Preserving Her Wishes

I have learned the difficult lesson in being humble and asking for help when I need it by the gentle encouragement of many special people in my life.  So, here goes.

My mother and I have been buddies my whole life.  She spent all of my living years working numerous jobs, endlessly helping others (especially the elderly and children), anyone in need and always with a smile.  Sometimes I wondered if she had a limit to giving, but it didn't seem so, she glowed from it.  A simple woman with a great sense of humor displaying countless acts of generosity.

What little she did have, she saved and tried her hardest to make her wishes known.  "Even if it's a nickle, save " was one of her many mantras.  That and "always keep your things separate, even if you are married...you never know." She trusted few and kept her cards close.

Sadly, she forgot her own advice more and more as the Alzheimer's set in.  I found out her prognosis a few years later...I wish I knew earlier.  It felt like I lost precious time with her and the events older children have the opportunity to share with their parents were slowly fading from my reach.  I was barely established enough to be able to take her on a mother-daughter trip.

For the last 7 months, and counting, I flew back and forth between states to beg the legal system to leave her wishes as they were writ, and with each visit, they shaved more and more away for the sake of her spouse's interests rather than her own.  I had defended myself for months because I couldn't afford representation, but caved in the more complicated the case became and the more injustice seemed to come to the surface.  Now, because the costs are too high and the case continues, I will likely have to return to act without an attorney.  It's a shame that her spouse has brought this against me (essentially against her). He has not respected her wishes for her to be in my care because it threatened his interest. He has coerced her into things she would normally not have done, including push me away. Meanwhile, she is stuck in the middle: confused, stressed, and her assets are draining and being removed without her knowing.

The stress overwhlemed me beyond my awareness, and, in the midst of this battle, I had two strokes (and doctors still don't know why). I am still recovering with little direction.

I have heard nightmare stories of people who are abused in unseen ways due to domestic violence and a legal system that denies it is happening.  I have heard nightmare stories of spending years in legal battles over nothing but money. I have heard of the horrible ways people with dementia get taken advantage of.

And now, we are living that nightmare.

At this point, all I can do is move back to where she is, try to at least be closer to her, remind her of what she knows, and of our connection. I am letting go of my work and my home, in trust the powers of a mother's love.

So, please support my efforts to make a difficult transition cross- country and continue to pay legal costs accured to fight this legal battle to have my mother's wishes be maintained. Any amount, even $5 will be graciously appreciated through this modality or email.  I am trying to reach as much as I can by July 1, 2014.  Please pass this along to others who might be inspired to contribute.

With love,
Claudelle
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Organizer

Claudelle RG 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
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