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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Another Good Day

This morning Mom woke up and complained of being tired and wanted to go back to sleep. I made her breakfast, but she didn’t eat much. Her appetite is less and less these days. After breakfast we went into the living room and she looked through a few magazines that my friend Betsy sent to us. She loved looking at the old pictures. I read her a few of the stories and she decided she wanted to color a picture. Before Alzheimer's, you'd only find Mom coloring when my daughters were young, but she sat for about two hours coloring while I ran back and forth doing the laundry and checking on her.

It was such a beautiful day today I couldn’t resist talking Mom into sitting on the porch for a while.

Mom enjoyed sitting outside talking in the fresh air and warm breeze. Her dog and cat stayed close beside her feet. The cat is an outside cat, but always comes around for attention when we come outside. Mostly he comes to the porch when he sees us because he thinks he’s going to get fed. When he sniffed his empty bowl and flopped down on the porch by Mom’s feet, he looked a bit disappointed, but his ears perked up when Mom reached to pet him.

Angel, Tim, and Katie came over again today and visited for about an hour. They sat outside with us and told us about the houses they visited and decided to make an offer on one of them.
Katie was as cute as ever playing with her Elmo doll and walking over to pet Mom’s dog and giggling when he licked her hand.

Mom ate a fairly good dinner tonight. It was the most she’d eaten all weekend. Katie loved the roasted chicken, stuffing, baked sweet potato, and broccoli.

After the kids left, Mom said it was time for her to go to bed. She said she was “full and tired” so we went through our bedtime routine and by the time she was dressed for bed she was exhausted. She said she was looking forward to going back to “club” tomorrow. Club is what she calls the adult day care. Mom’s never been an early riser, but she never seems to complain when it’s time to get up for club. She enjoys the activities they have there. I’m so happy that she thinks of it as a senior club and doesn’t realize it’s a day care for the elderly. On days she’s at day care, when I’m not running errands, grocery shopping, or cleaning the houses, it’s the only time I’m able to get any restful sleep or relaxation. Both Mom and I benefit from this respite care.

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Blogger Lori1955 said...

I'm glad you had such a good day. The pictures are great.

10/22/2007 12:16 AM  
Blogger stay4real said...

Hi mom! That is a good group of pictures! Grammy does look like she's losing some weight too, especially in her face. Tag doesn't though! That cat looks as big as peanut in the 1st picture.

10/23/2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Glad you liked the pictures, Lori. Hope you're doing well.

Hi Stacey! Yes, Mom is losing weight slowly. Losing weight and lack of appetite is all part of Alzheimer's. :( You're right, though, the cat is almost as big as the dog. :)

10/24/2007 7:52 AM  
Blogger nancy said...

i love the pictures as well. i'm glad everyone had a good day.

russ used to go to "work." he enjoyed it and it was a relief for me as well.

hang in there. you are doing a wonderful job!

10/26/2007 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne,
I spent 15 years caring for my mom, the last three in my home,and I'm also a writer who put her career on hold during those last years and simply wrote "our" story. I wrote every day (this was a couple of years before blogging became the thing to do). So I totally understand your situation both as a woman and a writer.

My book, Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir was published in April, (available on Amazon and in most bookstores).

I'm now so glad I took the time to write, observe, reflect and connect the caregiving experience.

Keep writing--it's good for the soul.

~Carol D. O'Dell

10/26/2007 3:48 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Thank you so much for reading. It's a pleasure to meet you. I went to your website and listened to the radio interview about your book, then went straight to Amazon and ordered it. Can't wait to read about your journey.

My sympathies to you on the loss of your mother and my congratulations to you on the publication of your book.

I know I'll have no regrets when my caregiving days have ended. Yes, writing is good for the soul, and it's also a wonderful way to record our time on this earth.

10/26/2007 6:11 PM