Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Golden Years

Time marches on and I am seeing Mary, my Dad and my Mom all starting to age, to get frail and become "little old people".  It breaks my heart because I know the time with them is so very short and I am not ready to let them go.

Mary had a fall last week and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was treated for a gash on her arm and her back is very sore.  They were concerned about a possible fracture.  She has been moved to a care center until she can get around on her own a little more.  Velda has been trying to get her into a "home" for over a year.  Mary doesn't want to go.  I know she is lonely there in the Valley, but I have seen so many people go downhill so fast once they have to leave their home and give up their independence, I don't want that for her.  Mary says she is "ready to go"...we're not - she will be 84 in May.

My dad has failing eye sight and arthritis is crippling his hands.  I know this is so frustrating for him. He used his hands every day of his life to make a living, to garden, to hunt, to fish, to woodcraft.  His failing eye sight has limited his ability to see clearly the tape measure, to read and do the things he has always done.  A couple of years ago he made some rocking horses and some of the grandkids got them for their own kids.  He made some little oak jewelry boxes for each of the granddaughters.  I hope they treasure them.  Time will come when he can't do that anymore.  He told me the other day he isn't planting a big garden this year.  He can't do it on his own.  We all say we will help but we don't come through when he needs it.  Daddy will be 82 in March.

My mom is has either dementia or Alzheimers and neither one is pleasant.  Her memory is failing her and I have seen a marked difference in the past year.  There are times she has a look of fear on her face when she doesn't know where she is or if we leave her sight.  I take her with me to Josh Ranch to get her out and to give Dad a break.  After spending the day talking about the same things, answering the same questions, having her express her gratitude for being able to go, I laugh and I cry.  It breaks my heart that she's leaving us.

We took her to the dr. yesterday with bowel problems and Dr. Hamblin asked before he even started the exam, "what do you want to do?"... if there were tumors or cancer what would we want to do?  Mom said I want to do nothing.  There were no obvious tumors or cancer or blockage according to the X-ray, so three doses of Miralax later she finally had two good bowel movements and that part was feeling better.  When asked what we could do about the memory loss, his answer was "sometime's it's best to let nature take it's course."  He said he could give her something to see if it would slow it some, but her body is frail.  Frailty is a bigger killer than any other disease."  Mama will be 78 this October.

The golden years haven't been what any of us envisioned for Mary, Dad or Mom.  Health issues, losing a spouse, financial worries, family problems and issues.  That's just not what they thought they would be facing at this age.

I don't feel any older, somewhere my body/mind thinks I am 40ish...I turned 60 on the 2nd of January and I feel blessed to be as healthy as I am.  I have lost two classmates in the past couple of years and for some of us the time is shorter than for others.  I hope and pray that I can be here till I turn 90 - but only if I'm healthy enough to not be burden to my kids.

The golden years have lost their shine but I am grateful for every single year I have.

My Favorite Books (So Far)

  • Anything by Neal A. Maxwell
  • Captains & The Kings - Taylor Caldwell
  • Erma Bombeck
  • Heaven & Hell - John Jakes
  • Love & War - John Jakes
  • North & South - John Jakes
  • The Dwelling Place - Catherine Cookson

About Me

My photo
Crazy grandma, obsessed with scrapbooking everything in her kids' lives and then some!