A Busy Summer to a Quiet Fall

This summer was busy, hectic, noisy, and wonderful. My husband’s side of the family was around on and off all summer. We often had up to nine adults and 12 kids at a time. This was the first summer that my kids had no routine, no scheduled chores, just chaos. We did what we needed to do each day and enjoyed our time with family that we know we won’t see for a long time now. God continually taught me to enjoy each day for what it was. Grandpa (my father-in-law) did well with the chaos. He knew they were all his family, even though he could not always remember his kid’s name and definitely could not keep his nine grandkids straight.

Now, it is quiet. Family has returned back to their own lives, my kids returned to school during the day, and Grandpa and I are trying to figure out a new routine. He is sleeping a lot – I am concerned about depression. So we are trying to find activities he can still do. His baby pigs grew up and went to a new home – so he does not have them to check on several times a day.

He looks lost more now than ever. Last year at this time, he could still help wash dishes, sweep the floor, fold towels, and was out watching the men work in the fields. This year, he can’t figure out the process of washing dishes, misses piles when sweeping the floor, can’t figure out the towels, and is too tired to go out to the field. It is getting harder to find activities that he can do. He knows it and gets discouraged – so he goes and lays down.

Life is still busy in my schedule. Field work, feeding the men, leading Bible studies, taking kids to appointments – it never ends. But it is harder to keep Grandpa included. So here we are at a transition time again. Trying to figure out what is best and balance everything.

God is good through it all – giving what is needed for each day. Patience, love, and compassion to fill in for what is being lost in abilities.

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3 Comments on "A Busy Summer to a Quiet Fall"

Profile photo of Denise
Sep 4, 2012

Hi Aimee–I was thinking of you this weekend. How did you guys make it with the drought? I’m also hoping you had a fun family vacation.

The parallel transitions in your house must feel intense at times. The kids have the excitement of the new school year. Your father-in-law must manage the feelings of loss around his decline. It must sometimes feel like a difficult pull, to be the right support for each.

Always so good to hear from you. :)

Profile photo of EllysGdaughter
Sep 4, 2012

Hello Aimee,
I can see some of the same things in my Grandma after we’ve had a “crowd” over. It sometimes takes a couple of days for her to rejuvenate – she talks about how wonderful it was but it just poops her out!!! I have found some jigsaw puzzles that we have done together to try to find something for her to do. I wonder if a very simple, larger piece puzzle would be good to just have out. I agree about how hard it is to keep depression away and find activities that are appropriate for our elderly carees! My Grandma makes my lunch every day but it’s not always what I want or can eat!! I’ll pray that you will find just the right activity for Grandpa! I’ve sometimes asked my friends (elderly) at church to call or come for a visit since my Grandma is very stoic and won’t admit that she is depressed or lonely. Their visits always perk her up! Another idea,,, i’ve brought up Facetime on her IPad so that she can talk with her son, face to face :) You are doing an amazing work to keep up with everything!!

Profile photo of ejourneys
Sep 4, 2012

Hi, Aimee — Bless you for all the balancing you are doing. I hope that all the lying down is a pause between old activities and new ones for Grandpa. As Denise said, there is so much transition happening. I hope that a new routine will present itself in time.