Memory Makers Blog Hop: Ch-Ch-Changes!

by Lain Ehmann on August 9, 2011

Welcome! If you are visiting for the first time, please know that things are not usually so serious around here. I’m actually a light-hearted gal! But this topic was the first that came to mind when I heard this month’s theme.

The biggest change I’m going through right now is my mom’s health. She’s suffering from dementia, and with me being 3,000 miles away, the differences in her awareness and activity level are marked, each time I see her. It really sucks to be entering this stage of life — I’m not ready to be the “adult!”

I kept the design very simple as it was really the words that I wanted to share.

While I’m committed to putting a positive spin on my life, there are times when you need to get a story down, even if it’s one you wish were not part of your life. That’s the case with this one. If I had a choice, I would make my mom whole and healthy. Unfortunately, she’s not. It’s hard to admit that, but by scrapbooking it, I can honor her, honor this part of my life, and also document it for others in the future who might go through something similar.

What about you? Do you scrapbook some of your challenges? Does it help you feel like you have some control over the whole thing? Does it serve as a release? I don’t think that happened on this particular page, but I can see how you could use your scrapbooking to define your life as you want to.

Anyway, if you’re coming by for the first time, I hope you’ll swing back again. I promise you things will be back to the normal, zany Lainie you’re used to!

P.S. Now, please hop on over to Melissa’s blog for more goodness!

  • Rhonda H

    Lain,
    It’s a lovely layout. But more importantly, you have recorded life. Your kids will be better for it.
    Blessings to you and yours as you go through a tough time.

  • Gail E.

    Well, it’s not always rainbows, cupcakes and butterflys…great layout and great reminder to scrap every part of life.  I’m sorry you are dealing with this situation, I can relate, my mother has been having “issues” for the last 6 years or so and has really put a strain on our relationship.  She’s very stubborn and demanding and that does not mesh well with my personality at all, so its a struggle to maintain a relationship with her.  I wish you well and thanks for the great post.

  • Lynnette

    {hugs!}

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1382930054 Nicole Maki

    I’m so sorry about your mom, Lain. It’s wonderful that you made this page and left a record of this time in your family. My Nana is in late stage Alzheimer’s and I really miss her even though she’s still technically with us.

    The only difficult LO I’ve ever made was about my two miscarraiges. I’m so glad those babies have a small place in amongst the pictures of water parks and picnics. I don’t know if anyone (but me) would remember them otherwise and that would be a shame.

    Again, I’m so sorry about your mom. Wishing you comfort, peace and patience.

  • Jennifer Mcguire

    Lain, I’m so sorry about your mom. This is a beautiful page and I like the way you captured how you feel. I did a page after my dad died, but I didn’t really capture my feelings well. I guess I thought that the page needed to be more upbeat, but you have inspired me to be honest and get the feelings out there. I know my own aging process is really starting to hit me emotionally as is the aging process for my kids, my mom, my grandmother and I really need to take the time to record how special everyone is right now and how I’m struggling with us all growing older.

    I wish you comfort as you go through this period with your mother’s health. 

  • RJillOK913

    Lain,

    Thank you for addressing this part of life.  I took care of my Mother when she was in her 80′s.  It got to a point that she didn’t even know who I was.  That was The Worst, for me. 
    I do have some funny stuff that I can scrapbook about how she would wake us up in the middle of the night screaming “I’m dying, I’m dying”.  I would run across the hall to her room and she would inform me that she was “dying for some ice cream”.    I can laugh about it now.  At the time it was not so funny especially in the middle of the night when I had to get up the next morning to go to work.

    I hope the best for you and your Mother.

    Jill

  • SherriS.

    I haven’t written you in a while Lain.  I’m really sorry about your mom.  I do think it helps to scrapbook life’s challenges.  My son had leukemia from the age of 2 until a bone marrow transplant at age 4.  It took me years to be able to do a 2 page spread.  I cried alot while I was journaling.  He’s a 21 year old cancer survivor now and we don’t look back at that time very often but I had to document  that time in my family’s history. 

    Hugs to you!
    SherriS.

  • Kimberly Bolden

    Hi Lain, my mom is currently having some medical issues and I never thought to document it until now…thank you for having the courage to share this with us; life is not always a bed of roses and I love that you captured that!  Prayers for you and your family.

  • http://profiles.google.com/melissahuie Melissa Huie

    I’m sorry about your mom. :(  Scrapbooking is all about the good and the bad things in life, and it’s great that you documented something I’m sure was very hard to do.  Very nice layout.

  • Kathy Thomas

    This page is so important, I’m glad your scrapped it. My dad had alzhiemers for 10 years and was taken care of at home by my mom, DH and I. It was a terrible time in our lives, but so important to remember. Not to remember how tiring, depressing and all consuming it was, but to remember thoses precious snippnets of him that would pop out occasionally. Also, to scrap the support I had from my hubby and the bond that all of us formed. Remembering what a loving, funny, hard working, family man my dad was, helped to ease the hard time.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you- you are so right about wanting to document the good parts of her life while I can.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Melissa!

  • Anonymous

    Kimberly, best to you and your mom. Give her a hug from me!

  • Anonymous

    Sherri, so nice to hear from you! I am so happy for you and your son. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment – it means a lot to me.

  • Anonymous

    We laugh about it as much as we can… Somtimes it’s that or cry!! Glad you were able to find humor in your memories. Hugs!

  • Anonymous

    Growing older sucks! And as Forrest Gump would say, “That’s all I’m going to say about that.” ;)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Gail… Families are tough, eh?

  • Anonymous

    :)

  • http://twitter.com/daniellevekris danielle van ekris

    Sorry to hear about your mom. I hope it’s possible for you to visit her as much as possible…

    I’m recovering from a burn-out myself. In february I didn’t have any energy left and my body told me to stop and take a period of rest. I want to scrap about this period because it’s important to me but I find it difficult. I don’t know where to start…

  • Anonymous

    Hi Danielle-
    Sometimes finding our way in is the toughest part. Can you start writing down some thoughts? Or find some images that capture your emotions? Let me know how it goes!!

  • Angelica

    Lain – I know how hard it can be, we lost my grandfather earlier this year at 94 and he had severe dementia. We were lucky to have him as long as we did and the rapid decrease only happened in the last 3 or 4 years. he was very old school italian and hated pictures taken of him, but we have a few that might be a good way to share him with my brother and my cousin. About scrapping the hard times.., I’m just coming off 6 months of leg surgery and being stuck at home, and I avoided cameras the whole time, I wish I had the courage to actually document how I was feeling and take some of the during pictures. I was just afraid to get that deep into it. I’m glad you had that courage to do this page! Such an inspiration!

  • http://tapitasdevida.blogspot.com Lizscraps

    Dementia is a hard illness to cope with, I cared for my grandmother in the last two years of her life at home and she suffered dementia.  She no longer was the grandmother I remembered and to her I was no longer her oldest grandchild but “That Woman Who Won’t Let Me Do Anything”. It was very sad to see her disappear.  I scrapped pictures of her and wrote a bit but I remember the good more than the sad and so will you… Lovely LO —  I am an old MMMForum user who hasn’t been around much but got to his hop via Melissa H’s Blog who I’ve known for years from MMM… best of luck to you.

  • Amy P.

    I think not scrapbooking life’s challenges leaves albums lacking. Life is not always sunshine and smiles. And on days when you think things are so hard, it’s healthy to look back on other challenging times to be reminded that you survived it. A couple years ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and had z series of major surgeries to try and remove it. Needless to say it was a difficult time. He was only 33 when he was diagnosed and it made both of us realize how much life Canberra taken for granted. I took pictures of his recovery journey and made a two-page layout of his progress. He hated my taking his picture when he was at his worst, but now he’s glad I did because it shows how far he’s come. Another challenge we went through was a side effect of his cancer and treatment…we were going to have a very hard time getting pregnant again. Our daughter was 9 months old when my husband was diagnosed and we never intended on her to be an only child. During our fertility treatment journey over the next couple years I documented everything: all the negative pregnancy tests, all the miserable injections, and the endless stream of medical bills. I wanted to remember how hard we tried to grow our family. Today I have a cancer-free husband, an energetic toddler AND a one-week-old baby girl! Life is so good right now…but I never want to rake it for granted…so I’m glad I have it documented all we had to go through to be here. It makes life a little sweeter. :). Sorry for babbling…your post just hit home for me. :). I hope you are able to find some peace in scrapbooking about your mother and the challenges you and your family are facing.

  • Ali

    Lain, this is a great LO… I am one who also journals what I call “the tough stuff.” Life can be challenging  at times for us all. I don’t document much about my MS, (hmmmm, just realized that)  but have done LOs and journaled about Noah and our life with Autism Spectrum Disorder, his progress, his steps, OUR FAMILY’S steps. I document the highs and the tough stuff too, for the family. I did a cover story once for a Cndn mag talking about being a Mom with Special Needs mothering a child with Special Needs… because I felt there HAD to be more of us out there!  LOL

    I consider it my “job” to document this for the family– I guess it is an honour, in a way, to be “able” (if not specifically ASKED) to do it! I understand the thoughts you described. Some things DO tear us apart. I think we are the better for documenting them, or the thoughts that they “inspire”… well, maybe “bring forth” is a better term. How can we live life and document it for the future and those who come after  without admitting the imperfections inherent in it?

     Thanks for the great LO… TY for sharing,  ladies- I read all the posts avidly and agree with every single one!  
     Lain, (((HUGZ))) about your Mom’s struggle (which is YOURS, too, ’cause it’s so hard on you.) As an RN, I  do understand, having seen this from the angle of a caregiver for our seniors and their families.  
     Thinking of you… ~ Ali

  • Glee

    beautiful in and out. thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Ali, thank you so much! This topic is so much on my mind lately, I thought I’d be sort of “lying by omission” by NOT documenting it. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses. But it’s all part of life. :)

  • Anonymous

    Amy, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I have seen people scrapbook cancer, infertility, miscarriages, etc. and knew that it was helping them feel “in control” of an out-of-control process. I can see through this one page with my mom that it also helps me connect with others on a deeper level. Thank you again, and congrats on your husband’s health and your wonderful family!

  • Anonymous

    Niki, you are so very sweet. Thank you!! And you are so right about making space for things and people and experiences that matter. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Angelica- I am so sorry about your loss, and about your surgeries. Bleh. I’m glad you are feeling better… many prayers and hugs to you!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Glee!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Liz, I am sorry you had to go through this. It is absolutely heart wrenching. HUGS to you – and thank you for taking the time to comment! I hope you’ll come back for another visit. :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Rhonda. I so appreciate your thoughts. 

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