wings and things

Standing up straight

on April 26, 2012

The following is a copy/paste of an email I just send to myself and to Son in response to a phonecall from a beautiful relative who suggested we need a bit more routine with Husband in order to overcome the horrible rut the 3 of us seem to be in.

Son and I discussed things and he handwrote our new routine+rules and we shook hands in agreement because I have finally come to the point where bringing Husband home overnight is impossible due to the latest phase of his Parkinson’s.

Even though, as one of my friends pointed out to me on the phone last night, I am rather frighteningly, transparently, honestly ‘out there’ on the blog, there is a lot of in-between-the-lines/behind-the-scenes stuff I have not divulged, including those lost hours of staring-into-space inability to even wash the dishes…

So I am elated about this new plan and I am determined to make it work for Son’s sake.

New routine:

Monday – no visit

Tues – Dad home all day while Son at Music school

Wed – no visit

Thurs – Mum visit Dad for lunch at nursing lodge

Fri – no visit

Sat – Dad home for day

Sunday – optional visit Dad

New rules:

Dad can’t stay overnight here ever again

Mum to ring Dad at 11am and 7.30pm every day (instead of every couple of hours).

I think this is a great idea and I am not going to get sad about it because it beats the hell out of my random routine so far and it gives us all some predictability in the face of such unpredictability.

Son’s face lit up with relief when I agreed with him and he said, giving me a hug, “Mum, please let us be a team from now on – please!”

“Okay,” I said.

Poignancy is now in purgatory and pragmatism is my new friend because it always stands up straight.

So tonight, I rang Husband to tell him about the new routine but he just said, “I’m watching the news, Jules, can you ring a bit later?”

64 responses to “Standing up straight

  1. tootlepedal says:

    It looks good. I hope events allow you to stick to it at least for a bit. Nice legs.

  2. Your last sentence tells it all. You’ll be okay with the new plan.

  3. Your family is really good at having conversations. Hope the routine works out for you guys. Peace and blessings

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes, we’ve always been pretty honest with each other even when it hurts – I’m quite glad we do that instead of burying it all inside individual misery. Thank you so much for your wishes.

  4. Sonel says:

    Great routine plan hon and I know it will work out for all of you. 🙂
    Love those legs! Sexy! hehehehe
    Have a great weekend sweetie. 🙂

  5. Inspired advice and what looks like a sensible routine. Do hope you have the strength to stick to it and break the rules occasionally when necessary 😉

  6. Rhonda says:

    Me thinks you have pretty smart relatives! Hopefully, the Saturday’s at home will allow Son to continue developing memories with Dad that will last him through his life, and through the toughest times yet to come. Wish you all the best and tons of luck with new routine.
    And…the photo for standing up straight is inspired!

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks Rhonda – I wish I could remember if those legs were a peacock’s, a turkey’s or a chook’s – haha!

      • Rhonda says:

        That’s funny. haha is right! Which ever lovely owns those gams…good for her/him!

        Sidenote: My mother’s nickname is ‘chickie’ and it has some little thing to do with her legs. 🙂

      • jmgoyder says:

        I just realized that the white feathers in the photo proove that this is Angelina one of the white peahens – silly me – your mama sounds great!

      • Rhonda says:

        She is and lives up to her name in more ways than one! “Chick-ies” rule!! 🙂

      • jmgoyder says:

        Do you have a picture of her?

      • Rhonda says:

        I do…some old ones actually that may show her ‘legs’. she has not allowed photos of herself for the last quarter century, but I have managed to snag a couple. I have a Facebook page that is devoted to my family…have become the curator of all family photos and info so decided to put it online for the rest of them to enjoy. if you are able, I invite you to visit that page where you can see her in all her glory.
        Let me know and I’ll send you the link.

      • Rhonda says: that’s the url to our family page. it’s loaded with stuff but any time you see a reference to Deanna Chickie George…that’s her. I did a descendant page for each line of the original siblings….my line is NOTE #9 under the Notes Link. Easier to let you browse than try to direct as there is lots there. But you can also just go to my blog and look at the temp. photo page where I put a couple of photos.
        🙂 Rhonda

      • jmgoyder says:

        I got into the facebook site then my computer froze – I will try again in a bit because I am intrigued! We will need to ‘friend’ each other!

      • Rhonda says:

        definitely. I’ll send a request so it’ll be waiting for you.
        You are so nice!

      • jmgoyder says:

        OK will check out FB soon!

      • Rhonda says:

        Question….what time is it there? In other words…are you not sleeping??? (like me)

      • jmgoyder says:

        It’s 4pm in the afternoon here!

      • Rhonda says:

        ahhhh…well it’s 4am here. we are 1/2 a day apart. Well, at least that means you slept and that’s always a good thing. yes?

      • Rhonda says:

        I added a “temporary page” with a couple photos of Chickie if you’d care to view. Wish I had better ones, but this is good ol’ Mom.

  7. pixilated2 says:

    To the bulk of it: “WOW!”
    To that last line… 🙂
    PS: This really does sound reasonable, and I love the son’s request to be a team again, awesome!!!

  8. Judith Post says:

    Good for you! All of you. Your husband will adjust…and so will you. You’ll probably still have times when you gaze at nothing and can’t function, but that’s part of it. It’s a grieving process, but you have to get through it.

  9. camsgranny says:

    Sounds like a plan! It will get easier once you’ve established the routine. Hugs!

  10. cuhome says:

    This sounds like a great idea! Oh, and I just wanted to say that I HOPE you keep some things to yourself. Some things are just private, sacred, and best left held closely to the heart. Some things go on blog, some things to friends, some things to family, and some things ~ to your heart, only.

  11. sbcallahan says:

    funny I was just thinking last night how there are so many things that i do not share in the blog. when starting this thing it was going to be all honesty and yet there are some things that are not going to be said, shared with others.

    as a retired nurse and psychologist i must applaud you for coming to this conclusion. if you stick to the schedule all will be the better for it, especially husband. having consistency in our lives gives us a foundation.

    my youngest sister shared that she felt bad for having some fun with friends while visiting our mom who is dying of kidney failure. please remember you are not a bad wife or caregiver if you take care of yourself. under normal circumstances he would want you to have the time to “do the dishes.”

    it may be difficult to stick to the schedule but try to remember how much you will all benefit from it. my husband has bridge and poker scheduled each week and that is just his time. only a true emergency would warrant a change. as someone who is on the other end of things let me re-assure you i do not harbour any resentment when he leaves for his time.

    continued best wishes and prayers for peace of heart.

  12. Great idea! Routine always help to settle things down. But I think you’ll have to give your husband a written copy of it, so he stays in the loop.

    I’m thinking on creating menus for two weeks in a row and then repeat, so I don’t have to wonder what I’m supposed to cook for dinner every night. I’d change some of the ingredients but at least I’d know what’s coming.

  13. timzauto says:

    nice post ..hope things work out for the best ….

  14. I think those are my legs, thank you very much.
    The schedule is a good idea, I think.

  15. Julie, I commend you on your choices. I used to be a nursing director in nursing homes and sometimes families would burden themselves with so much guilt then try to assuage it my overcompensating. Eventually they would become resentful. You will know when and if you need to make any adjustments, but, trust me, it takes courage to set those kind of limitations and do what you know is right for everyone involved. Prayers coming your way. And, I love the photo.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thank you so much Victoria. Yes, it feels right to have made these new rules because it will enable us (Son and me) to get on with our lives but still have a lot of contact with Husband in a regular rather than haphazard way. I really appreciate your comment and your thoughts. Jx

  16. shoreacres says:

    One of the best books I’ve ever read – and which helped me cope with caring for mom all those years – is called “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No”. It’s by a fellow named Henry Cloud. Here’s just a random link. You might even be able to find some good reviews online, or excerpts from the book.

    I’m thinking even your son might find it interesting.

  17. magsx2 says:

    Sounds like a very good plan, and a lot easier to manage.
    I just love the photo of the legs, couldn’t help but smile, they do look funny. 🙂

  18. Tilly Bud says:

    Structure is vital when your life is in chaos. Glad you have a good relative 🙂

  19. bluebee says:

    Son sounds as if he is desperate to exert control over the situation by creating some sort of familiar routine, probably because he feels powerless and scared and extremely distressed about what is happening to his dad (and his mum) And he’s probably also trying to protect you and prevent you from knocking yourself out, but he can’t no matter what rules you create together – as you know, grief takes its course in very surprising ways.

  20. Robyn Lee says:

    Julie this is such a wonderful strategy. Because it is so carefully thought out and committed to this way, it lifts so much stress and angst from your entire family. Nobody will be disappointed or feel guilty now – and everyone’s expectations are clear. I love the way you composed this ~ once again injecting just a tad of lightness and humor into a pretty difficult task. I learn a lot from you!!! xo

    • jmgoyder says:

      And I am learning heaps from Son now that he and I have sat down and made these plans on paper.
      I am also learning from you by thinking about my own health (asthma always does this to me).
      How are you going and how is the pain?

      • Robyn Lee says:

        Thanks Julie… so glad you have a good plan with son and hubby. Me… flaring today but to be expected. Volume of fluid (and steroid) in the joints has to settle and maybe relief will come in a few more days. Yes – there is nothing more important than your overall health and wellbeing! I had to learn the hard way on this one!

      • jmgoyder says:

        I have other things to ask you but will put on your blog.

  21. Your list sounds ideal. I hope it works out. Typical a response for a H (call me later). lol

  22. “I’m watching the news, Jules, can you ring a bit later?”
    Excellent timing I’d say.

    Sweetie you have a very wise young man and he has great instincts. You have no clue what the right thing is through any of this, and neither does anyone else. If, and I say IF real loud, they have in fact lived it they still have not lived tour life .People who tend to criticize and give advice in circumstances like this have no call to be doing so.

    Jules you are doing the very best you can to hang on. I know there are times and there are things you don’t share. How could you? Even if you were so inclined, could find the time and energy whose watchful judgmental eyes are upon you?

    I have not been in your shoes but know I am going to be dealing with something similar. I suspect Alzheimer There were factors I’d not thought that much about when marrying an older man. But I’d do it all over again even knowing what I could be faced’ with.

    I cannot imagine doing this alone, and without my husband, but that is exactly what you have to face up to. Husband is here and yet he isn’t.

    You & son do this for each other, and Jules both of you please do it for your selves too

  23. Great post! Sometimes we just have to go ahead with our plans…

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