I’m Back

Well, here it is, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week again. It’s been almost a year since you have heard from me. Sorry about that. It was hard to find much time for me – or much to talk about – in the last year.

My mother went into a very rapid decline since my last post. My daughter and I tried very hard to keep her in her own home as long as possible. My daughter lived in her house and was there at night. I was with her in the daytime. She went from resisting the use of a walker to stuck in a wheelchair so fast!

After her big fall and hospital stay she went to a convalescent facility with the goal of using rehab to strengthen her enough that she could help us to move her in and out of bed, etc. she had become a dead weight, and neither of us could move her without help. She made progress for about 2 weeks. After that, one thing failed after another. She had constant urinary tract infections that would turn septic as soon as her course of antibiotics had ended. She was in and out of the hospital with problems with one organ after the other, and always lost ground no matter what was tried. Finally she couldn’t even wiggle her toes, she was so weak. We realized that her body was just done.

In the end, at the recommendation of both of her doctors, we entered her in hospice. It was a difficult decision. It was especially hard since one of my brothers wasn’t ready to accept the sad fact that she was dying. Hard enough to put someone into a hospice program when everyone agrees! I was the named person on the power of attorney, so in the end I had to go with what I knew her wishes had always been. It isn’t easy to be heavy handed when you are the baby sister! That was very stressful for me.

Mother passed away in hospice a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Another fight over funeral arrangement. Then more unpleasantness over all the accumulated belongings of my parents’ lives together. They had moved into that house in 1959, and when my father died in 2002 the only things my mother would part with were his clothes. Every door, every closet, every shelf had more accumulations and collections. My parents were children of the Depression, so they saved EVERYTHING. Neatly folded used wrapping paper, copies of tax returns from the 60s, 48 slide carousels and boxes of photographs, vases, teacups, cribbage boards, and every kind of cooking devise known to man. Walls of bookshelves full of books. Even a file cabinet full of every sewing, quilting, knitting, and crocheting pattern she had ever even contemplated making. I found tatting patterns – and Mom couldn’t tat!

The house stands empty now, except for Mala’s piano (which is waiting for piano movers) 3 bars tools and a large framed photograph of my father. He stares sternly down from his place on the living room wall, and seems to reproach us. You can almost hear him say “Where the devil is my stuff?” It’s kind of creepy. But it’s done.

So, now I must decide on a new chapter. What is Jan going to do now? Haven’t a clue. Monkey!

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