(Our hostess for this week's Fun Monday is Mommy Wizdom . Mommy Wizdom offers us a rare opportunity to be the ruler of the world--or at least our small part of it--for a day, week, month, or year. If this were indeed a possibility, I'd work on a modern day dilemma that most of us are in the middle of now, or will certainly face in the future--taking care of an aging and/or sick family member, friend or pet.)
It's no secret that we're hanging around longer thanks to better living conditions and access to sometimes heroic medical care. While this is a good thing--I guess--the reality is that eventually most of us will need assistance with everyday living. Where do we turn when we can no longer fix a meal, bathe, pay our bills, drive to an appointment, or understand what the doctor tells us to do?
Most of my real life friends, as well as you friends in the blogosphere, are dealing with the many challenges of care giving for another adult in their immediate family or circle of friends. You provide care and support for an aging parent or parent-in-law who may have lost physical or mental capacity. You step in to help a brother or sister, grown child or friend who is fighting a serious illness. You write about caring for a much loved dog who has lived so many years that his heart, limbs and body functions fail him. But still, with all the infirmities, you see an occasional reminder of the young, playful and mischievous dog that made you laugh or drove you crazy with puppy antics.
How do we manage to give care when it's our time? And, how do we do it without sacrificing our own happiness and quality of life?If I were ruler of my world for even a day, I'd get answers to these questions because I need them now. . .
Over the past couple of months my quiet peaceful life has turned upside down. My only sister, who is ten years older than I, has experienced a serious decline in health over the last few months. I had been driving long distances to take her to the doctor and help with medical and other decisions. Then, on July 9 her apartment building burned, leaving her homeless. Since then, I have moved her into my home until we can figure out what to do about her housing and medical care. Let me just say, if you are accustomed to living alone, there's no house that's big enough for two people. I live on the fringes of my home. My sister has the rest of the house, but longs to be in her own place. The decisions about how aggressively to treat her illness weigh heavily on my shoulders--she has no opinions on this one way or another.
Now I know Mommy Wizdom has great powers, but until my chance to be Ruler for the Day comes along I'll try to apply this quote: "Things that seem hard are not always that hard. Put one foot in front of the other and you'll get to the end." I'd also love to hear how you are dealing with this issue. Leave me some pearls of wisdom with your comments. And, don't forget to check out what other Fun Monday Rulers plan to do when they get the chance to call the shots!
(Image Credit: Venus, Ruler of the World, painting by Giovanni Bellini)
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.