Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Taking Care of Family

Our plan upon returning to Williamsburg was to putter some and do a few things around the farm. After all, we have two weeks here before we leave. But life has a way of re-arranging our schedule.

My sisters had informed me last week that our mother was in declining health and they wanted my influence to convince my brother (the administrator of her affairs) to move her to the care center in Amana. Gordon and I look at things pretty much the same way and I trust his judgment. However, on Friday he was told that he had an elevated white count and must admit himself to the hospital for testing. So obviously, Gordon was not exactly in any shape to re-adjust the care for mother.

Gordon shared with me the arrangements he has with Paula (the assisted living care center) when I visited with him on Sunday morning. We both felt that perhaps I needed to visit with Paula and re-evaluate mother's status, which we did on Monday. We confirmed with Paula that mother has been getting weaker and that probably she ought to move for her own safety. There are also rooms available in the care center now. We discussed the issue with Gordon and we both agreed that we ought to do it now unless one of the sisters has a strong objection. Needless to say, it is not a joyful job to discuss the subject with each of 5 sisters. Although some were a bit emotional about the subject, everyone agrees that she ought to be moved. So then we reconfirmed our results with Gordon and Paula.

On Tuesday, one sister and I met with mother and tried to gently express to her that the time has come where she needs the care that only the care center can provide. As expected, mother said she was happy where she was at. But then Bonita reminded her of the many times she has fallen. Also, that the care center has several aids on duty to help her at night. She agreed that it was okay with her if that is what we think. (I felt greatly relieved that she didn't really argue.)

We then confirmed with the assisted care administrator our wishes and thus started the ball rolling for her transfer. The move will be on Thursday and two or three of the sisters will be present to help get her settled into her new room and start the close down of her apartment. Isn't it amazing how much stuff can accumulate in only 8 years of living there. So we get another opportunity to down size a residence. The bigger issue is moving out but not disposing of her furniture, since she might use some of it if she could eventually move into a private room. Nothing is ever simple.

To often we feel that life is being difficult for us and then we learn of the problems that others face. On Monday we were informed that a cousin was hospitalized for Acute Leukemia that was only detected 2 months ago. This morning we learned that his Lord called him last night. Our challenges are minor when compared to the sudden loss of a husband, father and respected cousin. What really hurts is that he is of my generation! We know it must happen, but can't it wait until tomorrow? There never is a good time.

We have challenges but Sandy and I are both blessed with Good Health, for which we are very thankful for!


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