Monday, March 05, 2007

It's too damned cold.

I spent most of the weekend hiding in the house, partly because it's so windy and cold, and partly because we've been short a car since one car is being fixed after it was hit in a parking lot during one of the ice storms a couple of weeks ago. So DS and I are sharing a car. Somehow, I seem to be the one sitting at home.

Well...I did some serious stitching on Tree of Life, and I was hoping to have the first third of the sampler completely done, but Sunday evening my concentration snapped, and I put it down early - like at 8:00. Maybe I'll have it ready for a photo later in the week.

I'll be heading to Philly over the next weekend. My mother has an appointment with an "elder care attorney" (I don't exactly know what that is...) and she'd like me to be there. So I'll get there Sunday, have the appointment on Monday, and then see how things are. If things are stable, I'll head home on Tuesday. If not, I'll stay a little longer. Dave and the kids will just have to pick up the slack around here.

My dad continues to decline. I don't see how Mom can keep him at home much longer. She's struggling with this difficult decision, as we all are. But from a distance I can see that even if she won't admit it, my mom really needs to find better care for my dad.

We'd like to think that when it comes to taking care of our loved ones, we will be the most qualified and dedicated candidates, but sometimes that's just not the case. I think that makes us feel shameful in many ways, because we haven't lived up to the ideal that our loved ones will always live peacefully at home and die in their own beds. And no matter how much we tell ourselves that there's no shame in admitting that we just can't care for that person any longer, the shame is still there, muddling our decisions.

Ah what's the answer? Is your love shown more in keeping that person at home, thinking that you're doing the best for them, yet risking that you're growing more resentful day by day? Not to mention tired and lonely? And then feeling guilty over your resentment?

Or is your love shown by admitting your shortcomings as a caregiver and making changes so that your loved one gets better care? And still feeling guilty...over your inability to be the caregiver you thought you could be.

I guess there's guilt no matter what, unless you're a saint...with unlimited money, I might add.

I wonder how we make peace with it.


  1. You and your mom have my best wishes.

    Could you squeeze in a visit? (I'm so selfish!)

  2. Oh, Lee, my heart goes out to you. This is a struggle for so many of us. And you're right about the guilt, no matter what you do, with the best intentions, there's a twinge of guilt. I think all you can do is let them know you love them in as many ways as you're capable, little thoughtful things. {{{{Lee}}}}

  3. My mom went through this with my grandmother several years ago. It is a tough decision. It helped me to remember, just as with children, it is your responsibility to make sure that they are well cared for, and at times, trained caregivers are better able to do that than close family members. Best, Cheryl

  4. ((((Lee)))) Lee, please feel no guilt. You shouldn't. Your dad may look like your dad and act like himself sometimes, but the disease has taken away very important things like his personality. I remember all this with my dad. Yes I felt guilt and some days I still feel a twinge of guilt but there is no way I could have stopped what happened to my dad.

    Best of luck to you and your mom seeing an elder law attorney. Did your mom initiate that? If you want some more info, please email me at Nicnresmom512 @ msn dot com. Who knows, I may even know who the atty is.

  5. Be happy you are seeing an elder care lawyer. We have seen one with the problems/consequences of my mom's stroke. THe lawyer knew of things we had no idea existed. A good lawyer will help your mom keep her assets if your dad needs a long-term facilty.

    Hang in there. BE happy your mom wants you there as well, That speaks well for both of you.


  6. I hope things are going alright with your dad. My uncle's wife went in a nursing home last year (she was 90) and now he is in the same one (almost 84)because he was home alone, fell and broke his hip. He is so stubborn and independent and makes it hard on us by wanting to go home. I guess you have to take it a day at a time.