It is interesting to be writing about my Fifty and Over Experiences. Especially, since I am almost 60. Well, I turned 59 three months ago. Does that count as almost 60?
Last year, around this time, I wrote a similar post. It is fascinating to go back and read my thoughts. Even though it was just a year ago. My perspective has changed, matured and I have much clearer view of what I want my life to be.
Before I tell you this intimate part of my life, I want you to know that my father-in-law always loved me like a daughter. I knew that. That is why I cared for him.
Last year at this time, my husband and I had a major change in our lives. We were caring for my 91 year old father-in-law. We knew at some point he would be our full responsibility, even though my husband has three siblings. It just is how life took a turn.
He was our responsibility twenty four hours a day. Even though he was living in a home care facility. We made sure he got out to do his shopping, get a hair cut, visit our kids and grand kids, update his I phone, get him to Dr appointments, taking his meds, etc… It was a heavy burden. One that seem to come quickly in our lives. You see, in our minds were are still 30s or 40s.
Before we knew it, he needed to live with us. Hospice was in our home 5 to 7 times a week. To say it was a joy, well, would not be true. He was cantankerous, demanding, fault finding, and down right an angry man. In turn, we still made sure he had every thing he needed. He had 3 full meals a day, baths, meds, fresh clothes and bedding, nurse visits and lots of talking to each other. He loved to talk.
As part of my Fifty and Over Experiences was fact that my husband was also caring for me (my seizures) and working full time. The stress that filled our home could not even be measured, it was SO high.
Losing a parent is hard enough without them being difficult. He was up every night, all night, He would sometimes sleep during the day, but when it was time to eat he wanted his meals on the dot. Hard, stressful and nothing I expected to experience.
I would pray daily, sometimes hourly for strength and guidance. I had never done this before, and he hadn’t either. The three of us were learning together.
There are things that the nurses can teach you, guide you and give you help with. They can counsel you and send you to group helps. They tell you signs to look for at “the end”.
When my father-in-law passed, it was a relief. It was peaceful. My husband and I learned how to “live again”. Dealing with our own everyday lives.
There are days that I feel guilty. Guilty for not caring enough, not being attentive enough, not being patient enough. When in reality, I did ALL that I could and beyond. I have hardly cried. That, in and of itself is hard. But, then I remembered a conversation with my husband’s aunt. She cared for my father-in-law’s brother for 15-20 years. Very similar situation to what we had dealt with.
As she talked to me, she said, “Meegan, I loved him with all my heart. I will love him forever. BUT, it was hard. I didn’t cry for more than six months. I was taking a breath, learning how to live again. After six months, I finally felt like grieving. My heart hurt. I missed him. And I cried.”
I then understood and now understand. I ‘get it”. So, if I am quiet, or need some “Meegan time”, this is where I will be… I am still waiting to cry, to hurt and to grieve. My husband is, too. Bless his heart. He has carried a lot of weight. Nothing anyone can/could understand. (except, maybe his aunt)
This experience is just one of the many facets of my life. One of the cuts that make my life something wonderful to appreciate.
These Fifty and Over Experiences are not for the faint of heart. AND, if you read my blog often you KNOW that I love life, my husband, my family and God. Like I said…This experience is just one of the many facets of my life. One of the cuts that make my life something wonderful to appreciate.
Thanks for joining me today to celebrate Fifty and Over…
For more inspiring stories and experiences look below…