I’m Proud of Her Journey

by Tim Murray

My mother Emily Marie Doyle was born on June 29th, 1935 in the Bronx New York. My mother’s parents were John and Marie Krejci (100% Czechoslovakian). My Mom was an only child growing up on Kings Street in Greenwich Village, New Your City. My Grandfather John and Grandmother Marie lived on the sixth floor of an 1895 built seven story apartment. I remember it well and I stayed with my Grandfather several times as a teenager during New York February mid-winter vacations. I hung out and played with the NY kids and Grandpa and I took subways all around New York.

My Mom went to Wooster College in Ohio and graduated with a bachelor’s in liberal arts and a minor in speaking French. Mom married my Dad, Robert Murray in Huntington, New York where they met as young teachers in the Babylon school district in the mid-50’s. Mom taught kindergarten and Dad taught 5th grade. They were married in 1957 and I was born in 1959.

My dad died at the early age of 63 in 1992. My Mom remarried quickly to a life-long friend and fellow educator John Doyle in 1993. John (Jack) lost his wife Virginia the same time Mom lost Dad. Jack was a WW2 Navy veteran and was a great man and loved Mom dearly. Jack died in 2012 and that’s when Mom’s second life and elder journey really started. Mom struggled living alone in Warrensburg, New York. We started to notice some cognitive issues which we initially wrote off to natural aging. Mom became diabetic and there were challenges taking medication properly. Mom developed an infection on her left foot and because of neuropathy and missing insulin medication, she lost her left leg below her knee.

I moved Mom down to NC in 2017 and she currently resides at Waltonwood Cary Parkway.

Mom’s journey since she lost Jack has been difficult but she has always stepped up to meet the challenge. Within 8 weeks of her amputation, she was fitted with a prosthetic and though magical support from a physical therapist, she was walking again. She has continued to stay active with PT at Waltonwood Cary Parkway and participates in events. Her journey with Dementia started slowly but this past year, we have seen changes that indicate some form of dementia. She has moments of clarity and moments where she thinks my son’s kids are ours or asks me after meeting her grandson Kyle, “who was that nice young man.” In Teepa Snow dementia GEMS speak her brain is trending Emerald.

My relationship with Mom has been a journey. It was very difficult on me and my family as being the elder son making the decisions. However, during this past year, Mom seems to be much more at peace with things and has frequently said how lucky she is to have me as her son, lucky to have Gina’s help and love and lucky to be a great, great grandmother. She is also well taken care of and loved by the staff at Waltonwood Cary Parkway. We both appreciate them very much!

I love my Mom very, very much and I cannot help but be proud of her. As she progresses with dementia and perhaps at some point calls me that “nice young man”, I’ll always remember her love to me, my brothers and my family over the years and the wonderful things and places she provided us like her place in Florida Bonita Bay and the most precious place on earth, Kelm Lake, NY where our extended family and child hood memories will live forever! God bless you Mom!