Lessons from Lou

This blog is about my journey through the brain tumor world with my dear husband, Lou. While not a journey I would wish on even my worst enemy, it is a journey that has enlightened and awakened me to what lies within us, and around us, each and every moment of each and every day. There are lessons here....lessons in this journey.....lessons from Lou....that I would like to share with you.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois

Picture of Lou (sick) and I at a party, circa 2005, long ago and faraway. I'm now a middle aged widow, trying to get my life back together. Mother of two young adult sons, living with two adult cats.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mom

Lou has always loved his mother very deeply. When I first met him, I remember he called her every sunday evening. I later learned he called her every sunday evening of his entire adult life, no matter where on this earth he was. Of course, he always loved to buy her lovely presents for Christmas...beautiful clothes that she would never buy herself, jewelry, tv sets, whatever...he loved to surprise her and I think he loved her admonishments, "Now Louis....". It seemed he could never do enough for her. She was a wonderful, dear, loving woman, first generation Greek, married at a young age to Lou's father, who was born in Greece. Lou's father left Greece to find work in America, and never went to school beyond something like 4th grade. I believe his mother graduated high school. They raised four children who all went to college and managed to do well enough in life, though the youngest, Kathy, passed away at a young age to breast cancer. But that is another story. Lou adored his mother, as I was saying. She passed away about 6 or 7 years ago. She had been living in a nursing home 3 hours from here. We didn't see her much while she was there, it was so upsetting to Lou and the boys, to all of us. Very upsetting. It was not what Lou wanted for his mom, but it happened. And there was no going back once it did. I digress, only to set the stage. When the brain tumor appeared, and Lou lost his memory, he lost his mom, too. Every single day, for at least 15 months, he would ask, repeatedly, "is my mom still with us" ? In the beginning, when we thought there might be some remote possibility that Lou might recover, or might actually know what was going on somewhere in there, we told him the truth. As the experts encouraged us to do. We would tell him that she was no longer with us. It upset him terribly. The crying would be uncontrollable at times, and when it was over, he would ask the question again. And again, and again. It never sunk in. Each time, he was hearing it for the first time, each time, a small heart attack. Sometimes, we would skirt the issue. Sometimes he would ask "how's mom", instead, which was much easier to answer, we could always say "oh she's fine", because we know she IS fine. Eventually though, we moved to telling him she was in a nursing home, a nice nursing home .... we couldn't go through the pain of telling him she was no longer with us. It has just dawned on me that he hasn't asked about her recently. But then, he isn't talking all that much either. But I don't think he HAS to ask anymore. NOW I think he DOES know the answer. He KNOWS she is no longer with us. Because he calls to her. He calls to her in his sleep. He calls to her when he awakens. And today, he saw her, in the room. He saw his mom. He said so. I know he did. One of the few comforting thoughts I have these days is knowing that she is waiting for him, and that he will, finally, know where she is.

3 Comments:

Blogger Shelley said...

There is comfort there, yes, Cathy, domfort for Lou and his beloved mom. A man who loves his mother will make a good husband someone once told me. And you, of course, did the right thing for Lou. Experts cannot know your heart. They can only advise from the outside. You walk the steps, day by day, and only you can know what is right.

Before Dave died, especially the last tour in the hospital two months before, he saw Doug in his dreams every night. He woke up telling me about these encounters that were so very real to him. Doug had not yet killed himself, he didn't until after Dave died, so I'm not sure on what realm they met, but it was much more than a dream to Dave. There is something magical that happens...a meeting of two worlds, that proverbial "wrinkle in time," that we cannot explain or understand, only accept.

Many prayers going out to you tonight, dear one. I love you, Chelle

5:03 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

It may not comfort you to know when it is time for Lou to join Jesus and his "mom" but just visiualize that reunion and it can't help but put a smail on your face.
When my husbands father was so sick at the end he kept telling his employees (now he hadn't worked in many years) how to fold the flag outside the Fire Dept. Many of those men had passed years before.
Those memories so fresh in his mind; yet his reality so far away. I remembering Tom's mom who was upset "don't worry; he is remembering better days than what he is living right now."
Stay as strong as you can, Love Lou through this, and know many of us are loving you and praying you through this.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Kathie said...

Cathy your writtings are so special. Reading about Lou and his mom reminds me of when a very special Aunt of mine was dying and she would sit up in bed and blow kisses and say "I am going now bye bye" she did this many times over the last few hours she was with us. She did know she was going and was telling us good bye. It made it easier knowing she was happy to go not scared. It is amazing to me how she could do this but yet so very very weak. Could not sit up, take drinks, talk, all of the daily things but yet could sit up all alone and throw kisses and talk very clearly. I felt she was in a very different happy world at that time.
God Bless You Cathy, Lou and the boys.

6:55 PM  

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