Do you remember playing with a Magic 8 ball when you were a kid? If you are anything like me, you thought it was super cool to shake it, and wait for the answers to "Life's Greatest Mysteries" to appear.
Right now, I would really like a Magic 8 ball. But in lieu of that, I'm doing the best that I can. Let me see if I can clear things up a bit, while protecting the privacy of others.
My husband's father is a World War II veteran. He's been married twice, and is a crazy, super busy person. In the past six months though, he's had some health issues. That's to be expected : he is after all 92. He has lived alone for many years, ever since his second wife died. Recently, a family member moved in, but that family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The family member will be moving out in order to secure the additional care and peace that she will need, as the illness is progressing and her care needs are increasing. It's become increasingly clear in the past several months that he's needed additional supervision due to the fact that he thinks he's still in his 50s, wants to still drive, and doesn't like to slow down at all.
It's really amazing when you think of it. He's maintained his household, extensive gardens, and has been taking care of everything without a hitch for many, many years. But everyone gets older, everyone's body breaks down, and it's not working for him to live alone anymore.
As a family, we've pondered many different possibilities, toured facilities, put the pen to the paper – and it's going to end up that he moves in with us and I will be the one to be mostly in charge of his care.
So, in the next month, I will be emptying my playroom, gutting parts of my house, and doing the things to make my house safe and accessible for a handicapped individual. We will be building a ramp, changing out a shower, and going through the house with a fine tooth comb to make sure that everything loose is secure, doorways are wide enough, and basically, try to get all our ducks in a row.
Today, I began much of the pre-work. Up until this afternoon, I was still conflicted: was this the right thing to do? Would I be able to handle it? Was I making a mistake? I had a pretty stressful morning and afternoon, and at 4 o'clock, I decided to lay down to rest my eyes. I dozed off, and I had the craziest dream. I dreamt that I was at my church, and two of my father-in-law's friends – two women who live in a facility that we toured – came over to talk to me. I indicated that my father-in-law was coming to live with me, and both of them told me that this was the right decision.
It was a dream, and we all know that I have crazy dreams and my mind is a weird and dangerous place sometimes. It's not a Magic 8 ball. I have no idea if I'm making the right decision – after all, who bases the decision upon a dream? But, for right now, I am at peace with it. It will be work for me. It will be change for the entire family. But, at least right now, I think it's the right thing to do. When we went to a retirement facility - and it was really a lovely, lovely place - I could see him there. But at the heart of it, he is a family man, and he loves to be surrounded by family. He and I get along, he loves my kids - it will be a change for all, but one that is reachable. I've been driving to his house twice a day to keep a handle on things, making him dinner and breakfast, and taking him to the store and doctor appointments, so at least by having him here, I will drive less. There's a plus right there. I am at peace with the situtation and feel like it's going to work.
I probably won't be talking about this situation much in the future. I did feel that it was important to shed at least a little bit of light on one of the four difficult situations in which I find myself this summer. This summer has been intense, that's for certain.
A learning experience, if you will. A growing experience – although I think I could do with a little less growing in my body, LOL. Stress eating sure is fun sometimes.
Addendum: My cousin Jimmy died from cancer this morning. I wish peace and comfort to his family and much support in the weeks ahead.