Saturday, December 29, 2012

Family and Holiday Update

Hurray, I am happy to say that Mom is much better.  Her recovery from the flu has been slow but the doctor and common sense says that is to be expected when you are almost 80 years old.  She promises us that she is taking it easy, not trying to do more than the basics and resting as much as possible.  Over the phone she sounds stronger. Dad and Mom enjoyed a fun Christmas celebration with my sisters and their families.

I still have not been able to make the trip to see them in Nebraska.  What with weather issues (snow & wind), work and holiday travel schedules, the drive has not been possible.  I plan to go as soon as we have a weekend that promises safe driving conditions.  Patrick will go along and we will celebrate a belated holiday with them.  Hoping that can happen soon.  

Our holiday season here in Minnesota has been perfect.  Joseph arrived the Wednesday before Christmas and flies back to Miami tomorrow morning, Sun. Dec., 30.  We managed to schedule a cookie baking day with Celia here, too.  We ended up baking 4 of our "must-have" Xmas cookies: Sand Tarts, Smor Kringlers, Spritz, and Candy Bar Cookies.  I will add these to my recipe pages in case you all want to try these Swedish favorites.  ( Candy Bar Cookies - not so much Swedish!)
Christmas eve here was a warm, cozy, and low key family evening with Patrick, Joe, Celia and Jake = wonderful!  And Maxi, the dog, had a great time with all his people here.

 We hope all of you had your favorite kind of holiday, too!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A very nervous, helpless day.....

Just a brief posting about my horrible, no good, very awful two days of feeling useless.

By way of some background, I live in Minneapolis, MN and my elderly parents live in a small town 6 hours away in Nebraska.  I have three sisters who live within 30 miles of my parents' home so I am the odd one out.  Mom and Dad are struggling these days with a variety of age and health related issues.  The primary factor in their story now is that Dad has Alzhiemers and is at a stage where he still knows all of us but he is unable to carry out any tasks and requires much assistance with all things day to day.  My mother is his primary caregiver but has health issues of her own that are slowly wearing her down.

I'm sure many of you recognize the bones of this story - aging parents who need help from their grown children who have busy lives, jobs, kids and grandkids of their own, separated by distance - all the things that pull at families at this time in life.

Well, this week Mom had a bout of stomach issues, a bug perhaps that left her dizzy, weak, unable to eat or drink much - but still needing to care for Dad.  I know she was scared, what would she do to feed him, keep him safe and take care of herself.  My youngest sister filled me in and when I called I could hear the fear in her voice. And this is the week that Minnesota weather decided to kick into winter.  Forecast of blowing snow, 4 to 6 inches, not something you can safely drive in across the wide open southwest corner of the state to go to Nebraska for the weekend.

My sisters all took over and took turns being with the folks.  They called the doctor, cajoled Mom into eating and drinking as she could.  They cooked, cleaned, and spent the night with them. But I felt helpless and useless and nervous here.  The distance between my house and theirs feels very far at times like this.  I know everything is being done that can be done but I still wish to be there just to see for myself, to talk to them face to face and to hug and be hugged.

I hope tomorrow will be a bit better.  I will talk to Mom, I hope she will sound stronger.  I know she will feel comforted by my sisters' attention. And I will tell her how much I love them both.