Processing

EllysGdaughter

Processing

EllysGdaughter
gear-64155_640The last few months have been somewhat a blur of getting up, "doing" Grandma's legs, going to work, making dinner, "doing" Grandma's legs and falling into bed! It can't really be that mundane but it feels like it. I have lost myself in some respects. I don't take time just for things I need to do (Bible reading, exercise, novel reading). Awesome Hubby has been so tolerant of this schedule but I can see the beginnings of stress.

Fortunately, I am now on Christmas break and will not be running to-and-fro. I came home from work recently after errands and sat with Elly as she slipped into an afternoon nap. I decided to take a 45-minute nap, too, in my room with music playing. It felt good but 2.5 hours later seeing Elly snoozing, wrestling with some dream, I felt a sadness that I haven't felt in quite some time. I am not ready to identify all the parts of it but will consider the place we all find ourselves at this spot in caregiving.

Elly, Grandma, was 89 years old when we moved in and we had a 90th birthday party that year! The next year, November 2011, we moved our oldest son to Arizona to seriously date his online girlfriend. Spring 2012, youngest son moved in with us and Elly. ArizonaSon married in November 2012. It has not been easy adjusting to having LivingRoomSon take part of our living space and privacy, the very little we had the last couple of years. We have learned a lot through the process. Now, LivingRoomSon is in the process of moving out and will marry in Janurary 2015. Elly has decided not to attend wedding. Reason? She doesn't want to be a burden to anyone that day. A burden? Never! Pushing her own agenda because of a lie in her mind, possible! She has no consideration of what her great-grandson would like. These may be the things she is processing in her depressive and stoic state.

Processing change can be so challenging especially when Elly "knows everything" but there is a sense that something isn't quite right in her brain, I think. I won't be able to understand it all. Last weekend, AwesomeHubby and I heard the phone conversation Elly had with her son where he clearly said he would love to have the tablecloth she just finished. He explained that his table has leaves to expand which would fit the tablecloth. I was happy he spoke up and was interested in her beautiful "last" project. Yesterday, I asked Elly about the tablecloth. She told me how no one wanted it, so I asked if she would give it to her son? She specifically said that he didn't want it and that they had no table big enough to fit it! I checked with AH just to make sure my memory was right and we both agreed that my uncle did very much express his desire for the tablecloth. Why would she turn something around like that? I am wondering how to manipulate the situation so that he and his wife get the tablecloth for Christmas. Her mind usually hangs into the negative so it will be hard not to force the issue.

In light of this kind of processing, Elly may be working on cementing her decision to move into a "home". This is something my uncle confided to me that she was processing with his help. He has talked about reverse mortgage and other ideas that we haven't needed to act upon. He really wants to be helpful and I believe Elly has talked him into believing that we need our own life and she needs to just go on to a home. I really want to address this with him but want to do it in person because he needs to have the benefit of seeing and hearing from NurseySister also.

We don't believe Elly needs to go into a home. Elly would be giving up so much of what she still has control of by going into a home. My uncle is unable to travel at this point and lives in another state so a meeting won't happen soon. Elly still maintains her checkbook and personal care. She can bend over and pick up a leaf from the floor!

AH and I are doing well and I will refuse to deal with Elly's possessions while she is still capable of asking me where they are!!! Another year or so living with Elly will not change our lives or stunt our goals! We will need to work for a very long time before we can retire. My uncle doesn't understand our faith or obedience to God but he DOES appreciate how we live it out. We are praying that we will continue to be able to work together to keep Elly comfortable in her home. Processing, we all do it! How we get through this process will determine our future but I do rely on God for determining the number of Elly's days. I want to make the most of my time with Elly, in her home.

Meanwhile, I need to finish Christmas decorating. Elly lost her heating pad this week so I am wondering if a bedroom sweep and cleaning is in order. I will try to find her "winter" clothes so she stays warm without boiling us to death in the house. I have to work on the wedding rehearsal dinner arrangements and decorating without procrastinations! I want my heart to be ready for whatever happens! Christmas isn't what it used to be. But I will work to make it special anyway!

Like this article? Share on social

3 Comments

Sign in to comment

Denise

I love how you give everyone room to process. It's such a loving gift--allowing everyone to find the right fit. I hope you can speak with your uncle and share what you know--that the living arrangement works well. I hear your priority (making the most of your time with Elly in her home) and so hope that this priority remains the reality.\r\n\r\nSo glad you could share an update with us. I'm glad to hear how you're doing.

LilMagill

I feel your frustration with your grandmother's insistence on a negative interpretation of things. Sometimes my mom gets fixed on a particular idea (recently, she decided something she said hurt my husband's feelings) and no matter how many times I tell her differently, she returns to that idea, like a worry. Transitions are so hard. It must be hard for her to adjust to this new plan in her mind. I hope you all get through the holidays with as much joy as possible!

jan

Well, E-G, I can just imagine you are doing some serious processing. All that would keep me up 24 hours a day and then some. Changing roles and responsibilities for your sons, planning a wedding, extended family expectations and feelings, Elly's wavering independence and dependence, Christmas stuff and then some. I would just get frustrated looking for a lost heating pad. (boy, that is a killer. A heating pad is pretty big, how do you lose that?) It sounds like you and AH are working together to have Elly's best interests in mind and also be pleasing to God. A person can ask no more than that. Good luck, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!