“Tarnishment”

There are different stages in life, we all know that. We are born, grow into adulthood, have families of our own, who grow and leave home. We then transition to our parents as they get older, are less able to do things as they used to. We went from the joy of bringing life into the world, to watching it leave. I don’t mean to sound morbid here, but as I am in the midst of helping my 93-year-old mother move into long-term care and apply for Medicaid, this is where my head is.

This process sucks, plain and simple. As we all live longer, there is now a stage after Retirement. Those years after work, spending time traveling, move to Florida and enjoy the sunshine (not my idea of the best retirement plan, but it is to many). But now there is another stage we have dubbed “Tarnishment”. This is when the body/mind deteriorates, and the fun of retirement is gone. Sadly, this pertains to so many people in my life that I care about.

The way things are set up is a double-edged sword. Security is tight, doing things like change direct deposits is complicated. I appreciate that, but then it does make it hard to get it done. Medicaid has a tight timeline, and meeting that can be difficult. We hired an attorney, but there is still so much we have to do. Then there is her home, this time she can’t sort, pack, or pitch as she sees fit. Which she was able to do so many times in her life. These decisions are now mine and making them is so very difficult. All I can say is be warned, educate yourself before you need to. And most important, be involved with your parents in their later years. This process would have been so much harder if we weren’t.

 

I Believe In You

I felt the need to write this morning. I felt the need to share.

Do me a favor, play this song. Read the words – let them sink in – ACT

“You Say” by Lauren Daigle

Many years ago, when I was a mere 15 years old, I made a friend. She and I had some things very much in common, but in other areas we were so very different. Our friendship continued to grow through ups and downs in both our lives. She became the mother of four beautiful boys. My house filled up with five of my own, four girls and one boy.

A cross-stitch I made at the birth of her twin boys, Brandon and Travis.

For me, the biggest moment we shared was when our Trina passed away. My dear friend was there for the memorial, she captured the special moment as the two balloons flew away, Trina joined by her cousin Kyle (who had passed just two weeks earlier). That was 1994 – fast forward to 2019 –

We haven’t spoken in years, but often thought of each other. Our Mother’s were friends and occasionally we got news through them. Our lives had gone two completely different directions. We moved on but were never forgotten.

Then one day, April 12, 2019 to be precise, I was sorting through a box and found some photos; my dear friend and her four boys. Christmas cards from years gone by; memories came flooding back. Where was she, why was she so in my mind?

I turned to Facebook. I knew she had remarried, so decided to search for her sons. Jackpot! The first one I searched had recently married, and there she was in one of the wedding pictures. I found her, we messaged back-and-forth, and reconnected. All the years melted away.

Two Peas in a Pod, sitting with the Wild Child.

In all those years we were happily settled in the back of each other’s minds, life moved on. With the culmination of the loss of her twin boys. Both serving this country, both gone. Travis Feb 24, 2017 and Brandon August 26, 2018.

She made a Facebook post today; the one-year anniversary of Brandon’s death. She included the song I linked above. She wrote beautifully, emotions raw, quoting this song that has become a prayer to her. Keeping her strong, moving forward, becoming an inspiration to so many others. Jaye Lene, today you are my Hero.

Be Kind, Be There, Believe

#HonorRemember