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    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2018
     
    My DH passed away this morning. I was getting reading to drive to the NH when the nurse called. She said he passed in his sleep. We were married 51 years and I knew him 3 years before that, so it is going to be hard not to have him anymore after such a long time. He had AZ for over 10 years and I had some stressful times, being alone 24/7 with no help whatsoever. I finally placed him in an AL in May and just Saturday, a week ago, moved him to a VA NH. He seemed OK, and just about a week later, he is gone. I am in shock. They told me I had to make arrangements because he was in a room with a roommate and I needed to have the body moved. Luckily hospice had given me a list of funeral and cremation places, since he wanted to be cremated, and I called the first one. I went to the NH and he was still on the bed, looking just like I left him yesterday, asleep. I thought they had made a mistake and had to go and touch his hands to be sure – they were cold. They took the body away under an American flag since he had been a veteran. My daughter his driving here to take me to the cremation place so we can make some arrangements. I have no idea what to do as the only funeral I arranged was for my mother in 2002, but that was in Paris, France. I guess I’ll have to call Medicare, and he has an IRA so I guess I should call them too. We have no friends here, just my daughter and her family and my other daughter is flying here from PA. At this point I am no knowing much and am under the shock. They said he passed away around 8 am this morning.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2018 edited
     
    Dear MItsou, it's good that your daughters will be with you at this sad time. Sincere condolences on your loss. We will all continue to hold you in our thoughts and hearts.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2018
     
    Mitsou - I'm so sorry for your loss. (((Hugs)))
  1.  
    So sorry for your loss, Mitsou. And you have been having such a hard time, too, with going back and forth between Georgia and Tennessee. Your daughters and the funeral director should be able to help you with the planning. It is a lot to deal with. Many hugs. (((((( ))))))
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2018
     
    Mitsou, So sorry for your loss of your husband. Prayers continue to go your way.
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2018
     
    Missouri so sorry for you loss
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2018
     
    Sorry should have read Before I hit send. So sorry Mitsou. Spell check almost did it again.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2018 edited
     
    Dear Mitzou, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been thinking about how you said he enjoyed the ride to the nursing home so much. So glad you will have that memory to cherish.

    I just went through this process. My husband was a veteran and was cremated. Ceremony was 31 August. I could answer questions if you like. Sometimes people put their email address on their profile for a day or so and then remove it once the connection is made. You could also put it in a comment here and then edit the comment to erase your address once we are in contact.

    I just googled national cemetery nashville and there is a national cemetery just north of Nashville. There is also a Veteran's cemetery just west of Nashville. As a veteran you can have his cremains placed in a niche at the national cemetery for free. They do a beautiful ceremony! It is free. You pay for the cremation. I can send you a picture of my husband's marker if you want to give me your email address.

    I had an old newspaper article that suggested setting up a notebook to keep track of things and it worked wonderfully well. I have checklists and phone numbers.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2018
     
    Sorry for your loss but sounds like he had a peaceful passing. Yes, after so many decades together, it is a big big change.

    Are you going to stay in TN or move back to GA? Since you have no friends in TN you might want to wait and plan a memorial service once things settle down. If you are going back to GA, they have national cemeteries there too. Since he is being cremated there is no big hurry for a service. If you are going to stay in TN, you could just have a small ceremony with just your family since you never had time to make friends.

    I sure hope you house in GA is not in the path of Hurricane Michael - that is just what you don't need.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2018
     
    Mitsou, I am so sorry. You must be in shock. I'm glad that your daughters will be there to help you.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2018
     
    I am sorry for your loss. This is all a big change for you, along with having moved recently. Give yourself time.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeOct 12th 2018
     
    Thinking about you today Mitsou. Hope you are getting some rest and help in deciding what to do next.

    Also, that your home in Georgia was not damage anymore than it was.
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2018
     
    My DH was laid to rest last Friday afternoon, 10/12/18. My eldest daughter and SIL left on Saturday and my other daughter who lives in TN had to travel out of the country this week. I have not been out of the house or talked to anyone since last Saturday. I am a bit bewildered still and distraught. When I came back from GA ten days ago I had brought bags of winter clothes for DH (forgot to get mine) and left them in the front room here in TN. Now I also have all his clothes from the NH, in bags in the front room as well – don’t feel like doing a thing right now. I just walk around the bags. It really was sudden. The VA had said that they would pay for him at the NH as long as he was under hospice care. Before I moved him to the NH 10 days ago the hospice social worker told me that she heard they were going to have to re-certify him in a couple of weeks because he was not declining and was stable, and if so I would have to pay the full $7,000 a month. The doctor had said that DH was declining slowly and might go like this for another 2 or 3 years. Then a week later he is gone … It’s not like if he had been getting much worse, could not move or walk or eat.

    I need to go back to GA but don’t even want to think about it. Both houses are full of boxes and none is comfortable; it will take a while now. I spent so much time caring for him, going on 11 years now, all alone, that I did not do much else. I would rush from GA to TN, try to get as much as possible in my small car, make all the phone calls, all the arrangements, drive to see him and so forth. Here I am kind of lost. I do feel good though that I tried so hard to slow down his disease and I think it made a difference. After 11+ years he was still able to walk, to talk and understand some, to eat by himself (if they cut his meat) and mostly not incontinent. I had read so much about the disease and tried to do everything I could. I had read reports on music and we had music all the time. At the AL I would bring my cell phone with a little speaker and play music for him. Actually the day before he died and was asleep I had music for him and placed it close to his ears. I was holding his hand and finally before I left, trying to wake him up, I got Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. His eyes flickered and he slightly squeezed my hand – I knew he could hear it. I placed my email on my account and will leave it for a few days for anyone. I just can’t write anymore right now but it helps to talk about it.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeOct 17th 2018
     
    It helps and is even necessary to talk, so talk all you want to here. We understand the need to share the pain.We will listen and support. I hope you can find others to talk to too. I personally found that talking with friends was a release, but that I had to make sure that I made time in the conversation to be really interested in how they were doing, even if it was hard sometimes. While I needed their compassion, I also needed for them not to "burn out" on my issues. So we could talk again.

    I am so glad that you had that moment with your husband when he squeezed your hand. Treasure it for always. You know that he knew he was loved.

    Keeping you in thoughts and prayers.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2018
     
    I'm sorry for your loss Mitsou.
  2.  
    Thinking of you today, Mitsou. You are going through a lot. Keep us updated when you get a chance--you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. Even though it is a release from the Alzheimers, it is still so hard for the ones left behind. Many hugs (((((())))))
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2018
     
    So it has been ten days now since DH has passed, it does not seem that long. I saw the title of a thread called “ Abandoned and Lonely” – I feel abandoned and alone. I have regrets too. I regret that I never tried to get help during my 10 years of caregiving. It could be because of culture, too. I was an adult when I came to the US so I was formed in France and did not know about support groups or joining anything. I never thought of it. People did tell me to call the Alzheimer’s association. I did in Georgia but they forgot to call me back, and when I calledthem back they sent me titles of booklets I could download. I didn’t. I was told I could bring DH to a morning DC class at the Methodist church but it was ½ hour away and was from 8:00 am to 12 and DH would not get up until 9:00 am.

    I also never took the time to find out about groups like yours here. When I came to TN and was so totally miserable I found your group but by then it was already May and DH had had the disease for so long. What with running back and forth to GA and taking care of him I did not have time to really read all the threads, and you did not have time to get to know me. While I was in GA taking care of DH sometimes it would be 3 weeks before I would talk to anyone. I went in deep despair often and had bad thoughts. When one feels like that, one feels that no one cares – and one never thinks about the tel no of the suicide line, that’s for sure.

    DH was laid to rest last Friday and only today did I speak to someone. Well just for a bit – a handyman who came to check my roof, and that did not take long. I have talked to no one else or on the phone. I have received many emails though from friends.
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2018
     
    2

    When my father passed away in France years ago, after the ceremony in the church of the little town, about 1 hour away from Paris, where my parents had another small house where my grandparents had lived, most of the people in the town attended. Then all of us walked from the church, across the square, to the cemetery – all wearing black – his casket in a hearse. Then afterwards we assembled in the house and ate and talked. For days, neighbors came often to talk to my mother, brought food, etc. I know it is a different culture in the US. Most people here are very friendly they call you by your first name and smile, but then they leave you alone. I told my neighbors that my husband had passed and they said “sorry for your loss” and that’s about it. No one came, no one called, nothing. If I go on the porch and see them, they wave, and that’s all. I am not upset, just surprised at the difference. I think maybe the difference is that in France they know you need to talk and they come to visit you, but here they want you to ask for help, and when you feel so desolate and alone, for sure you won’t want to go out and ask for help. So I do feel abandoned, but not lonely, just alone. But then it’s OK – every culture is different. With DH having AZ for over 10 years while in GA I saw most people we knew disappear, including family that he had in GA. I have not even heard from them. My daughter said they wrote condolences on Facebook, but I don’t read Facebook, so I don’t know who wrote and who did not.

    One of the hospice volunteer told me she knew a French woman and would ask her if she could call me, but that was back in May and I never heard anything. Then also I am only half French – am also half Armenian (just like here, some of the French people don’t like foreigners, and my father was an Armenian immigrant from Turkey.) In a way I would be afraid to speak French to someone like in a grocery store. A couple of weeks ago I was at the store and heard a woman grumble to two other women that they were in the US and they should not speak Spanish but speak English or leave. The funny thing is that they were Italian tourists, not even Spanish. It is strange to me that people here feel this way about foreign languages. I have been in Paris around many US tourists and never heard Parisians tell US people that they are in France and have to speak French. Well, they would like people to try to speak French maybe but they don’t tell them they should not be in France. Like I said above, different cultures. Anyway it could also be because Tennessee is a super red state and taking after the president, foreigners are not well accepted here, foreign tourists included. I am a US citizen but still have an accent, so it does not help. I don’t feel bad about that though, that’s the way this country is. I just feel sad about my DH having passed away.
  3.  
    Mitsou, I don't even know where to start, and could probably write ten pages in response to your posts. First of all, culture. It isn't necessarily a France/America difference. I have always found the same warmth and camaraderie you describe as being in France...here in NY. But when I was in the Midwest, I found a lot of the superficially friendly and nice people...but it never went any further...that you describe as being "American". I don't think it's American necessarily--sometimes you're just not in the right place. With your husband sadly gone, you have the freedom to experiment a little--Tennessee may just not be the right place for you. I've never felt comfortable in the South...nothing wrong with the region...but it's just not "me." And southerners don't seem to take to me either. I hate the way they always say "y'all come back, hear?" and you know they don't mean it and it's as phony as a three-dollar bill. (Sorry in advance, I know southerners are going to jump on me.) And as you all know, nothing "clicked" for me in the Midwest. But in NY, where the joke about the welcome signs entering the state is "Welcome to New York. Go to Hell." --I have always found warm, welcoming, schmoozy people who never seem to forget me, call me up even when I don't call them, are always available for a meal or an adventure--in short, homey people. In a place that so many don't think is "homey." Mitsou, I'm guessing that with your marriage responsibilities so time-consuming and burdensome you've never had the chance to find the home of your heart. As you set out on your journey of healing and recovery, it will be a good opportunity to find out where you really belong. It may be surprising--but it will be fun finding out.

    Also...accents. This country is such a polyglot. "Foreign" accents are everywhere...but define foreign??? Most of us have parents or grandparents who were born in other countries and immigrated here at some point. Many of them are proud American citizens, but still identify with their country of origen, too. An accent is a hard thing to get rid of (I know this from trying to lose my American accent when speaking French...just impossible.) But people who hold a person's accent against them are not worth the time of day. And my personal feeling about languages is that you should make a huge effort to speak the language of the country you live in--when I was a domestic worker in Sweden I went to immigrant school three nights a week to learn the language. And this is just me--others may not agree: I think for those of us who are native English speakers, but with family elders from somewhere else, that it's not a bad idea to learn the language of our heritage. That's why I always work on my Irish. (Duolingo is a great language-learning tool--and free.) I always joke that I lucked out having a grandmother born in England--saved me some language learning for sure!)

    Anyway, I hope you can get some rest, find some peace now, and get on with your own good life. I think that for you, Mitsou, it is not only the bereavement process you are dealing with, but finding where you want to be and the right group of people for you to be with. Arms around (((((()))))). And keep us updated when you can.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2018
     
    I agree Elizabeth about the warmth and fitting in certain areas. When I got married and moved back to Massachusetts, after 18 months I told hb I was going back west - I couldn't take the people. Not only did my in-laws see me as a weird outsider, but the people I worked with were snobs, stuck up New Englanders. The song 'Down in the Boondocks' was my adopted song since my in-laws and others there made me feel like I was from the wrong side of town. I grew up in the country in Oregon and as they say: you can take the girl out of the country, but you can never take the country out of the girl!'. This is a big country made up of millions of people from various backgrounds. As for accents, hb never lost all of his Boston accent. I don't notice it but others do. We have only lived two places I felt 'at home'. Both were small towns where people were laid back, in no hurry and judgement was not that bad. Once we started Workamping, traveling the country we felt at home with our fellow RVers because we all had RV life in common.

    As for those people saying something to those not speaking English - that has to do in large part with the large Hispanic population here, many now who have no desires to assimilate into America but to make America like their home country. In fact they project by 2050 Hispanics will number over 50% of the people in the US, with whites next, then other races following. They refuse to learn English or how to live in our ways. They want the US to bow to them which causes a lot of the resentment. On the west coast, most Taco Bells hire Mexicans. Irritates me when they speak spanish between them often yelling across the restaurants. Unless you understand them, you never know if they are talking about you. When I worked at a motel as a desk clerk in the 90s the housekeeping staff were all Mexican. We had a new girl start who supposedly did not speak or understand English. When I would say something at times she would slip up so I knew she understood. I asked the head housekeeping about her and this is here story: she was from an affluent family in Mexico, her dad was an English professor there so she knew English well; she wanted to come to the US and live as the Mexicans up here lived, so she moved into an apartment with numerous others, got a job as a housekeeper and pretended to not know how to speak or understand English. Then we have people who came here decades ago from Mexico and have never bothered to learn English. It is those people who have caused a lot of the bad feelings. The others are those here illegally and refuse to become legally. Ones I use to work with would say 'why when I can work and send money home without being here legally?'.

    Those you commented about evidently could not tell the difference between Hispanics and Italian. If they could they would never have made that comment. Many times I have wanted to tell Hispanics they are in America so speak English but I never would. In all our traveling around the US, I have come by many people speaking various languages. If I were in their country I would be speaking English. When we worked at a campground in NH, a lot of our campers were from Canada and only spoke French. Others in the office were bothered by this but I found it 'fun'. Many would have children that spoke English but some did not. Then it became a 'game' to get information we each needed. I would never criticize them because they did not speak English - but since they were regulars every summer, one would think they would learn enough to register. Either way, I enjoyed meeting them. But, those in the office that were from that area, did not. So it just depends on where you are in this country.

    I would think about what Elizabeth said, and when ready find you home where you feel you fit in better. It sounds like you were happy in Georgia, so maybe moving back there would help you especially since you have many memories with your husband there. Yes, your daughter lives in TN but since you have been there you know she is not around very often so you are still left alone. Why not be 'family alone' and live where you have friends and feel at home? Evidently the distance is close enough to drive for visits.

    Hugs and prayers that you will be able to make your choice and be at peace with that.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2018 edited
     
    The difference with people coming to the house after someone dies is more related to churches than country culture. If you belong to a church or temple, pretty much any denomination, the church ladies will set up a rotation of bringing food and visiting if you are sick or when someone dies. Some other associations do the same thing.

    Some parts of New England are like Charlotte described. If your ancestors didn't come on the Mayflower you are nobody. Some rural communities are like that too. If you all didn't start kindergarten together, you are a newcomer/outsider. My rural community has a group of ladies who get together for pot luck lunches now and then and we have brought food when some of our members needed that kind of support. I had lived here for ten years before they invited me to join though. Still, I am glad I accepted that invitation.

    It is kind of funny the people mistook Italian tourists for illegal Mexicans. I think the biggest problem Americans see is illegal immigration. In California it is a huge problem on the highways. So many illegal people with no license, no insurance. It is so expensive if you get hit by them. Now, even though they are here illegally, they can get driver licenses. Maybe that will make things safer. I minored in Spanish in college thinking it would help to be bilingual. I don't have anything against people who speak Spanish. I do have a problem with a lot of our public policy. Like if I were to visit Mexico, I would have to buy a separate car insurance policy to drive there. They don't recognize US auto insurance, even though a great part of their population are in the US driving around with no insurance. If I were to visit Mexico and get in trouble with the law do you think the Mexican taxpayers would pay for interpreters for me in the court room? If I was injured and in hospital there do you think the Mexican taxpayer would pay for interpreters for me there? That sort of thing goes on and on and on where services are mandated for Spanish speakers.

    I have a hard time with voting because everything is said first in English and then in Spanish. I get confused because they are saying everything twice! Then I realize it is different languages. I really don't like it mixed together. Lately I am sometimes getting crank calls in Spanish. That's annoying. Especially if they are cursing in Spanish.

    When my company in CA, Northrop, merged with Grumman on Long Island, the Mexican Human Relations person said "Boy, they really need some diversity training!" When she saw a video teleconference with their engineering department. I am from Long Island and in my neighborhood everyone's grandmother, and sometimes parents, spoke a different language. The group of engineers didn't look diverse to the Mexican because they were all "white" mostly men dressed in black pants and white shirts. They probably represented no less than 15 different cultures, but she was going to give them lessons in diversity! I have never been so offended in my life.

    I had a difficult time living in Louisiana because they were so openly racist everywhere. Somwtimes in the store the cashier would say something offensive to me about the previous customer just assuming I would agree aince I am white. I don't know how many times I just left merchandise on the conveyer belt, muttered something inconsequential in Spanish and left the store never to return. I really only felt at home on base. Minnesota was weird because everyone there looked too much alike. Mostly blond, blue eyed Scandinavians. But even there, each village had unique cultures. Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, Danish.... similar cultures to be sure, but unique things nonetheless. That made each village fun to visit.

    Mitsou, have you ever been to Toronto? I don't know if it is still like it was in the late 70s. Back then it was the most international place I had ever been. Mitsou, you'd fit in there marvelously well. In Toronto we made friends with people from Harbour Island, Bahamas. If you like it hot, you might like Palm Springs. Lots of Canadians come there for the winter. There are restaurants representing many cultures there.
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2018
     
    Elizabeth, Charlotte and bhv – thank you for your messages, I enjoyed reading them. I am still not moved out of GA or totally moved in TN, so thinking about moving anywhere else would be difficult. Plus I am in my late 70s now and have mobility issues. My two knee replacement surgeries went well but I still have to wear a brace on my ankle from my accident at work years ago – the ligaments are gone and the muscles have atrophied. Since it is soft tissue an operation may not help, but if would take months of therapy, so I cannot walk well. If I can still travel I will be OK. I have been to Toronto several times as well as Montreal where I had a French friend who lived there and I really enjoyed Canada. I also like Quebec City, Vancouver and the Maritimes like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. I hope to travel back to Canada sometime, but it would be too hard to move to a new country at my age with no family near. I also have a good friend in New York City and until recently we traveled there almost once a year. I hope to go there for a visit in the spring. Have another good friend in CA who wants me to stay with him and his wife and will try to go there as well, so with these escapes it will make it easier.
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2018
     
    I usually dream, but I rarely remember any of them. I did have a strange dream during the night that I still remember. Somehow I was on a flight of stairs and my husband was ahead of me. He was going up the steps then he turned and saw me and went back down. He looked as he was in his 40s, healthy, vibrant with dark hair. He took me in his arms and kissed me. Then he went back up, and after two steps he came down again, and kissed me. He did this 3 times then smiled and then kept going up. I smiled back and woke up. It was about 4:15 am I think. I went back to sleep but this morning I could still remember the dream, which is very unusual for me. It could be that my brain is trying to comfort me. What do you think?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2018
     
    I have had similar dreams after a loved one died, the most recent when my sister died almost 2 years ago. I believe it was God's way of letting me know they are fine now, happy and whole, no more battle with dementia. A friend whose wife died a little over a year ago after a long battle with cancer, had a dream where she let him know when he sees a butterfly it is her thinking of him. She was walking and dancing - she had been paralyzed from complications after cancer surgery. A surviving Alzheimer spouse friend on Facebook also will see butterflies which she feels are her husband reassuring her he is whole, healthy and fine now. So I would take your dream and the fact you remember it as a message from your husband that he is whole, loves you forever and wants you to rest knowing his suffering is over.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2018 edited
     
    Hi Mitsou, I'm so sorry people have been rude to you because of your accent. And Charlotte, I'm sorry that people in New England were stuck up when you lived here. (Too bad you weren't in Western Mass. We're all hicks out here.)

    I haven't traveled much, but I lived in rural Alabama when I was in my thirties and my female students would laugh when I referred to them as "you guys," since in their lexicon, the word "guys" referred only to males. But when I stopped using it they complained, saying that they liked it because I was the one who used it. For the same reason, I like "y'all" because it makes me think fondly of the people I knew there. As for hypocrisy, it seems that many Southerners and Midwesterners are seen as two-faced -- I still have women friends from the South who say, "Bless her heart!" when they want to insult someone -- whereas New Englanders and New Yorkers are seen as rude because they are so direct.

    I was reading an article about immigrants speaking English and it said that the highest rates of language diversity in the US was between 1776 and 1940. At the time of independence, more than 33% of all Americans spoke a language other than English. In 1920, about 15% spoke a language other than English. It was only between 1944 and 1970 that immigration rates were very low, which is why people in our age bracket have a false impression of the history of Americans who do not speak English.

    P.S. Thinking about linguistic and cultural differences, I was reminded of the movie, "My Cousin Vinnie." Another funny one is, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." I'm sure Wolf can recommend many more.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2018 edited
     
    BHV, my father was an engineer at Grumman. Retired way before the merger with Northrop.

    Growing up my grandparents would often speak Yiddish with their friends. I don’t expect people around me to speak so I understand them unless they are speaking with me. People in the US forget that if someone doesn’t speak English they experience not understanding what is being said around them all of the time. Norwegians were in the US two generations before assimilation was noticeable, they were hated by people living in the US longer than them and suffered from prejudices other immigrant groups have to deal with today.

    Also, growing up close to NYC I heard many dialects. NYC has more dialects of English than any state. The diversity was nice.

    In Arlington VA our schools deal with children with over 50 different native languages. We deal with it. There are enough Spanish speakers in the US that it is easier to accommodate them. Meanwhile ESL courses in the US are usually full and people are on waiting lists for English classes.

    In terms of Hispanic populations, there are distinct ones, there is no 1 Hispanic profile. We have immigrants from central and South America. We have immigrants from Cuba. Some from Spain but they are a small number. But we have many Hispanic people whose families have been living in the continental US longer than any gringo. But many insist on treating all of them the same and as invaders.

    Myrtle, My Cousin Vinny is one of my favorite movies. “Yootes”
    • CommentAuthorCarolVT
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2018
     
    Paul, thanks for your comment.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2018
     
    I have to fix my post above. Autocorrect changed "Yootes" to "Yakes." I am sure that made no sense at all.
    • CommentAuthorMitsou*
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2018
     
    Thank you all for your comments. Paulc I appreciate your comment on languages. My DH was buried only 10 days ago and I am still very sad so talking about another subject is good. My DH and I (when he was still aware of things) would talk for hours about so many subjects. Now I won’t have that.

    So about languages – my four grand-children, born in the US, speak 4 languages: English and French and since they had au-pairs from Latin America (or Spain) and China, they are fluent in Spanish and Chinese. I enjoy it when we go to a Chinese restaurant and the 6-years old can read the menu and order food in Mandarin. The waiters are usually astounded. I don’t understand why people in the US look down at people who are bilingual. In Europe it is considered an asset. Of course they study languages early. Here only 20% of students from kindergarten through 12th grade learn a foreign language while in Europe it is 92% - quite a huge difference. Also only 15% of Americans are bilinguals compared to 56% in Europe.

    I asked my parents to send me to Italian language school in Paris when I was 11 because I loved opera and wanted to understand the lyrics. I became fluent in Italian before learning English. Then I tried German but I did not like the sound of it. Instead I took Russian for 3 years and Portuguese too. It helped when I visited St. Petersburg and Lisbon.

    You are right, Paulc, there are many kinds of Spanish languages but here no one pays attention. 437 million people speak Spanish in the world – they are not all from Mexico ( population 129 million.) I heard today that in Virginia some tourists from Guatemala visiting a relative were harassed in a restaurant for speaking Spanish. This attitude has hurt the industry. The Commerce Dept reported that since Mr. Trump took office there has been a tourist slump reflected in a $4.6 billion loss in foreign spending here and a loss of 40,000 jobs. Now Spain is no.2 tourist nation after France instead of the US, which is ironic.

    Here is a true story: my French childhood friend in Paris married a man from Spain. She now lives near Barcelona. Last spring she told me that her neighbor’s son, who was going to engineering school in Madrid, wanted to improve his English during the summer, and asked me where would he find a good English language school in the US. I thought about it and told her that he better look in Canada as it would be safer. He did go to Toronto, a school called Capital English Solutions and he loved it. He was surprised that there were many Mexicans there taking English language courses. There are some rich people in Mexico. Actually the 7th richest man in the world is Mexican: Carlos Slim Helu, worth $70 billion. Also there are more Mexicans leaving the US than entering in. Mexicans at the border are at a 40-year low, and 300,000 left in 2016. Spanish speakers come from other countries. I find all this fascinating and the way most of the US respond to all this since Mr. Trump became president. But I understand they were as mean with the Irish during the Irish famine and Irish immigration? With jobs saying “No Irish need to apply.” !!
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2018
     
    You remind me that my son would speak a little Punjabi when he was 4 because his home daycare provider was from Punjab. We learned this when she was away for an extended vacation in India and he was being cared for by a woman from Pakistan. The Pakistani woman told me that our son was counting to 10 in Punjabi and saying a few words. Of course he forgot it all once he started Preschool.
    • CommentAuthorCarolVT
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018
     
    Paul, if your son were to study Punjabi now, that experience would be an enormous help to him!
    • CommentAuthorCarolVT
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018
     
    I should have explained more fully what I meant by the Punjabi experience early in life being of help. It is my understanding that language which is learned/formed very early in life is put into the brain in such a way that the sounds and rhythms become part of the brain and can be accessed (unconsciously) later for speaking that language as if one were a native speaker. Babies and children absorb what is happening around them, and language in particular. It is difficult for an adult to learn a new language without an accent, while children do that quite easily.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018
     
    Just for the record.... when I spoke about Mexicans, I was speaking about Mexicans, not other Spanish speaking cultures.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018
     
    Hi Paul, I knew you meant "Yootes." The auto-correct on this site is very strong-willed.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2018 edited
     
    When I was a teenager, I received a Peter, Paul & Mary album for Christmas. When I put in on the record player, my elderly grandmother, who was born in the U.S. and spoke only English, started singing along with one of the songs, but in a strange language. She later explained that in the 1890s, when she was three, her mother, who had immigrated from a remote part of Ireland, went back there for a few years and took my grandmother with her. Although my grandmother spoke English when she left here, by the time she returned, she spoke only Irish (which she called Gaelic). She forgot the Gaelic quickly and reverted to English but she must have retained the memory of the original folk song that Peter, Paul & Mary adapted for their album.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2018
     
    CarolVT, now that my son is about to graduate from Virginia Tech I think the opportunity to study Punjabi is behind him.

    Myrtle, auto-correct is being done by our computers, not this site. I hope you enjoyed the "Yootes."
    • CommentAuthorCarolVT
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2018
     
    Hey Paul, if your son is graduating with a tech degree, Punjabi may yet lie ahead :). Probably easier found in the world outside academia anyway.
    Myrtle, that is so interesting about your grandmother.
    I worked with a very bright three year old whose parents were very concerned that she wasn't yet talking. The family returned to Spain for the summer. When they came back, Maria was verbal and fluent in Spanish, Catalon, and English. She had been sorting out the three languages in her quietness and finally put it all together.
    There is the old joke: If a person who speaks three languages is tri-lingual, and a person who speaks two languages is bi-lingual, what is a person who speaks one language?