Why am I going to Florida? Hub's has a brother that lives in Florida and the family has been estranged from him for several years. I won't go into the details, because like most family feuds they are stupid. Just leave it to say that Mom and Dad, Hub's folks got put smack dab in the middle as they would not take sides. It was an awful few years. These two elderly people have their faults, but they did raise their family to be a close knit fun family. Family is very important to them. Hub's dad is very frail and has dementia. Hub's mom is also frail but in very good health. They desperately want to see their son and cannot make the trip alone just because of age reasons, 85,86. Also son and his wife will bring up past problems which mom and dad can do nothing about. This will be upsetting to them and they need to be protected.
So enter us. We agreed to take them down to Florida last year. They will reimburse us for tickets. In the mean time another sister and her husband decided to join us. Then another sister and her husband are coming and finally that last sister decided to come down for a few days as she lives closer than the rest of us Idahoans. So my mother and father-in-law will have all of their 5 kids together for the first time in 7 years. Mom has cried buckets over this and it has been such an upsetting experience for her as a mother. They really feel like their son was dead to them, by his choice by the way. I am not to thrilled with all the family being there as I am an outsider and the more people you involve the harder things get, plus Hub's youngest sister is schizophrenic and heavily medicated. She is kind and nice but can be a lot of work. She is the baby of the family and a BABY! One on one I love her in a group not so much.
I realize the need for mom and dad to have closure. I feel dad's days are numbered and he wants to see his first born. Dad is hard to deal with as all dementia patients are as they progress. Mom is exhausted most of the time dealing with his behavior. I can somehow handle dad better than his real children. They get upset with him and frustrated. I have a way of getting him to laugh at his stupid behavior. This trip cannot happen with out Hub's and I, the other kids cannot do it, as they have never traveled with dad and don't understand how hard it will be. I also think it will be a great experience and a trip of a life time. I will sacrifice for this. I will sacrifice for family, my feelings, my money, my time. Families are forever.
I had an exciting day yesterday. I spent some time in the yard in the morning and in the evening. I did some ironing and shop work. Then I laid down for an hour before I had to go teach and I got a phone call. It was a bride she had just got into town from 120 miles away and she was coming to pick up her dress. I had her listed as the 21st not the 12th. I shot out of bed and told her I could not see her until 6:30 as I had to teach dance. I could have gone to the studio at 4 instead of 5, so a small white lie. Then I rushed downstairs. In one hour I was able to triple bustle, take in the front and steam/press that dress. What stress. Now it could dry while I was at dance. I am just leaving for the studio I have 5 minutes to get there, and hub's comes down the hall from the front room choking He just had is esophagus stretched 8 months ago and he is in trouble. He was leaning over the slop sink in the laundry room. I kept asking him if he was breathing, but when you are choking you can't talk. Finally he was able to talk and I asked if he had gotten all the food out that was stuck. He said yes. I said before I leave you go get a diet coke and drink it.
The acid in the coke bubbles up and eats away at the food. Well sure enough all this soda foams up out of his mouth so he had not passed the food. He told me to go; he would be fine. I just did not feel good about that. So I went and knocked on the boarders door and told him what was going on. He has been a CNA for years and is in the nursing program at the college so I knew he could handle this, but he says, "I only have a scooter". Drive one of our cars! "I don't know the way to the hospital?" Hub's can point the way there, or call 911. I finally got the thumbs up to go and hubs was swallowing. We had a good laugh when I came home. The boarder and I agreed to split and life insurance money if he just steps over hub's body. :) That is a joke!
I ran out of bags this morning(the big black trash/leaf bags) so I had to quit in the garden. I did have a full truck load for the dump and went to the landfill this morning. Now I need to clean up and get into the shop. I have a lot of hemming to do, before I go teach.
Tomorrow I am driving to Missoula, to get my mom. She is struggling with health issues and just needs to be here for a while. She will stay for a couple of weeks and then my step sister will take her back home. I swear aged parents are a big time commitment, but I would not have it any other way.
How do you deal with aged parents?
Have any of you been in this situation?
Can you offer any advise?
Have a great and productive day!