Monday, May 30, 2011

*sigh - Helping an aging parent cope with life...

Well, the time is here.  We knew it would probably come sometime, and that sometime is now.  The aging parent now needs more care than freedom.  Now we need to consider blending our lives back together again - pursuing a reversal from being the child of the parent to parenting... the parent.

My husband's 85-year-old mother has enjoyed living freely and alone since being widowed in 1998.  She and his Dad lived some distance from us when Dad succumbed to cancer, so we found a nice condo about two miles from our home for Mom to move into less than a year after he died.  She lives on one side; her widowed sister-in-law lives in the other.  We pick her up for church on Sundays, enjoy dinner with her, and see her sporadically through the week.  She's healthy and drives herself to the store, the doctor, to her friend's homes - whenever and wherever she wants.  She's enjoyed her freedom; we've enjoyed ours.  Yes, we've had times where we've needed to be closer and take care of her but, by and large, it's been a free existence for her...

Until now.

Seven years ago we put wheels into motion that will now start moving faster.  We spent time with her lawyer and put documentation together to protect her assets.  A durable power of attorney and other legal documents were filed: a will, a living will, a health care power of attorney.  We met with a financial planner to ensure her assets were not only protected, but maximized to ensure that she could enjoy life without substantial financial encumbrances.  Joint tenancy and right of ownership were all checked and double-checked: for the future.

Last month we met with the lawyer, insurer, and now are preparing to take over her day-to-day finances.  The future has become the reality: now. There are far too many who prey on older people - especially trusting old people - and she gets confused easily.  Now we're even considering the potential of a mother-in-law suite within our home - to protect the one we love.

Are you dealing with this situation - or perhaps will be in the future?  There are some great websites:, and more that provide helpful online information!  It’s never too early to have a sincere, but bluntly honest talk with your loved one.  Know where their important papers are kept, where their financial assets are held, and plan together for the future.  Make sure you are legally prepared for the potential of nursing home or other long-term care.  Meet with the lawyer, the financial planner, the bank personnel to ensure asset and personal protection of your loved one.  Be prepared to take care of their day-to-day needs BEFORE the time comes because...

The time will probably come sooner than you think. Preparation will hopefully make this journey a bit easier to embark on and maneuver through… 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wow.  It's been almost a month since I've been here!  It's not that I've forgotten - no way.  It's just...

Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of life, and the urgencies of the necessities overwhelm the normalcy of the typical.  LIFE.

It's been a blur.  In its wake, yet a new reality and a new normalcy.  For the good.  The best?  Coming.  We're making progress. 

A new opportunity came literally out of nowhere that capitalizes and expands a number of my own passions and is now part of my daily schedule - not routine - not yet - as I form new habits and disciplines.  Ever been in this place?  There's something that comes into your realm that you want and enjoy and is for the overall good but, to get it entrenched into your being you have to THINK and yes... schedule it in... 

I'm looking forward to the time when this new part of my daily life is indeed part of my daily habit and routine...  

...a new facet of my own persona to embrace, embellish, and enjoy.  It gives renewed hope as I pursue lifelong goals and a passion to serve my friends right here in my community.  Making my world a better place and helping others succeed is a lighter fluid that I enjoy pouring in and through the charcoal of my existance, and the spark to light a new fire has landed and is now being fanned.

All that and taking care of a bunch of loose ends for my 85-year-old mother-in-law combined with an early vacation out of state created a flash of time normally enjoyed as a couple of weeks.  No problem - it brought summer a bit faster!

I'm back.  I'm landing on my feet!  With a fresh outlook that comes from launching and pursuing a new, enjoyable adventure.

Ever get to the place where you're stuck, and getting stucker?  I was, but I've found some freshness and joy in a new role with a profound friend and mentor.  Ever feel trapped, with no door of release?  My hand was given a knob, and I turned it.  The door of release is swinging open.

It's a good way to launch the summer.  Busy, and GOOD.  More challenge = more life in my life.

Sometimes life has a bit too much life going on but time has ways of working those kinks out, especially for those with hope who are willing to work hard to make their goals a reality. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Moms, as we each think back over the years - how quickly they passed!!  Why is it that when we were expecting, the days dragged endlessly?  After our precious baby arrived, the nights AND days seemed endless at time - full of feedings and burpings and poopings and... "What do I do about...???" 

Why was it that the terrible two's and three's seemed to last at least two to three hundred years, as we endured all those moments of restraining ourselves from strangling the little package of rampant evil, also known as the "fruit of our womb"?  Then school came and stole our babies, replacing them with gum-chewing, eyeball-rolling teenagers who looked at us like we were aliens from another race of species and time.  What a treasure the teen years are, and what vivid memories they create...

My child is a married woman - now my counterpart in many ways.  I treasure the memories created through the years and laugh at many that we now share together as adults.

Happy Mother's Day to all - treasure the honor and blessings that motherhood brings. :)