I slept on this topic last night. I let it sit all day in my mind. I’ve decided it’s my blog, my diary, I’ll write what I need to.
See as more and more people read my blog, some people who gravitate here are family. I’ve been more and more careful about what I post because I don’t want to hurt anyone. There was a point where the only person who knew me in real life AND read my blog was my mom. I didn’t censor myself so much. This is where I could work out my thoughts. It’s what I do. I write.
I keep this so that eventually I can print out my blog into a book. A running commentary of our lives. Something to cherish when I am gone.
You know what? Life isn’t all ice cream and sprinkles. There are bad things that happen. I need to write about a situation that has me in turmoil. I spent hours crying yesterday. My heart was completely broken.
It started with my aunts and uncles deciding to move my grandmother into an assisted living center. I know this wasn’t an easy decision for them. And to be honest, I was excited. This put my grandma in the next town over from me, not 40 minutes away. I would be able to drop the kids off at school and easily go spend time with grandma, not worrying about being back on time or about whether the school would call with a sick kid. I could be back in 10 minutes.
The first time I visited her, she wasn’t happy.
Then she started calling my parents at all hours of the day begging them to take her home. She is completely and totally miserable.
Friday I went over with my mom and I told grandma that I was praying for God’s will, whether it be peace to accept the assisted living center or doors to open for her to move back home.
She was so upset because my aunts and uncles told her they were going to sell her house.
There are 10 living children on that side of my family, my uncle died a few years ago.
My mom and I told her that we would look into other options and see if there was anyway at all she could be at home.
I realize that my grandma has fallen. I realize she has taken her pills to often. I realize that she can’t see very well because of macular degeneration.
I have never said that she should move home alone, nor have I judged my aunts and uncles for moving her.
There is the option of 24/7 nursing care. It all depends on what Medicaid/Medicare will cover. Maybe it won’t cover anything, but at least we tried.
Yesterday I was on Facebook and noticed one of my aunts going back and forth with one of her friends about how my grandma was acting like a kid, how she was being so difficult. I would not have said one thing if I hadn’t seen that. I’m just a grandchild. I have no legal right to make any decisions regarding my grandma’s care. That said, if you want to complain about my grandma’s behavior? Fine. Do it between yourselves, in private, not on Facebook. I felt it was time for someone to stand up for my grandma.
I think I touched a nerve because the crap hit the fan.
One of my aunts came on defending my other aunt’s position. My aunt who made the comment about my grandma being childish came back and said how hard it was to deal with this and anyone who hasn’t been through this doesn’t have a clue.
My mom told me not to respond.
I’m afraid I did.
I said that I had watched and went through this with my other grandpa. He was moved a few times and at the last place he didn’t get the care he should have. (When you are putting someone’s TED hose on and off daily, you should notice an infection setting in before it turns to gangrene and requires surgery. He had the surgery and shortly after that he died.) I said I don’t want to watch that happen to my grandma.
Know what my aunt said to that?
Well Heather, maybe that’s what you should just be doing. Watching.
I just said I watched my other grandpa die and you told me I should just be doing the same with my grandma?????
Then the messages started rolling in.
I was told I (and my mom?) was/are sabotaging my grandma, stirring the pot, ridiculous, making people furious, etc etc etc. Cousins and aunts coming at me for what I prayed for and shared with my grandma and for defending her.
My aunt said it’s a proven fact that elderly people revert back to childlike behavior.
Does that make her any less your mother, any less deserving of your respect?
Let me tell you how important respect is.
My grandpa didn’t know who I was when I would call down and talk to him toward the end. When we got there he was unresponsive and hadn’t been eating or drinking.
I watched the nurses talk to him like a baby trying to get some pudding down him, or to wet his mouth down with a water soaked sponge. He wouldn’t open his mouth.
I got tired of the baby talk. This is a man who raised 4 children, who drove a tank in WW2, who worked on trains his entire life, who didn’t deserve to be treated as an infant.
I grabbed his pudding and the sponge. I talked to him like I always have, as my grandfather, a man deserving of my utmost respect, a man who I loved and cherished more than almost anyone else in my life.
He ate for me. He let me wet his mouth down. He listened.
That is how important respect is.
For those of you who work with the elderly, please remember these are not babies you are taking care of. These are adults who have worked hard their entire lives, who deserve dignity. I worked in a nursing home and I was honestly disgusted with a lot of the treatment that I saw the greatest generation receiving. I vowed at that point my parents would never be put in one.
I thought it was because I am a grandchild, I see my grandma differently than her kids do. I don’t think that now after having a cousin attacking me too.
Maybe it’s because my parents raised me to respect my elders no matter what stage of life they are in.
I don’t know, but my grandma is not a child and does not need to be talked about (or to) as if she is one.
So, my crimes are as listed:
1) Praying with my grandma for God’s will and not ours.
2) Standing up for my grandma when I felt she was being disrespected.
My dad got emails regarding my behavior last night. 37 and my parents are still getting notes about me being bad.
Children should be seen and not heard, even if that child has 4 of her own and hit legal age 19 years ago.
After all of the comments and messages, I have deleted everyone from that side off of my Facebook. Certain members have been blocked. I don’t need the attacks. If you didn’t do anything, say anything to me, you weren’t blocked, we just aren’t friends right now. I cannot emotionally take anymore right now and I don’t know who else feels like coming at me with both barrels blazing.
Don’t tell me to push my grandma towards Jesus when you are also telling me that I can only ask for grandma’s acceptance of your will. I don’t care what your will is. I want to know what God’s path is for my grandma.
If she is supposed to be where she is now, awesome? Please God, let her be peaceful about it.
If she should be at home? Great! God, let those doors open so she can be there safely and then let one of the siblings be willing to look at those options. That is crucial because I have been told that they aren’t willing to look at any other options.
And God, if it ever comes time when it is unsafe for my parents to be living at home, let my siblings and I be arguing over who GETS to take care of them, who they will be living with. Let all of us want to take care of them. I know it will be hard, but raising me and my siblings certainly wasn’t easy, and there are only 4 of us. Let us be willing to do what it takes so that my parents spend their time happy and laughing and not crying. I couldn’t live with myself if they were unhappy.