Aging Parent, faith, Family First, Kindness, Love

The Aging Parent. It’s Tough.

My View…

It’s Sunday. 2:08pm. I’m still in my pajama’s and my mind is spinning. I have not even thought about a shower. I’m trying to clean, like 14 different things at once. This is normal. Forensic Files is playing in the back ground. This is normal, too… I’m sitting at my computer knowing its time to write. Writing frees me. It gets my thoughts out. They seem to make more sense. I poured myself a glass of wine. I just keep thinking.

One week and one day ago, I got a phone call from my Sister. No biggie, really. But, when I saw that she was calling and before I picked up, something got to me. Why is she calling? Is everything okay? “Hello…” It wasn’t. She simply says, “I think you may want to come home – soon…” Me, “Oh, okay. Why? Is everything okay?” She is getting teary eyed. I can just tell. It scared me. We are in that age of, texting, FB Messaging and not much calling. Not that, that is a good thing, it’s just a thing. I live a couple hours away and due to my job, I told her I will see her Saturday morning. I will come and pick her up. She agreed. Through the week, we made a plan and we’re sticking to it. We had to.

What my Sister called me about was our Dad. He is ill. Has been for awhile. Hates the Doctor. Any Doctor. But he is sick. He has lost 80 pounds since the last time I saw him, which was Mother’s day. Almost 4 months ago. He looks bad. And I mean, BAD… He scared me. His nose looked so weird. Kind-of pointy. I have never seen that before. It made me scared. I felt like I was in the 6th grade again.

My Sister and I held up our end. We were strong. Or were we? We became the parents. When your not, that is hard. We don’t want to be the parents. We still want to be the 6th grader. Our Dad has ALWAYS had our back. Still does. I honestly think he loves the two of us more than anybody on the planet.

I had been praying for this day all week. Reached out to my Prayer Warriors and asked for prayer. Okay – I begged for it. Driving home was fine. I was not scared, just nervous. The Lord had my back, again. I just needed this to go. Good… Right?!

My Dad was mad. And I mean, MAD. I think we were expecting more of a hurt feeling senerio. Nope. The madness was scary. And kind-of weird. He would throw his head back and roll his eyes. Several times.

The history is this. He has always had stomach problems. Always. When we walked in the door, I about lost my breath. He appears to be starving. Literally, starving to death. His skin is grey-ish. Our Dad is almost 7 feet tall. Read that again – Seven Feet Tall. He is a big man. He has never been grossly over weight, just huge. A normal shirt size for him is a 5X. That is normal. If he is lucky, he could fit into a 3X, probably a 2X, now. His bottoms don’t stay up.

Yous ask – what happened? I do know that he has been drinking Ensure’s lately. He told me he is doing this “for extra nutrition…”. He had been telling me this on our weekly conversations. This didn’t make me nervous. When we show up and asked what was going on, why have you lost weight?? He tells us, I have a hard time keeping things down. We ask, Does your stomach hurt? He says, No. After continuous conversation he finally tells us that he feels like his stomach is filled with air and when he eats he feels like he has to burp, but he can’t and then the food comes up. WOW! I mean, What?

After this conversation, my Dad wanted us to do lunch. We went and got a pizza. Family tradition. On the way there my Sister and I were just trying to grasp at what was happening. In that car ride we made a plan. She is going to make the Doctor’s appointments from now on. We decided this because, we could not figure out if he was being honest with us when he tells us he has been going to the Doctor. We found it odd, that his Doctor never questioned a 80 pound weight loss? He says he never said anything. I’m pretty sure he has not been going. Due to the weight loss, my Dad is not driving. Why you ask? He has 0 energy. He couldn’t. My Sister will now be in charge of doing this.

After our Dad ate, he didn’t throw up, but he had to spit out his food. It won’t go down, he said. No nutrition. That’s the weight loss. That’s the no energy. This is what is scary.

We have a plan. We have a Doctor some what in place. Pray for us. This is tough.

It’s a lot. My Sister’s is now homeschooling, too. She has a lot more added to her schedule. It sucks. But what do you do? This is where the respect issue comes in. We want to respect his wishes. But we can see more. We know what he is made of. He’s funny. He’s crazy. But more importantly, he is our Dad. He loves us. We want him to want to live. To get better.

His life decisions have been hard. They still are. We see through it. We want him to be well. Why is that so.damn.hard.?

faith, Family First, Friendship, Kindness, Love

God’s Got My Back

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Ever had a really crappy week??  You know the one you knew was coming?  You knew it was coming about a year ago?  And if you actually sit back and think about it, you knew it has really been coming for a couple years…??  Well, that was my last week.  It finally came to a head on Friday.  It is Sunday, a new week and the Lord has me moving forward quite graciously.

You know those relationships that are toxic and you can feel the heat.  It feels like fire?  Sometimes you think about it and just give the situation the serious side-eye?  Me!  You know the relationship that hurts not just you – but your kiddo?  That’s when your Momma mode clicks in.  You let it go.  Maybe you want your kid to learn a lesson or two.  When the hurt continues there is a time you say enough, is enough.  That was my last week.

The thing that I am so thankful for is the Lord.  He sooooo had this.  He literally showed me the way.  I felt it every step of the way.  The heaviness  left.  My head quit spinning.  He knew this was coming – obviously, more so than me.  His guidance helped me breathe.  It helped slow me down.  I got focused.  Focused on what is important.  Family is.  MY family.  My Friends.  My growth.

I look back and on this Sunday, I remember the really good things that happened this week.  My husband picked a ton of tomatoes he grew and I am now making spaghetti sauce.  My neighbor begged us to come pick some of her peaches and I just made peach cobbler.  Shared some with one of my Besties and her family.  My house is clean!  The In-Laws come over and we visited outside with dinner that my husband made.  My Son and his GF were both off work and could enjoy the day with us.  The Lord is teaching me what being grounded  means.  I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for this last week | year | last couple of years…   Sometimes learning to leave and move on, is what you need.  God showed me that.  I’m learning how golden it is, just to look the other way and be quiet and pray – a lot. Keeping your thoughts kind and simply saying good bye.  #godsgotmyback

 

A Bonus to this week was – when my In-Laws were here, I asked my MIL where she got her necklace – she said, “Oh, you like it?  You can have it…”  I LOVE it.

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Kindness matters.  Always.

faith, Friendship

Do You Have THAT Friend?

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You should.  You know the one I am talking about?  She’s (He’s) not the one you hang out with a lot.  But she is there.  When you need her.  No.Questions.Asked.  She is that one, that even though you live in the same town, if you do not have contact, she is there.  I found that out this Spring.  I needed her.

I met her several years ago.  At the gym.  She is strong.  Really strong.  In so many ways.  She knew what she was doing.  I did not.  I had been going to the gym after work.  My practical side knew that I should be dragging my ass out of bed before anyone was up, and getting my work-out on so that I could be home after work.  I still had a kiddo home that needed me and dinner.  Getting to the gym by 5am, just seemed so crazy.  I literally could not get up.  I actually tried for a couple of months.  I just couldn’t do it.  My boss did.  A couple of days a week she took a 5am class, at a different gym.  One day I asked her for some advice.  Like, how do I get up??  She explained that yes, it is hard and sucks but make your self do it for 2 weeks.  Suffer and just do it.  Make yourself.  She swore, I would never go back.  I haven’t.    Monday and Tuesday sucked.  By Thursday, I knew 5am was for me.

When I first started coming in at 5am, my Trainer was on vacation.  I would not know anyone.  I was a bit nervous.  Well, kind of scared.  That’s when I met her.  I’m pretty sure she gave me the side eye a few times.  You, know, our gym was tiny at the time and I was taking up space.  Actually probably in her way.  Back in the day at 5am, it was literally this guy -Matt- a bad ass, straight up boxer, my Friend and Me.  Me = the one who didn’t know what the heck I just got myself into.  I had a hard time looking at Matt because I was sure he was thinking – WTH?  Why?  My Friend, I’m pretty sure was thinking the same thing.  At the time I really had no idea what a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 was.  I couldn’t do leg lifts.  I mean, I could – one leg at a time.  However, after the first week – I decided I was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be.  I tried and just continued to go.  I learned so much being a newbie.

My 5am stint lasted a few years.  Then my Son graduated HS, was working all the time and would be getting ready to go to college.  As things were spinning in my head – I decided I didn’t need to get up early to get to the gym anymore.  THAT was a huge mistake.  I decided I could now just go after work.  Yeah – that really never happened.  I went to classes I liked – when I could.  Which, honestly, wasn’t much.  I lost my normal.  I did it to myself.

Several months into this a lot had happened.  (at some point, maybe I will do a blog post on that…) I was not were I wanted to be.  I gained some weight.  The wick was burning at both ends; I was trying to get it together.  It was then – that I reached out to THAT Friend.  The one I met at the gym.  The one who had meant so much to me, for so long.  The one I did not talk to for months.  She continued to go to the gym at 5am.  Not me!  I texted her.  Asked her to go walk a few miles on the Loop.  I needed her.  I just hoped that she would say yes.  She did.  We met up I was a hot mess.  I literally told her where I had been, what I had been doing.  I had never told anybody any of this.  She listened.  Whole heartedly.  In the time we hadn’t seen each other, a lot had gone on in her life too.  She made me feel as if what I was telling her, was so much more important.  When we were done, I got in my car to leave and bawled my eyes out.  I was so thankful for her.  THAT Friend.

Months later – yes, months – I decide to go back to the gym early.  I was going to start going at 4:30am.  I contacted my Friend and asked if I would see her at 5.  She asked, Why?  She was probably wondering if I was actually going to come back.  I told her I would be there at 4:30, but I would see her when she got there.  Well, guess what?  THAT Friend has showed up at the gym at 4:30am ever since.

Her kindness is what everybody needs.  I love the way she listens.  I love that she always reminds me that the Lord knows the way.  Always.  & don’t second guess that.

Lastly, she started a new thing a couple weeks ago – on our way out of the gym, we look in the mirror, SMILE then fist pump.  That was actually hard.  A week later she added this – say one word that describes you.  Daily.  That is hard.  It is getting better.  Easier.  I am now looking for those words.  Another Friend of ours, at the gym, lifts by “our” mirror.  She says we always need to add #beautifulbadassbitches   For whatever reason, that feels right, too.

When we arrive and leave at the gym, it is dark – here is a picture of us practicing looking in the mirror…

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Uncategorized

Deciding To Go Gray

I mean, gray?  My “normal” hair is really brown.  Like dark brown.  Almost black.  I’ve been getting grays since my early 20’s.  I just pulled them out.  No biggy.  They went away and I moved on.  My Gramma had hair like me.  The same color of brown.  She was gray all of the years I knew her.  My Mom was early gray and so was her Brother, my Uncle – who is now white, BTW…  My Mom dyed her hair for YEARS  She hasn’t now for several years because she can’t get around and doesn’t drive.  So she went gray.  It’s weird.  I don’t really like it.  Her looks different; not just the color.  I remember when I was in College and would come home and we would be having a conversation and the random grays were like in the shape of a question marks attached to her head.  I don’t want that.  Does that happen to everyone that does gray?  Random question marks?  My Gramma didn’t have those.  Or did she?  I guess I’m not sure.

The reason why I decided to go gray is because, I am simply tired of being a slave to my hair.  I’ve been dyeing it since high school and for the last five years, it has become an issue.  Lets face it, gray does not “dye”.  I get my hair done, two weeks later (and that is a stretch) the gray is screaming at me when I look in the mirror.  Gross.  Honestly, the ONLY reason I have waited so long is because, I LOVE my hairdresser.  I have been going to her for like 15 years.  She knows A LOT about me and I could tell you a lot about her.  The thought of not meeting up with her every couple of months for a minimal two hours is just devastating.  Seriously.  She is my personal Therapist.  She gets me.  We totally understand each other.  That’s really the reason I haven’t gone gray.  I will miss that.  Now I will just be there for a hair cut.  That will probably last two hours…

But the gray…  Let’s face it, I could grow out the gray and go back.  And I may.

One thing that is weird about gray; it’s really glittery.  Really.

Anyhow, I will keep you posted.  All could change in a few months or a year.  But here’s to going gray!  Cheers!!

Uncategorized

Reflection

/re’flekSH(e)n/ : Serious thought OR consideration

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In this new time of the COVID 19, aka: Corona Virus, things are different.  Things have changed.  2020 became weird.  Somewhat scary.  It is really an unknown at this point.  Will things turn around?  When?  The College kiddos (including mine) are home.  The Governor just announced the other day, that all WA public schools are done for the year.  Doing somewhat of an on-line process.  What about Prom?  Graduation?  All of the money parents spent MONTHS ago with Jostens?  I feel sorry for this generation.  I feel bad for the things that were planned, that are now cancelled.  I’m thankful I still have a job.  Working from home one week, office the next.  I’m thankful, but, I miss my work “normal”.  My Work B-E-S-T-I-E-S.  I miss the normal.

It is weird having my College student home doing homework.  Talk and texting his roommates.  They are missing out on their first year of College.  You know – those FUN times that your parents don’t know about??  The girlfriend?  These kids not only need it, they should have it.  It is sad to me.

We were supposed to go to Hawaii last month.  At the very last second I said, “We need to back out…”  My Husband and Son disagreed.  It was a Thursday I suggested this; we were to fly out Saturday morning at 6am.  What we kept looking at was our flights.  They were fine.  Nothing was cancelled.  We would get online and look at where we were staying and it was still open and ready to go.  We Googled the golf course my family was to golf at.  It still said they were open.  When my Son tried to call and didn’t get through; that was the moment I put my foot down.  Yes, the flights were still on.  That was not the problem.  What we did not know was that had we gone, the place we were staying was making you stay holed up.  You would literally be stuck in your room.  All of the pools were closed and all of the chairs on the beach were brought in.  They don’t tell you this.  The golf course was closed too…  We are so glad we didn’t go.  At this point we can’t re-schedule.  I mean, who knows when this will end?? So sad.

Life changed in a flash.

I started baking.  I mean eating.  I’m not a baker.  I don’t enjoy it at all.  I love to eat the goodies though.  I just made my third batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I’ve eaten most of them.  And the dough, too.  I’ve gained my Corona 15.  Maybe 20.

The hard thing?  Watching the people around you that you love and respect, struggle.  My gym.  I’ve been there 3 years now.  I kick box.  It’s a kick-boxing gym.  I’ve gotten STRONG.  I’ve met great human beings.  We get each other.   The classes I’m missing out on.  Going in at lunch to lift.  The owner.  My Trainer.  This is his living.  His business is considered non-essential.  Why?  He does A LOT of one-on-ones.  That’s how we get strong.  We need this.  But, it’s non essential.  He still has bills to pay.  Rent.  In the gym building.  Fingers crossed he gets to open back up next month.  Next Month…?  Really?  I know there are a lot of businesses out there that are trying to figure all of this out.  I feel horrible for all included.

Doing my Bible Study with my Connection Group, via Zoom is weird.  But it is so nice to have that option.  We still need each other.

To get my butt moving I’ve picked up hiking, walking our local loop and guess what else?  I purchased Beachbody on Demand!  WTH?  Are you kidding me?  I’m truly glad there are no mirrors around when I am doing it.  I’m pretty sure I look, over the top, RIDICULOUS!  Gross.  I do get what I need.  It is fun.  It’s just not my normal.

I have to see my Therapist, via video.  (Yes, I go to a Therapist – EVERYONE should…)

There are some good things these last few months have proved:

  • I have really gotten into the Word, again.  I keep using the excuse that I “don’t have any time…”  That excuse is non existent now.
  • I have read sooooo much.  I love to read, but typically I read as I’m going to bed and conveniently fall asleep.  Not now.  Amazon has even reached out to me for a Author review.  Not bad.
  • I have blogged a lot more.  I have also read a lot of blogs that I have wanted to read for well over a year now.
  • I’m catching up on all of my podcasts.
  • I’ve cleaned all of the closets in the house!  I’m pretty proud of that one…!

Being FORCED to slow down has been nice.  In a weird, awkward way.  I really am staying in place.  Unless I am going out for a walk or a hike, I am staying home.

I miss my normal.  I wonder if normal will be back…?