Nov 24, 2009
The past few weeks have presented some opportunities that are testing the level of my patience, the inner strength that is gained through perseverance and the gentleness that survives the toughest challenges. As a stone is carved, bit by bit, into a mighty masterpiece, I am being molded to be a better person and one that is stronger by the tempering of these events.
Ron's dad had a broken hip and was recuperating and, as is normal, wanting to return home as soon as possible. While his family has made daily visits to him, and stayed with him and supported him through dialysis as well, he fell out of bed and broke his other leg just below the hip joint. He has been in the hospital and has just recently returned to the nursing home. His initial goal, with one broken leg, was to come home for Thanksgiving and then return to the nursing home after a day with his family. He kept that goal when he returned to the nursing home following a second broken leg and the subsequent surgery. I leaned down and gently told him it was not possible for him to go home for this Thanksgiving .. but we could make it a very special one and bring Thanksgiving to him and celebrate with him in the nursing home ... and that is what is planned over the next few days.
Additionally, my 101 year old grandmother, the one who my sister and I stayed with (she and grandpa) is failing. She is down to 93 pounds, can barely eat more than a few spoonfuls of any one item, her food has to be pureed for her to swallow and her liquids thickened to the consistency of nectar to keep her from choking. I am heading to court today to follow the wishes she made in 1985 for my father (First, now deceased) and then me to become her guardian and conservator. I saw her yesterday and she asked my name, but then remembered the weekends we spent together and the many holidays at their home. When I left, I cried. Not because grandma has not had a wonderful and long life, but because of the shape she is in and that the end is coming. We have talked for many years and grandma is ready to go home and wishes no intervention or trips to the hospital. The DNR and DNH are in place and I've met with hospice and they are checking her daily and watching her weight. It is their feeling, and mine, that she will "sleep away" ... as she sleeps most of the time now and doesn't rouse when examined or someone is in the room talking with her for 45 minutes. She is tired. Grandma is the most precious woman and is responsible for my faith and teaching me how to be a grandma. She taught me to sew, knit, crochet, play linking the monkeys together, playing old maid, checkers, sewing cards, pixie pick-up sticks and read to us constantly from the safety of her lap and her loving arms around us. She gave me the nurturing and physical touch I so needed as a child.
Miss Kalista is on maintenance now for the next 2+ years and her hair is growing back (fuzz) although she rapidly corrects you and says it is "coming out" (of her head). My oldest grandson is having major adjustment issues which have turned physical and though he is in counseling, he is out of control.
My daughter is unemployed and failing financially as am I. I have 2 more weeks of unemployment and then it is supposed to convert to the extension of 13 weeks. About the only thing left to do is to sell everything I have to try to keep the house payments up for a year ... knowing the end result may be foreclosure or selling before foreclosure can happen. Meanwhile .. I am looking at filing bankruptcy, which is a stress of it's own, especially when I have about 13 boxes of paper to go through.
Overall, I have days I cry and days I smile. I allow myself the tears as part of the process but don't lavish in them. I still count my blessings and know there are many experiencing the same thing. I have returned to church and had the great honor of participating in the data entry of more than 400 older school children who want more for their lives and have turned to Jesus. That, in and of itself, is healing.
My weight waivers up and down between 5 lbs, which is okay, being I'm not fixing "meals" and on the run. The scale is my friend as it keeps me honest. If it goes up too much, I know to cut it down for the next day or two.
Am hoping to find some "alone time" after Thanksgiving where I can get back to MedHelp and helping others. I've learned NOT to ask what else is around the corner ... and am taking one day at a time.
Hang in there .. it does get better ... and what is that old saying ... ".... makes you stronger"