Sunday, May 1, 2011

Home and Home Again

I spent the past two weeks in my childhood home and am now back at the ranch, or my adult home. I was able to sneak in the door so quietly that no one heard me coming. The dogs were asleep. I squealed their names and they startled awake, then came running. We had a little hug and kiss fest and Scrappy's tail was wagging faster than hummingbird wings. The horses greeted me at the fence and Bombay was so happy to see me that... well, let's just say he had a banana in his pocket.

I was only gone two weeks and the property looks completely different. There were weeds everywhere and the pasture finally turned green and started growing. I came home to two sickos. Both my husband and son are sick. While I was gone I missed taking pictures of my son's track team's most famous track meet and my son's senior prom. *sniff* My husband handled getting our son his tux and buying a corsage for the lady. He also shoveled a lot of manure while I was away and tried to help heal Gabbrielle's hock sores.

So much has happened that it was all a blur. I'll probably write posts about the most important lessons I learned, because I want to save others from making the same mistakes, but here's the gist of the most important messages I have to offer.

#1: If you have an older relative or friend who lives alone, make sure you stay in contact with them at least once every couple of days. I thought writing to my mother every week and visiting with her 2 or 3 times a year was enough to keep me in touch with what was going on with her, but I let things slip away from me long enough that she died without my knowledge and enough time passed between when she died and when she was found that the county Coroner took control. Trust me when I say, you do not want that to happen to anyone you know.

#2: If you are older or in poor health and live alone, tell people when you are not feeling well. Don't keep it to yourself for fear of sounding like a complainer. Your health problems may be more serious than you think. I knew my mother developed heart problems within the past six months, but when the coroner went over her autopsy findings with me, I was shocked by how many other health problems she had that she never mentioned to me, most of which were life threatening. As a result, no one really knows how she died.  Any one of her conditions could have done her in.  Give your loved ones a chance to take care of you and say goodbye to you. Don't let your passing take them by surprise just because you want to spare them the worry.

#3: No matter how old you are, it is imperative that you hold on to your friends. It's the friends who get you through hard times. Even if you are working 60 to 80 hours a week, like I used to do, you have to make time to maintain those friendships. Not only will you have more people at your funeral, but you will have more people who can step up to help the loved ones you left behind. Thankfully, my mother left behind a legacy of wonderful friends who are all now my friends.

16 comments:

Breathe said...

Welcome home, Nuzz.

Good advice, indeed. I'm calling my dad tomorrow.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

So sad, but good advice. My mom is 83 and lives alone. I talk with her every day and dread the day something happens to her.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I hit post before I was done writing. I want to express my sincere condolences to you for the loss of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang on to all the good memories.

Reddunappy said...

Oh, Nuzz Muzz, what terrible things to go through. Great advise.
I hope things can settle down for you now and you can get things the way you want them.
Hang in there, so sorry about your Mom.

ellie k said...

I am so sorry for you, I know how hard it is to lose a parent and take care of details. Just hang in there and take one thing at a time, life will get better, I know. I still miss my mother and it has been 21 years, I even think some days I will call her and then remember I can't.

fernvalley01 said...

Good advice , for all of us. Hugs ,and I am glad you are safely home

Mikey said...

Aww, I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Such a tough time. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Very valid points that you bring up, and stuff much along the lines I've been thinking lately. I'm so glad you shared all of that. I'm glad you're back safely.

Paint Girl said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. My thoughts are with you and your family!
Thank you for the advice. I have been going through some very difficult things with my mom right now (your the first person I have mentioned that too in the blog world) and you have helped me open my eyes.

Dreaming said...

Welcome home and welcome to spring! (maybe?!)
What a tough time you must have had. None of it could have been easy. Thanks for the suggestions. My dad and my hubby's parents are older and weaker. Luckily my dad is close and is at a retirement community with lots of people and stimulation. My in-laws have each other - but sadly, it is almost like the blind leading the blind!

duffylou said...

I'm sorry you had to make the trip this way. Also glad you are now safe at home. It's lovely that your mother had so many wonderful friends.

Crystal said...

So sorry to hear about yur mom. That is good advice you give us, its hard to think they are getting worse when we dont see or talk to them regularily. But glad she had good friends.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Wow... sounds really tough. Sorry you had to go through your mother's passing that way, but thankful you at least had the support of your mother's friends.

It's so sad when people isolate themselves, thinking wrongly that they are sparing their loved ones... good advice you posted.

Glad you're back home again. :)

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

So sorry for your loss NM.

I make sure to talk to my mom at least every couple of days. She is in excellent health and a mere 69 y/o. But I do worry about her on that ranch and taking care of horses all by herself.

Glad you made it home safely and got the chance to become friends with your mother's friends.

Leah Fry said...

Welcome back and thank you for sharing what you've learned. Sorry you had to go through all this.

achieve1dream said...

I'm so sorry you're going through all of this and the hard way. It's sweet of you to share what you've learned to help others from having to go through it.

I'm glad you're home safe and things can try to get back to normal. You're being so brave and strong, just don't over extend yourself. I'm thinking of you and sending lots of good thoughts for you.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a relief that your family was taking care of things at home while you were focusing all your energy on taking care of your Mother's estate and the details of her death and funeral.

What a sad, frustrating, stressful and overwhelming experience for you to go through.

But I'm glad that you've still retained your sense of humor and that Bombay made you smile :)

(((hugs)))
~Lisa