Monday, December 15, 2014

December Daily 14 ~ Taking Care

Yesterday was a jumble of a day. Ethan and I had a nice breakfast together. I thought that we would have the entire day, but as we all know, plans often go awry. We all thought that Grandpa Don would stay in the hospital for a few days, but that was not the case. I spent a bit of the day doing some Christmas shopping for Grandpa Don. Some of my purchases were out of my usual realm, and so I tried to get advice from people I thought would have knowledge on the subject, but alas, I was unsuccessful at getting that advice. I had to go with my gut instinct.

I also started to prepare the small gifts that I will give to some of the people that I work with. I want to offer them lovely jars of Christmas Potpourri and containers of Spiced Cherry Jam. I am switching up the recipe for the Christmas Potpourri a bit. It contains an orange, Cranberries, some stick cinnamon, some whole cloves, ground nutmeg, star anise and small bits of juniper or pine. The sample that I am working from features a lovely presentation in a canning jar, of which I have many. However, my oranges will not fit in the jars like the ones I am inspired by, so I am thinking about cutting them up and putting them in a baggie in the jar. I could just layer them at the bottom, too.

In the afternoon it was announced that insurance would not allow for Don to be transferred to a skilled nursing home, so he would be discharged to home. Doug is in town, thankfully, so he went on Craigslist and purchased a hospital bed. Ethan borrowed a big truck and they got the bed taken care of. I cleaned up a bit. Larr arrived home with a very weary Don in the front seat. I wheeled out the wheelchair that Doug had gotten earlier in the day. I held it steady while Larr helped his father out of the car. Don cannot stand on his own right now so Larr had him put his arms around his neck while Larr maneuvered him gently as possible from the car seat to the wheelchair. All the while, Don cried and cringed as every movement causes new pains. The neighbors, Jill and Dustin, came over to help. Dustin and Larr managed to get Don and the chair up the two steps and into the house. While they got Don settled, I went to the pharmacy to pick up his medications. They are very controlled substances, so I had to wait for more than an hour for the paperwork to clear.

I had a chance to talk with Ethan about his role in caring for his grandfather. Ethan is newly 21 and he has a life to live. Being a full time care giver is very difficult. I told him that I am deeply proud of the young man that he is, that it warms my heart to see Ethan holding Grandpa's hand and helping him talk through the most difficult pains. I told him that we do not want him to feel like he has to do this for a long time, that he has a life to live. Ethan's reply was direct and honest. He said that he is living his life and that this is where he needs to be, that there is no other place he would rather be than with Grandpa. He says that helping him is his life's purpose for now, that he does not want anyone else taking care of Grandpa. He said this is his life, that he is not putting it on hold, he is embracing it fully.

I feel lucky to have such an opportunity to see the love, kindness and humanity that my son and daughter both exhibit. They are truly wonderful people.

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