Posted by: tgonzales | September 19, 2014

Update on Mom Labor Day Weekend 2014


On Saturday I taught a class in the morning and arrived at Mom’s to relieve Jennifer. I greeted Mom as I always do with a kiss and asked her how she was doing.


She said she was fine and told me that she was glad that I finally visited. She said that there had been several ladies there with her that day but didn’t know who they were. They even had brought her apples. Of course Jennifer was sitting right there and I knew that Angie had been there as well. (she didn’t know either one of her granddaughters) I decided I would ask the question that I had been dreading to ask; to see if she knew me.


I said, “Mom who am I?” She said “Ruby Lee!” I smiled and said, “Ok! I will be Ruby Lee today.” She said, “WELL! Do you want me to call you Jew?” First of all I have to tell you that my Mom and her sisters all have nicknames that they went and go by. Mom is Toots, her older sister Ruby Lee was Jew (to me she was Aunt Bea), and her little sister Martha is Smart.


 You know I had thought long and hard about how I would feel on the day that Mom would not know me. I thought maybe it would be a lot easier to be with her if she didn’t know me. I think I have changed my mind about that. (she sure looks good doesn’t she?)


Memories of my Mom teaching me not to lie came flooding over me that day and the next. I remember her saying that one lie leads to another one and another one and so on and so on. She said it was like digging a hole that you could never get out of. Even though I remembered this, I decided to play along with the game of me being Aunt Bea.


As my Mom started asking me questions about if I still lived in my own home and how she loved my car. I told her that I did not live in my own home that my kids had put me in a nursing home. Mom couldn’t believe that no one had told her and then she asked, “WELL if you live in a nursing home how can you still drive your car. (the hole was being dug)


She then asked me about my Aunt Bea’s best friend Betty Beebe and wondered if she was still living. Of course I didn’t have a clue whether Betty was still living so I said, “I don’t know.” Mom then asked, “How do you not know whether your best friend is dead or alive?”


My response was, “Because! I had a stroke and I have lost my mind.” (a deeper hole and I’m not seeing a way out) Again, Mom said that no one had told her that I (Aunt Bea) had a stroke. But she said that she understood about the losing your mind thing.


These types of conversations continued all throughout the long Holiday weekend. One time I asked her, “Mom who am I married to?” and she said, “JOHN GONE-ZALES! It is so strange how the Alzheimer’s affects the brain and she is still able to remember my husband and Jackie’s but doesn’t quite understand how they fit into the picture with us; because in her mind we are not her daughters. Jackie is her cousin Eleanor and I am her older sister Ruby Lee. And she points that out to everyone who comes to visit; that I am older than she is by 5 years. Aunt Bea was 5 years older than Mom. 




I had a great long weekend with Mom and was able to complete quite a few crocheted items to add to my Kansas Barn Sale stash. I only have two more Saturdays before October 4th and every spare minute I have I am crocheting hats, scarves, and fingerless mitts for it. 












Anyway Mom continues to be monitored daily and she seems to be content with the things that she is still able to do; like preparing breakfast, peeling apples, cutting vegetables, holding a needle in her fingers, sweeping with a broom, sitting at the sewing machine and sometimes able to make a seam.






We will continue to encourage Mom to do as many things as she feels comfortable doing and as long as she is safe and happy we are all happy. Mom still enjoys small groups of people and short visits so if you would like to visit please contact Jackie or me. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!



  1. O Tammy this brings back some memories of life with my Mom after her stroke. My heart goes out to all of you kids. I wonder what her conversation would be like if my Mom did walk in the room? I also wonder what it will be like when they do meet up again. Just thoughts. Love the pictures of Tom and Terrys grandchildren. They are sure growing up fast. Your mom still looks very good and I’m very thankful for that. Also thank you for the updates, I do appreciate that. Love you all very much.

    • Thanks so much Sue for always being here to comment. If I have to be forgotten and remembered as someone else I am glad she chose my Aunt Bea for me to become. I loved your Mom so much and am honored to now be her to my Mom. I know how much Mom misses her Jew! Love you too!

  2. Big hugs and prayers to you and yours!

    • Thank you Tammy!

  3. I think you and your family are handling an extremely difficult circumstance with much dignity and grace. My heart goes out to to you all. Your pictures are fabulous of all the projects you’ve been working on and of your wonderful family. Your mom is one beautiful woman. She is very lucky to have all of you!

    • Thanks so much Jeanne for the kind words. Thank goodness Mom is very appreciative of most of the things that we have done for her. 😉 Have a great weekend my friend! Hugs, Tamara

  4. Oh Tamara, how my heart goes out to all of you. So extremely sad when your mom does not know who you are (even tho you called her “Mom”). 😦
    God bless all of you for taking such good care of her. It is good that she still enjoys life, in spite of all this.

    I enjoyed all the photos of your mom & other relatives .. and of course your crochet art!! 🙂

    Love & prayers ~

    • Hi Kat! Thank you as always for being here and for all the kind words. It really helps me continue on. Hope you have a wonderful day. Love and Hugs, Tamara

  5. xoxoxoxoxo and prayers to you all…….this brings back memories…..

    • Thanks so much Diane! Hugs, Tamara

  6. Your mom really does look fantastic 🙂 Good luck with all the crocheting – everything you make is beautiful ❤

    • Oh Jill I love that Mom still looks so good. I hope I look that good if I make it to 83. We are very fortunate that she has her health. Thanks so much for loving the things that I make. Have a great day my friend! Love you, Tamara

  7. Hi, Sorry to hear about your mom and her not knowing you. Maybe you should have said who you were. The hat and pants are really cute, and lots of stocking caps, you have been busy. I’m crocheting like mad, trying to get ready for the granddaughter’s school’s yearly craft fair. Parents, etc send in handmade items and they sell them (nothing over $3) to the kids for gifts for their families for Christmas, then the proceeds are used to buy things for the school for the kids to use-they got 2 computers last year

    • Hi Mary! I wanted to let you know that I did tell my Mom who I was several times, plus I kept calling her Mom. My husband, brother-in-law, brother, and nephew tried to tell her also. But when Mom gets that determined look on her face (a little angry) I just backed off and pretended I was her sister.

      That is so cool what you are doing for your granddaughter’s school craft fair. I bet they have a great time.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. 🙂

      • Ok, yes probably better than to get her upset, it makes it so hard. Before my mom passed, she would do thing that made no sense and there was no talking to her, she wouldn’t listen. At least you have your family there to help, I was an only child, so there was just me. A couple of my friends tried to help, but after an hour or so they were gone. The fair went over well last year, besides the kids getting presents for their families, they earned enough to get 2 computers for the school for the kids to use-we’re going for 3 this year, lol. I found an easy granny st slipper pattern, I made an an adult pair for men etserday in about an hour and the pattern covers all the way down to newborn, so hoping to get a doz or so done for it as well. Have a great days

        Hugs, Mary

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