Goodbye Mary Jane, Hello Childhood

This week’s adventure in the dining room at Mom’s nursing home was almost as interesting as the liver confusion event. This time it involved what Mom thought was a peanut butter cookie. She was nibbling on it and enjoying the sweetness when Miss Sylvia broke the news that it was a salmon cake. Mom was at least eating, we just left it alone.

Since it didn’t help as much as they had hoped it would to increase her appetite, they took her off the Marinol.

My mom is no longer a pot head ☺ and I have noticed a change in her mood. That peaceful little smile has faded.

Much to our surprise, she was released from skilled nursing on Wednesday and sent home with home health care. I should be happy that she is physically stronger because of the rehab.  I should be happy she’s going home. After all, back in April I thought Mom was not going to live through the summer. But instead of being happy, I am very concerned about this scenario.

My sweet Dad is 85 and this is overwhelming for him. He is now like the frantic stay at home father of a toddler. He’s up to his ears in laundry and feeding and supervising and other things this man has never had to do before. I am laden with guilt for not being able, due to my work schedule, to be there more.

The nurse, the occupational therapist and the physical therapist have been to visit them. I attended these appointments so we’d have an extra set of ears and a note taker. There’s so much to keep up with and so much to do and know.

Although she is home, Mom keeps asking when she is going home and where the button is to press if she needs the nurse.

I helped my Dad clear out some of Mom’s belongings before she came home. I found so many items of interest. It saddened me to know that I couldn’t ask Mom about them now. She would not remember.

Mom loved poetry and songs and I found little pieces of paper and notebooks of lyrics and poems that meant something to her. There were a lot of books, and jewelry, all of our baby shoes and some never before seen photos of our family.

In the middle of this bittersweet task, I found hilarity. You know me, of course I would.

I thought I’d seen them all before but I found photo’s from my childhood that revealed much about my obsession with and love for critters. Please note that in every one of these, I have an animal with me.

Bunniguns and Libby Lu (Yes, I had pet bunnies.) and a very interesting hat.

At Aunt Christine’s farm

At Carl and Pearl’s Crossover Acres

Libby Lu (with short hair!!) and Del Wood’s yappy little dog

Kickin’ back with Charlie Louvin’s dog.

Me and Oscar T at the creek in our backyard

A vacation photo (Abe Lincoln’s birthplace, I believe) with Spots, my stuffed bunny.  I have bunny teeth, myself.

I thought you’d enjoy the only photo I found of young me, not with an animal. It’s my brother’s 15th birthday. We are at my grandmother’s cool chrome table.

Check out classy Libby Lu.

(Gary, John, Aunt Cynthia, Libby Lu and her nose)

And while we are talking about birthdays, we celebrated Alli’s 19th  this week. I’m enjoying her new level of maturity and our more grown up discussions.She says that nineteen is one of those ‘in between’ birthdays that doesn’t hold the excitement of turning eighteen or twenty-one.

Punky at 19
Note that 1/4 of the cake is missing…We celebrated for 2 days. ☺

I won’t tell her that they all run together after you hit thirty. I’ve lost count, so next month I’ll celebrate my 29th, once more.

Enjoy life no matter what. It is short and unpredictable and joy can be found even in the most challenging moments.


Libby Lu


20 thoughts on “Goodbye Mary Jane, Hello Childhood

  1. Libby you may not be able to discuss the photos with your Mom but the fact she saved all these wonderful photos tells a love story all on its own.

  2. Good news about your mom but I share your concern about your Dad. I’ve seen the care of one elderly spouse with medical needs, whether Alzheimer’s or something more physical, cause or worsen the caretaker’s own medical needs. But also know of a case when the care of the spouse had to be surrendered due to complexity of needs. The caretaker spouse felt unneeded and their health just plunged. Its all so complicated. Prayers and good wishes for your family as you sort it through.

  3. Love all the photos & I am celebrating my 21st birthday all over again this year! Ha. Isn’t our girl just beautiful?!

  4. Thanks for this post. I pray that you all can find a method of care that works for your family. I always find that I learn something from your posts, even though it seems we are from completely different backgrounds. Finding joy and hilarity in the middle of challenge is something that I am seriously working on. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

    Take care
    -Christina Leona

    • Christina, the feeling is mutual. I enjoy reading about your adventures as you find your way, and I think you are doing a great job of finding the good and the fun in all of your own challenges. Thanks for reading!

  5. Enjoyed your thoughts and the pics. Alli is a beautiful young woman. Keeping you and the family in my thoughts and prayers and only wish I was there to take a turn doing something to give all of you a break. Love to all of you.

    • Wayne! Thanks for reading my blog. So happy to see you here. There are lots of fond memories from “Carlpearl’s” place. So many wonderful people there…Sally Smathers and I began our lifelong friendship while hanging out there. Thanks for holding Mom and Dad up through this. It’s heartbreaking.

  6. As always, I continue to enjoy your photos and words of wisdom. Once your mom regains her strength, you might want to consider an adult day care program like my mom attends. It’s not a perfect solution for your father, but it would give him a break — something all caregivers need.

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