I have been so blessed to have two wonderful, loving parents who have supported me throughout every endeavor in my life. They have brought me joy, given advice and helped me raise my own two sons who came with a boatload of issues and conflicts when I adopted them from foster care more than 25 years ago. For the past few years, I have lived with my parents more than on my own. At first, it was for them to help me as I was overcoming some life conflicts, and then to take increasing care of them as age caught up with their ability to be independent. Throughout it all, my Mama has been the same strong, opinionated woman I’ve known my whole life with very clear ideas of how she wanted things in her household. In spite of that, she and Daddy made provisions for me to take over things and make the important decisions for them. They divided their estate, made a will, and wrote advance directives. Even with all these provisions, the last two weeks have been the most difficult I’ve faced so far in my life. My dear, sweet, stubborn, loving Mama had a devastating stroke and is now on hospice. The number of decisions that I’ve been asked to make are endless. I thank God that my brother and I, their only two children, have been in accord all along the way. For the moment, she is still with us, but as the minutes slide past, so too, does her grasp on this life. It is a bittersweet time, precious and treasured, but almost too painful to bear. I am here for her and making every effort to be the strong support my father needs at this time as his own dementia is making it difficult for him to process what is happening.
As hard as things are, the love and support my family and friends have showered on us lightens the load. Mama’s sister Peggy, her daughter, Jannae and grandchildren, Jacob and Carlie have been a tremendous team keeping the house running and in good shape. My son Joe and his wife Janet have tirelessly helped care for Grandpa and Grandma. My brother has been my shoulder to lean on. Family and friends have come by to drop off meals, bring moral support and be our prayer partners. Friends and family that are unable to come have called and sent messages of love and prayer support. All of this outpouring of love is much appreciated.
I have wanted to devote time and attention to this blog and my creative endeavors for quite some time, but it is secondary to my desire to take the best care of my parents possible. I am not giving up on this dream, but it will continue to be on hold for a while as I devote myself to my current family circumstances.
NOTE: Mama passed away February 6, 2017, three weeks after her stroke. Before we could make arrangements, Daddy had a bad fall. He is recovering, but the stress of Mama’s death, his fall, and a complete change in routine has his dementia progressing rapidly. We laid Mama to rest yesterday, February 11. Janet and Joe were unable to attend due to the death of her own step-father in Michigan on the 10th. My prayers are with her and her family at this time. My youngest nephew’s wife also miscarried a baby that would have been their third child. Sometimes it seems that trouble piles on. Thank God that he provides comfort for all of life’s trials.