Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I have just returned from my second trip in a month to California to help my mother move into a new house. It was a really sobering experience. I accomplished my goal, she is moved and totally settled in her new home. That is a good thing.

The hard fact is that she is either entering the terrifying slide into dementia or she is becoming so forgetful that soon she will be unable to function on her own without more supports of daily living.

She has big mood swings. One minute loving and the next saying some pretty ugly things to me. She cannot remember what day it is and asks repeatedly, "what day is it? what date is it? what time is it?". She forgets to eat. She is unsteady on her feet and of course, she is legally blind. I am hoping nothing happens and that she can stay in this new house for the next year or so - we shall see.

Today, I am physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent. I am working from home to catch up and get back in touch with my clients and prepared to work hard the rest of this week.

I have accepted another transition client - I know I said there was a break at the end of the interim leadership in this homeless shelter but it feels like I am supposed to go to this next leadership assignment. Their mission is to feed hungry people - who can argue with that. They are a large organization and they have hired a search firm to assist in hiring the new Executive Director. That pretty much guarantees this to be a short-term, 100 day assignment. So, with the end in sight - tomorrow I meet with the Board Vice President to work out the contract details and Friday I will go to the organization to meet the Executive Team.

My work in the family homeless shelter ends on July 31 so for the balance of this month I will be juggling a great many balls. My new plan - take a good chunk of time off to enjoy the Autumn and early winter.

I know I will have to return to California more often. That is fine. Unfortunately that means I cannot do much of the other travel I have been hankering for - like going to visit my grandchildren in Philadelphia or just taking a trip for myself to have a vacation. I am not complaining - just longing for some time to myself to see and/or do some new things. Such is Life.

It is wonderful to be home. Home, in my own little house. Yes, I am sad to see my mother on this path - yes, I am glad to be home and to reflect on all my blessings. With deepest gratitude to be here on the Planet. Namaste.


  1. The nastiness sounds a lot like how it is for some people with Alzheimer's and good you are understanding that. One of my friends had the sweetest father but when he got that, he became nasty and said ugly things that were not him but just part of the disease :( I feel for you as the years of decline in our parents are really tough ones for them and us.

  2. Suzann, Welcome home..sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now..just remember that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Although some times it sure feels like it..
    Stay strong and remember you are not alone.

  3. I know it has to be very hard to see this happening to your Mom...I am beginning to see some of this--in a smaller way---with a number of my friends "of a certain age". It is very depressing. One feels, "Is this where we atr all going??" I don't like it at all! And I know to see your mother slipping further and further into whatever this is, has to be rather Heartbreaking, to say the least.

    You certainly have a wonderful attitude Suzann.....Enjoy ALL there is to enjoy, my dear, for as long as possible.

  4. I think one of the hardest things to experience is the decline of a parent's health and ability to function as they once did. I felt the same way about my mom before she passed away four years ago. Sending you love and strength Suzann... Love, Joy

  5. Suzann, catching up with your travels and changes, I am struck by your attitude of calm. My mother has reached a stage of Alzheimer's where her body is shutting down, she is refusing to eat and we are choosing not to force her, a slow agonizing process, but her mind left a long time ago. Sometimes there are tears, but it seems the end will be a relief for all, and then, finally, my father can let go...
    Brighter days surround our own lives in the moment. be well

  6. Sometimes I ponder if need: I must be hard and think and plan for some time for myself (and Anna)
    without having bad concious not taking care of the rest of the Family.
    To avoid myself beeing a person with "bad concious" all the time. "Not to be there for you" etc...

    -- Just now, my Cat, Felicia, jumped in from the Roof (yeah, she has her own entrance via the Summerhiuse Roof) - just a little nice welcome hug and then directly to her food...

    I need some sleep now - m Cold has put Day and Night upside down....

    Best wishes and hugs