Category: Caring for an aging parent

It’s like feeding a nest of hungry birds

Click the image to link to my sister’s (Susie Morrell) beautiful art gallery!

When people ask me how I’m really doing (not just a drive by how you doin’) it’s hard to put into words what this season of my life feels like.  This season where I’m being sandwiched between being the encouraging, present, and fun mom I want to be for my kids AND being the caring, respectful, and motivating daughter I want to be for my mom.  Oh, yeah and somewhere in this mix I want to be a romantic, loving, and supportive wife and a fit and healthy woman who successfully juggles a full time rewarding career and builds a mission rich profitable business on the side!  Feels crazy just writing it all out.  Like you, I want it all and I want life to feel harmonious.  It’s a big order to fill.

If you give a bird a worm

Since it’s difficult to describe a sandwiched life, I thought I’d try an analogy.  I often tell people that life is like a puzzle and you just have to figure out how all the pieces connect but reflecting on this now, this analogy is just way too simple.  After all, when you are putting together a jigsaw puzzle you have the luxury of evaluating one piece at a time. What I feel, and probably many of you do, is the constant pulling of different important and competing priorities that frankly are never satiated.  A better analogy for a mom in the sandwich generation is to think of a nest of hungry baby robins with mom flying back and forth to keep everyone well fed. (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

How to truly celebrate a life

 

Celebrate a life ©2013_SusieMorrell_Bee
Click to see more paintings by my talented sister, Susie Morrell

August 4th was the one year anniversary of my dad’s death.  Rather than focusing on his last day, I am choosing to focus this post on the Saturday just prior to his passing, where we threw a party in the hospice room to celebrate his life.  When I reflect on this memory, I feel so grateful that we had this opportunity to tell dad how much he meant to us, share memories, and prepare as a family to say good-bye.  I know that many families have not had this opportunity.

(more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Driving mom from Michigan to Georgia…it’s what you do.

mom's trip to michiganMy family has two lake homes in Hubbard Lake, Michigan.  For health reasons, my mom hasn’t been able to visit Michigan in a few years.  My siblings and I were determined to get her there this year.  We have dangled this trip in front of her as an incentive for her to take better care of her health and we wanted her to be around the extended family as many have not seen her since my dad’s memorial last fall.  Thankfully, she was able to go.  It took much preparation, and patience but I know in the end we are all glad we went. (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

A day in the life of a sandwich generation mom

mom cardigan or supermom cape

You just never know what the day will bring.  Each one is a new adventure.  Here’s a diary of what happened today:

5:55 am – Rise and shine!  Got up after one snooze even though I wanted two…my dog Shadow was ready to get up so he jumped from the bed when I turned to snooze the second time.  Got up since he’ll just bug me until I do.  Put workout clothes on that I had set out night before.  Swallowed morning prescriptions and vitamins.  Gave hubby a quick smooch and headed downstairs.

6:10 am – Chugged pre-made morning cleanse juice and took my Shih Tzu Shadow for a quick ‘squirt’ (the kids walk him when they get up).

6:30 am – Listened to Chalene Johnson’s Build Your Tribe podcast while I drove to my trainer’s facility for our scheduled workout. (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

The ONE resource you need to initiate the power of prayer

psalm 107 susan morrell painting
I thought one of my sister’s recent paintings complimented this bible verse. Click the image to view her online gallery.

2014 will always be remembered for me as a rough year.  Both of my parents have been chronically ill for at least the past decade and there have been many ups and downs but in 2014 their lives started to spiral.  In the spring of 2014, my mom has hospitalized with pneumonia and incubated due to breathing complications with her COPD and thankfully surprised us all when she bounced back.  We truly thought we were going to lose her.  It took weeks in a hospital and a rehab facility and lots of support and prayer.  During these difficult months, my family was introduced to an amazing site called caringbridge.org (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Honoring my Dad’s birthday

drop in a bucket book
How lucky am I that my dad published his wisdom in this book!?! Click to order.

Growing up the month of June was all about my dad.  He was the only one in my immediate family with a June birthday and we celebrated Father’s day, too.  Needless to say, I’ve been thinking and talking about him a lot this week.  This August it will be a year since his passing so we have almost made it through all the ‘firsts’ without him.

Mimi & Pipi
Visiting my parent at their dream home in Amelia Island, FL.

We miss him

I know my mom misses him the most.  She is so lonely without him and her life has completely changed since he passed.  Within two weeks of his death, we had packed her up from their Florida condo and moved her into an assisted living six hours away so she could be near me and my three brothers.  So many new changes for my 77 year old mom in one year and she spends a majority of her time all alone which she hasn’t really ever done in her entire lifetime.  She went from her parent’s home, to nursing school, to marriage.  Mom and I talked this week about how we thought dad would want us to feel about Father’s Day and his birthday.  We knew he’d want us to be happy but also remember him.  He loved a bit of a fuss on his special days.  We both recognized that it is OK to miss him, shed a tear or two and then focus on what all we had with him…not what we no longer have.  Falling into a pit of depression definitely won’t bring him back and would just hurt those that we love still living around us.  My dad was too practical and productive to have us sit around in a dark pit. (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

How to lift your mood without a prescription

take care of you persc

The right song

For me music is a mood lifter. 

It just takes a minute to set the mood.  Usually when people talk about mood music they are referring to setting the mood for an elegant dinner party or an evening of romance.  But, mood music is so much more than just dinner and ‘dessert’.

The right song can shake lack of confidence, put some sparkle in a ho-hum routine, shine light in the remains of a tough day, ignite a happy memory and remind me what I have to be thankful for. (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

To be or not to be an anonymous blogger – that was the question

A7BC0083-BBC4-47BC-AB06-DF38057C0235

Blogging Anonymously

When I first started my blog in the spring of 2015, I was afraid to announce that I was the author.  I primarily wanted to stay behind the curtain because I wanted to feel complete freedom of speech which meant writing without offending anyone.  I really dislike confrontation.

I lasted about a month before coming out.  This secret was kept longer than I lasted when I lived in sin with my husband for now 19 years, Jason.  When I got my first job at Turner Broadcasting and moved into a one bedroom apartment in Vinings, I told my parents I was living solo.  I explained that Jason was giving me most of his furniture from his apartment because he was going to move in with his aunt to save money.  Jason and I moved in together and my soul turned blacker and blacker that week.  I made it to the next weekend and came clean with my parents at their house.  My dad told me the ultimate thing that always got to me: ‘I’m so disappointed in you, Elizabeth’.  My mom said something like ‘Why would he (meaning Jason) buy the cow when he could get the milk for free?’  Really mom?  It didn’t change our situation, we knew we were committed for life but we felt we were too young to get married.  We didn’t want to waste an extra rent when we could be banking that income for future plans.  We had an understood agreement that we would live together no more than a year before something more serious like an engagement would happen.  By the way, it took Jason just about a year to take the next step and then we had a yearlong engagement. (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

I’m unpacking my bags and refusing to take the guilt trip

wisdom-92901_1280I’m tough on myself and I hate to let others down.  Guilt is a common emotion for me – truly probably a daily occurrence.  You see, it’s impossible to make everyone happy in a world with so many competing priorities.  Just like an overstuffed sandwich, some wonderful initially desired ingredient is going to slip out and get left behind on the plate or the wrapper.  We can just fit only so much into our mouths or into our day.

For me, guilt flashes into my head, slithers down the back of my throat and wedges itself in my chest where it pressure cooks for a few minutes.  Sometimes it gets the best of me and I steam out a few tears but lately I’m practicing a lot of self-talk and can get that pesky guilt emotion to dwindle and sometimes even completely dissipate.  Deep down I do know that I’m doing enough – more than enough…probably too much! (more…)

Share the careShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone