Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A New Place in our Journey With Mother.....

I am so blessed to live  CLOSE to Quadville!
It takes me only 22 minutes from the time I walk out my door to when I walk up to theirs!

I went over to spend the night last night and arrived in time for the Bed Time Story!
Amber is reading Anne of Green Gables and they were at chapter 8!
I dearly LOVE that book, that movie and ALL of L.M. Montgomery's writings!!!

After the kids were in bed and sound asleep - or nearly - Amber and I settled ourselves in for a little quality Mother/Daughter time together!!!

Mothers and daughters. 
And age old combination with so very many variations.
I was both an extremely YOUNG mother and also a - what was considered in the medical field at the time - an AGED mother. Amber is a QUAD MOM - and an absolutely exceptional one, at that!!!
As mothers, we all set out to do our very best.

I believe God wants us to be REAL without being hurtful. Life is not always pretty and when you see sweet pictures of happy smiling faces - and these are genuine! - it is natural to assume the relationship you see now is reflected in the glow of long happy years.
That is not always the case.

Deanie, Nita, Lonnie and I lived our childhood in a dark ugly world without the protection or comfort of loving parents. Instead we had an evil step father and a mother caught up in the tangled webs of a life she no doubt never meant to be in. We grew up in fear, anxiety and insecurities. We raised ourselves, watching over each other as best we could.
Even as a child, I had a strong faith in God and I claimed Psalm 68:5 where God promises to be a father to the fatherless. All four of us can testify that Luke 4:10 is true!
"God will put his angels in charge of you to watch over you carefully."
Instead of bitterness, God gave us grace.
Romans 8:28 is my Life Verse and promises us that ALL things work together for GOOD for those who love God! In the darkness of our childhood, we learned lessons which helped us over the course of the next 50+ years. We learned to cope and survive. We learned to adapt and adjust.
We learned to be content in whatever condition we found ourselves just as Philippians 4:11 tells us.
The most important lesson we learned was to accept whatever happened as the will of God and to forgive. The reason I am saying all this is to be honest and truthful about our relationship with our mother.

Deanie recently spoke to Mother's doctor, telling him that we are looking for a place for mother to live - other than with her children. When he learned that we all have been in difficult relationships with Mother - he was shocked!!! We do not have a story book experience of a loving, devoted, selfless, sacrificial mother relationship. That doesn't mean that we don't love our mother or that she doesn't love us. I'm just saying it is what it is and has been what it has been,

Mother had a stroke in September of 2005. If she had died then, my siblings and I would not have the relationship we have with each other today. God had a plan THEN and he has a plan NOW! God ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS has a PLAN! We four have grown extremely close and are very protective of one another. These last 10 years have been the very  best ones in our lives - I really do believe for ALL of us - Mother included!

After Mother's stroke, they told us she would never be able to dress herself, feed herself or bathe herself. She certainly could never live alone again. The doctors didn't know our mother!
She is a strong person and she wanted to LIVE and DO and BE! And so she did! She went on to live by herself for another two years after the stroke. The only thing she did not recover was her speech.
I think God even had a plan about that!

She lived with Nita for seven years before Nita was spent emotionally.
She has now lived with Deanie for the last 18 months. Deanie's health has deteriorated during this time while Mother's health is better than it's ever been!!!

My home or Lonnie's home are not viable options.
It is odd how things work out. Deanie and Nita suffered the most as children and they GIVEN the most in taking care of Mother. However, they can't continue as caregivers and something must be done. We have to find a place for Mother.

Deanie had heard about Courtyards at RiverPark, a Blue Harbor Senior Living Community.
We had a 10:00 appointment today to meet with the Outreach Director.

I left Dallas early this morning in order to make it to Fort Worth in time for the meeting.
I did NOT get past Irving before I ran into severe weather that forced me to to get off the highway and wait for it to ease up and allow me to get home. I stayed home for 15-20 minutes and then headed west again - bound and determined to DO THIS THING, as the quads say!!!

I arrived in time to meet this amazing man, Mario Hawkins!!!!

He is an angel in disguise, I do believe!!!
He has such a gift - setting us at ease and helping us see the options we have and now he is working on our behalf to see if he can make it possible for Mother to live here.

He showed us the ONE apartment available and this wonderful corner set of windows that Mother will dearly LOVE!!!

The 'apartment' is more like an efficiency with one spacious room, two lovely windows, a double closet, bathroom and,,,,,,,

small kitchenette! JUST what she needs!!!!

Her door opens onto this community living room for the cluster of residents whose doors open to it. 

The place is beautifully decorated and CLEAN!!!

Several public areas where Mother can visit and make friends.

The dining room is just steps away from her door and the staff was so pleasant and friendly!!!
I love them already!!!

Mario introduced us to Josh Fogg, the Executive Director.

We were so impressed with everything we saw today!!!
Now we are praying the numbers will crunch and this will work out!
The ONE vacancy is available at the end of the month!

Deanie and I took ourselves out to eat and to talk about it all.
Deanie is beyond EXHAUSTED and it is now MY turn to do some things to help her!

The main thing I did was to share our plan FOR Mother WITH Mother!!!
She was thrilled!!! She was aware that  Deanie has been in poor health and I explained that she could not take care of her any more. Neither can Nita. Nor I. Nor Lonnie. 
Now she can have her OWN place again!!! 
Her response??? "Thank GOD!!!!"
I knew living with others is seldom what a person wishes for - especially when one has been as social and independent as Mother was. I explained as much as I could all at once while I had the opportunity. Finances. Expectations. Sacrifices. Attitude.

My dear sweet sister is all used up and I am hoping and praying her health will improve in a BIG way and SOON!!!!

I left Mother smiling although I told her I would be BACK on Friday to take her home with ME for a week!!! Her cuss words come out crystal clear and I was prepared to hear her favorite one - but she didn't say it! She smiled! My home is not nearly as adaptable for her - there's no way she can use a walker without knocking things down right and left. On the other hand, there are plenty of things for her to hold on to as she makes her way from one room to another. No vast open spaces HERE!!!

My work here was done. For today.

I took myself to a place that always puts a smile on my face and cheer in my heart!
Trader Joe's!!!!
I didn't buy a lot. Just a nice bottle of Riesling and one of Pinot Grigio. A bag of Cranberry Orange Tea Scones - that's what it says on the package and I think those are such lovely words!! Oyster Crackers to make Dilly Bits with the quads tomorrow. An assortment of good cheeses. (There was a man from France that works there mingling with the shoppers and offering samplings of some delicious cheeses!!! I took some just to hear him talk some more!!! LOVE that accent!!) Two bunches of fresh daffodils and eucalyptus. LOTS of frozen Chinese food!!!
This IS my happy place!!! 

Then I decided to check out Hobby Lobby - another favorite!
Kailey comes in on Wednesdays and gets the Bible in the little Bible cover that her mother had back when SHE was Kailey's age and Kailey carries it around all day and 'reads' it to her siblings.
When I saw these small New Testaments - in pastel colors - I KNEW this was MY Easter treat for the quads! THEN I spied a set of FOUR small colored canvas bags to use as Bible carriers! Win! WIN!!!
THIS will be our craft for Quad Wednesday! They can stencil their initial on their bag and put their new Bible in it!!
Since this IS Tuesday, I bought four paint brushes for when I finally get to return to my NORMAL Tuesdays of Goodwill, Movie and ART!!!!

I meant to take the older grands out for yogurt this afternoon but was emotionally worn out after this day and wanted to get home before the evening thunderstorms arrived. I had ENOUGH of driving in those horrible things this morning! So far it is calm and peaceful as I write. I will reschedule soon because I was really looking forward to seeing them again!!

The daffodils are looking pretty!

The eucalyptus smell heavenly!!!

I end this day's post on a happy positive note!!

And I say AMEN!!!! to that!!!!!


Pondside said...

So much here Linda. So much love and gratitude. So much truth and understanding. So much courage. I hope this place works out for your mother. It sounds as good as it could possibly be.

Terra Hangen said...

It sounds you may have found a good solution for where your mother will live. I like Trader Joes too, we call it TJs and I was there today. Enjoy those daffodils.

Linda said...

Oh, this is such good news. I've been very concerned about your situation with your mother. In our family we had 82 year old caring for her 100 year old mother. It's tough. I've done some of this kind of care and know the toll it can take. I am so pleased for all of you. Tomorrow morning I'll be headed to Trader Joe's for cheeses except I only have to go maybe two miles to the one near me. I saw you had that green cheese in your basket. I looked at that the other day. Tomorrow I'm going to buy it unless you warn me it's not good.

Debbie said...

Oh Linda you have no idea how much I can identify with this post. First the childhood part. We had a large family [six kids] and I was the second oldest. My dad was an alcoholic and abusive both emotionally and occasionally physically. We too grew up in terror most of the time. My mom coped as best as she could for as long as she could. He left her when I was ready to be married but mom still had 4 at home to raise including my youngest sister who was only 5. We were saddled with way too much responsibility at a very young age. My mom was far from perfect and yet our bond was strong. She married again and my stepdad was a dream. She had a stroke as well right before he passed away and could no longer live on her own. She moved in with me and most of the responsibility of it all fell on me. And with my arthritis it is hard enough for me to get around but then I was pushing mom around in a wheel chair and waiting on her, helping shower and dress etc. Most of the time we got along well and things were fine. My hubby was a tremendous help or honestly I don't think I could have pulled it off. But things got harder and harder and I was becoming more and more spent. I understand the feeling well. My sibblings honestly though did not help out much as they all had soooo many other responsibilities, where I was mainly available.
But had she not another stroke and passed away I am pretty sure we would have moved in this direction too, or at least got help to come in and help her to give me a break more often. Sounds to me like you found a wonderful place for your mom, and she is happy and willing and wanting to go. A win win in my opinion. I am sure she will have plenty of visits from you all, and will make friends there and will do well. I thank God for all of this for you. HUGS! Debbie

Say What? said...

I love you even more after reading this. I appreciate when women are real, raw and honest. I think I've said it on my blog before, we've got to stop comparing our lives to how we think others are living, based on what we see on social media.

We are really all in this together. I will be praying for you and your entire family.

And yes. It really is all about forgiveness, isn't it?

jamarson1 said...

We had a similar experience. When my Grandma passed away, grandpa happily lived with my brother and his wife for many years. Eventually it seemed needed for a place. He told my Mom he was gonna jump in the river. Two days after he moved in, he was happy as a lark and had several coffee dates a day and couldn't be happier living with people just like him.

Blondie's Journal said...

You and your sweet sisters have given their all, wholeheartedly and full of love. You've made a great plan and your mom, who've I come to know in such a special way through your posts, is going to be very happy in the long run. She's happiest when she's with people and I know she will find the activities and companionship offered to be uplifting and fulfilling. It looks like an awesome place, Linda.

So much in this post---welcome to your guilty partner! Love catching up. Prayers everything works out spectacularly for all of you amazing women! :)


Jutta said...

I hope this will work out and everybody will be happy. You wrote so honestly in a sensible and beautiful way. Many warm hugs and love to all of you!

Pamela Mikel said...

you have a gift Linda...truly, many. this post is so heartfelt. just beautiful and I know HE will bless you and your siblings with just what you need for your mother. praying for all!

are you still writing. I so want to read the entire story! you rest and take care of yourself. and of course your love, LD...and babes, haha. hugs...
pam in burleson

Nancy Chan said...

Thank you, Linda for sharing from your heart. I believe everything happened for a reason. So good to know that you and your siblings have grown extremely close through your experience with your mom health. Hope everything works our well for your mom and you all.

Changes in the wind said...

Hope this will work out for all of you!

Kathy said...

Romans 8:28 is a favorite verse of mine and I am glad it is your life verse. My life verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 how the Lord directs our paths if we trust in Him. I believe this is exactly what is happening with you. This sounds like the perfect place for your mom. I will pray that all works out that she is able to get in at the end of the month. Having been in a position similar to yours I understand about needing a helping and caring place for your mom and as the others have said I think she will get along so well with others around her.

Thank you for being so honest about your life. We all go through things and people don't know the sordid background we have lived through as kids. We will talk someday and I will tell you my story. i have had two step-fathers and a step-mother Life is not easy. But God is always there. I am so glad you are my sister in Christ. I can't imagine what our lives would be like without Him.

Estelle's said...

Dearest Linda...we must sit a chat about this sometime. I so hope this works out for you. I am a believer that you should not live with your children. My mother became a very difficult elder and lived with my sister for a few years. we dealt with my father in law and mother at the same time long distance....countless trips home...your sweet sister looks very, very tired. I really hope this is a good solution for you all. It is never easy....and, I learned to expect the unexpected. Hugs and blessings!

Arlene Grimm said...

It is always amazing to me how some people can be raised in the direst of circumstances and turn out to be sterling people while others choose to blame their circumstances for every mistake in life! So glad you and your sisters chose the path of forgiveness in regards to your mother. I will pray along with you that everything works out to allow your mom to move to that cute little apartment.

Susie said...

Linda, I always felt like there was something that happened in your childhood that included your mother. My own history is way to similar. But it takes a lot for a child to not love their mother, a lot. We some times end up treating our mothers like we wish they had treated us. :) I hope everything works out for all of you. I am so glad you have your sisters and Lonnie. You are a better mother because of your childhood, so am I. Bless your heart, xoxo, love you so much, Susie

Deanie W said...

I dearly thank everyone that replied to Linda's beautiful post. Thanks so much for the prayers! Linda was amazing in that meeting yesterday! I was dragging this morning & all of your comments have lifted me up��. Thank you all, now I have the energy to take our mom to her doctor check up today. Blessings to all for a great day.

Sandra said...

this place looks and sounds like the perfect answer for all of you. she will be independent but have help at the same time. plenty of room for her coffee pot in her tiny kitchen. i pray this will all work out and you can get her moved in. thanks for sharing your story. this may help others with the same past. God's blessings on all of you

Carla said...

I'm glad Momma was happy to get a place of her own. I'm sure she sometimes feels like a burden and would like her own space. There when I thought I was gonna have to find a place for mom I found this organization that also helps find and suggests places and give you info all for free. It's call A Place for Mom. they're full of info but it sounds like y'all found the perfect place. So happy for y'all. My little sister is just getting her life back since my father passed since she was the sole care giver/ taxi for all his treatments. Hugs and prayers to you girls and guys

Cheapchick said...

You and your siblings are very courageous to have lived with your Mother after a relationship full of such issues. At this point though you definitely are doing the right thing with finding her a safe nice place to live. I hope your sister gets her health back quickly, hugs!

Nita said...

Linda, God truly does give you word's to express how we are feeling. I'm praying for the numbers to be good enough ! Thank you for all you do . Love you dearly !

Deanna Rabe said...

People are imperfect and some make bad choices. My Dad's mother was that way. She divorced his dad and married a man who was abusive to my dad and his siblings. When my dad became a believer, he was able to let the bitterness toward this man go, but didn't realize that for years he held bitterness toward his mother. He was able to deal with that too.

You all have allowed God to use this hard thing, and your hard childhoods, to help you grow and love each other more. Only God can do this amazing thing in our hearts!

I think your mother is looking forward to her new place and that it will be such a blessing to everyone. Nita and Deanie have been amazing, and you Linda, are a helper and a cheerleader to all!

Praying that it will all work out!


Robin said...

God love your Mother's reaction to this plan-- and I truly hope you can make it work. Your family has done a wonderful job in difficult circumstances and I am so grateful that you told your story in such a real and forgiving way. BTW I live in the province next to where Anne of Green Gables takes place-- it's a lovely part of the world and I am glad you are enjoying it through Anne with an E!

peggy said...

I love this Linda.it looks exactly like God's hand is leading and providing. I'm so glad you posted.

peggy said...

I love this Linda.it looks exactly like God's hand is leading and providing. I'm so glad you posted.

Gypsy Heart said...

Yes, God always, always has a Plan...He has the Master Plan! :) I can understand how all of you must feel. Difficult childhoods leave a mark on each of us. If I ever had a do-over, that would be my choice. Being a caregiver takes its toll and I'm so hoping that Deanie feels better soon! After your Mom is moved, Deanie should just climb in her bed and sleep for a week...or more! :)

I love the scriptures you shared ~ all of them favorites. I hope you'll share photos of the Quads with their bibles. That is so cute that Kailey picks up Amber's bible and "teaches" all of you. I love it!

As we discussed, TJ's is a huge favorite of mine too along with Hobby Lobby. Add Michael's and Home Goods and I'm broke!

I feel comfortable that God is working the numbers ~ all of this sounds like a God deal to me. Your Mom's acceptance of moving and all 4 of you in agreement is perfect. Just don't forget to take her a coffee pot! :)


Cheryl said...

Linda, I, too, pray that the Father will direct all of you as you make these hard, hard decisions...that He will make the path clear. I will be praying for you, friend!

Your grands will love their Bibles! My mom has given these pastel New Testaments to all of her grandchildren, and now her great-grandchildren on their first Easters. They are treasured.


Bluebird49 said...

Oh Linda, I grew up with two alcoholic parents, and though I've forgiven them both long ago--it's just not as easy to forget all the scary times, the hurt and feeling they weren't really there for me very much. Bu did and do love them. I was telling a blog friend that I never realized there were "so many of us all over the world." Hurt, scarred, but still depend on God and. Reaching out to share His love with everyone.
I pray this will work out for you and your beautiful, tired, deserving family, Linda. There are tears streaming as I type this! "God bless us everyone!"

Carol Slater said...

I understand how your sister feels about being emotionally spent. I have had my mother in my home for over 10 years. She really is independent but it does get old. I am thankful that you found a home for her

Vee said...

Not an easy time for you all and not easy decisions. Praying that everything works out well for all. That's just what God wants. I really like that closing expression. Amen.

Penny said...

Linda I have always thought you were an amazing person and no more somthan after reading this post. You have written so well, so clearly, and without bitterness, about your difficult childhood. Your forgiveness and love for your mother is so touching. Hoping the new place works out without leaving you all flat broke X