Being There

Sunset over Vancouver Isalnd 2016 D.K Brint
Sunset over Vancouver Isalnd 2016 D.K Brint

If you’re not up on the current stream of my life a large part of it is involved in the care for my 90-year-old mother who presently is in the hospital because of strong chest pains, blood pressure and pulse through the roof. Five days in now and those vitals have leveled out, so good.

10 years ago I never would have thought that caring for an elderly parent would be so all-consuming. 5 years ago I got a clearer picture.

Always thinking of her well-being, is she depressed and sad, does she seem more confused, the ongoing aches and pains and how to alleviate them, finding a suitable residence, the adjustment and settling (or not) in, will she ever feel comfortable in her new place, is she sleeping through the night and if not is she safe, taking care of her finances and ensuring she can live where we have moved her, how are the nursing staff doing with her, is everything getting done, getting to appointments with the doctor, making sure she is getting enough physical exercise, it goes on.

And because I have a tremendously involved sister it is a shared responsibility which is a good thing.

There is little room it seems for anything else.  My husband is working hard too and soon will be away for work for a period of time, and making space for us has been a struggle at times. He has been so supportive and understanding and accompanies me when he can when I do go to mom’s; he enjoys her and loves to see her, but also confesses that if he wants to spend time with me he needs to come along.

I am not complaining, I need to write it out. And it’s my life right now. I do try to fit in some quiet personal time where I can find it – I recognize better now when I’m reaching saturation point, and take steps to defuse.

And I know this sounds corny and high horse but I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 

The Need to Vacate the Premises

A day in the sun

On Saturday my sister, her husband and I planned to go kayaking, they have their own and I would rent one, so Saturday morning I called the outlet only to be answered with a recorded message that they are closed for the season.

-C’mon, it’s April already! Didn’t expect that.

I was really looking forward to this, I needed this! A mini adventure, a break from my modus operandi but now that activity dashed I found myself at home with the choice of how I should spend my day, which ironically left me with indecision.

I had been ready for a great day of paddling. It was like being ready to pop a piece of white chocolate in your mouth but it’s white cheddar, tasty yes, but startling to your taste buds. So I’m eating white cheddar.

I wanted to be outside in this gorgeous sunny day, but thought I should maybe spend time at home while I have the chance since I’ve been in constant motion lately, so ok I can immerse myself into my current read in the back yard, find a patch of sun in my predominately shady yard and tuck in. Good.

Not good. My next door neighbor has fired up his chainsaw. So back in. Pace around a bit, thinking.

Hmmm, I guess I could wash the windows, or wash the pollen off the deck or work in the yard, but I really didn’t want to do anything like work today – wait, he’s stopped- alright, step outside- uh, nope, on again. This in an’ out went on a few more times until I decided leaving was the more sane alternative. My husband took the car to work yes, but I had the boat and fortunate to have a big provincial park, which is also an island, right next to me -this is where I would find my peaceful escape.

And I did. I got lots of sunshine and luscious uninterrupted reading time with a tremendous view of the water. To get out and away was just what was needed. Most times it’s the only way to ensure that getting sucked into doing obligatory tasks doesn’t overtake ones need for R&R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Digs

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Making the decision on behalf of another that will directly affect them is not easy. This is an intersection I and my siblings have approached last year (and the year before) when we thought we had better initiate the call of finding a place for our mom to move into that would put her in closer proximity to us and where she can continue receiving care. Now it is come down to definite action. 

So. Here we are – two weeks after I initially began writing this post- and I’m very happy, and relieved, to say my mom has moved!

She is in a fantastic Assisted Living facility with her own private apartment with a patio, with the added advantage that she is also two blocks from my sister and her husband.

We had looked at Assisted Living Private Care versus Government Subsidized, we crunched numbers to a pulp to ensure that her finances would be sufficient to go with Private Care for the time being because this option would give her a one bedroom, one bathroom suite with kitchenette rather than the fully subsidized suite option of a studio suite- which is just a room with a bed and a bathroom.

We asked questions about enlisting a care aide to escort mom to and from the dining room due to her onset of dementia, and an aide to assist her in her morning and evening care and with her bathing -yes, yes, all her personal care can be arranged through the Health Authority Subsidy with that cost at $21.a day.

So this means mom pays a full rent for her own suite that includes all utilities and great meals in the dining room augmented with Government Subsidized Care for her personal needs.

– insert a sigh here –

We began all this in early February and this last two weeks has been nothing short of hectic and emotionally draining, which is why I haven’t had the gumption or time to write a post. Until 4:30 this morning.

Now it’s 6 am and feeling like I could sleep a bit, do I crawl back to bed for another hour or so? There is still so much to do in the next two weeks to prepare the townhome for listing, garage sales, to settle mom in and help her get accustomed to the new surroundings-will my mind be quite enough for me to sleep?

But my husband has come downstairs and begins to make coffee, and the birds are up too, singing to a rising sun~

If we were having coffee (#Weekend Coffee Share)

If we were having coffee you too would have stopped mid-sip and we would lock eyes because we just heard that today is National Sword Swallowing Day as was just announced on the CBC radio program I am listening to this morning.

Apparently it’s a tradition on the wane.

Well, who knew.

So anyway, today I will be jumping in my boat and heading to town soon to my mom’s place up island. She will be meeting with the people who will be moving her to her new sweet suite in the next few days. Can I get a Hallelujah?

This service is supplied by the Assisted Living Village and once the move date is set the action begins. They pack and unpack, AND hang all art work etc. all in one day- and that is fantastic.

The move is a big transition for all concerned, of course, but will have so many benefits for all concerned too, finally having her in our neck of the woods. No more long drives up and back.

Mom and Bob 2016

Seems many my age have stories of “moving a parent.” I see and hear them everywhere. Stands to reason, there are sooo many Boomers out there doing exactly what I’m doing right at this time too.  A zeitgeist perhaps?

It’s the opposite end of the spectrum of a young parent meeting other young parents with small children. Kind of. You share experiences good and bad and talk of challenges rife with concerns, worries, and conflicts.

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SO I’ll let you go cause it is the weekend and I know you have a lot to do, getting outside to make the most of this (almost) spring day. Here on the West coast we have some sun and the birds have come back from winter, a welcome sound!

Enjoy your day~ 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

One of Those days

Moe napping 2014
Moe napping 2014

I had accomplished one hour of yoga, made some business phone calls, made some chocolate cupcakes, and checked the mail. And that’s it.

By the late afternoon I made some popcorn, plunked down on the sofa and turned on the TV. Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind was on and I settled in to watch- what’s got to be the 50th time over the years. So corny I know, the acting is laughable, but because I am one of those who watch a night sky in hopes of seeing ET, I get hooked in again and enjoy the ride. I Give myself permission today to indulge in being a couch potato.

It’s a down day. Not in mood but in activity. The rain is coming down, I have the house to myself and I’m reveling in my own company.

And oh what luck, on next is Young Frankenstein, one of my favourite movies with Gene Wilder, next to Blazing Saddles – Cloris Leachman – Love her Frau Blucher (cue neighing horses). Both of those movies I have also seen a gazillion times and can be heard speaking the dialogue along with the actors- annoying, but I’m here by myself so… excuse me now, Frodrick and Frankenstein are singing Puttin’ on the Ritz –

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

Lifted

12744234_10153783486180733_3552159732958383054_nJust polishing the family silver Daahhlink.

My husband brought these pieces home a few years ago after his parents passed away. Heavily tarnished and dark I put them away up in a cupboard and forgot about them.

Then one day I pulled them out thinking we might as well use the sugar bowl at least- you know what they say, don’t save the good china for only special occasions- silver in my case, you may die with regret otherwise.

I took out a cleaning solution I had under the kitchen sink and began rubbing the surface and it brightened beautifully. I came around the other side of the bowl and realized there was an inscription there so faint under the tarnish. I scrubbed to reveal the following, “Groot Hotel Berg en Dal.”

Intriguing.

I went to the computer and began searching for this place and literally spent the entire afternoon trying to find any information on this Hotel. All the articles were not in English which didn’t help. Eventually I did find a photo on Ebay, and discovered that it was in the Netherlands. Bob seemed to think, from stories his dad told, that this might have been the place where the service men were sent for time off from the fight; a place to relax and rest up before going back to the front again, but reading up on a few mere scant articles that were in English written by war vets recounting their times, this Hotel seemed to be in the area that was in the thick of the fighting. So either my father-in-law was there and swept through the hotel and took a souvenir or someone else did and gave it to him later.

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So as I again just recently gave these pieces a spruce up with a rag and cleaner I thought I’d share their story. I then also found when I turned them over to see if in fact they were silver, I discovered they are not. They are a good quality silver plate.

The company B.Bohrmann was founded in 1871 and according to the article I found the numbers on the right is the year it was made, the numbers on the left are unknown. So I can ascertain that the sugar bowl and creamer are from 1906.

So that’s the great story of our family silver (plate)!

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Fallen Angel

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I looked out the window to my backyard and noticed my Garden Angel had become liberated from the fence she hung upon.

To hell with it, she might have said, I just have to smell that lavender bush.

I totally empathize.