Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.

My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

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ducks in a rowWhen a family is going through the tragedy of preparing for the final stages before the passing of a loved one, you tend to be overwhelmed and consumed with more important things. Being organized is the last thing you are thinking about.

The past few weeks have been chaotic to say the least for me. Just for my own sanity, I need to get organized. I NEED to have that sense of being in control of something, well anything. Getting my ducks in a row helps me do that.

Here are some things I am currently working on.

This past week I have gathered photos of mom, her family, Dad, us kids and the grandbabies to make a photo slideshow at Mom’s viewing (when the time comes). I have scanned all photos into my computer and have edited each one to make them better.

This was a hard task to do. But also very enjoyable. I got the chance to talk to mom about each photo, listen to stories I’ve never heard before. The best part was, it was like I was seeing these photos for the first time. Looking at them with new eyes. I never realized how pretty my mom is. She and my dad made the cutest couple. The biggest surprise was, I didn’t realize how much my sister looks like mom.

Now the only thing left for the slideshow is picking out a few songs to play while the video is scrolling through. Another tough challenge but I am up for that one. It should be fun listening to some beautiful piano music. Mom just loves a great pianist.

The other thing I am working on is a guest book (so to speak) for Mom/Dad’s house. Since all of kids work, we miss out on visitors to their house during the day. It’s nice for us to know they are not alone.

I was also thinking this is a great way to remember to thank the ones that have stopped by, brought food, helped out with chores or just volunteered to set with Mom while Dad ran some errands.

Not only that, if I don’t send Thank You cards out or miss someone, Mom would be disappointed with me. Mom is very proper when it comes to these sort of things. She always sent out hand written thank you notes within a week. I have some big shoes to fill.

I figured a guest book for their house would be a great easy way for me to stay up on all the visitors. This way the guests can sign in, let us know if they brought food, visited or helped in anyway. And I can be sure to thank them properly.

This weekend I will be bringing a notebook and pen to keep at their house so we can take notes on any arrangements that need to be made, write down songs she would like to have played, jot down anything we deem important or would like to remember and leave notes for the siblings.

I know all of this seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. I will be honest, I thought it was kind of odd too. But I’m here to tell you, it helps. I am not searching my home or purse for that one little piece of paper that had a note on it that mom wanted me to remember.

I will not be rushing around the last minute trying to go through photos (that will tear me apart) to make a slideshow. I know for a fact how hard it is to look through photos just after a death. I have helped a couple of cousins with this. 

I won’t have to worry if I missed someone for Thank You cards. I will have my list. And you all know how much I love lists.

This is just the beginning stages. There will be more challenges ahead. But for this week. I feel like I am on my game. I’m probably not but I do love the sense of control I have with these steps I have taken this week.

I hope in the weeks/months to come I can stay on top of all the balls in the air. Only time will tell. For now this is good thing.

If you have any helpful tips I would love to hear them. I can use any help I can get.

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7 thoughts on “My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

  1. I’m so sorry that it’s your time to deal with the death of a parent. You are so strong. I will be praying for all of you. It’s great to have the assurance of seeing your mom again. HUGS

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  2. I am so in awe of this beautiful approach to such a very difficult moment that is coming your way.
    You’re doing a great job, and I stand in absolute amazement at your strength, even in a time that could be excused as a moment of weakness instead!
    Thinking of you all.

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    • Thank you. You are too kind. I have had some wonderful examples of true inner strength. My mom’s family are a group of survivors. The word quit was never in their vocabulary and they never give up. I draw my strength from them and I serve a gracious God. I am very fortunate.

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  3. Shelly, you have such an amazing way of putting ordinary words into extraordinary thoughts. I have often thought how the ending of our lives is similar to the beginning in so many ways. It sounds as if you are in the “nesting stage.” I haven’t experienced this with my mom but understand to some degree as I experienced this with dad. You’re exactly right about getting your ducks in a row. There’s something about that process that somehow helps. I think maybe it provides us a focus (maybe a distraction) we need to keep going when we don’t want to face the next day of unknowns. I love how you’re all finding joy with family and friends, experiencing new memories, and sharing special moments during this time. These days will be forever treasured. Just remember to take a deep breath, live in the moment, and enjoy every moment. Hugs!

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    • Margie, You are too sweet. You words are an encouragement to me. Thank you for reading the blog. Your support means the world to me.
      I was beginning to lose my mind. I HAD to get back to what I know and do well, that was getting organized. It brings me some comfort to have things in place. Or at least comfort in the delusion of things being in place. Finding joy can be a tough task when you have death looming over your head every waking moment. But our faith in God keeps us centered to what is important. That is family and their happiness. Joking with mom/dad, laughing with friends and sharing memories is a great stress reliever and new memories are born from those moments. I am grateful for any joy at this time. Great or small. It is what keeps me going. Thank you for being apart of our family. We are blessed to have you and your family share our world.

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  4. Shelly, you have such an amazing way of putting ordinary words into extraordinary thoughts. I have often thought how the ending of our lives is similar to the beginning in so many ways. It sounds as if you are in the “nesting stage.” I haven’t experienced this with my mom but understand to some degree as I experienced this with dad. You’re exactly right about getting your ducks in a row. There’s something about that process that somehow helps. I think maybe it provides us a focus (maybe a distraction) we need to keep going when we don’t want to face the next day of unknowns. I love how you’re all finding joy with family and friends, experiencing new memories, and sharing special moments during this time. These days will be forever treasured. Just remember to take a deep breath, live in the moment, and enjoy every moment. Hugs!

    Like

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