I went home to Vegas the 16th and 17th of June for a dentist appointment on June 17. It was a quick, one-day trip. It was good to be home for a little getaway and to see my husband and the dogs, Hagrid, Soobie, and Baby Girl. I took all three of them to the groomer after ten weeks.

Everything went well, and I was well-rested and prepared to move my parents back to the house from the apartment upon my return to El Paso. After getting home from the airport on the 17th, I entered the apartment quietly so as not to disturb anyone. I woke up the next morning, and my brother notified me that he was leaving for Dallas then Austin, Texas immediately. What a shock!  No warning and now I am alone taking care of both parents.

We are back safely at the house. It took several days to get them into the house–moving several pieces of furniture each day with the help of my cleaning crew and handyman. I hired Emli Cleaning after coming to El Paso two years ago. I needed someone to clean the carpet after I worked for days with the help of my pest control company to get rid of the bed bugs. My brother had been taking care of my parents for years and had left the day before I arrived. I reflect on all the challenges I have faced, but with the help of these wonderful friends I have been able to accomplish a lot.

I’m writing this update from Vegas while my husband is throwing his paper route. He has two jobs (always has after moving to Vegas) mainly to help support me as I take care of my parents now.  Since my younger brother left and I had this trip planned, my oldest brother (18 months younger than me) came to spend the night with them.

My brother had texted me today as I was checking in at the airport. Dad was having a meltdown because my brother couldn’t/wouldn’t take them out for a drive. I called Dad and told him that the sedan couldn’t hold both transport/wheelchairs in the trunk and my brother’s truck was too high off the ground. Dad’s friend had called him earlier that morning to inform us that he had fallen when he went out to get the paper at 5:00 a.m. Dad was concerned and wanted my brother to take him and Mom to see him. I told Dad that he couldn’t get out of the car, and Bobby wouldn’t be able to walk to the car after his fall to talk to them. He calmed down after that and everything went well that afternoon. My brother discovered what I’ve had to deal with on a daily basis.

I received a call from my parents while Greg and I were out to dinner. They called to sing Happy Birthday. This morning, I left the house without a word from either one about my birthday. My brother made it though one day and night with them. The caregivers come in the morning so he can go to the apartment and decompress before he goes back to the house around three when the afternoon caregiver leaves. I will arrive late, he’ll go back to the apartment and leave for Austin in the morning. This was the best birthday present my brother could have given me.

Yes they are elderly, yes they need me and the caregivers, and yes I am there for them. I also need to be home to attend to my own health appointments, and I pray for strength every day. How do I do this? I don’t know! I’m here, and I’m there, and I am pulled in different directions each day. With the grace of God and my faith in Him and the love of my husband, I am able to cope, stay calm, and continue my caregiving journey.

About anneda

I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. I married Greg after college and started teaching the same year. He was a horse trainer, and I sold tickets at the track working my way through college. After 17 years, we needed a change and we moved to Las Vegas, NV. We moved the summer of '89 when my daughter was 7. I rarely went home to visit. My parents are in their early 90s and during a visit Christmas, 2017, Dad pleaded for help. Although my brother was living with them, Mom needed me. I told him I would help when I retired. Here I am. Little did I know that this would turn into a full time job. Helping and living away from home has been difficult. I've decided to write about my experience on my personal pages, support groups and in this forum to reflect and get support as I deal with unfamiliar and new situations.

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