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This is kind of a sad post today. My wonderful Mother Adeline passed away on June 4, 2018. She was 88 years old! I can only hope to make it to that age. I don’t think my Mom was sick a day in her life other than colds and the flu. My parents were married 62 years! Like other couples married that long I think Mom was a little lost after Dad died in 2013. When my Dad died I think a little of Mom also died.
When 2015 rolled around she was diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Polymyalgia is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness especially in the shoulders. It’s kind of like arthritis. This set Mom back a little but I think she eventually got used to it. Then around 2016 Mom started falling and breaking bones including her sternum and a hip. I could tell by our phone calls that she was getting sadder.
On one of her trips to the doctor in 2017 a physician told my brother that she might have Parkinson’s disease. He said that might explain some of the falls and hallucinations Mom had been having. My neurologist recently told me that doctors are finding that auto-immune diseases tend to run in families. Mom had one auto-immune disease for sure and possibly another. That would certainly explain why I ended up getting Multiple Sclerosis.
Six months later another doctor said Mom might have something called Lewy body disease. I’d never heard of this before. Lewy body is one of the most common causes of dementia in the elderly. Dementia is the loss of mental functions. Dementia can be severe enough to affect normal activities and relationships.
Lewy body disease happens when abnormal structures called Lewy bodies build up in areas of the brain. I guess Mom had started swearing at people including my brother and sister and getting violent. This was definitely not my Mom! I don’t ever remember her swearing about anything!
What made Mom so wonderful? After my brother, sister and I were born she became a devoted stay-at-home mom. She was always there at 3:30pm when we got home from school. As a child that was really nice to have because many other children didn’t have that.
When we got home from school Mom would always ask us how our day had gone and if we had any homework to do. She was at most of the ballgames that my brother and I had yelling encouragement. She’d always have helpful recommendations if something was wrong physically like a sprained ankle, flu or cold!
My Mom was also there when I had breakups and problems with girlfriends. She was a good cook and we always had something to eat. My brother and I also had the cleanest sports uniforms on our teams. She could get out mud and grass stains like crazy!
Later on, after us kids were all working Mom worked a few years in retail. My Dad retired from AT&T in 1986 and they finally had time to travel. Mom loved her grandkids including my son Matt and loved visiting with them. She also enjoyed genealogy, reading, crossword puzzles, bicycling, and watching the MN Twins.
My Mom was always there to listen, give support, make suggestions and yell encouragement! An example was this…. after a spinal tap you might have headaches. To stop these doctors recommend laying down on a couch or bed. My tap was over at 9am and I stayed in the hospital until about 1pm. I then drove home and laid on my couch for the rest of the day.
Both my parents drove up to where I was living in Edina,MN. That was really nice since I didn’t have a wife or girlfriend at the time. All we did that day was talk about MS, how the spinal tap went, if I had any pains and watch TV. My Dad was a quiet guy and didn’t ever say too much. However, Mom was a conversation starter and very comforting.
That day Mom also made me some food for a couple of days. Her support during this time was great and helped me through a scary time in my life! I have a son named Matt. The best tribute I can give my Mom is this… I hope to be for Matt just like my Mom was for me. I love you Mom!