(REAL-TIME ENTRY)

My eyes are blurry with exhaustion as I type this.  As soon as I’m done, I’m heading to bed to pass out (at 5pm!).  WHAT a whirlwind 24 hours we’ve had!

First off, in order to give my mom some much-needed time and space for unplugging from the constant madness swirling around her, I sent her and Mary (one of her high school best friends who flew up from Florida to support us for a whole week) on a local 24-hour hotel/spa package getaway.  I hooked them up with top-of-the-line service and amenities and prayed that she’d be able to decompress some before Christmas hits next week and then we admit my dad into Sunrise Assisted Living the next week.

However, shortly after their arrival at the hotel as they were just beginning to settle in, the detective investigating our in-home robbery called my mom with the news that the two male punks who worked for us were now both in jail!  (Here she goes again getting sucked back into the harsh realities of her life…)  Following a lead that one of them had sold a huge batch of jewelry to a local pawn shop last month, the detective arrived at the pawn shop to interview the owner – and IN walked one of the guys with more jewelry to pawn!!!  BUSTED!  His roommate was sleeping in the car outside and they both were led away in cuffs!

The upsetting news (besides confirming that these boys had smiled and hugged us daily all the while robbing us under our noses!) was that ALL of our family jewelry was melted down!  The pawn shop owner waited the legal wait period of a mere nine days, then popped out the stones and melted down every last love token of my parents from their 50 years together.

To add insult to injury, the boys got barely ANYTHING for the exchange!  Honest to God, had they just ASKED us for money, I’m sure we would have given them more than that just from the good of our heart!  But, instead, they chose to do THIS TO US???  It makes you want to vomit.

Refusing to leave it there and wanting to warn other families about the potential pitfalls of allowing hired help into your home, I called WDIV (the Detroit NBC affiliate where I used to work as Associate Director) and offered them exclusive coverage of the story – and they said we’d be the lead story at six o’clock!  With my mom in a massage and unreachable, I raced and managed to get the news crew in my parents’ home to tape my interview and meet my father, all before she arrived back home!

(­Click here to watch the WDIV coverage of our story.  NOTE: then scroll down below the video screen, click on the box that reads “Search All Videos” and type Alzheimers, then change “Today” in the next box to “Last 30 Days”, and click on the photo of my parents with the caption “2 Men Accused Of Robbing Alzheimer’s Patient”)

The moment she walked through the door, I told her not to take her coat off – we had to go the police station right away to try to identify more jewelry and they were about to pounce upon the boys’ apartment.  So, with massage oil still in her hair, she and I raced off to the station while she tried to digest that we were going to be on the news in a few hours.  None of the seized jewelry was ours.  My mother requested a silent glare at the two boys behind bars but couldn’t be granted her wish.

Then we raced to Dad’s doctor’s appointment so that his chest X-ray and medical paperwork could get filled out in time for him to enter Sunrise on January 1!  I insisted the doctor also write a few prescriptions for my poor mother who is having the absolute worst week of her entire life and is hanging on by a thread with everything she’s got. 

Thank God for wine.  It really does help the world go ‘round some days.

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**Click to WATCH this LOCAL NEWS STORY!!**

 

 

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I have been posting my story retroactively and linearly, starting with my dad’s initial diagnosis on April 10, 2007.  Staring today, I am shifting the story’s angle to present day.  Going forward, I will designate a REAL-TIME, CURRENT DAY BLOG by italicizing the entry.  This will enable me to update you in real-time about what’s going on in my life (like a true blog), while still allowing me to fill you in intermittently on the past background of the story.

Here goes…

(REAL-TIME ENTRY)

Yesterday morning I received the most harrowing phone call from my mother.  From her voice, I could tell that either someone had died or she was finally having the long-awaited breakdown.

MY PARENTS HAVE BEEN ROBBED AND ALMOST ALL OF OUR FAMILY JEWELRY HEIRLOOMS ARE GONE!!!  My father’s wedding ring, his engraved pocket watch, his $20-gold-coin-and-diamond money clip – all items left to us kids in their Will – GONE!!  Countless rings and bracelets, necklaces and earrings of my mother – GONE!!  Fifty years worth of gifts signifying the love between them have been grotesquely ripped from our lives!

The most harrowing part of the story is that the police investigation is focusing on the 4 in-home care workers who have been helping us take care of my dad over the past number of months; people who have been entrusted with a security entry code and endless hours alone in our home.  One of these people had enough time to locate a hidden safe and learn to crack the code!  One of these seemingly-caring people entered our home under the guise of helping us care for my ailing father and they STOLE from us the only remaining precious items we’re about to have left of him!!

How COULD someone?!!!!  My poor mother had a breakdown yesterday.  I’ve never seen her so distressed nor cry so hard.  She said she can’t do this anymore.  She’s at the end of her rope.  She’s desperately trying to hold on, but it’s fraying.

Here she is being the most courageous and loving person, caring for my dad 24/7 (all while her heart slowly breaks into a million pieces!), finally trusting someone enough to let them in to help share the burden of care giving, finally getting some much-needed sleep, and they do THIS to her?!!!?

After a long, emotional and exhausting day, the bottom line from yesterday is that a crime report has been filed and the in-home care companies have been fired.  Which brings us back to square one: No support system is in place to help us with Dad!

Together Mom and I made the heartbreaking and anguishing decision yesterday afternoon to finally place Dad in a nursing home.  I called Sunrise Assisted Living and committed to a room for Dad beginning January 1st.  When I hung up the phone, I thought I was going to throw up in my lap.  I’m still crying as I type this. This means we have just 3 weeks and 1 day left of our life with Dad at home. 

The fact that someone took advantage of my parents while they are suffering and in such need and distress is severely disheartening, to say the least.  It makes you sick to your stomach.  It almost makes you disappointed in humanity. 

But then my brother and I sent out an emailed cry for help and support last night to our family and family friends – and the outpouring today has been enormous!  It’s these gestures that snap you back and remind you of how much goodness there is in the world.  Thank God we have THESE people surrounding us in our life, helping us to our (proverbial and emotional) finish line.  Because, as Mom and I have learned, we cannot do this alone.