Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Where Have I Been?

It’s time to play catch-up.  The past few months have been a wild ride.

As you know my mom is sick. The good news is she is not progressing downward. She is maintaining. That is a relief on all of us. Mom still has some bad days and is still getting weak. She has fallen a few times over the past months, but thank goodness there were no major injuries or hospital visits.

In the upcoming weeks she will have a procedure done to try and help with the fluid building up in her stomach area. We are hoping this will make Mom more comfortable and feel much better.

Dad is doing well. We had a scare with him about a month ago. He passed out and went to the hospital. Come to find out his pacemaker/defibrillator was not working right. He had a heart Cath done to make sure all was well. Thank the good Lord above there was no issues. The doctors corrected the pacemaker/defibrillator and he is good as new, well as new as can be at his age.  J

Now onto “the kid”. After he lost his job he fell into a deep depression with anxiety attacks. After months of him trying to cope by himself, he finally reached out for some help.

He is now seeing a therapist and through those visits we have discovered that he is just not a ‘quirky’ kid. He is on the Autism spectrum, very high functioning. Considering ‘the kid’ has gone to college (out of state), can hold a job and take care of himself.

All these years I thought I was raising a ‘quirky’ kid. Come to find out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This tore me apart. Finding out my parenting skills have been all wrong for him for the past 25 years.  Realizing I was blind to the things right in front of me.

The best part is I can change my parenting skills and he is finding the help he needs. The therapy is helping with is depression and anxiety. In August he is going for testing to verify where he falls in the Autism spectrum.

I love that he has not changed through this journey of discovery about himself. He has a few fears about what all of this means. The biggest fear is he is afraid others will treat him differently or less than. He is still the same quirky and smart kid we all love and adore. We now have an explanation why we raise our eyebrows at times with him.

About the job: I made it through my 90 day probation period. I am finally doing my job. The awkwardness is still there but I am either getting used to it or conforming.

The job is boring but at least I don’t take it home with me. I am still learning and the learning process stresses me out because I feel like I should have this job down by now.

The company is working with me with all the family issues going on. I am very grateful for that.

My supervisor is warming up to me. Killing her with kindness seems to be working.

The past 2 months I have been working 10 hour shifts and overtime on Saturdays. The stress of my finances is getting to me. Working all these hours gives me less time with my parents and ‘the kid’. I don’t like that at all.

At least I have a job to go to and complain about.

Even with all of this going on, it still doesn’t explain why I haven’t been blogging. You would think that I would/should have been writing about all of these issues and doing my own writing therapy. Sharing with others to help them and to get this stuff out of my own head and get some support.

Well, here’s the truth. I was not in a position to write. My brain was/is on overload. Writing was the furthest thing in my mind. Coping with my mom’s illness. Just wrapping my head around that issue was hard enough for me. Let alone the new job. Then discovering ‘the kid’ was falling apart. It was all too much for this little brain to handle.

I was not coping well. I was crying all the time, not sleeping, feeling run down and I felt yucky all the time. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I was hoping that he would give me a ‘happy’ pill and I would be on my way.

Instead, I got a full work up. I had blood work done and few other tests. When all the test results came back, I found out that I have depression and anxiety (already knew that). I guess ‘the kid’ and I are too much alike. I have high cholesterol, I have developed type 2 diabetes and I have neuropathy in my feet.

WOW, I went to feeling crappy at 40 something to feeling real crappy and 70 in just a matter of minutes.

I did get a ‘happy’ pill, along with few more medications. I am not on insulin injections, thank the Lord for that.

Making the adjustments to taking medications every day and testing my blood sugar was a big deal. I had major side effects to a couple of the medicines. For a few weeks I was completely out of sorts. The side effects have worn off and the ‘happy’ pill is working and so is the diabetic medication. The high cholesterol med is still something the doctor and I are working on. That type of pill is not good for me….the side effects are too bad.

Because of all the stress I lost almost 30 pound before I even went to the doctor. I have changed the way I eat and I have lost a total of 47 pounds in the past 4 months.

My goal is to be off the diabetic medication in a year and be 100 pounds lighter.  Wish me luck.

So there you have it in a nut shell.  A little glimpse into my world the past few months and now you know why it’s taken me so long to get back to writing.

I am hoping that I will add a post a week till things get even better.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I have missed writing and I have missed all of you.

Please keep checking in. Leave me a note of encouragement or ask me a question. I could really use the support.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – Music At Home

To set the stage: As most of you know my mom, her brothers and sisters sang in church or whenever there was 2 or more of them everywhere they went. I grew up listening to my Aunts and Uncles singing, in their homes to us kids (cousins) and in church. We were surrounded by music.  I loved it.

When my Aunts and Uncles were sick in the hospital, nursing home or at home a few of them would gather and sing to the ailing one. This brought joy to all that was in attendance. It brought peace and joy to the one in bed. It brought comfort to the ones singing and joy to the ones listening. It was a beautiful, inspirational, moving and heartfelt moment.

A couple of weeks ago Dad had an appointment and needed someone to set with Mom. None of us kids could do it since it was during the day and we were all working. Dad called a family friend from their church, Ms. Rhonda. She graciously accepted the invitation to be with Mom a few hours.

Mom and Ms. Rhonda shared a lovely visit but Ms. Rhonda went above the call of duty. From her visit she walked away with a request my mom had and took on that challenge. My mom told Ms. Rhonda that see wanted someone to come sing to her. Within hours of their visit Ms. Rhonda was on the phone contacting the Dye family. You remember the Dye’s? I featured Daniel a couple of Mondays ago.

Shortly after the call, I have Amy reaching out to me asking what Mom’s favorite hymns are. Amy and I chatted a few minutes and I met up with her a couple of days later to share my mom’s family music with her and provide her a list of songs.

Within 24 hours of our meeting, 6 Dye family members were at Mom and Dad’s house singing for Mom. That’s right, I said 24 hours. The Dye’s prepared 7 songs and learned a new song within those 24 hours. This family is amazing to say the least.

The Dye’s visited for a while, shared some stories and listened to a few stories as well. We all laughed and even cried. They were there for about an hour but what an uplifting, spiritual moving visit it was.

The Dye family singing for Mom

The Dye family singing for Mom

I am forever grateful for Ms. Rhonda making that phone call and for the Dye family excepting the challenge. You all are a gift from God and my little family is forever blessed to know you.

Thank you Ms. Rhonda for getting the ball rolling and for taking the time to spend with my Mom. You are a sweetheart and a true servant of God. If it weren’t for you our family would not have had such a special visit and a wonderful spiritual uplifting.

Thank you Dye family. Thank you for bringing joy and music into my mom’s home. You gave her something our family could not. That was a family singing to someone that is sick. Since my mom no longer has her sisters to sing to her and there are only 2 brothers left, it’s hard to have them sing to her. You warmed her heart with song. Thank you for that. Thank you for the kind words and loving my family.

I want to thank the Dye family for allowing me to record their visit and allowing me to share this story and music on my blog.

Here are few songs The Dye’s sang for mom. I hope you enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/id-rather-have-jesushttps://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/blessed-assurance-this-is-my-storyhttps://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/the-sun-will-rise

 


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My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

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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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Sharing The News

newsThis past week was a little better for me. The week before had me on a nasty emotional roller coaster ride. I would get up in the morning, get ready for work and everything was fine. After being at work for an hour or 2, thoughts would overwhelm me and I would be weeping at my desk. The next day seemed to go fine but on my drive home I would be in tears again. It was like this the whole week. I was exhausted.

So many thoughts and emotions go through my head, I can’t help but cry. Which leads me to this blog.

I was asked by mom to inform the family that she was in stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver. I was glad to take that burden off her shoulders. She didn’t need the stress of telling the same diagnosis to 30-40 family members.

Mom also asked me to inform their friends that she and Dad have known for 60 plus years.

For the family I knew it would be too hard even for me to make those phone calls. I decided that I would send one email to everyone.  I know it’s not very personable but I just couldn’t go through those emotions at that time. That was a tough email to write. I am just an amateur blogger. Sometimes words do NOT come easy for me. That email put me to the test.

I was able to conjure up words that made sense and inform almost all the first cousins. (Sad to say that I was only informing cousins because out of the 14 brothers and sister mom has there are only 2 brothers left. Mom informed them of her news). I received many phone calls and emails letting us know that they are thinking and praying for our family.

Within hours of sending the email, I was full of love and support from so many responding. Many telling me that if I needed anything that they would be there for me. That gave me great peace of mind knowing there are so many that are willing to be there for me (mom/dad).  So many shared their love and concerns. So many were heartbroken for Mom and our family.

Shortly after I sent the email, I decided to call Mom and Dad’s friends. These are folks I have known all my life. People that went to school with my parents. A long line of history is there.

Our families would get together and all of us kids would play while the parents would play card games eat, and have a great time. I have so many memories with these families.

My sister and I even had a couple of these ladies helping in our school.  These ladies watched us grow up and helped us become the people we are today. Thank you.

I knew that call was going to difficult. The first call I made was to Mrs. B. I didn’t beat around the bush I just blurted it out……”Mom is in stage 4”. I know I took her by surprise but she was great. Mrs. B helped me. She was saddened by the news but she was very uplifting to me. She took the burden off my shoulders and informed the other friends in the group about mom.

What a blessing. Thank you Mrs. B for lightening my load. Thank you for being so kind and supportive. Thank you for informing others and carrying that load for me.

Once I got off the phone, I was on overload with emotions. The emotions of having to inform so many of such awful news. Worrying how this news would affect them. Saddened by the sorrow so many were feeling that night. Realizing that I had just upset some households, I was beside myself.  My dealing with my own emotions on the severity of this reality.

It’s hard for me to put into words the range of emotions I am going through daily. I am hoping, someday I will be able to vocalize those emotions into written form. But for now, I will stumble through the blogs and my emotions.

Thank you to my readers for your loving and supportive comments, likes and shares. You are fantastic!!!! I know the last few posts have not been the most positive in nature (I’m working on that), Thank you for your understanding.

Just a reminder to myself. I may be a raw emotional wreck, but I have people that love me and want to help. Remember to reflect at the end of the day and look for the little things that made you smile or better yet lightened your load. There are blessings out there, sometimes you have to search for them. Take the time, it will always be worth the look.


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I Just Didn’t Realize

confussedThe other day I asked “The Kid” to look over a blog that I had written about my folks to edit. (He’s my proofreader). He just stood there, silent with a sad look on his face.

I was puzzled by his reaction. I was thinking, well he’s just being a brat and didn’t want to help me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I asked why? His response surprised me. He said “I can’t” Why not? “It makes me sad and heartbroken.” My heart dropped to the floor. I didn’t realize that for him editing the blogs about my folks hurt so much.

He is a great help to me and the folks. He is always there to lend a hand. He has been checking on me to make sure he is there for me. Always asking if I’m ok or asking if I need anything. So, his response surprised me.

He continues to say that he’s not strong like I am. That it’s not easy for him to read in black and white what is happening to his grandparents and reading how this is affecting his mom.

Poor kid. I didn’t even think about how deeply this was impacting him. I knew he was hurting but I didn’t know how much.

He has watched me have sobbing breakdowns, He has watched me stress, listened to my emotional outbursts all the while staying calm, listening, handing me a tissue and hugging me so often that I’m almost bruised. J He’s the strong one. That’s a lot for a young person to carry.

I am not the strong one. I feel emotions deeply. They cut me off at the knees. I cry in the silence of my own home so no one will see my weakness. I put on a brave face to get through the emotional roller coaster I am on. I smile and joke so I won’t feel the sadness or pain. I blog to get those emotions and thoughts out because I can’t handle them bouncing around in my head.

“The Kid” is stronger than I am. He has been dealing with the news of his grandma (Mimi) very well. Or so I thought. On the outside he is helpful, talkative, kind, loving, and supportive but on the inside he is falling apart. I guess neither one of us are that strong but I know that going through this as mom and son we will be right.

They tell you that that the passing of your parents is painful. I had no idea how much my heart would hurt and they aren’t even gone. This journey will be one of the toughest things I will endure.

Some of you that have already been on this ride, and it’s lingering after effects, know the pain I am talking about. It physically hurts and your brain feels like it’s on fire. Accepting those emotions is another small journey in itself.

You think you are mentally prepared for this journey, But you are not. There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the wide range of emotions and thoughts that run through your head. It consumes you in every way.

There is some good news. That is I have a fantastic support system. I have a wonderful family that loves me unconditionally. I have some of the best prayer warriors out there. I have a son that loves me so much he’s afraid to share his emotions with me because he doesn’t want me to worry or add to the stress level. My folks are the best parents any kid could want. And, I still have time to spend with them and love them even harder than I did before.

I am blessed with riches that some people only dream of having. Every night I am amazed that I made it through the day. With the grace of God, a wonderful family and amazing friends I know tomorrow and the next day will be better. And I will continue to strive to do and be better for my son, my folks and loved ones.

I’m sorry Kid, I just didn’t realize how much you were hurting. I promise to do better and to help you through this. I love you!

P.S. Sorry for any errors on this blog or the past few and future blogs. I no longer have an in house editor.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Accepting

hugs

 

Onto the next journey which has already been in motion for a while. That’s the journey I am on with my parents.

As we know, when our parents get older the roles can be reversed and we begin to care for them instead of them caring for us.

If you have read my blogs about my folks you know that Dad is a heart patient and Mom has stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic) and a heart patient. Both are in their 70’s, their health is declining and things are getting harder for them to do.

It’s sad to watch such strong, independent, self-assured, and capable individuals decline. Even if it’s just a little bit and one thing at a time.

My parents have always done things on their own. They have remodeled their home, built a garage, taken care of their property, repaired things around their home, planted gardens, raised 3 kids, taken care of 3 grandkids, helped others, worked in their church and have always been the ones called upon for assistance. My parents have been there for so many.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Now my parents are the ones needing assistance. Granted they are still very capable of doing so many things, but need some help doing others.

As their child I am heartbroken for them. I know neither one of them want to relinquish their independence or admit that they need help sometimes. It has got to be difficult to ask for help when just a year ago they were capable. What a difference a year makes.

I can only imagine their own struggles they have. They say growing old is not for the weak. I am beginning to understand that statement more and more each day.

This journey I am on with my parents will be tough and heart wrenching. The one thing I am sure of is, I will not regret going on this ride. There have been rides that I have taken in the past and regret but this will not be one of them.

With their permission I will be sharing this journey we are on. Granted most of the posts will be about my journey and sharing a glimpse of theirs. I am not looking for sympathy or kudos. I just thought this would be a good outlet for me and maybe a way to help others that may have to jump on the same type of ride.

 Stage #1 (for me)-Accepting the fact that my parents are not invincible. As children and even adults we want to believe that our parents will be with us forever. The reality is most likely they will not.

Accepting that they need your help. I didn’t want to help because I was holding onto my parents were invincible. If I helped then I had to let go of the dream that they would never perish.

Accepting that my own personal priorities will change. My folks come first and everything else is second.

Accepting that my role as a daughter has changed and will continue to change.

Accepting the new emotional roller coaster ride I am on.

Accepting the reality that they are very sick.

Accepting responsibilities that my folks bestow upon me with grace and love.

Accepting hugs out of the blue.  

Accepting the blessing that will come from this journey.

Yes, I did say, “blessings” I know there will be because I have already had a few.
For right now it’s learning to accept whatever is thrown at us.

I know for me, I will do my hardest to find the blessings even in the emotional craziness that may consume me. I will do my best to accept whatever roadblock, downfall, bad day, funny moments, quite times and quality time I have left with my parents.

Sorry this post is not the most positive, I will work on that. I will do my best to keep you updated once a week on this new journey.

Please feel free to comment or share your journey with me.