This is My Story and I’m Sticking to It!

Lillie Fuller

This is My Story and I’m Sticking to It!

Lillie Fuller
vzm-img_20161013_163959My caregiving story actually started six years before I was born! When my parents were married, not only did my mom gain a husband and a and a 6-year-old stepdaughter, she also became an instant caregiver to my dad’s mother who was what we always called “invalid” (a person disabled by an illness or injury).

I can remember being very young, and helping my “granny”.  I had to help her do things like put her “stockings” and shoes on. I remember having to go to the store and buy her snuff. She was a dipper! She couldn’t walk and I remember when she got her first walker! I think that was in the late 1960’s. That walker was one of the best jungle gyms ever.  My younger cousins and I thought it was pretty cool that we could turn flips on it as long as someone would hold it so it didn’t tip over. From a very young age it was just a part of life that we did whatever Granny needed done. I can remember my mom having to go to the store or something and she would tell me to stay home with Granny. I always thought she was watching me but I guess we were watching each other. As I got older I had more responsibilities with my granny like bathing her and staying with her while my parents took time off.  

Granny lived a long and happy life. She lived to be 104 years old but lived the last three years in a convalescent home. I visited her almost daily, during dinner time and my parents were always there at the lunch hour.  

I then married and inherited three stepchildren who I cared for and later had two children of my own. When the marriage ended 10 years later, my two little boys and I moved to my parents' house. My dad had been diagnosed with Parkinsons, had sundowner’s dementia and was losing his eyesight. It wasn’t long before I had to quit my job and stay home to care for him. At the same time I was also helping out one of my elderly neighbors who was an amputee. I would do some shopping for her and do minor chores and her yard work.  

During the time my dad was ill my mom had a few minor strokes.Her right side was affected but she was still able to care for herself. Shortly after my dad passed in 2003, my mom had another series of strokes, this time affecting her so she needed the aid of a walker.  

During the last 13 years my mom’s health has been a constant decline, one thing after another. My mom is no longer able to stay alone or care for herself. Her mind is sharp, she reads a lot but she really can’t do anything for herself.  

I have been with my mom now for 19 years. I do this caregiving thing alone. I do have the emotional support from my children, grandchildren and a few great friends.  

I have been a member of Caregiving.com for the past seven years and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know how I could do this caregiving stuff without the love and support of the family I have through the site. Caregiving.com is a large part of my every day. I am truly blessed by Denise Brown and every other person I have crossed paths with in the time I have been a member.  

This is my story and I’m sticking to it!

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6 Comments

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EllysGdaughter

Thank you for sticking to your story! What a long caregiving legacy you have! I feel privileged to know one so wise. It is truly a gift to children to incorporate them into caregiving, you were given such a blessing so you can be a blessing!

Hussy

I love your post -- and you! Your compassion, strength, and wit shine through.

frogger16

Thanks so much for sharing your story Lillie.\r\nI admire how you \"stick to it\"!