It’s been right about a year since we realized things were changing with our parents. All four of them were over the age of 80 and we could see the changes. We just had no idea that we were about to give up a year of our life to watch over them. That is exactly what happened. We gave up a year to watch over parents and their affairs. It’s been the most hectic over the past two and a half months. The reason I’m feeling thankful is the fact that I have had a whole five days in which to take care of our needs. Five whole days!
I have to admit that there have been times when I stopped and tried to figure out what to do. It’s not for the lack of things to do but from the overwhelming amounts of things to do. I mopped the kitchen for the first time in months. You should have seen the water. The only way the water could have been dirtier is if I had been outside trying to mop a patch of dirt!
For the first time in I don’t know how long, I can see my desk. That’s not saying everything that came off of it has been worked and organized. It’s just saying enough stuff is off of it so that I can see it. With Sally going in and out of the hospital since September 1st and Mom going to so many doctor appointments to diagnose the cancer, I haven’t had time to work on anyone’s mail since August. I have bags of mail sitting around my desk. I had stacks of mail sitting on top of my desk. Mail everywhere!
I even took a break from going to see all the parents. I felt a little guilty at first but then I realized that I needed the downtime. I needed a break from hearing about cancer and the fact that my mother-in-law still won’t eat. I am the first to admit that it is really hard to go visit Sally (my mother-in-law) when all she does is sleep. She might wake up for a couple of seconds but that’s it. I normally go sit and talk to her even though she is sleeping. I needed some time away from that.
All this time spent with the parents has left me realizing there were things I hadn’t known about them. I found out that my mother acts a lot like my father-in-law and my father acts a lot like my mother-in-law. I now understand the whole opposites attract. I used to think that my mother was a little self involved and an expert of using guilt to manipulate you but now I’ve come to the conclusion that she is actually a bit of a narcissist. I know that to be true since the dementia has made it worse. It did the same thing to my father-in-law. The traits have to be there originally for the dementia to bring them out. Strange how knowing this helps me understand things better. It also explains why Mom butted heads so hard with some of my sisters. Let’s just say they were pots calling the kettle black.
This past year has just about killed me but I am so incredibly thankful for it. It has made me stronger and given me insight. The thing that kept me going were my books. I would read self-improvement books to help me with dealing with why all this was happening at once, why we had to hit rock bottom financially, how to get my life back, and how to survive while absolutely utterly exhausted. I have discovered authors that I had no idea were out there. I owe each one of them a thank you for the sliver of sanity that they helped me to preserve.
I see now what I have to do now that things have started to settle down. My husband was able to find a full-time job but my efforts to find something at night so that I can leave my days open for doctor appointments hasn’t gone well. After reading Grant Cardone’s book, I realize that I simply need to learn to do the hustle. Yes, I can hear the do do do’s in my head from the song. I’ve got to simply find anyway to bring in cash that doesn’t require me to commit to a 9 to 5 job. I just have to add enough of them in until I get the funds needed to help get us caught up. Yes, I’m getting tired of all the calls from 800 numbers wanting to know when we are making our credit card payments.
It is strange but all those calls are no longer stressing me out like they were this summer. I’m not certain which book or free webinar it was that helped change the switch in my brain. I also have no idea how we’ve managed to keep things going as well as we have this past year. We deserve a pat on the back.
So things still look fairly bleak but that’s okay. That just made me think of something. My mother-in-law pointed out a couple of years ago that I have a tendency to say that whenever something is going wrong. We would hit a snag and couldn’t see an immediate solution. I would always tell her, “That’s okay. We’ll figure something out.” That’s when I figured out what would go on my tombstone. “I’m dead and that’s okay.”
I guess that is officially my catch phrase. You have to admit that it works with everything. I’m grateful for all that I have learned this past year. I’m also grateful for all the time I have been able to spend with all the parents. As for everything else, that’s okay. We’ll figure something out.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!