These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tough Start to the Day

This morning is rough. It began with an innocent call from a friend whose cell phone is provided by his employer, and apparently their base is in the Dallas area, judging from the area code. The call woke me, and I thought it was from my niece who lives in that area when I saw "Cell Phone, 214-555-5555" on my caller ID.

I talked with the friend a few minutes, but with my niece on my mind. Then I called my niece. I'd meant to call for several days, and it seemed like a good time. We chatted a good while, as I got caught up with her. My sister and brother-in-law have been living with my niece and her husband for a couple years now. This is because of failing health with both of them, and it was a choice of a facility somewhere or one of their children. At the time, two years ago, it was pretty much a no-brainer. They needed assistance, support, and who does that better or with love, but family? None of their three children lived near, one in GA, one in northern NM, and one near Dallas, while their home for over 40 years was in West Texas. No one was close enough to check in on them even weekly, and honestly, they would have needed, at the very least, daily monitoring. A move across the state was the best possible solution.

Then several weeks ago, my BIL had a series of events that included falls and strokes, being in and out of hospitals and nursing facilities, and eventually everyone feeling that it is unlikely that he would be able to live in the family home again. The care will likely be too great for the family.

Now a new life phase is being approached by my niece and two nephews, with my sister as part of the decision making. They are considering where and how to best care for their parents. It is a hard task. Knowing you can't give adequate care at home leaves feelings of inadequacy, interlaced, I'm sure with relief, because after doing so for a couple years, they are exhausted. It is hard on everyone. I look at my sister and her husband who have lost their home, are living with one of their children, can no longer drive, can't make as many decisions about how, when, where, why their lives go from now on. Their losses are beyond listing. Even at their ages, 78 and 88, the losses are devastating. Who of us wants to be dependent on others in our "golden years"? I know I don't. It's a hard place for any of them to be, and while it is done with love at every step, it never feels adequate for the people you care most about in life.

As I spoke with my niece, I was drawn back in memory to my own parents in their final years. The scenario is so similar, except that we were able to keep my parents in their home with my brothers living near until mom, with Alzheimer's, needed constant care. This morning, we made comparisons, talked about how difficult it was in each situation for those involved, the emotional state, the coping techniques and the toll it takes emotionally and physically. I was reminded of my parents' situation, as well as the final months of my husband's life which were frenetic for me, and it is not possible to think of either of those without being sucked right into the grief associated with each.

I was sad, but relatively OK, following my chat with my niece. Then, however, I opened my computer and read a note from another nephew, reminiscent about my parents and how he still misses them. I do, too. He mentioned driving once by their home in a little town outside Denver, and I did the same thing. I won't do it again. It was too hard to see their home without their essence in it. My mom's field of irises was gone, covered with grass, and that alone broke my heart. As I wrote a response to my nephew, the tears began flowing. I probably need it, but more than an hour later, I'm still not able to stop it. Occasionally, I have a day like this when it just had to be allowed to let go and flood out of me, but I'm left wondering when this will become less painful, at least enough that I don't dissolve in a puddle like this every few months.

So I'm posting this in hopes that writing it out will allow me to buck up and move on for the day. I hope I can forget for the day. And I hope I never forget completely.


  1. My parents made me promise not to put them in a nursing home and I did with the exception if one of them got alzheimers and/or turned violent. We fully expect to have them and my MIL with us at one time and I look forward to doing for them as they have done so much for us throughout our lives.
    Wishing the best for your precious family Lynilu. I am sure it is very hard for your Sister/BIL to give up their independence.

  2. Patti, it gets to be harder than you can imagine, but I think most of us hope to be able to do so. I didn't say that my BIL has short term memory problems after the strokes, and my sis is showing signs of dementia. It's rough. Thanks so much for the wishes.

    Daisy, thank you. Hugs are deeply appreciated, and I'll pass them along. :)

  3. Oh Lyn, I had not read this post when we talked earlier. I am so sorry that this was a rough morning for you. I see on a daily basis families having to make very hard decisions about the care of their family members and it is just heart breaking. The last two weeks I have been working with a family that their Dad broke his hip and their Mom has some dementia. Finding a place where they could both go and that they coudl afford has been hard. And their Mom just does not understand why they have to their the home they have been in for the last 50 years. It's just very sad.

    Hugs to you my friend.

  4. Thank you, Caroline. The situation you describe is so similar. My sis understands, but it is still very difficult. These things just stink. Hugs appreciated. :)

  5. Hope you "buck up" soon. Everyone is entitled to a down day once in a while and when the memories are triggered it's better to go with it, feel it, and then move on. I hope "the sun will come out tomorrow" or soon anyway!

  6. I have struggled all day with what to say. I so understand how it sneaks up on you. Still dealing with that here I am afraid we will soon be making decisions for my father in law. Peace my friend and hugs

  7. Deb, thanks. I've already gotten past the worst of it. The sun actually came out this afternoon!

    Bobbie, I know you get it, and I'm sorry to hear about your FIL. It is never easy, but we have to just keep on keepin' on, don't we? Thanks.

  8. I'm thinking of you today, Lyn. I can only imagine how hard it is to see your parents decline. It is someting I truly dread in the future; just praying that God will keep them healthy and that they will leave to Him without such struggles. (They are "young" still, though!)

    I see that things have already gotten better. And I'm so glad to hear that!

    Our sun finally came out here as well (it had rained nonstop for 2 weeks), which makes everything better!

  9. And, oh, I LOVE your banner. It looks like flower candy corns!

  10. You know, Cheryl, it is making me wonder if it is all just reminiscent of my parents, or if watching the failing health of my siblings is part of it, too. I'm the youngest of 5, and while end of life issues have never been a fear or subject of avoidance for me, it could be a factor. I don't know. I just know that losing (or contemplating it) the people I love is the only part of aging that I'm not dealing well with.

    Thanks on the banner photo. I like it, too, although candy corn didn't enter my mind till now!

  11. it does suck to think about end of life issues. but, um, usually your blog is the place to go for the "I am living my life to the fullest" posts...feeling any better today?

  12. Oh, yeah, Mary, today is a new day. I've had a very busy day, and always feel better when I keep moving. I'll even get a happier post up soon.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!