy

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:31PM
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cbadcali

Dear Lars and Kevin, I am so sorry for all you have been going through. Please take care of yourselves. This certainly is a very tough time for you, but know that we all care and have you and your parents in our prayers.

Mary

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:13PM
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publickman

I do not feel very strong at this point, but at least with your thoughts, I do not feel so alone. I know that this is something that almost everyone has to go through at some point, and the experience of others is a great help. The people at work (including my boss) have been very supportive, and this is also helpful. The past 10 days have seemed very surreal to me - much like a very bad dream - but I do feel that the time I did spend with Mother was very significant and that she very much did need me there at that time - perhaps more so than she would need me at this time. I left her feeling optimistic and positive, but also feel guilty for leaving when she is actually most vulnerable. However, I do feel that the situation is out of anyone's hands now and that I could not have done more for her than I did. I think she is getting decent care now, although she definitely was not getting it just before we arrived. I also think that she is at peace with her situation.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:44AM
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mustangs81

Lars, My feelings for you and your situation have been stated above. I can only add that I will continue to hope for a rapid recovery and some semblance of normalcy in your life soon.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:50AM
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compumom

My heart sunk when I read your post. I have also waited anxiously for your update and am so saddened at the news.
Keep strong, it sounds like you were there for her when she could appreciate your presence. Keep calling, even if she cannot respond, she can still hear you speaking. Take care of yourself.
Hugs to you and to Kevin.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:30AM
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jessyf

Lars, I'm so sorry to hear this news. I hope you and your siblings pull through this together. You really did all you could and were allowed to do and please don't ever second guess yourself!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:39AM
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mitchdesj

I am also very sorry to read this bad news; I can only wish you strength to go through all this in this trying time.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:55AM
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johnliu_gw

This has been a hard time for you. You can only do your best, and you have.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:53AM
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dedtired

Lars I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties. Thank goodness you and Kevin went to spend time with your Mom when you did. That was the best gift you could ever have given her. I know it has taken a toll on you, and I hope you spring back soon. It is such a hard time for your family and I am sending my best thoughts to you.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:09AM
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sally2_gw

Oh, Lars, I'm so sorry to read this. I was away for a few days, and this was the first place I wanted to check now that I'm back to see how your mother is doing. Grief will knock you for a loop, so it's no wonder that you are not bouncing back as you expected. You may be feeling even worse had you not had the surgery. No way to know that. I'm glad that you and Kevin got to visit her when you did. I second what the others have said already.

I will keep you and Kevin and your mother in my thoughts and prayers.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:33AM
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mtnester

Lars, I'm so sorry to hear of this sad development. Two points jump out at me: first of all, you reconnected with your mother last week. You left her with warm, optimistic feelings, and she knew how much you cared about her. When my own mother died, suddenly, after an accident, I was glad that I'd had a really good phone chat with her just a few days earlier. I knew that we were still close and loving. Imagine my guilt feelings if my last phone call had ended with an argument! (I know that the relationship over a lifetime is more important than the *last* interaction, but I am still glad that our time together ended on a good note.) Do continue to stay connected through phone calls, as long as possible.

And secondly, it is good that your mother has accepted the news and is at peace with it. There is a time to fight an illness, and a time to simply accept the inevitable. It will give you comfort to know your mother's wishes in advance and carry them out, as best you can, when the time comes.

Hugs to you and Kevin,

Sue

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Gina_W

I'm sorry Lars. Hugs from me also.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:02PM
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woodie2

I'm very, very sorry, Lars. Sending my best wishes to you and Kevin.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:40PM
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ritaotay

Can be duplicated as many times as needed.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:37AM
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lindac

As someone once said to me "Stop with the shoulda, coulda, woulda".
You did what you could and what was right at the time....I am sorry for this time when you will be just waiting for the other shoe to drop....
That sort of crisis is hard enough to deal with when you are feeling well and not recovering from surgery.
Take care of your self....sending hugs and all my good wishes.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:40AM
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publickman

I definitely appreciate the hugs at this time, but also feel torn apart by not being there near her any more. While I logically believe that we did the right thing by being with her when we did, my emotions make me feel otherwise. At least I feel that she is getting good care now from others, and I do not believe that that was the case before we arrived - not that we had anything to do with how she is now being better cared for.

My own doctor's appointment yesterday was anticlimactic, but I do feel better, although it's very difficult to feel completely well at this point. Our sister has offered us her Southwest frequent flyer miles for a return ticket when we will have to go for the funeral, and this has relieved a bit of stress for us. I think Kevin is taking this harder than I am, but both of us have not yet returned to normal sleeping habits. Kevin worked from home today, and I am now wide awake at 3:00 AM after going to bed at 9:30 PM. We were too wiped out yesterday to call anyone, but will check in later today for a progress report. I hope DM can feel the thoughts for comfort that I am sending her from afar.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:15AM
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rob333

(((Lars))) you're in my thoughts and prayers. Take care! Bend our ears whenever you need.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:22AM
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sally2_gw

I'm still with your and Kevin, and your Mom, Lars.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:26AM
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lpinkmountain

What Sally said. Hugs, thoughts and prayers. So sorry you're having to go through ALL this at once.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Bizzo

((((Lars))))

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:12PM
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KatieC

Ahhh, ((Lars))...I know that surreal feeling. Very sorry to hear about your mom. I'm glad you got to see her when you did. Wishing her a peaceful journey. And you take care of yourself! It takes awhile to feel 'right' after surgery.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:18PM
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centralcacyclist

I agree, it takes a while to recover from surgery. The few surgeries I have had felt like a violation of my spirit as well as my body. Yield to the need to rest. Be patient with the process.

I, too, wish your mother a peaceful journey. It seems that she is ready.

Oddly, I got a call from my mother last night. We are estranged and have been for years but she soldiers on in denial and I let her. She has been very ill for the last few years. She's had three cancer surgeries, two to remove tumors in her colon and one to remove a large tumor on her ovaries. Her last surgery resulted in a ruptured abscess at the wound site. She weighs 86 pounds. She is 81. She smokes like a chimney and has no interest in quitting. I have never badgered her to quit, my sister does enough of that.

I wish you peace and healing of both your body and your spirit. Hugs and hugs.

E

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:39PM
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annie1992

Oh dear, Lars, I have been with my own Mother for the past several days and have not been able to check in as often as I normally do, as we went to Ohio to do some geneology research.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother, and sad that you can't be there with her. You did spend that time with her and she knows that you love her, although there is little you can do now other than wait.

I also think that you will take more time to recover from your own surgery, it's hard on the body and with the extra emotional toll you will have much to cope with.

I'm sending hugs and strong thoughts to you and to Kevin. I think he will need you a lot the next few weeks, and you can lean on each other for strength.

I'm so sorry, no matter what the circumstances and no matter how logical the decisions, it's still so hard to let a person go that we love so much.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:01AM
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publickman

I very much appreciate the ability to express my feelings here and wish that I could be as supportive of everyone as they have been of me, but everyone has different strengths and limitations. At this point, I feel like I am on a cliff, much like a cliff in one of the dreams I have where I am mountain climbing and get lost and stranded without a clear path back to where I came from. I also keep thinking of Dante's Inferno where he says, "In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, where the straight way was lost." I just do not feel "grounded" right now, and I do not know how long this feeling is going to last. I keep thinking of all the things I will never be able to do with my mother again, and I have to keep pushing these thoughts out of my head in order to be able to function. It is good, however, that I have work to do that I enjoy, and my boss has been very helpful. She lost her mother when her mother was 52 and her father when he was 60, but the loss of her mother was especially difficult for her, since they were very close and her mother had encouraged her in her creative endeavors. I feel a very strong bond with my boss, although it took her a while to recognize it. I recognized it as soon as I met her and knew that we were meant to work together, but she recognizes that now also.

As long as my mother is still alive, I want to be with her and tell her things, but I know that she is now in a state where she cannot appreciate this and only wants to have her pain removed. My only comfort is that she is being well looked after, and she is now staying at my brother's house away from DF so that she can get some peace and comfort. DF, OTOH, has been going on a rampage, now that Kevin and I are not there to calm him down, and DB Mike is going to have to get him to the Veterans' Home before he does some real damage. DF refuses to go to any home on his own, but Mike has POA now (as of last week) and therefore can commit him to going, for the good of everyone. It would have been better for everyone if he had gone weeks ago, but as LindaC said, there is no point in regretting what could have been. I truly think DF will be happy at the Veterans' home, once he gets established there. He's like a child that does not want to go away to summer camp, and I was that way when he first took me to summer camp. He absolutely cannot stay at home alone as he wants to any more.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:03AM
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sally2_gw

I'm coming here every day that I can, Lars, to check on you. All I can do is give you a virtual hug. I'll be thinking of all of you today.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:39AM
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nancylouise_gw

Very sorry to read of your mom's poor health Lars. But you did get to see her while she was still able to talk to you and have a visit. Please take care of yourself and don't let the progress you have made after surgery lapse. Prayers going out to you and your family. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:26AM
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publickman

Mother died this morning at 4:30, and we got the news at 7:45 AM. We will be getting a flight for early tomorrow morning, to allow us today to get ourselves ready. The funeral is supposed to be Saturday or Sunday. We will probably book a return flight for Tuesday or may leave it open. I think we will go on Southwest, and I believe that we do not need to get round-trip tickets. I might look into having a travel agent help us, if there are any still around.

I feel numb now but also feel that I can cope and deal with this better than I anticipated. I will check in here later today as well.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:06AM
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dedtired

Lars, I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Take comfort in the fact that you spent time with her recently and brought much joy into her life. Our loved ones live on in our hearts. Please do try to give yourself time to prepare for the trip and enough time spent in TX. Do not exhaust yourself, especially with your own recent health issues.

I am thinking of you and Kevin.

PS, don't forget to sign in online as soon as possible when flying Southwest so you get a decent seat.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:34AM
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compumom

My deepest condolences, may she rest in peace. This is never easy, but you did all that you could. Grieving for our parents is a process, you'll share memories and stories with friends and family to help you recall moments and happenings throughout her life. Being surrounded by those who care softens the blow. Believe me, it does.
Hugs,

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:47AM
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publickman

There were no available flights on Southwest, and so we are flying U.S. Airways with plane changes in Phoenix both ways. Going to Austin, we have 46 minutes between flights, which seems a bit tight, and so I will be nervous about that. Coming back we have 1:07 between flights.

I decided to get the tickets right away, as soon as I saw how limited the availability was. Air travel is stressful enough for me as it is.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 12:11PM
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rob333

I am so sorry to hear about your mom's passing Lars. Peace to you and your family.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:19PM
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mtnester

Oh, Lars, I'm so very sorry!

Sue

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:53PM
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lsr2002

I'm so sorry to read this and thinking once again how good it was that you and Kevin were able to go and spend time with her.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, take care of each other.

((Hugs))

Lee

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:50PM
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lindac

Lars....I am so sorry.....be strong!!! You have many friends wishing you well.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:14PM
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cloudy_christine

I'm very sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:55PM
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annie1992

Oh dear, Lars, I am so sorry to read this, but I am glad that you got home to spend a little time with your Mother before she was gone.

Be sure to take care of yourself, you are still not strong after your surgery. it's fortunate that your brother has POA, that's an issue that won't need to be dealt with immediately now.

I hope you can feel the strong and calming thoughts I'm trying to send to you, I wish I were closer and could help in some way.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:13PM
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ann_t

Lars, I'm so sorry. Just know that my thoughts are with you and Kevin.
~Ann

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:48PM
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westsider40

Lars, my deepest condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother. May her memory be a blessing.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:27AM
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colleenoz

Oh Lars, I'm so sorry to hear your news. It's good though that you were able to spend some time with your Mom before she passed. I hope you and Kevin travel safely and you don't have to stress too much. Take care of yourselves.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 5:45AM
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doucanoe

Lars, I am so sorry to hear this latest news. Hugs to you. Take care of yourself.

Linda

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:20AM
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woodie2

Sending my very sincere codolences to you and your entire family. I'm very sad for you.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:55AM
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wizardnm

I'm so sorry Lars. You and Kevin are in my thoughts.
Nancy

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:27AM
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sally2_gw

Lars, you and Kevin and the rest of your family have my deepest condolences. It is so very difficult to lose your mother, I know, as mine passed away 9 years ago, and I still want to call her from time to time to tell her about something, or ask her a question. It's difficult, but you'll get through it, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I hope your traveling is uneventful, and you have a meaningful time with your family.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:32AM
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jessyf

Sending thoughts and support. What a difficult time for you all. I lost my mom 12 years ago....like Sally, I still reach for the phone.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:37AM
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triciae

Lars, I'm just so sorry for the loss of your mother. I hope knowing you're in the hearts and thoughts of others here on the froum helps you and Kevin through this time of sorrow. Although no words can really help to ease the loss just know that you are very close in my thoughts and prayers.

Although it's difficult today to see beyond sorrow may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. Grieving takes it's own time and way for each of us. We can not hurry the process. Be gentle with yourself as you work your way through.

Sending wishes for easy and safe travel to/from Texas.

/tricia

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:40AM
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sushipup1

Lars, my greatest sympathies to you and Kevin and the family. I lost my mother 6 years ago, and yes, the empty space is forever. But the memories are golden.

Hugs,

Helene

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:02PM
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claire_de_luna

Lars, I'm so sorry for your sudden loss. I'm glad you could feel your mother was taken care of in the end. It's not surprising to me that you don't feel well yet. Recovering from surgery takes serious downtime, and added with the emotional stress you've been experiencing, it sounds like it's going to take you a while to start feeling like your old self. I know when my mother died, the emotional stress of all of that laid me flat for quite a while. Now is a good time to lean on the others around you. ((Hugs to you.))

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:08PM
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nancylouise_gw

Very sorry to read of your mum's passing Lars. Saying a prayer for you and your family. Take care of yourself too. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:59PM
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kathleenca

I am grateful your mother did not suffer longer, Lars, but very glad you were able to be with her for a while. This is a harsh time for you both and I hope the outpouring of caring by your friends will help ease your pain. We are all thinking of you with much sympathy.

Kathleen

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:02PM
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caflowerluver

I am so very sorry to read this sad news. You have my most sincere sympathy. I lost my Mom a little over a year ago and I still feel the loss. Take good care of yourself.
Clare

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Bizzo

Lars, I'm also so sorry for your loss. I'll say some prayers for you and your family at this difficult time. (((Lars)))

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:03PM
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sally2_gw

Lars, I'm still thinking of you and your family.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:22AM
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centralcacyclist

I'm thinking of you and Kevin.

Eileen

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:40AM
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lsr2002

You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Lee

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 1:19PM
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triciae

I know it's been a tough weekend. Still with you in spirit and prayer, Lars.

/tricia

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 6:09PM
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mitchdesj

I was away last week and missed your sad news; my sincere condolences in this difficult time for you and Kevin.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 6:01AM
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mustangs81

I know no other bond exists like the one with a parent. In order to work through the grief of a parent's death, individuals need to be open to dealing with their emotions completely, and to express them honestly. So I just glad that you and Kevin can provide support to each other at this time.

(((Cathy)))

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:35PM
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blueiris24

Lars, I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my mom this year and it has been a struggle. Thinking of you and sending you strength

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:40PM
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publickman

Thanks for all of your support and condolences. I really got more here than anywhere else, and what you gave me here really helped and made me stronger.

We got back this afternoon, and the trip was very strange - and very different from what I had expected. I also feel much differently than I thought I would, and I am much more at peace. The funeral itself was somewhat of a travesty, but it is over and behind us now. DF is now ready to get help and has actually asked to go to the V.A. home - he really did not have other options, and I am glad that he was able to reach that conclusion himself on his own in his condition. I believe that DB Mike will be taking him there tomorrow, which is sooner than we expected.

I think I am feeling a bit numb right now, but I am taking it day by day with the realization that this day had to come sooner or later, and I think my mother chose when she was ready to go and went without excessive suffering. Also, she died at DB's house and not the hospital, which is also what I think she wanted. It is going to be more difficult for DF because he never wanted to leave his house, but he realizes that he cannot be left there, and he more than anything else does not want to be left alone.

I have to go back to work tomorrow, and I'm not sure I'm ready, but I think I will be able to manage.

Please, everyone know how much I appreciate your thoughts and how much you have indulged me. I felt bad about discussing this here, but the benefits I received from you were so healing for me.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:13PM
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KatieC

My condolences, Lars. It sounds like you are handling it well. It's never easy, but there's lots of comfort in knowing things happened in the best way they could. I'm glad that your Dad is willing to go and be around other people. He'll be busy and busy is good.

Have a good day at work. Busy is good.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 12:05AM
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sally2_gw

Lars, I'm glad to hear your father is being cared for. My heart goes out to him, as this must be so difficult for him.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you return to work, and cope with getting back to "normal" life.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:39AM
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cloudy_christine

Lars, please never say you feel bad about coming here for comfort. Most of us have known each other for years, and we aren't indulging you, we care about you.
I'm glad you can feel that your mother died at peace, and it is a blessing that she died at your brother's instead of the hospital. Thank goodness your father made his own choice to go where he can be cared for.

Karen

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:22PM
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rob333

(((Lars)))

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:46AM
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publickman

Karen, I don't feel bad about it any more, but I did have a bit of misgiving at first because I thought it was too depressing. However, after the responses, I have gotten over that and realize how supportive everyone here is.

At work I received a gift certificate to buy a plant to plant in memory of my mother. I will try to do that this week-end.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 12:02PM
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triciae

Lars, I've planted a yellow rose in the gardens of every home I've owned in honor of my Mom. I think that was a wonderful gift you received.

/tricia

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:28PM
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tami_ohio

Lars, I am just now seeing this. Please know you and your family have my sympathy and are in my prayers. Also, prayers for a swift recovery from your surgery.

Tami

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:35AM
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goldgirl

Lars - Just want to say that I've been following your posts and thinking about you and your family. You've had so much on your plate in a relatively short period of time.

Sue

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:18AM
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compumom

Hi Lars I just wanted to let you know that you're on my mind and am sending you soothing thoughts. I have found that the grief process is just that and the pendulum of emotions swings widely. We are here for you.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 1:44PM
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annie1992

Lars, my dear, I just wanted you to know that you are still on my mind, and so is Kevin.

I'm sending strong healing thoughts to both of you, and I hope you are recovering from your surgery quickly and feeling better physically.

Hugs.....

Annie

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:53PM
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publickman

Thanks! I do feel better from receiving your thoughts, and I am also feeling better physically after my surgery, finally. I find that I am able to bend down and pick things up without getting dizzy, and this is one of the things that the surgery was supposed to correct.

Today Kevin and I went to an orchid nursery to spend some of the gift certificate that I got at work that specified that I should buy plants to have in memory of our mother. I bought three orchids and two bromeliads that I will nurture to their next blossoming, which should be at the same time of year and therefore remind me of the anniversary of her passing. I picked flowers that I know she liked, and I feel sorrow that I am unable to share these flowers with her or even tell her about them. There are so many things that I want to tell her now, and it will be a long adjustment for me to realize that I can no longer have our regular phone conversations.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 1:55AM
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publickman

Here is an album of photos of our mother that Kevin has scanned and posted on flicker. I will be scanning photos in time as well, but Kevin got an album that our mother had made herself of her own favorite photos.

Lars

Here is a link that might be useful: Kevin's photo album of DM

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:02AM
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jessyf

Oh Lars she was beautiful. I see so much of you in her.

I think the plant certificate was a lovely gesture.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 10:39AM
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centralcacyclist

Your mom was beautiful and had a fabulous sense of style. The photo album is a lovely tribute. I enjoyed it very much.

Eileen

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:16AM
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triciae

Oh Lars, the photo album is a treasure. She was a classy beautiful woman. You and Kevin are fortunate to have all those pictures. I'm sure you both will look at them many times going forward. Thank you for sharing.

I think the orchids and bromeliad were fantastic choices for your gift certificate. You gave thought that they're bloom time would generally coincide with the time of her passing.

Also glad to hear you are feeling a bit better. Hope you're sleeping better also.

How's your Dad doing? Is he settled into the Veteran's home?

/tricia

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:53PM
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publickman

Here is a photo of some of the plants we got. The orchids on the left are very fragrant, which is why I got that plant, and the bromeliad in the middle now has a second purple blossom on the opposite side. I bought two phaelonopsis orchids because I've had good luck getting them to rebloom, and I can grow them outside when they are not blooming.

DF went willingly to the Veterans' home because he was so lonely after DM passed, and after that, he did not want to be in the house by himself. He has friends at the VA, and I think he will be happier there - I've been told that it is a really nice place, although I did not get the chance to visit it while in Texas. I called my sister yesterday to get an update, but she did not answer. I think if something were wrong that I would be notified, but I cannot be sure of that.

My sleep is not yet back to normal, and I have a bit of trouble concentrating, but I am able to do most of my work.

I always did think of my mother as being very cultured and that she was stuck in somewhat of a cultural wasteland being so far from a major city. She majored in music education at North Texas University in Denton, which supposedly has the best music department in Texas, and she was trained in opera. When I was a child, she used to play the piano and sing opera to me, which I enjoyed very much - she has a lot of sheet music and librettos. She took me to the ballet and the symphony when I was very young, partly because DF refused to go. I saw Swan Lake when I was four and then wanted to become a ballet dancer, but DF forbade that as well.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:01PM
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compumom

Thanks for sharing the photos, what a beautiful woman. We certainly could see where you inherited your sense of design. It was striking how she stood out in the photos against the dry backdrop.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:13PM
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cloudy_christine

Beautiful flowers for a lovely lady.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:46PM
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petaloid

I have been out of the loop recently, and am just now seeing this.

My best wishes go out to you and your family during the grieving process, and I know you all have the strength to see you through.

Those photos are wonderful.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:08PM
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publickman

I have an update on DF: it appears that he tried to escape the VA home yesterday and threw a wheelchair at someone, missing them of course, but he did injure his own ear somehow. The doctors believe that he has Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, going back to WWII. This does not surprise me, and I know that he suffered from it severely during the early years of his marriage. The bad thing is that he has PTSS, but the good thing is that because of the diagnosis, his care will be paid for by the VA. I definitely believe in veterans getting this kind of benefit, since they sacrifice so much for everyone when they have to go to war. DF does not like to accept help from anyone, which has made his life and his family's life more difficult than it needed to be.

Here's a picture of the phalaenopsis that we got at the orchid store.

Lars

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:48AM
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annie1992

Oh dear, Lars, I'm sorry that your father hasn't settled in a bit more calmly at the VA. You are right, our veterans sacrificed greatly for us and deserve care for health issues that result from their service.

I greatly enjoyed the photo album, I especially liked the picture of your mother with the cat when she was small, and the picture where she was sitting on the railing in Ohio. I don't know why I was surprised that her hair was so dark. I do see your mother in you but you look very much like your father.

I'm glad you are feeling a bit better physically, at lest you will be strong enough to deal with issues as they arise.

Hugs to you and Kevin. The flowers are beautiful.

Annie

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:14PM
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centralcacyclist

I'm so sorry about your father. He is grieving on top of his other issues. I'm sure it will take a while for him to adjust. I hope they are kind and gentle with him.

E

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:24AM
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dedtired

Lars, I'm sorry I have not checked in for awhile. I SO enjoyed the pictures of your mother. What a special lady -- such style.

What a time for you with your mother's passing, your father's health and emotional issues and your own health issues. It sounds like you are feeling better and I do hope that your father will find his way. Getting old is so hard.

Thanks for sharing the photos of your new flowers. I'm glad they are bringing you pleasure.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:53AM
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mitchdesj

The pictures are beautiful, such nice souvenirs. Is that you Lars in the family picture, with the bow tie , on the left ?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 6:11AM
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publickman

Mitch, yest that is a picture of me in a bow tie on the left in the family photo, and there is another picture of me in the following photo - I am the smallest one and in the front. That second picture was taken at my parents' house with relatives on my father's side, including his brothers (both older) and their children. Aunt Ruth and DF's mother are in the photo, but the other aunt had died. My mother is holding Mike (the middle child) in that photo, and my sister Karen is standing beside me. This is only one of two photos that shows all of my first cousins. DM was an only child, and so I have no first cousins on her side. DF had a sister (not shown), but she had no children.

Lars

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 4:49PM
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mustangs81

How fabulous--oh, the memories! I am honored to be in the group that you shared your lovely mother with.

Sorry to hear about your father. That's why my donations are primarily to veteran organizations, the latest being WWP. My brother, the 3 tour Viet Nam Ranger, was arrested recently for driving his lawn mower down the highway naked. I never know what to expect but I have to support him because while he was fighting in the jungles of VN I was having a good ole time in college.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 12:28PM
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publickman

Kevin posted pictures of our father from when he was young as well.

Cathy, that was very interesting to hear about your brother, and I can understand how he could have been traumatized by his tours in Viet Nam. I personally was not army material because I do not have the personality for it, and the army rejected me (after trying to draft me) on psychological grounds. I had a note from my psychiatrist explaining why I was not fit, and I got classified 4F for mental/emotional reasons. I was terrified of guns and let them know that there was no way I would ever be able to handle a rifle. I don't know how other people are able to do it. I do support veterans, however.

Lars

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:01AM
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