My Top 100 Timeless Furniture Pieces

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Everyone,

 

There’s a lot going on right now which is why the post is a day late. I’ll explain in a bit.

We’ve been doing a lot of architectural posts which are fun and architecture both inside and out is one of my favorite topics; it’s so important to get it right.

However, I also love furniture. Well, all home furnishings. And, especially classic furniture.

 

Serena & Lily blue and white color scheme_Carson_Beachclub_Avignon Chair - Timeless Furniture Pieces

Avignon Chair from Serena and Lily

 

What does timeless furniture mean exactly, Laurel?

 

What about furniture trends we’re supposed to follow? How do you know they’re going to timeless furniture pieces? Do you have a crystal ball or something?

Geeezzz, that’s a lot of questions. But, they’re all good ones. And, yes, I have a crystal ball. What else would you like to know? ;]

 

Timeless furniture means that it will stand the test of time.

 

duh

It means that if you purchase it today, and you love it now, you won’t hate yourself in 10-20 years or less! Well, at least not on account of your furniture purchase. ;]

As for trends in home furnishings, I’m sure I’ve said this before.

 

“Trends are designed to make you go out and buy new furniture.”

 

(Here’s what Nate Berkus had to say about trends.)

 

Therefore, furniture manufacturers who have to pay for things like orthodontia, college tuition and moisturizers from La Mer are going to do everything in their power to make you think that what you already have needs to go.

 

I mean, can you see the ad now?

 

Get our sofa; it’s the only one you’ll ever need and the only one your children will need, as well. So, just hand it down to them when you’re finished with your time on earth. Of course, if you have more than one child, there may be a war over who gets it. But, hehehe, you won’t have to deal with that crap any longer. Enjoy your time in heaven knowing that the purchase of this sofa is for now and forever.

 

Very funny, Laurel.

 

Thanks guys.

But, on a much more serious note…

 

As I alluded to at the top of the post, there’s a lot going on. And, you guys are like my family, so I feel comfortable sharing important things with you.

 

I never planned for it to be that way, but I didn’t plan for a lot of other things that have happened either. It’s that way for all of us. But, all of you are one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

So, here’s what’s going on:

It’s my 96-yr-old mama, Lee Raffel. She is now succumbing to her dementia and is in the final days of her long, beautiful life.

 

However, she’s been failing for years.

 

And, she’s been on hospice care since early December. Well, she had a precipitous and sudden further decline over the weekend. She’s no longer swallowing and is therefore not eating or drinking and was unresponsive yesterday. That’s according to my sister who’s been an angel seeing that Lee has everything she needs.

Her caregivers said two days ago, that she will pass within the week. (although, knowing my mom, anything is possible since she’s been on hospice for eight months!)

So, it’s not like I’m not prepared.

I’ve been prepared for at least seven years when I began to notice substantial changes in her cognition, behavior, judgment and memory.

 

And yes, I’m sad, but I’m really okay.

 

mom and me summer of 56

Here we are exactly 63 years ago, summer of ’56. We lived in Chicago, IL then.

 

Anyone out there who’s been through this situation will understand. The reality is that I lost my mom years ago. So, the grief has been ongoing as I’ve missed her horribly. She was my numero uno BFF for most of my life. In that regard, I’m incredibly lucky.

 

My mom, Lee Raffel circa 1996

 

However, working on my blog is really the best therapy there is. Still, this is sort of a non-post. But gosh, I’ve been working quite hard, even so! That is… if one can call what I do, “work.” haha

The reason is that I’ve been updating the poor neglected category in the main menu. The Favorite Home Furnishings.

 

And, that ties into the beginning of this non-post. That’s because my goal is to post interesting, but still timeless, classic furniture pieces.

 

I’ve been working for at least 20 hours updating the first four categories in the drop down menu; two of the sub categories are brand new.

 

One is dining room furniture. I decided to bundle it together.

And, there’s a new bed, nightstand and dresser category.

There’s also upholstered sofas and chairs

plus all kinds of tables that aren’t dining tables.

 

There are other categories planned, as well, but just wanted to get this out!

In addition, I counted 18 never before seen pieces. Of course, I removed things that are no longer current.

 

What is the difference between the Favorites and the Hot Sales?

 

Good question. There is definitely some overlap which you’ll see. The Hot Sales are ALL on sale and gradually change. The favorites don’t change as much and might not be on sale. But a lot of the items are.

Occasionally, you might see a caption that doesn’t make sense. That is because the item is already on another widget. However, I tried to remove all of the outdated sales info.

 

top 100 timeless furniture pieces

please pin to pinterest for reference

 

Well, I let you get to it. There’s a lot to see. And what’s nice is that it becomes like a reference library for home furnishings that one can purchase online.

 

Please know that I never expect anyone to purchase anything. But, I’m certainly grateful to those that do!

 

Most of you don’t. But with over 3,000,000 unique readers a year now, even .05% is a large number. Of course, the percentage is far higher for those of you who subscribe. That is probably more like 20%.

Thanks so much to all of you; your love and support mean the world to me!

 

xo,

 

 

 

PS: Sorry if I didn’t answer all of the comments. It got to be too much. But, I’ve read every one and so appreciate your kind words and support at this very difficult time.

 

But, there’s been a change and I imagine some of you have been through this too.

Yesterday, mom started eating after being unresponsive and not being able to swallow for DAYS.

However, over the weekend, they told my sister that once a person with dementia loses the ability to swallow, it doesn’t come back.

Well, that is not the case with our mother.

Mom has been in hospice for 8 months and nearly died last fall. The hospice nurse called me 10 weeks ago (June 7th) to tell me that she was actively dying.

Apparently, not. And, totally understandable. Mistakes can happen.

Over the weekend, my sister took Mom to the hospital where she was diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis which requires IV antibiotics immediately. However, they could not give her antibiotics because if they did, she would not be eligible for hospice. In addition, she did not eat anything for four days and once out of the hospital, she had no fluids for two days.

 

While still in the hospital, on Monday, Mom’s physician after a careful evaluation told my sister that Mom had a week or less to live.

 

Yesterday, in her new hospice, they were already talking about kicking her out of hospice. Although, that wouldn’t happen for several weeks.

Several WEEKS?

Is this crazy or what?

It’s not that we want her to die. We just don’t want to be told that she’s dying if she’s not. And, repeatedly so, at that.

Again, thank you all so much for your love and support. I love reading your stories, as well.

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Beth Webb - August 21, 2019 - 9:23 PM

    So sorry, Laurel! I am not THE Beth Webb, although I love to see Beth’s work in magazines and online and love that we have the same name. I am THE Beth Webb of a small town in Tennessee. My husband is from Laurel, MS, and yes, we are fans of sweet Erin and Ben Napier, who, on HGTV’s Home Town, have brought new life to a beautiful classic small southern town. In fact, his childhood home was one of the houses that they renovated this past season.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 22, 2019 - 12:46 PM

      Oh gosh, my bad. Of course you’re THE Beth Webb! Just not the other THE Beth Webb. LOL What a small world! Hooray for Laurel, MS! I have not seen that show but it sounds like a good one.ReplyCancel

  • JanP - August 20, 2019 - 11:23 AM

    Oh, yea! I think they still make them, the son owns the shop now, but it’s more automated. (last I heard anyway)ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - August 19, 2019 - 8:04 PM

    There are no words to express what it’s like watching a loved one suffer from the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease. After 12 years of battling dementia my beloved mother passed. At that sacred moment I said to her “ you did it mom, you’re free”. I miss her every day but know in my heart she’s happy. God bless you and your family.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 20, 2019 - 12:06 AM

      Thanks so much Sharon. I’m so sorry for your loss as well. It’s a long, difficult road, for sure.

      Mom’s window of lucidity Friday and Saturday is over and she’s on morphine now as she’s been in distress. It will be a relief when this ordeal is over. Yes, I’ll be sad. I have been for a very long time. But no one in our family has ever lived this long! So, good going Mom!ReplyCancel

  • JanP - August 19, 2019 - 5:11 PM

    We only lived in E’ville for a bit 1985-86 and next door to the Libs-of the Libs Candies, best people ever! Fond memories of Evansville and Newburgh!ReplyCancel

  • Rosemarie Glennon - August 19, 2019 - 2:53 PM

    Oops so sorry I didn’t get it right. Getting old you know. My sentiments don’t change however, our strength gets stronger and wiser at these times. It will be hard and you will come through it with grace. Will be thinking of you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 19, 2019 - 3:31 PM

      Oh, no problem at all, Rosemarie. I so appreciate the sentiment and support!ReplyCancel

  • Val from UK - August 19, 2019 - 9:05 AM

    I am so sorry Laurel! My father passed away last year and mum’s health is fading. A big hug from me!ReplyCancel

  • Rosemarie Glennon - August 19, 2019 - 8:46 AM

    Dear Laurel, I am so very sorry to hear this sad news of your mother’s passing. Please know you are a part of an unwilling club of women who were influenced by these loving and brave mothers who loved us. We are sisters in a way but we will carry on keeping her with us and still knowing we are influenced by her forever and carrying on the good she did. Be well in this very sad time. With sincere condolences, RosemarieReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 19, 2019 - 12:01 PM

      Hi Rosemarie,

      Mom is still alive, but clearly failing now. It’s just day to day, right now. However, thank you for the beautiful words!ReplyCancel

  • Connie Fowler - August 19, 2019 - 7:44 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    I can certainly sympathize with you, having watched my 89-year-old mother decline over 9 months with cancer. The fact is, no one really knows when they will go. They surprise you. And truth be told, it was a relief when she finally went, simply because of the emotional roller coaster we were on, watching her decline. Thinking about you.

    XOXO

    ConnieReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 19, 2019 - 11:59 AM

      Thanks so much Connie; it seems so many of us are in similar positions.ReplyCancel

  • Anita Lynn - August 18, 2019 - 5:55 PM

    Oh my gosh, Laurel. I’m just now getting to this post, and do you know why? Because I have spent several hours a day all week at my mom’s bedside during her final days, going through the no longer swallowing, no food, no water, etc. She passed peacefully yesterday at the age of 97. (Her hospice did allow antibiotics though, as long as she was able to swallow them which she wasn’t at the end, to keep her from being uncomfortable from an infection.) I just saw your P.S., so sounds like you are on quite a roller coaster. I also endured a year of being told “oh she’s near the end, no she’s not” but it was pretty obvious at the real end. I haven’t gotten to your second post of the week yet, so don’t know if there’s an update, but I wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you, and am right there with you. Hugs. AnitaReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 7:27 PM

      Oh, I’m so sorry Anita! Just got off the phone with my sis. Mom had two lucid days which sometimes happens (terminal lucidity) and yesterday was a gift for my sister who definitely deserves it as Mom was more like she was 5 years ago. Unfortunately, that’s all over now as she is clearly failing again and requiring sedation. But, the best thing is that my sister says that Mom is in an amazing hospice and they are totally on top of things. That’s reassuring.ReplyCancel

  • Donna B Oliphint - August 18, 2019 - 3:15 PM

    I’m so sorry about your mom. I lost my dad 2 years after his first stroke. Even though I had always dreaded the day I would lose him, I was praying for God to take him the last year as the strokes took one piece of him after another–his walking, his talking, his memory. It’s very hard to grieve the passing of a loved one when there’s so little left of the one you’ve loved for so long. Mostly, you’re relieved they’re no longer suffering, and yet you do grieve the memory of them. Praying for the comfort you need at this time.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 3:53 PM

      Hi Donna,

      You expressed that beautifully. Thank you and blessings to you as well!ReplyCancel

  • Celeste - August 18, 2019 - 8:47 AM

    I am thinking of you and your sweet mother.

    My own mother became very ill and had days to live. This is a terrible and long story I won’t go into.

    She stayed with us for a year on hospice. I know that is crazy, then she recovered and stabilized. That was in 2007. Now her health is delicate but stable.

    My most valuable advice is to take a vitamin and take time for self care. This is a hard time and you don’t want to get sick on top.

    XoReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 11:21 AM

      Hi Celeste,

      Oh, that sounds like a horrible ordeal for all involved. God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - August 18, 2019 - 8:25 AM

    I am so very sorry about your mother, Laurel. Such an extremely difficult time for you and your sister. Thinking about you both.ReplyCancel

  • Joni - August 18, 2019 - 8:05 AM

    To my favorite blogger, I’m really sorry about your Mom. I lost my own in 2017. It never gets easier; you just somehow live with it. I will be thinking of you often.

    Best,
    JoniReplyCancel

  • Chris I - August 17, 2019 - 7:34 PM

    Sorry to hear this about your mom. It’s difficult to watch especially from afar. My 92 year old mother went into hospice six weeks ago due to stage 4 cancer. It’s definitely a roller coaster. My 91 year old MIL is also in failing health. Neither has quality of life. Modern medicine gave them a long life just not a good one in their later years.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 12:37 AM

      Hi Chris,

      So sorry for your troubles too! All of this has made me think about our generation. Us baby boomers. There are many more of us than our parent’s generation and modern medicine is getting more and more advanced. So, it seems that we are on the cusp of having a major crisis in our country regarding the ensuing onslaught of infirm baby boomers. Something to think about. I’m sure there’s literature out there on this topic.ReplyCancel

  • Ramona - August 17, 2019 - 2:14 PM

    Dear Laurel,

    You are one of my favorite persons although we have never met. I am late to this post as I am late to most things nowadays.

    I lost my mother seven years ago. She was 93. I was able to keep her in my home till the end. This was her wish: to die in her sleep in her home. Technically, it was my home, but it certainly was not an institution. It helped that we had home hospice. She was clear as a bell until the end, so I was able to handle her care.

    The whole thing about not swallowing was something we went through years before she died. The medical experts tried to get her to drink water with an additive which turned it to something close to jello. Both she and I decided this was too much and that she would forgo one more torture of aging even if it shortened her life. She swallowed just fine until the end.

    Making all these “little” decisions is exhausting , draining and filled with quiet terror.

    She entered a light coma the night before she died. I thought she was sleeping and didn’t want to rouse her. I found her the next morning; she had died maybe an hour or so before I awoke. The hospice nurse could tell.

    My precious kitty guarded my mother all night, sleeping on her pillow and sticking with her as my niece and I joined her bedside in the early morning. Kitty didn’t leave her pillow till the hospice nurse entered the house, interrupting our private grief.

    My heart goes out to you. I, too, now have essentially no family. It is a hole one must fill with friends and adopted family. I still miss my mother everyday, but my initial grief passed in about six months.

    Be gentle with yourself. She is treasuring you even now despite her illness as you treasure her.

    I don’t know how the hospice workers can tell when the end is coming; they certainly saw correctly with my mother. I think dementia makes everything harder and am sympathetic for both of you. Somewhere inside her brain is a recognition of you. This is purely my belief. Please feel free to reject it.

    She will always be there for you. You carry her voice inside your head and soul.

    Hugs and Love, RamonaReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 12:34 AM

      Hi Ramona,

      Thank you so much for such an incredibly beautiful comment!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mary E - August 17, 2019 - 8:28 AM

    Good morning Laurel,
    I need to tell you how sorry I am you are going through this with your mom. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be to see a parent experience this terrible disease.
    I hope there’s a special place in heaven for you & your sister.
    Please know that I’m praying for you & your family.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 12:32 AM

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much! I’m only hearing about it from my sister since I’m not there. But, at least I can support her long-distance. She’s doing a terrific job!ReplyCancel

  • Dolores Pap - August 17, 2019 - 7:52 AM

    Dear Laurel- I understand and feel your sadness, and I want to to know that my heart is with you! Not too long ago,we buried our mother, and then almost to the year, we buried our dad who suffered from dementia, but at least, he died in his bed, surrounded by our family, and we were spared the long agony that you’ve had to deal with.
    Losing one’s parents is a difficult transition as a family- and oddly enough, the thing that affected me the most, was knowing that no longer would I be a ‘daughter’- I was now THE mother, and the grandmother- that brings home the mortality we all face.
    All my very best to you, dear Laurel xoxoxReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 12:31 AM

      Thank you so much Dolores! I wish I could say more, but I’m trying to finish this lame post! hahaReplyCancel

  • Libby - August 17, 2019 - 12:47 AM

    I’m so sorry your Mother and you are going through this. There is a lot of grief, loss and sadness when a loved one has dementia. And, as well, the sufferer feels the crushing diagnosis. I know my mother did. My thoughts are with you and your Mother at this time.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 18, 2019 - 12:29 AM

      Hi Libby,

      Thank you so much! In my mom’s case, she didn’t have a diagnosis until she was too far gone to care. My mom’s dementia is caused from vascular disease. It’s less common than Alzheimer’s, but there’s a lot of over-lap. Of course, I don’t know what type your mom had.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - August 16, 2019 - 11:13 PM

    My deepest sympathy Laurel. My mother in law died three weeks ago. She was in hospice for two months. At times she would be barely responsive and then the next day we would come in and she would be asking for something to eat and singing songs and conversing. This is the way it is sometimes.

    Hoping she goes peacefully when her time comes.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2019 - 11:42 PM

      Thanks so much Patricia and sincere condolences to you, as well.ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Dunn - August 16, 2019 - 7:29 PM

    Laurel, I am so sorry that I am just reading this. I hope all the wishes from your friends comfort you. I am sure the sweet memories will be with you always.
    I lost my Mom 3 years ago when she was 96, her mind was clear but her body just quit on her. We will always love & miss them. My sister and I swear she is leaving us dimes…she used to always find them and now we are finding them everywhere! Strange.
    Thinking of you during this very difficult time.
    PamReplyCancel

  • M H - August 16, 2019 - 6:27 PM

    My brother has early onset Alzheimer’s and now I find myself out on his land with him, fighting the ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and gnats instead of surfing the internet looking at beautiful homes. (If I don’t take him out there, he will go anyway.) He drives me crazy just like he did my entire childhood, but now I can’t argue with him. I just have to go with the flow. It’s a terrible disease.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2019 - 6:49 PM

      Oh, I’m so sorry Marti. He’s incredibly lucky to have you! It’s definitely “God’s work!” The driving me crazy remark reminds me of the line in the movie, Scent of a Woman.

      “He was always an asshole, but now he’s a blind asshole.”ReplyCancel

  • Sheree L - August 16, 2019 - 4:43 PM

    Laurel, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. As I was reading through the comments, I was struck by the outpouring of love from your followers. Please know how much we care about and appreciate you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2019 - 6:44 PM

      Hi Sheree,

      I’m struck, as well! It’s so wonderful because I don’t feel so alone! It’s one of those bitter-sweet ironies of my life. I spend about 90% of it all alone, no family around. Well, almost no family– period! It’s not by choice. Not at all.

      But, then there are all of you wonderful people who the vast majority are faceless names to me. Those who have gravatars or wordpress accounts can put up a pic of themselves, but that’s a tiny percentage of readers.ReplyCancel

  • K Taylor - August 16, 2019 - 4:13 PM

    Dear Laurel – my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and especially your mom. How proud your mom must be of you and of your amazing talent. I’m guessing she also adored your wonderful sense of humor and wit.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - August 16, 2019 - 3:57 PM

    My heart goes out to you, Laurel. My mother-in-law passed last summer after what seemed like a roller coaster of decline followed by small improvements. Take care, She will go in her own time and way.
    BrendaReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 16, 2019 - 6:39 PM

      Hi Brenda,

      Thank you. This is a roller coaster! Mom is eating, but is confined to her bed, as she can’t even sit up on her own. I know full-well that this is not what she had in mind. However, her body isn’t quite yet ready to give up, it appears– against all odds.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi Eve-Cahoon - August 16, 2019 - 11:40 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    My heart goes out to you. I lost my mother last September, to Alzheimer’s. Slowly I lost the mother and best friend that I knew. She eventually did not recognize me. However, I always thought that although her mind forgot, her heart remembered. When she died, my sister and I were at her side. It was a relief to not see her suffer anymore, but not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I hope that your mother passes gently and that you will have all the support that you need, now and later. You are in my thoughts, HeidiReplyCancel

  • ALLYSON - August 16, 2019 - 10:03 AM

    My mother died seven years ago and I still channel her — especially whenever I go antiquing (her favorite activity). In fact, her voice/opinions are in my head forever. What a strong bond exists between mother and child! I find that imprint comforting and hope you do too. We do live on in those we’ve loved.ReplyCancel

  • Naomi - August 16, 2019 - 9:41 AM

    Laurel, I echo all the feelings of love and support written here. These things are never easy and my thoughts are with you. NaomiReplyCancel

  • Sheila - August 16, 2019 - 9:38 AM

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I lost my mother in her 90’s several years go and am so grateful she still had her mind right up until the end unlike my brother in law who passed away last year from early onset Alzheimers after a twelve year journey and my mother in law who had dementia and and passed away last fall. I loved that you shared the picture of you and your mother.ReplyCancel

  • Sue Vogt Lehnes - August 16, 2019 - 9:25 AM

    Dear Laurel,

    I am sending you hugs! I am so sorry to hear about your Mom.ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - August 16, 2019 - 2:22 AM

    Laurel, Bless your heart! In a time when many children have almost forgotten their mother’s sacrifices and devotion, your honoring your mother and expressing appreciation for her is touching. I have no doubt that out of all the world’s wealth, you’ve blessed her with the greatest gift she would ever want to receive. May you be at peace and comforted by your memories.ReplyCancel

  • Maxine - August 16, 2019 - 2:01 AM

    P.S. thanks for taking the time to put this post together, Laurel. You’ve given me another light bulb moment! I now know which armchair will be perfect and why.ReplyCancel

  • Maxine - August 16, 2019 - 1:51 AM

    I’ m so sorry to hear of your sadness, Laurel. But how wonderful to have been so close to your mother. Although my late Mother was a distant person and we were not close in the way you describe, I still miss her terribly. My thoughts and affection are with you. Best Regards, Maxine.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - August 16, 2019 - 1:19 AM

    Hello Laurel, I am sorry to hear about your mother’s condition. Even with advance warning, it is very hard actually to say goodbye.
    –Jim
    p.s. It’s good to know what a snappy dresser you were, even all those years ago!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Hill - August 15, 2019 - 11:31 PM

    Oh Laurel, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I’m walking that journey just ahead of you – my sweet mom died Monday. I’ve been slowly losing her due to Alzheimer’s over the last six years, and she had been in hospice since last November. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Big hug.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra - August 15, 2019 - 10:33 PM

    Love and prayers for you and your Mom. Dementia is a hard thing to watch. I lost my grandmother to it 7 years ago. She was my last elder to go. I think about her and my mother everyday.ReplyCancel

  • MaryAnnM - August 15, 2019 - 10:25 PM

    Laurel, please take time to be with your family.

    I know that you will carry on strong as your Mama taught you. And, look for her spirit in small things, count the joy. May the pain of her passing fade to peace for you and your sister. Thank you for sharing your expertise & love for all things beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - August 15, 2019 - 10:12 PM

    Dear Laurel,
    I’m really sorry about your mother. I love the old photo of you and her, what a sweet picture. Sending hugs.ReplyCancel

  • katherine connolly - August 15, 2019 - 10:08 PM

    Such a sad time for you. I think you know you are loved by all your readers. That’s what you need at this time, love.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Wayand - August 15, 2019 - 9:53 PM

    Your mother is a lovely woman. So sorry to learn of her struggles, and you seeing her change. We are never ready to lose a parent, but especially one we admired. Best thoughts to you.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - August 15, 2019 - 9:29 PM

    Oh Laurel. My heart goes out to you, it really does. No matter what age, it’s really a huge loss. I lost my own 96 year old mother in June and I miss her terribly. She was my BFF too! I am also grateful for her life and for who she was and you are the same. There is no one like a mother. No one loves us quite like our mother. All we can do is pass on what they gave us and remember them well. My thoughts are with you.ReplyCancel

  • Dee - August 15, 2019 - 9:03 PM

    Dear Laurel,
    I have never left a comment here before, but like the other readers I was struck and moved by your open and honest telling of your Mother’s condition. I see where you get your lovely looks. Your Mom was beautiful. My Mom left us last June just two months short of her 97th birthday. My family felt so blessed to have had her with us for so long. Only the last few months of her life were difficult. She was remarkable. I sincerely hope you and your family will find comfort with your Mothers’ transition into peace. God BlessReplyCancel

  • Roxanne - August 15, 2019 - 6:01 PM

    Laurel, I am so so sorry. Losing your mother is never easy, no matter how much you think you are prepared. But it gave me peace knowing my mom was free from pain and probably dancing with Daddy up in heaven. Mom taught me to appreciate a good house tour and to love decorating my own home. She was visiting one weekend when she jumped up and said “we need to rearrange the furniture” and wrestled my sofa by herself…in her 70s! Praying you have peace also and be blessed with wonderful memories of your beautiful mother.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Denham - August 15, 2019 - 4:31 PM

    Oh Laurel,
    I feel for you and all that you’re going through. My own dear mother began showing signs of dementia at the way-too-young age of 60. I completely resonate with your comment about losing your mother years ago… it’s such a painful experience to mourn the loss of someone who is right in front of you and looking into your eyes. Please know that you’re not alone in this and we (your blog friends and family) are here to support you! Thank you for sharing with us. Blessings and strength to you…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 6:29 PM

      Hi Laura,

      That early onset dementia I understand is particularly bad. I’m so sorry for your loss as well.ReplyCancel

  • cynthia novotny - August 15, 2019 - 4:31 PM

    What a lovely sentiment. I hope to believe that all mothers only instill the best of them in their children. God Bless.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 6:28 PM

      That would be wonderful Cynthia! It’s a good thing to hope for.ReplyCancel

  • Anne-Marie - August 15, 2019 - 3:34 PM

    All my sympathy to you and yours, Laurel. All of us who have lost our dear mothers and/or accompanied someone with dementia can relate to you. Do what’s needed to take care of yourself and those who need you.ReplyCancel

  • Merridy Menna - August 15, 2019 - 3:23 PM

    My mother is 89 and I fear we will be where you are in the Not too distant future. We both were blessed with mothers who were best friends, with what all that means. It is one of life’s greatest gifts!ReplyCancel

  • Inna - August 15, 2019 - 3:21 PM

    It is always tough to say goodbye to our loved ones, especially those who gave us so much love. May you have peace and comfort and beautiful memories to carry you through. Just know, your hard work is enormously appreciated by so many of us. <3ReplyCancel

  • Merridy Menna - August 15, 2019 - 3:19 PM

    So sorry for the situation you and your mother face. My mother, 89 is forgetting more and more and she is, like yours, my lifelong best friend. At least we Had a mom who was a wonderful confidant and companion. I feel for those who never did as it is one of life’s best blessings.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 6:04 PM

      Hi Merridy,

      Yes, we are very lucky because some parents, well, let’s just say that they are not good parent material. My mom being a psycho-therapist was a great teacher and help with things of that nature. I learned so much from her. In fact, that part of her brain remained relatively in-tact until she fell and broke her hip in 2014. And then, that too was gone.ReplyCancel

  • stacey - August 15, 2019 - 3:04 PM

    My own mother would have been 86 today. Even though you have had time to prepare, it will still have a profound impact. May she have peace in her passing and may you have comfort in the memories of the love and friendship you shared.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 5:58 PM

      Hi Stacey,

      Oh, how bitter-sweet. Thank you for your kind message.ReplyCancel

  • Janp - August 15, 2019 - 2:32 PM

    Well, how sad, you’re in my thoughts. I’m very close in age to you and have lived in Evansville and Shrewsbury, MA, though KC is home, so I feel like we are sort of sisters. You need to take your time. I too lost my 91 yr old dad about a month ago but he went suddenly. I understand the losing your Mom yrs ago because we lost my Mother-in-law to Parkinsons a year and a half ago, though we lost her really about 6 years before that. You take care and mend. Love reading your tasty tidbits! jpReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 5:57 PM

      Oh wow! You lived in E’ville! I was there from late 1957 – mid 1971. Thanks for your kind words, Jan.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - August 15, 2019 - 1:47 PM

    Oh, just love that you describe your mother as your BFF.. Mine was, too. How lucky were we?
    Praying for you.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Shook - August 15, 2019 - 12:51 PM

    My thoughts are with you in this sad transition with your mother. I have been through the same. I was not prepared for the extended period of sadness that followed, because I too felt that I had lost her years before. But even though I knew she was released from whatever suffering and private torment that happens in the minds of someone with dementia, there was still that feeling of deep loss that lasted a long time. Wishing you all the best. And you are right: work and creative endeavors are good therapy.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 6:25 PM

      Oh, I’m so sorry for your pain too, Ellen. Thank you for your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Chris - August 15, 2019 - 12:45 PM

    My love, thoughts and prayers are with you. Your story sounds like mine. My mother and I remained close over the years and, after my husband died, she was a great support. She was 89 when it became apparent that dementia was creeping in, gradually taking the person that was her away. I started my mourning then. When she passed away at age 92, I had already cried most of my tears. Since she’s been gone, I realize more and more how much of what she was is part of me.

    I hope that you can find peace in what is to come.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne - August 15, 2019 - 12:17 PM

    Dear Laurel, My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry that you are facing this. I barely slept after reading your post.

    My mom died 3 1/2 years ago at 94. She was my best friend, cheerleader, travel companion, confidant. She was always on my side. I got my sense of adventure from her. We traveled all 50 states and 4 continents together. Mom lived with me and my wonderful husband the last 4 years of her life. We went through many traumas, pneumonia episodes, broken bones, and finally a feeding tube. She/we endured 3 fecal transplants. She was nearly blind. I had to face reality when she turned down a last cruise. We did frequently fly cross country until 3 months before her death; she got to know all 3 great-grandchildren. Relatives and physicians told me mom had dementia but I didn’t believe it. For years my husband had said mom talked like a nested computer program, always returning to the main topic. Others weren’t familiar with her speech patterns. She knew my name. We were able to have nice conversations. It wasn’t until a few weeks before she died that I realized she thought I was her sister. No reasoning could convince her otherwise. She was ready/wanted to die. She would moan at night begging God to take her. Yet her body fought death; she lasted longer than the hospice nurse predicted, drawing her last breath in my arms. I miss her every day and dream of her often. I still find myself turning, wanting to tell mom something, only to realize she’s not there.

    Laurel, you are in my thoughts. May memories sustain you. We are, in large part, our parents. I know your mom must have been intelligent, loving, creative, driven, caring, and funny. You have the best of her within you always. Peace.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 6:24 PM

      Oh, gosh, I’m so sorry it affected your sleep. {{{hugs}}}

      But, that is an amazing story!

      Dementia is a variable disease because it depends what’s causing it and what parts of the brain are affected.

      I found that my mom did a very good job of covering up her impairment; at least to those who didn’t know her well.

      In addition to the dementia, she was horribly hard of hearing. In fact, it was very difficult having a conversation in person even before her dementia really took hold. She really needed a hearing aid at least 15 years ago. But when they tried to fit her for one about three years ago, she wouldn’t let them put the stuff in her ear to make the mold for the device.

      But, one night on the cruise ship, ten years ago, she was sitting catty corner from me at our table of eight. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her laughing, but it wasn’t her laugh. Not at all! I knew good and well that she couldn’t hear a word because of the din in the dining room. But, she could see from the people across from her that whatever they were talking about was funny, so she started in with her fake laugh. There’s far worse that happened on that trip, but I won’t go into it. I know that it’s an illness and she was doing the best she could.

      Thank you for you sharing and peace to you as well!ReplyCancel

  • E - August 15, 2019 - 12:16 PM

    I’m sorry to learn of your Mom’s illness and will keep you in thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Maryanne Corica - August 15, 2019 - 12:05 PM

    Sending good thoughts for a peaceful and comfortable journey. My aunt passed away just yesterday under similar circumstances; perhaps the “veil” between realms is thin this week. Sounds like your mom had a lovely long life; you may say you were lucky to have had her, but it sounds like she was fortunate as well to have had such a strong connection with you.
    Sorrow is not forever; love is. Warm thoughts and wishes, Laurel…ReplyCancel

  • Shari Watkins - August 15, 2019 - 11:59 AM

    My heart aches for you Laurel. My 96-year-old mother is still with us, but I lost my dad in 2008 and I still miss him. Your mom had a remarkable life and raised a remarkable daughter…the best legacy a parent can hope for. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Téa - August 15, 2019 - 11:20 AM

    Prayers to you and your family as you say goodbye to your dear mother. My own dear mother left this earth 11 years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. It’s the little things you miss, but I always get a smile when I think about a laugh or a moment we shared.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - August 15, 2019 - 10:46 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    It’s so hard to say good-bye to a wonderful mother. Cherish your memories and remember that the best of her lives in you.ReplyCancel

  • susie - August 15, 2019 - 10:23 AM

    Bet you got some of your imp-ishness from her, by the looks of those photos. We are standing on the shore waving goodbye to her, but on the other shore they are saying “here she comes!!” I’ve always liked that image.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 1:40 PM

      Oh, I love that image too, Susie! I’ve read that dying people who still have the ability to speak, but in an altered state of mind often talk of taking a trip, or needing to pack their bags. I find this quite fascinating.ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - August 15, 2019 - 10:22 AM

    A lovely post with an even lovelier sentiment about your mom. May her spirit, soul, and essence continue to be seen, felt, and touched in the inspired work you do. We become that which we are taught; and you, dear Laurel, obviously, were taught by a master.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 1:37 PM

      Hi Pamela,

      I’ll never forget the time when I was FOUR and a neighbor came to visit and “out of the mouth of babes” chimed, “YOUR LIPSTICK IS TOO RED!!!”

      Indeed. hahahahaha!

      And yes, I’m sure that my mom wanted to die a thousand deaths. After the neighbor left, Mom quickly took me aside and taught me the meaning of the word TACT.

      However, she also actually once washed my filthy mouth out with soap. Maybe I was five then.

      Yes, she did.

      Unfortunately, all that did was make me angry. I spat the soap back out at her. The reality is that it did absolutely nothing to rid my filthy mouth of whatever foul language I was using. In fact, over time, well… never mind. hahahahaReplyCancel

  • Maggie S - August 15, 2019 - 10:21 AM

    I understand about the feeling of losing a parent when they are still alive. My father had dementia for the last few years before he died at 96. My mother died at 62 so I was happy that I was able to have 30+ additional good years with my dad. I’m happy that you have had so many wonderful years with your mother but so sorry that they are ending.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 1:27 PM

      Hi Maggie,

      Well, this is a super crazy sync. My mom is 96 and my dad died at 62. The reverse. Thank you for your always kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Amy S - August 15, 2019 - 10:12 AM

    So sorry for your loss. Please take care of yourself. Prolonged stress and grief can be devastating for your own health. Be kind to yourself.

    It’s OK if you have to delay or skip a post or two. It’s also OK if you plan to have a guest blogger and give yourself some time.

    We, your readers, read your blog and identify with you and care about you. Even if we are not known by you, you matter and I think we all want to support you.

    Internet hugs!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 1:25 PM

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you for that. Very, sweet! Ironically, I am sent dozens, weekly, requests to guest blog. And, that’s despite the very clear request on my contact page – in two places. NO guest bloggers.

      Ha! Believe me. I will not be subjecting you guys to that. All it is is a regurgitation of something a “writer” (but not really) read somewhere that would need to be rewritten. I could go on, but just know that it’s not happenin’. It’s not that there aren’t good guest bloggers. However, they are either too busy with their own thing, or have great info but lack the necessary skills for blogging.

      It is a skill and it takes a while to learn. I cringe when I read some of my early posts. And yes, many of them have been rewritten. Some were deleted a long time ago they were so bad. But, hey. That’s how we learn!

      However, my grief beginning nearly six years ago, over the impending loss of the closest non-family member friend I’ve ever had is what sent me into a tale-spin of needing SOMETHING to hang onto. Aside from my kitty who was in the last year of his sweet life, this blog was it.

      Of course, everyone deals with these things differently. There is no right or wrong way. For me, getting lost in something helpful is far better than getting lost in the dark recesses of a place I don’t wish to inhabit. It’s always there. I’m aware of it. I can visit it briefly because pretending it doesn’t exist is not healthy either. But, then I must go back into the place where there’s dancing, light and love.

      And, one of those places is right here; right now, chatting and sharing with all of you amazing people! Each of you is whether you know it or not!ReplyCancel

  • Gilda - August 15, 2019 - 9:50 AM

    seems like we are the same age (I just turned 65) and my mom got dementia from a mild stroke (from years of being ‘proud’ that she didn’t ‘have to take any meds’-read: never went to the doctor),,,,so she was in hospice for about 5 days. I understand, Laurel…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 1:09 PM

      Hi Gilda,

      Yes, hubris. That’s no stranger to me, either. I’m so sorry. I don’t know how my mother has been in hospice for over eight months! In fact, the highly experienced hospice nurse called me in EARLY JUNE to inform me that she was “actively dying.” At that time, her oxygen level was dipping dangerously low and she wouldn’t take the oxygen, plus erratic heart beat and skin mottling.

      Apparently, my mom needs very little oxygen, food and water to keep going. But, of course, she can’t live on nothing and the inability to swallow and even understand that she’s SUPPOSED to swallow is the problem.

      I didn’t realize until recently that active dying can actually take place over a period of months and even years! I knew of someone bedridden for years and she died just shy of her hundredth birthday. And, actually, not to be too grim, but if you give them oxygen, IV fluids and feeding tubes, they can go on in a vegetative state for quite some time. But, that’s not living. Yes, it’s horribly, horribly sad, but it takes more than a beating heart to call someone alive.

      It’s a serious problem. As there are now millions of us baby baby boomers soon to be on the precipice of modern medicine and all it can do to prolong life. But, it IS going to end. You know the old showbiz adage, “Always leave them wanting more.” I think that applies to end of life too.

      I know that death is a very difficult subject and most people don’t want to talk or even think about it. Of course. It’s scary. It’s inconceivable. But as Forrest Gump’s mom said. “Death is just a part of life– Somethin’, we’re all destined to do.”ReplyCancel

  • constance Alfano - August 15, 2019 - 9:45 AM

    Just read the post about your Mom. I’m so sorry. Sending prayers for comfort for you all.ReplyCancel

  • Laurel Gerges - August 15, 2019 - 9:38 AM

    I am so sorry about your Mom. My mom will be 101 in October and her dementia is getting worse as she is now extremely child-like with memory loss. I fear a time that I might be going through what you are. I just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and sending prayers for her peaceful passing as well as wishing you strength during this difficult time.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:28 PM

      Thank you so much Laurel! Oh wow! 101! That’s incredible. My mom’s birthday is also in October.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Smithson - August 15, 2019 - 9:28 AM

    God Bless Laurel. You are in my prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Robin - August 15, 2019 - 9:27 AM

    So very sorry about your mom, Laurel. Prayers for peace for you and your family and a gentle transition for your beautiful mom.ReplyCancel

  • Diana Bier - August 15, 2019 - 9:24 AM

    So sorry about your Mom, Laurel. It’s a painful experience and I hope that you and your family somehow can find peace. I’m sure your beautiful memories of your Mom will help you.ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - August 15, 2019 - 9:16 AM

    Dear Laurel, your mother looks beautiful and you were stunning even as a child. My mom is 90 with dementia, so I understand what you’ve gone through. Bless her heart and all of your family’s. She will be free of her illness very soon and what a relief it will be for her!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:25 PM

      I’m so sorry for your loss, too, Dawn. It’s a horrible disease.ReplyCancel

  • Ivis - August 15, 2019 - 9:11 AM

    Oh this struck home–I just returned from my stepmom’s funeral and it’s true: she was under hospice care and although we knew it was coming, it’s still tough when someone finally passes. Blessings and prayers for you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Diana McLean - August 15, 2019 - 9:08 AM

    You are loved and I know you will remember the good memories and joy you had with your beautiful beautiful mother. I now know where you got your beauty. My love,prayers and thoughts are truly with you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:21 PM

      Thank you so much Diana. That’s very sweet of you to say!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Curry - August 15, 2019 - 8:59 AM

    Oh Laurel, I’m sorry. It’s very hard to have been living with grief for so long. And it doesn’t make it any easier no matter how long we’ve had to ‘prepare’. Raising you up with prayers of peace & comfort.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:19 PM

      Hi Nancy,

      Grief is my middle name, but I can be laughing and crying at the same time, so most of the time, nobody knows. Splinter skill. If I’m lucky enough to be lucid (but not in great pain, hopefully) on my deathbed, I imagine I’ll still be cracking jokes.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Squires - August 15, 2019 - 8:54 AM

    I lost my mother to dementia last year. Like you, I was as prepared one can be under the circumstances. You’re so right when you say you really lost her years ago. That does makes it easier.

    Thinking of you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • KarenB - August 15, 2019 - 8:50 AM

    What great photos of your mom! Thanks for sharing some of your wonderful memories.ReplyCancel

  • Elise - August 15, 2019 - 8:40 AM

    My mother passed away from Alzheimer’s 3 years ago, but she actually died many years before. I understand your grief at losing your mother twice. Hugs.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:13 PM

      Hi Elise,

      Yes, that’s how it’s been for me. My sister, on the other hand, sees it differently. She’ll focus on the positives like how big and beautiful her eyes are. I’m incredibly grateful for that.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - August 15, 2019 - 8:36 AM

    Take comfort in the long life your mother lived, and the wonderful relationship you had with her. Praying for you.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - August 15, 2019 - 8:28 AM

    Holding warmest thoughts for you and your family in this transition. I hope your many happy memories of her continue to be comforting. Dementia and its cousin Alzheimer’s are cruel diseases and I can empathize with your loss and grieving spanning years.
    Speaking for myself and as a subscriber, I look forward to your posts, but on the rare occasion you’ve strayed from your schedule never felt you owed us a reason. Life happens….there will be a next time, and a day, or three, or two weeks off schedule isn’t going to cause us to delete you from the safe list and find a new blog 😉 (though we would be wondering about you until you came back)! You have millions of readers because your passion for all that is home design shines through along with your great sense of humor.
    That said, again thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your mom.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:10 PM

      Hi Jen,

      Actually, more people unsubscribe when I post– anything than when I don’t. haha. Out of sight. Out of mind. But, thank you so much for your kind words!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - August 15, 2019 - 8:22 AM

    Lovely post but even lovelier thoughts about your mother and all the ways we hold these special people in our hearts. May her spirit, soul, and essence be seen, felt, and touched in all the inspired work you continue to do. It is and will always be her influences that made you the gift that you are to so many. Hugs and gentle comfort dear Laurel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:07 PM

      Hi Pamela,

      You are always so kind and wise. Your friendship means a lot to me! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Karen - August 15, 2019 - 8:14 AM

    Sending love and blessings your way, Laurel. Your sweet mama will always be close by in your heart sharing her guidance and wisdom. Thinking of you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Carolina VG - August 15, 2019 - 8:08 AM

    Dear Laurel, you are strong!
    I send you my love and hope the next period in your l life will be peaceful with the loving memory of your mommy.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Freeman - August 15, 2019 - 8:04 AM

    I’m so sorry, I’m in much the same place, and although our moms have lived long and full lives, it’s hard to know their time is ending. Take care of yourself.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:04 PM

      Thank you so much Carol. I know that a lot of readers are in their 50s 60s and beyond. And, this is a common thing that happens to some people. So, it’s good to know that others understand.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Webb - August 15, 2019 - 8:02 AM

    My sincere thoughts are with you, Laurel. My mother also had dementia and the last 6 years of her life were very difficult for all of us. The hardest part for me was the change in her personality. A fall and a broken pelvis put her in hospice and she lived only a week. Her moment of lucidity was something we can now laugh about. While in hospice, she sat straight up in bed and said, “How much is this costing?” Those were her last words and so much like my mother!! Laurel, the hardest part is remembering your mother like she used to be, not how she was at the end of her life. I’m thinking of you at this tough time. She will be at peace soon. I love your blog–it’s part of my morning coffee routine!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:01 PM

      Hi Beth,

      Are you THE Beth Webb? You must be. Oh, wow! I’m such a huge fan of your gorgeous work!!! Thank you for the kind words.ReplyCancel

  • BethS - August 15, 2019 - 7:52 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this pain with your mom. Fortunately we get to carry them in our hearts.ReplyCancel

  • Bobbie - August 15, 2019 - 7:45 AM

    My heart is with you. I lost my Mom last summer at this time, but I had really lost her two years prior from dementia. My only hope and prayer was that she was in a happy place within her own mind. She seemed to be. Let happy thoughts and memories hold her dear to you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:52 AM

      Thank you so much Bobbie! Until last weekend, my sister reports that Mom has been content and happy. In fact one of her few coherent utterances was “happy, happy.” And, it’s not that she’s unhappy now. She’s in another realm– hopefully with her beloved husband and son.ReplyCancel

  • Joni - August 15, 2019 - 7:44 AM

    Oh Laurel, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. It’s a shock to lose a parent, no matter the circumstances. I do hope you are able to take a little time to care for yourself as events unfold. We are here to support you and on a lighter note, if your sweet mom is any indication we will be happily reading your blog for a very long time! XoReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:47 AM

      Hi Joni,

      I mentioned earlier that my mom wrote two books. Well, the first book was at age 74 and the second at age 84! Yes, amazing! She was on the Today Show exactly 18 years ago!

      I’m positive that writing helped her brain function better. It was after she stopped that the decline became quite noticeable. I don’t know if there’s a connection or just that is when she began having those silent baby strokes in her brain. That’s what happens with vascular dementia. It’s a slow, but steady shut-down of the brain and the higher powers of reasoning, memory and speech.ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - August 15, 2019 - 7:41 AM

    Laurel, Thanks for sharing. There is nobody like our moms. I miss my mom everyday but it is amazing how pictures and thoughts spark such fond and loving memories. I try to keep them alive. I am thinking of you. Thanks for your BLOG xxoo SheilaReplyCancel

  • Penny - August 15, 2019 - 7:41 AM

    My sympathies, Laurel. I am fortunate my Mom was not “Mom” for only a week but it was awful. I feel for you losing yours seven years ago. Hang on to all your wonderful memories of when she was “Mom”. At 94 I still wasn’t ready to say goodbye but know it was for the best. Light a candle and celebrate her life today. Hugs.💕ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:38 AM

      Hi Penny,

      It’s awful no matter what!

      I never imagined ten years ago that she was going to last this long. We were on a cruise in Alaska and let’s just say it was like traveling with a toddler.

      Selfishly, I began to withdraw more and more as she did in kind, although of course, not of her own volition. I haven’t been able to bear seeing her like this. Yes, I feel guilty, but the need to remember her as she was, even mildly impaired outweighs the guilt in seeing her as someone I don’t recognize at all; someone who has lost ALL ability to reason. It’s difficult to explain and wouldn’t be appropriate, anyway.ReplyCancel

  • Ani - August 15, 2019 - 7:13 AM

    Sending you lots of love Laurel. She is so fortunate to have such a beautiful, kind, and talented daughter like you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:24 AM

      Hi Ani,

      I’m the youngest and my dad didn’t want a third child because he felt that two was enough and that they couldn’t afford it. But, my mom wanted a baby so badly that she gave ballroom dancing lessons to earn some extra money for the medical expenses. Mom danced until the day she fell and broke her hip at age 92. Well, the last few years weren’t dancing, but she was there enjoying the music and getting pushed around the floor. She fell because they were doing a line dance and someone should’ve been hanging on to her. But, she’s fallen dozens of times since then.ReplyCancel

  • Victoria Rodriguez - August 15, 2019 - 6:46 AM

    This sounds like a peaceful end to a wonderful life. 🙏 for you in saying goodbye.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:18 AM

      Hi Victoria,

      It’s a relief to know that she’s getting the best end of life care, possible. I have my sister to thank for that!ReplyCancel

  • Maureen - August 15, 2019 - 6:19 AM

    Something tells me your mom was an amazing person. I’m thinking of you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:17 AM

      Hi Maureen,

      Yes, she was! She wrote two self-help books too!ReplyCancel

  • Pat - August 15, 2019 - 6:00 AM

    Laurel,
    I’m so sorry about your mom. Just keep all those memories close to your heart and she will always be with you. Your sister is definitely an angel as all caregivers are.ReplyCancel

  • Val - August 15, 2019 - 6:00 AM

    My biggest hugs to you. I’m so sorry about your mother, I love you Laurel!!! You’re the best.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:15 AM

      Oh, thank you so much Val! I love you too!. You know, so many kind people like yourself and I have no idea who you are or what you look like unless you follow me on facebook too! That’s not a come-on to follow me on FB. Quite frankly, I could do without it quite nicely. But, I’m not allowed to!ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - August 15, 2019 - 5:25 AM

    Lee Raffel is a pretty name.

    I understand what you said about doing the grieving a long time ago. It was fairly easy when my grandmother died, because she had a long life and it was time.

    My 82-year-old mother isn’t dying, but she is having a terrible time with a failed back surgery. She’s in a lot of pain and losing her hair from the stress. And so far, no one has the answer for how to fix it. Three people that I know have died in the last couple of months, but none of it compares to what one feels for their mother.

    I’m glad that you are not in the “shock” stage of grief, because it’s awful.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:13 AM

      Hi Lorri,

      The shock stage was with many others and yes, it’s awful. The worst was my 38-yr-old brother who died September 11, 1987 of cardiac arrest due to an arrhythmia.

      However, aside from that one, this verrrry slow good-bye for me, is worse and watching helplessly as you hear stories of your sweet mom doing things you never could’ve begun to imagine she was capable of. However, she hasn’t been suffering. That’s the advantage to losing your mind and all sense of reasoning.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ellen - August 15, 2019 - 5:07 AM

    Beautiful pic of you and your mom! Thank you for your widgets; the Wayfair Bormann Stacking Patio Dining Chairs are really nice.ReplyCancel

  • Emilie - August 15, 2019 - 4:36 AM

    Dear Laurel, sending you love through this difficult time. XoxReplyCancel

  • pat - August 15, 2019 - 4:11 AM

    God Bless your mom….and you. It’s such an emotional time no matter what the situation. Sending thoughts and prayers and hoping you and your beautiful mom have peace.

    PatReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Knoll - August 15, 2019 - 4:06 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    Faithful but usually silent reader here, one who often reads your blog in the middle of the night (like now ) , knowing that the beautiful things you help me think about will distract me from my own current work worries and send me back to sleep. My heart goes out to you as you come to the end of your mother’s life , and the end of an era. I know from all you say in the post and comments that the vibrant, brave, steadfastly loving woman you loved and admired , faded away years ago. Still, keeping this last vigil through the long hours must bring up so many memories and make you say goodbye again. I hope you can feel strengthened Knowing that there are all these people out there who are thinking of you.— and in addition to feeling sympathy , all admiring the dignity and fortitude you are showing in your sadness. — ElizabethReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:03 AM

      Thank you for such a lovely sentiment Elizabeth. It means so much to me.ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Berube - August 15, 2019 - 2:26 AM

    Wishing you strength & peace in the days ahead.
    Dementia is the thief that can’t be caught.
    But how wonderful you got to have your mom for the time you did.
    Been there …ReplyCancel

  • Bambi Mayer - August 15, 2019 - 2:21 AM

    I’m so sorry for what you have gone, and are going, through. Alzheimer is a cruel disease and a few years ago we lost my mother-in-law to it. I’m sorry for your pain. I wish for you to be cleansed with peace with your mom’s passing.
    Prayers,
    BambiReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM

      Thank you so much Bambi! My mom has vascular dementia. I’m not sure of all of the differences. It’s horrifying, to see, is all. At least it has been for me. And, I’m hearing about most of it, second-hand.ReplyCancel

  • Sheri Chase - August 15, 2019 - 1:46 AM

    Kathleen, what you wrote is so beautiful and true. Thank you for expressing my exact thoughts about a terrific mother such as yours. Your words are comforting to us all that read them.ReplyCancel

  • Shelby Allen - August 15, 2019 - 1:43 AM

    Hug yourself AND your sister for me. You’ll both feel the loss deeply but there will also be a great release. She’s going to need your love more than ever as her whole daily routine will be hugely altered but time will heal you both. I wish you and your sister the happiest of memories of your sweet momma.

    P.S. I’m a huge fan of your humor!ReplyCancel

  • Sheri Chase - August 15, 2019 - 1:43 AM

    I’m all choked up. Tears are in my eyes thinking about when I lost my own mother 9 1/2 years ago. She was only 72. Lucid, sharp as a tack, just very sick with deadly pneumonia. My mother was also my BFF and through Eternity. I look forward to seeing her again one day. The one person that I know for sure that loved me unconditionally in my life was Mom. I hear her in my head, heart, and is forever present in my thoughts. I have a wonderful husband, father, adult children, and grandchildren now. And there is no love like a mother’s love. No relationship can quench the one that validates you with so much support and care. I am always catching myself when I talk to my own adult children because I want them to feel from me what I have felt from my own mother. I feel your pain….and hope you always have your own memories to comfort you. I appreciate your candor. Be blessed and at peace, Laurel. You are appreciated.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 9:55 AM

      Thank you so much Sheri! I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. 72 is still young, these days.ReplyCancel

  • Pinkie Crabtree - August 15, 2019 - 1:37 AM

    Thanks for sharing about your mother. Will be thinking of you during this difficult time. Sending love your way.ReplyCancel

  • Morgana - August 15, 2019 - 1:04 AM

    HiLaurel,
    My, you were a fierce infant! It’s always hard to lose a parent. I forgot the wise person who said this, but “When a parent dies you are, no matter your age, in that instant an orphan.”
    There’s a period of lucidity for most people just before death; I hope that you get to experience that and can say good-bye.
    Thank you for your work, it’s how I deal with grief also.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 1:14 AM

      Hi Morgana,

      Yes, I’ve heard of this phenomenon. However, Mom’s 800 miles away. I’ve made my peace. I said good bye to her in March 2018. I knew I would most likely not be seeing her again.ReplyCancel

  • Gail Caryn - August 15, 2019 - 1:01 AM

    Dearest Laurel. Hold yourself gently through this passage. I’ll be thinking of you. Thanks for the beautiful and valuable work that you share. Take some time for you. xoReplyCancel

  • Ursula - August 15, 2019 - 12:50 AM

    Prayers for peace for your mom, Laurel, and for strength for you and the rest of the family as you navigate the next weeks!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Moser-Gallego - August 15, 2019 - 12:25 AM

    I admire you and your beautiful work. You know, it’s ok to be not ok.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:32 AM

      Hi Anna,

      Thank you. That’s a very kind thing to say; I’m almost getting used to it, now. But, better days are lying ahead. I can feel it.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:42 AM

        I just have to add, because I get the comments in my email and was deleting and reread your comment. It’s funny, but when Mom could still talk about two years ago, one of her rote phrases was “you do beautiful work.” So, it made me smile to see you say the same thing.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - August 15, 2019 - 12:24 AM

    Hi Laurel, Just wanted to say I am thinking of you as you go through the likely loss of your BFF and Mom. I lost my mom when I was 30 in 1985 and my dad in 2003. They continue to inspire and instruct me every day by their example. I often recall examples of their character or share quotes with my three children of their grandparents. I want my kids to know they have a wonderful legacy to draw from. Anyway, just wanted to say my heart is with you.ReplyCancel

  • Holley JOHNSON - August 15, 2019 - 12:18 AM

    So sorry to hear about your mom. How wonderful that you have had her as your best friend for so long in your life – and hers. Hoping for peace and comfort for you and your family in the coming weeks.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen Harris - August 15, 2019 - 12:16 AM

    My mom was 90 last August. She died this February from complications stemming from emphysema/COPD. Her biggest fear was not having her wits about her in her final years. She was sharp until the end, so her fears weren’t realized. That being said, seeing her decline in just 2 years before it took her was very hard to see from this woman who was the strongest, most vital and talented woman I’ve ever known. I learned everything about design and the ability to tackle any and every kind of project through sheer determination and creative vision. I miss my mom and BFF more each day. I feel for what you are facing. I was prepared, too, as my mom (in hospice at home) lasted longer than anyone thought. But, nothing prepares you for the vacuum you feel when the life force is gone. Your mom will forever be alive in you. Prayerfully thinking of you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:28 AM

      Thank you for such a heartfelt note Kathleen. Losing my mind is my biggest fear too. My mom has this iron will to live, no matter what. So, who knows? She was alert today. But that sometimes happens near the end. Condolences to you, as well. ReplyCancel

  • Toni - August 15, 2019 - 12:07 AM

    Sending love to you and your family Laurel❤️ReplyCancel

  • Alissa Ford - August 15, 2019 - 12:05 AM

    I’m so sorry about your mother, Laurel. I’m sure she’s proud of you!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2019 - 12:24 AM

      Hi Alissa,

      Yes, thank you, she is. She doesn’t know about all of this, but no matter.ReplyCancel

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