I just need to talk about things

I miss this … coming here and talking out the things that are going on in life. I’d like to say I’ve figured out how to come back and do this more regularly, but somehow I know that’s a promise I can’t keep for the forseeable future. But for today …

Life in a Nutshell

Mom: Mom is doing well with her home care services. I think it’s been almost two months now. Barb comes Monday through Thursday, and Amanda on Fridays. Mom has come to know quite a bit about both of them and looks forward to their time together each day. There were a couple of conversations in which she mentioned to me that she’ll miss them when she no longer has their company. When I asked what she meant, she said she didn’t feel right spending the kind of money it costs to keep their services.  A few weeks later, she stated that she didn’t feel right spending as much as it costs for these services  when sometimes she doesn’t have much for her helpers to do.

I told her that it’s part of their job to simply provide companionship and they don’t always have to be doing some kind of heavy project. I reminded her how much better she’s been (in body and spirit) since she began having some daily assistance. Not to mention, this is exactly why, when she was working, she saved and invested some of her money the way she did. She should NOT be thinking she needs to save her retirement funds to leave as an inheritance to her children. I suggested she start by cutting back the daily hours from four to three before making any drastic changes in her services. I refrained from adding that I, for one, am happy that these services mean I’m not running to Target, the grocery store, and the pharmacy every time Mom remembers something she needs immediately. Which seemed like it was every other day.

I’m still having dinner with Mom many evenings each week, and that’s just fine with me. I just don’t want to have to do all of her chores in addition. Since she’s had her home care services, I feel like I’ve gained back a small sliver of my life again.

Vacation: On February 17th, Jack and I took off for eight days in Mazatlan, Mexico. Two days prior, I started feeling the inkling of a head cold. I wasn’t worried. I figured a couple of days under the Mexican sun would have me feeling good again.

Wrong. I haven’t been what I would describe as truly sick in years. But this little head cold turned out to be a whopper of a sinus infection. I spent most of my vacation feeling pretty miserable as the virus traveled from my sinuses, to my throat, and finally to my chest. I sucked it up as much as possible, but sometimes it was an effort to play along. About mid-week, I spent the better part of a day in bed in our hotel room, watching movies on HBO, sleeping, and feeling sorry for myself. I missed seeing Jack go boogie boarding that day!

Around Friday that week, I started feeling somewhat human again and enjoyed a fantastic day on the beach with our travel friends. Saturday we returned home. The silver lining is that while everyone else was lamenting that the week had been too short and they wanted more time, I really was looking forward to getting back home to my own bed. Home never felt so good!

Kids: The kids are all in good places. Jaeger is still living in Fargo, but working furiously on securing a job back here in Minnesota so he can be closer to family again. He has a new romantic interest. She happens to live in this area, so I’m sure that adds some extra fire to his efforts to get back here. I’m not complaining! 🙂

Ryker also has a new girlfriend. We have met her, and she’s lovely! He seems happier, and I like the effect she’s having on him. He’s doing a bit of maturing , and also seems more interested in spending time with the family, something he hasn’t done much of in recent years.

Chesney is just steady as always. She held down the fort at home while we were in Mexico, spending time with and making meals for my mom, as well as handling an unexpected visit to the vet when poor Lucy ended up with a pretty major bladder infection. Before we came home from Mexico, she made sure to clean the house (to my standards) and picked up some groceries so I wouldn’t have to do those things immediately upon our return. Once again, I wonder how I got so lucky to have a daughter like her. She and her boyfriend continue to be serious, and I’ve started hearing him make little comments about how and when he might propose. YEEEEE! 🙂

Jack: Hubby was diagnosed with a herniated disc several months ago and he has been battling the pain and discomfort ever since. All of the little touch up projects around the house that needed to be done after the addition was finished last fall have gone untouched. Now that life has slowed down a bit, I’m taking over where I can. I’ll do the touch-up painting. I’ll get someone to install the new light fixtures. Oh… and I guess I’d better figure out how to take down a couple of dying trees in the yard this spring. If Jack doesn’t improve enough to tackle it, my boys should be able to help.

Extended family: Continues to crumble. I’m beginning to accept it and am learning not to dwell on it. Bitterness doesn’t look good on anyone. I’m done trying to save our family. Moving forward with my own little family pod. They and my mom are what’s most important.

Work: Work is my saving grace right now. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose, something I feel like I can do just for me. Things are going beyond well. There are some new initiatives happening and a particular VP has taken a liking to me. I’m being pulled up in several ways and being offered opportunities that take me out of my comfort zone, yet seem to always prove I’m capable of so much more than I tend to give myself credit for. Since I went back to the workforce after my years of running a home daycare, I’ve often recognized that I like to work. I like to challenge my brain and contribute to any kind of growth. And once again, I realize how blessed I am to work in a company and in a position that offer fulfillment and opportunities to keep advancing.

Faith: Is my other saving grace right now. I’m continuing to feed my head and heart with all the encouragement I can find. I’m retraining my brain to think positively (and forgivingly) as much as possible, in spite of how easy it is to just … sink. To do otherwise just makes me crazy and miserable, and I’m just not interested in being that person.

Until next time… whenever that may be!

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10 thoughts on “I just need to talk about things

  1. It is so good to hear from you and hear that things are stabilizing. Don’t let your Mom stop with the home care services. I’ll leave it at that. I’ve ranted on that before. Doesn’t surprise me you got sick. The body can only take so much emotional stress and then it forces you to stop…meaning getting sick. Sorry it had to be when you were on vacation though 😦

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    • Thanks, de-i! It’s always so good to hear from you. I know you have great perspective and experience in aging-parent issues.

      Mom and I have talked a bit about her wanting to save some money and reduce services. I think we’ve come to an agreement on what would make both of us happy. Bottom line – I made it clear that I want her to keep a steady level of service. It’s just been so obviously good for her. She is physically better and stronger, and her depression has lifted noticeably.

      Yeah, it was no fun being sick on vacation, BUT … I can laugh about it now. It makes for an interesting story, and anyway, I felt better enough near the end of our week to REALLY appreciate the warmth and the ocean. I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

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  2. I totally enjoyed reading your life in a nut shell. Makes me happy that things seem to be going so well for you in most areas of your life. It’s been a long time coming. But dang, sorry to hear you were sick over your vacation. I had a similar sickness a few weeks ago. Knocked me out for about 3 days. It was awful!
    Anyway, good to hear from you. Don’t take so long next time! We miss ya!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, ShadowRun! It feels good that things are smoothing out a bit around here. Thanks for your sympathies – the crud is no fun, but I’m happy to say the worst of it is over. 🙂

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  3. Good to hear from you again, Tee! So glad to hear your Mom is doing better, and I know how hard it is for her generation to spend any money, much less on themselves. My Mom resisted Home Care for the same reasons (there’s not much for them to do!) and she felt it was a waste – but when she let them (LET being the operative word) funny how they found things to do that were helpful to her -even something like cleaning out the fridge with her sitting there! I’m also glad you got to get away and sorry you got sick -My experience is when one goes through a long period of heavy stress the moment you stop – relax – etc sickness can move in. Lots of crud going around these days, be sure to take care of you! Hugs !! MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi MJ! It’s helpful to know that my mom’s response to her home care might be a common one. She hasn’t made a move to cut back the hours and hasn’t mentioned again that she’s spending too much money, so hopefully she’s got that idea out of her system. She’s just doing so much better lately. I hate to see her take a step backwards!

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  4. Well, there you are — I’d missed hearing what’s going on in your world! I agree with the others — don’t let your mom stop the home care services. I appreciate her wish to save the money so she can pass it on to you kids, but your time is worthwhile, too. Right now! Glad to hear the kids are doing well — make sure your hubby takes care of his back — disc problems can morph into big-time pain if one isn’t careful. I like your attitude re: the extended family. One person can’t fix everything, as you’ve learned, and sometimes nothing will be mended until they strap on some adult britches!!

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  5. Good to read about you, Terri. I do think that when we’re taking care of everyone else except ourselves, a sickness might unexpectedly bite us in the butt.

    My mom told me yesterday that she was tired of being alone, and that moving to the senior complex has brought her a lot of pleasure. I hear the happiness in her voice. See the color in her face, and also improvement in her health. She didn’t even need oxygen when I was with her this weekend.

    That daily companionship for our moms is worth every penny that’s spent, because it’s like gold. I mean, it’s nice to have family to help and to talk to, but everyone needs a friend (that isn’t family).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to hear your mom is showing some improvement, Lori! Isn’t it such a relief? I just told my mom yesterday that since she’s had her care, she looks and seems so much better – both in mind and body. She agreed she feels it!

      I used to think getting older and slowing down meant life got easier in some ways. Having watched my parents’ journeys to this point, I see that it’s a hard-fought battle sometimes.

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      • It’s sad and difficult to watch our parents go through health problems getting older. I don’t know if it’s that way for everyone though. My grandparents were not sick like my mom. I’d like to say that my dad isn’t either. He sure seems in decent health, but even if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t tell us.

        My mom is on an independent living floor. She doesn’t have caregivers, but there is a nurse on call if she needs one, which she has used a couple of times. What she loves about it is the friends she’s making all around the complex. She has people to talk to. She’s no longer alone (my parents are divorced. Dad remarried. Mom did not).

        Hope your mom will keeps her caregivers. They are worth their weight in gold.

        Liked by 1 person

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