Goodbye to 2016

EllysGdaughter

Goodbye to 2016

EllysGdaughter
It's been 4 months since My Dad passed away with me, in our house. It's been the same 4 months since we stopped going to the hospital to care for AwesomeHubby's brother. It's been 6 months since dear Elly went home to join Grandpa and all the other relatives who had gone on before. It's been quite a year, 2016 that I never want to have repeated, can I ask that?

A little over a year ago, AwesomeHubby and I were looking for a house to buy, had just sold our first home where we raised our kids, and were cleaning Elly's house to be ready to sell. We used the same realtor which for some odd reason turned out well for selling our precious first home but horribly for buying our second home & selling Elly's house. We had no idea how wonderful the home we purchased would feel to us as we were tired of packing boxes to move, tired of packing boxes to drive to GoodWill and just plain tired. Elly didn't require 24/7 care but we/I still visited 3 times a week making sure she had what she asked for. We didn't realize how many people were watching out for her, getting advice from her, enjoying her stories at the Senior Living Place until she passed away just 10 months into 2016. We celebrated holidays and birthdays with Elly - family birthdays just about every month of the year! Elly started falling then figured out how to keep moving then falling again. It was a roller coaster for her. Meanwhile, we were enjoying our new home.

Our new home meant that we could host friends who are missionaries...this happened almost immediately after we moved in. Our missionary friends stayed a couple of months and then we were able to consider what changes we would make when hosting other missionary friends :) Our kids moved from Arizona to San Diego which meant some trips to San Diego! I loved being with my son and his wife, getting to know them as a couple was such a treat! I miss them more, maybe because I know they are just 5 hours away now instead of 9! A rollercoaster, for me emotionally to be with them and then come back home, missing them until the next trip. Our new home meant storing boxes taken from Elly's place because. . . By October, another move happened as we cleaned out Elly's apartment after her departure to heaven. I thought, "I can't do this move. .  . it's too much!" I got through it, still working and taking off a day or so here and there to take care of paperwork/bank stuff to hand off to Elly's son, my uncle. I kept thinking, it's almost done. . .but, I still have boxes and I will remain on her bank account until Spring 2017. I found some really neat things in those dreaded boxes . .  . copy of border crossing papers from Russia, Canadian passports and lots of old pictures. I haven't investigated all the boxes yet because...my time needed refocusing on my Dad. So much time had been given to Elly, Dad was just in the background...he was doing treatments for late stage Prostate Cancer and he was happy with his wife.

My dad, well, that was a hard one. He spent most of 2016 feeling fine then he couldn't afford a new chemo drug. When he got the grant for the new drug it made him very sick. He also started falling and ended up with broken vertabrae in his back. He had a couple of fusions and had much less pain. My NurseSis went to a Dr. appointment with Dad and wife (not our mom) in August which revealed our Dad was in late stage Cancer and had tumors that were giving him a very short life span. Dad was willing for us to step in at this point and I suppose the timing was right, didn't feel good or right. Hospice was agreed to, so that journey began. My frustration during this time didn't mean that I was frustrated with my Dad, he was so gentle and loving, just like he had been all his life. My frustration was that I had allowed my Dad to be with the love of his life and now the love of his life was telling me how I should be with my Dad. Wife and Dad were having trouble accepting these end of life issues which caused their own frustration and her to lash out. I didn't like the lashing out part, it stung and hurt more because I had given her my Dad and part of my heart. So now, several months later, I have no bitterness or anger with the situation but I am guarding myself. I spoke with Dad's wife on the phone recently and it sounds like she is getting the help she needs and progressing thru the grief. The Hospice chaplain keeps tabs on me even though I say I am doing fine, she will continue to check in.

I have missed checking in with this community and feel like I owe an apology for not being here. I will work on being more faithful... For now, I know this, caregiving will continue since AH's mom will be having knee replacement surgery. Mom has been invited to come and recuperate in our home with the perfect timeline as I will be on summer break soon. We also have a camping trip planned with our son and his wife which is much anticipated!

I am praying about the November Caregiving Conference and it will be a decision AH and I will need to make together. For now, we are taking things slow, working on being US and clearing out more boxes of memories from my family before the Fall. I will continue to visit and blog here, thank you dear family!

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MikeLur

I too am passing through after being absent for awhile. I'm glad I caught this entry. I've learned so much from all of you and from this experience. You story informs me on what may lie ahead. Although it may be years from now, I certainly wish I was more prepared for caregiving from the start. Good to hear from you as always.

Goldie

No apologies needed. You've been busy. I'm glad you'll continue to visit and blog here!