This is where we are (a poem)


One day they’re up at 11, the next day it’s 3 then it’s 7

There is no rhyme there is no reason

I can’t tell you why, it’s only a season

“My head hurts, my feet hurt” “Where are my teeth?”

“I don’t want to do that just leave me be”

They may say “Thank you” and sometimes “please”

They are grumpy, they are sweet

they can be defensive without any need

At times I get frustrated I will admit

But this is where we are, you see

there’s no going back with this disease

My heart changes when I lay them down to sleep

I get the privilege to hear them retreat

In prayer they come awake like their old self divine

Their shell might be weak but their spirits alive


Shameful ramblings of a care giver


So last night I heard my mom talking after lights were out. My parents usually talk awhile, loudly, my husband and I always hear them in our room. They take their hearing aids out and start talking..  At that time of night I try to have the headphones on so I don’t hear everything but they get so loud I have to make sure they are not fighting.   It happens, I know it sounds funny but… I will at that point go in and see if I can help to smooth things down.  But last night after their talking and then ‘I love you” from each one, which is so sweet, I just wish my husband and I were that sweet to each other now, mom kept talking.  I went to her door a couple times just to check.  Dad wasnt talking just mom.  Finally I went to the kitchen, we have a child monitor under their bed so that I can hear without going in their room and invading their privacy. When I turned it on, mom was still talking and I realize she is praying. Im thinking  “yea”.   Then I hear her say “and they are failing but we pray you will help them. We know you can” and then she went on to say give us a new house and etc.  I turned it off and went back to bed.  Unfortunately I think she was praying for me and howmI’m failing.  Is that the rruth?  I donf kmow, I cant say for sure. Our living situation is not comfortable but it works.  I say my sister and I have joint custody of my parents.  My mom had massive strokes in September 2010 and they didnt give her much hope and the stress of it all caused my dad to go in a tail spin with his health.  They were living in Texas and all us kids were in Arizona.   I was able to go be with them for about a week and my sister was able to go a few times, she works for the airlines.  But after that we needed to move them to Arizona.  Very long story cut short, my husband, 3 boys, baby girl and I moved in with my sister, her daughter and my parents in a 1200 square foot home, 3 bedroom and 2 bath.  My sister had given my parents the master bedroom when they moved in and her and her daughter tried to care for them. By the time my family and I moved in everything revolved around my parents.  Everyone was quiet so they could take naps in the living room, not in their rooms,. They never took walks, they took a ton of medicine.  When we moved in I slowly but deliberately started changing things.  As a care giver you do not allow those you are caring for, to shove you out of life.  It is so easy to allow everything to revolve around them but when they die do you want to have lost your life, your spouse,  your children in the process of caring  for your parents?  No, there has to be balance and as a care giver of your parents you must protect your immediate family and yourself.  My mom cared for both her mother and dads mother, seperately until they died and I just wonder if she lost her life in the process.  Back to my story.  So when mom prays for those failing, of course I assume shes talking about me.  I am the youngest child of 4. My sister, Melody,  co-caregiver, is the oldest girl. I have always said she was the baby, I am the youngest.   Her natural bend is more wanting others, especially parents to be happy with her. I wanted them to be happy but not at my expense so I always  had the backbone to stand up to mom and I did it often.  Mom was always very close to Mel and treated her like her baby.  After Melody’s divorce and with her being able to fly free the “baby” treatment was cemented.   So here we are as caregivers. They treat Mel as their baby & they treat me as their caregiver. Even though  my dad is so much better now sometimes  he forgets.  I am full time in care and Mel helps in the evenings and her days off.  So they literaly treat Mel as a child, they want to know what she’s doing at all times but she can do no wrong.  I’m the one who gives the medicine,  tells them to take a walk, sweep (because everyone should do something to help the family) get a drink, wipe your bathroom, change your clothes etc. So did I think she was praying about me, ya. It is very common in these situations to have a favorite and as sad as I think that is, that is the way it is and I am not that one.

So this morning when I had to start the day all over, giving medicine,  fix the breakfast, make sure they drink water, get their walks and the day goes on, I had to remind myself “do not become weary in well doing”. “Do everything as unto the Lord”.  I had to remind myself, that if im not the favored, if I am hated, if my family questions the reasons, if my mom forgets I’m her daughter, if they both argue with me about everything because they forget but they tell me that I forget, I will do my best.  I will make the best decisions I can and care for them the best I can. When I cant any longer I will find a home or another care giver who can take care of them.  I will to the best of my ability not to feel guilt or shame.  I will not beat myself up about what I could do, should do or did or did not do good enough.  I will trust the Lord during this process to work in me and my family “for the good”.  If I do this for 6 more weeks or another year I will trust my husband, my marriage, my children, my sanity, my health,  my weight, my emotional well being, my mind, my spirit, my decisions, my parents to the Lord. He is able to do far exceedingly above what I think or dream or believe.