"What If I Went to the Office the Day My Mom Died?"

Denise

"What If I Went to the Office the Day My Mom Died?"

Denise
I wrote this headline last July during my mom's five-week hospitalization.

road-366797_640I work for myself which meant I had flexibility and could be available much of the time.

Because I work for myself, I also have clients which depend on me to show up. And, if I don't show up, I don't get paid. I have to get paid.

During my mom's hospitalization, I traveled out of town three times--twice to deliver presentations and once to attend a "think tank" meeting about caregiving issues. I cut my "think tank" trip short by one day because of my mom's emergency surgery. Last March, the day after my dad returned home from surgery to remove his bladder, kidney and prostate because of cancer, I left for another out-of-town "think tank" meeting.

During my parents' declines, I wanted to keep my career moving forward. I also needed to make money. But, I sometimes wondered how I would feel if my mom did die during one of trips.

I remembered this headline today because of a heart-breaking story I read today in The New York Times: "A Baby Dies in Day Care and Mother Wonders Why She Had to Leave Him So Soon."

I don't have any answers on how we figure out how to pay our bills while we care for our family members. I do know that we often worry about making these truly dreadful decisions: Will my caree be okay after I leave because I have to leave?

We do our best. We do our best to accept we can't control life's timing. We do our best to put plans in place so all will be okay in our absence. We do our best to prepare ourselves for what could be, knowing we could soon be second-guessing a decision. We do our best to make wise choices even when we feel we don't have a choice.

It's another nuance to that caregiving conundrum of trying to keep your life during a life of caregiving.