Back to School already

From August 14

It’s been a busy few weeks around here. The end of summer and beginning of school, along with work has pretty much every breathing hour consumed. Just before school started we took the kids to Holiday World for a quick overnight trip. This marked the first time we were leaving Grandmother at home by herself overnight. I was slightly concerned about it, but had that “you lived by yourself forever you can survive one night” feeling too…. She wasn’t real happy about being left at home and not going to KY. But, the logistics of driving 6 hours to KY and back, plus going on our trip just didn’t make sense. I hired 2 different care givers to come in while we were gone. So, really a few hours mid day and at bedtime were the only time that she was alone. Although she was apprehensive about it, she managed well, and even asked if we could have them come back.
On Monday of this week, I left Grandmother alone for maybe 45 minutes to take Lexi Kate to get a “First Day of School Pedicure”. Just as they were finishing up one of my neighbors called to say grandmother had fallen on the sidewalk in the cup-de-sac. We rushed out to get home and see how she was. Despite being scraped and bruised a good bit, she was fine. That evening I noticed a more severe mental lapse. It almost made me wonder if she was having mini-strokes. That may explain her sudden loss of balance and the mental issues as well. But, I am no doctor, so I can’t say for sure.
Yesterday, we had an appointment scheduled at Vanderbilt Bone and Joint already to follow up on the April back injury. Thankfully, x-rays revealed that there wasn’t any additional damage done. Her spine curvature is worse than it was in April, but that was likely not a result of this most recent fall.
Yesterday she was still more mentally disturbed than normal. We went to the grocery and she put several random things in the cart. When we got to the check out to pay, she realized she only had $3 in her wallet. Keep in mind, I had no intention of her paying for what she bought, you just have to let these things play out with her. She of course immediately wanted to go to the bank to get cash. We couldn’t do that because I had to get home and pick the kids up from school. That started an out of control spiral. As I was explaining it was fine to pay for groceries, she got irate. She insisted on writing me a check for the groceries she wanted. I assured her it was fine, and I prefer she not write me a check, as I didn’t want to have to take time to go to my bank and deposit. As a compromise, I offered to just buy all our groceries next week out of her account. And, that’s when it started. She got in her head that I was stealing her money. She thought I was paying all my bills out of her $1100 a month social security. Considering $500 a month comes out of that for insurance/medicine, that leaves $600. I couldn’t possibly explain to her that wouldn’t last a week. $600 a month would maybe pay our utilities or 2 weeks worth of groceries. But, it wouldn’t cover much. Anyway, she was UPSET! Finally, I just let it go and ignored her repeated request to argue.
On a good note, I think she feels “at home” now. When we were unloading the groceries she was separating her stuff and our stuff. I asked her if she wanted her own shelf in my pantry for just her things so she could find the snacks she prefers. She looked at me so strange. I explained again what I meant; that she was welcome to any food in the pantry, but if it would be easier for her to find what she was looking for I would clear a special shelf. Then, she started telling me that I was welcome to anything I wanted out of her pantry, and that she was happy to share her food with me. She talked about her kitchen and wanting to cook and remember what all she had purchased. She truly thought she was in “her house”. As much as I wish I was living in a house she had paid the mortgage on, it was also a huge relief that she felt that this was her house and I was just living in it….
So on we go, treading through this life of raising young children and raising adult children. Praying for God’s guidance each day to do it “best”. I am convinced there isn’t a right or wrong, showing up is success in itself. My primary focus is to protect my children while caring for her. Please be praying for them as I know this is hard on them. The lady living in our house isn’t the Grandmother I grew up with and loved so much. And, they’ll never get to experience that.

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