Where do I begin?

While my parents did quite well at parenting, they excelled at consistency. I knew my boundaries, and I knew the repercussions if I didn’t respect those boundaries. I am quite certain I haven’t done nearly so well in that area. I am a work in progress.

I approach my blog with the same goal. I enjoy hearing from each of you as I strive to share our own journey. Sometimes the little things become big things. That is exactly what has happened. Little did I know a month ago what would transpire. For those reading my blog for the first time, bear with me as I get right to the point.

My son and I were attending a late-night movie in mid-December. It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people text or talk during a movie, and we had our phones silenced. During a quiet moment, around 10:30 p.m., I realized my phone was buzzing. I had multiple texts from my husband requesting I call him immediately. We raced out to the lobby, and the journey began.

The surface information at the ER suggested that my mother had a stomach virus that has been making the rounds in our area. As we approached 3:30 a.m. the ER doctor informed us that she would need surgery immediately. We had attributed a chronic stomach ache to diverticulitis. No one had caught that she had four hernias, two that were very severe.

Okay, so we have a few days in the hospital. I’m up to the challenge.

As I left her hospital room late one evening, a nurse suggested I should leave my phone by my bed ‘just in case’. This time the call came in at 3 a.m. She was bleeding internally from the surgery and needed a second surgery immediately to correct it. That’s when it all started to fall apart. We all got the same virus that triggered everything.

Chaos reigned.

People were busy planning their Christmas Day celebrations. We looked forward to a turkey dinner at the hospital cafeteria. All things considered, it was pretty good! My mom, however, was not recovering well. It seemed as though she was just giving up. The medical staff let us know the next step was a move to a rehab facility.

I was not emotionally prepared for the next step.

A nurse wheeled her down the hall as I because nauseated by the events unfolding before me. It is a great facility, don’t get me wrong. They have a fantastic, caring, attentive staff. Her nurse is exceptional. Her primary care physician is the medical director. I was having flashbacks to when my grandfather was in a nursing home, however. Waves of emotions and bad memories flooded over me. Suddenly I was ten years old again. It was if I was walking down the very hallway that led to his room. The distinct odor was missing, but otherwise it seemed to be a perfect replication of the place where he would eventually die. I bawled my eyes out all the way home.

Each day has seemed to go the same way. I call her in the morning and ask how she is. “I feel terrible’. ‘Why do you feel terrible? Are you in pain? Do you feel sick?” “I just hurt everywhere. I don’t know. I just don’t feel well.” Later in the day I show up to find her actively participating in her rehabilitation. It’s confusing, to say the least. I show her photos of her grandchildren every day. We play games. I sleep beside her.

I don’t know what the future holds.

So that is why I have not been responding to your kind comments. This is a way to say thank you, to say I appreciate you, and also to say one more thing.

Family comes first.

My dad regularly said, “Pick a few things and do them very well.”

I’m trying, Dad.

Phil 4.13

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34 thoughts on “Where do I begin?

  1. The Verdant Home January 7, 2013 at 11:58 am Reply

    I’m sorry life is so hard for you and your family right now. It sounds as if you are doing your best and you are acting from your highest values. Peace be with you and I’ll be praying for you and yours.

  2. javaj240 January 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm Reply

    It can be overwhelming and chaotic, dealing with this sort of crisis. My best to you.

    • Overwhelmed By Joy January 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm Reply

      Thank you. I’m trying to live by the acronym KISS. Keep it simple, stupid! Blunt, but it has been working for me!

  3. wisdomfromafather January 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm Reply

    I understand where you are right now. All you can do is the best you can do. My father spent the last five years of his life in a nursing home and died last summer. I tried to see him every day and and invariably when I would ask him how he felt when I got there, he would say “Lousy,” but when I would press him, he never had any specific aches or pains … he just felt “lousy.” The day after I had to place him on hospice care, I went to visit him. He wasn’t in his room and my heart sank. I rushed to the nurse’s station to find out what happened and was told he was in the activity room. There he was, actively participating. It was difficult seeing this independent, strong man reduced to dependence and a wheelchair. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Cherish the memories … from the past and the present. And look forward to the future.

    • Overwhelmed By Joy January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm Reply

      Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. It is difficult to see the decline, isn’t it? I appreciate your prayers greatly. I am very fortunate to give back to my mother after she spent so many years investing in me. I pray you have a wonderful year ahead. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. cythereandreams January 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm Reply

    My prayers are with you and your family through this difficult time.

  5. inspire1life January 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Take comfort in the knowledge that you are doing your best and are there for her. Watching the declining health of our parents is so very difficult and nothing seems to ease the pain. My prayers are with you, your mom and your family.

  6. Steven S. Walsky January 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm Reply

    My prayers for you and your family need only be answered by you through the love and support you are providing for your family. Steve

  7. writerwannabe763 January 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm Reply

    This is a tough time …I remember only too well when my mother needed to go into care in a nursing home…Her health had deteriorate gradually due to brain surgery…We tried to keep her home as long as we could but the time came for more care.
    It’s understandable that you need to give her special attention right now…Take care… That scripture is one that I have and do repeat often …Diane

    • Overwhelmed By Joy January 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm Reply

      It is a very difficult decision to make, isn’t it? I am thankful that the final decision is not in my hands, but the physician’s, being honest.

  8. purplepug13 January 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm Reply

    Having been in your situation four times (both of our parents), I know how difficult these days are for you. We were blessed that with my husbands mother we were able to keep her at home, even though she had no knowledge she was there. Nursing homes are difficult, my only advice is be very vigilant, especially with the 3rd shift. God bless, you will get through this by leaning on Him.

    • Overwhelmed By Joy January 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and input. You are so right, our strength lies solely in Him.

  9. fayeforever21 January 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm Reply

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I too have had to deal with hospitals and nursing homes with my mother. But know that God will give you grace for the journey, peace for the storms, and strength to hold you up. Our God is an awesome God. Continue to lean on Him and I believe you will get through it all.

    • Overwhelmed By Joy January 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for those encouraging words. Yes, our hope and faith are found in Him alone. I’m so thankful for that!

      • fayeforever21 January 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        You are so very welcome. May God continue bless and keep you always.

  10. lifeonwry.com January 8, 2013 at 9:26 am Reply

    Vivid post. Sending you peace.

  11. sagescenery January 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm Reply

    I soooo missed your blogs…I’m just getting a moment to read them, but I knew something was amiss when I didn’t see you posting almost every day!!
    Take a deep breath and pray…”I trust you, Lord…no matter what!!”
    He’ll take you through the “no matter what” part! I’ll be praying…

    • sagescenery April 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm Reply

      I haven’t gotten any recent posts from you…are you still blogging?????
      Praying all is well…I’ll keep praying….

      • Overwhelmed By Joy June 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm

        Thank you so much! I was finally able to update.

  12. transformedbythejourney January 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm Reply

    I am so sorry for all you are going through this profoundly difficult season of uncertainty. I pray your mother experiences physical comfort and supernatural calm. I pray you and your family experience deep abiding peace when the waves threaten to consume you. Enjoy the time you have with her, maybe share the things you’ve always wanted to say. Sometimes, I use to simply hold my mother’s hand, kiss her sweet face and sit in silence just being with her. May you find rest for your mind, heart, body, soul and spirit and know that many people are praying for you. (PS – I attempted to post a comment the day you published but several times I received an error message telling me I wasn’t “permitted to”.

  13. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman January 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm Reply

    prayers and hugs…

  14. flamidwyfe January 12, 2013 at 8:00 am Reply

    Sending warm hugs and prayers your way xoxo

  15. yomicfit January 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm Reply

    Congratulations! I love your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. yomicfit.wordpress.com
    That being said, I will not be offended if you don’t want to follow the rules :)
    I just hope to share your blog with others.
    Michelle

  16. Melissmor January 26, 2013 at 7:34 am Reply

    I DEFINITELY wish you continued support and God’s Richest Blessings through and through. You are correct, through Christ – the best and almost seemingly impossible is 100% possible and He will hold your hand and walk you through it. Before you know it, things will unravel beautifully right before your eyes and His blessings, which is already flowing, will deliver your mom and lead her back to health.

    I love that you admit Family comes First – they do and it is so important that we be their support in their time of need. While God has informed us we go through seasons – I KNOW deep down, your season of happiness is close-by! God’s RICHEST blessings be upon you, your mom and the rest of your loving family.

    • Overwhelmed By Joy June 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm Reply

      Thank you so much!

      • Melissmor June 16, 2013 at 6:27 am

        You are most welcome, the challenges come hard and fast, but our love for each other combat it. Be blessed my sister.

  17. stephen January 29, 2013 at 10:41 am Reply

    thank you for so candidly sharing your story. i’ve never had to deal with that sort of situation (yet), so your post was a wake up call to pay attention.

  18. God is Good March 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm Reply

    I release Peace to you and your family!
    Blessings, God is Good!

  19. Transformed By The Journey May 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm Reply

    I’ve nominated you for a blogger award! Check it out here: http://transformedbythejourney.com/2013/05/07/my-wordpress-family-2/

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