The end of January / beginning of February have been an interesting and sometimes stressful time for my family. Here are some takeaways :
- Don’t take your health for granted – We abruptly learned that one of our brother-in-laws was having double bypass surgery (with no previous health warnings). I am so happy to report that he is doing fine and is healing nicely. (And I can’t wait to give him a hug the next time we see him!)
- Make sure that both the husband and wife have keys to the mailboxes. I had to overnight our keys to dear husband since I had been out of town for a while. Good thing I did since we had a package in the box.
- Sometimes the ‘kids’ have to become the ‘parents’ to their parents. My mom has always lived in her own house independently, but it became obvious a few weeks ago that it wasn’t the best idea anymore. So, the last few weeks I have been trying to help my mom move into a Senior Living place near us. When she is all settled I will post an update.
- Dogs (especially Pepper the Golden Retriever) sense when a person is older and needs some company. My mom has been at our house for the last week and Pepper will bring her toys, sleep at her feet and is very gentle and loving to her. Now, that doesn’t mean that Pepper still doesn’t love to be hyper and run around, but it means she tries to not do it near my mom.
- Plan for natural disasters. We recently had a horrible wind storm. The worse part was we were out of power for 27+ hours. We have a well which meant we could not pump water. I am happy that we had gallon bottles of drinking water in the garage, used the water in the hot tub (which had dirt and leaves blown into it) to flush the toilets and we were able to use our wood stove to heat food and drinks once the wind died down. We know multiple people that lost part of their roofs (and/or trees). Do you have an emergency stash / plan??
- Keep your mind active – Do you do word puzzles, play Scrabble, etc? My mom has spent the last few years just watching television by herself (definitely not something that keeps the mind active). Since she has stayed at our house we have been playing multiple games of Scrabble daily (not keeping score though). She is amazing (and not even just for her age)! I have already asked if there is a group of people at the Senior Living place that plays games. If not, I will go and play it with her. (She even has been asking me to play it if I don’t suggest it.)
- Love and appreciate your family since you never know how long anyone will live (this one should be obvious). I have been having a conversation with my mom this week since she is trying to figure out why she is still alive, but her parents, sister, brother, friends and two husbands have all died (and most of them at a younger age than her). The only thing I keep saying is ‘God decided a long time ago the number of days you will live.’ I hope I am loving and honoring to my mom for the rest of her days.
- If you see a problem then take action – I am so glad that I didn’t ignore the signs that my mom was having difficulties (or come home when she just told me to leave her in her house). After having a doctor evaluate her (and having her eat good food and drink water) we determined that mom needed to be on medicine. Once she started to take it she remembered that she used to take it ‘years ago’, but for some reason she stopped. My family is noticing an improvement in my mom since she has arrived.
- Housecleaning can wait – I am not saying to completely blow it off, but I have realized that my mom needs my attention also while she is here. So, I have been randomly doing house work and trying to recover from being gone for over a week.
Until next time. Later – H