It's Been Forever

Lillie Fuller

It's Been Forever

Lillie Fuller
indoor-swimming-pool-735309_640I've been really needing to blog but seems there is just not time to do it even though I feel some days as it all I do is sit on my bottom all day.

I believe the last blog I posted was after the death of my favorite aunt and a dear friend who I, at one time, had cared deeply for.  Since then there have been two more deaths, a wedding and a small change in lifestyle which has resulted in meeting a caregiver friend.

Earlier this month my son's girlfriend of two years lost her grandpa. This was the man who raised her and the person she felt was the only one who ever loved her unconditionally. Of course my family--my two sons and my mom and I--supported Geniva through this and have done what we can to comfort her and be family to her in this great loss. She has become part of our little family in the two years she and my son have been together. I know how devastating it is to lose a dad and even though this was her grandpa, it was her dad!

Next came the wedding of my son David's childhood best friend. I did post a few pictures of that event. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding, great people, wonderful food and just a fun time. My son wasn't asked to be in the wedding but at the last minute one of the groomsmen dropped out and my son David was very happy to be able to fill in. I had a wonderful time with my boys, Geniva and my ex-husband.

Just last week I received a phone call from my stepdaughter Shelly. She was frantic, it was Thursday and 4:00 in the afternoon.  She had been at work and received a phone call saying that her ex-husband, the father of her 17-year-old son, Sheldon, had died. Shelly is an RN at the County Hospital. The hospital received the call at the same time and Shelly was on the phone with the paramedics when the father of her son was pronounced dead at his residence. This would of been just a little bit too much for me to handle I think. Shelly rushed home to get her son before he found out via Facebook or the phone that his dad had died. Shelly also is the legal guardian to her two nephews Julian and Andrew, who lost their mom, my youngest stepdaughter, Annie, in 2008.

As Shelly was breaking the news to Sheldon, she asked me to please pick up the other two boys and keep them until she could make sure Sheldon was okay. What an emotional day that was. Since that day, I have been working to support Shelly and the boys any way I can. I have been scanning pictures and putting together a slide show for Tommy's funeral. I have been receiving pictures from everywhere, it seems, to add to the slide show. I am gathering all the photos to make memory books and CD's for family members. I love being able to help my stepdaughter with this. I would do anything for her or my grandsons. The funeral for Tommy will be next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Prayers are deeply appreciated. The autopsy reads that he died, at age 51, from complications of diabetes and heart disease.

Just a day or two before this happened I was talking to Shelly about how much I missed going to the gym, I hadn't been able to go in a long time because I can't leave my mom unattended for a long period of time. She had bought me a gym membership early last year and I told her to cancel it because I wasn't able to use it anymore. When I told Shelly I missed going to the gym she told me she hadn't cancelled my membership, that I still had it. The next morning I got my butt up at 5 a.m. and was at the gym and in the pool by 6. Since then I have been going almost daily. I had taken water aerobic classes before so I am familiar with the exercises.

So, daily I have been getting up and am in the pool before 6. I exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, shower and come home in an hour's time. My mom has been doing great, sleeping through the time I am gone. I get her up to use the restroom before I go. I'm not one to talk when I am in the pool I usually stick to myself. A couple of days in a row there was another woman in the pool at the same time as me, just was water walking. One day I started a conversation with her to find out she was also a family caregiver and comes to exercise while her mom is sleeping. Of course I told her all about Caregiving.com and all the amazing support I receive here. I told her that all of you here on this site have become family to me and what a blessing it is to have someplace to go where I am not a stranger. She was excited to learn of the site but has company now but when things quiet down she will check out the site more.

To go along with all this I have a gimpy dog I have been taking care of, giving meds and vitamins to every day. Stella is young, only 2.5 years old and has been diagnosed with knee and hip dysplasia. She gets prescription meds plus fish oil and glucomsamine. So now I'm a mom and dog caregiver!

Wow, I can't believe I got all that out of my system. I hope you are able to understand what I have been going through. My mom has been by best friend, sitting by my side while I cuss my scanner, my computer and everything that has been going on in my days.

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Denise

Hi Lillie--I am so glad you continue to work out given all that's going on. Such sadness! It could be easy to simply stay home. But you go!! That's awesome.\r\n\r\nThanks so much for all you do here to keep us going. :)

Maria

I love water aerobics! I take a class at 5:30 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Y. I get such a good workout and it is such a good stress relief!

yolanda

Thank you for sharing, always good to hear your virtual voice. :)

Jean

Wow, Lillie, you have had so much to deal with for the last several months it seems. You amaze me with your positive attitude and jumping in to help others. I'm sure all those photo/memory books will be treasured.\r\n\r\nIsn't it interesting how easy it is to find another caregiver? Just talk a bit and wala... I started water aerobics after my MIL died last summer. The very first person I struck up a conversation with had cared for her aunt who died the year before and immediately afterward her finance was diagnosed with brain cancer. After a year of caring for him, he also died. The water aerobics was her first venture out to the world again. We made an immediate connect of understanding.

jan

Boy, you have had your plate full lately. How can so much sadness touch one person? I don't know. I do know you seem to have an endless supply of support and compassion for everyone in your life. \r\nIt really helps to blog sometimes, to see your thoughts on paper, see it organized. I feel like it gives me control over what I really don't have control over! I wish I could convince everyone else this, don't you, Lillie?

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