Posts Tagged ‘Parents’

Plates Spinning

August 17, 2014

At times I feel as if I have several plates spinning on sticks – similar to the  people Ed Sullivan used to have on his program.  Some days I feel like this:

Plate-Spinner

Everything is nicely balanced and I am in as much control as I can be.  Then there are days like today and the past week, I haven’t felt much control and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to keep them all spinning properly:

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I could give a name to each plate – cleaning out Mom & Dad’s stuff, my new website for my business, a new website for my radio show, understanding how the sponsoring works and finding sponsors, doing Eddie’s new report (he isn’t doing the Round Up but calling it The Kaplanian Report, not associated with the Future of Flight), things for Mom, personal business stuff, Apple Group Training and also One to One,my blog, my book, Kaplanian International stuff, etc.

This week I have been  doing a lot of clearing out bureau drawers – the stuff my parents kept!  All kinds of cards they received and Mom had so many cards ready to send for almost any occasion, I am going to give them to the Goodwill so other people can use them.  I have bags of papers to put in recycle – our wheelie bin is full to the top and I have 2 other bags ready – plus things I have put away in boxes to see if my sister Candy wants them.  I found 2 photographs from North American Aircraft in an original envelope that is going to the Boeing Archives, lovely to know they will be pleased to have them.

My parents kept things even though they were worn out, some things had never been used and there is a beautiful  grey wool yard length – very fragrant with moth balls.   And letters from people, from Mom & Dad to his parents, letters from both his sisters and letters from his Uncle James to Dad’s father.  I had a hard time reading the hand writing, I am putting them away to read later since I need to work on the clearing out.

Along with that, I was having a lot of discomfort – the toilet and I became close companions on thursday, Friday and even into Saturday, though not as much.  The tummy was unhappy and I was really tired.  Yesterday after we did all our stuff, I came home and crawled into bed with Bunny to sleep some of it off – and I was better when I woke up.  Not sure what happened because I didn’t eat anything  different.  I have been very careful how much I eat, the tummy gets uncomfortable.  I have been using water and baking soda which seems to help.  maybe the side effects of veggies.

We finally had rain this week, blessed soaking rain.  I have been feeling very dry and parched and it was so lovely to hear the raining really coming down as I was lying in bed.  Rain is so refreshing and makes things feel washed clean.  Now it will be 81 today and 83 tomorrow, then back to the 70’s – that’s quite okay with me.

I have been playing phone tag to arrange a haircut for Mom, finally made it for Tuesday.  Her hair is getting long and needs cutting – not sure how she will be when the time comes.  She is very feisty when anyone wants to do anything for her – I make sure I am there for the hair cut and sit beside her.  There is no way to tell how she will be from one minute to the next, one day to the next.  I saw her on Friday and she was rather sleepy, though chocolate sounded very good to her.  She was cuddling a stuffed dog or cat and Judy had put a chair on each side of her, she could easy fall to the side.  She seems to mumble more than before.   I don’t know how much she knows that Fern died last week.  Fern was 102 and having a lot of pain in her body, as well as feeling alone since she was used to family all around.

I’ve been wondering if  visiting Mom and clearing out things has had an emotional and mental effect as well as physical.  It maybe stirring up a lot of old programs, messages and memories that I had not been conscious of for quite awhile.  The bottom drawer of the desk is definitely a proud parent’s drawer; all the drawings and things the three of us girls have done since we were very young are there.

I saw Mom on Monday and then went to my Caregiver’s Support Group.  I’m so glad I did, it helps so much.  I told them what was going on with Mom and that I feel as if I am walking in thigh deep water.  It feels more than just fatigue, but there is more to it – I can’t really name it at the moment.  I also realize each time I go that I have it relatively easy compared to the others.  They have to deal with so much more, how they cope I can only imagine.  I will admit, I have periods of feeling I have such a difficult time – usually when I am tired and worn down.  I haven’t figured out how to actually become rested while still doing what I need to do.  Is that what’s called the horns of a dilemma?

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Cleaning Out

August 10, 2014

I knew I had to start cleaning out drawers and closets but there was something holding me back.  Not necessarily the size of the project so much as going through my parents’ belongings.  If you saw the house, it doesn’t necessarily look as though anything has been done – it is more the inside where there is a difference.  I cleared out a shelf in the office with things both Mom and Dad had clipped and saved, mostly Mom’s idea pile.  She had a lot of articles about rug hooking, pattern ideas, calendars with flowers and some patterns she had transfer to a backing to hook.  I found her patterns for the coat of arms rug – a list of tartans and descriptions as well as individual shield patterns.

Thursday afternoon I started on the desk in the living room, clearing out the top of the desk with all the little drawers and cubby holes.  I know I come from a long line of  pack rats, but I had no idea how much Mom kept.  I filled a shopping bag with old pay stubs for Dad, check registers, you name it.  I was really tired by the time I finished that.  Friday I started on the first three large drawers below – another full bag of things.  I put all the things to be shredded on top of the desk and Eddie took care of that for me – they may be old but I want to be sure no one can use the information.  I have one more drawer to go.  then it is on to the bedroom.

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It was interesting to see what Mom kept, there are reports from school for all three of us, some letters from grandparents, congratulation cards for all three of us from relatives, a bunch of newspaper articles about family members – the others I don’t know who they are but I think they are people Mom went to school with or knew in Glastonbury.  There are pictures of all kinds and in the lower drawers she has so many cards to use for any occasion.  I may send those over to Goodwill and some other things.  Letters, photos and other papers I have in a box so Candy and Ellen can check them out.

It will be interesting to see what is squirreled away in the bedroom bureaus.  Now that I have done most of the desk, I realize it would have been smart to do it a lot sooner.  Maybe it has just taken this long to be ready to do it.  I need to clean things out to sell them, otherwise they would be very heavy and there is no telling what is in the drawers.

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I put the dining room table on Craig’s list last Saturday – no word so far.  I had been hesitant to do it only because I didn’t know how it worked and what to do.  I checked out eBay as well just to have an idea how much I could ask – 52″ round mahogany pedestal table with 3 leaves, 6 chairs and table protectors.  Turned out it was very hard to list it on Craig’s List, so I will put another on the site.

We need to start going through books and donate them to the library.  I want to make sure which ones are worth keeping or truing to sell – the ones I have with Judith on her online book store are still there.  She said things are very slow right now.  I do want to check with her to find out which books are valuable then decide what to do with them.

I know Mom is no longer in this world but a world of her own – still, it feels strange to be doing this while she is still alive.  Yet she isn’t going to be coming back and it is long past time for Eddie and me to make this house our own.  I often feel pulled in 2 opposite directions.

I visit Mom twice a week and I notice she is more sleepy when I come – some days she is quite alert and aware.  The day she didn’t know who I was took me a little by surprise and since she was in a feisty mood, she didn’t want anyone to touch her.  So now I ask her if she would like a hug and the other day, she said yes, and a kiss.  I know the not recognizing me will come more often, I hope to be able to be objective about it and not get upset.  She loves chocolate and cookies, always saying yes to them.  When she is really sleepy, I will save some of the cookies and put them in her room for later – Judy says she will have a snack in the afternoon.  I tend to put her to sleep when I read, she says that’s fine.

Every day is an education, learning experience and challenge, I am working on seeing it that way rather than a upsetting situation.  I am working on it every day and I have made a lot of progress, though I am still a work in progress.

I Am A Late Bloomer

April 27, 2014

There have been only two things in my life I did early – I was born 2 weeks early and went to school a year earlier than was smart.  The birth was when I was ready – maybe the doctor miscounted or Mom wasn’t quite sure when to start counting.  Anyway, I arrived around 6 a.m., a day before my parents 5th wedding anniversary.  And there was my big sister to welcome me too.  As for school, my Dad tells the story of Ellen getting on the bus to go to school and me making a huge fuss to get on with her to see where she went.  We were in Southern California at the time and if I was 5 by the 1st of march, I could start kindergarten.  Later, when we moved to Seattle, I suddenly found I was a year younger than everyone else in my class.

I must have shot my wad on early things; after that, I always felt I was trying to catch up.  I was not making the greatest grades in school – mostly C’s with a B and A every once in a while.  Meanwhile, my older sister was just at the right age for her grade and did very well.  Not always easy to be three years behind her and having a lot of the same teachers she had.  When she graduated, I started in that Fall – there were a lot of teachers who remembered Ellen and I had the feeling they expected me to do as well as she did.  It didn’t work out that way – maybe I was a little in over my head at the time.

As a result, my parents thought I would have done better if I had waited a year.  When my sister Candy went to school, they made her wait a year, so she was a big older than the others.  She, too, had good grades and was active in school, maybe that extra year was a real bonus for her.  With the age difference, the three of us were more like 3 generations because we weren’t in the same school at any time together.  By the time Candy went to high school, she was in a different one than we were because they changed the school boundaries.  There were no reminders of an older sister  for her – it was a whole new place just for her.

I have to admit, I didn’t expect it would take this long – I am 67 and still working on what I want to be when I grow up.  Now one would think that from my start in life I would be a go getter – I was born two weeks early, at 6 in the morning.  My Dad once said I was born tired and never got rested.  I was 19 when I had my first date – I didn’t do well with boys because I was so unsure and had no experience about boys except my Dad.  I always thought a brother would have been a good thing, unfortunately my parents never went for the idea of trading in my younger sister for an older brother.  Always wondered why.  I was married at 22, by  then almost all the girls in my graduating class had been married for a while.  Then of course I went to Australia to be married.  I have never figured out what I want to be when I grow up – haven’t found anything that really “hits” me.  I am have to create it for myself.  I have never felt I fit anywhere.  So here I am looking at 67 and I feel as if there is something really cool just around the corner – not sure what it is or how it will look and feel.  All I know is I am open, receptive, unlimited, allowing with no preconceived ideas of what it has to be or how it will show up.  I am finally at a point of thinking in terms of “Whatever works”.

It’s not to say I have had a boring life, once that wonderful Armenian fellow I met at my aunt’s came into my life, things have been very interesting.  We were married in Australia and it is a bit disconcerting to find we will be celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary in less than a month.  Put in years, it seems quite a long time.  But it doesn’t feel that long.  In many ways, I look back at the first years and it almost feels as if it happened to someone else or that I read it in a book.  I have learned so much, been to many places I have always wanted to go, some places I never thought about and others I have no desire to return.  I have met a lot of interesting and amazing people over the years, they have taught me so much.

I wonder what I am meant to do – sometimes I feel time is running out and I am getting too old.  But I have heard the phrase “You are never too old” and I continue to  learn and grow.  I am looking to the future and what will unfold – anything is possible for me.  I know I am not the same person I was and there is no changing the past.  I learned long ago not to beat myself up – I did the best I could with what I had and knew at the time.  I am learning that it is and was all perfect for me; I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am without it.   I choose to learn to embrace the future and also learn to enjoy the journey – sometimes seems  a bit counterintuitive. When I think about what I was doing before, I hear Dr. Phil in my head asking “How’s that working for you?’ and know it’s not working for me.  Much better to try something different and see what happens.

Is It A Merry-Go-Round Or A Roller Coaster?

January 14, 2013

I went to see my Mom twice last week, she seems a bit more alert – wonder if the med is kicking in slowly.  I brought an apple and cranberry pie for the house.  I noticed that was mostly what Mom talked about for the rest of the visit.  They were going to have  for dessert at dinner.  She was very pleased and ready to eat it right that minute.  When I saw her on Friday afternoon, I asked her about the pie – she said she hadn’t gotten any yet.  The others said they really enjoyed it and I suspect Mom did too, she just didn’t retain the memory.  NOTE TO SELF: Don’t ask her about things that happened a short while ago, she probably won’t remember and will go into wanting apple pie.  Once she has fixated on something, she worries it like a  dog with a bone – almost  an obsession.

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She keeps asking about her parents – what do I know about them – and then she remembers they aren’t here.  I usually tell her they are watching over her and preparing a place for her when her time comes.  She will ask several times and Judy said she asks her a lot about them – it feels as if she has a loop playing in her mind about them and also about leaving.  So far when she says she wants to leave, I tell her this is her home, this is where she waits for the train.  It was an easier week visiting her, she likes the people and she says they are very good to her.  It has been 3 months since she moved there, I know it was big adjustment for her, though no idea how it felt to her.

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This is the roller coaster part of the equation – up and down, not knowing what happening with her or what is best for her.  I am still a little uneasy and uncertain making decisions for some one else, especially the person who took care of me as I was growing up.

I am glad to say I am nearly at the finish line for Medicaid.  We had to spend down to $2000, not a penny more.  I bought almost $500 worth of clothes, though I will take them to her slowly since she doesn’t have a lot of room in her closet or drawers.  Then we went over to the cremation place and spent $1400 there – all suggests from the case worker.  She has been so kind and easy to work with, government isn’t usually like that.  The only paperwork left is her latest checking account statement that closes on the 19th.  I think she is approved to start February 1st – if we wait until March 1st, I have to jump through all the hoops again.  Believe me, I do not want to do it again!  According to Eddie’s calculations after we were at the cremation place, there is about $70 left, so I may go and buy her some lotions.

It has been hard spending down her money because Providence takes care of almost everything.  It will be interesting to see how it all works when the 1st rolls around.  It is scary having only $2000 in her account, we are very cautious about our checking account, we like to have a large cushion.  Eddie has been doing Mom’s checking account for 2 or 3 years and he treats it like ours.  So not having much of a cushion makes both of us uneasy.  I keep telling myself that because Providence takes care os so much, if something happens, they are likely the ones to take care of it.

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This is the merry-go-round part – endless forms, sending things in only to have more questions and requests.  I will say that the case worker has made it much easier than some who work in government.  It has also been and education and an eye opener.  However, it is difficult for anyone having go through this experience.  I’m not sure I want to know what the next is that is coming.

Progress – Slowly Forward

July 3, 2011

Things are going better, though I did overdo when I did the last post because it felt good to be able to work on the computer. So I paid for it and now am much more cautious about the computer. Definitely means not much has happened with my business, my journaling, and any of the projects I had been working on – definitely puts a crimp in things. However, it has also made me stop to think about my life and what I want – a time for meditation, re-evaluating and taking care of myself. I haven’t put myself first much, too much early “somebody else’s training” from childhood that said to take care of everyone else and if anything is left over, I can take care of me. A little harder at 64 but I am ready to work on it and perfect it since I know if I am filled up and overflowing, I can give the overflow to others.

My massage therapist is away for 3 weeks, so I have been wondering how I can keep from stuffing the emotions and adding to the junk already stuck in my shoulders. What I have come up with is to just breathe, especially when the stressful situations come. I just think in terms of “Breathe in love, Breathe out negativity” for however long I need to do it and by, George, it seems to work. Also to be grounded and one way is to play in a mud puddle, connecting with Mother Earth. Now it has been a long time since I played in a puddle and at first, I was deciding where I could create one and all that overthinking. I ended up digging in the corner of the small bed under the water faucet – I could turn on the tap and not have to carry water. I had trouble digging the weeds and almost gave up, but I am glad I didn’t It was a beautiful sunny 75 degree day – the first since last September. So I rolled up my pant legs and paddle in my puddle for a bit – hard to stand too long, so I need to get a chair to sit and have fun for longer.

While I was creating my puddle, my Mom asked what I was doing, so I told her and invited her to play with me. She wasn’t quite ready to that. That was fine, I am glad I asked her. When my husband came home, he asked who had been digging in the garden. he thought it was Mom because she is the gardener, but I said “No, not Mom.” So he asked who and I said it was me. Then it was why, so I told him to connect with Mother Earth. Some silence and then “Okay”. I don’t think he was quite sure about the whole thing. Well, that was all right too. Unfortunately we went back into Junuary again and it hasn’t been nice weather until this weekend. We might actually begin to have summer now – we aren’t counting on it since it has been such a weird spring. Right now most of the country is sweltering and we have finally just beginning to stop wearing winter clothes.

After writing this, I am doing fine, but there is in the back of my mind just how much longer should I write and not mess up my shoulder. I am not stressing so much that my business is at a stand still, I feel there is a transition coming and I need this time to let it emerge on its own without forcing it. If someone wants to do a promotion with imprinted items, I will definitely be available to do it.

I wish all of you the best of health and willingness to put yourself first – you deserve it!


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