Don’t write for 3 weeks and now …
I know the phrase is overused, but it takes a village to care for an aging parent (or grandparent, spouse, relative, friend … you get it) or two. Through these past years with Mom and Dad, we were fortunate. We are caring, involved family and had each other to fall back on (including aunts and cousins) and when even that was not enough … we had CT Community Care and the various aides, nurses and companions they put us in touch with.
Living the process is seldom easy and typically becomes more difficult as time goes on. We are human, after all. And for us, it was both parents at once. But we had each other and for that, I am so very thankful.
It may not come out as it sometimes should in this blog (it is merely a blog, after all), but I have 3 (had 4) awesome brothers who were there through all of it. Did we sometimes disagree? Yes! Did we sometimes feel slighted or wronged? Yes! Did we sometimes express ourselves loudly? Ohhh, yes! But, still we love and have each other. And always tried to do what was best for Mom and Dad.
Yet, it is my sister-in-laws … Vicki, Ana, Gerry, Sandi … who deserve most of the hugs and heartfelt thanks. Along with my husband, David. They put up with us, and they were there when Mom pooped her pants or said mean things or spilled her coffee for the 100th time. Mom and Dad were so very blessed.
My heart goes out to anyone who is traveling this road, this maze alone. It is frightening and complicated. There are too many dark hallways and abrupt stops … and sometimes, it is overwhelming to backup and start again. There is no book or website to explain the ‘rules’. As well, each state is different, each community, each individual.
And for most of us, we wake up one morning and life as we knew it has changed.
There are various organizations out there to help and within those organizations there is typically a kind staff person willing to hold your hand. Sometimes you have to cry to get to this person, but tears can be cathartic. Once on the phone, I had to pretend I was my father (who could not speak due to his stroke) while questioning a billing statement.
Next week’s entry will list several organizations we found helpful, along with contact information. If you have any you’d like me to include, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can become our own village.
Be good to yourself-