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Day 1674 - Family

Sunday, June 30, 2019

It's Pride weekend and I've been in Sacramento with my mom since Thursday evening. We've had a good visit, but it has been a stressful time for her, and it will be a while before it gets better. My dad was in the hospital from June 15-26 and is now in a rehab facility for the second time in 4 months. At the age of almost-88, his body is starting to wear down. He is having difficulty standing up from a sitting position, which makes any kind of movement difficult and sometimes painful. We talked yesterday about the possibility that he may spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He's ok with that, although not particularly excited.

Mom, who will be 85 in September, has trouble with mobility as well, but she can still get around with a walker. She's discovering her own inner strength, and that's been a good thing with her spending so much of this month (including the day of their 65th wedding anniversary, June 19) by herself.

My youngest sister Janet and her husband John have been touring assisted living facilities closer to where they live in Citrus Heights, a suburb on the northeast side of the county. We hope to have Mom and Dad moved into a new place by the end of August. I am incredibly grateful for Janet and John's willingness to take on the role of the primary overseer of Mom and Dad's living situation and overall care.

My younger sister Carol, who turns 60 on the 4th of July, had a mild heart attack this week and is also in the hospital. Carol seems to have drawn the "health-issues bad luck" card, but she's a strong fighter and we know that she'll get through this as well. Still, it was another thing for Mom to have to deal with emotionally, and that was a challenge. (We debated not telling Mom, but in the end felt that it was better that she knew about Carol's condition.)

[UPDATE 1:00PM - my sister's angiogram showed that she did not have a heart attack - the muscle has not been damaged. She has a narrowing of one of her cardiac blood vessels that may have trouble allowing a clot or plaque to pass easily, but it's not impossible. There doesn't appear to be any blockage. This was terrific news, and she should be able to go home tomorrow.]

I'm only sharing all this because I always appreciate prayers and thoughts, and if I'm not as present as I normally am, you'll know what. I think a lot of my summer weekends will be spent coming to Sacramento to check on the folks. I'm very blessed to still have both of them, I know, and they are still reasonably mentally aware for their age so our interactions are positive and good. Every day with them is worth its weight in gold.

I want to express my gratitude at having met my dear Spark friend Bobbi Anne (FLORIDASUN) and her husband Don in March 2018 at their home in Florida. I arrived at their consignment shop a little earlier than expected, and Don was there. We had a wonderful conversation about their business, their marriage, and their son Josh. He was a gentle man and a gentleman. I saw the love in his eyes when she returned to the shop from an errand. He finished his journey on earth way too early this past week, and he will be missed. I am blessed that I got to know him, even briefly.

Last night I spent a little time with some dear friends Katie & Peter (aka Kater) who are celebrating the upcoming arrival of a new son (aka KaterTot) in October. Our friend Jen hosted a party for them, and I got to see and hug a lot of people I haven't seen in a few years. It was a really happy evening. I get to be an uncle for another little one!

Enjoy your family - biological and logical - while you can. I know I am!
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  • JUNEAU2010
    My family tree is very splintered. Stepmother #1 was a treasure (though I didn't appreciate that when I met her as a teen!) She said, "Family is who you make it." She was far more my mother than my biological parent was. And I can say that about many people. I've been blessed to have had wonderful people in my life. An entire family is "my California family".

    I'm glad you know how precious this time is and how fortunate you are to have your family.

    Prayers uplifted for all of your family, for the caregivers and those extended family members, too.
    731 days ago
  • SPICY23
    emoticon Sympathy. It is hard letting go, but harder watching that slow-motion decline. Possibly the worst is watching the mind disappear while the body remains relatively strong and able to fight.

    emoticon Peace and Care
    748 days ago
    Oh my dear Steve...thank you so much for your sweet remembrances of my amazing hubby. I'm telling you losing him is the PITS...the absolute and TOTAL PITS. I rattle around this big ole' house at night so very lonely. I talk to him in my head and hope he hears me...I'm sure he does.

    I'm totally stressing over not being able to find someone to help me figure out how to get his pics out of the I-Phone into a folder or slide show I can plug into the flat screen TV at his Celebration of Life...I KNOW somehow it will's just a matter of not giving up and to keep reaching out. That is a good lesson for's terribly hard for me to ask for help..see...Don is still teaching me lessons...even now from the other side.

    I'll get it done...I want it to be nice for my sweetheart and I know this will make him happy.

    I'm praying for your parents and your sister. We are all getting older and we have to treasure our health and our relationships. I'm so proud of you for all you do to keep yourself are certainly a role model of mine! emoticon
    750 days ago
    You are such an amazing person. emoticon
    751 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Thank you for being there for Bobbi.

    I can totally relate to you with your parents. We do the best that we are able to do, we have the right motives, and we are rewarded a hundred-fold. Cherish your parents.

    I absolutely love "Kater-tot"!
    754 days ago

    While it is great that you mom can still get around using her walker it is still very hard to see your dad lose his physical ability to get around on his own I am sure. Hearing of your sister's heart issues would of been pretty scary. I am glad that she is okay and that there was no damage to her heart in the end. I will be saying a prayer for you, Steve and all of your family.

    My in laws that I love so very dearly and have really been the best examples of loving parents than I ever had as a child are now 86 years old. They can run circles around Duane and I maybe a little slower but they are still doing so well and I am extremely grateful for that. They tell us all the time that their earthly mission is not complete until our oldest children are gone. I am not sure about that as Melissa's health is pretty good her physical abilities are slowly declining and it is so hard to see since she is only 33 now. I really don't think that they will be with us that long but I am eternally grateful that they have been our primary support since having the older two kids. We would of not been able to do the job that we did raising the kiddos without them. Our kids spent so much time with them that they are/were extremely close to them. I know that Kurtis was welcomed by many of Duane's family that he knew and passed just a few years prior to his passing. My mom was there too and he was really close to her as well in different ways. They did some out of state traveling just the two of them about 10 years ago and it was a awesome experience for both of them. I treasure the time I did get to be with my mom before her passing we were close at times and then not so close at different times. Yet there was never a day that I didn't think of her. If you can and probably already to write down all of the things that you can remember while they are still here with you. I didn't do this and I kind of regret it now as the only things that stands out most is the last decade spent being a care giver to her while my step-dad worked. I am currently writing down memories of both my mother and Kurtis. Lots of memories are coming back and Melissa has found some partial journals that are all over my house. I am not good at consistency with the keeping up of an everyday journal. Sadly.

    I know that you speak fondly of both of your parents often. I have seen some of your pictures of your family. They all look like amazing people that would really pull together in any time of need. That is a true treasure and I would hold all of them close to your heart as you all are going through some challenging times right now.

    I was sad to see that Bobbi Anne's hubby had passed away. She has already loss their only child in 2006 and I am sure that she is going to be very lonely now that Don is gone to heaven and was reunited with Josh. She is such a sweet lady. It must of been great meeting both of them the same year we got to meet up with you and Steve. Good friends are really great to have for support and friendship.

    Congrats! at becoming an Uncle again to this new little one coming in October.

    Good news to add to your blog of family health issues. Hoping that all continues to go well with everyone. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.


    756 days ago
    756 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    Oh my dear friend, I am praying for you and happy you are filling your cup back up with the love of family and friends, biological and logical. So sorry to hear about Bobbi Anne's husband! I'll be keeping her in my prayers as well. I know the power of surrounding yourself with loving people, especially during the difficult times! I am still so grateful I was FINALLY able to give you a REAL hug during my recent stressful episode! Keep being you, keep having an attitude of gratitude, and keep taking care of yourself!

    Much Love to You Always!!!!
    757 days ago
    My mom just passed away this Spring at 96. It is hard watching the slow decline of people you love and to see a strong independent parent become frail. The only thing I can say is that having time to share and slowly say good by was a blessing. It takes everyone helping to relieve the stress. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    757 days ago
    I love that.... biological and logical!

    I'm so sorry for the struggles. I'm happy to hear people spending time with family, friends and in self care rather than regularly checking into social media. Life is all about balance and priorities. You are livin right my man!

    Good news on your sister. Continued health and wellness wishes going out to you and those important to you!

    757 days ago
    "Enjoy your family - biological and logical - while you can" absolutely! Hugs and prayers being sent your way!
    758 days ago
    Prayers for your Mom and Dad, and your sister. It's a hard transition, but sometimes it just has to be. Went thru that w/my parents. They lived with DH and I for 2 yrs. and I took care of them. Then Mom's behaviors got to a point (Alzheimer's) where it just wasn't safe. And Dad's memory declined, so they both went into memory care together. Can't say enough about the care they received, but I was a DAILY presence there. The staff was very nice.

    Wishing your family all the best and many prayers.
    759 days ago
    I am so glad to see you making the most of the time you had left with your family. Not everyone has this opportunity and I'm sure you know that. Two of my son's friends lost one or both parents early in life. I was a friend to one of their mothers and to both of their grandmothers. I had a lot of opportunity to be mother role model for them. One of them still calls me mom as he was 2 years old when he lost both parents. His grandmother is still alive and in her upper 90s. I saw her on Friday. She is an amazing woman who, after raising 5 of her own children, had to raise 4 of her grandchildren. This family has an unique understanding of how important family is. Bless you and your family. I hope you have many more happy years to share with each other. emoticon
    759 days ago
    I will pray for you and your family. Aging can be difficult. Your parents are fortunate to have kids who are making plans for their future.
    759 days ago
    Life is hard sometimes.. and it comes in cycles..We need to learn to enjoy every minute of everyday..for life is forever changing.. Life is meant i think to be lived in the present moment..not always easy for me to do.. ..I was with both my parents when they transitioned from life unto death.. and I would not trade those memories for anything..I will be praying for you all..
    759 days ago
    emoticon Life, with all its ups and down has a way of continually surprise us. Be well, all of you.
    759 days ago
    Sorry to hear about your dad's struggles and Carol's heart attack. Stay strong, and keep sparking!
    759 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    Life progresses along it’s bumpy path. I am sorry you must go through all of thisPlease know we are all sending you strength. You will surprise yourself. I did when my parents needed help. All the best to you all.
    759 days ago
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