Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Red Knitting Chair!

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and
learning the instrument as one goes on.
                 Samuel Butler



The sunlight dances on the carpet searching for the red chair, the chair that has always been there, her knitting chair. Mom had explained to me two days before just how important that chair was. It was the perfect size, “Look, there is lots of room for my arms to move while I knit, I love this chair can I take it with me?” I remember this conversation as though it was yesterday. I also remember reassuring her that yes she would indeed be able to take her Red Knitting Chair with her and anything else that she wanted to take. She looked back down and continued knitting another square with burgundy yarn and two different coloured knitting needles while smiling, her fingers moving quickly.

 I was filled with an overwhelming sadness but also a happy and hopeful mixed bag of emotions all churning inside me knowing that it would only continue to churn and eventually spill over while I struggled with the question if this was the right decision.

That day had now come; I stood there watching the sunlight which was searching for that Red Knitting Chair just like I was, the chair that it had found every morning but now casting its bright light on the carpet where the imprints of the chair legs were still visible and then those emotions I had been trying so hard to hold in certainly did spill. I stood there wrapped in Tess’s comforting arms crying, those churning emotions had escaped and there was no stopping them. Lizzy’s tear stained face beside and Pearly (the strong one) begging me not to hug her because she had just finished her own so called “moment”. This was more difficult than any of us had ever imagined. Tess asked the question none of us really wanted to hear “If this affects us this much why are we doing it?” I pulled myself from the comfort of those arms and we all stared at each other, we all knew the answer “It was time.”

Even if we did not want to face that fact we all deep down knew it was time. We also knew that denial was not going to make this go away. It was the right decision and the guilt we now were feeling and would probably always feel was part of it but we knew this was all about Mom; we needed to keep her safe. I looked over to the shadows from the tree dancing on the carpet and noticed the sun had stopped searching for that Red Knitting Chair.

We wiped away our tears put on our brave faces and we jumped in our cars, Lizzy with Pearly together and I hopped into Tess’s, I did not think I could drive and she was now “the strong one” and I needed her. We drove over to Mom’s new place. We walked into a beautiful bright room where Mom was lying on her own bed and the sunshine from the south danced on the carpet where that Red Knitting Chair sat just out of its reach. The sun was searching and it would eventually find what it knew was there. I stared at Mom while holding in those churning feelings and those hard to hold back tears, Mom was smiling lying there with her arms bent and her hands tucked behind her head.

If she noticed our puffy eyes she did not say a word. She lay in her own bed surrounded by the things she loved. Dad’s photos lined the wall. Her kitchen table the one where she always did her crosswords and always ate her breakfast sat under the huge window where the sunshine danced in the southern sky and pranced across her table still searching for that Red Knitting Chair. A beautiful garden with trees, flowers and grapes hanging from the fence will be what she will see when she wakes every morning. Mom’s laughter brought me back to where I needed to be, away from those worries running thorough my head. Lizzy with one of those corny family jokes that only we could understand had brought laughter that bounced off those bright cheery pale blue walls the colour that Mom had picked for her new room, oh how I love her laugh.



Mom’s familiar comment “You darn fool" and then tears from laughter ran down my cheek and I could see the faces of Tess, Lizzie and Pearly, and I knew they felt it too. Yes it was time and we knew no matter what may come in the future Mom was now safe and happy. I looked over to The Red Knitting Chair and the sunlight lay comfortably on its arm; it had found what it had been searching for and that was the moment I knew things were going to be OK. It was time. 
  
Alzheimer's brings change............ ready or not.

Later



54 comments:

  1. You have put tears in my eyes too. it brought back memories for when it was time for my mother. You were lucky to have sisters for support, I only had my husband. Loved the analogy of the sunlight finding the red chair. Clever writing.

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  2. Change is not always welcome -- happy your mom has a safe place to be during this time.

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  3. Oh Buttons - it is so hard when change comes, especially one linked with sadness in this way. It sounds like your Mum is by comfy though and that red chair looks so comfy! I need a knitting chair!

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  4. Difficult times for sure. Yet you were all still able to share a family joke. Made me think of my mom who still lives on her own, but I wonder for how much longer. She's 83. You are fortunate to have such a big, close knit family.

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  5. Yes it does...I lost my Dad to dementia,years before he passed away, though not Alzheimers.

    I am glad your family has made your Mom safe in her new place, and hope that she is settled in (I don't know if your post was 'historical' or referring to a recent thing).

    My Mom has a red chair too. It used to be blue, when I was a kid. Now it has been recovered in red. I bet your mom would like it!

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  6. Change is inevitable for some. As long as your mum is happy where she is...love the red knitting chair. Take care..hugs M xox

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  7. I shared a tear with you while reading...and then a smile too.

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  8. Change is inevitable and yet...we fear it, resist it. Having to make the decision to place our parents somewhere where they will be safe is soooo hard and we second guess ourselves for a long time after BUT it is the right decision and eventually it becomes comfortable. I'm glad you have your sisters by your side through this.

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  9. So poignant and well told that it brought tears to my eyes. I hold you all in my prayers in this transition.

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  10. It's good - very good - that your mom is now in a safe place, Buttons. And I'm sure her favourite red chair will make her feel comfortable in her new home. Smile, you have done the right thing.

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  11. What a heartbreaking decision. My grandmother had Alzheimer's. I hoPe you're mom loves her new digs.

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  12. Your Mom has some wonderful kids...you know that, right?! You did what was best for her, even though it was hard. I'm glad she could take the things along that make her happy and comfortable. I'm sure her knitting chair will get lots of use! Hugs!!

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  13. Huge hug for your family Buttons.
    Two of my aunts had Alzheimers .
    Safe and comfortable surroundings are best in the long run, yet so heartbreaking at times.
    Sending love.

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  14. Your mom is quite special, but then, you know that. Her daughters are kinda special too.

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  15. This made me a bit emotional, as it reminded me of my grandmother...

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  16. This is so beautifully written, Buttons! Thinking of you!

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  17. yes. yes. yes.

    this. this is life what you just wrote. And the sun searches, and the trees dance as this life goes on.

    yes.

    hugs to (((buttons)))

    xoxo

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  18. It is never easy to say goodbye!

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  19. Sending you a warm hug. Your mom is blessed to have such a caring daughter.

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  20. B,

    Alzheimer's is a disease one never wishes on a parent. It's a disease which touches every single one of us in one way or another. I'm happy to hear your Mom is in a place where she will not get hurt, she will be safe and comfortable. She will have the help and love she needs. It's very hard but you've done what is best for your Mom. She knows, and loves all of you for it.

    (((B)))))), I have you and your Mom in my prayers.

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  21. I'm so glad Mom is okay with her new home. It makes such a difficult and guilt ridden decision a little easier. You've done so much to brighten her days. Blessings to you and your family. Hugs.

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  22. Hugs B. We have gone through this with my FIL. It's not easy.

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  23. Hugs to you and your family!
    I love her red knitting chair :) She is lucky to have such a caring family!

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  24. You do the best you can with the resources and information available at the time. It's never easy, but now you can rest assured that your sweet mom will be safe. I can't imagine how hard this has been for you. Hugs.

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  25. That red knitting chair sure does bring a cheerful spot to the room. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but you know it's right. It's wonderful that your mom has so many people who care.

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  26. She is safe and seemingly in the best place for her. Y'll did good and with all her memories around her she will feel 'at home'. MB

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  27. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. Your mom is indeed lucky to have a wonderful family like yours...

    Greetings from the Netherlands,
    dzjiedzjee.blogspot.com

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  28. Oh Buttons, I am tearing up reading this. I can't imagine how hard this must have been for your family. I know you made the right decision, even though it was impossible. So happy your mom is surrounded by all her familiar things :)

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  29. Safe and Happy . . . Good Outcome brought about by Brave, Loving Children.

    Love & Love to YOU!!!

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  30. Oh Buttons, you are in my heart, you know that right?
    I'm glad to hear your Mom is in a safe and secure place. It is heartbreaking today, but tomorrow you will give a big sigh of relief that she is getting fantastic care.
    She is very lucky to have a place where she can have her own things. My Da sadly didn't have that option.

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  31. HUGS to you B! Alzheimers is a thief that steals our loved ones away trapped in their own memories. You all did the best thing for your Mom and she has things she can recognize around her and that is good.

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  32. Your lovely story has touched my heart. When my own Father suffered with Alzheimer's we had to make the same decision. It is heart wrenching, but necessary and you have done everything you could to make her life cozy and comfortable and that is what matters. A big hug. xoxo

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  33. Buttons, you tell stories so well. It would be so easy to just write "we moved mom to assisted living and it was hard." Instead, you brought her to life through the descriptions of her precious chair and other belongings. --and my heart aches for you. Alzheimers is hard -- we lost Brett's mom to it. Sending you a hug.

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  34. It seems to me that the transition may actually Have been more difficult for the daughters ...

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  35. She sounds happy!!! It is a huge change for all of you, but you are dealing with it!!! Hugs!!

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  36. This is an extremely touching post! Lea's grandmother succumbed to alzheimers and she often expresses to me how sad it was to see her deterioration. You write beautifully on a sensitive and emotional experience for you!

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  37. This is always a most difficult decision that you know deep down is right. since I'm the long distance child I was not directly involved in Dad's move. Again it was for the best. I hope your continue to be right.

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  38. Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, B. We went through a similar experience with my wife's mother who suffered from Alzheimers for 19 years - a slow deterioration until she was just a shell.

    Your decision was the right one.

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  39. B...I'm so glad your Mom seems happy in her new surroundings. I love the story of her knitting chair and the way you are able to share your strong feelings and sensitivity. You are a very special person.

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  40. Very emotional to read your post today. Glad to hear she is in a safe place with new surroundings. My late mother in law had Alzheimer's. Change is not always easy. I appreciate your sharing the heartwarming story of the red chair.

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  41. An incredible story and beautiful photograph. My MIL had dementia and Dave and I were her primary care givers. It was difficult for all of us.

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  42. Wonderful and emotional post Buttons. So hard I know.

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  43. Oh sweetie, this is a very difficult journey...I'm so sorry that you have to take it.

    We just went through it with my husband's Mom, and now it looks like we might be going to take it with my parents also...too soon, too much.

    Your Mom's chair is lovely, may she knit many new and beautiful items there.

    Jen



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  44. I'm glad your mom is in a place where she is safe and happy. I know how hard this must have been. It was very hard when we had to put my father in a nursing home, though it was not because of Alzheimer's. Knowing it's the right move does not always make it easy! Hugs to you, dear B.

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  45. Oh, dear girl. Big hugs to all of you, but especially for Mom.

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  46. Bless you Buttons! Change is hard when it come to making decision about our parents care. I just went through this with my mom.
    Hugs, Barb

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  47. oh b, this is not a sad story, it's a love story. one you told beautifully!!

    sending you a big warm hug...may you find comfort in knowing, it was time and you did the right thing!!

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  48. This is the most beautiful story of family love. Yes, it was time and there should be no guilt.

    You all did good. And you said it yourself, "Mom was smiling..."

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  49. Oh how I've missed you, my sweet B. These changes that life brings can be so hard sometimes. Sometimes the future seems so bleak I get depressed, but knowing that we are all in this together-and can draw strength from each other gives me a sense of calm and peace. I'll keep your mother in my thoughts and prayers, and I'll try not to be such a stranger, too:) Hugs xx

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  50. Seriously Buttons...... It took me until the third try to get completely through this post..... I'm close to being there w my mom.......... (((((Hugs)))))))) to you friend......
    Fondly,Rain

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  51. I love the picture of your mothers hands- I am obsessed with images of hands- I ponder what they have done(stroked a kitten, sewn a dress, kneaded bread) and how age and circumstance have changed their topography.
    They tell so much.
    people who have loving families to see them through these difficult transitions do SOOO much better than those without. Your mom is a blessed lady to be sure :)

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  52. your mom remains such a dear, no matter what. bless the lot of you...

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  53. My heart goes out to you. But it must help knowing that your mom is in a safe enviroment. Surrounded by familiar things. You have a long road ahead. Many choices and decisions still are to come. May God bless you and your family.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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