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A New Year, A New Plan...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I spent two weeks caring form my 96 year old mother who was recovering from a fall in mid-December. Those weeks began Christmas afternoon after a very full flurry of activity here which included a move, hosting holiday dinner parties for Thanksgiving, a church group, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas brunch. We also had our son's family stay with us the week before Christmas so we had such fun with our two year old grand daughter who we rarely see in person. Photos and Skype are great, but just not the same as those precious hugs, giggles, and in person fun. We were so busy every day and evening that I was getting so very tired and looking forward to some down time between Christmas and New Year's. That didn't happen. While with my mom I also learned my brother, who is living with her since his recent divorce, is back in alcohol treatment (or so he claims, I'm not so sure as he is such a convincing liar), and managed to get himself fired right after I arrived. His employer gave him a great chance for help when he gave him paid time off to go to treatment. He didn't go and that was the end of that. He still leaves each morning and returns late at night perfectly willing to tell our mother about his day at work. I'm furious that he won't tell. He has cirrhosis and I don't know if there are also other health issues, but I am very concerned that he is depressed and heading towards an early grave. i want him to come clean with Mom and spend more of his time helping her until he finds another job, though I doubt he is looking.
Meanwhile, i've chosen to have joy in my life. Worry doesn't help me or those around me so I decide if there is something I can actually do to help and do it or if there is nothing I can do I let it go. I give the worry up to the Lord and find the joy in each day. My weight loss stopped and went in reverse a bit over the past few weeks, especially when I got home from my mom's house. Now I have more to lose again, though still a manageable amount, I think. Also, a friend and I will begin a program together this Friday - "Made to Crave". I'm praying that we will hold each other accountable and find success. She has a lot of weight to lose, me not, so much. I think she can be very successful and encouraged. I'm concerned for her health issues. I have MS and some other challenges and know that extra weight is bad for all of that. For her, she struggles with knee and other joint problems, high blood pressure and some other things. So, we anticipate great outcomes. I am so eager to begin. Hope all of you have gotten off to a great 2011. Each day is full of new opportunities to serve and to succeed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TELLITFORWARD 1/20/2011 11:25PM

  Yours is all to common, Barbara. Often it's the son (usually, but sometimes a daughter) living with an elderly mom who is an alcoholic or druggie. They lie, and moms believe them and if you say anything to the contrary, then you're the mean one.
We can only do as much as we can, and the most important thing is that you obviously honor your mom. One way you're doing it is to take charge of your health. God bless you. You'll not change your brother by anything you say. Give it to God and take care of you so you can help your mom.
Glad you got that in person time with your GRAND daughter.

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NURSNANA 1/18/2011 10:17PM

    Welcome Back Barbara!!

Sorry to hear about your brother. What a shame he can't get his act together & help your mom.
It is hard to give up alcohol when you are so addicted. What a sad waste of life.

I hope your new weight loss program is helpful to you and your friend! It is always nice to have a friend to share the journey with, and holding each other accountable is great!

I hope your mom is doing better now.

Take good care my friend!
Nancy



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MEADSBAY 1/18/2011 12:37PM

    Oh, my dear sweet Barbara.
You surely do have a lot going on in your life.
I am so sorry your brother is not helping with your mother and living a lie like that.
You are doing exactly the right thing by letting it go- he owns his choices- bad as they are.
Take care of yourself.
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Christmas Eve

Friday, December 24, 2010

It is early on Christmas Eve. I treasure the quiet as I await the sound of little feet and sweet voice of my two-year-old granddaughter, Emily, here with her parents for Christmas. It has been a wonderful week sharing our new little condo and the many sights and sounds of city life. Riding the light rail; walking about to shop, play or see the light displays; making a gingerbread house together; batting balloons around; holding hands; hugs; and all the rest have combined to make this a truly joyful time of life for me and for my sweet husband. We are so blessed. Our daughter's family lives in our home that is only about 40 minutes away so I also get to play with those three little ones. To have them all here this afternoon for a very special Christmas Eve dinner and again tomorrow for brunch and presents before I must fly out to care for my 96 y.o. mother will be such a joy. To remember that Jesus came for me and for all is the very best reason for celebration. My son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby in May. That, too is a great reminder of the blessing of new life. Her baby bump and the fatigue that overtakes her as the days wear on reminds me of Mary and how difficult it must have been for her to travel on the eve of her Son's birth. How could I ever ask for anything more than the many blessings already flowing into and through my life. Praise God. Have a beautiful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year everyone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 12/24/2010 4:10PM

    What an uplifting message- full of love and blessings- just like you!
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CAROLYNA10 12/24/2010 1:58PM

    I'll be thinking of you with your Mum. Stay calm - you have a great family and if you think about it, your Mum kind of started it, if you know what I mean.....
Have a Merry Christmas.
Carolyn emoticon

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SARAHTAIT 12/24/2010 9:50AM

    You are truly blessed. I am so happy that you are enjoying your family. Have a great Christmas and also a safe trip to visit your mom.
Hugs,
Sarah

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Magic and Misery

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I love this time of year. It certainly feels that there is magic in the air. This week my husband is home from work, our son's family - including 2-year-old Emily - is visiting for the first time in 13 months and my son-in-law closed his practice to join his family that is already here awaiting his return to start a critical care fellowship in the spring. I get to have all four little grandchildren snuggled in the center of my universe. It is so perfect, so joyful, so beautiful in every way. But, then my mom had a little fall. She didn't break anything, but it stressed her body (and mind). So after a few days in rehab she is chomping at the bit to go home. This means, however, that I must fly out to her and care for her for I don't know how long. I leave Christmas day. It breaks my heart to leave my little piece of heaven. It is really hard because throughout my life everything has been about my mother. She has never been available when we needed her, only when she wanted to give us a part of her time. She is 96 now and miserable. She was never a happy person and that makes me very sad. It will be hard to leave such joy here to listen day and night to her misery. Still, I have hope that she will yet find peace and joy. As long as there is life and breath I know the Lord can do His work. Perhaps this time there will be joy. I won't have a computer so it's goodbye to Spark for awhile. Hopefully, she will recover quickly and not need my ongoing help. Or, if ongoing help is needed perhaps my brothers and I can figure out a good solution for her. We want her to be happy and she is determined to stay in her own home. Such is life.
Blessings to all for a beautiful Christmas and a joyous New Year! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NURSNANA 12/22/2010 8:41PM

    Oh Barbara, I am so sorry to hear about your mom's fall. I had to do the same thing several times with my mom....pack up and leave to take care of her. We live in VA and she was way out in Missouri. And, my mom was a negative person too, maybe not so miserable. She expected a lot form me. I did my best to honor her, although it was difficult at times. So sorry you are having to fly off at such a special time with your family and especially your grandchildren. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hang on tight to your joy! You will be missed on Sparks! Hugs, Nancy

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TRIGFROST 12/22/2010 6:47PM

    Been there and done that...Just be yourself and you will find peace in your own heart...Merry emoticon

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MEADSBAY 12/22/2010 6:10PM

    This breaks my heart, Barbara.
One of my best friend's mother is like that, too.
Is there any way your brothers can help out NOW, rather than later?
Hook up with the rehab or elder services social worker and hire as much help as you can.
Take care of you.

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SEAGLASSQUEEN 12/22/2010 6:46AM

    I know how you feel.Bring the joy with you and refuse to let it go! Ignore her complaining and just nod and go to your place of joy.Get out and go for a walk or go to another room when it gets too much but refuse to let her bring you down.

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Checking off those tasks one item at a time

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I started this month with a long list of things that must get done before my son's family arrives Saturday. Well, little by little that list is dwindling. Christmas is wrapped and under the tree, in the mail and or hidden for Santa to deal with. The decorations are so festive and make me smile every day over and over and over again. I finally finished my youngest granddaughter's Christmas stocking - it's taken a year due to double vision and other battles that set me back, but thanks to a wonderful lighted magnifier I got it done last night. I've pretty much finished shopping for my granddaughter's birthday party which will be Saturday night. The holiday baking is about finished - still have decorating to do and a birthday cake to make. Then I'll continue cooking and baking as needed while guests are here. I've nearly finished a book I've been putting off reading for ages. I'll be ringing the Salvation Army bell later this morning as part of my National Exchange Club service. And so it goes. Little by little the weights are drifting off and I feel much lighter in so many ways. Unfortunately, the weight isn't moving just now. Too many tastes, too many get togethers, too much celebrating. Yet, I'm holding my own and that is a blessing for this joyous Christmas season. Hope you are holding your own today, too, maybe even losing some pounds and/or inches this season. Blessings.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYMOM8 12/16/2010 8:21PM

    You are one awsome lady! enjoy your Holiday! HUGS Pat

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CAROLYNA10 12/16/2010 1:57PM

    You're truly amazing - making the list and ticking things off is a great way to go. Next year I'll make the list in November and I won't be in the mad dash I'm in now!! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the family. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 12/16/2010 12:38PM

    emoticon

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MEADSBAY 12/16/2010 8:31AM

    You are such an inspiration to me, my friend.
Holding your own is success this time of year!
Thank you for ringing the bells- a thankless job, I know.
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FITMARY 12/16/2010 8:14AM

    Holding your own in this season? That's a triumph in my book!!!
Congratulations on getting everything ready too!
Have a wonderful Christmas!
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Alone Again

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Later today my husband has to head out of town for a few days. It's the first time since we moved two months ago that I'll be alone in the new condo. The anticipation feels strange. I don't like it very much when he's away, but it does give me a chance to plan my meals and activities just for me. I can make healthier choices and not fall to so many temptations. It is my hope that I can use these next four days to recharge my weight loss efforts and see that scale budge after being totally stuck for a week. I have so many projects that need doing and I hope I can complete at least a couple - finish my granddaughter's Christmas stocking and get Christmas cards ready to mail. We'll see. At least I have a plan. I brought my yoga mat up from our daughter's house today and I want to start using it . I will spend less time in front of the television and more time in prayer and study. I will begin to make a dent in that pile of reading. So many plans and good intentions. I wonder if I'll feel successful or a total failure by the time my husband is back home again? Time will tell.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARISSA81 12/5/2010 9:23AM

    I bet you'll feel a success! lol - I never really understood when women are sad because their husbands are out of town - my mom always LOVED when my dad left! Was happy to have some peace!

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MEADSBAY 12/5/2010 8:41AM

    I had grand plans for while my DH was away last month...big sigh...I enjoyed it but,alas, didn't accomplish much besides sleeping more and better.
I like the comment about actually planning out the time- like read 6-8.
Enjoy the respite.
LOVE the new Ziva pic- what a cutie pie!
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DIANE7786 12/5/2010 7:46AM

    I love my husband but I also value the time when he is out of town. There are so many options--all just for me! I accomplish more when I make appts for each activity, like reading from 6:00-8:00 each night. Otherwise I spend too much time going from one activity to another--because I can! Enjoy your time alone!

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BARBARACT 12/5/2010 7:44AM

    You have a plan...get to it! Don't even think about being a failure with your plans. Just do it and you will feel so much better!
It is hard sometimes to be alone, but I find if I have a plan and dive right in I do much better!

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26M8J7 12/5/2010 6:38AM

    It sounds like you have a very good plan. Much success!!!
Barbara emoticon

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ROX525 12/5/2010 4:49AM

    Just dig in... you will feel so much better! Have a great a successful week.

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