Partially because of space constraints, and because the recent memories were not particularly pleasant, neither my brother nor I wanted to keep all sorts of Mom’s “stuff”. Katie had acquired some very nice old furniture along the way, which was distributed before they moved west, and Dave and I had long ago decided upon who got what in the furniture department. Then when Mom died, very little was left at the care home, with us donating a good amount to that facility, to help the residents with very little.
On the day following Mom’s death, my brother asked me if I would take Katie’s very warm knee length puffy coast in a lovely cinnamon colour, because it made him think of the better times when Mom still got out for walks on her own. I, too, remembered those better times, liked the coat, and was happy to add it to my wardrobe. It would be great for cheering on young hockey and soccer players, of which my nephew (and Katie’s pride and joy very young grandson) was one. Then, I couldn’t help but reach for a slacks and jacket ensemble I had purchased for Mom when she had moved to this last home, which she wore very seldom. You see, very shortly after her arrival there she forgot how to walk so had to be in a wheel chair and wear open-backed clothing to aid in her ablutions. So, this outfit had been used very seldom, and I thought that Bob’s mom might get some use out of it.
Fast forward two years, with Bob’s Mom never having worn the outfit (which made me angry for some reason), and I hauled it up to my own closet, where I saw it almost daily. It is a pretty purple and I might have worn it myself had it not looked like an older person’s piece of clothing. Then one day just a few days ago, when I was on my way to a meeting nearby Katie’s late home, I took it with me and donated it to someone in that fine establishment. I knew someone there would need more clothing, and I guess I finally was ready to let it go.
The loss of Mom’s mobility had been a difficult time for me, for Katie’s sake, and because I no longer could stand face to face with her and give her loving hugs and kisses. And now I was ready to move on, while helping someone else. As I shed a few tears now, and think of the years of helping care for Katie, I understand that I would have it no other way, even though those times were very tough emotionally. To any of you who are contemplating becoming a caregiver for an aging and/or ailing person, please continue to follow this blog, contribute to it, and/or contact me by email or telephone with questions or comments, and to check out The Essential Caregiving Agreement, which I know will be of help with your decision making and/or planning. Again, please feel free to be in touch.
Yours in caregiving,