My Life is Like a Box of Kleenex

CathyJ

My Life is Like a Box of Kleenex

CathyJ
My holidays have turned into a box of Kleenex (or as my great niece would tell me…a tissue because Kleenex is a brand!). I came down with the sinus crud that is going around before Christmas and my husband and my Mom have been hit hard with it since Christmas. Our house sounds like a choir of hacking and coughing and sneezing. I am pretty sure our New Year’s Eve version of Auld Lang Syne will be quite the event to hear.

My sisters usually pick my Mom up for a period of time each Saturday and Sunday, which is wonderful for all of us. Of course, with mom feeling so bad, she has been staying here. It is absolutely fine and I honestly feel better about it because she has been so close to falling while she has been feeling poorly. Last night, my sister who takes Mom on Sundays, messaged me and said that maybe it was better if Mom stayed with me today since she (my sister) and her husband were coughing. She didn’t want Mom to get whatever they had. AsI pulled another tissue out of the box to blow my Rudolph-red nose for the umpteenth time and listened to mom hacking, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Really??? We wouldn’t want to expose her to a cough? I am so grateful that I am past the frustrated stage with my sisters and able to smile when they say something like that or don’t “get it” about the challenges for a caregiver. I just pulled another Kleenex out of the box and moved on.

The holidays have also been a time of emotion. This was our first Christmas to not be at Mom’s house on Christmas morning as she has moved in with my husband and I. It went really well. The grandkids made a point to spend special time with Mom, my sisters really stepped up and helped out with the meals and watching Mom, and Mom got to meet her newest great granddaughter. It was truly a magical meaningful time. But it was another Kleenex moment as private tears were shed over the change of childhood Christmas traditions, missing Dad, the beauty of seeing Mom’s smile as she held that little three-month-old great granddaughter or her adult grandchildren focused just on her, and the knowing that we do not know what next Christmas will bring with Mom’s disease. I pulled another Kleenex out of the box and wiped my eyes and moved on.

This caregiving journey has been like a box of Kleenex for me. Seems like something is always being pulled out of me…time, energy, emotions, finances, laughter, tears, hug, love, confusion, exhaustion….each requiring yet another Kleenex. Fortunately, and in large part due to the love of this site, I’ve realized I can handle it. If it gets tough, I just pull another Kleenex out of the box and move on. If the box gets empty, there is another box. I open it up, pull out a Kleenex and move on. Thank God for the Kleenex in my life.