95th Birthday and Stuff
Our family celebrated Elly's 95th birthday twice.
The first time was last month when her son and his wife was able to come from out-of-state to celebrate. He was so generous and treated us and the extended family to a Tappan Yaki lunch in a nearby restaurant. Elly was up for the trip and the little seat-thingy seemed to work well in the car. Her son took pictures and put them in a slideshow for us which was really special. AH was unable to join us since his brother was in Cardiac Critical Care after heart surgery. We had a beautiful chocolate cake which she loved. It was a nice one-day celebration!
On Sunday, on Elly's "real" birthday, NurseySister decided we needed to go out to lunch at the same restaurant. This time, we had my niece and nephew join us since they weren't able last month. Elly's foot was so swollen, I couldn't get any of her favorite pairs of shoes to fit. We finally got a pair of sandals to fit, a very nice expensive pair but had a little platform height which was scary. The staff at the restaurant sang a Japanese birthday song and brought fruit with a candle. The chef lit an onion tower and we sang Happy Birthday. She also left with a picture that was taken at lunch. Elly was very happy with our celebration and the cupcakes at NurseySister's house.
Our weekend came with some sadness as we got word that our dear neighbor passed away suddenly Saturday morning. AH and I stayed inside all day to keep from getting sick from the smoke and falling ash. We kept Elly inside all day too. AH slept the night in the living room recliner since he was having so much trouble with breathing. Sunday evening we visited our neighbor's hubby to comfort and lend support. I will take some food this week for him and help with funeral costs. We were not a very lively bunch this weekend!
This week we are helping AH's mom with some of her doctor appointments. AH is taking time off work to do that, a day at a time. He will be checking in with her to see how she is handling caring for her son, who came to recover from heart surgery to her house because a rehab couldn't handle his insurance and home dialysis system. I will again talk to my sisters about taking Grandma Elly to their homes for a dinner once a week. I keep hoping for a positive outcome! The thing we keep putting off is addressing our home, which is rented, and making some repairs/maintenance and possibly giving control to a property management company. Tough decisions since it would tie up our home for a year instead of just month to month but we'd have some extra income and tax write-offs!
In recent developments, Elly has had a hard time remembering and after she wrote some generous checks, reordered a prescription without my knowing and told me some interesting stories defending herself. I was able to get her checkbook in my possession and we will manage it together. It was the moment I have been dreading. I tried to soften the blow by explaining that it feels like I am violating her privacy but at the same time, we knew this was going to happen. She asked me twice, "Don't you trust me?" My answer was, I am afraid you won't remember that we talked about writing checks together and you'll keep writing them without me. She has had a cheery attitude since then and I am still waiting for "the shoe to drop." There seem to be changes underfoot and I have the feeling that God is opening doors for my sister to move away from next door. I gave her my "nod of approval" knowing that our time with caregiving for Elly is coming to an end or so it feels that way. I will have to cast my cares upon Him since I am so weak!
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