On birthdays, getting older, and being your parents’ advocate…

Today, this little lady is 87 years old.

Up until last week, she was able to live in her own home, with her husband of 57 years. That all changed when my stepfather, her husband, fell on February 27, broke his hip, and had to be transported to the hospital for a total hip repair.

You may remember I told you that in the past 5 years my mother has broken both her hips which resulted in subsequent stints in rehab. My stepfather, after surgery, was admitted to the same rehab nursing home she’d been in.

Since he was, effectively, her legs, her re-heater of food I cooked, did the washing up and the preparing, plus walked 3/4 of a mile to the mailbox and back each day, she couldn’t be left alone in her home without him or someone to help her out, no matter how much she said she didn’t need the help. She did.

By a miracle, or angels dancing together, or even all the planets aligning, I was able to get her admitted to the same nursing rehab facility as my father and yesterday, after a week in separate rooms, they were transferred to the same room.

Despite the few-day blip, they are back together again.

And this is where they will live out their days.

For the past week, I have had to cancel their lives – their independent lives. Their cable had to be discontinued, and disconnected, the box returned to the store. I had to get their taxes done. I had to first clean their home, then clean it out and get it ready for sale. By myself. No easy feat, and very time-consuming. I’ve had to become their Power of attorney so I could cancel credit cards, pay their bills, and attempt to sell their home.

I’ve always hated being an only child and never more so than this week.

But this isn’t a pity party for one, folks. This blog is about my mother. She’s 87 today and every day she wakes up, thanks God she is alive, and then says that she never thought she’d lived to see this age.

In all honesty, I didn’t either.

But… I am thankful she is reunited with the love of her life, is being cared for by an excellent staff 24/7, is eating well, and getting some much-needed physical rehab and mental stimulation. My stepfather is as well.

So if you have a moment free today, say a prayer for this little lady and then call your mother and tell her you love her. ~ Peg.



Filed under Writing

9 responses to “On birthdays, getting older, and being your parents’ advocate…

  1. Happy birthday to your mother. She’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy, Happy Birthday to her and God Bless her, your stepfather, and most of all YOU. It’s His blessing to put them together again, but the task you undertook is immense – I know, I did it alone too – but just as I realized when it was over, it will be so worth it for their peace of mind and they’re being together. You are their blessing. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand completely. I have just gone through a similar experience. My parents are 91 and 94 and up until a month ago were still living independently. I made meals which they reheated, but mom’s dementia is getting worse and dad was getting exhausted looking after her. So now they are in an assisted living place and being the only child – I had to clean and dispose of their belongings in the apartment. It is hard to go through someone’s memories and decide what should be kept. But the good side is, now they are being looked after. If there is a massive snowstorm, Dad won’t be driving in it. I don’t have to worry about them if the power goes off. If we go away for a vacation, they have a warm bed, 3 meals a day and people keeping an eye on them.


    • Peggy Jaeger

      Daryl, I know it’s a blessing, I really do. It’s just hard to accept that after working their whole lives and being independent, they now have to rely on others for everything. But my mother says they are happy so who am i to complain???


  4. This post speaks to me. My father died 13 years ago this year. My mother will be 84 in June. She is physically able-bodied but showing signs of cognitive decline. I have a lot of chronic health problems myself and my high-functioning autistic son needs my help as well, so moving in with her and becoming her caregiver isn’t an option.
    My family doesn’t communicate well. I wrote a long email to my brother yesterday and am hoping to get a response soon. My brother lives in Arizona and I live about 125 miles from my mother in Northeastern Colorado. I suggested to my brother that we suggest she move closer to me so my son and I can check on her more easily.
    It’s important to get these things worked out before a catastrophe happens. I applaud you for helping get your parents into a good situation where they have trained staff on hand to help them with their needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Thank you so much for the kind words and support. I feel for you with a sibling so far away and all your other responsibilities. It is almost like you are an only child at this point, too. It’s so hard. I vowed that I will not leave my daughter to make these difficult decisions but will lay everything out waaaaay beforehand to make sure she is well equipped with what to do if something needs to be done. God Bless you and I will pray for you and your family.


  5. What a beautiful post, Peggy — and what a beautiful woman your mom is.

    I’m so happy she and your step-dad can be together. Love is the most essential ingredient for survival.

    And hard as it is to do all the work, taking care of all the details of gettng them resettled in their new situation — you can know that you are a blessing.


    • Peggy Jaeger

      Thanks, Lisabet. It’s been a difficult 2 weeks but my mother says they are happy now and she is no longer worried about anything, so I have to take that to heart and feel all this has been a blessing in disguise.


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