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Widowed in 2014

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Latest Activity: Oct 17, 2019

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Comment by Damianino! on October 3, 2019 at 11:00am

Aloha Fam!  I have been offsite for a while.  Happy to be back.  There is no where like here.  By the way, is Chat still a feature?  Can't seem to find the Chat room.  Have I been away that long??

Comment by Gary'swife on May 22, 2019 at 12:21pm


Sorry for the delay in commenting.   I hope things to go OK with your Mother's care.   

My brother and I went to the VA yesterday, and I got the phone number for the caregiver coordinator, which I believe is a new position since 2 years ago when my brother first had his stroke.   I have read that some VA centers have adult day care, but I don't think the one here does.   Sometimes I panic about what will happen if something happens to ME, because I don't have anyone to take care of me, let alone my brother.   So, I really need to "plan for the worst, hope for the best".

Sending hugs to all.


Comment by Nieta on May 14, 2019 at 4:54pm

Dear Gary's wife. 

This morning, one of the insurance companies approved the hours that I need for aides to help me with my mother.  It was the first one that I called and I was stunned when she told me that they are now seeking an agency to send a nurse to evaluate my mother.  I am getting closer and somewhat afraid to be too happy or relieved too soon.  Part of me cannot believe it until things are in place.  I suppose with all that has happened in the last few years, I always wait for the other shoe to drop.  I will, instead, have faith and think positively.

I understand the depression you are speaking of.  I felt a similar experience of losing interest in things because I no longer had my Patrick by my side.  I don't think it is a part of simply aging but aging without them and not growing old together.  Sometimes, even now, when I see an elderly couple who have shared a long life together, hurts my heart a bit because I'll never have that with Patrick and I was looking forward to it.

I'll take a look at your blog soon.  It may not be until tomorrow because I suddenly feel very tired.  I've had a lot of sleepless nights lately.

If you get a chance, I started a discussion when I first lost Patrick about God Winks.  It's not necessarily a religious thing - more about coincidental messages that you may or may not relate to.  they still bring me comfort.

Wishing you love and peace,  Patrick's wife.

Comment by Gary'swife on May 14, 2019 at 9:25am


Oh my, what a mess with Medicaid.  You are very good to catch all their mistakes, others would not have been so diligent.

I posted in another group about finding a blog that mentioned perhaps when you think you are depressed, it's really just the time of your life where you are in your later not so inclined to "climb that mountain".  I have been thinking that my lack of interest in things is because I no longer have Gary....but now I wonder if it's just part of aging.  Here's the blog     

Comment by Nieta on May 13, 2019 at 7:57pm

Hi Gary's Wife,

Forgive me for not responding sooner.  I've been distracted with so many things.  Medicaid has, at very long last, been approved but, it's not over yet.  I selected a managed long term care plan, which is a requirement in NY state and that is coupled with an insurance company that solicits aides.  An evaluator was sent today and her concern is that I may not get the hours that I need and she kept mentioning nursing home for my mom.  I don't want to go that route.  If I can help it, I'd like her to live with me for as long as possible - ideally, until the day she draws her last breath.   I've called other companies that may offer more hours but I am in the thick of that now.  Medicaid was so reckless with the authorization process that I kept getting letters with misinformation and mistakes.  In one letter they requested a couple of my mom's latest statements and provided a deadline that had expired before they even sent the letter.  They sent a second letter with a very short deadline and the documents were received by them before the deadline.  Confirmation of receipt was received and yet they sent a letter declining my mother's application because they now claimed they had not received the documents in time.  A few days later, another letter approving my mom's application was sent but with an incorrect budget, as they did not factor in the amount I pay to my mother's trust.  I have faith that this will be resolved but I am trying to get the agencies to move as quickly as possible with respect to the aides because I do not want to bankrupt myself by private paying aides for yet another month.

I logged on to this site today to see how others were doing five years after the loss of their spouse so that I would feel a little less alone about my experiences.  Ironically, photos were flashing on the home page and, when I logged on, one of the photos that I had posted 5 years ago had just come up.  It kind of felt like my husband was letting me know that he is still around me somehow and that even though I could not see him, he was checking in and making sure I was okay.  

Like most people here, I never imagined that my life would be where it is right now.  It's not all bad, I've made new friends and, they are good ones.  I've learned a lot and I feel as if I've also grown but still have a ways to go.  I don't want to lose my mother and yet I feel guilty thinking/feeling that I just want to make sure that she spends her remaining years in peace and feeling loved and cared for.  It kills me that her mind has been impaired and that she has a heart condition that could take her sooner.  Dementia is such a cruel disease in that the mind dies before the body.  A good part of her is still in there but I see her going in and out of lucidity and I try my best to understand and be patient when she is childlike.

I've actually prayed that if it is God's plan to take her, to simply do it gently and that she simply goes in her sleep. And yet, I'm afraid of the statement, be careful what you ask for.  You think you will be okay with something and then it destroys you and rocks you to your core.  That happened to me when my brother died unexpectedly at 26 in a motorcycle accident and when my husband died from a fatal heart attack.

Dad's passing was difficult in a different way.  Of course, I grieved but, he had been suffering and it was somewhat of a relief when I saw him take his last breath.

Thank you for listening, reading and responding.  Your support and caring means a lot to me.

Wishing you a peaceful evening and many beautiful days to come.

Comment by Trish on March 6, 2019 at 11:19am

Gary'swife  I know what you mean.  It was five years for me last Monday and I just can't believe it either. 

Comment by Gary'swife on March 5, 2019 at 1:49pm

Yesterday was my 5 year mark.  Can't believe it's been 5 years.  Sometimes it seems like yesterday, and other times it seems like a lifetime ago.

Comment by Gary'swife on February 21, 2019 at 6:09pm


I hope things are going better for you.  You have been through a lot since your husband died.  I am taking care of my brother who had  a stroke 2 years ago.  He (we) adopted a 9 year old rescue dog last Aug., so that has been an adventure.  I realize I am now an old lady who walks the dog and watches TV in the evening.  My brother goes to bed before 8:00, and the stroke caused brain damage to the frontal lobe, so conversations with him are not in depth.  Luckily I do have a couple of friends I meet for lunch or dinner once in a while, but my former life was so busy.   I miss my old life.  At least now with social media one is not as isolated just staying at home.  

Comment by Nieta on January 1, 2019 at 4:58am

It's the first day of the year and I am feeling so frustrated, tired and way too sorry for myself.  February 12th will mark five years since my Patrick went to Heaven. 2014 was a blur an 2015 was pretty close to that. I've done a lot but, I'm tired and I know I need to keep going. 

2016 was to be our Silver Anniversary and we had talked of spending it in Paris and renewing our vows.  Instead, I went on an Oktoberfest Tour, which was fun and I met some very nice people.  

In 2017, I lost my dad.  I'd spent most if not all of my vacation time going to and from Miami/NY and my hotel room was basically his hospital rooms and rehab centers.  Half of that year was spent watching my dad's health fail and witnessing his slow demise.  I spent the holidays that year with Mom so that she would not be alone for what was to be the beginning of the first painful days of widowhood.  

In March of 2018, mom moved in with me and in June/July I took her to Dollywood and Graceland so that she would be distracted from her first birthday without dad and their first wedding anniversary apart.  I spoiled her for a good part of the year with movies dinners, shows, taking her to my cabin on Long Island...

In October of 2018, my life was altered yet again.  I took mom see a movie and when we came out, she did not recognize that I was her daughter.  I noticed something was wrong when she asked if dad was back at the house sleeping and also asked where the woman that brought her to LI for the weekend was.  She also asked where the woman and man that were sitting with us in the movie theater was.  Confusion was not solved by a meal or rest so, I called her doctor when we got home and could not get an appointment with him fast enough.  A visit to a neighborhood hospital emergency room was my next course of action.  Mom was given several tests, including a CT Scan, MRI, X-Ray and 2 EKGs.  the conclusion was vascular dementia brought on by minor strokes.

I stayed in the hospital with mom for a week, applied for FMLA and have been home putting things in place for her.  I retained an attorney, to help with Medicaid.  Initially I was going to go for guardianship but, thankfully, her new meds kicked in and I was able to get a Healthcare Proxy and Power of Attorney for her.  I'm still waiting for Medicaid to get approved because the aides that I have arranged for her are expensive and I need to get back to work.  I can't bankrupt myself paying for aides because I am now more than 55 years of age and there is no one to take care of me - I need to protect my remaining assets and still help mom.

Sorry for the vent session and the poor me silliness.  Mom is getting up now and I'll give her the first pill of the day, make breakfast and quickly take a shower while she eats and before the aide arrives.

Comment by Gary'swife on December 31, 2018 at 3:30pm

Hope everyone survived the Christmas holiday, and soon New Year's will be over.   New Years Eve was never a big deal for us, so tonight does not hold any special sadness for me.   I am coming up on 5 hard to believe.   I feel I am ready to start charting the next part of my journey, while my health is still OK.  I am at that age (62) where too many conversations with friends revolve around health issues.  Just have to get through winter, which I hate.


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