Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Setting a New Tone


As women, we set the tone for our homes. This I firmly believe.

And it's some tone that I am setting of late. I do not wonder why my beloved is stressed or why I am stressed or even why my grandmother is stressed. It's my fault. All my fault.

Why does it seem as if every little thing she does is aimed at creating maximum annoyance...from the bathroom visits that last over an hour to the scraping of her breakfast bowl dozens of times? This morning, I asked her to please stop. "It's getting on my last nerve. It's unnecessary because it's not helping. You're not getting any more oatmeal that way. I'll make you another bowl if you want more." She was offended; I was irritated: Great combination.

So today I will call a support group. A social worker who visited last fall thought I'd be a candidate one day. I loved that social worker. She was the one who said, when Nan shared that she worries that her cat will smother itself, "You can't possibly believe that your cat would be that stupid!" Actually, she slipped and said something even more to the point, but that's my little secret.

And in other news, my mother is having a port placed today for nutrition and hydration purposes. She is in jeopardy just now in that regard and so we are praying that this will tide her over until she is able to have surgery next week. Lots of things going on all the time around here.

Anyway, back to Nan... One day, if we are blessed, we shall live to be old. Actually, my opinion of living to be old has changed drastically since caring for my grandmother. I'd rather not live to be old thank.you.very.much. (Well shoot! It's already too late for that.) And even saying that is putting my will first and that is the problem in the first place. It is not about what I want. It is about what the Lord has planned. Surely, I can rest in that.

For now, I need to realize that it is important to treat the aged with the respect that they deserve and with tenderness...great tenderness. I am standing in the need of providing both. Today.

27 comments:

  1. Dear Vee, Having been where you are now, I just pray that you have the strength to see it through. Yes, get help in. Go out or at least shut yourself in another room and read or whatever. Prays for your mother and Nana, too. God Bless them.

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  2. You are in a VERY hard place V ee and the last thing you should be doing is blaming yourself.

    No-one is a saint and it sounds like you are being pushed to your limit. Your Grandma is one of the luckiest people on earth to have you giving her a home and caring for her. If she is able to understand that she does need to be reminded of that.


    You have a God that you can depend on to give you the wisdom you need in this situation and I know you love her. You do need some time to yourself though and certainly you need help with some breaks so take all that is available and do not feel guilty. That is the enemy trying to get a foothold. You are doing a great job, a job that many people will not even contemplate.
    You are a star!

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  3. A support group sounds like a good idea to me! I can't even imagine living out what you are doing. My prayers are with you....with Nan...with John...and for your mom as well.

    I'm just doing the math here...when I am 99 years old...Emme and Spencer will be 50. Hmmm...maybe they can take turns having me be their 'guest of honour'! Smile.

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  4. Dear Vee, my thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend! I think a support group will be perfect for you! I'll be praying for your Mom's procedure and for all of of you.

    Btw, did you receive an email I sent to you a couple of weeks ago? I'm hoping you still have the same email address that you last wrote me from!

    Hugs and hang in there! You're a loving and very strong woman and don't ever forget it!!

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  5. Praying you through the process Vee! I do know where you are coming from as I cared for my aging MIL until she passed. I'd bet my bottom dollar that you are all given out both physically and emotionally and that you are not stepping back and giving yourself some time and attention. You are nurturer by nature but you can't offer a cup of kindness from and empty well. You need to refuel. Nana can survive one day of a sitter for you and John to have a little break, do something you enjoy, and don't let false guilt hold you captive. Be kind to yourself. I am lifting you all up in prayer. May God's brightest blessings rest on you this day.

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  6. My heart goes out to you. I know how difficult sharing your home with someone elderly can be and how disheartened you can feel at times. I hope the care giver will help you. I'll keep you in my prayers. ♥

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  7. Ah, my friend, I wish we were closer so we could have a coffee and compare notes a while. You HAVE to have time for yourself. Without a doubt. And time for you and your beloved to be together too. Believe me, I speak from long experience here.
    And i crawl into bed every night, and have to confess that I didn't have enough patience, understanding, didn't show enough love.... and start all over the next day again. Big hug, Vee, and loads of prayers for you especially.

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  8. Praying for peace within your home...may God give you the help you need through this season of your life.

    Blessings!
    ~Nadine

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  9. Dan's folks don't even live with us, and I have to check my heart on so many issues. Having great love and great patiences is high on the list. You must be a woman of both and great courage. I agree with Barbara, take all the help you are offered.


    Prayers going up Vee

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  10. This sounds like a very tough situation. It sounds like a support group might be a very welcome thing right about now. Nobody understands these things more than those who are also going through it.
    I am keeping all of you in my prayers.

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  11. Bless you and your entire family! I can't even begin to imagine what 24 hr. day caretaking would be! When my dad died and left my mother a widow at age 63, 18 yrs. ago, I was her full-time caretaker. She lived just a block down the hill and did not drive--I think I shall post on this soon! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Blessings! V.

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  12. Its always harder than people realize to be a caregiver. Take time to get out by yourself or with friends who make you laugh.
    Your grandmother is lucky to have you! :-)

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  13. "It's my fault. All my fault."

    You wrote this. You know what my reaction to it, will be. Rubbish!

    If it be true, than it also be true, that you [and I] have to be Super-Human. We can not react to disturbing things, which go on around us. We must be Super Human! Have Super Compassion and Super Understanding and Super Strength and Super Everything.

    Is... that... so? Are we Super? Or are we Human?

    I'm Human. Maybe you are more than Human.<--And of course you do not view yourself as more than Human! So......... Please stop trying to make yourself believe that you must act as more than Human.

    Yes, get yourself some support. And maybe some counseling too. Because if you "go down in a heap," who will take care of Nan then? Hmmmmm...

    Best with your Mother, as well...

    .♥.♥.♥.

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  14. Yes, 'Aunt Amelia' has dished out another dose of "Tough Love." I hope it will be accepted.

    You know who I believe comes first, my Dear. 'Tis Vee!

    -sigh-

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  15. Vee, I'm in agreement with Miss Sandy and the others. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST SO YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF OTHERS. You and John need a break - in my book, you two come first, you'll still have YOUR lives together when Nan is no longer there. Ya'll need to de-stress and spend some fun time together so you can get back to the work at hand. Day in and day out, full time care for an elderly person is SOO stressful, no matter how much you love them. Get some help in there to give you some time away.

    I'm praying for your situation with Nan, and also for your sweet mom as she waits for her surgery. God bless you, friend. Vickie

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  16. My husband scrapes his bowl, it drives me crazy and my mother always worried about our cat smothering us in our sleep.

    We have SO much in common.

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  17. Sending you a big bear hug!

    Being a caregiver is a big and hard responsibility, but you will get through it. Definitely take every opportunity to decompress with others who are walking or have walked this path.

    Lean hard on the arms of Jesus. He is there!!!

    Oh, how I wish I could just pop by and take you to lunch...or better yet have a long visit with your Grandmother while you and your beloved had some time to yourselves...

    Praying for your Mother...Only God knows why all of this at one time.
    It remains a mystery to those of us with only human eyes.

    ((Hugs))

    Becky K.

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  18. I can certainly understand. I grew up with my grandmother (who was mentally impaired) and my great-grandmother. I learned early on that one respects the elderly, and made certain my now grown daughters respected that. But you are a true saint to do what you do, so get all the support you can get.
    Brenda

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  19. Hi Vee,
    just such a heartfelt post.I really know what you are feeling, as we have been through being a care giver too. Experienced the same feelings, but having a good support system helped us tremendously.
    Continuing to pray for all.
    Hugs, and blessings,
    Sue

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  20. You know what? You are human..and as such..are keenly aware of how you affect others. And you have every right to feel bad, to make mistakes, to feel frustrated and confused. Give YOU a break and get the help YOU need - you are in our prayers and will continue to be sent up for you and yours :-)

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  21. At one point we talk about our little ones and the things that they do that drive us batty...then it is our elders who get to us. Didn't we blow off steam with friends who could dump their mothering frustations and wind up laughing at it all with us? Now the mother or grandmother frustrations deserve the same solution. Get thee to a support group, and share, laugh and cry.

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  22. Get thee to a support group! You need some strong shoulders to lean on and some ears to vent your frustrations. You are human, and the weight of it all just gets too much.

    I don't look forward to being old - very old - either. I will not have family to tend to me. I will be one of those catatonic souls sitting in a wheelchair along the corridor of a nursing home, I fear. Your Nan and mom are lucky to have you care and love them. {{{hugs}}}}

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  23. Oh precious Vee...you are standing in the place where we will all be or have been sweet girl!!! Please don't be hard on yourself ~ just know that you are human and that the Lord will give you the strength you need. You have so very much to bear right now sweet friend ~ sending many prayers for you and your family, hugs and love, Dawn

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  24. Hi Vee,

    I really don't think you should be laying all the blame on yourself! It's not your fault Vee. You're in a very stressful situation. I'm sure you need to find a way to (1) get some kind of a break to re-fuel and (2) you need a place where you can talk to people that know what you're going through. A support group sounds like a good step in that direction.

    Manuela

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  25. dear vee,

    you are a saint to have your grandmother
    live with you. and now your mom needs
    you, too.

    your family is very blessed to have you.
    i pray someone will come take care of
    you, for a change and a sweet reward.

    the support group will be a great start.

    blessings,
    lea

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  26. Dear Vee,
    I am a devoted reader and a fellow Christian. I have been where you are as a caregiver of my mother in law and then my mother.
    I will add your name to my prayer journal. I will pray for you every morning at seven.
    I will ask that you find rest in this difficult task. That He send help and peace to your heart and home

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  27. Thank you, Dear Ones, for your comments. I am totally overwhelmed by the support and offers of prayer. Never let it be said that Blogdom doesn't provide a haven all its own. I know that each one of you is dealing with some issue or other in your own lives and it blesses me to think that you have reached out to a stranger (me) in this way. God bless you! (I am now closing comments because of those spammers. Off to take care of my mother today while John remains home to care for Nan. What a blessing that Saint of God is!)

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