Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Better you than me

busy as a bee

Being caregiver to an elderly loved one is similar to parenthood. The demands don’t end after an eight-hour shift. Downtime is minimal. Some days, no amount of expressed gratitude can compensate for the private sacrifices and personal exhaustion.

two bees

Married HANCs who choose to provide Housekeeping, direct Activities, prepare tasty, Nutritious meals and offer fulltime Companionship may find privacy especially precious. It’s vital to seize moments of intimacy and search for opportunities to be alone with your spouse while maintaining balance in your care-giving roles.

solo bee

Conversely, it is essential to find time to be alone, with friends and to seek personal activities that sustain and support emotional stability. This is particularly important for the solitary or single HANC.

bee duo

The role of companionship for yourself is no less important than providing healthy meals or stimulating activities and maintaining a well-kept home. Remember why you made the decision to become a HANC but don’t let the decision monopolize your life.

fuzzy bee

            From time to time, you will hear things that affirm your decision.

fat bee

A sister said, “Thanks so much for being there—1,000 times.”

Thistle flower with bee

When a friend learned of our move, he wrote in an email:

“I think what you’re doing is fantastic. I wish I could have been there for my father more than I was at the end.”

bee on flower

A business acquaintance told me, “You are doing a wonderful and selfless thing.”

Florida bee

A brother wrote, “Thank you again for your being there. I am so grateful to you for taking this leap in faith to move in with Momma.”

Marigold bee

A colleague wrote, “You have sacrificed a lot to be there for your mother.”

Pollen hunter

Yet one of the briefest and most profound statements came from my sister-in-law.

Better You Than Me!

Make mine to go

waffles, pancakes, strawberries     When I wake from this dream, please have my breakfast ready. Can you make that to-go, please? I’m going to be in a hurry.KFC cup

I’m about to start a new life. I’ll have to stop sludging around in the mornings, following the same ritual I created years ago. No longer will I be able to nosh on whatever suits me while I amble off to work, choosing to eat – or not eat – lunch with the girls at the office.

Woman at restaurant

My carefree days of taking the scenic route home from work or solo retail therapy will end when my new life begins. I may have seen my last mall, though that in itself isn’t going to hurt much.

 

trees on Rockledge Drive

 

I’m becoming a HANC. My mother needs a Housekeeper, Activities director, Nutritionist and Companion. She also requires a mechanic and general handyman. My husband and I have assumed those duties and as soon as my dream ends, I’ll be on call.     carpenters square

 

My mother’s low-level memory loss and physical frailty have reached a critical point where something must be done sooner, rather than later.

Scooter cuter

I’ve had time to adjust and acclimate to the changes. I’d like to think I have, at least.alarm clock

 

Many mornings, long before my alarm sounds, I wake in a panic before I realize we haven’t moved yet and I need save my mother from another non-nutritious breakfast of cookies and coffee.

 assorted cookies on gold charger

Some nights, as I collapse into bed after packing, I wonder who will ultimately have to make the most adjustments in this new lifestyle.

items prepped for moving

 Long ago, the rural childhood home to which I am returning nearly smothered my essence. I craved more.

 

 St. Pete Street

 I wanted the city lights, the culture, the streets and the convenience of living a life I felt entitled me to be the person I thought I would become. Today, it feels as if the shackles of illusion have been broken and I know I never really was a city girl. I don’t fit in with the beach communities and I don’t belong in suburbia. I’m going back to my bucolic roots with a new resolution, a new purpose, a new sense of how to be the me I was always meant to be. Me without constraints, without rules, without neighbors.

 fruit platter

    I’ll have to be more diligent about my own health, so I can care properly for my aging mother. If I don’t maintain a healthy mntal, emotional, physical and artistic balance, I won’t be a proper HANC.

 woman on truck

 She may even teach me a few new tricks .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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