I thought he would remember her, I was wrong.

A picture of the children walking the dogMy mother died young, she was 63 years old. She was an amazing Grandmother. The eldest was in grade eight when she died, just before her grade eight graduation (my dad, also an amazing Grandfather passed away just before the eldest graduated from grade 12). Middle child was in grade five and the teenage boy was in grade three when my mom died.

My husband has always worked shift work, so when the kids were young my mom pitched in and helped me. She babysat on a moments notice, drove kids to school when I worked, had a stash of toys and videos at her house just for her grandchildren. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for them.

In the summer when the kids all played soccer, she regularly drove the teenage boy to his soccer practice since I was with middle child who always had a game that same evening. My mom always took the same route to soccer and my son had this route memorized. Some time after my mother passed away I would take the soccer route, and the teenage boy would always say, this is the way grandma took me to soccer, he repeated this for a number of years. Then it stopped. Grandma had slipped from his mind. He no longer remembered the soccer route. I try to bring those memories back to him, but they are gone. Gone like my mom, his grandmother.

Time heals for the young, because memories fade. As I type this, the tears roll down my face, I miss my mom, their grandmother. (As I turned to wipe my tears, I see the calendar, it will be her birthday in exactly one month).

Assisted suicide should be a choice

About twenty years ago my great aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was in her early seventies. Up to that diagnoses, she was a very active senior. She was still driving her own car, picking up my grandmother almost every day so they could go to afternoon bingo, a favourite activity of theirs. The cancer diagnoses was not good. My aunt soon started treatment, but it took a toll on her and with no one at home to help her, it became obvious to her immediate family that she could no longer care for herself. It wasn’t long before she ended up in hospital.

My aunt was admitted to the Henderson General Hospital now the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. As time went by, it became obvious that my aunt was not getting better. On one of my visits to see her, my grandmother, and uncle were already there when I entered the room. I knew things were not right, my grandmother, as gently as she could, told me, my aunt, her sister had had a stroke, and lost her ability to speak and eat.

I continued with my daily visits, but her condition worsened. She had difficulties swallowing, so I would give her mouth moisture using one of the sponges meant for brushing teeth. Then one day, I noticed her i.v. was gone, her children along with doctors had decided a course of action. It was a course that many of us did not approve of, the i.v. was back but was not doing anything, it was there for appearances only. My aunt was soon moved to a room by herself, it seemed some thought she would only last a few days without nourishment. That didn’t happen, and she was moved back to a ward. It took over a week for my great aunt to die.

Now I cannot say whether or not my great aunt would have chosen assisted suicide, but it should be a choice. It’s time for our government to talk about it. What do you think?

The importance of having a Will

When my uncle past away a number of years ago, he had a Will, but what a Will doesn’t usually take into consideration is the stuff in the house, photo albums, furniture, kitchenware’s, tools, jewellery, knickknacks, etc. After my uncles’ death, the big items, furniture, televisions, etc were actually divided up quite easily. The problems arose when one half of the family (my side), who lived out-of-town were not given ample time to pick up the items and things were given away without our final agreement.

I had sent my husband to pick up the items left to us since I was ill at the time, plus he was able to disassemble my uncle’s bed and load it into our van (I would have been useless). When my husband arrived (after working an eight-hour shift, he found a huge mess, pictures taken out of photo albums and thrown on the floor, contents of cupboards just tossed here and there. He put as much as he could in our van, thinking he still had another day, but even before he arrived home, I found out that the rest of the contents of the house were being picked up the next day by strangers. I made a phone call to the person who was responsible for giving the contents away and was reassured the contents would still be there another day.

My husband, again went back the next day after work, only to find little in the house, it had been emptied. The not very expensive but personal items I had made for my uncle and grandmother (she had past away less than a year earlier) were gone. He had made a two-hour trip for nothing and I was in tears.

In a very short number of years, I have lost my great-aunt, two grandmothers, uncle, both my parents, and a very young sister-in-law. My husband has also lost in the same time period, his mother, and just recently his brother. So suffice to say, we have this “Will” thing pretty much down pat. Not long after we had our first child we wrote our first Will, and since then have updated it after each child, and then every three or four years. We have had lengthy discussions with our children about the division of property. For example, our life insurance will go towards paying for our cremation, a wake (neither of us are having a funeral, just a party), bills and if there is any money leftover it will be divided amongst the three of them. Likewise, if one of our kids wants our house, then the other two will have their portion purchased. As for the contents, all will be divided equally and fairly.

Our kids have seen the problems which have arisen when money/things are not shared equally, so I can confidently say, they will share because they want to avoid tears, as each of them as said, enough tears are shed when a person dies, causing more because of financial gain/material items is just not worth more tears.

Do you have a will? Have you talked to your kids about the division of money/items?