December 15, 2015

It's been a heck of a year,

and I'm so ready for it to be over.  Many things have happened.

Oden and Bob five years ago.

My husband Bob died in late January.  He'd been stricken with cancer, but he'd been responding well to treatments.  He'd been diabetic for 40 years, and the combo of diseases was just too much for his heart.  Fortuitously, both my daughters had been able to spend time with him before it happened.

In April, my Dad's 2nd wife passed away.  My Dad died 13 years ago, but my sister and I hadn't been able to settle his estate until his wife had also died.  Nellie lived about a mile from me.  She moved within weeks of Dad death because they had bought a new home and sold their existing home.  It was a very hard time for her.  I introduced her to many people and did my best to be sure she had options.  She really never stopped grieving for Dad, and that impacted her life, of course.  About 5 years ago, she started hanging up on me whenever I'd call to check in with her.  After 3 times, I stopped calling.  After her death, I was able to guess the reason for the hangups.  She'd been to her attorney and unlawfully tried to change Dad's estate to exclude my sister and me.  She tried twice.  She did change her estate to exclude us; her estate went to a non-relative, her first husband's niece.  This niece is the same person Nellie tried to make Dad's beneficiary, twice.  It took a lot of legal help to get this taken care of.  Believe me, not all attorneys are created equal.  Things were all settled by September.

Then in September my Mom passed away from Alzheimer's. She was almost 94.  Alzheimer's, of course, is a terrible disease that robs the patient of her memories.  It also robs the family of the person she was.  When Mom's disease warranted a care facility, she moved to Oregon to be near my sister.  My daughter Sharon went to Oregon to visit her, and the move had accelerated her Alzheimer's; she had no idea who we were.  Such acceleration is typical with a move.  Even a hotel stay, being out of a patients comfort zone, can have the same effect.  Due to legal problems with burial across state lines, we weren't able to inter her ashes until almost Thanksgiving.

Oden and Mom, seven years ago.

I've signed up with a research company to see if I can participate in one of the Alzheimer's research studies that need volunteers.  Who knows what the future holds.  Maybe I can help someone, or help myself by participating.  I need to have a "study partner" in order to participate.  A husband would be their first choice; since that's not possible I've recruited one of my Tai Chi students.  Helen was very happy to help.  We have our first appointment in January.

So here we are in mid-December, and I can't wait for 2016.   I'm hoping for a great year.  I have to say that while I miss Bob every day, I am happy.  He'll always be with me, and he regularly visits me in my dreams.  He'd be very disappointed in me if I behaved like Nellie and didn't move on with my life.

Bob and I on his 70th birthday, four years ago.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,


  1. It certainly has been a year for you. My brother passed Wednesday from complications to surgery for esophageal cancer. My 96 year-old mom is failing rapidly. She too suffers from Alzheimer. However, she appears to know who I am. She is on many journeys each week. And, I just take them with her.

  2. Whoa, you've been through alot this year! So sorry especially for the loss of your husband. Congrats on 50 years - that's amazing! Here's hoping 2016 is full of joy - you certainly deserve it!


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