Comments On Article: I Have Missed All Of You November Update
Dear Donna. Thank you for finding the strength to share of your and Charles life with us since you last wrote.
I would like to put my arm around your shoulder and walk with you to support you. I would like to sit at a table with Charles so he can speak of the grief he feels.
I can't do those things physically so please know you're both loved and cared for in my heart
It was such a relief and a joy to check your blog and find a post there.
I’m so very sorry for your loss, but you and Charles can take comfort in knowledge of the love and care you showed her in her last days.
Reading your posts is comforting and you’ve given us all a gift
Oh Donna, I am so sorry for all you and Charles have gone through. I have thought of you often and am so happy to see your post. As time goes by I am sure things will start getting back to normal. I hope all goes well with your doctors visits and that you and Charles can get back to living the way you had before. I'm sure the peace and tranquility will return.
I think you know that all of us were thinking of you and hoping all was going well in your corner of the world. I wanted to email, but knew how busy you were and didn't want to add to all that you had on your plate. I write this with tears in my eyes. When I started to read your post, I had the feeling that Madge had passed away. My deepest sympathy to you and Charles. I can understand all that you are going through. It is a shock when a loved one passes away, even when you know it is going to happen. It is still such a shock to our souls. Reading how Madge became reminded me of my Dad when I cared for him. Parkinson's and Dementia made everything so difficult.
Many people would think that the worst is over for you and Charles, but I know the worst has just begun. The grief is overwhelming at times and trying to get finances and property and all the legal stuff straightened out is so very hard. There are so many things that need to be done and you simply have no idea what all needs to be done. As you already know, the pain and grief last and last. My Dad will be gone 5 years at the end of December. But reading what you went through brought it all back like it was yesterday. I still take it one day at a time. Now I am caring for my Mom. Many days I don't think I can do this again, lose a parent, but God is still holding me up.
I will give you advice that you already know because I simply can't help myself. ;-)
Take care of yourself. Give yourself time and grace to grieve. Grieve as long as you need to. Call on God often. Know you and Charles are being prayed for, thought of and missed terribly. And most of all, know you are loved!!
P.S. It was so nice to see a post from you, despite the seriousness of what happened. You gave great advice, we all need to be productive in some way and keep busy with something. It keeps our brains and hands working. :-)
I'm so sorry for your loss and the difficult time you and Charles have had.
You are both wonderful to care for Madge yourselves. My mother passed in July this year after a battle with dementia, and I know being a fulltime carer can take its toll.
Look after yourself, and big hugs to you and Charles from Sydney, Australia.
I'm so very sorry for your loss. It is very hard, especially the way you had to go through it.
Seeing people change in that way is heart breaking. Not being able to talk to someone, or do the things that give you joy. I have been there too, I understand.
With your hospital appointments coming soon, I hope you will get good news. Take good care of yourself and Charles.
Sending lots of hugs from The Netherlands and I hope there will be little lights that will get you through this dark time. Lots of hearts for you.
Donna, I have been thinking about you so much. I keep your page open as a tab on my laptop. So I would check just in case (even though I have the email notifications)
I feared something dreadful had happened and suspected at the start of the post that it had involved Madge. I am so sorry for Charles and yourself. I feel the heartbreak in your post.
Go gently both of you when it comes to clearing Madge's house. And give my love to Charles.
Laura (from Scotland)
Thank you so much for posting an update. I was concerned about you. My sympathy to Charles and you for the loss of his mother. As you mentioned, many of us have done our best to accommodate our family as they reach the end stage of their life, and I have noticed how quite a few (both my family and my husbands) were quite cross and fussy. I now believe it is partly illness and partly frustration, but I know it is so hard when we try our best and are faced with anger and criticism. Alas, the next few months will be hard as you organize your life again and help clear out her things. All the best to you and Charles! And on a positive notice, your bunnies and their outfits bought a huge smile to me ;)
I am so sorry for your sadness. Marge was certainly blessed to have you and Charles care for her. So many are not fortunate enough to spend their final days at home. Praying for a good report from your doctor and for peace and strength to face the coming days. I have missed you so much
So glad you are back a little bit, gdonna. I am sorry to learn of your loved one's passing; it surely sounds as though you and Charles have been through it, of course no fault of your loved one. I wish I could be there to talk with you. My best to you both. You did all you could for Madge; and I am sure it helped her situation. My condolences to your husband's loss.
My thought and prayers are with you for your health condition as well. That raisin bread looked fine!
Oh Donna, it is good to hear from you but also sad to hear of the difficulties you have been struggling with. You should take heart that you did your best in caring for Madge and discount her inability to live with you and Charles and appreciate all your care and devotion.
I can imagine all the tangential details that you and Charles now have to deal with. Just remember that all of these things will take time and attention but they can be taken care of incrementally. A piece of advice I had once from a friend when facing what seemed an insurmountable number of things to take care of was "How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time!" Good advice I think.
Give yourself permission to take things slowly and methodically and eventually you will come out of the maze. Most important is to take care of yourself and Charles first of all----everything else can wait awhile.
I'll be thinking of you, as I know most of us here in bogland will, and hope that your return to normality comes quickly for you.
Take care. Love Victoria
Dear Donna, my sympathy for you and Charles. I'm sure many of you can relate to so many parts of your journey with Madge. I echo all that everyone said about taking your time to process and sort things out. I remember the flurry of activities when my mom was released from the hospital to hospice to come home. Like Madge, it was a short period until her funeral. I felt like I was carried on a tidal wave with no control whatsoever. And I clearly remember when that wave slammed me down. The pain. Be kind to yourselves and make sure you eat well, get plenty of rest and take any real help anyone offers. On that note, I think we should all be trained young by a lady like my mom's hospice nurse. She introduced herself to us, then my mom, and immediately got to work and made herself at home! My brain was so exhausted that I just sat and stared at the wall. Bless that angel's heart!!
The long silence had led me to think things were not going well.
I share your frustration in trying to get some doctors to just listen to you. You knew what you were seeing and you were right to continue to bring it up to them.
I've lost my parents already, and I remember well the day I automatically picked up the phone to call my mom to tell her about an award my teen had earned, only to suddenly remember that she wasn't there anymore. It really hurts.
I am the responsible person for my husband after his strokes, and could no longer keep him at home. Against both of our wishes, he is in a nursing home. The stress and distress certainly don't end with that move, however. I hope you both can find ways to release the pent up stress you surely must have as well as navigate the shock and grief. Prayers for peace for you.
Dear Grandma Donna,
I am so sorry for the loss that you are Charles have had. I lost both of my parents within the last two years and had been caring for my father's sister and she just passed last week. It is so hard dealing with those whose mind has been affected by age or disease. Like many have said, I so wish I could offer you a warm embrace and let you feel the love and admiration that I have for you and Charles. I knew something was wrong since we had not heard from you in such a long while. I have often wondered how you were and prayed for strength for you both. Take care of yourselves during this time and don't feel the need to rush through anything.
Sending love and sympathy
Dear Grandma Donna ~
I have been praying for you, and hoping that your health issues were not keeping you away from us. You were dearly missed. I understand the pain of losing parents, mine are both gone and it still feels like yesterday somedays. I remember walking through Sears a year after my Mom's passing, seeing a pretty nightgown and wondering if she'd like it for Christmas. I know what Charles meant about not being able to phone his mom.
Please know how much we all care for you, and take all the time you need to heal and care for each other. We will always be here waiting. Take care.
Another Donna xo
I am so sorry that you've had this very stressful time and I hope that you can now find some peace & tranquility. You were being so kind to help Madge.
I also wish you well in sorting out Madge's house and that you have positive, helpful news about your own health issues.
The ability to read about your life in America as well as the important advice you suggest is a great blessing in my life.
Kate in England
God Bless you and Charles for your caregiving. May God reward you. And God Bless Madge as well. I was surprised to read that she was Charles' mother, but immediately understood how you worked to care for her privacy. My elderly father is caring for his older sister, and, while not in the same household, it can be wearying to care for a loved one when little thanks are given or effort appreciated. It is often especially hard when the ailing person loses their home - often a part of one's identity, if they have made it that - and with it much freedom and had to move elsewhere for care or safety.
I look forward to your posts, as your voice is clear and gentle and refreshing in this world of ads, income-generating blogs, and shameless self-promotion.
oh Donna it is such a relief to see an update from you! But I am deeply sorry for the hard time and loss you have experienced. Caregiving is exhausting and that is multiplied tenfold when the patient is uncooperative and cranky. May God bless you and Charles as you are healing from the loss and intense weariness. As others have said above, please be patient with yourself. I know you are a lady who likes to have her space in order, but be kind to yourself now and let things go for a space of time. Only focus on the tasks that absolutely must be currently done and allow yourselves to get rest. I remember after my Mom died we slept for 12 hours straight for a few nights. And neither of us moved during those hours. You have been thru an exhausting time both physically and emotionally. You didn’t mention the cats but I know there are people in town who can help you find homes for them. Just because they were Madges doesn’t mean they must stay with you and Charles….and no doubt that has been your first inclination. But the reality is you must now turn to focusing on your needs. The two of you have much to face physically and emotionally ahead of you and you just may not be able to handle that extra load so don’t feel guilty if you simply can’t. Cat lovers adopt cats and love them and cats, in our experience, respond to that care.
I am so very glad to see your post and article! I have been worried that something had happened to you. What a time you have had. I wish you all good things, health and healing. It takes time I know. I always understood that we are here to help each other and you both have surely done just that. I remember looking after my mother in law years ago and it was so hard and upsetting when she turned against me. I did the best I could for her, as you have done. I am sure she now knows how wonderful you have been to her. Bless your heart for all you have done and all you do. I always take comfort from your articles. They add to my peace and happy life I now have.
First, I am so sorry to hear about Madge. Your patience and care for her was incredible. My sympathies for your loss. I am very excited to see a new post however! I've been checking and checking and here it is. Whew! You really have a full plate. I have reread older posts as they give me such a peace. Praying for whatever is in store for you, sympathies to Charles and terribly excited to see and read your post. I pray also that you find some peace and normalcy.
My condolences on Madge's passing.
You did not mention what's going to happen to her cats now. Are you and Charles keeping them? Can another family member take them in? Is there a no-kill rescue in your town? I hope they are safe, and don't end up in a regular kill shelter, poor kitties!
Grandma Donna wrote, thank you everyone for your condolences. To answer questions about the kitties. They are still with us and doing well. We have been gathering their veterinarian information trying to figure out their age. They were not kittens when Madge took them in and so we checked to see when they were spayed and neutered to help us solve the age questions. Gabby is the oldest and has health issues and we have determined that she is about fifteen to sixteen. Blue, also female is thirteen and doing well except her eyesight and Jess, our big boy is only five. They are all bonded and we have not decided what to do and we do not want to do anything at this time. Gabby will be the first one to go to the vet and when we called the vet that she was going to, they were actually surprised that Gabby was still alive because she had some serious health issues but made it through them after the last time they saw her. For now we are giving them the attention they need as they have been grieving and missing their mommy. They loved curling up in Madge's lap while she watched television in her recliner. They need time to adjust just like we do. Thank you for asking about the cats.
Oh Donna. I am so sorry you’ve been through all of this after having your own health to deal with also (both of you actually). We are a few years behind you but looking at some of the things you mentioned regarding elderly parents. I do understand dealing with everything after the passing and have dealt with that for loved ones. All I can say is take good care of yourself as the possessions are not on a schedule. If I were there, I would give you a big hug then maybe go outside and make a funny face at you through the kitchen window while you were doing dishes just to make you laugh. Laughing can actually help you breathe again. ????. May you both remember the smiles goodness.
Thank you for updating all of us here. I was worried that your health had worsened. I am so sorry for your loss. You and Charles have been in my thoughts. I lost my Mom 18 months ago after years of bad health. Your story about pushing food away brought back memories of when my Mom rejected my homemade chili and cornbread with a " No Thanks!" and demanded that I go to McDonlad's and get her a burger, french fries and Pepsi! She was in pain, so I forgave the grumpiness, but your experience was on another level altogether! You are a kind and patient soul. I love seeing your wise words and lovely homey photos. They bring me peace and contentment.... and something to strive for in this mixed up world we are lving in. Take care dear. Cynthia from Maryland
First, my condolences to Charles and you on the loss of his Mother and your Mother-in-law. She was fortunate to have the two of you in her life. Even though she was frustrated with everything, how much worse it would have been if she was alone. I think you went above and beyond, especially given your own health concerns. How sad that the doctor seemed to have a preset idea about Madge and couldn't be bothered to consider other possibilities.
Second, I am so sorry that you had so much turmoil in your home during a time when you needed peace and familiarity during your own recovery period. Although you have continued work to do with cleaning out Madge's house and settling her affairs, I hope that peace and comfort in your own home soon returns.
That being said...I am so glad to read an update! I have been re-reading, and enjoying, old posts. I love your cheery cherry curtains and the canisters too!
Donna, it is hard to hear of the loss you and Charles have experienced. You both are in my prayers. I want to thank you for all of your posts ( I started following you during your dirt study) but I thank you particularly for the posts revolving around your adjustments to having a family member move in with you during the end stages of life. My husband and I are in the midst of working on our home in order to bring his father to live with us. We have always intended to do this but this year has brought a level of urgency to the task. He's currently on his fourth hospitalization since May. Your patient, loving approach to the care of Charles' mother is truly my inspiration. It is not easy at all to have your entire life turned upside down especially in this day and age when so many of our elders are placed in nursing homes so that someone does the job. I know for many people there is no other option but for those of us who do bring an elder into our homes I thank you for demonstrating that with patience, love and prayer it can be done. I look forward to you future posts. May God bless you.
Diana from El Paso
Dear Donna, Thank you for letting us know what you have been going through. I am very sorry for your loss. It was beautiful how you cared for Madge, and made her last months the best they could be, even though it surely doesn’t feel like that to you. I have been in similar situation, and know how difficult it can be. I will pray for you both. The Lord gives grace and strength one day at a time just as we need it, and He is always ready to helo
Dear Grandma Donna and Charles,
I'm so sorry to read of the passing of 'Madge'. I think it's wonderful that you loved her so much, even though she didn't always sound like the easiest person to be around. I also think it's lovely that you were prepared to turn your own lives upside down to help family when needed, plus the cats !! :) You both have hearts of gold and your Christ like love shines through.
Blessings, prayers and love to you both ~ Linda
Thank you for your post. I have missed you and knew you were dealing with something that was taking all your attention too.
I am sending you every blessing - all the way across the skies from the south of NZ.
As you find your way back home I hope you will find many more rabbit blessings and also begin to enjoy recalling Madge in her best and most interesting moments.
Dear Donna, I was happy to read another lovely post from you, because I’d become a little worried about you. It must have been hard times to have been ill yourself and subsequently taking care of your mother in law. I hope you can rest a while now.
Take care and ‘hartelijke groeten’,
Mirjam from Holland
Hello Donna and Charles, I am sorry to hear of your mama, Madge, passing. I was relieved to see a post Donna, and I would like to feel it is of some comfort that the dr.'s did discover the serious issue of Madge's health before she passed, so as not to give either of you worries of what it was that brought on such drastic changes in her. I have thought of you since your last post, in prayer, that you, Donna, were not having serious problems. I will continue to keep you both in prayer. Being a care giver as well, it is a great daily challenge. Your adivce of how ones can help with soup and cornbread made me smile. It would be wonderful if the physical communities and people were as they were once so very long ago, but I do not see it. The new curtains, canisters, rabbits in their new clothing, all your touches bring such warmth and charm to your home and joy to my heart to see. Pace yourselves, God give you strength for the day and days ahead. Much love to you both.
It's so nice to hear from you, even though your brave post reveals the hard season you've just been through. You are so strong! May you and your sweet husband be blessed for your care of his mother.
My husband and I were caregivers for my elderly mother. Few folks who have not been caregivers understand just how hard this road can be. Especially when dementia robs your loved one of their original personality. Or magnifies the testy personality they already have.
Prayers for you both as you learn to navigate your new 'normal'. Time has helped us, and our faith makes every day seem more positive.
Love Never Fails, Patty D/Alabama
Oh, I am so sorry that you have had such a trying time with Madge, Grandma Donna. It must be a relief that she is no longer suffering. It sounded very stressful for you. People can get so difficult when they are older and dying. It was very challenging for me when my dad was at the end. This article was an excellent reminder to declutter, prepare, and keep the home clean. Thank you for writing it.
You did good and I hope Charles can find some comfort in the care that you both gave Madge. It's not uncommon for older people to just give up. Not really anything you can do. They've lost their curiosity. Medical care these days just is not very good. Things just don't turn out like you'd expect. But I am glad you were able to give her a nice place to live.
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