Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG~Life's Crossroads

This is going to be short and not the post I intended to write. But it's all I have right now.

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Despite our faith, color, race, gender, sexual preference, financial status, success, failures, hopes, and dreams we all have three things in common: 

We're born. We live. We die. 

We go through the stages of childhood, the teen years, and our twenties. Some of us move on to careers or start families; some do both. We watch our lives flourish (for better or for worse) through people we meet, work with, and choose to build a future with. We enjoy friends. We watch our businesses expand. We gaze in awe as our children grow to young adults and beyond. 

And then, what we knew was coming - the inevitable we'll all face - our own parents age. 

This is a subject I speak little about publicly because it's one I struggle with. Personal reasons that belong in a book. I'll write it. When I'm ready. Long story short and how you can apply this to your writing life is this: I grew up in an intact family - Dad, Mom, me, and my brother. My parents have been married for 48 years. 28 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I'm sure your first thought reading this is "Aw..." Don't. Don't do that. We all have axes to grind, crosses to bear, and jobs to accomplish in this life. Obstacles will get in our way. That's life. And a totally different subject for a very personal post I'll write ... someday, when I know she won't be able to read it. Trust me. It's better that way. Not for her. For me.

But for this post, I'm here to say that my family is at a crossroads with care for my mom. We're unable to leave her alone in the house - even in a room - for any period of time. She falls. A lot. Five trips to the hospital - 2 by ambulance - so far this year. You say "Tell her to stay sitting" or "Wait for your help." Yeah, good luck with that. We've said it all. Trust me. My dad is still very healthy and, despite how difficult my mother can be, he's heartbroken that we've finally reached this point - he can't care for her anymore. Neither can I. Nor my brother. 

Writing lesson: 
Write today, with all the emotion you have. 
Use your life experiences to push the boundaries of our craft. 
Create. Inform the world. Inspire. 

Thank you for listening..... 
 photo Sheri2.pngThe purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. Feel free to JOIN in anytime.

35 comments:

  1. That's a hard crossroads to be at. And I know what it's like to be a caregiver for years, so I sympathize. Sometimes you have to make choices you don't want to make, but are necessary. I'm just starting to look at independent living/nursing homes where I live to get my mom on some waiting lists for when she'll probably have to relocate here when she can't take care of herself in the next couple years. Good luck with your challenge.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie. And good luck with your search as well. It is a tough decision to make, and my mom is not a very agreeable person at time, which makes it even worse. I know you understand the plight of a caregiver. We all sympathize with the patient, as we should. But the constant work of a caregiver can take a toll on that person. My brother and I feel my dad is at the end of it for him, but just doesn't want to admit it. He finally let go a little last night, so I think we're on a positive path.

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  2. Oh, Sheri, my heart breaks for you, and your dad. Can he afford to hire a caregiver? I know it would be expensive but maybe it's an option? I will think good thoughts and hope this works out for you and your family.

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    1. Aw, so sweet. Money has been the issue as of late. My parents are by no means 'sitting on the hill', but my dad worked hard all these years to provide a small retirement for them. By doing that, he axed any aid in caring for her they could receive. So he'll have to pay for any and all services of help. He grew up a child of parents of the depression. Asking for help just doesn't happen and paying for it, well... You get me. But I think we've finally convinced him that this is what it is and he needs help, more than I or my brother can offer anymore. Thanks for your kind words....

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  3. We got to that point with my mother. There are options for in-home care since placing her in assisted living might be too much for everyone to bear.

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    1. It's funny you say that, because we met last night to talk about that. I think that's the route we're going to go. It will give her the care she needs, while giving my dad a much deserved break.

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  4. I believe those emotions are what make our stories stick with the reader. You can't fake true to life emotions. Sending prayers and hugs to you regarding your mom!

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  5. The scary part is that that will be us one day--the person needing help and stubbornly refusing to be independent. Crazy how quickly it goes...

    Crystal Collier

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  6. Writing is therapy! Definitely a wonderful, safe place to put those emotions.

    Praying for an extra dose of grace for you and all of your family as you navigate this next phase. My husband's family is dealing with a similar issue and exploring all the options. I hope you're able to find the one that's best for your mom.

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  7. Oh, Sheri, I'm so sorry that you're at a crossroads concerning care for your mother. I can only imagine what a difficult decision that would be. My parents are still "young" and healthy enough to care for themselves, but I do dread the day when they start to deteriorate. I think it would be really hard to see them like that, and I'm sure frustrating for them as well. Hoping and praying that everything works out okay for you and your family.

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  8. So sorry for you and your family. I can sympathize. My husband's mom has MS, and she is in an assisted living facility, but recently, as she is getting worse, we're going to have to look into nursing home care. It's really tough, and difficult to find the right place.

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    1. Oh no, Christine! So sorry to hear that. MS really is rotten. We've looked into assisted living, but I don't think it's enough. Plus, my dad is completely heartbroken at the idea of 'putting' her anywhere. I'm looking into getting aids in the home. I think he's ready at least for that.

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  9. I just read an absolutely fantastic book about mothers and daughters and life and dealing with many of life's crossroads (I like how you put that, such an excellent way to view it). It's called White Dresses by Mary Phlum Peterson. If you can find it, get it, read it, savor it. It's a gem. Although I warn you, there may come a lot of tears near the end of it.

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    1. Thank you for the book suggestion, Karen! I'll definitely look for it soon. I appreciate your kind words.

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  10. I'm so sorry for you and your family. Going through something like that for a family member, especially a parent is difficult. I use my experiences to write my books and occasionally have added them to the plots.

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  11. I'm so sorry for you and your family. Going through something like that for a family member, especially a parent is difficult. I use my experiences to write my books and occasionally have added them to the plots.

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  12. I'm sorry you are at this point with your mother. My parents are both around eighty and I dread having to take that step someday.

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  13. The weight of being a 'care-giver' can encroach on the time we spend/attitude we have towards our loved ones. And though it is by no means an easy decision, you will all be able to spend more enjoyable time with her when she's in a secure caring environment. I hope it works out well for all of you. X

    shahwharton.com

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  14. Sheri, I lost my aunt to MS last summer and my mother-in-law was diagnosed years ago. She can't walk or even stand on her own. It's a horrible disease, and I know how you feel. Sending you virtual hugs and prayers.

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  15. That's a difficult situation to be in. My ex-husband has MS so I know how it slowly robs you of your ability to be independent. Best wishes for your mother, and for you.

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  16. Those are crossroads we all have in common,too. And from experience, the most challenging crossroad is what you're coming to right now. My thoughts are with you, Sheri, but I know you have a wonderful family and they'll help you with this.

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  17. Sending my heartfelt best wishes across the ether, Sheri.

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  18. Hi, Sheri,

    You are SOOOOO right when you say we have our crosses to bear. I was hit with crippling arthritis in my mid 30's... one doesn't have to be old. I was bed ridden for a year and it took me over a decade to walk properly again. BUT, we get through it. WE must.

    When my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I went out to Vegas to take care of him for three months until he went into hospice. It was THE ROUGHEST time of my life.

    Take care, Sweetie.... Sending you lots of prayers and hugs...

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  19. I'm sorry you're going through this, Sheri. I'm praying for you and your family. We do all have our crosses to bear, and like you, I don't like to share them. Take care of yourself. I know my painful experiences have helped me to write more sympathetic characters at times--but it's no fun going through them.

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  20. I'm so sorry to read this, Sheri. I lost my dad four years ago but he was on a steady decline for quite a while and it was heartbreaking to see him lose the ability to care for himself. I know what a toll this situation can take on a family. Sending hugs to you and yours. Take care.

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  21. It's sad, I know. We want to do it all, take care of them, help them, keep them with us. I feel for you and your family. Been there, more than once. My prayers are with you.

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  22. Sorry you have to go through this, Sheri. My FIL has dementia and even though we don't live in the same city, it's stressful for my husband. He wants to be there for his father but can't be. HUGS!

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  23. I'm sorry you're going through this. This is all a bridge we must cross one day. I know it's in my future. It's not easy seeing our parents decline. I hope you and your loved ones do what's right for her and yourselves.

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  24. I think the answer to your dilemma in your closing paragraph: if you can't care for her any longer, then you must see to it that someone else does. I can't even imagine your pain. I'm sorry.

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  25. Such a very hard position. Sending hugs to you and your family. I think some personalities have an especially hard time with this--sitting and waiting for help. The psyche is SURE they can do it on their own because it is who they are (how they see themselves). I wish you the best finding a workable solution.

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  26. I can relate. It's the unofficial reason why I've started journal writing again. All those mix emotions when faced with particularly difficult circumstances need to be sorted somehow and for me journal writing really helps to untangle those mixed up inescapable emotions.

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  27. Life has it's great and trying times. You probably need to get outside help for your mother's care but you and family will know what is best.

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  28. That's a gut-wrenching topic. I'm sorry your family is going through this. It's true that all of life's experiences - especially the hard ones - give us a deeper understanding of ourselves and others and help us grow. But it sure doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

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