That's quite right, @author. Thank you.

I loved the map story. I wonder if it can be removed and preserved somehow? I know, you are trying to minimize clutter and here I am thinking of ways to keep more! But I think hanging it on a wall where you can see it everyday might bring you much joy and comfort.

we've just moved, taking with us boxes and boxes of the remainder of my mum's stuff, D's mum's stuff including the tapestry she was working (still rolled on its stretcher almost 6 years later), and now his dad's stuff... Monday will be his dad's birthday. 

There's absolutely no storage space in this house and we're also still hanging onto thousands of books from our old bookshop that closed back in the 90s (and that D has on audio files). One week here, surrounded by boxes; almost-daily trips to the tip and to charity stores. Truly special memories and keepsakes are salvaged and prized.  ohh it's hard to let go.

Tom, we'll think of your family as you remember your mother particularly for the anniversary and send our wishes for long life and good memories of happier times.

Thank you, @joanne.

In going through Mom's stuff, I found stuff of my grandmother and grandfather's. They were divorced at some point, which was probably pretty scandalous in the 1940s. So they led separate lives. I didn't know my grandfather. For some reason, we had almost no contact with him, and I met him twice. The second time is the time I remember, as I was five years old. I've come to believe that an old cigarette lighter I found was his. It's beautiful copper or brass, and I'll see if I can get it working again. I also found two letters he wrote. He was a prolific letter writer. He wrote one in 1961, the year I was born. He told some of the family history. His father had been a slave child, as he was orphaned and taken in begrudgingly by his great aunt and great uncle, brutalized and made to work on the farm. The other letter is from 1945, where he asked to join Alcoholics Anonymous in the early days. He said he was destitute and desperate, which explains my grandparents' divorce. It's really amazing to have possession of these things, and I cling to the few clues I can find about my grandfather's life. I believe that my ancestors' stories are my stories, so it helps me understand who I am.

that's such precious history! 

My mother passed away two years ago at age 92. She was bedridden and had dementia but thankfully still knew me although she would ask the same questions over and over during a single visit. One question she often asked was “How old are you now?”

I’d reply “I’m sixty Ma”. 

Sixty?!’ She’d say. “Oh my God how did my baby get to be sixty?! That’s so old!”

I’d say “I’M old!? Lincoln was president when you were born, ya crazy old lady!” That always made her laugh.

For years she used to say “I hope I don’t live as long as my mother” (who made it to 98). I used to reply with “Don’t worry Ma, I’ll take care of it for you. You’ll never see it coming”, which always made her laugh”. I could always make her laugh with dark humor.

Oddly enough, I was indeed there when she took her last breath. My brother and our wives were summoned to the care facility who advised us that she was unconscious and could not be revived. We quietly watched her struggle to breathe without waking up for about an hour and finally I leaned over and whispered in her ear “It’s ok Mom, you can go”. She was gone a minute later. I like to think that perhaps in a way, in that moment, I actually did help her along in a way that she welcomed. She always said I was a good boy.

And so it goes.

Good stories, @steel. Thank you very much.

Oh and it reminds me when I was standing over my father in the hospital. It wasn't when he died, but his health was declining. He looked up at me and said, "I have a son who wears bifocals?!"  smile 

 smile  smile what a great line, great memory!

While you listen for your mother's voice, please know she may not sound like you expect her to. But that doesn't mean that when a stranger performs a good deed for you and replies, "You're welcome," or you take delight in watching a giggling child enjoy a dripping ice cream come on hot day that your mother's spirit isn't right there with you and that her voice isn't somehow being heard.

I want to change the topic somewhat, if I may.  My mother died of Alzheimer's, and I have been looking at lots of videos about the illness, because I am concerned that I may also get it.  All of my mother's siblings are afflicted with the condition.  Tom, have you been looking into this issue?  There are two roots to the illness, and given that you are in middle age, you are not likely to have the one that condemns you to Alzheimer's.  Like me, you are possibly a carrier of the one that can be ameliorated. I know you a little bit, and I know you to be very careful with foods, but they also recommend intermittent fasting.  There are dozens and dozens of talks on on the subject.  Here are two very good ones:


Thank you, @Copihue. I've been thinking about this and am concerned. 

D was recently tested for the gene markers - very excited to report that he doesn't have them. Among the actions he was recommended to take was drinking a shake called Souvenaid which has been demonstrated to aid memory/cognitive function in early stages of Alzheimer's. 

(He was tested for memory loss/early signs of Alzheimer's given his dad's condition, by one of Australia's top researchers in geriatric brain function)

Congratulations!  He is a brave man to have himself tested.  I may do it in the future as well, but I have to build up the courage.  So which gene did your hubby test negative for?  there are two.  The composition of souvenaid seems to be very similar to what I am doing already, but with real food.  Interesting.  Thanks for sharing.

I'll need to get the results page to check, but I'm fairly they checked everything. So prob both versions. They're thorough! (It was 6 weeks of testing just about every body system you could think of, in several ways)

Prof Morris stressed to us that Souvenaid isn't a wonder-drug. It's high in a micronutrient that's difficult to get naturally, and that's really helpful in very early stages. He explained that it works best when the individual is still socialising, still exercising, still learning/challenging themselves or solving puzzles; he stressed the need to resolve medical issues, etc rather than let them build to something bigger. Looking after yourself, after your heart, your weight and your fitness means you'll generally be looking after your brain health too. 

What I have been seeing in the videos is that Alzheimer's tangles may start 30-40 years before one sees any symptoms, so that genetic testing to determine what you need to do to manage your health makes a whole lot of sense.  

I just saw this tape which took me a few days to work through, and it is worth it.  It's intended audience are physicians, and it has a list of tests that check the efficiency of this methylation process which, as I understand it, is the body's method of adaption to the environment and the method that allows the body to do  "gene repair".  If this is a new concept to you, as it was to me, this is a very cool tape to help you understand it:    


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