Well, it’s been a fair amount of time since I posted on my blog so I thought I would provide you with a Farm update!
Labor Day marked the end of our unofficial summer schedule here and we went into full school mode! This year I have a high schooler and a 12-year-old special needs kiddo. This past summer was the first one I had taken “off” in a really long time…
Six years ago, my Mom and Dad came to live with us just before we bought and moved to the Farm. When they arrived it became really obvious that my Mom had been taking care of her husband who was many years into full-blown dementia, a fact that we were not fully aware of living more than 300 miles away. We knew something was going on but could not have guessed the depth of the situation.
Within a year of settling in on our Farm, Mama was then diagnosed with her own form of dementia. We spent the next 5 years learning about how best to care for them, employing outside caregivers and remodeling our home to accommodate all of the new special needs our now family of eight was requiring. To say that it was a steep learning curve would only give you a small glimpse of our situation. We were so blessed with so many amazing and talented people who were patient and hard-working, who would help us and guide us thru the process.
In late Spring of 2021, Mama had a mini-stroke. She had been prone to those for more than a decade. This one, although still classified as a TIA (trans ischemic attack), was more debilitating than anything we had since seen. The doctor referred us to hospice. Mama was admitted.
Mama was assigned one of the most straight-shooting, compassionate and sarcastic nurses I have ever met! This means she fit in here perfectly. Two weeks later, they admitted my Dad as well.
Our nurse gave them each a longevity estimate of two months. She said, Daddy may finish before Mama.
How did we get here?
Family came to visit, saying their last good-byes. It was hard. It was good. Mostly, it was surreal.
On July 24, just before supper, Daddy went on to be with Jesus. I remember hugging his broken and arthritis riddled body that night for the first time with no fear of causing him pain.
For the next 30 hours I held my Mama’s hand. I sang hymns to her and read scripture… and then it was her turn. I know she fell into her Savior’s arms.
And then… we were alone.
We went thru the winter that year re-grouping and trying to find our footing while sorting thru the emotions and material things that were left behind. I was sure that this summer would be our summer! The first time we would be able to be free to have dinner whenever we wanted, no daily caregivers, no midnight caregiving, doctor appointments, set menus. This was our year!
I went full blast! I took on house cleaning jobs and cooked, baked, gardened… like I was trying to get in all I couldn’t do in the previous five years. I foraged, started my blog and worked on design and repair on the Farm.
My husband felt it first. Burnout.
Not me. I worked. And then I worked some more.
Fast forward to Fall. Time to plan school, time to be on a schedule.
I hit a wall. Burnout.
For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been busy still, taking only the amount of time off that moms are allowed to, which isn’t much. I’ve been canning, teaching, studying the Bible, planning, chauffeuring, praying, harvesting, baking… all at a smaller, simpler pace.
Unfortunately, blogging hasn’t made the cut for these trying weeks of forced rest. I knew when I started blogging that I didn’t really know where it would go, and I was ok with that. I suppose I still don’t know.
This season has taught me to prioritize my time and to remember just who I am. What has God called me to be? Who He has called me to be. Look, I know I don’t have all of this together yet, but I am looking forward now. I don’t want to sit still any longer. It’s time to dust myself off and get back on the path of life. Just where Mama and Daddy would expect me to be.
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So, I’m still teaching, harvesting, planning learning and writing, but my pace remains a mystery. I hope you’ll keep checking in with me here on the Farm…
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” ~Isaiah 40:31