Monday, July 7, 2014

A New Edge - What If I Bring My Mother Home?

What if I would bring my mother home to live with us?  THAT would be a new edge.

I originally started out blogging this year with ice skating in mind.  That was my edge.  And it was life-changing for me, inside and out. But I encountered a setback with my ankle and so I turned to blogging about life on crutches.  An edge I would prefer not to experience.

I’m off crutches now but I’m still healing and tired of writing about crutches. You’re probably tired of reading about it too.  I can’t skate yet, so I won’t be writing about that either. Hopefully, I can return soon.  I'm now allowed to exercise from the knees up.  That should be interesting.

So thus begins my new line of thought. This will be a very crazy journey. But since there is a growing amount of readers, like you, who are participating in my journey, I have come to love sharing my thoughts in the blog. I love the feeling of this community.  You offer support and insight that is personally very valuable.

So back to my question:  What if I would bring my elderly mother home to live with us?  What if I could help usher her into her next phase of life, eternal life, with love and special care.

I have so many questions and thoughts churning in my heart and mind, as you can imagine.  I am sure this is a troubling question for many of us who have aging parents.  What is the right thing to do?  I suppose that I might make a decision that everyone won’t agree with either, but I’m taking that chance.

Someone recently came across an older blog post and sent me this message through an email. It was pretty timely because I haven’t heard from them for years and they have no idea what I have been contemplating. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I feel like I need to pursue this and see where God takes it.  So here’s what I’m doing…….
  • Talking with my husband, researching the possibility and gathering information. It always affects our family when we live on the edge. 
  • Contacting friends and family to see if anyone might be able to help me care for her.  
  • Meeting with the Office of Aging to find out what resources there are for this type of adventure.  I found out there is a whole program for this type of transition.
  • Meeting with Hospice.  
Thanks for joining me in this new phase. I’m actually excited about learning about this process and giving it much prayer and consideration.  Maybe it will help others who are facing this very situation in their own family.  I’m not sure how it will all end up and it will be hard either way, but I am enjoying thinking outside the box.

I close with the message I received in response to “Crutch, Crutch, Goose”.

“Dear Frances,

I was searching some things on the Net today and happened upon your site, and the blog, "Crutch, crutch, goose".  It touched me deeply.  My mother had a severe stroke at age 72, in 1998, which left her completely left side paralyzed and wheelchair bound.  It changed her life and our life forever.  This was very traumatic for our family since she was "our rock" and so independent.  We cared for her, at her home or in our home, until she went to be with her Lord in 2011.  I then continued to care for my 95 year old father until he went home in March of 2013.  I resigned my job of 16 years and slowed down our ministry to do what I felt I needed to do.  I absolutely have no regrets. 

During this process and the many years of caregiving, I wrote the following.  It has comforted me on many occasions, and I'm hoping it can be an encouragement and comfort to you also.  I hope you do not mind me sharing this, but I felt compelled to do so. 


Just as they once shielded us, we now begin to shield them. Their eyes become a little dimmer, their walk a little more unsteady, and their talk a bit softer. Slowly they begin to slip through our fingers. No matter what we do or how much we offer, each smile, each step, and each word takes more effort than before. 

Who are these people who take so much of our time and unknowingly tear our hearts in two? They are called mom and dad; mother and father; grandma and grandpap; nanna and pappap. They are the forgotten ones of our new technological generation. The ones who have somehow become acquainted with the daily aches and pains of every day living. The ones who have learned that a simple task is no longer simple, but a long, drawn out process for which they always need assistance. The mundane is now elaborate, and every morning brings challenges beyond their control.

But then again, for us as their next generation, each day somehow offers new possibilities in caring and serving. We learn patience and understanding, often seeing ourselves in their struggles. We learn that love is more than receiving from these individuals who have given every breath so we could take our first.

It is not our duty, but our privilege to care for them. It is our chance to act on servanthood, and offer unconditional love to them for one last time. It is our chance to return the favor. Remembering this, let’s offer one more day, one more hour, one more conversation or word, one more act of kindness. We just never know when that "one more" may be their final step to eternity.” - Darlene Scott, Heirborne Promise 


  1. My Precious Frances,
    Obviously this is your decision between the Lord and Tom. I will say this, after loosing both my parents young, I did have the privilege of caring for my Mom through her last year of life and cancer and I would do it all over again. She died at home with me hovering around her in love. I cannot tell you how much that helped in the months and even years of grief ahead. We all grieve differently and any act of love and kindness you show her now will help you on your journey of grief. I know from experience no matter how well we care for them, we're still left with "I would have, could have, should have's." I love you and I will pray and I know you will make the best decision for her.
    Lovingly & Prayerfully,

  2. Frances, I wish everyone could do this for their loved ones. I appreciate the families who come to see their aging family members on a regular basis and I hope they realize what it means to that family member, even if they are cognitively challenged. The contact still resonates with the spirit. I have worked with the elderly for nearly 7 years now. I LOVE the work I am privileged to do. These people are treasures, their history, their humor, their spirituality. This "old person" is somebody's mom or dad or sister or brother or friend. This is something a GOOD caregiver remembers as they do their work. Some days, MANY days, our charges are not always receptive to their care. They can become combative (I've been swatted, spat on, kicked and sworn at...but not often! I know when to duck!) BUT this is not their fault. They are usually in pain, they are afraid (how would you like to be dependent on another for almost everything but NOT remember that you are?) to be slowly losing every ability you ever had, to have to condense your life from a home you once knew to a small room or sometimes half a small room? When my facility receives a new resident, I tell them that we know this is not home to you, but we will do our best to make things as good as possible while you're here. So those are all things to bear in mind as you take on this new responsibility. What a wonderful daughter you are Frances. Bear in mind some days you won't believe does get frustrating. But you are and your mom knows it! :)

    1. Hey friend,
      I so appreciate people like you who are in this line of work and minister love and cheeriness. There is no pay sufficient for what you do. You care for our families day in and day out when we are not there and it can't be easy! I feel so sorry for residents who don't have their families nearby to come and support them. It's not an easy stage of life and it wears on everyone. Thanks for your encouragement and for all that you do for the people in this stage of life.