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Author Topic: For my moter and wife  (Read 1417 times) Average Rating: 0
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Heorhij
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« on: October 16, 2011, 04:22:51 PM »

Dear folks,

May I ask for your holy prayers for my mother, Lyudmila, and for my wife, Lesya. Yesterday, we received a message from our friend, who lives in Kyiv, Ukraine, where my 81-y.o. mother also lives. The friend told us that my mom's health shows signs of decline, that my mom sometimes creates the impression of being insane. Lesya took this message so close to heart that she is beyond herself all the time.

We could have moved my mom to the USA, to live with us (because we are already the US citizens, since last year's June), but my mom vehemently refuses each time I raise this possibility to her in our phone conversations.

We don't really know what to do. My mom has a number of people who visit her, and she also has one woman who does chores for her, for money. But my mom does not really like anyone and she does not trust anyone, and she keeps complaining all the time, saying that she just has this "ill fate," etc. Lesya is afraid that people in Kyiv are already talking, saying that we abandoned this old woman, and blaming us for everything that happens to her.

She has a very handsome pension from the Ukrainian government, and we regularly send her money, so, in a mere material sense, she is not lacking anything. We visit her at least once in two years, staying with her for 3-4 weeks, but that does not seem to satisfy her.  

I would be most thankful for your holy prayers. Any advice will be appreciated, too - if not on this Prayer forum, then maybe in private messages.

Thank you all so much.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 04:24:33 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 04:29:30 PM »


May the Lord have mercy on His handmaiden Lyudmila.

Don't listen to people's wagging tongues....they always wag for some reason.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 04:32:19 PM »

George, praying for you and this situation.

From my limited experience of watching others and my volunteer work at hospice, you may be forced to make a decision for your mom against her will.   Honestly, it would be best to do something sooner, rather than later.  If she is showing signs of decline now it will only get worse and also harder to move her (much more unsettling and difficult for her).  It will be much harder to "watch" her from a distance..because you can't ever be sure of the care she is getting.

Just my humble 2cents.
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 04:33:15 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 06:11:27 PM »

Lord, have mercy. A very hard situation, George. I feel for you and Lesya.
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 07:47:08 PM »

I pray for you and your family Heorhij.  I have no opinion as to what should be done in this situation, although I have had a similar experience. My mother had Alzheimer's so we moved my father and mother into a house within two minutes walking distance from my brother in another state and only a few minutes drive from an OCA parish. Despite this, and the fact that my father grew up in this state in which only the Metropolia existed, it became clear they would be happier spending their last days in the church that they helped found with their ever diminishing number of friends, but in a parish that knew them and loved them and cared about them. I love this parish as well and will not separate myself from it even though I only visit once or twice a year and I too want to move back.  This probably is not particularly relevant, but I just wanted to point out that familiarity, comfort and old friends can be as important as immediate family.
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 08:13:01 PM »

Lord have Mercy.
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 12:31:23 AM »

Lord, have mercy!
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 08:07:57 AM »

Lord, have mercy on Lyudmila, Heorhij, and Lesya!

I think the advice given is pretty much accurate, even though it is hard. Pay no attention to what ohter people 'may be saying..'; such people will talk about you anyway since they are likely jealous of all that you and Lesya have done. They'd still be talking about you, but just with a different topic.

What do your other friends in Ukraine who know your mother say? Are they also noting the same pattern of decline and behavior?

Can your mother travel to see you? What is involved for such a trip?
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 08:19:15 AM »

Many thanks to all of you for your holy prayers!

Father, yes, there are a few other people who are in touch with my mom and with Lesya and me. They did not notice a "pattern," but they did notice a few episodes when my mom acted strange, especially last winter when she was hospitalized because of pneumonia. For example, she told them "in secret" that in the room of the hospital next to her room, there were hundreds of people lying on the floor, unconscious (in fact, there was no one in that room, only some pieces of equipment). She also took a lamppost she saw out the window as a human person.

Travel is something my mom cannot do by herself. Even when she was relatively young and healthy, she always had my father arrange and take care of everything travel-related, because she could never handle checking plane schedules, finding gates, etc. Also, the paperwork related to her trip - visa, etc. - would be way too difficult for her to handle.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 08:19:52 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 10:57:54 AM »

Lord, have mercy!
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 11:08:06 AM »

This is just a thought, and please forgive me if sounds out of line. But have you thought about going over there and basically telling her that you are bringing her back here so that you can take care of her? Sort of not really give her a choice in the matter? Of course, if she physically resists, then you have to respect her free will. But maybe she would give in and decide to come back here with you. Then you could take care of her. Of course, if you and your wife both agree that this is acceptable.

Other than that, I do agree with others who have said to ignore the gossip. Love your mother the best that you can, and pray for her- as you have surely already been doing.


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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 11:52:35 AM »

Thank you, Gebre.

Yes, I have mentioned to her that Lesya and I are ready to have her live with us. But it is not possible for me to come to Ukraine and return to the USA with my mom. She is not a US citizen. She will not be admitted to the US unless she has some visa. And to get a visa, she must come to the US embassy in Kyiv for an interview - something that she will never do. When my dad was alive, it was a different matter. He took her with him everywhere. They visited us three times, having tourist visas.

Also, I am really not sure whether things won't get WORSE for her if she moves in with us. She has a very poor command of English. And she is SO used to being an "important person." All her friends, acquaintances, everyone who calls her on the phone or visits her in her apartment view her as a professor, an intellectual, someone clever, insightful, knowledgeable. If she does not have visitors, she talks on the phone or on Skype virtually all the time, always "teaching" or "lecturing" someone. In the US, she will lose much of her "audience," and she won't be happy about that at all.

Besides, for elderly people, any dramatic change of their dwelling place might precipitate many problems. We have already observed it in the case of Lesya's mother. She started to show signs of dementia in 2008, and her other daughter, Lesya's sister Myroslava, took her from her old apartment to Myroslava's own place. After that, the poor old woman just spiraled down rapidly; in a month or so, she lost all the mind she still had.

I'll certainly pray, and thank you so much for your prayers and advice.
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 12:03:54 PM »

Thank you, Gebre.

Yes, I have mentioned to her that Lesya and I are ready to have her live with us. But it is not possible for me to come to Ukraine and return to the USA with my mom. She is not a US citizen. She will not be admitted to the US unless she has some visa. And to get a visa, she must come to the US embassy in Kyiv for an interview - something that she will never do. When my dad was alive, it was a different matter. He took her with him everywhere. They visited us three times, having tourist visas.

Also, I am really not sure whether things won't get WORSE for her if she moves in with us. She has a very poor command of English. And she is SO used to being an "important person." All her friends, acquaintances, everyone who calls her on the phone or visits her in her apartment view her as a professor, an intellectual, someone clever, insightful, knowledgeable. If she does not have visitors, she talks on the phone or on Skype virtually all the time, always "teaching" or "lecturing" someone. In the US, she will lose much of her "audience," and she won't be happy about that at all.

Besides, for elderly people, any dramatic change of their dwelling place might precipitate many problems. We have already observed it in the case of Lesya's mother. She started to show signs of dementia in 2008, and her other daughter, Lesya's sister Myroslava, took her from her old apartment to Myroslava's own place. After that, the poor old woman just spiraled down rapidly; in a month or so, she lost all the mind she still had.

I'll certainly pray, and thank you so much for your prayers and advice.


I understand. It must be very difficult for all of you. My prayers.


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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 12:05:02 PM »

Thank you, Gebre.

Yes, I have mentioned to her that Lesya and I are ready to have her live with us. But it is not possible for me to come to Ukraine and return to the USA with my mom. She is not a US citizen. She will not be admitted to the US unless she has some visa. And to get a visa, she must come to the US embassy in Kyiv for an interview - something that she will never do. When my dad was alive, it was a different matter. He took her with him everywhere. They visited us three times, having tourist visas.

Also, I am really not sure whether things won't get WORSE for her if she moves in with us. She has a very poor command of English. And she is SO used to being an "important person." All her friends, acquaintances, everyone who calls her on the phone or visits her in her apartment view her as a professor, an intellectual, someone clever, insightful, knowledgeable. If she does not have visitors, she talks on the phone or on Skype virtually all the time, always "teaching" or "lecturing" someone. In the US, she will lose much of her "audience," and she won't be happy about that at all.

Besides, for elderly people, any dramatic change of their dwelling place might precipitate many problems. We have already observed it in the case of Lesya's mother. She started to show signs of dementia in 2008, and her other daughter, Lesya's sister Myroslava, took her from her old apartment to Myroslava's own place. After that, the poor old woman just spiraled down rapidly; in a month or so, she lost all the mind she still had.

I'll certainly pray, and thank you so much for your prayers and advice.

Sounds a lot like my grandmother.  See if you can take some time off to visit her.  I think that's very important.
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2011, 12:12:40 PM »

Hospodi pomiluj!

I am under the impression that she has lived all her life in Kiev, or at least Ukraine.  As long as you have someone who can check in from time to time (meaning mutual friends, family friends etc.), it might be better to let her live out her days there.

Short of a seismic event moving Mississippi next to Ukraine, there is no solution which is going to solve all problems.  That's not your fault.  Don't let people make you think otherwise.

I'm just assuming that familiarity is the reason why she will not leave. Has she ever verbalized why she will not?  If she hasn't, try to get her to do so. If nothing else, you and your wife will feel better about whatever decision you make, because you will know what you are dealing with.  Has she ever visited you in MS?  If that is possible, it is advisable, at least once.  She can always go back.  It will (or should) silence wagging tonguges.  You might, as you already seem to know, have to do the paperwork etc. for her (I had to do the same for my then inlaws).
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2011, 08:21:13 PM »

I am unsure what exact advice to give you (sorry Sad), but I shall keep your family in my prayers.

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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2011, 08:50:14 AM »

Hospodi pomiluj!
I am under the impression that she has lived all her life in Kiev, or at least Ukraine.

Yes. She only traveled by herself once to Czechoslovakia in the 1970's, for a science meeting. She visited us in the USA three times (all three times in Seattle, 1991, 1993 and 1995), but her husband actually did everything necessary for the travel.

As long as you have someone who can check in from time to time (meaning mutual friends, family friends etc.), it might be better to let her live out her days there.

Yes, I agree. She has a lot of company, actually. Several former co-workers (all younger than her, and still treating her as a "mentor"), and a number of her peers (one couple living in a building next door, down the street). The problem is, however, that she seems to have lost her former affection and even trust. She does not act happy when people visit her, complains that they all only bother her, eat too much, etc. It's such a sharp contrast with how she was just a few years ago.

Short of a seismic event moving Mississippi next to Ukraine, there is no solution which is going to solve all problems.  That's not your fault.  Don't let people make you think otherwise.

I'm just assuming that familiarity is the reason why she will not leave. Has she ever verbalized why she will not?  If she hasn't, try to get her to do so. If nothing else, you and your wife will feel better about whatever decision you make, because you will know what you are dealing with.

Right. That's a good advice, I think we should do it. So far, we played a kind of "game": we tell her that we are ready to have her with us, and she replies that "oh, no, how could you even think that I could ever leave my Kyiv, my friends, my apartment..."  

Has she ever visited you in MS?  If that is possible, it is advisable, at least once.  She can always go back.  It will (or should) silence wagging tonguges.  You might, as you already seem to know, have to do the paperwork etc. for her (I had to do the same for my then inlaws).

No, she has not; my father died in 1996, and I got my Mississippi faculty appointment in 1998. We never did anything to arrange her visit, because we know that she cannot travel, she is helpless, like a baby. My mom has great erudition and great skills in expressing her opinions about matters of her profession and about life in general - but when it comes to practical details, petty logistics, - she is unable to handle it, never was. I am afraid she could visit us only if someone flies with her, walks her through airports, passport control, security checks, boarding, etc. But then, maybe it is possible to arrange some sort of help. After all, sometimes even children travel, and there are some services available to assist them. I'll think about it. Thank you, Isa.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 08:54:22 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2011, 09:30:15 AM »

I am unsure what exact advice to give you (sorry Sad), but I shall keep your family in my prayers.

And that's already  lot. Thank you so much. Thank you all, dear OCnetters.
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