Saturday, November 11, 2006

My response to a Comment on this Veteran's Day

A comment came in, which I have chosen to put here, rather than let it remain 'hidden' in the archives, and perhaps not seen.

On 11/10/06, Nathan
Nathan has left a new comment on your post " Senator Kerry, I have less respect for you every t...":

WICatholic, I don't think that you honestly understand how incredibly out of context his remark was taken by any and all media. You can't honestly expect a Medal of Honor recipient to say anything negative about his country and those that serve (emphasis by WI Catholic) it not to mention the years of public service that he has given as a United States Senator! It is an absolute insult that you would state, as a side not, that Senator Kery (sic) "Even was in 'Nam for a while". There have been less than 3,500 medal of honor's awarded in the history of our country. It is one of the most coveted and revered medals ever and is only given to those who unconditionally deserve it. If anything you deserve an apology to Senator Kerry for questioning his devotion to our country.

My response?


I heard the justifications all over the place, and it does not sit at all well with me. I owe him no apology for what I have written. HE owes our generation of veteran's apologies. He has done great disservice to those men that served our country in Vietnam, especially those injured who stayed to complete their tour of duty and sometimes returned for second and third tours, as well as my generation who were drafted in 69 and 70 and sent there to serve at the tender age of 19-26. And yes, Nathan, he HAS on numerous occasions said "anything negative about his country and those that serve".

Remember his April 22, 1971 Ghengis Khan comments??

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads,
taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power,
cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians,
razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan,
shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks,
and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam
in addition to the normal ravage of war,
and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done
by the applied bombing power of this country.

I have little respect for his time there, even less respect for his actions AFTER his tour of duty, and even less for his brand of Catholicism. My respect for his time as Senator, which was low to begin with based on the things he said and did back then, declines nearly every time he opens his mouth, as I said.

As for your statement -- "You can't honestly expect a Medal of Honor recipient " (bolded and colored font, underlining is done by this writer) :

The tales of this man's "bravery" get more outrageous all the time. Kerry is NOT a Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.

For you to even attempt to include him in the list of those recipients is, to me, an insult to those who truly ARE.

Kerry's awards were 3 Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star , and a Silver Star .

Now, Nathan, please show me where you find that he has the Medal of Honor, AND the citation he received for it.

I can show you some REAL Vietnam Era heroes, but the one I really want you to read about ALSO deserved 3 Purple Hearts , for three separate injuries, each serious, the final one resulting in his death. Each successive injury was serious enough to take him out of action! And they were all on ONE DAY, Sept 4, 1967. He IS a Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.

Unlike Kerry's claim of 'two terms of service' over there, THIS hero DID serve an extended first tour, and then signed up for more. Additionally, while he COULD have hung back from the actual battles, he would not leave the men he called his Grunts, including on that final day.

I am speaking of Fr Vincent Capodanno, known as the "Grunt Padre", a Navy chaplain, a Maryknoll priest, KIA 9/4/67 on his second tour of duty while ministering to the men IN BATTLE.
THIS man is a hero, and he DOES have the Medal you attribute to Kerry, presented posthumously. His citation can be found here, and here, as well as at the two sites listed above. And MANY have written tributes to him, some taking years of healing in order to do so.

Among those INJURED, I include Dave Roever. THIS man waited 34 years for his Purple Heart!! He never disparaged his comrades, and has been working to HEAL others. He went back to Nam in 1993, not as one who tore down his fellow men in arms, but as one who had survived a HORRIBLE injury 8 months into his tour of duty, and was there to help others heal!!

Another man, though NOT Vietnam era is Audie Murphy. And he is only one example from the WWII era. Scroll down that page and see HIS list of medals. Another from WWII is Matt Urban. He had even more than Audie Murphy.

I also include my own father, who has NEVER gotten his Purple Heart, now deceased since 1987. Dad was injured in WWII in Europe.

And there are so many, many more!

I suggest that you, Nathan, read The Grunt Padre by Fr Daniel Mode, who is also a Navy Chaplain, active duty, last I heard, in Afghanistan. There you will read of a true hero, ordinary man who did the extraordinary.

Below is from this site :

Lieutenant Vincent R. Capodanno, Chaplain Corps, United States Naval Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with operations against enemy forces in Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam on 4 September 1967. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lieutenant Capodanno left the relative safety of the Company Command Post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant Marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gun positioned approximately fifteen yards away, Lieutenant Capodanno rushed forward in a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lieutenant Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

And from here:

The following is an eye witness account of his final moments.

"We had a chaplain, a Maryknoll priest named Capodanno, who had been over here for 16 months. Usual tour of duty in Vietnam is 12 months but the good padre had it extended on condition that he would be allowed to continue with the "grunts" (term applied to marine infantry men) ... He appeared, in spite of his quiet unpretentious manner, to be a veritable thorn in the Division Chaplain's bald head. The D.C. wanted Fr. C. to live at Headquarters from where he could "spoke" out to all the battalions in the division - but Fr. C. would have none of that.

His mission was to the grunts, fighting in the front lines whom he felt really needed a chaplain. His audience was always a small group of 20-40 marines gathered together on a hill or behind some rocks, hearing confessions, saying Mass. It was almost as though he had decided to leave the "other 99" in a safe area and go after the one who had gotten in trouble.

Over here there is a written policy that if you get three Purple Hearts you go home within 48 hours.

On Labor Day our battalion ran into a world of trouble. When Fr. C. arrived on the scene it was 500 marines against 2,500 N. Vietnamese. We were constantly on the verge of being overrun and the marines on several occasions had to "advance in a retrograde movement". This left the dead and wounded outside the perimeter as they slowly withdrew.

Early in the day he was shot in the right hand - one corpsman patched him up and tried to evacuate him to the rear but Fr. C. declined, saying he had work to do.

A few hours later a mortar shell landed near him and left his right arm hanging in shreds. Once again he was patched up and again he refused evacuation.

There he was, moving slowly from wounded to dead to wounded, using his left arm to support his right as he gave absolution, when he suddenly spied a corpsman get knocked down by a burst from an automatic weapon. The man was shot in the leg and couldn't move. Fr. C. ran out to him and positioned himself between the injured boy and the weapon.

The weapon opened up again and this time riddled Fr. C. completely, and - with his third Purple Heart of the day - Father went Home."

Do not try to equate Senator Kerry's 'bravery' with that of these men or any of the OTHER 'few good men' who received this prestigious award, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Do not denigrate the memory of this man by trying to put them into the same category.

Nor of THIS man, Corporal Jason Dunham, the most recent recipient whose actions speak LOUDLY of John 3:16,

"QUANTICO, Va. -- An emotional President Bush said yesterday that he would present the Medal of Honor -- America's highest military decoration -- to a Marine who died when he jumped on a grenade in Iraq and saved the lives of two comrades."

Nor of THIS man, Sergeant First Class Paul R Smith, who also gave his life in order to save the lives of other with him.

If you can find any citation, any reference to Senator John F Kerry having been a recipient of the prestigious award, I will not remove this post from my blog, but will note it here.

There can be no comparison of the service to this country by any of those honorable recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor and that of Kerry.

God bless!

May these men and all other men and women who have given their lives in service to our country rest in peace.

May ALL who have served our Country in ANY branch of the military know that we honor their service. Thank you!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

National Adoption Month 2006

I have written on this subject before.

There are two interesting articles to point you towards before I turn in for the night, totally worn out. Good night and God bless!!


National Adoption Month, 2006, A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

During National Adoption Month, we encourage the adoption of young people in need, and we honor the adoptive and foster families who have offered children a loving and supportive home.

To read the entire proclamation please click here

A son's quest, a secret and a house where hope lived

Larry Newman paced around his apartment, trying to find just the right words before he made the call that would change his life.
It was the last step in a long and emotional journey to clear up the mysteries surrounding his birth, a journey that had taken him from his home in Chatham to the windswept prairies of Canada to the suburban streets of Huntington, Long Island.
To read the entire article please click here

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Voting with Mom

We voted today.

When I got to her house, Mom was not really sure she wanted to go anywhere. This is typical Mom....make plans, then decide that maybe she is too tired, too achy, too... she just does not like to go anywhere any more. Part of it is because she does hurt (Pott's Disease, or TB of the spine does that, ya know?). But the other part of it is that SHE KNOWS she does not remember things, and she can hide it when she stays home. Her uncertainty is more evident now than it was a year ago.

So I grabbed her coat, told her to get her shoes on, talking constantly. Told her this would be fun. Told her she has been talking about this for the past two weeks, and would be mad at herself (and ME) if she did not go. She dutifully put her shoes on and sat down, looking so very pathetic, saying... "oh, I just don't feel very good... " So the nurse took over, asking if nauseated, etc, all the while helping her to put her coat on. Found her purse, put her wallet in, handed it to her, and helped her up, still talking. Next thing she knew, she was in the car.

The different sections of our side of the city vote in the same building, but Mom and I live (though not very far apart) in two different sections. My line was a long one, hers was not, and I thought I had it all figured out--NOT!

I had Mom safely seated, and went to stand in my line. By the time we got half way to the area to sign in, MOM's line began to grow, and grow, and grow. But God is GOOD!

I saw my nephew, and asked him to go check on Mom. A short time later, others in our line said, "go check on your Mom, and we will save your place in line!" (OOOhh, THANK YOU!!)

Well, my wonderful nephew had taken Mom and gotten in line 4 with her, BEFORE it had begun to grow! We had Mom signed in and done voting in short order, and I returned almost exactly to the same spot that I had been in before I went to check on her!! It took a few more minutes before my line again even began to move.

Sometime later I had realized that Mom was not sitting nicely in the chair I had found for her, and called out to one of the poll place workers (my Aunt, Mom's baby sister)...

"Aunt Alice! Do you know where Mom went???"

"Yes. She is standing out in the hall."

"STANDING? Standing good or standing almost falling...?"

"Well, standing sort of weakly, leaning on the wall. I'll go check on her in just a few minutes."

Not long after, she returns and tells me that Mom is ok; she's sitting now, out in the hall.

Ok, so I can vote, knowing Mom is not going to be in a lot of pain, and not going to fall. So I take my time, vote, put the ballot into the machine, and go out in the hall....

NO MOM! I go a little ways up and down both crowded halls. NO MOM!!

I run back into the voting room, find my Aunt, and she says... "All the way down at the end of the hall, near the doors. She's sitting out there, so she is fine..."

And she was. Ensconced nicely near the door, watching everyone coming and going, talking to my nephew and his friends, looking very comfortable!

She was thrilled with the little "I voted" sticker that I had for her. Tickled pink, in fact.

"WHERE did you get THIS?" then turning to my nephew to show him, and ask HIM if he'd gotten one, too... yup. Doug is an adult returning to school for an Associate Degree. He pulled his own sticker out of his pocket, saying that HE gets double credit for the assignment if he brought proof back that he had voted. So his sticker isn't for wearing, I guess!

I went to get the car and together, we helped Mom get into the car, thanking Doug for being there at the right time, and he grinned. And we took off for the grocery store. ...

I thought this would be simple. I have an account at the bank that is 'housed' there, and stopped at the TYME machine, withdrew money from another account elsewhere, and deposited some of it into this bank's savings account. Mom is in awe of this 'new store'.. though this bank has had a branch here for years, Mom does not remember it. Nor does she remember the florist section (also there since the store opened).

She had a list, but she has always gone up and down every aisle 'just in case... you never know...'. So that is exactly what we did. She used the part of the cart nearest to her, I used the other end. We looked at shrimp that was frozen, but not cooked. She was just staring at it, then said... "That doesn't even LOOK good! I never saw them like that before'.... uncooked. Greenish gray, not pinkish. She marveled at how much the store had changed, found things she hadn't seen 'in years', like 8 o'clock coffee beans. (They used to sell these only one place! We used this kind all the time back then!" I asked her if she wanted some... nope, just looking... and we continued that way for nearly two hours. She picked out two Golden Delicious, two Red Delicious and three Navel oranges, plus a bag of grapes. Tomatoes and other veggies got the same inspection. Oh, and that doesn't even take into consideration the numbers of things that she labored over, and then decided against getting it, like ice cream...did I mention Mom is 82?

Finally, we check out. I put my groceries on the counter first, and then went to get my credit/debit card out of my pocket to pay. Only ONE SMALL PROBLEM! I didn't have it! A short discussion later, an employee handed me the bank's number and hours to call to report that the TYME machine had apparently eaten my card because I must have forgotten to take it out after getting my money!! So Mom ends up paying for my groceries, then her groceries...and we go home to her house. I am exhausted, she is chipper. I make supper and I cannot help but wonder.... WHOSE MEMORY IS WORSE???

The best part? I unpacked her groceries at home and put them away. Suddenly I realized... "You cannot take this woman ANYWHERE!"

Somehow, when my back was turned and she patiently waited for me to find my debit card and take care of my purchases, this woman managed to sneak two BUN candy bars onto the counter!

And her response when I teased her about this? "I just love them! And I haven't seen them for YEARS!"

God bless!

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Fwd: UK: Allow 'active euthanasia' for disabled babies, doctors urge ; say it would "reduce the number of late abortions", save families who would "su

Reduce the number of late term abortions.... reduce our 'pain'.... reduce the COST.... make a baby an object, a thing that we own and can dispose of any time we want to instead of the Child of God that he or she is from the minute of conception. Use its parts for the 'betterment of society', 'to save another's life'... one deemed to be 'worth saving' from one deemed 'not worthy of living' by others. Depersonalize that infant by naming it... 'Down's'... "Spina Bifida'... and ratify those terms by legalizing the destruction of the one with that name...even better, involve the medical profession in the decision and the solution... THE SOLUTION.... T4 thinking. T4 thinking. T4 Thinking. T4 thinking. T4 thinking . T4 thinking. T4 thinking. Who is next ?

Note: The Bold and the Underlined have been added by this writer for emphasis ...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nancy Valko

Comment (by Nancy Valko) : Peter Singer is not alone. Note these quotes: "It says "active euthanasia" should be considered for the overall benefit of families who would otherwise suffer years of emotional and financial suffering.

Deliberate action to end infants' lives may also reduce the number of late abortions, since it would allow women the chance to decide whether their disabled child should live."

There are many people who think that a bright line can be drawn at birth and therefore do not want to get involved in abortion controversy. This article shows the connection: As one doctor says, "What do people think has happened in the passage down the birth canal to make it OK to kill the foetus at one end of the birth canal but not the other?"

Nancy V.

Allow 'active euthanasia' for disabled babies, doctors urge

By Francis Elliott, Whitehall Editor

Published: 05 November 2006

Doctors are urging health regulators to consider allowing the "active euthanasia" of severely disabled newborn babies.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology has put forward the option of permitting mercy killings of the sickest infants to a review of medical ethics.

It says "active euthanasia" should be considered for the overall benefit of families who would otherwise suffer years of emotional and financial suffering.

Deliberate action to end infants' lives may also reduce the number of late abortions, since it would allow women the chance to decide whether their disabled child should live.

"A very disabled child can mean a disabled family. If life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision-making," the college writes in a submission to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

"We would like the working party to think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best interests test, and active euthanasia, as they are ways of widening the management options available to the sickest of newborns."

Such mercy killings are already allowed in the Netherlands for incurable conditions such as severe spina bifida. John Harris, a member of the official Human Genetics Commission and professor of bioethics at Manchester University, welcomed the college's submission. "We can terminate for serious foetal abnormality up to term, but cannot kill a newborn," he told The Sunday Times. "What do people think has happened in the passage down the birth canal to make it OK to kill the foetus at one end of the birth canal but not the other?"

Dr Pieter Sauer, co-author of the Groningen Protocol, the guidelines governing infant euthanasia in the Netherlands, said British medics already carry out mercy killings and should be allowed to do so in the open. "English neonatologists gave me the indication that this is happening."

But the paper quoted John Wyatt, consultant neonatologist at University College Hospital, as saying: "Intentional killing is not part of medical care... once you introduce the possibility of intentional killing you change the fundamental nature of medicine. It becomes a subjective decision of whose life is worthwhile."

Simone Aspis of the British Council of Disabled People said: "Euthanasia for disabled newborns tells society that being born disabled is a bad thing. If we introduced euthanasia for certain conditions, it would tell adults with those conditions that they are worth less than other members of society."

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mom Wants to Vote on Tuesday

I promised my mother that I will take her to vote on Tuesday.

Funny thing about Mom. For MANY years, she tried to tell us that NONE of us knew who she voted for.

We did.

She confirmed it for this election. She even laughed when I told her I already knew. That I had always known.

She wants to vote, and she wants to vote for her core values, her life-long beliefs, for the candidates that most closely match them. She did not want an absentee ballot (good thing, because when we talked about it, it was the last day to get one, and the office had already closed!).

So I am going to take my mother to the Municipal Center to vote on Tuesday. I know she knows who she wants to vote for right now. I am NOT sure she will be able to do it alone on Tuesday, but I think she can. She reads well with understanding.

She used to work at the polls. For many years, she was one of those who took your name, checked it off, etc. But I never asked her if anyone can assist you if you need help to place the vote. We will find out this Tuesday.

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My son chose a song recommended to us by Bill G of Contratimes for our mother/son dance to at his wedding. It is sung by both Josh Groban and Celtic Woman, with Celtic Woman's being the version he chose.

This video has Josh Groban's version. It came to me at a time when I am struggling, and needless to say, caused some tears. It is beautiful. As it ended, I read the FAQ's and found that it also has a single father and single mother version.

When I listened to it simply as "Parents Wish", I remembered my Dad's final illness and death, as well as my mother's progressing dementia. I remembered her anger and disbelief as she watched what the courts were doing to Terri Schindler Schiavo at the request of her unfaithful husband/guardian. I remembered how she had told me how she had helped to care for her mother long ago as she was dying of cancer.

I remembered as a young married nurse when I told my parents and in laws that they would not have to go to a nursing home if they did not want to, because I would help them. I was married then. I was not alone then. I was much younger then. I had not yet watched a parent dying. I had not yet raised three children alone.

I had not grown tired.

When I found the single mother video...I heard my Mom again from Friday night....

Pray for me. Pray for my Mom. Pray for her other children, too.

Parent Wish

Read Numbers 8 and 9 on FAQ's.


Single Father

Single Mother

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I am struggling.

I am the oldest child. I am also the oldest daughter. I am a 'responsible ' person meaning that when I take on something, I take on the responsibilities that go with it. That included my marriage, my children.

I am not a good housekeeper, not because I am lazy, but because I hate it. I spent time with my kids, doing what THEY needed over the years, worrying about them, trying hard to be a good parent.

In some ways, I failed. I cannot be two people.
In other ways, the ways that count, I did the best that I could do. I have good adult kids. I am now watching one going through much of the same that we went through since she was just six years old.

I taught my kids that Life is Precious from conception to natural death (NOT starving/dehydrating someone others deem to be not worthy of life). I taught my kids that euthanasia in all of its forms is wrong. I taught my kids that promises MEAN something.

I chose to raise my children alone when no fault forced and unilateral divorce slammed into the family, and tried to teach them the difference between loving a person, while surviving in a more healthy way by learning about an acute, chronic, progressive, patient, cunning, and eventually fatal family disease of alcoholism.

I have been a friend of Lois W's (Bill W's wife) for 24 years. As a Catholic woman whose core values includes the belief that marriage is indissoluble, I have lived my vows regardless of what society has 'taught' us to believe. And I have been mocked and/or 'pitied' by some over the years because of it. I have many fellow Christian and non-Christian friends, however, who share my beliefs and also live that same value.

As my last child entered adulthood, and left home to fly on his own, I found that I rather enjoyed the 'empty nest', because it was the first time in my life that I was NOT 'responsible' for any one but myself. I found that I had 'wings'.

I flew.

I traveled to the Dominican Republic twice a year to visit a friend and to help young girls get dental care for several years. Alone. I found a man with a mission in the DR who had the equipment needed, and he would come to help by doing the dental work while I did the hygiene (sealants, fluorides, prophys if time, and so on).

I loved it. Then I lost my job.

Suddenly, all my vim and vigor was gone. I could NOT do it alone any longer. I just could not do it alone. I called my Mom and asked her if I could move to her home, and she said yes.

When this happened, I felt a little sadness, but also some peace. My mother has been a widow since 1987. She lived alone, too. I truly thought that it was perhaps God's way of making sure she would be ok as time went on. I had noticed that Mom was becoming MUCH more forgetful; I noticed it much more, especially when living with her, when she could no longer hide it from me.

Over the time I was living eith her, there was eventually a 'whispering' amongst siblings about 'taking advantage of Mom', and other things. As always, gossip comes back to the one being gossiped about. I 'felt' and 'heard' the rumblings... the 'buzzing' in the background, and it hurt. Mom had also helped to contribute to some that was being said, but did not always remember exactly the way things were.

She was growing more fragile, but did not like to admit it, so when I did her laundry with mine, eventually, she began to sneak down the stairs to do hers on her own when I was working the night shift. She angrily told me I was making her feel useless when I did it, and that I was taking away things she liked to do when I did dishes. I backed off and allowed her the dishes, but continued to do the laundry telling her that I didn't want her to go down the basement steps. (She is 82 years old!)

When it (the family gossip machine) finally got to be too much, I left. I have not been able to return to the DR for many reasons, including financial, since then. I can live with that, but miss the girls, and also very much miss visiting my friend.

But now, over the time since I have been here in my apartment, Mom has gone downhill. About six months ago or so, sibings had finally noticed the forgetfulness and took her to an MD for a check-up. The MD was told that this memory loss had been going on for the past year and a half. I told the MD it had been going on for at LEAST three years, possibly more. (Mom was very good at hiding it, and still is to a point).

Mom spent considerable time in the hospital this past summer on IV antibiotics, missing my son's wedding because of something that they had found on xrays when checking out her complaint of increasing back pain. During that time, I tried to find a way that we, as her children, could communicate with each other, and I started our own yahoo family group.

One sibling did not join, but managed to undermine the attempt, and that family yahoo group has sat unused for months as a result. A nice journal I bought for all of us to write in at each of our visits so that Mom could read and remember that someone had been there is ... gone.

No one wanted to use it. Some felt it would be more painful for Mom to read that we were there and not be able to remember... but one said it was to be used later to 'prove' who had been there most often, etc...and the journal was removed by ...who knows? 'No one' knows.

But a couple of us realize how far Mom's downhill slide has gotten, and KNOW that she cannot continue to live alone with out help. With ten kids (two of which do not live close by) and over 30 grandchildren, there should be no time that she ever has to be alone, nor anything that she should ever have to ask to have done. (Lawn care, laundry, washing windows, meals)...

But there have been many times that the only one who has been there for her has been her daughter in law, though EACH of the eight who live nearby had committed to taking at least a day. I chose Friday, because my job takes me an hour of one way driving. I have had rare days off, and get over to Mom's on other days when I can... we began to notice that some came when they had said they would without fail... but others did not. And most do not seem to realize how much help Mom really needs. Denial?

Her brother died not so long ago. At his funeral, I saw my Mom looking lost, fragile, old, dependent. Though told how ill he was many times by HER siblings, she did not remember. She was hurt that 'no one cared enough to tell me'. She thought that she had found out by seeing a typewritten paper on her kitchen table with what was going to be in the paper as his obituary, not realizing that her sisters had brought it over and left it for her after they had told her of his death.

She does NOT want an apartment. She does NOT want assisted living. She does NOT want a nursing home. She may be forgetful, but she is still competent to be her own decision maker. For now, at least.

So why am I struggling?

The past couple of months, Mom has been telling me how lonely she is. The past several weeks, she has often told me that I did not have to go 'all that way home'... she forgot that I no longer live 2 1/2 hours away in Merrill, or 35 min away in Oshkosh... AND that I had even lived with her for awhile before getting my own apartment in March, 2004, less than a mile away from her.

For awhile, that was all she said... "you don't have to go all the way home... you can spend the night here". I could remind her that I didn't live all that far away and she would let it go... but then it began to change -- just a little bit.

When I told her that I HAD lived with her for awhile, she asked why I had left.

What do you say?

I told her the truth. She asked me why I had never told her. I told her I had... then I asked her what difference it would have made (she never remembered that I had...) . She said that she "would have told everyone to knock it off".

But then, three weeks ago, she changed it all. THIS she remembers. She is lonely. She hates being alone. She hates eating alone. She hates cooking alone. She hates not having any one come.

I am alone.

"You don't have to live alone. You could move in here. There is plenty of room. It would be MUCH less expensive for you. You could save your money for when you need it." I told her I couldn't. Then I told her I would think about it. Then I told her I 'd pray about it. I kept telling her I couldn't.

And then yesterday, she cried. Not sobbing. Just tears. "I am just so lonely....I wish you would move in here.... I really wish you would move in here...."

Last night when I got home from her house, this beautiful video came in an email.
It IS beautiful. It is my mother's belief. It has always been MY belief.

I am struggling. I do not know what to do. I CANNOT be sole caregiver, because I have been sole caretaker for years.... I never envisioned raising children alone, living alone, caring for parents alone. I did what I had to do, because I am the responsible one, and because I loved my kids. That included working two 32 hour jobs for a couple of years, or going to school full time while working full time. From 1990 until early 2003, I had either school/job, or two jobs... My oldest children's teachers told them that I actually had four (mother, father, student, nurse).

I did what I had to do, because though I AM responsible, I loved my kids...

I love my Mom....

I am struggling...

Please pray for me. Pray for my Mom. Pray for her other children, too.

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