New Here - Glad to Find You
We lost my Mom 8 years ago after a quick (2 week) illness. She was the buffer between my sister and I and our Dad. We managed to keep it together, and Daddy and I became pretty close. (My husband always commented that Daddy and I could spend hours together and never say a dozen words, but knew what each was thinking.) Daddy was in a car wreck Christmas Day, 2000, and after 18 months in various hospitals, we brought him home rather than put him in a nursing home. My husband and I quit our jobs in the "big city" and moved back to the country where I was raised. I became caregiver to Daddy 24/7. He had traumatic brain injury and was paralyzed from the upper abdomen down. The brain injury was such that he sometimes didn't realize the condition he was in. He had constant infections from Foley catheter, and respiratory problems from not being able to cough up the stuff that settled in his lungs. With the last bout of pneumonia, his veins were shot and IV was the only option, but he didn't want that. The illness kept him from sleeping, and DH and I were getting worn out, so we put him in nursing home for respite where he passed away. He kept telling us "they" told him his life expectancy was 2 years, and as it turned out, he died 2 yrs and 1 week from the date of the accident. Since our brother drowned when he was 13, some 32 years ago, my sister and I are what's left of a family of 5. We weren't that close until Momma died, but have gotten close since then, and Daddy's trauma brought us even close. I had been rocking along pretty well recently, but I think the holidays are starting to affect me. I took my cat to the doctor with an infection in her foot and was feeling bad that it had gotten to the point of causing her so much pain, when I saw a man who reminded me of Daddy and ended up standing in the grocery store milk aisle with tears running down my face. I talked to my sister later in the day and found out she had been in a store watching a mother and daughter buying gifts for the grandchildren, and she had to go to the car and have a good cry. She and her husband had gone through years of invitro and trying to have a 2nd child (first one is a boy - 13), when they were told it wasn't going to happen, so they gave up. Three months after Daddy died, she found out she was expecting, and her little girl just turned a year old last month. (Daddy had been telling me about a baby before he died, but we didn't know what he was talking about) The hardest thing for her is seeing her children without grandparents on her side. Her inlaws aren't that "grandparenty". Momma was the ultimate grandmother and would have been beside herself with a little girl to make clothes for and love on. (I have a 28 year old single son) I still have spells of feeling guilty about having to put Daddy in the nursing home for what we thought was a temporary break, but I was on the edge of sanity. My husband tries, but his family has had no tragedy and all are still alive and healthy. I really don't feel they appreciate their good fortune. Sometimes I have to push him to spend time with them (preferably without me). They are odd creatures to me. DH had a mild heart attack a few months ago and ended up going to a hospital near his mother's house, but she didn't come to see him (we live about 60 miles apart) because she had a nail appointment. My mother would have moved heaven and earth to be with me if it had happened to me. That's what I miss the most, the comfortable feeling of someone who would do anything to help me. I don't suppose you are ever too old to feel like an orphan.