I went to a Caregivers’ Support Seminar last night. I went two weeks ago, also. I am not sure what I expect to get from the seminars. The “blurb” indicates that the purpose of this group is “to be an ongoing support group and a safe place to process the many facets of caregiving including …” Craig has been a little surprised … and I guess I have, too … at how easily I have accepted this role … both in my actions and in my mind. Let me recall the first few months here.
During the first months … January to mid- March … I was very emotional whenever I tried to talk about the past. Friends, Ann and Denny, called me often, and the conversation was difficult because I was so emotional. Then, toward the end of March, Denver and this place began to take over my emotions. Craig and Stephanie left for our Louisiana home the middle of April … the purpose being to bring back anything we wanted and to get the house ready to be sold.
The decision to sell the Louisiana home had been made and would not be changed. Before Craig left, he and I mentally went through the Louisiana home room by room, and I would indicate furniture or such that I wanted here in Denver. We had no room for large beds in this apartment; we had no reason for the Louisiana recliners in our apartment living room … we already had recliners in the apartment; dishes, clothes, kitchen things … nonsense to carry any of that to Denver. We either buy here, or we really do not need them. Conclusion … I have here in Denver one piece of furniture … and several paintings. The piece of furniture is a two – shelf small, glassed in cabinet in which I keep my buffalo collection. (See picture) And, I do have some of my collection of buffaloes here in the apartment. The rest are still at Craig’s. I also have my Hemmerling … “Palm Sunday”. Hemmerling is an artist who totally reflects the Cajun-Creole culture of Louisiana. (Again, see picture: My picture of a picture!!) I have my South Africa Rug … our souvenir from South Africa. See picture.) I have two Sarah Rogers, an artist from Wyoming, … her paintings have yet to find their places in our apartment. One is “Hot and Cold Buffaloes ” and the other is a beautiful representation of three occasions for flowers. I had a fantastic Sarah Rogers’ drawing of a native American … it is already in Craig’s home. That’s it!!! “It is what it is.”
Ruby took the entertainment center … one of my favorites … it it so good for me to know she has it. Michael … our lawncare person … took the mowers and other lawn equipment … good play!!! Craig contracted with the “Estate Center” in Hammond to take everything left in our house and garage and either sell it or give it away. We closed on the Louisiana house just a couple weeks ago. The Louisiana home and the Wisconsin home both belong to other people!!! And, I am quite content. I am not getting calls on repairs to the house; I am not getting calls on lawn care; I am not getting bills for gas, electricity, water, phones, insurance, pest control, trash, …
Pete and I have a lovely two bedroom apartment in which my paintings can be displayed — I love it!!! And … Pete is getting the care I have wanted him to have. One aspect of our moving to Denver that is as rewarding as possible is being close to Craig … we have gone from about two visits a year to about two visits a week. Craig is so supportive of my being here. He is my “Caregiver Support.” I can’t change the outcome of Pete’s fall — mostly mental changes. His legs had begun to weaken before his fall/stroke. The dementia is really tough for me … but it is not going to change. I keep pushing his physical rehabilitation. It is the only way Pete can increase his ability to get out of his wheelchair with minimal help. The admin here have decided that the staff should use the machine to get Pete in and out of bed. I discussed the machine in a previous essay : “… or we could do that.” We shall see how Pete’s physical abilities are affected by using the machine. “It is what it is.”
We have fallen into a acceptable pattern of living. I am probably void of concerns to discuss at the Caregiver’s Seminar. On the other hand, maybe the admin using that machine with Pete all the time will weigh on me. Is it what I thought our lives would be??? Of course not. Can we live this way. Of course. I really consider us fortunate to be in this assisted living complex. As Nancy says, “It is what it is.”