CONNECTIONS

We all have a connection with our moms.  Some have more connection than others, but most of us have a connection.  I’ve always been close to my mom, not that we didn’t fight, we did fight, like cats and dogs.   The fighting was part of our connection.  My mother was very outspoken and she didn’t care who you were and if she had something to say, she said it.  I tend to be the same way so the two of us butted heads quite a bit.  However, we were each others best friend, always in each other’s corner.  If I needed her she was there, if she needed me I was there, we supported one another, we loved one another.  We shared many fights, but many more laughs.  We laughed all the time, sometimes until our guts hurt and the tears were streaming down our faces. About ten years ago I noticed the laughter slowly subsiding and mom seemed to be constantly pre-occupied.  Something felt wrong, she could not remember where she put anything and she seemed to be mad at me all the time.  When she couldn’t remember certain things, I would think we all have bad days  Maybe she is just having many  bad days, but the problems were consistent and what started off as every now and then became more and more frequent and then the laughter seemed to stop.  I said to my husband one night, “when was the last time you heard mom laugh” and he said he couldn’t remember.  Slowly the connection between mother and daughter fell away.  At times I felt like I was talking to a stranger, taking care of a stranger.

It was obvious to me that there was something seriously wrong with mom.  Mom and I shared the same doctor.  I phoned the doctor one day and relayed all of my fears and concerns about mom.  The doctor said she would talk to mom the next time she was in, but she felt that my fears and concerns were nothing to worry about.  She said that she had just seen mom recently and felt she was fine.  I kept saying to the doctor that she was not fine.  My mother was the best actress around, she had everyone fooled.   She learned little tricks, and manipulated everyone around her to the point that when I said something is wrong, people were thinking that I was being a negative daughter.  As time moved on, I pleaded with my family and our doctor to do something.  Finally my doctor saw that something was seriously wrong and we had mom properly tested.  Four years ago the medical community finally agreed with me that my mother had Alzheimer’s.  I wanted my mother to come and live with me, but she accepted my brother’s invitation to live with him instead.  My brother lives across the country in Niagara Falls and I couldn’t understand why she would move all of that way.  To be honest it hurt and it was a blow to me.  All I wanted to do was take care of my mom as I hope one of my sons would do for me.   My brother wanted to do the same thing, and I voiced my concerns of sending our sick mother across the country but he insisted that he wanted to do this.  So I stepped aside, I packed all of her things, shipped what she needed across the country, put her apartment up for sale and drove her to the airport and put her on a plane with a one way ticket to Ontario.  It was one of the worst days of my life.  My husband couldn’t be there that day so I had my two boys with me.  My oldest was seven years old at the time and my youngest was five.  As I watched mom walking with an attendant to the plane, mom turned to me to wave good bye and the tears were streaming down her face.  It took everything I had not to run up to her and grab her and tell her that she was coming home with me.  I turned to my seven year old with tears streaming down my face and said to him, “I think I’ve made a mistake.”  My son said to me ” mom Granny won’t remember who we are next year, it’s time to let her go and be with the other part of her family, and you haven’t made a mistake”.  Needless to say his comment stopped me in my tracks, my mother had two sons, one daughter and six grandchildren back east and my son was right, it was time for her to go home.

Due to work and just everyday life, it was  a full year before I saw my mother again.  My son was right, we got off the plane in Toronto and drove straight to Niagara Falls to be with mom.  She walked into the room and I could see it in her eyes, she had no idea who I was, no idea who my children were or who my husband was.  The actress part came out of her again, she did her best to try and please everyone and pretend she knew who we were, but everyone in that room knew that mom had no bloody clue who we were.  It was a weird two weeks, no connection to mom at all.  I tried, we all tried, we saw her every moment we could and it was like I was sitting with the woman down the street, the woman I hardly knew.  The day I left Niagara Falls, I drove by myself to the home where my mother was living.  It was just the two of us, I left the children and my husband at my brother’s house, I wanted the time alone.  Three hours and both my mother and I hardly said a word to each other.  We just sat outside in the garden just being together, the connection once again lost, lost a long time ago.  On the flight home I was trying to remember the mother that I once had, the laughter the arguments all the connections that I had with mom, but I couldn’t get the Alzheimer’s mom out of my head, the woman who didn’t know her daughters, her sons, her grandchildren, once again the connection was gone.

This past Christmas, my brother phoned me to tell me that my mother had taken a bad fall, broken her ribs and one of the broken ribs punctured her lung.  We didn’t think she would make it and sure enough she survived, at one point the doctors thought she might be getting out of the hospital.  One night my mother asked about me, my children and my husband.  My brother called to tell me that she asked for us all by name and he said for the first time in such a long time he felt like he was talking to mom.  My heart went cold because I knew that this was God’s gift, the clarity, the recognition, mom hadn’t remembered who I was for two years.  I remember my brother was so happy, I told him that I was thrilled that she had some clarity, however, I didn’t think it was a good sign.  The very next day mom fell into a coma and no one knows why.  The next 48 hours was a strange time because I was living across the country and not sure what to do. No one knew how long she would be in a Coma and I was torn, should I fly back east now or wait?  That night I felt the connection of mom come back to me,  I dreamt of mom and she came to me in  my dreams as my mother, not the woman I hardly knew but my mother,  I could almost smell her and she told me I needed to stay where I was.  I woke up with peace in my heart and I told my husband I would wait to see what happened.  Twenty four hours later, my husband and I took our children to a movie, on the way home from the movie I fell asleep.  I’m not sure how to explain it, but it was as if this energy moved through me.  The feeling was so abrupt, I woke up immediately and I said to my husband, mom is gone!  The connection was there and then it was gone.  When we got into the house I went to the phone expecting to see a message on the answering machine, there was no message but I knew in my heart that mom had moved on.  Ten minutes later the phone rang and it was my sister-in-law, mom had passed away.  I asked her at what time and she told me what I already knew about a half hour ago, the precise time I felt the energy move through me.  Mom had managed to re-connect with me after all.

by Johanne Fraser

Published in Miraculous Messages from Heaven – October 15, 2013

 

BAFOON IN THE MONKEY SUIT

Last weekend, like all of our weekends, it was a loaded one.  Hockey practices, hockey games, painted a room, carved pumpkins, finished  Halloween decorations, made chilli for guest coming over Halloween night – just to name a few.  Sunday morning I went to my son’s hockey game for 9:15 am.  I’m sitting in the stands waiting for the kids to go on the ice and I see this bafoon in a monkey suit walking in the lower part of the arena.  He goes into the other team’s bench and I realize he’s the head coach.  I sat there for a moment and thought, why the hell is this guy wearing a Gorilla suit, then it dawns on me – its Halloween.  The only person in the whole arena wearing a Halloween costume.  At first I thought he looks like an idiot and an idiot he did look like!  He then scanned the crowd, I’m not sure what or who he was looking for, when he scanned my area I gave him a thumbs up, for which he rewarded me with his hands up and beat his chest.  I guess he was looking for some kind of approval or attention.  I mean wouldn’t you, you’re the only guy in the crowd in a gorilla suit and no one is paying attention.  After watching the first period of the game, I realized this guy in the gorilla suit is not such an idiot.  Our team kept skating by and staring at him and before we knew the gorilla suit guy’s team was up by 3 points and we scored a big fat 0.  The gorilla suit guy kept giving hand signals and jumping up and down, excuse the pun, like a monkey and his team just kept coming fast and pounded us.  By the end of the game the score was 6 – 1 for the gorilla team!  I guess you can say the last laugh was on me.  When the game was finished everyone piled onto the ice, gorilla and all, to shake hands and do the respectable thing.  I didn’t have my camera and it was one of those Kodak moments.  Everyone shaking hands in the lineup and here is gorilla suit guy giving everyone a high-five.  You’ve got to give that man an a for effort – effort that paid off!

HAPPINESS

A man I work with is on a happiness mission.  He has started a blog dedicated to happiness.  He started a happiness circle on google and all staff members were invited to join.  Everyone in the happiness circle gives their various opinions on the subject and we all try to figure out if we’re happy or not.  Like the night I came home and yelled at my kids instead of breathing and talking to them in a more appropriate tone, did I yell because I’m not happy or am I happy but I had a moment of rage?  Are happy people allowed to have a moment of rage?  If happy people do have a moment of rage does that make them truly unhappy people?  Are truly happy people so oblivious to anger and negativity that they are always smiling and happy and truly grateful for everything?  Is this even normal, I mean I think I’m a relatively happy person and I do take the time to smell the roses, but is it possible to be in a complete state of happiness all the time.  This is the point of this project at work, the person who started the project is putting it out there and getting feedback from people on wholeness and happiness.  He sent out a survey asking different questions about happiness and work.  A high percentage said they were happy to go to work.  Of course I had to go into the google circle and leave a comment ” did only happy people fill out this survey”, which a few responded and asked what do you mean?  I then had to explain myself a little clearer.  I’m happy to go to work, I’m happy to have a job that pays the bills and I like the people I work with.  I guess you can say I’m very grateful.  But what I do at work is not what I’m about, I have other passions and avenues I would like to explore and find it difficult to explore these avenues because I work full-time and I have two young boys and a husband at home.  If I didn’t have to work I would have the time to explore some of those avenues, but putting food on the table has to come first.  I read somewhere that if you’re not doing the things you dream of doing now, you’re just making excuses.  Could be true except there are only so many hours in the day and the older I get the less energy I have.  Lately, I’ve come to think of happiness as a choice, you can either accept and be grateful for everything you have now and trust in God’s wisdom that you are on the right path or you can look at everything in a negative tone and keep looking through a tunnel where there seems to be no light.  I for one am choosing happiness, not happiness where I’m oblivious to the negative things in my life and appear to be in la, la land.  No I’m a realist but somewhere I’m balancing the two sides and everyday I try to breathe in the moment and enjoy this time I have with my children and husband and remember that nothing stays the same and change is an eventuality – good or bad – change happens.  Let’s just hope the change can be embraced in the most grateful and happy way.

GREATEST SALES WOMAN OR NOT!

Several years ago I got myself into a bit of a rut.  I was busy with the kids, busy with my job, busy with my home and pretty much I threw on whatever I touched first in my closet on any given morning and the only accessory that I put on were my hearing aids – I was in a rut but I needed to hear! Makeup just sat in my makeup box wore very little or next to none, I couldn’t be bothered.  I wasn’t depressed if that’s what you’re thinking, I was just too busy and couldn’t really of cared less if someone found me attractive or not.  One day I woke up and went through my morning routine of not bothering and then I looked in the mirror  – let’s just say I wasn’t impressed I looked rather dull, washed up and for some reason that morning I cared!  Strangely enough I got an e-mail from one of the parents in my son’s school that she was starting a new business, selling a jewellery product(can’t mention the name here) and wanted to know if anyone was willing to hold a jewellery party.  I took a look at the catalogue and thought why not, I’ll help this lady and maybe get some free jewellery while I was at it.  I had the party and I earned about $400.00 in free jewellery and I have to say that the jewellery saved me from my bottomless rut that I was in.  I loved the jewellery and I kept thinking I need this to go with this and I bought a few more pieces and then about 6 months later I had another jewellery party and earned more free jewellery.  I started to not look so drab and I don’t know if it was the sparkle of the jewellery but people started to comment on my wardrobe and how I was looking so much more put together.  I was hooked I wanted more so I decided to put my money where my mouth was and become a sales representative for this nameless company.  At first it went pretty decent I got a few parties and from all the training I received I should get parties from parties – it was at this point that I discovered that even though I loved the jewellery and was enthusiastic – I’m no sales woman.  At one of my parties there was a woman looking at the display and going through the catalogue and she complained about the price, the product and the shipping cost blah, blah.  Now I’m supposed to smile and point out how fabulous she looked  wearing  the cubic zirconia necklace and how it brought out her eyes – nope I turned to her and said if you don’t really want the jewellery don’t feel obligated to buy it, you’re not doing anyone a favour especially yourself!  Well that didn’t go over well and to be honest I think she was somewhat surprised by my bluntness and needless to say I did not make that sale and even though I pointed out that she could earn free jewellery by having a party, she didn’t offer to have one.  Not that I haven’t had successes, I have repeat customers and they all tell me that my honesty is why they deal with me and that they appreciate honesty.  Now here is the whole point to this blog – the sales people who do the best really push sales and bother people and maybe they are not dishonest but they can be misleading and they do way more in sales than I do. I would much rather deal with someone like me,  I don’t push and when someone tells me they can’t afford something or are not interested, I say ok thank you.  I don’t go well you can put this on your Visa and pay later after all you look so fabulous and you can’t afford not to look fabulous, no  I don’t go there I just say ok.  I figure if someone says they can’t afford something then why push it.  Just the other day I was out and someone in a line-up commented on the necklace I was wearing, so I tried like the training says to take all opportunities that come my way,   I said ” it’s the company that I can’t say the name and I sell it, here is my card” and the lady said “no thank you!”  Now all she had to do was take the damn card and never talk to me again.  I’m told by other reps that they are successful with giving out cards when people compliment them, not me this lady wouldn’t even take the card.  I do sale the jewellery at somewhat of a discount and guess what I make some sales but not like you think I would.  So I have my base customers and can’t see myself making tons of money on the side here, let’s just say I’ll keep my day job and I don’t plan on not being myself so I guess I’ll just continue on being the worse sales woman ever after all I just might make a little extra to afford that new bracelet I’ve been admiring.

STRANGE DAY

Today was Sunday, certainly not a day of rest as they say no rest for the wicked.  My youngest son had a 6:00 am practice this morning so the household was up and about just after 5:00 am.  Once my husband gets home from this practice, he gets ready for his own hockey game and he grabs one son and goes one way and I grab the other son and go to church.  After church and a quick bite we all head over to the rink to attend my oldest son’s hockey game.  We got to the rink 45 minutes early so I had time to run some errands – off I went to the mall to pick up the few things I needed. The mall that is closest to the rink is also close to where my mother use to live and my mom use to walk over to that mall day in and day out to hang out with her friends in the food court drinking coffee and talking.  There are a lot of senior citizens in that area and she knew them all.  About five years ago my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and three years ago she passed away due to complications of this awful disease. I haven’t been to that mall since she died.  As I’m walking through the mall I was observing all of her old haunts and everywhere I turned I saw her there, sitting in the food court with all of her friends, I swear she was the woman in the red jacket and the grey hat but when I looked closer it wasn’t her.  This group of woman were so engrossed in their conversation and then someone must of cracked a joke and they all laughed.  I swear I heard my mother’s laugh.  As I walked by her favourite store, Suzanne’s, I couldn’t resist going in for a browse, as I was looking through the racks, I pictured my mom in this blouse or that sweater or that skirt and then I saw a grey haired head bobbing in between the racks and I took a good look because I swear it was my mother.  The lady working at the store came by and asked if I needed any help and I wanted to say “did you know my mother?”   “She loved your store”.  Of course I just said “no thank you, just looking” but I thought she must of known my mother, mom spent so much time in here trying on all kinds of clothes, getting the sales ladies to help her then buying the item only to take it back the next day.  I’m sure she drove them crazy but she was always friendly and had this great laugh.  Today was a trip down memory lane, I could feel my mom everywhere I went today and just when I think I’ve moved on to the next chapter of my life it hits me – I miss my mom, I miss her laugh, I miss her jokes, I miss her advice even though I didn’t want it, I miss the way she loved my children, I miss the way she kidded with my husband, she was so much a part of my life and now she’s gone.  Not truly gone she’s still here in my heart and soul and she was definitely in that mall today and as I left the mall under my breath I said – “see you later mom have fun!”

HELLO BLOG WORLD

Here I am in Blog world. I’ve never blogged before and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. A million thoughts go through my head everyday and I think I should write my thoughts down. I much prefer to type! Well here I go – I guess I should start out that I’m not sure what I’m going to blog about but I will learn as I go along. I’ve looked up other blogs to get ideas and I’ve read everything from bucket lists to 46 things I intend to do this year. The thought of adding another list to my already busy life just doesn’t sound like something I want to do. I have two boys ages 10 and 12. They both play hockey, my husband plays hockey and this year I just started to play hockey. As you can tell from my blogger name, momwhearingloss, I am profoundly hearing impaired. As frustrating and challenging the hearing loss can be, the disability also adds humour to my life.  My husband and children are all within the normal ranges of hearing and as much as they find humour with my disability, they also at times get frustrated.  The things that happen to me on a daily basis because of my hearing impairment will give me plenty to write about, but my plan is to write about things that matter to me, my family, my friends and things on a local or worldly scale that are important to me.  I hope that the blog is filled with humour as well as real life.  I hope the blog is interesting and exciting but the truth could be that my blog is boring and dull – I’ll never know until I try – so wait until next time!