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Friday, September 17, 2010

Picking Up The Pieces

Where do you start ?
Where do you go ?
What do you do ?
How do you even begin living again and take that first step into the land of the living.

It seems so strange to me to be alone

When I was young I had my mother and father and my 3 brothers with me just about 24 hours a day.Plus my father's huge family always around the corner .

Then later in my life I got married left my parents home to enter my own home with my brand spanking new husband which I just adored, he lived for me and I for him.
Our favorite song was by the Turtles called So Happy Together and it was so appropriate

Forward now 39 years later here I am alone, its not fair to say that in a way, some of you know that my mother in law lives with me but she has alzheimers,and in a matter of speaking I am alone I am in the process of trying to place her in a nursing home.

John and I did the caregiving together and it worked she has lived with us 10 years,but now I am alone for her care........... its just too much for me.
Guilt trip ........ oh yes very much so. But it is still just too much for me alone.
Its eating away at me bit by bit.

What I want to do is take a few classes in the art of painting, water color, oil and acrylic that would be my heaven right now.My soul needs soothing and throwing myself into something creative would be bliss .
Can I take those classes right now ? No........ I can't leave her that long.........
But I can dabble on my own and I will at least I can do that for myself

IS life fair ...........NO its not fair but I must go on and pick up the pieces and keep on living.


Oklahoma Granny said...

Although I've never been a caregiver I do know others who have and it is not easy, especially when you are the only one. Although some might think a nursing home is a bad thing, the homes are much nicer than they were years ago and I believe it would be a blessing to your mother-in-law and you too. I'll be praying for you.

Dolores said...

Oh Diane, you've been on my mind so much. You're going through so much with the sudden changes taking place in your life ... and the overwhelming loneliness as you miss your dear husband.

I was hoping your mother in law was in a nursing home by now. I hope a place can be found for her soon. I wish you didn't feel guilty about this situation. You don't need this added responsibility and stress....

Painting will be wonderful! Being creative will be therapeutic for you and fun too.

You're in my prayers.


Hi Diane..
I am so glad to hear you are putting out some Fall stuff..that all helps and also I was thinking your crafts will help fill your time and the void --so glad you posted this --''take a few classes in the art of painting, water color, oil and acrylic--
.......''that is a great idea'' (:)
thanks on my stuff (:)
big hugs,Patty

Brenda Kula said...

Yes, Diane, he would certainly want you to do that. He didn't choose to leave you alone with her, though it still isn't fair. Dabble, explore new avenues of interest, plan gardens, take photos. But put one foot in front of the other and keep going, just as you have been doing. We are all here for you, certainly. As a late friend of mine told me many times over the years: Just tie another knot in your rope and hang on for dear life.
Hugs, Brenda

Anonymous said...

One foot in front of the other. Easy to say, hard to do sometimes. Being a caregiver on top of the trauma and grief you are experiencing is a lot to bear. You've given your home to the mother of your sweet husband for the last ten years. He wouldn't have wanted this situation for you now. I can't offer you advice. But I can pray that God will direct you and help you make the decision that you are so dreading.


Piecefulafternoon said...

One should never have to feel guilty for choosing a nursing home for a loved one. It is an act of love, of giving them the very best you can, when you no longer can deal with the duties yourself. You are doing the best thing for your MIL - giving her the care that your dear husband would have wanted for her.

Please do dabble in the crafts again as you can find the time - and give yourself a pat on the back for doing all you could for your MIL, and for giving her now the place that she needs. My best to you and her at this difficult time.

Needled Mom said...

Don't ever feel guilty about not being able to take on the role of a full time caregiver. It is so much more difficult than people think. At this point I am sure it is hard enough to just get up and face each day, Diane. Please know that I am still praying for you.

Deb said...

It would be extremely difficult for one person to care for an Alzheimers patient competently. You are doing what is best for her and, while it is so easy to say and so hard to live, you should have no guilt. If you needed to take her to the hospital for a broken leg or arm, you wouldn't feel guilt, just relief that you were able to find help. This is the same.

One second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time you will find a new normal that you can abide. And it sounds like it will be a "normal" that is filled with industry and beauty through your painting. You are an inspiration!

PEACHES said...

Oh Diane, I just popped by to see your blog after you commented on I am, tears rolling down my face just thinking about all you have on your plate right now. I cannot imagine the weight of it all. It's more than anyone should face alone.
I hope you get a chance to get your toosh in an art class ASAP. In the meantime.......if you get a chance to read "The Artist's Way" I highly recommend it. It's hard to describe, but it's an easy read and very helpful for people who find catharsis in creative activities. It's almost like a series of self instructed art therapy sessions. That probably sounds new agey...I'm not describing it well. In anycase, if you want a copy I would be more than happy to send you mine --it has served me well in troubled times and I would love to pay it forward. Just send a shout

OK, enough book rambling...just wanted to reach out a friendly hand. Y'all will be on my heart :)

Lib said...

Caregiving takes a tole on you!!!!!
We're caretaking my M-I-L with Alz. if someone hasnt walked in our shoes they dont realize how tiring it can be!
I hope soon you can get to classes!
My prayers are with you!

BetteJo said...

Oh Diane, just knowing you need to move forward with your life is a big step in itself. Don't rush yourself and please don't be hard on yourself. You get to take care of yourself now. Please DO try some painting or something else creative. I'm sure it will be very helpful to find something to lose yourself in for a while.

Julie Harward said...

It is these trials that shape us for eternity...I know it feels like they will break us but you will get it all figured out. Don't feel guilty, it happens, thank goodness their mind is gone...don't feel guilty! Just go forward...:D

Lois Evensen said...

Diane, I know how you feel about your mother-in-law. With my daughter's help, I cared for my father in my home for the last years of his life. He, too, lost track of what was going on around him, and needed care that compared to that of an infant, but always was loved and loving. If I hadn't had my daughter to help and nursing service at night so we could sleep, I couldn't have done it alone. You are wonderful to have cared for your mother-in-law and can continue to do so by visiting her where she can get full care. Please don't feel guilty for doing what you have decided is what you must do for all involved. You are a wonderful lady.

I have not lost a spouse so can't possibly know that pain, but know I would be devastated to lose My Honey. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Life and friends are wonderful. I hope you can enjoy both.

Hugs and love,

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Honey I am so very very sorry to read this post about the loss of your husband and the pain your going through.
I wish I had known. I think of you often wondering how your doing but I had no idea this had happened to you.
Of course the pain is so hard for you and do like Brenda said in her comment. Just hang on my sweet friend and call or write me anytime.
Just please forgive me for not being there for you. I am so sorry that I just found out tonight.
You have no choice honey but to put her in a home. It is the best thing for both of you.
My dear cousin had to put his wife in one because he could no longer care for her and everyone understands because there is a point when one person can not do it any longer.
You have been an angel all these years doing it so now you need to take care of you.
Please when you need a friend write me
Once again I am so sorry this has happened to you and the pain your going through I know is so hard but we are all here for you and I will of course pray for you and your mother in law


oh good girl Diane (:)
post some pic of your
stuff soon ~

SmilingSally said...

No, Diane, life is NOT fair, but God IS love.

Johnny and I have had the horrible task of placing both his mother and my mother in nursing homes because their Alzheimer's Disease got so impossible for us to be able to help them at home after the doctor warned us that they needed 24-hour care. We did visit them every day to ease our feelings of guilt.

You do what you NEED to do.

One day, you will be able to take those classes, and I do hope that you are able to enjoy them.

It will never be fair, but you will always be loved.


Hi Diane(:)
How are you doing today ..(:)
The tribal Indian dancers and their costumes were wonderful I had nevr been up to that annual Salmonfest and it has been going on for 2o years I am so glad I finally got to go..loved the Indians(:) have a good day ok.. hugs,Patty

PEA said...

Diane, you have the right attitude and that will help you get through these first few months alone. You should not feel guilty at all for trying to place your MIL in a nursing home, you've taken care of her for 10 years, that's more than most families would do. Once she is placed, you will feel such freedom again and will be able to start doing things for "you"!! My mom was 47 when my dad died and he had been the only man she'd ever known since she was 15 so I remember what she went through, very much what you're going through right now. She volunteered at the hospital and also took a flower arrangement class, as well as ceramic class...keeping busy doing what she enjoyed got her through:-) Thinking of you. xoxox

NewKidontheBlogg said...

So sorry to read of the death of your husband on top of the care for your mother-in-law. I guess you are doing this for your late husband. A year after my late husband died I was able to make a photo album, through my tears, but it was very therapeutic and creative to do.

I was a widow for eight years and then I remarried. Now I am taking care of my wonderful husband of ten years who has been diagnoised with Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia this summer. I blog a lot about dementia. We do have our ups and downs. Yes, some days are better than others.

I also love to be crafty. Also thinking that retirement would give more time for creativity and it has to an extent--I wrote a book. I am sewing and may take up craft projects for economic Christmas gifts. Crafting is the you that you still have.

I am praying for my new blogging friend and know that you are in so much pain now.

Carol in Florida

NewKidontheBlogg said...


I blog at


Denise said...

Oh girl,,,,,, I had to come by here today to see how you were doing.. I am so grief stricken myself and I have no idea of the day that you face, taking care of your MIL while just losing your precious husband. I had no idea that I would lose my mom and dad just 72 days apart and I can tell you that my days now are filled with a wonder of who I am. I took care of them for 8 years.. Now what...... I have all the time in the world but no idea what to do with it....... I am thinking of you and praying for you and asking the Father God to send you such overwhelming love and strength and peace this day.......


Oh wow that is great house fixes..(:)
Ya I agree Holiday to decorate for
LOVE it- Xmas and Halloween are my favs..
Have a good day hope you don't get too worn out with all the stuff going on on the roof(:) hugs,Patty