Twelve years ago I was living out of a backpack. I lived in Amsterdam and worked in Mexico so I commuted back and forth every four to six weeks. All of my neccesary items were safely tucked away in my North Face backpack at all times. I was like a gypsy on an adventure so I really didn’t mind.
These days I find myself living out that same backpack once again, but under different circumstances. I am spending a lot of time at my folks house, taking care of my ailing parents so I rarely get to sleep in my own bed. Also in tow is my computer bag, my overnight bag with a change of clothes, my journalism media bag, my sewing machine, my sewing projects and a bag of documents I need with me at all times.
I feel like that gypsy again, but with a lot more baggage and a lot less fun. My document bag is perhaps the heaviest. I am currently working on acquiring my fathers Veteran benefits, applying for Medical for my mom’s care, managing their finances and bills and dealing with my own disability health care. I miss the days when I only needed my backpack.
I also miss having my own space. Although I get to spend more time with the Biscuit, camping out at my parent house is becoming weary. I really miss having my own space, one single place where all my things are all together. The closest thing I have to that is my truck, Dusty.
Two weekends ago, the chaos escalated when my mom needed to be taken by ambulance to the ER. I was feeling overwhelmed managing the situation on my own, so I reached out to friends who stepped up to help. Thank you Kim, Linda, Louise, William and Marty for your help and moral support.
Last week, the calvary arrived. My sister returned from Japan and my ex-husband and son moved into my folks house so I now have more help. Speaking of, I am so proud of my Biscuit… he Grandparent-sits with my folks when we have to run errands.
This week, we moved my dad to great Alzheimer’s facility. When my sister and I delivered him, he smiled for the first time in a very long time. That’s the beauty of memory loss, everything is new and fun for him. I know he is much happier around other people so this is a good thing for everyone. My mom is feeling less anxious with him gone too.
My mom now requires 24-hour care and wants to move to a nursing home. This is a marathon and I know I have much more work to do, so I am trying to pace myself. Deep breath. Exhale.
My friend MB has been through what I am dealing with, so she gave me some great advice… take at least an hour a day for myself. Now that I have a little breathing room, I feel like I can do it. I also realize that the breathing room can be anywhere… a friends house, on the chiropractors table or in the bath tub. I hope to actually go for a walk sometime soon. I know… dream big.