A Four-Legged Stool

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A Four-Legged Stool

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It's "Just Us Chickens" in my family now: my mom (with dementia), my sister and me. Although I live with my mother and give her 24/7 care, my sister is an email, phone call or visit away. When my husband and I married in 1979, we were our families' black sheep and left the family nests and never moved back home. My sister and her husband lived their entire lives within a half hour of my parents. So they enjoyed the joys and sorrows of constant parental presence. It's with this in mind that I whole-heartedly embrace caring for my mother, and never spend a second thinking about what my sister doesn't do. Believe me, she has DONE PLENTY.

I write with a full, thankful heart, appreciating the fact that she and I are (99.9%) on the exact same page about my mother's care. When so many, many caregivers do not share my blessings, I don't want to let a day slip by without giving thanks.

In addition to my sister, I have an incredible husband who is rarely phased by anything my mother dishes out. He uses his pastoral and clinical skills to see past her behavior, and his "wild-and-crazy-guy" personality to enjoy her presence. My sister's husband is another brilliant gem of patience and discretion. He uses his vast skills as a superintendent in the ironworking trade to see that her house is well cared-for and safe. When I reflect on the support my little 90-pound mother enjoys, I see a four-legged stool. It takes a four-legged stool to make this work! My mother is so tiny that the air-bag sensor in our car doesn't know she's there! But she needs a four-legged stool to survive well!

And then I started thinking about my children. I have two daughters who babysit my mom, but mostly keep me current and cared for. They each have patient and loving husbands who embrace my mother and the life we live now. So as I reflect on that, I realize my mother isn't supported by a four-legged stool. She is the hub of an eight-spoke wheel, one that's cool and hip and sophisticated like the HE 791 8-Spokes Chrome Wheels by Helo. We are a powerhouse together of seamless caregiving!

Once more I reflect, and I think of "The Village"; kind doctors, dentists, optometrists, audiologists, nurses, respite workers, adult day care orderlies, lawn maintenance providers, neighbors, check-out clerks, garbage men, mailmen and women, hairdressers, car repairmen, receptionists, waitresses, bank tellers and financial advisers, emergency room greeters, flight attendants, cat volunteer rescue workers, dog-walkers, librarians, and friendly complete strangers (both in Ohio and Florida) who make my mother's life full and secure. It takes The Village, The Helo Hub Cap, and the Four-Legged Stool. That's all she needs. And a big pile of white paper napkins.

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jan

Thanks, LilMagill. I'm sure your experience is much the same as mine. I am certainly very curious and interested in reading about your journey, too. We've just made a few more laps around the track than you have.

LilMagill

This is very uplifting! I loved reading it!

Denise

I just love this. And, I love how you compare the weight of the support with the weight of your mom. :) I suppose it's really about the weight of dementia--it's a heavy disease to care for. \r\n\r\nI love learning more and more about your family. They all sound just great.

Jean

Beautiful. I too am blessed with a family who were all on the same page with my mom's care. With 4 sisters, that's pretty amazing. I credit that to the my parents, the examples that they set as they lived their lives. That is truly a blessing.