Essays on LBD Caregiving

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Our daughter is getting married!  We are moving into a season of major changes in our family, and it is good. I get to be an instant grandma because her fiancé has an eight-year-old son. I made a treasure hunt for him when they visited us here in Ohio from Kansas, and I got a big hug for it!

I keep trying to hang on to the goodness in life – keep trying to focus on the hope. Still, it seems I’m on a leash that will let me go only so far toward equanimity before I am jerked back to my reality and the grief of struggle.

Someone asked me if I had made any New Year’s resolutions. I laughed, surprised that it hadn’t even occurred to me. Maybe, I thought, it is because it is all I can do to stay focused on my intentions.

My Christmas list is short. Things, it seems, are what I have too much of. I can’t keep track of all mine, all his, and all ours. I am trying, not very successfully, to pare down the number of things that need organizing, dusting, fixing, storing, filing, displaying, accounting for, or maintaining. So, beyond my short list of things, my Christmas list is this:

I went into labor on Halloween night 1971. While we awaited the birth of our first child, Chuck and I joked that the baby might be born a tiny hobgoblin or witch.

Several years ago I went to an auto supply store and asked if I could buy the kind of paper mats that mechanics leave in your car. They sold me a pack of two hundred, and I began using them in place of rugs on the bathroom floors. They make accidents easy to spot, working as blotters that make cleanup easier. Since they are disposable I am not constantly washing rugs.

This morning I am feeling the weather. Or is it reality that floods over me and wants to pull me under?

When I give Nelson a haircut or wash his hair in the shower, he cannot keep his head upright. So I am constantly pushing against his forehead to move him into an erect position.