Busy Friday

Today was a three hour conference with home health folks about therapy for Mom at home. She doesn’t want to go out, but isn’t good enough to go to therapy at a building. She is pretty much home bound, so she qualifies for assistance. The home had to be gone over with a find tooth comb, and lots of questions answered. She doesn’t understand the repetition is necessary. One discussion revealed a discrepancy in meds; not enough to be an issue but because of her hearing problems. Even with hearing aids, she cannot hear conversation. It’s frustrating, but just how her life is. I’m only talking about these things to alert other people their parents may need some assistance. They become pretty defensive when questioned about their home and habits.

The very last thing they want is to be removed from their homes because it’s no longer safe. I don’t blame them. Yet, I think I have less fear of going to assisted living than my mom does. I know the theory behind them, and am not as attached to our home as Mom is to hers. I suppose living there over 70 years makes a difference. She lived at her family home before Dad and her got married; they may have lived in an apartment until moving into our house. At the most, to have only lived in three places in your whole life is pretty amazing.

By contrast, I’ve lived in nine different places in my life. That isn’t too many, either, all things considered. My home is where the Babe is. My home used to be where the kids were. I love our house and area now, but the Babe still determines where my home is. If he passes first, the dwelling we last lived together in is my home. Especially since we love the deck and yard so much. I told him if he’s a cardinal in his next life, to come sing to me from the tops of the trees, like the cardinal sings every morning. He promised to do that.

As you consider how you’ll age in place or how your parents will, think ahead. Think about how you’d feel being told you had to move, it’s not safe anymore. I’m sure Mom, at 92, still thinks of herself as the 19 year old girl who moved in there with her husband. The time passed too quickly for them, and Dad’s been gone for 33 years in December. She was 59 when he passed away, and she worked for a few years after that, then went headlong into volunteering for the Zoo in Omaha. Now, with diminished hearing and vision, she is an old woman with 92 years of life behind her. I can only pray God is good to her for her remaining time on earth, and she understands all that happens with her health the next years. I realize nothing is perfect, and I can’t control things. I just pray and hope she’s not too stressed about it.

Take care and have a beautiful evening. I’m helping with a Craft Fair at the VFW tomorrow, and won’t put the blog up until later. Have a beautiful day and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Now Where Did I Put That?

I am at the point in life I can forget a lot of things. Where did I put so-and-so? I just had such-and-such. Where’d it go in five minutes? This no longer bothers me. When it did bother me was right after I was forced into early retirement, when I went on LTD, and was only 48 years old. I couldn’t remember the day, the week, the month sometimes. The Babe told me “You’re fine!” I did not believe him. Finally, I bought a planner. Never needed one when I was employed, but I sure did when I wasn’t.

Fast forward a few years to when the Babe retired. I had long since grown accustomed to being forgetful and made allowances for it. My motto was, “I’m not getting paid to think.” I sure felt better and everyone laughed. Including me. The Babe mentioned one day, “Gosh, I don’t remember what day it is.”

I was able to console him. “It doesn’t matter anymore; when you’re retired, there are six Saturdays and a Sunday.” Truer words never spoken. Now, we both have calendars (paper, thank you very much) with our collective events AND Mom’s appointments. Then, for emergencies, we can get ahold of each other. After the phone debacle (with my old phone dying, and my Google ID being locked for 28 days) I can’t rely on a device. I’m not trusting enought to do that yet.

Growing up Catholic, the first thing we did when looking for something we misplaced was pray to St. Anthony. Patron of Lost Items. (He is also credited with finding lost souls, but that’s another day.) The nuns would invoke him in the classroom daily. If Johnny lost his mittens, the good Sister would pray. If Susie lost her chapel veil, Sister would pray. We were ready to call the Pope about all the miracles. Except Anthony was already a saint. Still, it was amazing.

This week, I’ve misplaced a few things. First, the lid to my thermal Pioneer Woman glass; it’s so great for tea or coffee to go, then a book I ordered called, “Just One Look,” about a woman engaged to be married who loses her fiancee in the Vietnam War. I especially wanted to start it, but couldn’t locate it. Then, this morning, I walked downstairs, looked at a small stack of books destined for the new book cases, and there it was. Smack dab in the middle of the ones ready to be put away. That was easy. I’ve given up on the lid to the thermal glass. It may have been thrown out accidentally.

When I misplace things, I think back to St. Anthony, then sort of mention, “Hey, if you can give a hand, please do!” Then I start to think to the last time I saw something. Where was I, what was I doing, did I go in another room, was I in a hurry, and all that. Usually, I come up with some of those answers, and, just like this morning, I get a glimmer of where it may be. Maybe it was St. Anthony. Or maybe it wasn’t. But it’s not lost anymore.

Whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to accept how things change as you age. Sure, you forget stuff. Who doesn’t? And if someone has more than normal difficulty with memory, of course, get professional assessments and help. Otherwise, remember, you’re not getting paid to think! Have a great afternoon, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow, it’s “Mom’s New Wheels.”