Back in Texas

I just thought I would post a quick entry to say that I’m back home. Our trip out to Colorado Springs was particularly nice since I was able to meet all three of my mother’s care-givers. Each has her own particular strength. As examples, one of them enjoys taking my mother out and about, while another is particularly nurturing.

Even though it is easier to visit because I know she is well-taken care of 24/7, it’s still difficult to see her after having been away for several months. Unfortunately, there have been many changes. I remember my mom as a vibrant, active, social , life-of-the-party type of gal.

I feel a tremendous guilt when I leave her. I have asked her many times if she would please move to San Antonio, but Colorado is her home.

Comments

  1. Glad you made it home safely but sad for your situation. These things sometimes have no good solutions as it seems every option comes with its own set of problems. Focusing on your Mom’s happiness (contentment) now will bring you more joy later when you can look back….((hug))

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Cathy, our situation is so much better than most people’s. I am so glad my parents had the foresight to purchase long term insurance. It has enabled us to get round the clock care. My mother had some operations on her legs to help with her neuropathy, which have unfortunately made her legs worse. This has put her in the position of not being able to live alone, as she is prone to falling. (The operations were performed by a quack doctor who promised a huge improvement.)

  2. My heart goes out to you. I’m sorry it’s so difficult. You always see it so clearly when you’ve been away for a while. We all love you, at least in a back corner of her mind, your mother does too, and I’m glad your husband and children are near and supportive. Take good care, dear.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Marion, my mother is used to having people “take care of her”>>> She went from her father’s to my father, and then to her eleven-year fiance. All of them “took care” of her, so this is the first time she has been on her own. Although I guess you can’t call someone who has 24/7 caregivers “on her own”. It would make it a lot easier if she would live near either my sister or I, since we are the ones who now take care of the “business side” of things in regards to her care.

      • You’re absolutely right. I would think it must be terribly frustrating not to be able to monitor her situation.

  3. My mom died when I was 11 but I have friends who say it’s so heart wrenching being a parent to your parent when there are changes as you mentioned. Am glad you had a safe trip.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Oh, PamB, and here I’ve been complaining! How difficult it must be to have lost your mom when you were eleven…

  4. I’m glad you feel comfortable with her care. We have become such a transient nation and guilt happens so often when we are far from a loved one who needs help. But don’t feel guilty, you have done the best you can in a difficult situation. I’m sure she appreciates your offer to let her stay with you.
    Ann

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Ann, I guess there’s no getting around guilt! I keep telling my husband that I want us to be “situated” when we hit that age in thirty years!

  5. Gentle hugs, to you, Dear One…

    Tessa~

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Thanks, Tessa. It’s good to be home!

      (Our daughter is now referring to her apartment as her home. That was such a shock to me >>> when our children think of their places as “home”!)

      • Your daughter is probably like me and thinks of both places as “home” – which can get confusing sometimes. When I visit my parents, I think of it as going home – and then at the end of the trip, I’m returning home. It is really nice to have both places as home.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list :

          I don’t know, Judith, I tried to “talk her into” what you are describing – but she was pretty determined to stick to her way of thinking!

  6. It is difficult to watch our parents age. My Mom is in a retirement home and she is happy. She is only 20 minutes from my house, but I always feel like I should be doing more for her. I guess the guilt we feel must be a part of worrying about them. We can only do the best we can. It sounds like you take good care of your Mom, Danna.

    • Well said, I second each sentiment. Any words would just repeat all good thoughts.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Patti S, lucky you! Did your mom move to be close to you? I always thought that’s just what parents do…

      • Oh, Danna, my Mom sounds like your Mom. She went from her Moms house to getting married and having my Dad take care of her. While she kept the household running and took care of me and my siblings, my Dad did a lot. When he passed away 19 years ago, it was like she did not know what to do. It was sad and she could not stay in their house by herself. It has been a difficult time along the way. She moved into the retirement home, and then did not want to be there. She had health problems etc. It has only been in the past few years that she has really settled in. I know how all of us feel, it is difficult caring for your parents. But, we do the best we can.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list :

          Patti S, it sounds like your mom is now content to be living in the retirement home. You must be very happy that she is in a place that keeps her safe, and also with people who know how to help her.

  7. Glad you are home safe. It is hard to leave your loved ones. We live in NC and so do my parents, my grandma lived in Indiana and many times my Mom asked and begged her to move to NC but she would not Indiana was her home. The only thing you can do is call and visit when you can. I am sure your mom knows how much you love her.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Janean, sounds like your grandmother and my mother have a lot in common. These unlimited cell phone plans are so wonderful for these types of situations.

  8. I too have aging parents. I agree with how difficult it is to see the change. And, then I think of what it will be like for my kids… Yikes! Like you, I have wonderful memories growing up with my folks. Rather than feel bad about all of the things I am unable to do for them, I make a gratitude list of what I can do and of all the those positive moments we have shared. Also, I understand the desire to stay in one’s own home. There is a lot of value in allowing them to do so when possible – which is often not the case. Regardless, just loving them wherever they are is enough.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      I like your “gratitude list” idea, Sharon. And I share your sentiments about what it will be like for my kids, only I’ll capitalize it: YIKES!

  9. It’s so sad to watch our parents lose the spirit and strength we knew when they were younger and full of life. We had Hospice for our Mother, and like you said each staff personnel had their own qualities and our Mother interacted differently with each one. It takes a special person to be able to communicate and care for ailing and injured people. My sister and I were fortunate enough to live with our Mother while Hospice cared for her. It was extremely difficult to work and care for her during the last months – with dementia. I know the guilt you feel – at first I was against her being at home, but glad I changed my mind in the end. I am sorry for your situation, but I hope knowing your Mother is in good hands and being well taken care of, eases your mind and gives you peace of mind. wishing you well.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Irenem, I’m glad you posted this comment. It sounds like you and your sister were able to make your mom’s last months as comfortable as possible. My father was in a Hospice during the last few days of his life, and those caregivers were true blessings to our family. They were such a calming, helpful group of people…

  10. {{{hugs}}}

  11. Hugs and blessings to you dear. This is one of life’s most difficult transitions. Be kind to yourself.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Linda T, well said (RE: “difficult transitions.” Most of us will have to go through this stage.

  12. So glad you were able to meet your mom’s caregivers and you were truly pleased with them. That is a great peace of mind.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Cathy K, it was great meeting all three of her caregivers. Unfortunately, yesterday I found out that they fired my mother’s favorite of the three caregivers because there was a personality conflicts amongst the three. I guess the company thought the three caregivers getting along is more important than the client’s wishes. (Can you tell I’m not at all happy about this?)

      • Unless they were afraid the personality conflict was severe enough to affect your mother. Oh, for Pete’s sakes, you would think that they could put aside their differences long enough to work together. Honestly. How much did they have to work together anyhow?! I don’t blame you for being upset about this.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list :

          Marion, the caregivers have an overlap of ten to fifteen minutes. They go over the previous 24 hours to let the next one on duty know what has occurred. (I was pretty hot under the collar when I talked to the owner of the franchise. Good grief!)

          • I would have been pretty hot too. Boy, oh, boy. For 10 or 15 minutes, they couldn’t rub together?! Sounds like there must have been more to it, employer bias or a more toxic situation than they revealed or something. Well. What do they do in the meantime? My heart is with you and your mother.

            • Danna - cozy mystery list :

              Marion, I’m looking forward to calling my mother tomorrow to find out about her new caregiver. I certainly hope the one caregiver likes her! (Since it apparently isn’t important if my mother does.)

              • Oh, Danna. It’s such an uphill life, isn’t it? I hope they do get along very well and that no more changes are necessary. Employment is such a weird thing. I remember that when I was at the shoe store, that I would alternatively be on their ‘good’ list and then on ‘their’ bad list. What was truly strange was that my performance would be the same through out! What had changed was something outside of myself and my relationships with my customers. And much of my current status would have nothing to do with what I could control. Maybe something like that happened. Do what you must do, Danna, and, above all, PLEASE take care of yourself. We love you! Please keep me posted.

                • Danna - cozy mystery list :

                  Marion, I have to admit that if I lived in Colorado Springs, I would have immediately started interviewing other home care companies. I am happy with the level of care, I just wish they would stop changing the women caregivers. My mother is having a difficult time remember who they all are. (They all answer to “Debra” – which is the name of one of the ladies.)

                  The company has taken away two of her favorite caregivers, another one quit the company for a better paying job, and the fourth simply showed up one day and said her grandson was sick, so she was leaving. All of this has taken place during the last nine months, since I had the company go 24 X 7. Good grief!

  13. Sounds like you have found wonderful caregivers – that is a blessing! Knowing your mom is safe and has good people around her will help all of you get through this difficult time. I’ve been through it with Dad, and now with Mom – it’s very trying, but afterwards, you can look back and be comforted knowing you did your best for her, and I’m sure she knows that, too.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Donna, you are in my thoughts!

      • Oh dear…I just read the comments above mine with the latest developments re: the caregivers. That is such a shame. It’s such a stressful time already without having to deal with that situation. I went through a similiar situation when we first realized that Dad needed more help than we could give him, and the company was not helpful or considerate at all. Thankfully I found help elsewhere, and then he moved to Hospice soon after and they were wonderful. I hope things will go smoothly for your mother and her new caregiver from now on.

        • Danna - cozy mystery list :

          Thank you, Donna. I’m going to see if they can keep the same caregivers with my mom for an extended amount of time. My sister’s attitude is “It is what it is.”, however I’m not as accommodating as she is.

  14. Danna we all feel there were things we could have done differently during these times. Just know our thoughts & prayers are with you.

  15. Danna, Your web site has changed. I couldn’t find any place to click on to read the replies to your topic about what authors or books would want to have with me on a deserted island.
    Also I have always liked to go back and read some of the older posting. It seems that I can’t do that either.
    Are there any particular reasons for this?

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Linda C, I just talked to my “tech guy” (aka my husband) who told me he will work on this a little later, after he is finished working on my DVR. (I run him ragged!)

      For the time being, if you actually click on the particular entry with the comments you want to read, it will pull up that entry’s own page. You can see the comments there.

      (He told me he tailored this page for me, but somehow has not turned on all of the short codes. Also, he’s not sure he can get this fixed, or not, but he will certainly try. I think the fact that I closed the comments on that entry might be the culprit here…)

  16. By the way Danna, as it concerns the care your mother is getting, just remember that you can only be in one place (in your case, state) at a time and that you yourself can only do so much.
    Don’t forget my mantra “This too shall pass.” Hang in there. This is a tough time for you.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list :

      Linda C, I think my sister (whose life is pretty full of things-to-do and places-to go has adopted the “This too shall pass” mantra. Unfortunately, I am a born worrier, so it is a little more difficult for me to go to that state of mind. My husband has a question that he asks me a lot: “Is there anything you can actually do about it?” which usually brings me back down to earth.

      (His other throw-back phrase is “Is it worth it?” when it comes to choosing my “battles” with my children when they were growing up. I don’t hear that one as much, although it does come out every once in a while when I am busy getting my motherly advice (always unsolicited!) together in order to approach one of them.)

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