These are the quilts

the quilt

I counted 16 clocks in my parents’ house, but only a handful of them showed the correct time. One was 40 minutes fast, another was 20 minutes behind. It was too confusing, so I check my iPhone and set all the clocks to the same time.

It’s been ten years since my mom first started to show signs of dementia. Now she requires constant care. There are other signs of it around the house. The sign on the back door reminding her to close the door. The “please don’t call 911″ note by the phone after she called a couple times with no reason.

My mom wants to show me something in the guest room. It was my room as a teenager, but after I moved out, my mother repainted it in a safe neutral shade of misty taupe.

She motions for me to look in the bedroom with her, but once there, she can’t remember why. She stands there and looks around, then abruptly turns around and leaves. She repeats this a few more times.

Later in the morning I help her sit down to eat the popcorn snack I made for her. While she eats I clean out the pantry shelves since it’s been a long time since someone was able to do that job.

She gets up by herself and goes to look again in the guest bedroom. This time she remembers. Unable to speak (she lost her ability to speak a few years ago) she struggles to type me a message on the iPad. “These are.” But it doesn’t look right to her, so she tries again.

“These are.” Backspace. Backspace.

I sit down and lean my head back in the rocking chair and wait for her to finish.

“These are the quilts.” Finally she is able to finish it: “These are the quilts my grandmother made.” And she motions for me to have one.

the quilt detail

I pull the quilts out from under the bed and untie the strips of muslin. I find one that I last looked at twenty-five years ago with small squares of vintage fabric in a double wedding ring pattern and perfectly even stitches on a blue background. I love it. In a different season, this would be a touching moment, but right now I don’t have the emotions left to spend.

My dad provides most of my mom’s care, and when he gets back from work I get ready to leave for my hour-long drive home. The special quilt comes home with me, rolled up and placed in the front passenger seat. My youngest child sleeps in his car seat. Next to him my oldest child is telling me why Alvin and the Chipmunks is such a funny show, and it has to do with how the man is always yelling “Alviiiin!”

I don’t know what I will do with this quilt, but for now I set it aside until I can do something with it later.

That’s what I’ve been doing with this blog, this treasured belonging of mine, trusting that it would be there later while I coped with life changes. I have half-written posts that I couldn’t finish but couldn’t explain why. I will try again, because I love this blog and it is mine. And I’m amazed that even though my life looks very different,  the theme of this blog always remains the same: making a home in a temporary place.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes, Rachel. This must be so difficult for you to go through. Praying for you. ♥
    Joy´s last post…Yellow Ball {Before Five in a Row}

  2. What a gorgeous gift. Also, it’s good to see you again. Blessings.
    Rachael´s last post…A Conversation with L

  3. Beautiful. I type this with tears. I am very sorry about your mom.

  4. Lots of tears from this one. I miss your mom so much. It is so hard when you miss someone who is still alive and breathing and right where you saw her last. She had such a huge impact on shaping who I have become. I am sorry your family is coping with this. Taking care of an ill parent is so incredibly hard. I really did not think that you or I would have to do this so soon. My mom has been with us for 5 years and things are not likely to change. My greatest peace is in knowing that this life is not the end. We have so much to look forward to in Heaven. This is just a journey and everything we go through is to rid us of self and pride and make us more like Christ and more capable of love. We are his vessels and he has a plan for us. Sometimes it is not our plan though and that is really difficult to accept and deal with. All my love and prayers are for your family at this time. My home in Houston is always open for a break for all of you. Much love always, Heather
    Heather D´s last post…Speaking of fun, Tale of a Texas Hill Country wine and friends weekend

    • Thank you so much for this. I believe I will be referring back to this many times in the coming months.

  5. Rachel, I’m so very sorry to hear about your mother. Thank you for sharing this.
    Here is a link about how adding coconut oil to your diet can help dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  6. You have your priorities straight, and we’ll be here whenever you can pop in.
    Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…For Lo, the Winter is Past…

  7. jenlarson79 says:

    I second the tears comment. I have missed you and your blog, but I knew you must be doing something important. Thank you for sharing! We’ll be here whenever you come back :)

  8. Brenda D. says:

    Thank you for the picture of your grandmothers quilt! What a precious memento handmade by her own hands. I too am caretaker of my Mother, but Thank God she can still talk and tend to her physical needs. It is a joy to be able to take care of her, but it is stressful. She too has many quilts that she made. Momma would put the top together and my Aunt would quilt it and finish it off. They had no pattern to them, just a hodgepodge of fabric put together, left over fabric from garments that she had made for family members. God Bless You and have a wonderful day.

  9. I was thinking just yesterday that I’ve missed your posts, and how it has been good for me to see your smart and practical advice. I hope you’ll continue to post again, and I hope you’re coping okay with life’s changes.

  10. Oh Rachel, thank you so much for sharing! As I was reading, I totally “got” it – or at least, the portion my heart needed to hear – and it spoke volumes of encouragement.
    Sometimes I get anxious about leaving things undone, words unwritten, but knowing that they can be kept safe for later, until there is “enough” to treasure them as I need …
    Anyway, that was kind of ramble-ey! All that to say, it’s good to see you here again. And when you come to mind I’ll be praying for you! Your posts are always a refreshing blessing <3
    Elizabeth S´s last post…lace onesie {part three}

  11. You have made the right choice, the only choice for now.
    I have been through this horrible person stealing disease with three close family members and it is physically and mentally exhausting. Try to take some time for yourself (if only 10 minutes for a warm bath) and try to let yourself off the hook when your response to a situation is not ideal. Remember you are grieving the loss of a loved one.
    We will all be praying for you and your family and sending supportive thoughts your way. Know that you are not alone.

  12. Sally Gee says:

    Thanks for sharing your story here today. Having coped with similar situations with my Father and Grandmother, and my friend now going through the same with her mother, I can understand why I have missed your posts. Good to see you here and hope the sharing helps you cope.

  13. My eyes lit up when I saw this post arrive in my inbox. And now I have tears streaming down my face. I miss you, old friend, and I wish I could just wrap you up in a big hug.

    That quilt and your words – such beauty. My heart is with you.

  14. Welcome back, friend.

    “These are the quilts your grandmother made.” I’m glad you have one now; I can only imagine how much love and feeling and emotion is bound up in those quilts.

    Thanks for sharing the sweet, sad story with us. (And we’ll be here when you get back.)
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s last post…The book isn’t better than the movie

  15. Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful gift she gave you. Not only is the quilt a beautiful treasure but the fact that she was able to give it to you is the real gift. She is such a dear woman….I miss her.

  16. Rachel, my father had ‘sundowners’ a form of dementia that blooms at at sunset. One evening I went to my parents’ house, my mom was reading in the front room and frustrated with my dad who was so slowly eating his dinner in the kitchen. (Not that was anything new…he at slowly my whole life.) So, I went in and sat with him at the table and chatted. He lived that same house his whole life. He looked out the window and mentioned how large the trees were, he didn’t understand how that happened. We talked about it for a bit. Then, I asked him if he’d like something else, his coffee warmed. And then he smiled at me and said, “You are the best waitress I’ve ever had.” I was the best waitress my father ever had. That gave me incredible joy that I blessed my father. And then I went to my bedroom and cried for a few minutes, dried my eyes, and returned to interacting with my dad. My dad is no longer among the living. But, this tender memory is a treasure.
    I’m grateful that your mom had the lucidity to gift you with a treasure and the background of it in the midst of her cloud. Somehow, the memory will become sweet, along with the quilt.
    All of this is temporary. Except for the people. We will throw the door open to you every time the bell rings, put on the kettle, and sit down for a conversation. Our visits may be far and few, but that doesn’t lessen their importance.
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day´s last post…Coastal Decor in Small Spaces

  17. My heart goes out to you Rachael. We finally had to put my 90 year old grandma into a nursing home last year because the patch work of care we were giving her just wasn’t enough. The doctors say she could still live another 10 years with this terrible, heartless illness called dementia. Both my mom and aunt are showing early signs.

    It is beyond grief to see a love one lose their sense of self. I feel like I am losing a part of myself as well. The pain is so deep some days. I wonder when I finally do get that call that says she has passed on , what emotion will I have left?

    I, too, have started and stopped things. And it has given me great pause in regards to my own life. We will be here when the time is right for you to finish those posts.

    I don’t have any answers but I can gently remind you to remember to give yourself a lot of grace. Give yourself plenty of time to grieve. Give yourself plenty of self care. Don’t feel like you have to walk this road alone — seek help if you need it!

    Prayers for both you and your family.

  18. Just like a quilt, life gets pieced together over time. Beautiful quilt and lovely storytelling!

  19. That was beautiful. And knowing how much it cost you to write it, it is like a beautiful work of art that we had the privilege of being in the room with. You are always loved here, in whatever way you want your blog to be.

  20. This was such a beautiful post to share. It’s so amazing, even where there isn’t much energy left, to notice the things that really mean something. Thinking of each of those stitches created by a woman’s hands, who probably went through some of the same joys and sorrows that we all have as mothers, as daughters. Generations ago, caring for children, caring for parents. Such amazing gifts that life brings, sometimes in the midst of the things that seem the most difficult. This was such a lovely thing for you to share with all of us. Thank you.

  21. Family is a million times more important than all of us out in the interwebz. We will be here whenever you are ready.
    BrownThumbMama´s last post…Cheesy Garlic Dressing (and a warning)

  22. What a beautiful quilt!!! It seems to me that it is a picture of a beautiful life…each stitch, each pattern sewn lovingly together…it is really all about your relationships one to another. You are a loving and beautiful daughter and you are doing a wonderful job! It is hard to function at our fullest while we are grieving what we see that we have lost, but we have a hope that is eternal, a hope that is sure. I’m in your season too…praying that the joy of the Lord would be your strength as He conforms you to His image… <3

  23. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment. My grandmother spent almost 2 years in assisted living after being diagnosed with dementia. It is such a hard thing for everyone.

  24. Beautiful words in a tough season. Much love to you from this friend/fan.

  25. beth lehman says:

    i’m so glad you shared this. heartbreaking, poignant, real. and your last line is perfect.

  26. I’m not sure I have ever commented before, but I have been a longtime follower and have been missing you. Even if you didn’t know I was here, I want to be like that quilt for you. Tuck me away, and I’ll be back when you need a reader.

  27. So touching.

  28. Thanks for sharing this. When I saw the email, I said, “Oh Small Notebook is back!” and then started reading. Ended up reading most aloud to my husband and fought back the tears. We have friends who are struggling with the same thing (first mom and now dad and now living in their home.) I am probably near your mom’s age and who knows what tomorrow brings? Well, the One who created the world and everything in it does and that is my comfort.

    I was glad to see your friend Heather’s comment. Some day the world will be right-side-up again and the ravages of sin will be no more.

    Isaiah 43:2

  29. Thank you for sharing – I, too have missed your posts. This really struck a chord with me as I worry what will become of my mother who seems to be forgetting things a lot. There is no hubby to help her, though, just us girls, scattered around the state. And none of us living in her town that is an hour and a half away. She is an avid quilter. Years from now, when I am missing her, the quilts will be my connection to her. So I am happy that they stay put, in her closets, for a while longer…

  30. I have never commented, though visit often since I discovered you a few months ago and just wanted to echo everyone’s sentiment: Tears over here. From what you have written, I can see exactly where you are and why you have not been here. Your blog is beautifully written in a concise yet poetic way and real. I’ll be here too whenver you are ready. Thanks for already having added a tremendous amount to my life.

  31. Thank you for sharing this. I completely understand being so spent with emotions that you just don’t have any left to share. There comes a point of selflessness that feels a lot like exhaustion and hopelessness. But I hope you’ll remember you aren’t alone. You have a lot of people, even strangers on the internet, who love you and are rooting for you. And like others have said, we’ll be here whenever. You can do this, and when you can’t, you can ask for help.
    Jennie´s last post…Simply Ten Good Things

  32. Kathleen Dunagan says:

    What a beautiful gift, certainly to be treasured for many years to come. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I went through the same thing with my grandma four years ago. Although your mother is no longer herself, this was definitely a glimpse of her old self and a gift from God. Much needed I imagine. Hang in there! I’ll be praying for you.

  33. Brenda Rhodes says:

    I lost my Mom on May 21st and have been going through her house. Mom had be declining in health pretty steadily for a couple of years and had started “marking” special things in the house and where they came from. I found a quilt that had never been washed or used. My maternal great grandmother had pieced the quilt and my paternal grandmother had quilted it. My Mom had left a note pinned on it telling me the history. I washed the quilt because it had some age spots on it. (my great grandmother died in the 70’s!) I pinned the note back on so my kids would know the history if something happened. These are bittersweet times in our lives! Praying for your Mom and you.

  34. I have really missed your posts. As much as I wondered where you were, I was hoping all was well. I will be praying for you. My mom is at the neurologist right now as you can see the flicker in her eyes and the frustration of her words in many of her interactions. Don’t worry, we’ll be right here where you left off. May Jesus give you and your family the peace that passes all understanding.

  35. love, peace and prayers to you and yours ~

  36. Your quilt is surely a treasure.

  37. I love your blog (thoughts, ideas, perspectives). Whether you write every day or once in a blue moon makes no difference to me. Spend your time loving on the people in your life… There will be another season for writing to resurface. Sounds like you have your priorities straight, which is the point of a simplified life, isn’t it?! =)

  38. Thank you.

  39. CynthiaJo says:

    Thank you for sharing this and so glad to hear from you. Prayers for you and your family as you weather this season.

  40. I’m so sorry for all that you are going through.
    Your words touched my heart and I write this with
    tears. Stay strong we are all praying for you and your family.

  41. I’ve been to that place – daily care of the amazing woman who raised me, with my own two wee babes needing me too. Emotionally entirely consuming but a time I look back on with greatest pride- she was there for me when I most needed her, and I was there for her when she most needed me (and when so many others turned and walked away). I send you wishes for strength. I’ll be here to listen when you’re able to share with us again.

  42. Rachel,
    Thank you. Poingantly powerful. **tears**
    May God carry you through these days and months and years…May you feel His favor shining on you!
    You are beautiful!

  43. Your post brought tears to my eyes. We will here when you are ready.

  44. Oh that is hard. You sound wrung out.

    Peace to you and your family as you wade through everything.
    Katherine´s last post…Don’t Make Big Decisions When…

  45. A beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and this beautiful yet oh-so-difficult story. I am much older than you (old enough to be your mother, I guess) and I just came from my dad’s where I spent part of every Wednesday. He is 90 and still able to live alone, but his short-term memory is not very good. It’s hard to see it happening, as you know. Your post was a blessing today and I’m thankful you were able to put this experience into words to bless others. God is already bringing something good out of a very hard thing.
    Mrs. T´s last post…Appreciating the little things

  46. Sandra Gonzales says:

    I’ve read your blog since the beginning and I remember your posts like the advice of an old friend. I just bought a french press and I searched your archives for the post on cold coffee. I’m glad I read that post back then because I’m relishing waking up to cold coffee these hot Houston mornings. I pray you stay strong. Cybers hugs going your way!!

  47. jenlarson says:

    I also have tears in my eyes reading this. I have missed you and your blog, but knew you must be doing something important! We’ll be right here whenever you are ready/able to write some more. We’ll be thinking of you and your family <3

  48. I like many others have missed your posts, but understand that your priorities are different. I’ll be here ready to read whenever you can find the time and motivation to post. No rush.

  49. I’ve read your blog for years, Rachel. This is a poignant post. We’ll be here, when you are ready to settle in again. Blessings on you and your mom and your family as you journey this path.

  50. Rachel, you are an amazing woman, mom, daughter and writer. I feel so fortunate to have found your blog a few years ago when I had my first child. It takes a lot of courage and selflessness to share this with your readers. Hopefully you can feel the support and commiseration.

    I’m not sure if you’re in the headspace for this new, but Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, is an excellent model written from the perspective of a woman with early onset Alzheimers. There is Alzheimers in my family and it gave me tremendous insight into the fears and frustrations someone with dimensia can experience.

    • I would also recommend this book, although from your description of what you are doing with and for your mom, you may already intuitively know what is in it. You are on a hard road right now. Please know how many here have shared your experience or something similar, and hopefully draw some strength from that. It must be hard for your mom, also, still being aware of her losses. Peace and comfort to all of you.

  51. I am a quilter and just lost my father three months ago. Thank you for finding the emotional and physical energy to share this slice of your life.

    would encourage you to use that quilt. Maybe not with your little ones but somehow. Quilts are meant to be used and loved. If you have a guest room, it could go on the bed or over the back of a chair or couch. Quilts are incredible treasures that were never meant to be folded away in a drawer. Make sure your children grow up with memories of that quilt. Generations of love are within it.

  52. Love never fails. Love bears all things. It is worth it. Hang on.

  53. Karen (Scotland) says:

    I felt so, so sad reading this. I have no words to give comfort and I’m so sorry about that.
    Save your energy for those that need it (including yourself) and come back to your readers when you’re ready.
    I hope your faith is giving you the strength you need.
    Karen (Scotland)

  54. As happy as I was to see a post from you in my inbox, my heart breaks reading what you are going through. The quilt is beautiful and what a precious memory to be given from your mom. My grandma has early dementia and I can’t imagine the pain of seeing your own mom that far progressed in such an awful illness.
    Anytime you want to pop in and post a blog we will happily receive it. In the meantime, may the Lord strengthen you daily.

  55. Rachel, I was just recently wondering about you and missing you but I am so glad you are taking care of the most important things. May God continue to uphold you, your father, your mother and all of your family daily! Kelly

  56. Rachel –
    This was really touching to read and beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of you and wishing you peace and strength
    Meghan´s last post…Trusting in the Small Steps

  57. Just wanted to send you a cyber (hug). I am in that season of my life where some of my friends are going through this with their aging parents and I see how it tears them up inside. So even though we have never met, I just want you to know that you are not alone and I will say a prayer for you along with those I say for my dear friends who are trying to cope with this with as much grace as anyone can muster.

  58. I’ve been missing your blog posts – yours was the first blog I followed, and my favorite. I’ll be here to read whenever you post.

    I’m so so sorry about your precious mom.

  59. So good to hear from you again and your words as always are beautiful… we have a grandparent with dementia and the energy to help and engage and support is so overwhelming and I know as a family we are stronger and closer because of it… you are not alone on your journey.

  60. Thank you for sharing this Rachel. I’ve missed your posts, but now I feel like I understand the quiet as waiting with purpose. We are waiting with you as face this particular season with grace and peace. We are waiting with you as you serve and love in a long and painful goodbye. May you find strength in unexpected places, and know that your work is appreciated and valued. Thank you for all that you do.
    Amy Rogers Hays´s last post…Welcomed into a Safe Haven: Reflections on Jim and June Young

  61. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Will still be here whenever you get back to writing your beautiful and oh so practical blog.

  62. I have been missing your posts lately, and this makes sense. Our lives take us through many journeys, and sadly, dementia is one. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and though I was very young, I remember his difficulty with memories. What a beautiful gift for her to remember and give to you. I have some quilts my great grandmother made – hidden in my grandfather’s hope chest for 60 years.

  63. My prayers are with you and your family and especially your father. My father suffered from multi – infarct dementia the last 4 years of his life, Like many others , I have missed your blog and this one brought me to tears. Again, my prayers. Stay safe and treasure the quilt.

  64. I’ve missed your blog and wondered at times if I’d somehow unsubscribed… I’ll gladly wait and look forward to reading your poignant words when the time is right for you. Go in God’s grace.

  65. How beautiful, Rachel. Prayers for your family. We’ll be here to read your blog when you come back.

  66. I’ve missed your spare, insightful, and caring posts Rachel. My heart goes out to you as your family struggles with this sad, debilitating disease.

  67. I’m so sorry. My prayers and best wishes for you and yours. The quilt is very beautiful.

  68. Tears are running down my face as I read your quilted piece straight from your heart. God bless you and shine His face on you.
    Even though my Mama is gone now to her glorious home in heaven, I am forever grateful that her mind stayed strong and intact.
    I can’t imagine the pain you’re in seeing your Mom this way. I pray for you and for your Dad for strength and wisdom in these days of adversity and struggle.
    I have become the live in caregiver for my Mama’s only surviving brother who is 95+ years old. He can’t hear, is blind in one eye, very physically frail and stubborn as they come. But I am cherishing these days, as hard as they are some days.
    We have to just stay in constant contact with Jesus. Pray without ceasing, and give God the glory.
    I hope you’ll find that gorgeous quilt on your bed. Even if it’s just a throw, across the bottom of the bed…
    Be Strong in the LORD, for He has not given us a spirit of fear.
    Deborah Flowers´s last post…Bok Tower Garden

  69. I’m glad to see you back blogging again, even if it is during the hard times. I think it’s touching too that despite the difficulty in remembering what to say, your mom was able to finally tell you about the quilt.

  70. So sorry to hear about your Mom. Since the quilts were important to her, I’d like to tell you about Quilters have been making and bidding on quilts to raise money for Alzheimers. The director lost her Mom to Alzheimer’s.
    You have posted about your home, your family, your trip to Europe–it’s ok to talk about your Mom, too. There are many going through something similar, or have friends trying to cope, too. May you find blessings in the middle of all this!

  71. I’m so happy to see a post from you! I’ve been a reader since Nov 2008 and yours is the only blog I’ve stuck with for this long. I understand the need to step away for a bit and deal with family stuff. Family comes first and sometimes life gets too complicated. Having said that, I have missed your posts terribly and I hope you can start writing again, even if it’s only occasionally. I miss your inspiring words and hearing about your beautiful family.

  72. Oh, Rachel.

  73. I love your blog and your posts….it will be here for you when you are ready. I wish you and your family peace and grace.

  74. So many have said it already, but I will as well… I appreciate your insightful posts, no matter what the topic, and no matter how often or not they come. I don’t stop this late in the evening to read much at all, and rarely comment when I do, but I wanted to click over for this, for you. I am newly becoming a care partner in the circle supporting my Grandma who has developed Alzheimer’s, as well. This vast internet of people should always come second to the ones you know face to face, but there is love and support here as well. Thank you for sharing with us (but don’t feel that you must continue… as you say, we are like that quilt, and this is all temporary, all except our souls). Bless you.

  75. I’ve missed your blog and wondered what had interrupted your life. thank you for your honest, lovely story and the reminders we have of our family treasures. You and your parents have my admiration and prayers.

  76. I know this is a hard time for you and your famil, I hope that you won’t shut down and will be open and able to receive the gifts that this season in your life holds. May God bless you and your family.

  77. Thank you. I lost my Mom in October but I missed her for the last 10 years due to her dementia. She was still lovely but didn’t know who I was. This brought it all back. Hug your Mom while you can.

  78. Efi Maryeli says:

    Love your mom… we will still love you, no matter how much time you’re away. I pray for you to have all the courage, strength and stamina you need!

  79. I’m a long time reader and I was so happy to see a post from you again. As other posters have mentioned – we’ll always be here waiting for you and wishing the best for you!

    I had a recent health scare – and in those brief moments of fear – I realized again what a gift family is – there is nothing more important than them and every moment with them is a blessing.

    Sending lots of hugs your way!

  80. We are always here waiting…

  81. You are in uncharted territory and I appreciate the candor and vulnerability you shared.

  82. My heart goes out to you. It’s so important to be there for your mom right now (and for your dad also). It was wonderful to see a new post – I really love your blog, but I love all the goodness you left us in the archives also. So do what is most important now. And don’t forget to take care of yourself!

  83. Blessings to you and your family. Take care, D x

  84. Thank you for writing this blog when your time allows. You have so much wisdom to share. The quilt is beautiful. Take care and God bless you all.

  85. Oh Rachel! This really touched me. I just returned to the States from Spain and while my family was overseas my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He recently fell and had a hip replacement and right now things seem to be spinning out of control. I’m still so far away and I wish I could be there for him. Your mother’s determination for you to have a treasured quilt is what grabbed me. She kept returning to that space, sure that there is something there she needs, that you need. Hope and prayers for you and your family!

  86. Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am sorry for the difficult times you are facing and the tears flowed as I read your post. I have missed your posts and didn’t realize how much until I saw this one. We will be here. Praying for you and your family.
    Carol (Brazil)

  87. I have wondered how you and your mom are doing several times. So lovely to hear from you–keeping you all in prayer when you come to mind during this time. Thank you for sharing!
    steadymom´s last post…15 years

  88. Oh Rachel,
    Hang in there!
    And do not hesitate to adapt your blog to your life.
    We’ll stick around!

  89. Thank you for letting us know. I, too, have missed your lovely blog posts. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  90. you are amazing and you are loved.
    praying for you and your family.

  91. Your blog is my favorite, Rachael, and, although I am not sure if I commented here before, I’ve missed you. I will be here when you return to the blog.
    I am very sorry to hear about your Mom and I wish you and your family the best.

  92. Like a lot of the other ‘invisible readers’ I love your blog but haven’t posted before. Add my name to the list of people who will always be here, waiting for you. It must be pretty cool to see how many of us are still here. Blogging can be a two-way conversation. Talk to us. We’re listening.

  93. Welcome back. So glad you could stop in. Your readers will be here whenever you get around it posting, but I know that dementia is a brutal and emotionally-exhausting thing to handle. Prayers and hugs your way.

  94. I’ve missed you and wondered where you were. Now I will be thinking of you during this difficult time. Hang in there.

  95. tiffany h says:

    It was nice to read your update; I’ve missed your posts. Life brings many changes. Sorry to hear about your mom. As I grow older I find it tough to see my mom age as well. Prayers to you and your family.

  96. Rebecca T. says:

    What a touching post. Family quilts are so meaningful and special, and I believe that is why your mother battled so hard to give you this treasure. What a wonderful mother you have. Know that you are in the hearts and minds of your many readers.

  97. Alzheimer’s stole my grandma away from me over 20 years ago and your post still made me cry like it was yesterday. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  98. Rachel – last week we moved our family of 4 into a 2 bedroom apartment. We’ve made a big move (from one state/metro area to another) and I don’t have a job yet, so we’re trying to downsize and live a little lighter. I was at Goodwill today thinking about how you once wrote that you treated Craigslist as long-term storage, and that I could do that too — give things away or sell them, and look in the same place later to get something similar back if needed. It’s making me feel much better about letting go of things.

    I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with something so hard. I hope you know that your blog is already a wonderful resource and will continue to be one, even during your absence. Please take care of yourself, and I hope there are some better moments for you in the days ahead. You’re not the only one dealing with these issues, either, and we’re glad to offer support in any way we can.

  99. Thank you,

    My Nanna has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my grandfather (her primary carer) passed away very recently. It’s tough … but thank you for sharing your moment of beauty in the hardship, it helps me remember to look for them in mine.

  100. Over the past year and a half my dad has been slowly destroyed by cancer-such a long painful process. I imagine losing a loved one to dementia or Alzheimers is equally painful and emotionally exhausting. My heart goes out to you. May He give you the strength and courage you need for this season.

  101. Oh, Rachel! I have missed you. Praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

  102. I read this on day 4 of business travel. I will only be home 8 days out of the next 35. I am sitting in a hotel bar having a glass of wine, and Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street” is playing over the speakers, and I feel it is just for you.

    There are quilts that look just like that in my Mom’s home. My Great-grandmother made them. You filled my heart with home this evening. Love, grace, pain, and His mercy. Praying for you. And thank you for blessing me with this post.

  103. Welcome back, whenever you can be here. That was a beautiful and honest telling.

  104. Thank you for sharing and putting into words what caregivers so often feel. I am so sorry your mother has this terrible disease. My husband passed from brain cancer and it was a very similar process. There were so many demands, frustrations, moments of desperate joy I wanted to cling to like a life raft and never let go and sadness you just don’t know where to put because you feel like every inch of your soul is taken up. One day you will pull out that quilt a cry, but then you will smile because she worked so hard to pull that memory out and that means a lot of love behind that action. I wish you peace and joy.

  105. Hi Rachel,
    I’ve been a long time reader of your blog but I’ve never commented before. I have been praying for you for about a month now. I can’t explain it, but I felt that you needed some prayers, that something must be going on in your life for the blogging to have gone way down. I’m saddened, but happy to know your situation so that i can pray for you and your mom. While I so enjoy your posts, I understand the need for quiet. This just gives me more time to read your old posts and work on simplifying my life!

  106. Christina Engst says:

    What a beautiful tribute to the love and perseverance of your family. I am so sorry about your mother. How painful that must be. The bitterness of life is so much easier to bear when we have the love of others to mix some sweet in.

    I am so thankful that you have the courage to be so real and honest. You inspire me. I pray that you and your family are blessed with the peace and comfort that only God can bring in such a time as this.

    I am also looking forward to the continuation of your blog!

  107. So sorry to hear about your mother. You honoured her by writing in such a beautiful way. Know that your readers care, and will be here, ready for your return. Sending love your way. X
    Stephanie´s last post…The homework station.

  108. Hi Rachel,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but I’ve never commented before. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been keeping you in my prayers for about a month now. I can’t explain it, but I had a feeling that you needed prayers, especially because you weren’t blogging much. I will continue to pray for you and your mother. Your break from blogging is allowing me time to read the archives and work on simplifying my life!

  109. Your story so closely matches my story, the diagnosis that took my mom away so slowly, my dad providing her care, how hard it was to have her lingering in that in-between place, of still being here, but really here. Feeling just like this: “…….right now I don’t have the emotions left to spend.”
    Hugs and prayers for you.

  110. This is a beautifully written and touching post. Thank you for sharing such an intimate glimpse into your life.

  111. What a beautiful tribute to the perseverance of love in both of you.

    Your priorities are definitely in the right place. I have been praying for you, knowing that you must be going through something difficult to leave your blog for such a long time. Take as long as you need! I always knew you would come back some day.

  112. Thank you for posting such beautiful thoughts. I’m sorry! I have missed your posts ~ you have helped me more than you’ll ever know. We downsized, sold almost everything, took teaching jobs in Korea, and are enjoying the simple life in our cozy little apartment! Your encouragement and ideas have been instrumental in our transition! Thank you ~~~ I’ll pray for you.

  113. Oh, my. I wish you would have written about this topic sooner, so all your readers could have prayed for you and your situation. Your posts have helped me tremendously and I’ve missed reading them these past months. Now that I know how hectic your life is, I can understand why you’ve been absent from your blog.

  114. Thanks for coming back to this space, you’ve been missed. I’ve walked this journey and its hard. Take time, heal, recover, cope… Come back when you can. I’ll be praying for you all.

  115. Thank you for during this personal story. We are in the the early stages of deementia with my mother and trying to navigate this new journey with the same grace and patience that you appear to have.

    Prayers for you and your family.

  116. Not much of a commenter, but have been a reader of your blog for some time. My father was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this past week. My mother has been doing her best to care for him, but at age 80, it is becoming too much for her. So I am changing my life around to help on a more consistent basis, and we will get through all of this together. Bless you and your family on this journey.

  117. I’m so sorry to hear of this heartbreaking time. I miss your posts, but I’ll be here to read when you write. I read your post three times, it was so beautifully written.

    I’ll pray for you all.

  118. This was the day I needed to read this. I couldn’t thank you enough.

  119. You are doing such important work taking care of your mom. Wishing you presence in the moments, comfort, and resilience.

  120. Like others, I wondered what had happened since I have enjoyed your posts, but now I understand. I wish you the best and will keep you on my blog feed until you feel it is time to return.

  121. Four years ago, I cared for my grandmother in her last months struggling with dementia. To say that it is a difficult job is such an understatement, but when you wrote “I don’t have the emotions left to spend” all those feelings came rushing back. It was the hardest, most intense, most profound, most rewarding time in my life. It’s actually what made me start blogging and helped me to realize that I wanted children.

    I’m sending you strength and forbearance to get through these days.
    Meghan´s last post…Multitasking

  122. Thanks for sharing Rachel, I know how hard it is at this stage in life. I know I look back on the time with my grandma in her last 3 years here with fondness. I miss giving her a basket of towels to fold, washing dishes together, going on walks.

    Glad you’re able to be there for your dad as well.

  123. Praying for you. It’s so incredibly hard to lose someone you love while they’re still physically here.
    Steph´s last post…For the 4th Trimester Mamas

  124. Beautiful words…

  125. I’ve been checking in every now and then, hoping things were okay for you and yours. I’ve been helping my own mom simplify her home in the face of some life/medical changes she’s dealing with … I often think of the wisdom you’ve offered here while we work. Last week we unearthed pieces of a quilt she began making over 50 years ago, which I hope to finish and eventually pass along to my daughter. There is just something about the legacy and love of a handmade quilt. Blessings to you and your family, you’re in the right place at the right time.

  126. Cathie Australia says:

    Hey Rachel so sorry about your mum. I have been checking your blog periodicaly and knew something must be wrong. I actually went back to your first post and read everything over a series of weeks. How nice to find you here today and while it’s hard that your mum is in this place I’m glad to know that you, Doug and the kids are ok. My mum died when I was 23 and never saw my kids. Try and enjoy what you can, best of luck.

    • Cathie, I’ve been doing the same thing, reading through the archives and hoping everything was ok.

      Many thanks to you, Rachel, for this beautiful blog. Like so many others, I have missed your posts and words of wisdom. I have been on my own journey to a simpler life since an apt fire in 2004. I remember your mom’s comments in several of your posts. Even online, she struck me as a kind and gentle soul. Wishing you and your loving family peace and strength for the road ahead.

  127. Dear sweet tired lady, we are all trying to make a home in a temporary place! Find a way to enjoy what you have today for tomorrow may never come.

  128. Donna Conatser says:

    I am a long time reader and I have missed your blog. I too am taking care of my 91 year old mother. We had to move her to memory care this month and that is where I spend my time. So many people are in the same situation with their parents. Everyone needs prayers to get through this time in their life. Do the best you can for your Mother and yourself.

  129. i’ve been checking your blog every week, wondering when or if we would see you again. just this morning, i was looking at my large, colorful shelf full of indian spices, labeled with tape and a sharpie, and mentally thanking you for the idea. this blog will hopefully always be here. and if it’s not, your ideas and stories will always be in the hearts of your readers.

    bless your mother and your family.

  130. Kimberley says:

    I, too, have been checking your blog daily for updates and praying that in their absence that you and your ‘ohana (family) were okay. Mahalo (thank you) for speaking from your heart. I hope that this part of your story inspires others to take a “time out” as needed. It took me over 50 years to realize that not only can I not do everything ( an unfortunate result of buying into the 1970’s superwoman image), but that it is okay to re-think and re-tweek my life as circumstances dictate. I once heard it said that, “no one notices what you do, until you stop doing it”. Remember to take some time just for YOU. You give from your overflow. We will all be here when you are ready. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for your ‘ohana. Aloha, Rachel.

  131. Oh, dear.

    While compiling a cookbook, I came across a link to your site from a comment you made at mine, on a recipe I published heaven only knows how long ago…and wondered if you’re still blogging.

    I’m so sorry you and your parents are suffering. What an amazing and exquisite post, heartbreaking and strangely heartening at once. Keep that quilt, keep its love, and hand them down to the babes. God bless you…God bless all of you.

  132. I check your blog so often. Its my favorite. And I’ll continue. Every day there’s nothing new to read, I’ll pray.

  133. I have never commented before but this post touched me and brought many tears. I love your blog and will always check on it. Like others said, I will be here as a reader whenever you are ready to write again. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person–so sorry you have to go through this, but what a blessing to have each other and family to take care of each other. God is with you and will give you strength and joy and the peace that surpasses all understanding.

    God bless and love,


  134. I send Light, peace, and love….to your mom, your dad, your family, and you.
    May you feel the strength that you do indeed have.

    Come back and write only when it serves you. We’ll wait.

    Blessings and gratitude,

  135. Praying for you, your mom, and your family today.

  136. Oh, Rachel.

  137. I am walking a similar path with all it’s twists and turns. Emotions are all over the place, while I wonder what my part in all of this is. This is their journey, and yet we must go along too. I know that faith gets me through and someday all my questions will be answered. The circle of life… I hope you have found some peace in all small things that remind you your mom is still here. Sending you hugs, saying prayers for all of us.

  138. I lost my dad two years ago to dementia. When we cleaned his house out, almost everything had to go. It was full of rats and mice. It was very sad. He had not let me in his house for several years. My mom had a stroke last year and I feared I would lose her. My dad was not a good father and my mom did the job for both. My heart hurts for you. You are a young woman so your mother must not be to old. God be with you in this time of your life.

  139. This brought tears to my eyes. My maternal grandmother hocked so many family treasures, but none hurt so much as the loss of the double wedding ring quilt her grandmother made. What a wonderful heirloom you have to someday share with your children.

    I wish for you and for your parents, peace.

  140. My heart goes out to you.
    I just now sat down to read this, I saw one come through, but hadn’t had the time.
    My mother, 92, but with full mental capacities, died in late March. Four weeks later, my husbands mother’s, 91, died in April, with increasing dementia over the last two years, especially.
    I run a full-time small accounting business.
    I know what prioritizing time and energy looks like.
    My husband’s mother lived simply, they cleared her house in two weeks.
    My mother did not. I am the executor of the estate, my brother and his wife had lived with her for the last five years. We cleared her house with an estate sale a few weeks ago.
    My sister and I each had quilts very similar to the one you posted here, that our grandmother made. The fabric squares almost look exactly alike. I don’t know where they are, and they weren’t in the deepest shelving pockets of the house once they were cleared out. Every single stitch hand-made.
    It is beyond sad to see your loved one become a shell of who they used to be. All we can do is be patient, one day it will be different. For me, I hope, if I live to be 92 and maybe not in the best of health, that others are patient with me.
    Those who have walked this particular road truly understand.
    Prayers and blessings – Suze G.

  141. Wow. Touching. Emotional. Heartfelt. I love your blog! I’ve missed it. Prayers for your Mom. xo
    Paige´s last post…Five on Friday

  142. island dweller says:

    Your blog is the first I ever followed and I have missed reading it and have been checking back periodically to see if you have come back. I will be praying for your Mom and that you will have the courage to continue to share your life with us all. Blessings!

  143. I am so sorry for all you are going through! I have missed your blog and will be waiting for the time when you are back, for now, you got it right, take care of your family.

  144. You have no way of knowing this, but I just spent a good portion of my day in tears over a parent who is showing signs of aging that I do not wish to acknowledge. It’s hard. You know that.

    And then, for no reason, I decided to click through the link that I have for your blog, on my blog. I knew you hadn’t posted in a long time, but I check back from time to time, just in case. And this was here. Today. Thank you for sharing. When you are back, we are here.

    And the quilt is beautiful.
    Carrie´s last post…Quiet {Week 34}

  145. Hi Rachel! I’ve been a reader for a long time and it is so good to “hear” from you :) I agree with the many others who have said your priorities are so right and that we will be here when it’s a good time for you to write again. Just know you’ve been missed! Sending up prayers for you and your family.

  146. You have my complete understanding – so sorry to hear your mom’s story. I am dealing with this with my husband. It’s the same disease, but a whole other story when caring for a spouse. Give your dad all the support you can muster (sounds like you’re doing that already).
    It’s a devastating disease, especially for the caregivers.
    Will look for you when the time is right……

  147. Thank you for blessing your mother and children. May you be encouraged as we lift your mother, you, and your family in prayer.

  148. Rachel, the way you write about your mom is beautiful. Your love for her really comes out in your writing. I pray that your family finds the strength that is needed in times like these.


  149. Jo Beth Payne says:

    What a sweet and touching post. May God sustain you through this time. I hope you wrap yourself up in that wonderful quilt and feel the love and presence of your grandmother and mother. Keep it near and just get a big hug from wrapping up in all that love.

  150. This was very touching. You’re a great daughter taking care of ur mum this way. Dimentia, like all illnesses of the mind, is very frightening and I hope your parents and you receive all the blessings you need.

  151. I fully understand simply not having enough emotion left to react as you would another time and hearing someone else describe it (far more eloquently than i ever can) gave me real comfort so i thank you for that x my thoughts are with you and your family x

  152. This is so comforting to hear. Watching my aunt battle her second round of throat cancer has completely halted my ability to write on my blog…and I trust that that treasured place will be there when I return. Much love to you.

  153. Lupe Marsden says:

    Rachel – Enjoy every minute with your mom. I imagine some days are so frustrating for you.
    Seeing the picture of your quilt was strange for me because I have a quilt almost identical to yours, as in the style not the colors, that my grandmother made and I cherish it! My grandmother used to hand sew these quilts with her friends from church. It’s so amazing to me to think of all these women sitting around quilting and chatting. I get a giggle every time I look at the quilt, thinking of the stories that floated around as it was made.
    I’ll pray for an easier time for you.
    Thank you for sharing.

  154. The peace of Christ with you. You are missed around here, but feel no pressure to return sooner than you wish.

  155. I have missed your blog, hoping you & yours where ok. I am a caregiver for my mom who is 94. She has lived with is 16 yrs. You have touched so many hearts with your sharing and have just as many who understand..will hold you & your family in thoughts & prayers.

  156. beautiful Rachel! We are here for you as well, just up the street. You and your family have been a sweet blessing to us, and I pray that we are able to return that favor to you.

  157. Thanks for sharing this touching story. I, too, have gone through the ups and downs of a parent with dementia. I’ve missed your blog, but I’ll be here when you are ready to come back. You will treasure that quilt and your mother giving it to you. It was important to her for you to have it.

    I hope you will find some peace in knowing so many people are praying for you and your family as you go through this journey.

  158. Juat read this post. Hugs.

  159. eileen marie says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s dementia, but I am glad you can still share these small special moments. It sounds like your life is so full right now. We’ll be waiting right here for you when you’re ready to write.

  160. love you, friend.

  161. beautiful post. thanks for sharing. praying for you

  162. Sorry to hear this. Just returned from a trip to visit my grandmother in a similar condition. I hope you have comfort around you.
    Zipporah Bird´s last post…Far Away Memories

  163. well, I thought of you… I miss her… The I saw this post. May you have more strength, love and grace.

  164. We’re still here, and we’ll be here when you’re ready to come back. :)

  165. Rachel, thank you for the beautiful post, it was sweet, touching and heartfelt. Hang on to that beautiful quilt, and I agree with Tricia who commented that quilts are meant to be used. As a quilter and owner of a handmade quilt from my Grandma, I’ll just say treasure the quilt, use it, enjoy it, then pass it onto the next generation.


  166. {{Hugs}} to you. Your priorities are definitely in the right place!

  167. Know what you are going thru. Mom had dementia and so did my husband before he passed. Thought and prayers are with you. May God give many good memories with your Mom, before her memories are gone. Holding back tears. May God give you comfort. Hugs

  168. Hugs to you, Rachel…
    My mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor 8 years ago this week. The repercussions of the chemo and radiation continue to surface, and the Mom I knew is slowly disappearing. It is heartbreaking to watch her balance, her memory, her dignity slipping away! I read your post with tears running down my face, because I understand.

  169. Thank you for sharing, Rachel. My mother suffered from brain tumors and the subsequent treatments and medications damaged her short-term memory and left her with some permanent physical difficulties, as well. Our family has constantly been reminded to keep trusting in the Lord to carry us through and- as you said- remembering that this is not our home, just our first stop!