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I spent yesterday with dad. (I'm thinking this is gonna get long.)


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Any ladies who have taken care of/helped take care of a parent/spouse who is very ill, I could use some support or ideas.

 

Dad is very scared; understandably. He's still on the ventilator (via tracheotomy), so he can't talk. He doesn't have the motor control to write well, either. These things are frustrating to him, for sure. He mouths words a lot, but none of us are very proficient at reading lips, so sometimes it takes a while to get what he's saying.

 

Some things he told me yesterday:

 

He wants ME to stay on top of what's going on with him. Of course I reassured him that I am and will continue to be.

 

He didn't want me to leave. He wanted me to stay sitting next to his bed, holding his hand, helping take care of him. Which is exactly why I was there. Such a blessing for me to be able to do that. But it was HEARTBREAKING when I had to leave and he wanted me to stay. He understood, though. But he asked me to come back today. :crying: I *can't*. He understood. He knows I have to take care of the boys. I told him 'Dad, you know I'd be here every second with you if I could. I love you SO much. But you know I have to go home and care for the boys and do my wife stuff.' He smiled and nodded.

 

I really can't/shouldn't get into what all is going on with my mom. Her and dad didn't have a good relationship BEFORE his heart attack, and that's amplified now. It's SO hard for me to see. She's not spending much time with him. She was there for a little while yesterday while I was there. Dad wasn't asking HER not to leave, or asking HER to get him things, wipe his face, etc. And frankly, she doesn't want to. Now I know people are going to think this is just how she's 'dealing' with it. And I thought so for a while, too. But honestly, it's more than that. And it breaks my heart for my dad.

 

I reassured dad that I 'know' all the doctors and nurses that are caring for him, and that they're doing a wonderful job, that they really do take care of him well. And he agreed. But he wants ME (or my older sister) to be there with him, too.

 

It's so hard, ladies. I'm a mess even now because I can't be there with him. And my husband, he's so fantastic. He's reassuring me that I shouldn't feel guilty, that I'm doing what I should/can for dad, that my mother, his WIFE, should be there for him, and that dad understands.

 

It's just so hard. How do you ladies who have been through this/are going through this COPE? I pray; I pray SO much. For the Lord to comfort dad, for Him to help me have grace with myself.

 

This is just something I never, EVER imagined going through; and even if I had, I'd have had no idea how hard it would be.

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Do you have something of yours that you could leave with him to see or to touch? It's no replacement of course for the times when you and sis can't be there, but it's a comfort as he works through his feelings. :grouphug:

 

SO funny, I had this exact same thought yesterday as I was supposed to be trying to go to sleep but was instead worrying/crying about my dad. :tongue_smilie:

 

I'm trying to think of something that I have that would be somehow meaningful to him, too. But just SOMETHING that's mine, that he could have, that I could tell him 'Hey dad, would you like to keep this until I can come back and be with you?'.

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Oh Bethany. My heart aches with every update. I'm so sorry.

 

Does the hospital (or another hospital closer to you) have a support group for caregivers? I bet you would find that extremely helpful - meeting others in your same situation.

 

Is there anything I can do? I know we live pretty close to each other. Can I bring over some frozen dinners?

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Oh Bethany. My heart aches with every update. I'm so sorry.

 

Does the hospital (or another hospital closer to you) have a support group for caregivers? I bet you would find that extremely helpful - meeting others in your same situation.

 

Is there anything I can do? I know we live pretty close to each other. Can I bring over some frozen dinners?

 

Jennifer, you are so kind for the offer. I'm being able to stay on top of the cooking, but thank you so much. And I've got very local sisters in the Lord who are available and wanting to help. I promise I'll call on them if/when I need to. I know you're 'in my area', but we both know that can mean a 3 hour round trip if the traffic's bad :tongue_smilie:. God bless you.

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Bethany, a friend from my past is going thru this as well. I'm so sorry you have to walk this path. What a blessing you are to your dad. :grouphug:

Maybe you could leave your pillow with him. Something soft might be of comfort. Or your Bible.

 

I do have a pillow I've been wanting to leave, I'll ask the nurses if that's ok. I'd even be willing to supply/take care of fresh pillow cases for it.

 

I wanted to read him scripture while I was there, but there wasn't an opportunity. It's constant nurse stuff; dialysis, feeding tube, medications. And when he gets a period with no one needing to fuss at him, I wanted him to rest, you know? It's so, SO hard for him to get some sleep.

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Jennifer, you are so kind for the offer. I'm being able to stay on top of the cooking, but thank you so much. And I've got very local sisters in the Lord who are available and wanting to help. I promise I'll call on them if/when I need to. I know you're 'in my area', but we both know that can mean a 3 hour round trip if the traffic's bad :tongue_smilie:. God bless you.

 

Allow those women to be a blessing to you. It will bless them in the process. People want to help - let them!

 

And, really. I don't mind. If you need anything, please let me know.

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:grouphug:I remember taking care of my sick father when my twins were small. It was very tiring making time for everyone and I felt like I was spreading myself so thin. It was also a lot of responsibility to take care of two generations at once. Sometimes I felt so resentful to have that responsibility because I never pictured myself in that position.

 

I think you are doing a great job:001_smile:

 

As for ideas, could you take older kids to visit your dad with you? Or save days for spending time with kids and some evenings for spending time with dad?

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Allow those women to be a blessing to you. It will bless them in the process. People want to help - let them!

 

And, really. I don't mind. If you need anything, please let me know.

 

I know what you mean, I often feel that way when I know another sister who has a need; I feel blessed to be able to help them. So I do remember that when I have a need.

 

I did have a good girlfriend ask me the other day what else she could do for me besides pray. I told her 'You know what? There IS something else you can do. I need fellowship.' I've been missing all fellowship opportunities, because that time I used to spend fellowshipping I'm now spending with dad. So anyway, her and her family came over last night after I got home, had some dessert with us, and just listened, talked. It was such a blessing. And I know that sister (and her husband) had other things they could've done; they have a little one, she's also pregnant, he works a bazillion hours as a social worker. But they wanted to bless me by coming over, and they sure did. :) I really needed that.

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Just for background information I used to be a nurse's aide at a nursing home and I cared for my sick grandmother in high school. Anyway, I would suggest getting your dad a Communication Chart if he doesn't already have one. You said it's hard for you to understand what he wants/needs and it takes you a while to figure it out. Perhaps the nurses don't have time to try and figure it out and so you (and presumably your sister) are the only ones whom he can communicate with. A Communication Chart would make it possible for him to quickly let any caregiver know what he needs/wants and this might make him more willing to part with you. Just google "Communication Chart". They are primarily used for stroke patients but I think it would also work in your situation. I think you should be able to find one to print off for free and laminate. Hope this helps, and best wishes!

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I'm thinking that not only does he want you there for the emotional support, but because things get done right when you're there.

 

I know that this is an insanely hard time, and that you feel pulled in many directions and have a lot of responsibilities, but people in the hospital in situations like that need a strong advocate for care. He knows you are that person.

 

:grouphug:

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Been there. Fil spent almost zero time in the hospital with mil before she passed. They had a...different...relationship. She was there for months. We had lived within a block of them since being married for over 20 years. Mil was a wonderful woman. Dh had to work. His brothers and sister couldn't/wouldn't come. (One would have been able to easily. No kids. No significant other. Works via internet for dh.) Dh did what he could, but as a small business owner he had to be at work much of the time. I basically dropped school for those months, left my kids home alone (14,12,12, and 10 at the time), and stayed at the hospital with mil during the day. Dh went as soon as he could for the evening. The kids were wonderful, but so very stressed. We were also having to take care of fil during that time. He was almost incapable of feeding himself. Dh made sure he got lunch. I fixed him dinner. (We ended up moving in with him after mil died. He simply couldn't keep himself healthy.) I'm not sure how we made it through that time. It is all a blur. I have no advice. Just do what you need to do. Get by. :grouphug:

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I completely agree about getting a communication chart. My daughter lost the ability to speak and didn't have much hand control at the end of her struggle with a brain tumor....and the chart was a LIFE SAVER. We printed off images for the basic things....hunger, thirst, pain, etc. and then more specific ones to her care. Some of his might be suction, mouth swab, reposition in bed, etc.

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I have walked your path-twice-with my mom and my dad 3 years apart. My mom was only in the hospital for a couple weeks. My dad ultimately came to live with us for 3 months prior to his death. It is painful. Today(many years later) I see the time I had with them at the end of their earthly lives to be so sweet and precious in my memories. They both needed and wanted me to be with them.

 

Do you have a good enough relationship with the staff to have them help with phone calls during the day when you can't be there? Scriptures or prayers and "I love you" may be exactly what he needs. I understand he can't talk to you, but hearing you may brighten him.

 

I'm sorry you are walking this road. I will pray for you.

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I agree with the communication chart. Not being able to communicate is a big cause of stress and anxiety for a patient. My dad was very anxious before we came up with a way to communicate, but he was a lot calmer once he could effectively communicate basic needs and wants.

 

It must be very difficult for you to leave your dad when you know he wishes you could stay! :grouphug: I was younger when my dad was going through a very similar situation, and I had a 2 year old. My mom was at the hospital every day all day, but she was retired then. I have a large family, which is also a big help. When my mom was in the hospital last year, she was rarely alone, and never alone at the end. Does your church have any volunteers that sit with patients? I know it is expensive to hire someone.

 

Sending prayers for your family!

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Bethany,

My SIL likes to comment on the fact that she thinks I am a strong woman. I don't always feel strong, but I do my best to do what is right even when it is hard. I have had to make the decision to turn off life support on my grandmother because my brother was a minor and my father (her son) had already passed away. I had my family there, and everyone agreed that it was the thing to do, but it was just so difficult. There was no chance of her recovering at all. Even 10 years later it still brings tears to my eyes.

 

It sounds like your husband and children are very supportive and this time will likely be short. Do what you can for your family, but don't feel guilty for doing what you need to for your dad. The things you model to your kids now will stick with them for life.

 

Hang in there, love your dad, pray for your mom, dad and sisters, and take care of yourself too.

 

:grouphug:

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I really can't/shouldn't get into what all is going on with my mom. Her and dad didn't have a good relationship BEFORE his heart attack, and that's amplified now. It's SO hard for me to see. She's not spending much time with him. She was there for a little while yesterday while I was there. Dad wasn't asking HER not to leave, or asking HER to get him things, wipe his face, etc. And frankly, she doesn't want to. Now I know people are going to think this is just how she's 'dealing' with it. And I thought so for a while, too. But honestly, it's more than that. And it breaks my heart for my dad.

 

I have seen this in other relationships. I think it is just so complicated. All the resentments of the past come to the fore. Their own mortality. I think most of all...the idea that they could be stuck caring for this person that they weren't getting along with well in the first place for a long time? It can be very, very tough for people to cope with all of that. You have a different relationship and a very different heart. Your dad sees that. :grouphug: Try to give your mom some grace, even when it might not seem like she deserves it. That's when we need it the most.

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Bethany -- so sorry you are hurting. I continue to pray that God will give you strength.

 

Could you record yourself reading from the Bible and leave that for your dad. Does he have the dexterity to work the controls on a record-able device?

 

Also, we had looked at communication boards for my FIL. This is one we had considered.

 

:grouphug::grouphug:

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I have seen this in other relationships. I think it is just so complicated. All the resentments of the past come to the fore. Their own mortality. I think most of all...the idea that they could be stuck caring for this person that they weren't getting along with well in the first place for a long time? It can be very, very tough for people to cope with all of that. You have a different relationship and a very different heart. Your dad sees that. :grouphug: Try to give your mom some grace, even when it might not seem like she deserves it. That's when we need it the most.

 

Mrs. Mungo, you hit the nail on the head there with that.

 

Mom just called me a while ago to tell me that me and my sister shouldn't be coddling dad when she's not there. :001_huh: ?!?! Mom! Mom, really?! He's SCARED. I just don't have words. Ok, I do have words; I don't have "nice" words.

 

My sister (who is with him right now) emailed back and forth about it, and she and I are on the same page.

 

I just. I don't know. I just don't understand that, I guess.

 

We're doing what we can to make communicating easier for him. He has charts and stuff. He wants to be able to text and write, but he can't yet.

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I may have missed this elsewhere, but if she can't or won't do the wifey stuff, can't she babysit so you can? We were in this situation earlier in the year and it would have been a whole lot harder for everyone had my brother not been on holidays. He spent most of it babysitting.

 

Rosie

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I have been in similar situations more than once (including my dad this pastspring and mom this summer), so you have many prayers from me.

 

I think every time, we "decorated" the rooms with pictures of the kids and some of their art work. I think just something to remind him of people that care about him would be great. He knows you can't be there all of the time. I would remind him that you are coming back; just going for a while.

 

Also, we were looking into apps like this, but it ended up we didn't need it. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/freespeech/id517017346?ls=1&mt=8

Similar to the chart PPs mentioned.

 

Keep breathing and praying....

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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When my MIL was in her last month, we ended up paying for a "sitter" to be there when we couldn't be. Basically it is someone with health experience who makes sure that they are cared for attentively. Yes, it wasn't cheap (the siblings divided the cost), but the ones we had were very sweet and would hold MIL's hand and be there if she woke up and was scared.

 

The ones we had came through a home health agency that the hospital social worker recommended. Most of them were grandmotherly types.

 

Just a thought.

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Some people just aren't hospital/sickness people. Can you talk to your mom into watching your kids instead of trying to go to the hospital? It sounds like your dad might prefer that arrangement also.

 

If that doesn't work, reach out to your friends and arrange for them to take turns keeping your kids for a while each day, so you can spend time with your dad each day. People want to help; they just need to be told/asked what to do. Don't worry about homeschooling. Right now your father is the primary importance.

 

Prayers

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When my aunt was in the hospital or later in the nursing home, visiting her was among the hardest things I have ever had to do as an adult. (She had a brain tumor, which left her brain damaged. She suffered until she passed away a year ago.)

 

It was agonizing to walk in and see her like that. After the initial wrench, I would then immediately see what needed to be done. Sometimes she needed adjusting in bed or something like that; other times she needed me to hold her hand. Once I started moving, to take care of those things, I would both feel a little better (doing stuff) and also find myself unhappy that others were not taking care of the simplest things.

 

Then the next job was always to hold her hand and be encouraging--whether in silence, holding her hand, or sometimes singing, or sometimes talking normally and giving her the news (kids. etc.). She craved all those things at different times.

 

Leaving was always hard, and the guilt of having to leave would stay with me all.the.time. She was always sweet about it, and always sad to see me go. I usually walked as quickly as I could to my car, hoping to hold it together until I got there and could cry.

 

I learned not to talk to others in the family about her. It just made me sick at heart. They would say the stupidest things, and some of them were unbelievably callous of her condition. (Like your mom.)

 

Keep your conversations with your mom brief. Don't ask her permission for things--just quietly do as you know you need to do. Avoid any big confrontations.

 

Put pictures around your dad as well as little notes.

 

Try to set a schedule for yourself for when you will be with him. Rely on the schedule to tell you when to be there. Decide in advance what circumstances would cause you to break your schedule.

 

Thank the nurses for their care, over and over.

 

Plan to narrow your world to allow for the refreshment of your soul. It will never be enough, but try to get enough refreshment to keep going. For me that meant solitude immediately after visiting Lisa. I isolated myself for a day or two after each visit, seeing only my family, reading, praying, sometimes taking a walk. My darling husband was amazing in helping the kids along so I could have the solitude I needed.

 

Your needs may be different from mine--decide what would feel best after you leave your father, and then make it a ritual that you always do afterward.

 

:grouphug:

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It was the hardest thing I ever went through in my life.

 

Can you bring your boys to the hospital so you can be there more with him? My girls were always with me. I feared that their seeing their Nana die would be too much for them. ALL my kids insisted on being there. I say this because I want you to know that kids can and do handle this stuff better than We think they would. I spoke to a social worker at length before speaking to my kids about the situation. They did fine and I was amazed. I would pack a bag full of things to keep them busy and I'd bring snacks.

 

Could you and your older sister work out a schedule so you both take shifts, making sure one of you are there for him at all times?

 

I sooooo hope he is being medicated for his nerves. Your dad needs help with his fear.

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Any ladies who have taken care of/helped take care of a parent/spouse who is very ill, I could use some support or ideas.

 

Dad is very scared; understandably. He's still on the ventilator (via tracheotomy), so he can't talk. He doesn't have the motor control to write well, either. These things are frustrating to him, for sure. He mouths words a lot, but none of us are very proficient at reading lips, so sometimes it takes a while to get what he's saying.

 

Some things he told me yesterday:

 

He wants ME to stay on top of what's going on with him. Of course I reassured him that I am and will continue to be.

 

He didn't want me to leave. He wanted me to stay sitting next to his bed, holding his hand, helping take care of him. Which is exactly why I was there. Such a blessing for me to be able to do that. But it was HEARTBREAKING when I had to leave and he wanted me to stay. He understood, though. But he asked me to come back today. :crying: I *can't*. He understood. He knows I have to take care of the boys. I told him 'Dad, you know I'd be here every second with you if I could. I love you SO much. But you know I have to go home and care for the boys and do my wife stuff.' He smiled and nodded.

 

I really can't/shouldn't get into what all is going on with my mom. Her and dad didn't have a good relationship BEFORE his heart attack, and that's amplified now. It's SO hard for me to see. She's not spending much time with him. She was there for a little while yesterday while I was there. Dad wasn't asking HER not to leave, or asking HER to get him things, wipe his face, etc. And frankly, she doesn't want to. Now I know people are going to think this is just how she's 'dealing' with it. And I thought so for a while, too. But honestly, it's more than that. And it breaks my heart for my dad.

 

I reassured dad that I 'know' all the doctors and nurses that are caring for him, and that they're doing a wonderful job, that they really do take care of him well. And he agreed. But he wants ME (or my older sister) to be there with him, too.

 

It's so hard, ladies. I'm a mess even now because I can't be there with him. And my husband, he's so fantastic. He's reassuring me that I shouldn't feel guilty, that I'm doing what I should/can for dad, that my mother, his WIFE, should be there for him, and that dad understands.

 

It's just so hard. How do you ladies who have been through this/are going through this COPE? I pray; I pray SO much. For the Lord to comfort dad, for Him to help me have grace with myself.

 

This is just something I never, EVER imagined going through; and even if I had, I'd have had no idea how hard it would be.

 

Any way you can bring your boys back and stay with him some? I know they are young. They do let younger kids in to see a grandparent when he is in bad shape though. I don't know how far away you are.

 

Any way your younger boys can stay with someone for a few days?

 

I took care of my Mom for awhile when I had toddlers, but at least she was in our home, so I'm not sure how feasible this is for you.

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Just :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

It sounds like you are doing a great job. I think the staff will be really receptive to anything (within reason) comforting you want to bring for your fathers use. I spent a long time on strict bedrest in hospital when pregnant with ds. DH brought in my favorite quilt from home. The nurses were great about switching my bedding each morning for me. They probably liked the fact that it that I had it more then me. It made my stay much more cheerful. They wanted me to use the hospital stuff at night in case of an emergency but always made sure things were brightened up first thing.

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Bethany, my mother was already gone (deceased) when my dad became really ill, so he turned to me for help and relied on me as the one to comfort and care for him. In essence, it seems as if your mom has already "gone" as well.

 

It's good that your dh is being understanding, but maybe it would help if you explained how your dad doesn't seem to have a wife at the moment and so needs his daughters much more than he would otherwise.

 

If it were me (and it has been me), I would focus on dad for this short time. Your boys do have another parent who can fill in and seems, from your description, to be willing to help. I can assure you that this season of your dad needing you will be relatively short -- one way or the other. You won't regret the time you spent caring for him. I am sure of that, too.

 

:grouphug:

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Can you get your mom to switch places with you and watch your kids, while you spend time at the hospital with your dad?

 

I only say this is because the one regret I have about my dad's final days, is that I wish I could have spent more time with him at the hospital.

 

 

:iagree:if you trust your mom with your kids.

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You have gotten a lot of advice.

 

Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

 

End of life time is sacred. It is excruciating and so heart breaking; it brings all cracks and struggles in families to the front. But it is a sacred time. This is the time (it sounds like) that your dad is preparing to leave this life and join the Lord. You only get to go through it once with each parent.

 

My thoughts are two fold. Don't sweat it as much as you can. You might have to let go of the idea that your mom is going to be a part of this journey. Try and take care of you in the midst of the chaos and the swirl of emotions. You've been on this rollercoaster for a good while now. I hope you are breathing.

 

My second thought is, as much as you can, be with him and have others be with him. God calls people home and sometimes we, in our hubris, get in the way. I don't know whether God was calling your father or not. But it is a journey no one should make alone and it is a precious time. Eventually. Right now it is just an exhausting, adrenalized, emotional time.

 

You and your father, your sisters and your mother are all precious in God's sight and He is with you. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

See if you can sit it that and be present in this time, as much as you can.

 

And one more time. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

 

Blessings and prayers coming your way, sister.

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Oh, honey I'm so sorry. Your situations sounds a lot like what we went through with my in-laws. Fil had a stroke, and mil was focused on herself. What a horrible place to find yourself in; its just awful...kwim?

 

Be there for your dad, he needs you. It may help to focus on him and revert to prayer when your mom is less than you wish.

 

Many prayers:grouphug:.

 

Mrs. Mungo, you hit the nail on the head there with that.

 

Mom just called me a while ago to tell me that me and my sister shouldn't be coddling dad when she's not there. :001_huh: ?!?! Mom! Mom, really?! He's SCARED. I just don't have words. Ok, I do have words; I don't have "nice" words.

 

My sister (who is with him right now) emailed back and forth about it, and she and I are on the same page.

 

I just. I don't know. I just don't understand that, I guess.

 

We're doing what we can to make communicating easier for him. He has charts and stuff. He wants to be able to text and write, but he can't yet.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

 

I have walked this path also. I was blessed to experience was the amazing body of Christ in action as others lived my life for me so that I could temporarily live a different life that revolved around ministering to my Dad. It took a while to learn to relinquish real tasks.

 

 

So here is a practical plan of action for you; take 30 minutes to:

  • Do a quick overview of your life and access your daily and weekly, high essential needs (let school rest for this short period)
  • Break them down into time components - what takes 30 minutes, what takes an hour?
  • Decide what can be accomplished by others (driving a child to classes, mowing the lawn, shop for groceries, cooking a meal)
  • The next time someone says - "just tell me what you need." or asks "how can I help you?" BELIEVE THEM AND TELL THEM AND LET THEM DO IT! It will help that you already have a list of delegatable tasks for the day in mind.

One of the most amazing gifts was when a dear friend came and took our laundry to her home, returning it finished the next day. Neighbors took over some of my husband's tasks, like lawncare, as he was needed elsewhere also. Nothing was off-limits in our lives for that short time.

 

There was also one sister-friend who eventually became my life manager as Dad's final days approached. She knew what the needs were, became a communicator/organizer to many who wanted to help but were not part of our daily circle. If you have someone like that in your life, allow them to bless you.

Edited by bookfiend
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Bethany,

Here's a few things we did.

I spend days with my boys and work. Nights my dh took over and I sat at the hospital for 3-4 hours so Mom could go home and shower, etc.

I accepted offers of help from friends. They took my boys for periods of time during the day, especially his last, when I felt completely drawn to his side, so much so that I cancelled work and just went.

I lined up pastoral visits for him and communion. I had people come pray with him and hold his hand.

My parents had a terrible relationship for 5 years. Luckily, they patched things up and had a good relationship the last 2.5-3 years. You are walking the path I dreaded. He got super sick during the bad years and it was all on me. I did the same things as above and filled in for Mom.

Ignore your mother. You are not coddling your dad. You are showing compassion. She's not in that place and, frankly, that's okay. But you are so you just need to tell her to step back and let you.

I let housework and dinners go. The kids had pancakes, leftovers, cereal and sandwiches. They were fine. The only time we had problems with the boys is when they were out of their schedule for a long time. Once we returned to our schedule, it was okay.

I left my dad a quarter while I wasn't there. Sounds weird I know. But when he was still feeling okay, I called and said I was coming up for a visit. He said, "Bring a quarter for admission." I did. :) It was on his tray until the end. I still carry that same quarter in my pocket most days. It's the last thing both of us touched. Geez, it does sound silly. Because your dad is semi-lucid, I'd leave something that has your smell on it. A tshirt, pillow, small throw blanket. It's amazing how comforting the smell of a loved one can be.

God be with you, Bethany.

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Bethany, I am walking a tough road with my parents at this very moment. Mom has cancer and has suffered terribly from the treatment. She is currently in a skilled nursing facility. My dad loves her dearly and would help her but he is disabled himself. I am currently mostly living at their house, 85 miles from home, while I, my sister, and my sister's dh deal with all the needs.

 

I am fortunate that I only have one child at home and he is an older teen. However, he is suffering some consequences of my being away from home and not being able to help him with his schoolwork. I don't know what the answer is going to be.

 

Not sure I have anything to offer. Just a hug from someone who is walking a similar path and having to make choices between meeting my parents' needs and my own family's needs.

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Been there. Fil spent almost zero time in the hospital with mil before she passed. They had a...different...relationship. She was there for months. We had lived within a block of them since being married for over 20 years. Mil was a wonderful woman. Dh had to work. His brothers and sister couldn't/wouldn't come. (One would have been able to easily. No kids. No significant other. Works via internet for dh.) Dh did what he could, but as a small business owner he had to be at work much of the time. I basically dropped school for those months, left my kids home alone (14,12,12, and 10 at the time), and stayed at the hospital with mil during the day. Dh went as soon as he could for the evening. The kids were wonderful, but so very stressed. We were also having to take care of fil during that time. He was almost incapable of feeding himself. Dh made sure he got lunch. I fixed him dinner. (We ended up moving in with him after mil died. He simply couldn't keep himself healthy.) I'm not sure how we made it through that time. It is all a blur. I have no advice. Just do what you need to do. Get by. :grouphug:

 

:iagree: Sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other. It's so hard. I've BTDT, and it's just plain hard. I am so sorry. :grouphug:

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I left my dad a quarter while I wasn't there. Sounds weird I know. But when he was still feeling okay, I called and said I was coming up for a visit. He said, "Bring a quarter for admission." I did. :) It was on his tray until the end. I still carry that same quarter in my pocket most days. It's the last thing both of us touched. Geez, it does sound silly.

 

Not even one little bit silly. I love that you had that special token, and the memory of it. :grouphug::grouphug: Sweet story.

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You have gotten a lot of advice.

 

Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

 

End of life time is sacred. It is excruciating and so heart breaking; it brings all cracks and struggles in families to the front. But it is a sacred time. This is the time (it sounds like) that your dad is preparing to leave this life and join the Lord. You only get to go through it once with each parent.

 

My thoughts are two fold. Don't sweat it as much as you can. You might have to let go of the idea that your mom is going to be a part of this journey. Try and take care of you in the midst of the chaos and the swirl of emotions. You've been on this rollercoaster for a good while now. I hope you are breathing.

 

My second thought is, as much as you can, be with him and have others be with him. God calls people home and sometimes we, in our hubris, get in the way. I don't know whether God was calling your father or not. But it is a journey no one should make alone and it is a precious time. Eventually. Right now it is just an exhausting, adrenalized, emotional time.

 

You and your father, your sisters and your mother are all precious in God's sight and He is with you. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

See if you can sit it that and be present in this time, as much as you can.

 

And one more time. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

 

Blessings and prayers coming your way, sister.

 

I love this post. I had never thought of dying in this way until my mil was dying of Alzheimers. The hospice worker had a very similar attitude, and she talked a lot about the sacredness of dying and how my mil was beautiful (she used to be striking, but the disease had laid waste to her body) and how passing from this earth is a natural, peaceful process. And strangely, we began to see it that way, and it was.

 

For you, Bethany, :grouphug::grouphug: and prayers.

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