Barb’s Buzz – The Loss of a Dear Family Member

My husband’s mother passed away recently. Pat lived at Linden Grove Nursing home, located in Waukesha, Wisconsin for eleven and a half years.  The funeral took place in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  She was born and raised in Saint Paul, so that was where she requested to be buried.  Pat passed away on June 27th.  We drove to Minnesota on Thursday, July 6th and the funeral was the next day.  We had a get together with family at Dan’s cousin’s Tammy’s house on Friday night.

Pat was 94 years old. The family always called her Grandma Pat or Mor Mor, which in Swedish means Great-Grandmother.  Pat was always very proud of her Swedish heritage.  She was a widow when I met her.  Pat had chronic back problems, so I introduced her to my family’s doctor.  After a few visits, the two of them became friends.  She also lived with manic depression, which was difficult for her children growing up.  I always knew that she liked me and enjoyed our visits.  I always felt that she was happy to see me.  When I told her that I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she sympathized, but never made me feel like I was different.  She was always welcoming to me and would say, “Oh Barbara, so good to see you.”  She was also very fashion conscious and would inquire, “Oh Barbara.  Is that a new dress?”  I always had a good relationship with her.  I will miss her.

2911_Alzheimers-1005 Barb Johnson small

Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early-stage Alzheimer's disease