For Our Mother
Pamela was born in Muskegon Michigan on October 16, 1943. She moved to sunny Southern California when she was 18 years old. She has lived in California since that move.
Our Mom (Pamela Lorge) means everything to us. If there was one word that could describe our mother it would be “LOVELY”. She is a lovely lady in every way possible. It is now our mission as her kids to succeed and provide our families with just as lovely of a life as she has provided to us.
She has always been organized, professional, hardworking, respectful, funny, religious, loving and happy. Our mom will always be a perfectionist or stubborn as others might say.
Half of her life she worked full time as a homemaker making sure the house was spic and span, the laundry was folded and put away, us children were at school or practice and dinner was always freshly cooked. One of the most important dinner time rules was that we all ate as a family at the table.
In her 50’s she was forced by a shocking and quick divorce to go back to school and get her AA degree while working part time in a doctor’s office. She would eventually work her way up to Office Manager for Saddleback Vascular Laboratory in Laguna Hills, California and give 20 years of amazing service. She helped build that company and loved almost every minute of her job.
To our mom, we, her kids, mean the world to her. She loves us so much and would do anything to lead by example and guide us in the right direction. She never hurt a soul and always had such a huge heart and eagerness to give back to the community and has always tried to instill this in us.
We started noticing a decline in our mom’s memory and motor skills. Soon after we started becoming aware of her strange behavior she was told by her work that her position had been eliminated and they were reorganizing which was a nice gesture as they saw exactly what was happening or the timing was ironic. Her work threw her a luncheon in her honor but what made her really happy is that we; her children made her a 20 year recognition plaque as a monumental memory of what she really gave to that company. We had two of her co-workers that she loved so much present it to her at a separate dinner and she still thinks it was from them. She will never know this recognition plaque was made by us to make her feel extra special.
In the next several months after she was released from that position her mental state declined drastically.
We were performing every single possible test to eliminate any and all possibilities in hope that it was not dementia. She was recently then diagnosed with moderate stage Alzheimer’s disease “dementia”.
How could someone so beautiful inside and out develop Alzheimer’s? Words cannot explain the hurt and pain us as family goes through every single day watching our mother fade away. The organized and perfectionist mother that we once knew is now gone. A woman that did and gave everything she could for her kids is now being taken care of by her kids. She doesn’t deserve this life. No one ever deserves this horrible disease.
Conversations over the phone are obsolete. Face to face interaction is the best as she knows by looking at us that we love her and she loves us. She is always happy and has a big smile each time us children or her grandchildren enter the room. Names or phrases that were once so easily thrown around can no longer be put together in complete sentences. Even though she isn’t what she once was, a hug from our mother is still a hug from our mother. A kiss from our mother is still a kiss from our mother.
Now a couple years later our mother has severe Alzheimer's "dementia". Our mother is now 74 years old. Other than Alzheimer’s, she is the healthiest 74 year old we have ever met. At 74 years old, this is the time that our mother should be enjoying her life. Instead of traveling the world and going back to Michigan to see her sisters and extended family she is being provided with in-home care around the clock 24/7 on a daily basis. She is guided on what to eat or drink and when to shower. Her driver’s license has been revoked and her car was sold. The cell phone that she used to reach out to us no longer exists. Her freedom now comes on a leash. Her finances and her entire life are supervised and now controlled by us; her children.
As her children, we never want to remember our mother this way as this is not who she is to us. We are reminded every day with the same question: Why our mother? Why her? She never hurt a soul. We are going to remember her for how she was an amazing planner, organizer and perfectionist. She will be remembered for all the times she drove us to school, to soccer games, baseball games, hockey games, track meets, the movies and the beach. All the vacations we took where she planned almost every single minute to make sure we experienced it all and didn’t miss anything.
She taught us that being early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable if you want to beat the crowds!
When an individual gets this disease it is very interesting to watch as her friends that were once so close start to distance themselves because they don’t know how to deal or act around someone with Alzheimer’s. For the most part, her old friends are absent or come around rarely. You find out very quickly who the TRUE FRIENDS until the end are and who loves our mother dearly. In the end it's all about family as the friends come and go.
The caregivers are now our mom’s close friends. We have told them to provide our mom with the best life possible. Our goal is to have our mother enjoy the last years of her life by visiting the beach, going to the movies, walking around the park and most importantly ordering the Salmon on the menu every single time because she loves it. They are instructed to buy her almost anything she wants and give her the best care possible. We all are truly blessed to have such amazing new friends that love our mother. It wasn’t easy to find these special individuals but we thank God and feel we have the right team in place now.
Words cannot explain the pain on a daily basis when all we want to do is have a conversation with our mom and tell her about something great that happened in our life or say “I love you mom” and for her to reply back with “I love you”. There is nothing like a mothers love.
Classic Improvement Products is owned and operated by the Lorge Family. Our mother has watched us build this company since 2003. She has been there for us through the good times and bad times. She helped us with so many home shows and visited our office on occasion just because she wanted to say hello. We all want to put an end to this nasty disease. We hope that no family ever has to go through what we continue to experience. How could something so evil exist in this world that strips an individual of their own thoughts and reason?
Our mother would be so proud of us, not only because of the business and its success now, but because of us setting up a donation page for the Alzheimer’s Association with her name on it. Our company commits to make a monthly donation and give back to the community in hopes of someday finding a cure so that no more families have to deal with the struggles that we deal with every day.
Time goes by very fast & life is very short. If you are reading this right now, stop what you are doing and go hug your mother. Tell her you love her as tomorrow what you know may no longer exist.
As Pam's children, We remind ourselves to enjoy each minute because we are experiencing miracles every day. We never know, maybe today will be the last day of the rest of our lives. Our mom will always be remembered as amazing and “Lovely”. She will always be remembered for what she was and not what she has become. We love our mom. She is our role model. We will continue to make her proud.
Love Always & Forever,