It’s Been a Year

It’s been a year
Since I last saw you among the living

Not a day goes by
That I don’t think of you

Your passing would have been easier
If I had the assurance of your eternal destination

Instead of remembering your death
I would have been celebrating the anniversary of your home going

As it is…I’ll have to wait until I get to heaven
To see if we’ll have a reunion

While I hated what Alzheimer’s did to you
I hadn’t known a day without you in my life

In the end the Alzheimer’s won
But only because you gave up

Every time I drive by a place where we went
I think of you and remember both the good times and bad

I remember our Sunday afternoons
Sharing a treat from Starbuck and a movie…sometimes even a nap

Even though my life has gone on without you
I often think, “Gayle would have liked this”

I wished you could have been at my wedding
Sitting in the seat of honor

I’m grateful that you got to meet
The man I would one day marry

On this night one year ago
I sat by your bedside and prayed

I whispered in your ear
Sang hymns and told you about Jesus

Now a year later, my husband and I
Stepped foot for the first time into our new home

I know you would have liked it
It’s bright and open, sunny and cheery

There’s a yard with lots of space to garden
I wish you would have been here to enjoy it maybe even show me the ropes

One day I hope to paint the kitchen yellow
So that I can think of you when I’m in it

It’s been a year now
God has brought many changes, more than I could have ever imagined

But even in the midst of the busyness and change
I think of you…and miss you

Susan Bunts Wachtel
April 28, 2009

Today is one year since my mother Gayle Lorenat died. Even though the last few years were hard because of Alzheimer’s I sure do miss her.

Susan Blog Sig 2

Last Christmas

If I would have known last Christmas was to be your last

What would I have done different

Would I have spent the whole day by your side

Would I have hugged you a little tighter

Would I have held your hands

As we watched the movies of old

Truly believed in my heart

That it is a wonderful life…in spite of all the messes

Would I have gone to the ends of the earth

Found just the right present to bring you a smile

Would I have shared the good news of Christmas

Ensured that you received God’s gift of the Savior

Susan Bunts Wachtel

December 17, 2008

Dedicated to Gayle Merriam Johnson Bunts Lorenat…my mother who died on April 29, 2008.

Missing You

No one will ever know it
But memories of you
Fill my mind today

I find myself preoccupied
A little sadder…somewhat somber
Because my heart misses you

This year has been filled with many firsts
Shortly after your death
There was Mother’s Day…the first one without you

Today…we would have celebrated your 87th birthday
But instead…it is filled
With remembrances of you

There is no birthday card to write
To tell you that you are loved
No gift will be selected…to bring a smile to your face

When I was married just a few short weeks ago
I looked out at the congregation
If only I could have seen your face

Family and friends came alongside us
But none could take your place
You should have been there to celebrate the long awaited day

Oh dear one
Will I see you in heaven
Will we have an eternity to celebrate your birth

Susan Bunts
October 23, 2008

Gayle Merriam Johnson Bunts Lorenat

A commemorative video celebrating the life of my mother, Gayle Merriam Johnson Bunts Lorenat. Gayle passed away on April 29, 2008.

While I write about many things, words evaded me when my mother died. For woman who hated to have her picture taken…she would have been mortified to think that her picture is on the web for all to see. I love looking at her pictures…especially the ones from her childhood and from when she served in the Army as a WAC and from the early days of her marriage to my dad Frank. The last pictures were taken while she lived at Brighton Gardens and they are of a very different Gayle. In the last picture Gayle is embraced by two men, both named Chris, as she danced. They worked with Gayle in the Rem Unit for Alzheimer’s patients. The man on right is the person who with Gayle when she passed away just minutes before I arrived.

Gayle was born on October 23, 1921 and was 86 years old when she died on April 29, 2008.