Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Later days

3:50 p.m. Today's project was to welcome my Dad over to visit from Redlands with our son Steven, here for his resting week before Saturday's bodybuilding competition. Daddy was due over this morning at 10 a.m., but arrived at 9 'o clock, typical for him. Steve and I were still having our devotions, so we welcomed him in and he relaxed with the newspaper. Once, I laughingly mentioned Daddy's 12:00 arrival for our annual 2 p.m. August birthday party to my brother-in-law Larry, and he said, "He's lonely by himself at home and really excited to see everybody, that's why he's early." Makes sense, and I pray that I will get a nice welcome from my kids when I'm in my 80's! One of my personal favorite scriptures says, "Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you..." (Deuteronomy 5:16a) Small wonder for this mother of five!
Steven returned from a checkup with his diet coach about 10:30, and we all had a chance to chat. Things are much more calm today, aided by my weekly prayer time with Monica, my prayer/accountability partner, before I went back downstairs. James 5:16 reminds us, "The effective fervent prayer of a righteous [wo]man avails much." Sorry, couldn't resist the feminine prefix! I know of so many praying moms, grandmas, wives, sisters and aunties that it just seems worthy of inclusion!!
I received a business-sized envelope from Daddy this afternoon, containing an updated Advanced Directive from his estate planning attorney, Kathleen Albrecktson of Redlands. It was necessary because of recent changes to California's laws. I looked it over, saw that he does not want life prolonged, but then noticed something out of order. The #1 and #2 people to notify are my sister and her daughter, who both live in San Diege, 2 1/2 hours away in good traffic from Redlands, and myself at position #3. This is odd because I live 25-30 minutes from Redlands Community Hospital! So I called Daddy, and yes, they had reversed the order of names. My niece is a working single mother of two, who would have to do who-knows-what to get off work and then get someone to watch her kids before commuting up to Redlands, and my sister in Chula Vista works full-time as well. Daddy said he hadn't noticed and would call the office soon.
It used to seem overwhelming to me, coping with all of my kids' school, health, sports and activities paperwork, at one point getting so bad that I had older sis Heidi fill out Steven's high school registration forms and emergency cards while I ran off to teach summer school! Of course, I examined and signed all of it, or did I??? Can't remember--he graduated 4 years ago, and all was in order for each annual registration day at King High, when a parent had to be there with proof of residence. Daughters are a godsend!!
When I compare children's paperwork with that of us senior citizens, I'm discovering that I didn't know what hassles were! It took me a year to get enough life insurance for the family's needs after I pass on. That's several physicals, blood draws (ick) and further requests for annual doctor exam results. And we have to keep up our longterm care insurance premiums. A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment to look at future in-home care for Steve. Nightly, he is still getting used to his C-pap machine, but doing better with it, handling it all himself.
Let's not even go into the years of phone, paperwork and personal appointment stress that went into getting Steve on unemployment, State disability, and ultimately permanent Social Security disability!
Just today, I went to CVS pharmacy twice, because the mail-order service that handles 3 of Steve's 5 prescriptions caused us to run out of one of them. I didn't notice that the girl had put in two medications, one of which we wouldn't need for months! So back again, to get my $30 co-pay back. The health food supplements we use for my arthritic joints and Steve's brain and circulatory functions--well, I have no idea what those items add up to per month, because you don't run out of them all at once. But we are very physically healthy and energetic, so natural supplements and fresh garden produce do pay off .
Did I mention all of my pension paperwork and appointments I had to deal with so I could retire last June? As my late 87 year-old mother-in-law used to quip, "Getting old is the pits!" When my kids tease me, I say, "I may be old, but what's the alternative?"
Just don't ask me, "What do you do all day now that you're retired?!" Last week, my teacher daughter told a school nurse who asked how I like being retired, "Mom goes to Disneyland a lot." I guess that sums it up!!
God has been so good to me, in so many ways, that I just have to poke fun at myself and my daily aggravations, and take the attitude that it's a privilege to live to be old...let's figure it out together, and have fun along the way!

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