Good with the bad

We have been here in Ohio for about 3 wks now.  There has been so much good, but of course you have to take some bad with it…Right??

Some of the good things..

1.  A few days ago, for the first time my Papa called me by my name.  He did not say Angie, as he has for the past 36 years (I don’t really like being called that), he actually called me Angela as I have always asked him to call me.  The good thing about this is that, this was the first time that I have know that he knew who I was.

2.  My uncle came to visit my grandfather.  Papa has been asking for him for over a year now, and he finally came.  Bad circumstances, but he still came!

3.  No trips to the ER this wkend for Papa.

4.  My dad is trying really hard to try to keep the house clean, since we hired the cleaner to come in and do a deep scrub!

5.  The living room is almost completely done at my mom’s house.  (I hope that organizing will help her to keep from getting that room in Hoarders Way again.)

6.  My dad has been letting drive his car when the weather does not call for rain.  This is to help me with the high cost of gas going back and forth everyday!

7.  I have been able to make it to the church I attended as a teen 2 times for Sunday services.

8.  Jaden was able to attend Vacation Bible School, and had a blast.  I so love the fact that I was able to get him into a bit of a smaller group than we have in Vegas.

9.  I was able to meet Katie from Domestic Debacle, she is a good friend of my sister, and I am slowing getting to know her through her blog entries.  If you read this Katie, thanks for taking such good care of my sister!

10.  My papa had a trusting moment and came to talk with me the other afternoon.  He was hugely confused (thought that my uncle was possibly my husband), but at the same time came upstairs to confide in me. (he really has not talked much to me during this visit.

11.  Papa has spent much time playing with the kids.  He sits in his chair, but I love to hear him laugh and play with them, or even try to scare them, as he did us when we were little.  The memories of him irritating us, played a large part of my childhood, and now he is doing the same honery things to my kids (he did not do this a couple of years ago when I was home).

12.  Mama has been going outside to play with Jaden, she looks for frogs and helps him to catch them.  She saves the plastic containers from the berries so he has them when we go to the house.  She also gets out the nets for him so that he can catch bugs and butterflies!

13.  My dad has been able to work some extra over time since we have been here.  It really helps with getting his things paid off, and giving him a bit of cushion room.  My sister and I have actually been able to go out to eat, and not feel like we are leaving him out.

14.  I have been able to spend every day with my dad.  It has been good, we used to be like best friends..but like every relationship, finances have taken their toll.  We have both done really well at not fighting about money.  And I was able to show him on paper how little money there really is.

15.  I called and got some insurance quotes from a few different companies for my dad.  He has not had quotes given to him ever.  He has had the same company since he got his license when he was 16, because that was the company that his dad always had.  And we decided with taking the household to a new insurance company to save almost $900 a year!

16.  It has been raining the past few days here.  I have not seen this much rain in years.  Not that I love to get wet, but… I stopped by to visit a friend today, and while I was at her house I was standing outside and the rain just flooded down…. I felt like a kid.  I walked slowly from her house out to the barn with no worries, I flipped my hair out of my face and continued my stroll.  I also enjoyed just watching my kids as they did the same things.  Then going out to the barn, I thought to myself… that smell, the fresh smell of animals (ok wet animals is not that great)none the less, I still miss…. the feeling of… SIMPLE COUNTRY and to breathe without the odor of exhaust from cars and city.  Then Shyla says ” mommy, it stinks in here like skunk”.  I laughed and closed my eyes for a moment, as I rubbed Magic’s head!

17.  I have been able to spend a lot of time over at my sisters house.  Not sure how much help I have been over there, but I have been able to help with a bit of cleaning in the kitchen for her. She has been down and out since I have been here, so not able to keep up with everything as usual.  As bad as her pain has been, I am glad that I have been able to help out a little.

18.  When my uncle was here, my mom’s sister also came to have a sit down discussion, the 3 of them.  I am happy to announce that my uncle sided with my mom, and my papa will not be attending a nursing home as my aunt would strongly want.  Sorry Helen you lost again…Nope sorry, I am wrong…I am not sorry!!

 

This wk has been good.  Many different things coming together for my family.  Many different things in life are changing for all involved, many sad things that I wish my family did not have to face, but many things to remind us how blessed we are to have resources!

2 wks and still running

It has now been 2 wks since I have hit the lands of Ohio.  I am still running from house to house… like that will ever stop!! 

In the past 2 wks I have learned a lot about what CAN transpire when an eye has been turned away.  I don’t really know how things can get this bad.  I know that it truly could be worse, but I don’t understand…

The way we (my sister and I) was that the house should always be clean.  Not necessarily tidy, but definitely clean.  It was always dusted, swept, bathrooms sterile (with a steak knife and brush within reach), kitchen surely sterile enough that you could cook at any area without having to sterilize that area first (again steak knife and tooth-brush within reach on the shelf above the sink), and the floors were always mopped.  The laundry room never had large piles (why should they have piles there is always a hamper in the bathroom to put your soiled clothes).  The yard, do we even talk about the yard?   It was always mowed (by a push mower) nothing fancy, no big anything…just a good weed wacker and push mower!

Those are the memories that I have of growing up… and the memories of how it got that way???  None… I know that we all had to do our part.  I do remember my mom telling us we had to clean our rooms, and if we did not do it to her expectations she would get out the broom, and with a quick swift rake of the broom everything would come out from under the beds and out of the closet and for sure off of the shelves!  When my parents divorced things did change a bit, most of the cleaning fell on Andrea and I.  Yet still the house was always clean from top to bottom…not the type of house that was so clean that it did not appear that anyone lived in it..but clean like anyone could drop in at any time and there would be no embarrassment.

Well, when I came back for this visit..I did not expect things to be much different from when I left here in 2009..I did expect the physical and mental deterioration of my grandparents…just not the differences that I have found.

This is what I have found….

1.  My mom looks like she has become a hoarder.  (I am truly embarrassed for her, to even admit this, but it is a fact).  I don’t think this is something that has been done with intentions, I just think that she does not have any time to herself, so she lives on the run.  She brings it home and drops it when she gets upstairs.

My mom, has so many new items that she has not even used.  I don’t think that she really knew that she bought them.  Then you have the quilting projects… she loves to quilt and when she has the time she loves to do it.  I think the only time that she gets to work on them these days is when she takes them to work and does them on her lunch break.

Then you have the bags… so many everywhere, and she is a geneology Freak…. so you have all of that everywhere.  I am a very organized person, and it is killing me to see things the way they are here. 

So we have been working on it, between all of the other things that she is doing with my grand parents.  I will say that since I have been here I have now spent 2 nights at her house, but we all had to camp out on her bedroom floor, just to have a place to sleep…..  hopefully we can get that fixed before we leave too!

2.  My dad’s house… excuses…..NONE….  I won’t even try to defend this one.  House??? extremely dirty.  I will give him the credit that he picked up most of his things before we hit town…. but Filthy Dirty, Nasty… his name should be in the dictionary.  Usually when I hit town, my sister comes over and helps me clean.  This time forgets it… I hired a house cleaner to do the DIRTY WORK.  I did not even want to work on that.

Outside…do we want to go there??  He had to mow the day after we got there because it looked like he had not mowed in wks.  Weed EAT??  ummmm Sean (my husband)  tried his best, but instead of weeds I think you could call them trees???!!  The trees… there are 3 of them against the driveway, yes you are right they are supposed to be there, but it is your job to trim them every once in awhile so that they don’t scratch the tops and sides of yours and everyone elses cars.  That won’t be happening again for a while, Sean took the chain saw to them!    Then there are trees next to the road on a hill, you can’t see past them to pull out of the driveway.  I had my dad go out there with some pruning shears to try to get a much as he could, so that I would not have an accident by pulling out in front of someone and killing all of us.

  The air conditioning unit is in the back of the house, which is where everyone goes in and out of the house.  The weeds were blocking the unit, and growing vines into it.  So Sean dug it all out, and put down a weed barrier and some rock, so that hopefully it won’t grow back again.

 

Is this life?  Really, how do people change so much that they give up on caring about the way that they live?  Fortunately they both have good hygiene.. Hey  I really don’t think that any of this is funny, but you do need to make light of it all when you can.

I did think that my mom had it bad with her parents, and I knew that she needed a bit of a time out.  However, I always thought that with her sewing and genealogy that she had an escape.  She does not.  And I think that her home (upstairs where she lives) was no longer a sanctuary, I think that she has been trying to escape her home, not just space from them.  Hopefully during this trip back, I can give this to her.  However when I do have the ability to be at her house to help her, she is trying to find other ways to find other things to do.  Do I blame her?  Nope, but her brother is finally coming to town this wkend and I would like to have this all done, before he gets here, so they can not throw this over her head too…

So… if you pray, please pray for my family… that they might find the peace of living that God has provided for them.  And for me that I might not be so overbearing….I know the reasons why I am here to help, but sometimes my mouth is a BIT more blunt than it should be, I need to have a softer tongue when it comes to my mom!  And my she accept the shoulders (my sister and I) to lean on, when she just can’t get it all done.

 

Lets not forget it is hot in Ohio, and the Amana air conditioner is broken at mom’s!  It is the portable kind.  My grandparent like it about 85 to 90 on their leve and there is only one unit to run the house.  So no air conditioning for mom, so she had to purchase a window unit, and well, they dropped it by opening the window one time when she was gone, so she has purchased a couple of years ago the Amana unit to wheel around from room to room.  I got it to turn on, but it starts out cool, but then starts getting hotter and hotter air to blow out…. any ideas how to fix this one?  It is Hot here, so I will try anything!!!! PLEASE!!

So it has been 2wks today and I am still running with lots more to do!  So I better get off of here and get to organizing!

Being home

I am not really sure of what being home really means to me.  I think home is..
Where your heart is
Where you grow up
Where your family is
Where your current living quarters are
Where you raise your family
Where you make your memories
Where your friends are
Where you have made your roots
Where you long to be
The places you like to spend your time
The places you stand and dream of all your times good and bad.
The places that just put a smile on your face and ease in your heart because you just know without a doubt…that you belong.

Until now I always thought that here in Ohio this fit my bill the one that says HOME…. now that these years have passed and time has changed the surroundings here (and I have grown up) I don’t get the feeling of PEACE of Belonging.  Just like on a phone call you may here almost the entire story, but there are always missing sections because well some things are left out on purpose.  They are not left out to hurt you, they are missing because your loved ones feel that they are protecting you.  I know this protection thing..and I don’t like it.  If I can not be here I would like for the phone to work as a looking glass.  I want to see life clearly.. no blurs, no erase markings, no sugar coating…just black and white honest truths…and ALL of it, not just the parts that you think are not going to sadden me.
I just like many others am a big girl. 
I have faced the scare,
I have held the hand at death 
I have seen and touched miracles of God our Father. 
I know without a shadow of doubt that I will not be given more than I can handle.
I will be picked up
I will be comforted

I also know that no matter how brave and strong I may be.. GOD is my higher power…so he will provide because…

I am a child
I have room to grow
I am weak
I am hungry
I do doubt
I will suffer
I will fall
I am human

I moved away from Ohio in 1994. In 1995 my grandfather that I lived with died.  In 1999? My dad divorced. In 2000 my grandmother I lived with died.  My dad moved into my grandparents home in 2001.  My mom and her parents moved in together in 2005.   Grandparents home has since been dozed down by the city they lived in.  I came back in 2009 ( I came back regularly till this point) and shortly after I left my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimers and grandfather with Dementia. 

I try to be very organized in life.  I am not crazy or obsessed about it..in fact I complain a lot about needing to get it all going again.  And don’t get me wrong I can totally understand what being overwhelmed is all about.  I won’t claim to have walked in anyones shoes…but I don’t understand the reasoning behind…

Hoarding….
Neglect of your person or your property

How can you truly take care of someone else if you won’t take care of your own well being?

Ok..God says he will not give us more than we can handle..I honestly believe this to be true.  Sometimes it does not feel like it at the moment,but it is true.

So…is it accepting defeat…if you admit that you are not able to be a care provider for someone who

is slipping so far into Dementia that they do not know who you are any longer? 
Mostly is not the person that they were a few months ago?
Is becoming a physical hazard to themselves or others?

Or is it achieving a higher learning and stronger self worth by accepting help from those God has given the gift of deliverance?  God gives us resources so many that we can not count.  I don’t think we are accepting defeat when we hold out our hands…and say…delivery me.  I think we are only sacrificing our own will for the betterment of others.

I suppose my trip here to Ohio has been for many different reasons

To help my mom get things done that she can not seem to do by herself.
To help my mom so some of the burden of my grandparents can be lifted from her.
To let all of my kids meet my grandparents.
To help my mom get organized.
To just give my mom a break.

I am a very strong willed person.  I pride myself on knowledge of subjects before trying to speak on them.  However when it comes to LIFE..it is just that…LIFE.  it gets thrown at you and you get whatever curve ball comes your way.  My mom has had it very rough these past few years, and sad to say the past couple of days have shown that the trenches need to be dug because it is going to bomb like we have never seen.  She is not prepared nor are we.  And I think that..
Maybe I should withdrawl from this.
I have been careful over the past couple of years to say things more tenderly towards my mom.  I don’t want to push her away.  However I think she also needs to hear the truths. 
I have now traveled this far to help her but she wants to hold it all and not ask for help because to her this might be showing her weakness or better yet..mean that she has been defeated. 
Truthfully she has aged way beyond her years and that is hard for me to see.  I know that she needs help…physically and mentally…but how can I acomplish this when she won’t let me in?
At this point I am ready to pack it in throw my hands up and say…Deliver Me….the only problem is…He Has Delivered Me….he has given us every resource at the tips of our fingers…all we need to do is hang on and take the ride….I am here I am ready to take the ride with the good and the bad and my sister is right there with me.  How can we get my mom to get in with us???? We are a family and through it all we should do it together.
I am home and it just doesn’t feel like home right now because of the caious….how can I make this home again?  The caious won’t go so how can I help pick up the slack?