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April 1st 2000

I bet you were beginning to think I was never going to get this thing updated...weren't you? Well, you aren't alone. (grin) Believe me, I've been TRYING to get to it, but there just hasn't been enough hours in the day since I've gotten home from vacation.

Which reminds me... So many of you have written to ask how the trip was, well it was splendid! Perfect weather, lots of rest and relaxation and a chance to spend time with very dear friends. And yes, I came back feeling so much better! To those of you who have been asking about it, I have hopes, (in the near future), of putting on some 'highlights' of the trip. I had some interesting adventures while I was there that I think you'll get a kick out of. So, hopefully, soon, I'll get a page on (for a little while anyway) that will include some pics of my beloved Vallarta as well as a mini-journal I kept while I was there.

Anyhow, there is one thing I realized while I was gone that I want to share with you, and it's this... PLEASE, take some time for yourself. Now that the weather is getting nice again, indulge yourself, even if it's only for a few minutes. Drink a cup of coffee out on the front porch and watch the fat robins waddling around. Take a moment to smell...SPRING. Cuz yes, it is slowly getting here. Let's all take this special time of year to renew ourselves. Let's let go of past hurts and "should have done's", and consider this our 're-birth'. Because, after all, isn't that what spring is?

I guess I'm saying that to you for two reasons. First, in this last week I've lost two very special people in my life. One was very old, and the other, relatively young. One had a lot to live for, until she was stricken with AD, the other used to wonder why she had outlived most all of her family. In some respects, each one of these dear ladies have experienced a re-birth. They are no longer in bodies that were worn down by disease or age. They are free of the 'entrappment' and I'm sure both are happy with their new beginnings.

So...why can't WE have that too? Yes, we're caregivers. Yes, we have great responsiblities in our lives, but we also owe someone who is very important, some time...and that person is US. Remember us? The person we used to be before we became caregivers? What ever happened to them?

You see, I didn't realize just how 'lost' a person can get until I took this vacation. I had no idea that 'I' had somehow disappeared. Somewhere along the way I got snowed under. Between mom, the websites, the "AO" group, the e-mail....somehow, me, Tay, got lost in the shuffle. And know what, I kinda liked getting to know me again. Me, who scrambled out of bed to see the sun rising from behind the mountains. Me who went from being a work-a-holic to a person whose thoughts revolved around, not responsibilites, but just the simple pleasures of the day.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily things we do, we tend to forget that WE are important too. And that's something I'm going to try very hard not to forget again. I guess maybe that's why there have been so few entries in the website. I'm spending more time on simple pleasures and less time on responsibilities. Yes, I'm working hard to get caught up on the email, and to enter new things into the site....but it isn't at the frantic pace I usually set for myself. So, for the time being at least, I'm taking some time out of each day to enjoy what's around me.... Ok, so maybe it's only for 10 minutes out of the day, but at least it's a break. And know what? THAT'S what's important. It isn't the AMOUNT of time you spend on's the quality of time. So please, give it a try....ok?

Ok, I bet you're all wondering how mom is? Well, she's doing "ok". There was no change while I was gone and that was a tremendous relief to me. No, I didn't worry about her while I was in "PV", but know what? It felt so good seeing that beautiful face when I got back. (grin)

Unfortunately though, there was a bit of saddness to my 'homecoming'. Mom's beloved old room mate Rose passed away. Remember me mentioning Rose a while back? I worried that she would not do well when mom was moved to a different wing. Well, bless her heart, Rose never failed to ask each day when they were bringing mom 'home'. You see, to me, Rose WAS one of mom's caregivers. She fussed over her, she cared for her, and she loved her with her whole heart. There was never a day that went by that Rose didn't do something to make moms day a little brighter...a little better. Do I miss Rose? Yes, I certainly do. After being a part of my life for over 9 years, it's like I have lost a member of my own family. I know she had a long and full-filling life...after all, Rose was 96, almost 97 when she passed away. But still, that doesn't take away from the fact that I miss this loving soul a great deal!

And, this coming week, mom is to be seen by an open wound specialist. Right now, all of her bedsores have disappeared, but they (the nursing home) are still calling in someone who might be able to advise them on how to prevent them from further occuring.

You know, it's hard for me to believe that a whole year has passed since mom went into this catatonic state, but it's true none the less. I remember clearly the phone ringing last April and the nurse informing me that mom's time was growing near. For weeks I lived by the phone. I jumped everytime it rang and had to pause a few seconds to get my heart under control before I answered it.

How is it possible that a year has slipped by? How is it possible that she still clings to life with such a fragile grasp? A year ago this month, I expected her life to end at any moment...and yet, here she is still with me.

April 9th 2000

Boy....what a rough couple of weeks this has been! In fact, it's been so rough, I'm not even sure where to begin..... I know you're probably all thinking that mom has taken a turn for the worse, right? Nope, mom is doing fine. It's me who is struggling. there's an inappropriate word. NUMB is more like it.

You see, in the last week and a half I have lost 4 very dear friends. Can you imagine? (sigh) It seemed like everytime I turned around I was either visiting funeral homes, attending services, ordering flowers or sending out sympathy cards. For the most part, I dealt with each of these loses with understanding....after all, Rose was very old, and so was Matt. As for Helen, well, Helen now has freedom for a body wracked by Alzheimer's, so how can I wish her back? But the friend who passed away yesterday....that one....(sigh)

There are so many words that I could use to describe Bob. Gentle, caring, funny....and he happened to be our next door neighbor for years. In fact, it was the summer of '72 that Bob and his family bought the house beside us. I said, we've known them a very long time.

I think what makes his passing so hard for me, is the fact that a lifetime of memories passed away with him. You see, he was one of the few that still remembered my father, my brother, and was 'there' when mom first began to show signs of illness.

Anyhow, for once I am finding myself grateful that mom is 'cocooned' in her world. At least this is one loss that she will remain oblivious to.

On to May

I hold you close to my heart...