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  • Writer's pictureLickety Glitz

There's a whole lot of her missing.

Gone. All gone.


It started with the Oscar nominations last week. My zeal for dragging Mom to various theaters in an effort to gauge her dementia Oscar picks, plopping her down in a seat, and keeping a wary eye on her should she attempt a great escape or steal a theatre-going neighbor's popcorn - gone. All gone.


A year ago last night was the ice storm that knocked out our power for a week, had me scrambling for heated shelter for one rascally old dementia lady and myself, and morphed into the beginning of the end of our journey.


Tomorrow is Mom's birthday. Our Valentine's baby. The task of planning something special to honor her - gone. All gone.


A year ago she no longer recognized her birth day, her surroundings were unfamiliar (my friend's home I had scored to keep her warm), nor the face of our host as he did a birthday dance with her in what was literally our temporary shelter from the storm.

True to her nature, however, she noshed chocolate cake with fervor that evening, soothing the anxiety dementia had frosted over the day.


Three days from now she will fall. She will be taken to the hospital for a fractured hip, kept medicated to keep her from resuming her continuous pacing, the daily tottering routine that is one of her few acts of solace anymore. Six days from now she will finally be back home, the hospital bed taking up residence in her once again electrified and heated front room, her loved ones parading in and out of her field of vision. Perceived? Perhaps. Or at least accepted as a thing that happens when you are forced to cease your endless shuffling in and out of the lives of others.


Twelve days from now her appetite will indicate that she's in a fighting mood. There will be talk of physical therapy.


Sixteen days from now she will begin choking on food, liquid. Our hospice bath aide will be surprised at her decline in the few days since her last visit. We will be told that active dying has begun.

Nineteen days from now the concept of "death plateau" will be introduced to us as Mom stalls out, neither moving on to her next adventure nor gaining momentum to continue this one.


Twenty three days from now Mom will be dead.


Gone. All gone.


My mind has been swirling with these ghoulish anniversaries. I miss my movie-going pal, although the last couple of years I was mostly just annoying the crap out of her with each outing. I guess growing up with the parental attitude of "Toughen up! It ain't gonna kill ya!" had me taking my revenge by occasionally inflicting the same mindset on my dementia mom.


I miss getting to see her best pals, and my wonderful family, on her birthday, and yeah, the decadent chocolate cakes that we justified scarfing down because... well... she loved 'em!


And I don't know why with each new day I'm stepping through last year's trauma that was the ice storm and the subsequent end of our physical time with Mom.


To torture myself? Or to help me process my grief? The weight of it doesn't feel helpful, but maybe that's the point.

I dunno. I do know there's a whole lot of her missing right now, and I don't know what to

do with that.



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14 Comments


glhart
Nov 19, 2022

I just came across this after seeing your movie. It is so much from the heart, I applaud you. On the other hand, please quit smoking. We need people like you to live longer.

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Lickety Glitz
Lickety Glitz
Nov 24, 2022
Replying to

Thank you for the applause! I am glad the documentary speaks to you, and anxious to share it with the world once I figure out that strategy.


And thank you for the compliment to live longer! I'm not with 'ya on that one... yet, but I appreciate the sentiment.


If you are located in the states I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! And if you are somewhere else on our beautiful planet I wish you a happy regular old day. :)

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Lickety Glitz
Lickety Glitz
Feb 16, 2022

Jamie? I know I wrote a response to this a few days ago, but now I don't see it, so let me respond with "Hellz yeah, contribute your video!" Don't be so foul that you knock the film into XXX triple-x territory! Are you able to send it within the next few days? I am especially anxious for more "Cheers!" vids if you are up to submitting! https://www.stumpedtowndementia.com/post/we-re-gonna-need-a-bigger-movie


I think dementia is so not peachy that whatever we think or say can't come close to its level. You be as not-peachy as you want, our foe is outdoing us by a long shot!

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Jamie Olson LaRose
Jamie Olson LaRose
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

I will do it this evening! <3

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Lickety Glitz
Lickety Glitz
Feb 14, 2022

Incontinence often inspires foul language! Don't get us a XXX x-rating, Jamie! But please, please do send us a little day in the life activity if you can, and a cheers to you and your mum would be amazeballs too!


At some point in our dementia journey I started answering the question of "What's next?" with "Something a whole lot worse then this so don't sweat it!" It worked a lot of the times.


I'll work on tossing off my emotional bag or bricks and send you big energy on achieving the same! Maybe one of us will succeed. ;)

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Elaine Horton
Feb 14, 2022

Happy Birthday in heaven to your beautiful mom. It makes sense that you're feeling... well, it makes sense that you're feeling a lot right now. You've already made it through many other milestones marking the "firsts" without your mom, but now you've entered the period of events (which were quite intense) that led to her passing. I'm sure there are a lot of memories coming up, from the intense traumatic ones (falls & ER's) to the sweet moments (chocolate cake & Oscar nomination bonding.) Let them come. Realize how resilient you are when recalling the trauma of those days and cherish the ones you want to savor. Both are indications of how fully vested you were in caring for her…

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Lickety Glitz
Lickety Glitz
Feb 14, 2022
Replying to

Elaine, little welling up here as I read your beautiful words of support and common sense smarts of moving through. Um, not the least the idea for cake and wine! I went to see one of my aunts and uncle yesterday, and that felt good to be with family too. I am hugging you back. A big one.

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nkvaughn
Feb 14, 2022

Oh, friend ... it is SO hard. SO hard. I know it may not seem helpful but I think it is all part and parcel of processing grief. I think of it like sorting laundry. Only instead of whites, colors and delicates, you throw them into stacks of "cherish," "discard," and "never tread near again." (At least that's my dimestore psych explanation.)


I hope that the documentary will prove to be a cathartic exercise though I suspect it is difficult in that it has immersed you in it. I kind of feel that myself as I continue trying to pull a book together! Here's hoping that we can continue down the path that takes care of all the unfinished business of…

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Lickety Glitz
Lickety Glitz
Feb 14, 2022
Replying to

Oh, and the laundry metaphor? Genuis!

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