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Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Blessings of a Mother

With Mother's Day just around the corner, many of us will be celebrating with those we love,
or thinking of our mother's or mother like figures that are no longer with us.
I am so thankful that my mom, who is 88, is still with us.
What I've never shared here is that she has dementia.
It is such a cruel and often times slow progressing disease, and one that I know many others are dealing with, too.
We first began to notice changes in our mom at least 10 years ago. The sad thing is that nearly all of her 8 siblings have it, or have died in the late stages of it, including her twin sister, who passed away quite a few years ago.
Mom has been living full time with my sister and brother in law, for about the last year.
It has been a challenging time for us, but especially for them.
My mom drifts in and out of reality, so I am oh so thankful that she still knows me.
I know that it's inevitable that she eventually won't know me.
That makes me sad to think about, and I honestly don't know how I will deal with it when it does happen.
She has mistaken my sister for her own sister, who died several years ago. And according to my mom, my dad is still alive, and my oldest brother just returned from Vietnam.
We usually don't bother to correct her any more.
Thankfully, we've not lost "all" of her yet.

There are still things we can enjoy together, even though much has changed.
I always take my latest issues of Romantic Homes magazine, and Romantic Country over.
We enjoy looking at them together and talking about things like decorating and crafting.
I won't sugar coat things here.  While it is difficult for me to share personal things in my posts 
(you know me, I would much rather talk about the fun stuff like glitter, paint, and thrift shopping!)
sometimes I do feel the need.
Like close personal relationships can sometimes be, that of my mom and I has often been complicated, difficult, frustrating, and even "she drives me crazy, I can't take it any more"!
Often the dementia would bring out the worst of her personality.
While we know she can't help that, it doesn't make it any easier!
But, thru it all, we've had a never ending love, a bond that is so unique between a mother and her daughter.
She, along with my dad, passed along so many things to me that I will be forever grateful for.
As a child of the depression, my mom perfected the art of "making do", or making something out of nothing.
I guess that's where I first learned to "make the most of what I've got".

She also instilled in me a love to create.  No, make that a need to create!
Both she and my dad passed along to me a love of nature, wild life, animals, and just enjoying the simple things in life:
Walks to the woods behind our house in the spring to admire all of the pretty wildflowers. There were phlox, trillium, violets, dog tooth violets, and many more that I don't have names for.
The wonder of watching a newborn fawn in the fields on our farm.
Taking a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies out of the oven.
And of course my mom passed along to me her love of baking, cooking, gardening, and making a house a home.
Thru both of my parents, I also learned about God and faith, and how that can help you get thru even the most difficult of times.

Over the years, mom and I enjoyed many outings and trips together.  Later, she would travel with hubby and I, even going with us to Norway almost 11 years ago.
So while the time now is bittersweet, I know that nothing can take away the happy memories.
And I am thankful for each day at hand.

I just love this photo of mom and me, when I was a newborn.  At 10lbs, 8 oz, I never really looked like a newborn!  Mom always liked to joke that I was born just in time for lunch, as I have always loved to eat!
So, weather you are a mother, have a mother, or there is someone special who is as dear as a mother,
wishing you a wonderful day!


Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Beautiful tribute to your mother. xoxo Su

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Oh Donna, I am so very sorry. That is a terrible disease. I have so many friends that their parents have this. My girl friend just lost her mom - she was 92. But Bert knew that it was to be and was prepared.
We all have so many wonderful memories of our mothers and fathers. My parents went thru the depression too and moved up to Cleveland from Virginia for work.

I lost my mother when I was 21 years of age. She was very special.
Have a wonderful day with your mother, I sure deep in her heart she knows you.
Hugs dear friend
This was a beautiful post to your mom.

Susie said...

Donna, Please hug your mom for me when you see her next. I miss my mom so much. You have my sympathy about the dementia too. I saw it in my step dad at the last part of his life.. You do just have to go with it...to keep them content. Stay strong your beautiful daughter . xoxo,Susie

Blondie's Journal said...


You are really brave to open up on your blog about your mother's struggle but we all need to learn more about dementia...so much is about passing info on from one to another as far as how we deal with it as families. I feel so bad for you and your family, sincerely. I know it takes a village. And your mom sounds like such a dear lady and she has lived such a true and authentic life.

I wish you all the best. You are such a sweet girl...I know it's hard but hang in there.

Jane x

Monse said...

A mi esta pasando una situación similar. Y me cuesta muchísimo ver en mi madre la persona que fue. Es el gran mal de este siglo q la mente no acompañe al cuerpo. Mis abuelos fueron conscientes hasta su ultimo suspiro con su mente clara. Que durísimos ver esta despersonalización en las madres. Un abrazo.

Monse said...

A mi esta pasando una situación similar. Y me cuesta muchísimo ver en mi madre la persona que fue. Es el gran mal de este siglo q la mente no acompañe al cuerpo. Mis abuelos fueron conscientes hasta su ultimo suspiro con su mente clara. Que durísimos ver esta despersonalización en las madres. Un abrazo.

Rose L said...

Fortunately my mother at 81 is still healthy and sound. My husband was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia when he was 50 and he'd had it a while. It was very difficult times. He died Nov. 10, 2012 at the age of 56 after being in a coma for a week. So I do know what the emotions are like with this. We had 36 years of love.

Celestina Marie said...

Dear Donna, what a beautiful post sharing the blessing of your mother along with the challenge in her life today. I know she is a dear sweetheart because I see her through you and the daughter she raised.

My heart goes out to you and your sister as you care for her during this time. God has it all in his control even when it does become difficult at times and frustrating.
Loved seeing the sweet pic of you with your mother. You were such a darling baby. Her baby girl and still to this day.
God Bless you all with love and enjoyment for as long as possible with your mother.
Happy Mother's Day.
Hugs and Blessings, CM

Trisha said...

Very sweet post and tribute to your mom. Mother's Day can be such a difficult holiday, especially if you just lost your mom, want to be a mom or are having to watch your mom go through something like you are doing. So happy that you have lots of wonderful memories and a very strong heritage from her. I hope you have a wonderful day Donna!


Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Donna, what a heartfelt post. Glad you have your Mom and u still find ways to share things with her. I know how difficult it can be. Glad you shared this.take care!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is such a thoughtful, sweet post, Donna. I know it must be hard to see this happening with your mother. I'm glad you are still able to visit with her and she knows you...xoxo

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

Such a sweet and loving tribute to your mother, Donna. I'm tearing up as I sit reading this. My Aunt suffers with dementia and it is so difficult to see a loved one live through that, someone who you remember as having such wit and intelligence and now...hard to recognize. But I know love surpasses all these challenges in life and your mother knows how much you LOVE her! xoxo

NanaDiana said...

We have talked about this before, Donna. I know exactly what you are going through...and yes, the time will come when your mom doesn't recognize you...and you will feel sad-not only for yourself bur for her, too. There is also a bit of anger that I felt because you can't do a darned thing about ANY OF IT! It is uncontrollable and produces anxiety and sadness and frustration.
God bless you- try to remember the good and forget the bad. Easier said than done, I know, but it does make it easier to cope with it all.

You were SO DARNED CUTE!!!! I love that picture of you and your mom. xo Diana