Our Family’s Decision

The past few days have been especially wonderful. Even though it sometimes felt like I was always cooking, having our kids and grandchildren gathered here and being surrounded by family refreshed my spirit.

Three nights in a row of good sleep didn’t hurt either.

Yesterday, our children, along with our three lovely granddaughters, lovingly came alongside us in support of a decision that Wayne and I had already prayerfully made. A spot in a lovely memory care home has opened up for my mother. Together as a family, we acknowledged that my mom deserves to receive the 24/7 care I can no longer give her.

This has been an especially hard decision for me, as it has always been my desire to walk Momma all the way “Home” here in our home. Now that mom is under home hospice care, it seemed like we were almost there. But God has given our family wisdom and showered me with peace in the midst of my tears.

Last night, Mom was out of bed before our Friday date night caregiver left our home at 10:30 p.m. Bless sweet Kathryn’s heart, she tried so hard to get mom to bed and asleep before her shift was over. It was not meant to be. Sleep would not come for Momma until a few minutes before 5:00 a.m.

Today I’m feeling physically worn out and emotionally spent. The frustrations of my sleepless night and my groggy, bone-weary body served as confirmation that the decision we made as a family is the right one.

Nine days from now it will be different.

Round-the-clock care will be available to redirect my tired and anxious mother back to the safety of her bed while I am sound asleep in my bed a few miles away. There will be no more trips up and down the stairs between my bedroom and hers all night long. No need for cameras and a video monitor to keep tabs on Momma. No need for baby gates, a multiplicity of grab bars, wheelchairs, walkers and bedside potty chair. Someone else will vigilantly monitor and carefully dispense drugs, change and launder soiled clothing and bedding, cajole her into bathing (and washing her hair), and keep her from wandering away.

I find comfort in the hope of being able to attend school concerts, participate in church activities, go to the gym more regularly, travel with my hubby, take an unhurried bath, have impromptu play dates and sleepovers with my grandkids, and play in garden dirt whenever I want. The list of all the things I’d like to do now is very long indeed.

As much as I look forward to finding our new normal, I also understand the transition will not be easy–for her or for me. The tears which trickle down my cheeks without warning remind me that I will miss taking care of mom. It has truly been an honor and a privilege and the hardest thing I have ever done.

Caregiving truly is the hardest job I ever loved.

Author: barefootlilylady

Wife of one, mother of 2+2, and Grandma of 6 (3 girls and 3 boys!) and full-time caregiver for my sweet Momma with Alzheimer's. Passionate about Jesus, grandkids, Awana Clubs, gardens, quilts and cooking.

6 thoughts on “Our Family’s Decision”

  1. It’s not like you are abandoning her, you will be going to see her. I know it will be difficult. After my mother-in-law went home to be with the Lord, I didn’t know what to do with myself. But I did get back to a new normal.

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  2. What a beautiful view into a caregiver’s journey. I appreciate everything you’ve done for your mother so much. I appreciate your need for balance and self-care deeply. I appreciate that you and your family made a touch decision with the best in mind for your mother and your life, too. I’m new and in place as caregiver before the real need, having moved from Florida to live with my Mother in Kentucky. It’s inspiring and educational for me to read about your stage of the caregiver journey. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging message. If you found this helpful, I would invite you to page back through other posts on the blog – perhaps you’ll find more encouragement for your journey by reading about mine. God bless you in your ministry of love and compassion with your own mother, dear Jenny.

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      1. Yes, thanks. I will check out more of your blog! I find some of the most important caregiver support content is on balance and self-care–things that most caregivers tend to neglect! You may find some useful ideas from my Caregiver or Spiritual Wellness content on my site, too. YourCreativeChord.com

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like your article and the Christmas letter with the lamented pictures is a great idea. Giving readers practical things to do is great. We have a white board with a calendar next to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, white boards are very good tools. Mom doesn’t care much about calendars these days, but we use ours to help her with names of people who are visiting. Her great-grandkids like to draw a little picture on it for her to enjoy for a bit. She likes that.

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