Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Waterin' the 'Maters

I just watered the tomatoes we’re growing in pots in the back yard. Tomatoes are one of those plants that need a lot of water. If you’re not pretty diligent about keeping them hydrated they’ll quickly wither and die.

I’m not sure if other plants being “hearty” is a great thing. It doesn’t take much to grow milkweed or kudzu, but I’m fairly certain that a milkweed or kudzu sandwich doesn’t come close to the glory of a ‘mater-sammich on white bread with Duke’s mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

Some things need more attention. In certain areas of life, WE need more attention. As I get older, I become more convinced that if you come across someone who understands the areas of life in which you need more attention, and they are willing to offer it, life gets easier, happier and more satisfying.

And, just as important if not more so, you know as well as I do that not every area of caregiving makes you crazy. You've got a reasonable handle of some things while other areas make you nutz!

I'm sure you remember, in the acronym, C.R.A.Z.Y, the Z stands for "Zero In." You want to Zero In on the few areas that really get to you. So, try this: Pick one area of caregiving you find challenging.  Go online and search “10 Ways to Get Help With (Your Area).”  If you don't get information that helps, try: "How do I get help with (Your Challenge). You’ll be amazed at what comes up.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mothers Day...What's It To Ya?

Mother's Day can be a joyous/difficult/both time for caregivers.

For some caregivers, Mother's Day is a time to revel in the fact that they still have their mother. They can see the future and coming challenges, but having Mom and being able to show her they love her and having her recognize that she is loved can be wonderfully special.

For other caregivers, Mother's Day is a challenging time. She may be difficult to deal with, in pain, unaware of the caregivers' presence. Seeing Mom in this state can cause feelings ranging from resignation to resentment, from pity to searing pain...sometimes all the emotions within seconds.

This past week a friend of mine was informed that his mother had passed away. He had been estranged from her for 40 years. When I talked with him about his loss it was apparent that he had compartmentalized his feelings, but the pain poured out of him like a bucket with a hole in the bottom. Not everyone has wonderful memories of Mom.

I don't envy the folks whose mothers are still alive and vital; I'm glad for them.  I had over 80 wonderful years with my mother and thousands of great memories.

As I've mentioned, my mother is 86 and an Alzheimer's sufferer who has no idea who I am when I walk in the room. She won't have a clue that Sunday is Mothers Day. However, she knows when she sees me that I am someone who loves her and she knows she loves me. In fact, she whispered it to me a few days ago. As you can imagine, at those times my heart goes on a roller coaster ride.

On Mothers Day I'll greet her with cards and the chocolate she loves. I'll read the cards to her multiple times and she'll gladly take the chocolate I offer. She'll smile and laugh at the silly things I say to try and make her smile.

And maybe, just maybe, she'll tell me she loves me.