Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things Dont Work Like They Used To

Did you ever experience a cluster of days where things little bylittle just stopped working the way they were meant to. That is me this week for sure!!

Our main computer froze the other day and we still have not been able to "thaw" it out, the kitchen light starter is broken and takes a few minutes to get warmed up, we are experiencing rain and the telephone line is full of static and Moms doorknob just fell off her bedroom door as I picked it up with my migraine I woke up with this morning. I suddenly just started laughing and said to Mom, man we have more broken things around here lately than things that work.

I then was reminded of my day on Tuesday. I volunteer at Moms senior center as I thought it was a good way for her to get out more as well as fill my need of wanting to find something for which I could give back to the world. Tuesday was a Fall party at the center and it was a lot of fun and I helped serve the lunches. After lunch the music began and I watched all these elderly people with their walkers, canes, hearing aids, bad eyes, missing teeth and many aches and pains singing and dancing and clapping. Behind me sat a younger gentleman who apparently had a stroke who was paralyzed but he asked his aid to help him out of the wheelchair and he began to move back and forth to the music and was smiling as well.

All these wonderful people have lost so much. They were not focusing on all the things that no longer worked. They joined together and did not focus on all those things but instead chose to continue despite them.

It is so easy to focus on the broken things. I realize while writing this that at times I hinder Mom from all the things she can still continue to do to make my life more convenient.
When she asks me at lunchtime would you like me to make our sandwiches I usually say no I can do that. I selfishly dont want the crumbs, and the mustard on the counter and what I refer to as cleanup in aisle three moments. I have to learn to compromise however. She can still make the sandwich. She wants to make them. She needs to feel useful. We all do!

I knew when I made the decision to join homes that it was not always going to be easy to share our five rooms as I had done it with Aunt Hilda. I also know however I invited her to give her a better way of life. I have come a long way with her. I however must focus on all the things that continue to work and allow her to do those things for which she is able despite them perhaps not being done perfectly.

I must stop complaining!....My headache is not a big deal compared to others problems, I have my laptop so the computer being broken is not something to over react over, the kitchen light turns on slowly, Im not left in the dark and so what there is static on the phone....I can still hear the person on the other end. I may have to count to 100 when Mom peels potatoes as Im running around the kitchen grabbing the flying skins so my little shit tzu doesnt choke to death. I have to remember, focus on what works!! Hey,I can still count to 100!!. Its not always easy but the end result I know when done correctly will be worth it.

Mom can no longer do many things for which I can see the sadness in her eyes. But like all those wonderful people on Tuesday they were encouraging each other to keep on going despite the broken things. I must learn to keep encouraging her as well!!

I close by saying, wow Mom, that afgan your working on is really coming out NICE!! and you know it really is.....its actuall Beautiful as is She!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ingredients Of A Perfect Day

Last week Kevin and I dropped Mom off at church bingo and then enjoyed a nice breakfast, a walk in the park and just a little bit of time alone which is rare these days. It was almost time to pick Mom back up and I sadly said, Man, Im 51 years old! When will we be able to pick up and go and stop having to look at our watches? That day I felt the ingredients for a perfect day would be you, me and no watches.

The next day I read a blog a good caregiver friend wrote. Her name also is Donna and she cared for her Mom for many years. Her Mom suffered dementia and it was a very long journey but Donna cared for her right to the very end. Donna gave her Mom so much love despite the fact she no longer recognized her. Donna was so incredibly patient and sacrificed so much for her Mom with absolutely no regrets. This past August her Mom passed away and Donna wrote a fabulous piece on feeling like an adult orphan. How does one heal once Mom is no longer here?

As I was reading the piece I thought to myself, I really need to be careful what I wish for. We sometimes think things will be so much better once our carees are no longer with us. Despite the stress we all face we will never know what it is like to lose them until we are going through it ourselves.

I realized reading that piece that at times I focus way too much on things lost and what I cant do versus appreciating the things I do have. I have to learn to stop asking why as God knows the answer to this queistion. I waste so much time questioning and in doing so I lose out on many beautiful things.

Today we once again dropped Mom off at bingo. We took a beautiful drive way out on Long Island and bought homemade pies and jam and enjoyed country roads. Yes, we did have to keep our eye on our watches as Mom needed to be picked up. Instead of being sad however I was glad for the time we did have together. I am also blessed Mom is still here to enjoy the pie a la mode tonight as well.

It is not always easy but always be careful what you wish for. What you define as the ingredients of a perfect day today could change later on. Make the best of the situation each day. Those to me are the ingredients of a perfecct day.

Thanks to my friend Donna for this reminder.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cracks In Foundations

This morning Queens looks like a bit of a war zone. It has not been confirmed yet but there are reports that we experienced a tornado here yesterday. You can define the storm any way you would like. I define it as incredibly scarey.

The sky got so incredibly dark, and the winds picked up with a harsh howl. You can hear outside the window garbage pails and other odds and ends just blowing all around. The news was urging we go into basements and take cover. I was so frightened as I was home alone with my Mom as well as concerned for my husband who was in Manhattan working.

The storm departed almost as quickly as it arrived. It sure did cause lots of cracks in foundations around the community. It taught me however that we just dont know what roads we will one day be travelling. I learned that we just have to wake up and use our time wisely. I learned we have to keep the faith for God knows the entire story even if I dont.

We all have cracks in our foundations that need repairing. Just like the trees and all of the damage some will be repaired, however Im sure there are some that will just have to remain. Today we all will try our best to conduct our lives despite all the cracks we face.

Fix what you can, dont stress over what you cannot and use the experience to learn and grow. That is all we can do. Cracks in the foundation for me was a huge lesson. Embrace each day despite them.