21 Comments

  1. Liz Gwynn

    I love you, Christie!

    My heart has been aching as this has all been unfolding. For Grandma, and for her children, especially those of you who live close and have been having to figure this all out.
    I’m so grateful you all have each other and a wonderful support system. And I’m grateful to be a part of such a strong family.

    With all my love,
    Liz

    • I love you too, Liz. It’s definitely been a challenging time, but our wonderful family makes it manageable and even joyful at times. Grandma really does seem happy, so that helps. I can’t wait to see you…and HUG you…again! XOXO

  2. Cindy

    I can’t even imagine doing this by myself. So grateful for my loving family! (You just get better and better at this!) I love you.

  3. I understand some of what you talk about here Christie and send my love to you all. It is a hard time and you are fortunate to have your family helping out. It can be wearing so make sure you take care of yourself as well as others. x #mlstl

    • Thank you for the encouraging words, Deb. It is a difficult time, and I just can’t imagine going through it without my family. I appreciate the advice to take care of myself. We have a tendency to let that slip during the holidays anyway (at least I do), so now it’s even more important to pay attention. I hope all is going well with you and your family. Happy holidays!

  4. Another great video Christie. Sending much love to you as you scale these difficulties. Your comments made me think of my own mother who is well at the moment. But I’m sure there will be problems along the wayas she is now in her mid 80s. You made me realise we need to start building resilience in our relationships before a crisis arrives. #MLSTL Will share

    • Thank you Jennifer. Your love and support means a lot. As you pointed out, it’s so important to appreciate the time with your parents and other loved ones while you can and to build relationships and other resilience skills before a crisis hits. Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season!

  5. When life was looking pretty stressful and grim, it was my relationships that pulled me through Christie – my husband, close friends (and even a few online ones) made all the difference to keeping my head together and not crawling into a hole somewhere.
    Lovely to hear your voice again this morning.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • As I was reading your comment, Leanne, I had a sudden memory of my daughter when she was a preschooler scolding me (after I scolded her for being wasteful) with, “What’s more important Mom, people or things?” She was right; definitely people! It’s been a lifesaver to have so many wonderful people in my life–as you said in person and online. I’m glad you have that kind of support system as well.

  6. Hi, Christie – Thank you for sharing this with us. I completely relate to your desire to respect your mother’s wish for independence and your need and desire to support her health and safety. It sounds like your family is a wonderful team to work with. Sending big hugs your way.

    • Thank you Donna. I’ll take all the hugs I can get! 🙂 Mom agreed to a care center temporarily to build her strength–and guess what? She likes it! That’s a big relief, as it’s likely to become more than temporary. In the meantime, she is safe and has tons of company!

  7. Hi Christie,
    While I don’t know the specifics of your situation with your mom, we struggled for many years trying to balance the wishes of my aging parents with their need for increasing care and safety. And it was a struggle.
    I does help to have a support group…you are lucky. To a great extent I was on my own. It wasn’t as though my brothers wouldn’t help, they just weren’t local and I was.
    Just remember that they are rational adults entitled to live as they wish, whether we agree with the decision or not. It’s their decision. And, on reflection, I don’t think I’ll want my kids controlling my life and decisions later on (unless I am incapable of making them.)
    In the meantime, breath. Whatever you are doing or feeling is out of love.
    Thinking of you and sending you hugs…

    • Hello Nancy. Thank you for sharing your experience and for the words of advice. My husband has a similar situation to yours in that his 92-year-old mother lives five minutes away, and Larry’s brother and sister are both about 500 miles away. So primary care falls to Larry. Of course, I help as much as I can. His mother is fairly independent–all things considered–but Larry does quite a bit for her.

      In my mother’s case, she has Alzheimer’s and while she can still reason to a certain extent, she isn’t completely rational either, because her memory is so poor, so that’s an added challenge. She is at the point where she needs more constant care, and thankfully now that she is in a care center, she has decided she likes it after all. That’s one big hurdle we’re over.

      I have been thinking a lot about the fact that I’m next in line, and I certainly hope that I will be able to make my own decisions for many years to come. I am sure that there will be certain risks I’m willing to take to maintain my independence. I know I am taking extra good care of myself now, in hopes that my mind and body will hold out as long as possible.

      Thank you for the reminder that it all comes down to love. We do our very best. Sometimes (usually) it’s not perfect, but if the motivation is love, it all seems to work out. Thank you for the love and support, Nancy.

  8. Oh, Christie! I relate so much with this post. My mother lived with us for the last 13 years of her life and with dementia. Although she gave birth to 10 children, my siblings all live outside of our home state of Texas. Still, their support through visits and from afar was so important. While the struggle is real, I’m so glad your support system is close by, and it sounds like you all work well together. That is a blessing!

    I also appreciate your advice near the end of your video to call others you’ve been meaning to get in touch with. I have a couple of friends battling cancer that have been on my mind and I’ve been telling myself for the last few days that I really need to call them. When you said, “…and don’t put it off!” I felt like you were speaking directly to me! Thanks for that nudge!

    • Wow, Gale. Thirteen years with dementia must have been a challenge for all of you. With all that has been happening lately, I wonder about elderly or ill people who do not have family nearby. We are definitely blessed in that regard. I am happy to hear that my video motivated you to make some calls. You’re welcome! 🙂

  9. I lived through this for the past 10 years. Our mother refused the life alert after falling once in her living room (and not getting hurt) and even after once falling in her basement at 91 years old and having to spend the night in the basement on the floor. But a year or two after that incident, she fell again, this time in the middle of the night and cut her head on the back of a table when she fell. After spending an hour trying to push and pull herself to a phone so she could call her neighbor, she finally agreed to that necklace.

    For years we tried to convince her to sell the house and move into a facility where she would be surrounded by other people her age, but she refused to do it. Those last two years, my husband and I moved in with her because she still refused, but needed assistance. She was 99 when she passed, but stayed in the house that her husband built for her until the last two months of her life. I was, and still am, impressed by her stubbornness to live the life that she wanted.

    • Oh man, Jennifer. I can relate. Our mother had an alert necklace and wore it most of the time. However, not long ago, she fell in the garage and did not have her necklace, her phone, or her walker with her. She didn’t want to leave her home either, but when she finally did, she said she was surprised how nice it was to be where there was full-time care. It must be so hard to slowly (or suddenly) lose your independence. As you said, you have to admire your mother’s determination to stay in her own home until age 99! So far, my 92-year-old mother-in-law is living alone in her home. Amazing.

  10. Hi Christie, thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom. No, it is not easy or simple to love and guide an aging parent or parents in directions that you know are best for them, but they may not want to go. Having a support system in place makes a huge difference. My brother, sister and I have always communicated and worked together (thankfully) when helping my parents, now just my mom, make those life decisions. It is indeed a great help to know we are not working in a void, but all helping each other as well as our mom. Shared on SM #MLSTL

    • You are right, this part of life is not easy, but definitely a time when you can grow closer to your family. My mother is a loving, strong woman and I am honored to be able to care for her the way she cared for me when I was young. Of course, as you know, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a challenge! I’m happy to hear that you have a good support system as well, Candi. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *