I haven't had time to post in weeks, or to write anything at all. Seriously, I haven't even written a lengthy email...and there are probably a few people who appreciate that.
My mother-in-law died on November 30th. Given that she had a chronic heart condition and congestive heart failure, her death was not a surprise, but it was still a shock. It took a couple weeks to get arrangements made. Hubby and I have never been a part of arranging anyone's funeral. There are a lot of decisions that needed to be made and sometimes we had no idea what my mother-in-law would want.
Let me take a moment to give a little public service announcement. Friends, let's be real here, everyone is going to die someday. It's not fun to talk about, but someday somebody is going to have to plan your funeral. I have two things to say on that point. 1. Funerals are for the living. Let your loved ones have one. 2. Tell those loved ones what you want done with your body. Have the organ donation conversation. Have the funeral vs. memorial and timing conversation. Tell your loved ones if you want it kept simple or extravagant. If you don't care, then tell them you don't care and they can do whatever makes them feel better. That's helpful information to have and you can only give this gift of information now.
Anyway, over the past couple weeks it became obvious my father-in-law,Jim, needs more care than the facility he was in could provide. Even while my mother-in-law was alive, she had to hire private nurses to help. We didn't want to move him so quickly after his wife's death, but it was necessary.
Years ago we toured an assisted living facility that is 10 minutes from our house. We loved it, but it wasn't a good fit at the time. We knew it was exactly what Jim needs now, but there were 10 people ahead of us on the wait list. A room came available last week. Amazingly, none of those people were ready to move right now. We are so glad we were able to get Jim into a safe situation and one that is much closer to our home.
There is still a lot of work to do. We have to move all of Jim's belongings to a storage unit. Then we have to settle the estate. I have no idea what that means or what it will take and now I'm going to type something I never thought I would mean, Thank God for lawyers. Then taxes...yeah, thank God for a local accountant we trust. Ugh, dying is expensive and complicated and all the work falls on those you leave behind.
There was one very good thing that happened the past few weeks. Sweet Pea is what I call a hands-on baby. She isn't a bad baby, or even incredibly unhappy, she simply needs lots of handling. I've frequently had to remind myself of something my mother said when baby Polar Bear would scream to be fed, "Someday those cries are going to turn into words." In the midst of all the stress, my little Sweet Pea said, "ma ma." Of course, within the same day she said, "nu" and clearly meant, "nurse." Not a surprise, given this little one believes she should always be attached to my breast. Regardless, hearing that sweet little voice say, "ma ma" was absolutely precious and just what I needed to lighten my heart in this difficult time.
Hopefully I will have time to write again soon.