Hang in There-It’s Worth It!

We’ve been crazy busy for the past few days trying to pull together a Southern-themed Memorial service up North. Spanish moss, check. Boiled peanuts, check. Green tomato pie, check. Sunshine, not so much (but we scrambled to purchase two big canopies at a reasonable rate and get them up as there’s a chance of rain tomorrow).

Again, my family and church have just blown me away with their thoughtfulness and willingness to help. I am expecting about 200 people tomorrow, and we’ll be Skypeing the service to Mom’s siblings and our other relatives down South.

I’ve slept two nights in a row. Exhaustion, I think! But, sleep is good.

We’ve been putting together a huge photograph display the past few days. I thought it would be tough, emotionally. It really wasn’t. It was good therapy. My mom was so involved, and so loved, and it showed in each and every picture. I also had a wonderful feeling when it was done, because Mom continued to be involved and loved in these past five years since she’s needed full-time care. We continued to make memories. There was a picture of her in bed at the family reunion last year. She had 10 grandchildren and great-grandchildren piled in bed with her! That just wouldn’t have happened if she’d been in a nursing home. There was that wonderful picture of her that I posted that I took during her last month of life.  She’d gotten through Round One of the C Diff (nurses were telling me she was in her last 72 hours). She bounced back, and had three wonderful days. The picture was taken on one of those days. She asked to go outside, and asked me to take the picture. She was home, she knew it, and was content.

I was not the perfect caregiver. I made mistakes. For all I did for and with Mom, I wish it had been more. But, I did my best. And that is enough.

Just thought it might be helpful to tell those of you that are still “in the trenches” what I’m feeling right now.

Good night, all, and I hope you all have a good day tomorrow. Think about us at 1:00 PST. We’ll be blowing bubbles, playing volleyball, and enjoying being together. And Mom will be with us in spirit.


7 thoughts on “Hang in There-It’s Worth It!

  1. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Hi TUKAS–My ultimate goal, though the site and the other services I offer, is for everyone to end their caregiving experience without regrets.

    And, that’s you!

    I’m so glad for you and proud of you. There’s nothing like celebrating a caree’s life when you have peace in your heart.

    The service will be just wonderful. I hope you’ll post a picture. We’ll be thinking of you!

  2. Bette

    Hi Shandi,
    Thank you for sharing. It will certainly be a time to remember the impact your mom made on so many – to experience the special family that you have.

    Thank you for the reminder of doing our best.

    Thinking of you and your family tomorrow. I’ve never heard of Green Tomato pie – is this a family recipe? (:

  3. kristin

    Oh, Shandi, what a wonderful, satisfying post! You’re sleeping, you’re at peace, you’re about to have a grand celebration of the life of your loving and beloved mother. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Unit Known as Shandi

    It went perfectly. The sun even made an appearance, just at the time the service started. Still glad we had the awnings. They looked beautiful with the Spanish moss hanging off them, and our daughter is getting married in the next year…so we’ll use them again. Volleyball didn’t happen, which was fine. The bubbles were really pretty, and I had my 9 month old granddaughter on my lap at that moment. She squealed and tried to catch them. A perfect moment. My sister made it, which was not a sure thing. She has her hip replacement in two days, and is a lot of pain. Thank goodness for Mom’s power chair and wheelchair van! I’m exhausted tonight, but very happy with the way it turned out. Both brothers and I spoke. One brother talked about me. He said that, when I was a child, some people said that I was pretty determined. Then he said how grateful he is that I was determined, and thanked me for being Mom’s advocate and taking such good care of her. That was really nice to hear. (Mom’s prayer, “Thank you, Lord, for our determination. Amen” came to mind! At least I know where I got it.)
    I have children passed out all over the house tonight. My 15 year old niece is here, the 7 year old grandson, and my 9 month old granddaughter. It’s pure bliss! Goodnight, all.

  5. Avatar of JenniferJennifer

    Oh, how wonderful your news is! I can’t think of a better role model for anyone “in the trenches” than you are.
    What a great way to spend this evening, with a house full of love and appreciation for family; your Mom has certainly created this legacy of giving and caring. To have had positive talks with your brothers and receive the appropriate and sincere thanks must feel wonderful.
    Sleep well and peacefully.


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