"Say what you have to say, and not what you ought."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Caregiving and Farewell to Fall

I'm being lazy this morning, and feeling a little guilty about not being more productive. It's been a rough week though, and sitting in bed, drinking coffee with my dogs snoring beside me seems like the perfect way to regroup and recharge for the coming week. 

Last Sunday, Mike and I spent 6 1/2 hours in the emergency room with his 88-year old grandmother. A minor injury two days earlier had become a serious concern because of her being on blood thinners. She ended up being admitted to the hospital, something she was adamantly opposed to, and had minor surgery two days later. It's been an emotionally draining experience, trying to balance his grandmother's needs and wishes with what's best for her long term physical and mental well-being. It's put Mike in the unenviable position of  keeping his grandmother hospitalized against her wishes, and of balancing the stresses of being a caretaker along with working over 60 hours a week. She's now recuperating and receiving physical therapy in a skilled nursing facility, and is looking forward to returning home in about a week.

It's been a good reminder for me about the importance of making realistic plans for elder care and end of life decisions. So many people are uncomfortable discussing the specifics of how they want to live out their last days, or unrealistic about making financial provisions for the type of care they want. The sad reality for many elders in this country is that they have no long-term care insurance, and retirement income along with Medicare doesn't provide even close to enough money to enable them to live in their home forever with in-home medical care if needed. Families are then left with the horrible task of trying to find a way to honor the wishes of elderly family members, who are often suffering from some diminished mental capacity, with little or no financial resources to cover the huge expense of needed medical care or homemaking assistance. There are no easy solutions.

This week also brought the first big snowfall of the season. As it always seems to, fall was here and gone too soon. We had gorgeous fall weather this year with beautiful, vibrant leaves and amazing sunsets. I was sad to see the snow fly. Luckily, we were able to take a break from the hospital setting and take my dogs out for a walk on one of their favorite trails just a few blocks away from my house. As we headed back to the car, my nose was numb from the cold and snow flurries were just beginning to fly. As you can see from the pictures, Sophie didn't mind the cold one bit, even though I'm sure the water she was in was very cold!

I'm hopeful things will be  calmer and less stressful this week. This afternoon I'll go outside and finish the last few yard chores I need to get done before winter. Having that off my list will be one less thing weighing on my mind. Then later today Mike and I will head to a black belt party. A friend of his (and fellow blogger, you can check out his blog Tap or Die here) is having a party to celebrate getting his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. It should be fun, and a perfect, stress-free way to end the day. 
Sophie drinking from her favorite watering hole.
Sophie running down the trail. Lucy is in hot pursuit , even though you can't see her.
My gorgeous girl.
Me and my babies, Lucy and Sophie.


  1. The leaves make it look just beautiful! And both of your babies look very, very happy! What a nice way to spend your time, Keicha! Thanks for sharing it. :-)

  2. I love the picture of the dog racing up the path, beautiful colors. I'm not ready for snow. We've had rain for the past two days and I'm tired of it...ready for the sun to return. I think I should be living in Florida, where at least I could vote in a battleground state.

  3. I love the photos in this post! The one of Sophie running on the trail is incredible. Of course, I really love the one of you with Sophie and Lucy. That is one to frame and put on my desk. XO

  4. Hello Keicha,
    I came here via your Mum’s blog. You write so simply and beautifully, I enjoyed my visit very much. It was your previous post I wanted to read, because of your Mum’s mixed feeling about leaving her home of many years and the home in which she and her children shared happy and sad memories.

    May the future hold much kindness and joy for all of you.


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