Give me a moment, I need to think this over.

 

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I had intended to rent my vinyl beach cabin till the end of March but I called the owner on Sunday to let her know I would be vacating at the end of this month.  It’s been three winters now that I rented away from home,  away from my husband.  When I go home on the weekends it just doesn’t feel long enough. It doesn’t help matters that when my husband works he is away for weeks at a time too. I feel out of touch with my home,  with my neighborhood.  Like a visitor.

At the moment my siblings and I are beginning  again to make arrangements to move our mother down to where we all live,  something I was trying to make happen last year because I said to myself,  husband and siblings that I can’t keep living  away form home like this.  But I can’t stand the thought of my mom up here by herself everyday until a weekend when one of us can come and take her out.  She’s unable to drive so she can’t just up and decide to head out on her own.  She’s a shut in.  It was my solution to rent near her although extreme maybe,  and because I was the more flexible of us,  the more independent of us, I don’t know, I just did what I knew I could do, wanted to do without question.

But I most certainly can’t anymore.  I’m feeling stress now.  Of course where my home is has a lot to do with my decision to rent up here, If my husband and I lived in town it would be much less stressful. A move for my mom must happen this summer,  so by the winter she’s settled.  I want her to  be part of our loop by living in our small city.  So my siblings, her grandchildren and great grandchildren and I can  without much arranging  swing by during our day or evening  and spend time with her.  One brother struggles with even affording the gas it takes to drive up here to see her in her current home,  my sister works all week 9-5, my other brother is nearly non existent other than the obligatory visits, but usually it’s just a phone call, on birthdays and christmas.

Gestures of moving her last summer was progressing,  but then it all got bogged down with financial questions that she wouldn’t be able to afford to live in a private Independent Care accommodation.  That maybe she could just increase her home nursing care instead and stay where she is. My mom is part of a Life Interest Estate from her second husband which involves its own set of logistics that had needed to be addressed early on in the process so we would know how to conduct the whole transaction of moving.  So another winter came and here I am.

Now we know she can afford the move and my siblings are now fully engaged.

Just needing to breath all this out, thank you for listening.

 

 

Comings and Goings

So it’s been working out well, this split world I’m presently straddling between my Island home and Parksville. I go “Home” on Friday after work and come back to my Vinyl Cabin Monday after work to spend the week. Dropping by my mother’s for a few hours, seeing how she is, taking her for a walk, taking her swimming for Aqua Fit for seniors every Thursday morning, (I take that day off since my work week is four days on -three off, I can switch out the Thursday and work the Friday), which she is really enjoying. I think we spend more time laughing and floating around while trying to keep up to the instructor. But any movement is good movement!

Most times her good friend Peter meets us there.

My time at home is full too, not wanting to forget I have a man there that needs reacquainting with.

And yet.

I think I may need to come up with a better solution here. Come March I won’t be renting up here as the rent fees go up enormously for the High seasons, but I’ll still be driving up and back nearly each day all throughout the summer when I’m laid off- and Winter will again be around the corner. What will I do then?

Normally I don’t like to think hypothetically, not to cast too far into the future with what ifs. I usually take things as they come, and this tactic has worked for me for the most part. For the other part I would’ve wished I had better planning skills.

It may be that my mom’s condition or situation will change by this time next year, but if it doesn’t and she still remains in her own home will I again look for rentals?

Over the last 10 months we’ve had an RN that comes every morning to assist her with getting up and dressed, to give her a smoothie (banana, strawberries, yogurt, protein powder, and almond milk), and to administer her meds. Twice a week the nurse helps with her bath.

With that, we her children, can feel secure knowing someone is there with her first thing in the morning when she’s the wobbliest, and shakiest. The rest of the day she’s pretty good, other than the fact she’s by herself in a gated community.

It’s up to us to keep too much solitude at bay, to get her out exercising, socializing, engaged, and she needs to be assisted with all of this. She uses a walker, a cane for short distance, and she has  onset of dementia.

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And she’s such easy company, bright outlook, and up for almost anything I throw her way.

The fact is the majority of my life is up here and will be until her situation changes, even if or when she moves into a Full Care Facility, it will likely be up here too. The Care Homes in my town I wouldn’t want to see her in- except for one, but the wait list is years.

How do I….bring it all together into a seamless flow?

Or is this something I’ll just need to continue to juggle?

Thoughts of buying and moving here are swimming around my mind…

 

 

 

 

Winter Roost

I have found a home away from home for the next four months. It’s perfectly suited to me; sitting so near the ocean, so great when the weather turns turbulent. So near to where I need to be, five minutes from my mother’s house.

Everything is temporary.

I will return to my little island each weekend, happily, to be in my own home, cooking good food, sitting by the fireplace with my husband, walking to visit friends. Recharging.

Then back. Two refuges.

Here and There

I have been grappling with this particular issue lately. At this juncture in my middle-aged life (as with millions of Boomers) it involves the concerns of caring for a parent, who if fortunate enough to have reached into their octogenarian years, appreciate and need their children’s attention.  A role reversal if you will.

My post heading Here and There is most illustrative of my current residential condition.

As you may know from my profile I live on an island and commute by boat each day to work. And now that I’ve been attending to my mom who lives on her own and is one hour away logistics have to be managed. Now from work I can be up There  (Moms place) in 25 minutes – no problem- but during the winter the days are then dark and wet or icy and to drive back Here  (home) after a day at work and traveling up to see mom makes for a long, long day with burn out waiting in the wings.

So last year I had rented a trailer a few minutes from her house up There to alleviate the return commute each evening. It was simple. On weekends I would return to husband and home back Here, and my sister would then be available to assist and visit our mom then.

Not the best recipe for the happiest of marriages but he is very supportive and understands the condition.

To move her to a closer proximity to us, her children, into an Assisted Living home is proving to be a lengthy process of waiting for assessment (which we are) to then be placed onto a waiting list. Which presently is at one year.

She is best where she is for now. And we can make it work.

But coming up to this winter I thought I wouldn’t “move” away again. I  decided to retire from my work at the university, that my mom is now my occupation. I could then spend the day with her, getting her out to swimming and walks, errands and appointments returning to my island home by the early evening. Happy wife, happy husband-

Well I was pretty set with that decision for several weeks.

Then I decided again.

I decided instead to once more look for a place to rent for the winter. I enjoy my work. I’m not ready to stop. I will give it one more winter. She may move by next year, she may not, or she may be gone. But one more winter.

And the sad truth be told, It is a temporary situation. It could all change in a heartbeat.

 

 

 

 

Maxine

She’s my mother. I don’t call her Maxine when we’re together, just mom. But I probably would feel comfortable using her name. I think when the relationship between parent and child cross over to something more resembling friendship perhaps Given names of parents could be used. So Maxine is 89 but really is one of those Young at Hearts. Her one big frustration is limited mobility, saying If it wasn’t for my back and knees I’d be roaring around!

That, and then there is the onset of dementia that has her repeating comments and questions frequently. And if there is a little too much going on around her she can’t quite follow. But most times she can engage in great serious conversation and some seriously funny ones too.

I’ve come to know from spending so much time with her and having lengthy discussions about everything from alien/human hybrids to fashion that she was secretly her family’s black sheep. The non conformist at heart.