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Sunday, 20 January 2019

A Sad Beginning



It has been a hard beginning for 2019, a year that I knew would see my mother  finally finding the peace that has alluded her since she started this terrible journey with Alzheimer's disease.  Mum was diagnosed back in roughly April 2014.  Last year saw the need to move her into a cottage which has less residents, but all had different stages of Alzheimer's/Dementia.

 A couple of months ago, mum could no longer get out of bed and she started to sleep most of the time. She would still yell when touched by others and health care became a battle. Dad could not handle visiting mum to begin with but got better over time. Our families did a lot of sitting, holding her hand and just listening to her rambles, playing her favourite tunes and watching her disappear more each week.

Five days before mum died she lost the ability to swallow, food and liquids rejected.  I spent Wednesday with mum just sitting and holding her hand and watching her breathing.

I came back to Sydney to go to my best friends funeral service on Thursday. Brad was so very special in my life, being there when the twins were born, support through words and helping at home when needed. He was an amazing young man who got involved with helping to raise funds for Elysha's Early Intervention program; helped out at home so John and I could have some 'me time'; sharing together our love of the same authors and movies.  Sharing our heartache and joy over the little things and big. I say young man as at the time he was 18 and I was 32. 

Watching Brad go from a young man of 18 who was mature way beyond his years. A young man that battled with how others handled his telling them he was gay. Through all the changes in his life there was always this beautiful smile. He shared fully of himself no matter who he was with.

We shared laughter, tears and lots of conversations. I used to go stay with Brad in the city just to have a break from the family once a month. Dinner, the Casino, a movie or a show at home and always breakfast somewhere the next morning before I caught the train back home to my other life. I have a wonderful husband who understands I need these breaks and he always stepped up to look after the kids and keep things running while I was gone.

We loved to sit and drink coffee and eat dessert and check out people walking past. We shared jokes and heartache and talked like there was no tomorrow.   We watched each other go through friendships that didn't last and his finally meeting the man of his dreams.

But in the last 5 years we barely caught up each year,  it didn't matter cause thats what a true friendship is. I was depressed and struggling with mum and dads health issues along with Elysha's needs  and struggled to leave the house except to look after them, but Brad always found time to come see me. I always thought I had time to catch up and do what we use to do before, later. I didn't expect to have a call letting me know that at 46, Brad had collapsed and died. A massive heart attack while holidaying in Canada over Christmas. No warning, no previous history, just gone.

I have lost not one but two people who played major roles in my life, who listened to me and never doubted me, who believed I could achieve anything and loved me without reserve. I am feeling bereft and I know life will go on. My children, my husband and my wonderful friends and extended family are all being so wonderful. I understand that life will get easier and it will take time. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and share in my life.

This is the only photo I can find with us together, it's years ago. Sadly I have an aversion to having my photo taken and am also usually the photographer so most photos are of Brad with others. This is back when Elysha was in year 6 at school. 

I have more recent photos of mum but this has always been my
favourite as the sparkle is still in her eyes and we are dressed up
as it's Christmas day.




23 comments:

Aileen said...

Thank you

Hannelie said...

Aileen so so sorry to read about all this sadness. Wishing you peace & consolation during this difficult time.
Love and hugs
Hannelie

Tracey T said...

Sending you good thoughts in this difficult time x

Viv said...

How sad I am for you Aileen. You and your family are in my thoughts. x

Mac Mable said...

Sending love and hugs and what very sad news x

Vicki Dutcher said...

I am so sorry to read this post. You are dealing with to much loss at one time. Sending prayers your way...

linda said...

I am so sorry for your losses, Aileen. Sending hugs as you and your family go through this difficult time. Even though there was anticipatory grief with your mom, her passing will no doubt bring different feelings and for sure, it will take time for them not to be so intense. Brad sounds like a remarkable young man and you have so many memories of his friendship and kindness; thank you for sharing your loving tribute and beautiful photos.

Dotty Jo said...

Sending love and hugs to you, Jo x

Sandma's Handmade Cards said...

I'm so sorry to read that you've lost two precious people Aileen. Life can be so unfair at times and I wish you peace. Sending you crafty hugs, Sandra x

Unknown said...

I wasn't expecting another sad news from you, as I opened this post... I'm so so sorry to read of your loss, Aileen. Thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time. Sending hugs.

Bobby said...

Loss is so difficult to handle and when it's a double whammy it seems overwhelming. My prayers are with you, Aileen, as you grieve, as you cherish the memories and as you heal.

Kim Heggins said...

Sending my condolensences to you and your family. It is never easy losing those you love and hold so dear. Sending hugs and prayers.

Darnell said...

I'm so very, very sorry for these deep losses, Aileen. I will keep you in my prayers that you find comfort in knowing you were so blessed to have had the mother you did and this wonderful young man who was always there when you needed him. I wish you comfort as you wrap yourself in happier memories. Lots of love and hugs, Darnell

Debbie said...

I am truly sorry for your losses. I know each one of these wonderful people meant a lot to you. Remember the good times with them. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Joan said...

Wrapping you in love and hugs as you go through this difficult time. It's tough to lose two people who are so special to you. Take care of yourself.

I Card Everyone said...

My prayers have been added to all the others, with hope that they will get you through this very sad time, Aileen.
Losing your Mother is hard enough, but you've been 'losing' her for so long this must be so hard ... not having your friend to talk to must make it even more difficult.
They are both looking down from Heaven and thanking God for you, I'm most sure of that...
biggest hugs, my friend...
Michele

lostinpaper said...

I can't even begin to imagine how you feel, this is such a sad beginning to the year for you and your family. I am sending my biggest hugs your way and will have you in my thoughts. With love Therese

cm said...

Echoing the others, Aileen, in sending prayers, hugs and love in the losses of two incredibly special people in your life. Grieve in whatever fashion you choose, as deeply as you need, and for as long as you want. My dad passed away four years ago and every.single.morning, since then, I bring up his photo on my laptop, light a candle and we chat. I let him know how much I miss and love him...sometimes sharing a laugh (which, of late, involves the antics of our new puppy, Lily), asking for guidance, expressing gratitude that he's watching over my family. That small act of lighting a candle and seeing him in the photo has helped me more than words can express...
We are here for you...with our strong shoulders to lean on, ears to listen, arms to hug (virtual though they may be)...
hugs and love,
~carol

Nancy said...

I just felt the need to stop by and check on you this evening! Aileen I am so so sorry to read about all this sadness. Wishing you peace & comfort during this difficult time. What beautiful photos! Cyber HUGS!!!!

Di said...

Oh Aileen, how totally heartbreaking. Sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading about your lovely Mum and such a true friend you had in Brad.

Sending you love and hugs

Di xxx

Linby said...

So sorry to read this very sad news. Sending you hugs
L x

Ruth said...

I'm so so sorry to hear about Brad as well. I am hoping that you will have a chance to talk to people about what you are going through right now. Sending even more hugs than I did when you told me about your Mum xxxxx

Sarn said...

I can only echo everyone else's sentiments Aileen. So very sorry to hear about your losses. Sending positive, healing vibes your way across the miles.

Hugs, Sarn xxx