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Sometime in 2001, after my grandfather passed away, it was decided my… - Jim Stark [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Jim Stark

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[Nov. 18th, 2005|07:27 pm]
Jim Stark
Sometime in 2001, after my grandfather passed away, it was decided my grandmother would come and live with us. We decided we would put an addition of a second larger master bedroom and bathroom on the rear of the house, which was to become my parents. The room that was theirs would become mine, and my old room would now belong to my grandmother after the addition was completed. I'll note that perhaps a year earlier my grandmother started showing signs of Alzheimer's. One night, or morning perhaps, as it's become a blur since then, she woke up and notified us she was having a hard time moving. It was determined that she had a stroke in her sleep, and was quickly taken to the emergency room. After this event, it was decided that in her state she wasn't really fit to live with us; her state being the combination of Alzheimer's and a stroke, which severely inhibits the brain and basic motor functions apparently. I remember my parents looking around and finally finding Menorah Manor, an assisted living facility that seemed to fit our needs. We moved my grandmother in, and she seemed happy; well, perhaps pleasant is a better word. She seemed well taken care of. She spent the better part of four years there. Tonight the phone rang and my mother answered it. A cheery voice responded and asked for Rosemary Lepore, and was informed she was speaking to her. In such a nonchalant way as could be understood but not expected, my mother was informed that my grandmother had passed away at 7:05 PM tonight. My mom was taken aback to say the least, primarily by the nurse's tone, but she, like me, didn't know how to feel. She was numb and quite rattled. I'll explain further.

I remember at first, I visited her here and there, which over time was reduced to not visiting at all. In the long run, it has become one of those things that both frustrates and comforts me. On one hand I wish I did visit more, she was my grandmother after all. Yet on the other, the last coherent conversation I would have with her would not have taken place within those walls. She barely remembered my name. In some ways I feel like I lost my grandmother four years ago. It was heartbreaking, and it was not how I would have wanted to remember her. It isn't how I remember her, and for that I'm thankful. However I'd love to attribute my lack of visitation to this miraculous hindsight, but the truth is I'm just bad at things like this. Things of life and death and sickness. I'm bad at confronting them and I'm bat at accepting them. I'd like to say this was a quality I've all but done away with, as I'm quite eager to go to any sort of service for my grandmother. To say goodbye, or to say that I loved her, an event that, five years ago, would find itself narrowly avoided. I remember when my grandfather died. I accepted it, but not fully. I think it took me a week or so later to finally break down crying in Gali's driveway as I tugged at her pant legs. I remember mentioning I would never get to say goodbye, or tell him I loved him. Regardless, I don't feel as bothered by this as I assumed I would. I knew the time was coming, morbid as that is, and in some ways I'm relieved. It was akin to watching someone die very slowly and live very arduously, and in a sense I've had four years to come to terms with this. This isn't about me though, not at all. When all is said and done my grandmother passed away tonight, and I shall never get another opportunity to avoid a visit. That sentence will always carry weight, no matter what the preceding circumstances are.

Her name was Rose Freda. She was loved and she will be missed.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: 8bit
2005-11-19 01:05 am (UTC)
i'm sorry frank. i went through something similar with my grandfather.. he died about ten years ago, and towards the end of his life he was not really himself, physically, mentally, emotionally. we all knew what was coming but it didn't make it any easier. like you say, in hindsight i can say that not spending as much time with him as i did earlier in his life was a good thing in one way, because he really wasn't who i remember him to be.. but that doesn't change the regret.
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[User Picture]From: jetstobrazil
2005-11-19 01:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words, Mike. I really appreciate it. Sincerely.

Thanks for taking the time to read this as well. I know sometimes people see long posts and just skip past them. As you said, there's regret, but I feel like it could be worse. I remember all the good time, and I know had I visited more my memories would be of her in a bland hospital room, incoherent and sickly. It's times like this, when I think of the positive memories, that I don't feel regret so much as I do good old fashioned loss.
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[User Picture]From: jadorelefromage
2005-11-19 01:29 am (UTC)
='(
{{hugs}}
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[User Picture]From: verunicastar
2005-11-19 05:38 am (UTC)
sympathy!!!
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[User Picture]From: usftampachic
2005-11-19 10:55 pm (UTC)

:(

Im sorry....hugs
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From: therains___
2005-11-20 02:42 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, Frank.
You know I know what it's like.
Especially the line In some ways I feel like I lost my grandmother four years ago.

I feel like I lost my dad a week prior to his death because he had a stroke and nothing worked anymore. I'm sorry you didn't get to say goodbye. I thank the stars every day that I got to say goodbye to my dad. In exactly 7 days, I will have been 2 months, and it still hasn't sunk in. I feel as though I should have visited him more at home, even though I visited quite often...there's always more you could have done, and I am stuck with a permanent feeling that I should visit...and then it hits me that I can't.

In short, you never really get used to someone not being around.
Sorry, I'm not trying to make this about me...I just know what it's like.
You know my phone line's always open.

shannon
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[User Picture]From: jetstobrazil
2005-11-20 06:53 pm (UTC)
Ah, you. I know I said it in a letter, after the fact, but when I heard about your dad, my heart sank. I was there with you even five years ago while he was struggling, and I should have been there more recently as well. It's easy for someone to judge form on high, but the fact is I respect you a tremendous amount, and any ill words I spoke, hard as it is to say and even harder to believe, came from concern. I just handled it incorrectly and ignorantly, and for that I apologize. I know it's probably water under the bridge, but regardless, I felt the need to reiterate.

It seems like strokes are the common catalyst of deterioration. I haven't been there or experienced it like you have, but you're right, it doesn't seem like two months. Honestly, I'm not sure if what's happened has even set in to me yet. I suppose time will tell, or an emotional service perhaps. Thanks for the kind words, miss. I'm glad we're still friends.
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From: enantiomeric
2005-11-20 03:47 pm (UTC)
regardless of the state of our friendship, i am deeply sorry.
you know that i really do empathize with this as my grandparents are in similarly failing health/mental states.
please give your mom my sympathies and a hug.
if you need anything...well, you know.
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[User Picture]From: jetstobrazil
2005-11-20 06:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you, mongo. I appreciate it. I do know you empathize, and I will definitely let my mom know you send your regards. I'm regretful I didn't extend the same hand to you when you were in a similar situation, but I'm quite grateful you didn't follow my lead. It's seems I'm always thanking you for being youi and this time is no different.

PS. I like your new icon, although I have no idea it's origins.
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From: enantiomeric
2005-11-20 07:33 pm (UTC)
tell your mom that i miss her a great deal.

thank you for appeciating me. i try my best. and of course, despite our lack of friendship at the moment, i always think of you and your family when you are in a time of need.

my icon was drawn by a local artist about a month ago at circus mcgurkis near your house in fuller park. he was quite good, and i bought a piece of his art. i saw miles that day as well. he's huge and has outgrown his little sleeping rock.

ps. time to stop throwing my juvenile tantrum. welcome back to the friends list.
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[User Picture]From: staremotions
2005-11-22 12:12 am (UTC)
I'm really sorry for your loss. I want to say I know how you feel, but I try to stay away from the term because I can't know how YOU feel. Every experience is different. I only know how I felt when my grandmother and grandfathers passed. One of my grandfathers passed just a few months ago. I went to see him and honestly regret it. He died of cancer and was so skinny and out of it that it scared me...he only remembered who I was from time to time the day I saw him and though it wasn't his fault at all, it hurt me. I wish I could just remember him how he was, but now when I think of him, the only memory that creeps to mind is me holding his hand while he faded in and out of conciousness. No matter what, though, when someone dies, people always think of things they should have done differently. All I can say is, try not to. It's really a losing battle. The sadness you feel is proof that you loved her and were loved by her...and that's what matters most, don't you think?

Once again, sorry...
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From: gator7870
2005-12-01 12:58 pm (UTC)

Lifts

In my best British accent:

It's really laughable when a chap gets on the lift and pushes the button that is already lit.
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[User Picture]From: dehydrated
2005-12-07 02:58 am (UTC)
i haven't had internet access or i would've read this and responded sooner: i'm sorry about your grandmother. it's hard to grow up and realize more and more what losing someone can mean. *hugs*
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