Friday, January 22, 2010

Finding Beauty Friday

Hello new friends!  Today I'm going to try and follow the instructions for Claudia's "Finding Beauty," celebration over at Dipity Road.  Please note her site link at the top left hand side of this post.  I sure hope I'm doing everything goes.

Elizabeth Simmons  (Betty to all who know and love her.)

This is my beautiful Mother.  This photo was taken in March of 2008.

This is Betty today in January 2010.  Unbelievable isn't it?

She may not look too beautiful to some, but to me, she's more beautiful today than I've ever known her to be.  My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in the Spring of 2004.  This unpleasant disease is a progressive and degenerative disease, which means that it gets worse over time.  These photos attest to that.

I thought long and diligently through the night, before waking up to share this information with my new friends on this site today.  It was never out of shame for my was because when I sat and tried to pinpoint the beauty around me, which is what Claudia's weekly celebration is all about..I saw first and foremost, the beauty in my mother.

My husband Robert and I have taken on full-time care for this precious woman.  We simply did not have the heart to place her in a facility.  That day may find it's way to us (doctors have told us it might), but until God tells our spirit's to release this beloved woman from our lives, we will honor her by continuing to love and care for her.

My apologies if this post was unpleasant to any of you.  Through my art I've always tried concentrating on "pretty" the type "pretty" I know we all passionately want to see and believe in.  The type "pretty" that commercial tv and magazine ads encourage us to concentrate on.   But sometimes life offers sweetness, happiness, and "pretty" in other forms too. 

Today I've allowed you to see inside my private world.  I won't fib and say that dealing with Alzheimer's is all sweetness and happiness every single day.  But what I can say is that I stand daily on a threshold of a situation that could happen to any of us.  I have no real formula to share with those that might one day look through the same mirror Robert and I have been looking through since 2004, we simply dive headlong into each day that God allows my mother to still be here with us, and do the best we can.

I leave you all today with one remaining concept:  I believe that "everything" has a purpose, that "everything" that comes into our lives is "perfect," and "is in Divine Order."  May blessings, love, patience and sunshine, always be with each of you, Terri



BailiwickStudio said...

This is a beautiful post. Your mother is blessed to be loved so much - it's truly a testament to how she lived her life.
Blessings, Jill

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Terri

It's nice to meet you. Your Mother is still lovely and she is blessed to have you and your husband be able to help her maintain her dignity and comfort. That is beauty beyond measure.

My husband also lost his Mother to the cruelness of Alzheimer's, but we also had many wonderful moments together before she passed. Now we assist my 87 year old Mom who is still independent.

Your artwork is so cheerful and delightful!

Marydon Ford said...

Terri, sweetie ~ Do not ever apologize, it is a beautiful write & loving pictures of you both.

My DHs Mother suffered for YEARS with Alzheimer/Dimentia which was a horribly destructive disease & time, to watch a power house of a woman depleted of life & mentality ... eventually having to be placed in a nursing care facility. The tears flowed, the hearts broke ... she lingered in 'her new world' about 10 years, maybe longer. I prayed everyday that God would 'lift her' from this condition & world, a she was a very strong christian woman who deserved better than languishing on this earth like this. God had a different mission for her, & from this we continued to learn.

God bless you for your love & caring of your Mother, may you know that we are praying for you all.

Hugs, TTFN ~ Marydon

Beansieleigh said...

Hi Terri.. First, your mother is beautiful!.. and what a beautiful picture of her and you together! I can't say I know very much about this, than what a cruel disease it appears to be; but I CAN say how much I admire you for loving and taking care of your Mom, like you do! ~tina

Shellbelle said...

Like Marydon said, do not ever apologize for what you post. That's what blogging is all about, we get to write what we want and if others find it interesting they will come back again and again.

I took care of my mother after she had a stroke and like you said, it wasn't always easy. But honey, it was the best experience of my life! Taking care of my mom and hearing her laugh again and smile again will always be a treasured memory.

I have a lot to tell you, but I'm in the middle of a deadline. I will answer your email as quick as I can.

btw, I LOVE your art!

Kim~HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs said...

Hi Terri,
What a heart-touching post...please don't ever apologize for writing about what's on your heart! It's wonderful that you and your husband are able to care for your Mom. I took care of my dear Dad when he was fighting cancer and I would do it all over again if I had to.

Take care,

FleaMarketTrixie said...

Terri, what a sweet touching post.
I'm so sorry your Mother has to have this horrible disease. She is so lucky to have you and you're so lucky to have her. You're a sweetie, God bless you and family

skoots1mom said...

i applaud you for stepping up and loving your mother in such a WONDERFUL're teaching so many how to care for their families. May God bless you richly in your obedient love :)

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Terri, thank you for stopping by my blog, I am so happy to meet you. Live is filled with all kinds of beauty, some may not be as beautiful to others as it is to you. I strongly believe that life has a purpose and every thing that happens in life is for a reason. Life is not all pretty and funness. But even in sadness and heartbreak if you look close you will see the beauty. I see the beauty of a Daughter's love for her Mom, no matter what. It is heartbreaking to watch a viverant and beautiful lady deteriate and disappear, but it is all God's plan.
As the others have said, never apologize for what you write or how you feel. We write our feeling not what some one else wants us to feel.
I will be back

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Dear Terri,
What you have written on your blog is exactly what blogging is all about. My blog is not always "up" and about decorating etc. It is sometimes sad and I have shared many things on my blog. If folks don't want to read your blog on days you are down, or upset, etc. they can always come back another day. It happens. Sometimes they come and sometimes they do not.
I do not worry as I used to about who reads and who does not as your blog is mainly for yourself and the ones that "follow" you come and go. Hopefully they come and stick with you through thick and thin.

I think you and your husband are brave to have taken on the care of your mother, and you are right, you will know when it is time to let her go. You are going through one of the most tragic situations ever. Losing a loved one to this horrible disease.

There isn't one of us that this could not happen to them. I could be in your mothers position one day and I hope someone loves me and cares for me as you are caring for your mother.

Your art is wonderful and I wish you great luck with it.

My Crafty Little Page said...

Terri - what you do for your mother is "beautiful". I think this is a perfect post for finding beauty in ones life. Very touching post. xoxo Nancy
PS I love, love, love your artwork which is beautiful, too!

ellen b said...

It is very beautiful that you are caring for your mother at this stage of her life. Blessings on you!

Porch Days said...

You are very brave to shoulder such care. It can't be easy! It shows how much you love her.

Kimberly said...

I stopped by your blog to THANK YOU for taking time to leave a comment on my blog recently about my stolen quilt. Your comment encouraged me and brightened my day. But that was BEFORE I read your lovely and touching tribute to your sweet and beautiful Mom. What a beautiful post you wrote -- don't ever apologize for opening your heart and soul to share it with kindrid spirits in this world! I'm so glad I stopped by to "meet" you in this virtual world. You are a gift to everyone around you, and your spirit has touched me more than words could say. I'll be coming back to your blog often!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Hi Terri...
First thank you so very much for joining us. Your blog is lovely and oh my goodness you are such a talent. We are blessed to see your work and celebrate with you.

This post touched my heart more than you can know. My sweet father sufferd with Alzheimers for 3 years (and to some longer) and passed on my birthday a couple of years agao.

I recall the day he no longer knew me. That devistated me-- but what killed me more was the time i saw him yelling at the "man" in the mirror. Not knowing it was his own reflection. HE was angry ...but mostly very very frightened. That memory haunts me. This disease is so insidious (sp?)

My mother cared for him the majority of the time; so like you and your family struggled so.

BUT-- like you -- you are seeing the beauty while she is still with you. It always amazed me how sometimes we would have glimps' of the real him. You never knew when that would pop up there.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your beautiful -- challenging-- story.


jay said...

No need for apologies at all - not only have you shown us the beauty which still resides in your mother despite the presence of a horrible disease, but you've shown us the beauty of your own lives, too. I pray that if it should happen that a member of my own family gets struck down in this way, that I will have the strength to deal with it as gracefully as you and your husband.

And one can only hope that if it should happen to one of us, our own children will be as loving.

The best blogs don't stay within the confines of the pretty and safe. ;)

grey like snuffie said...

Beauty in it's true form....LOVE. I have watched this same disease progressing in a close friend...such a challenge. Blessings of strength and joy in the midst!

Denise said...

That was one of the sweetest posts I've ever read. Your mom is blessed to have you. And you are blessed to have her.

priti.lisa said...

Terri, This post is beautiful...what an angel you are! I too, believe in the Divine purpose of all things and I believe the most difficult parts of life are the most rewarding.
Your emotions can be felt right through cyber-space. You truly have a way with words. Behind the sadness, I feel a peacefulness from you. Your trust that everything is as it should be. You are to be admired.

Kendall at Finesse Your Nest said...

Hi Terri!

This post "got me". I'm boo-hooing here at 5:40 am reading it. BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND EXPRESSED! Touched my heart!