Only those who know me will be interested in the first, so feel free to skip to the area/s marked by emoticons!
December 4th marked the beginning of a very difficult time for me; it was obvious that my dad, age 93, might this time not recover. Which meant my mom, age 91, needed support in a long battle. As the months passed, his one goal was to live until May 4th, my parents' 70th anniversary, but I truly believe that his passing a few days before that was a gift to both my parents: he is no longer suffering.
Except for one night a week I've lived at my parents' home on a lake in the mountains since January, helping my mom give my dad home care in lieu of nursing home; he wanted to die at home and we honored that with the assistance of daily visiting nurses (1-3 hours/day). The doctor came to the house regularly to monitor Dad's condition and Dad remained alert, his mind active til the very end.
Making arrangements, coordinating travel plans of family, responding to calls from friends, relatives, and various organizations with which he was still affiliated and active began even before the funeral director took Dad from the house. And then time was filled with going through the days of visitation, mass, and internment: my mom and me busy for the next 1.5 weeks.
So many people - a few hundred - recounted stories as they passed by us, and food and cards are still pouring in, even as of today. The American Legion and the local Rotary group gave special tributes with what I guess you'd call eulogies-at-the-wake (?). The church was full for a funeral mass. The slow, 2-hour drive to the national cemetery actually was healthy because the day was sunny, temperature ideal, and scenery spectacular. The Navy gave a high honors tribute (Dad was a WWII vet and also active in many civic organizations) at the national cemetery. My BIL hosted a buffet that I'd arranged per his request "whatever you and your mom want regardless of expense or numbers invited" that was held a few miles from the cemetery. Just over 30 close family and friends at a lovely restaurant overlooking a lake. My sis and her hubbie are visiting from Nevada for another week, so I'm staying in my apartment while they are at the lake; it's time for me to clean my neglected abode and reenergize for the months ahead. (Good grief; my apartment needs cleaning after all these months!!)
Ok, Dad is gone. He is free from suffering and we are moving on. "We"? Yes. I'm going to be helping my mom for months to come as we prepare and then sell the house and she decides where to live, how to reconstruct her life. Her plan for the future is her story to write. And I'm along for the ride as her editor-in-chief.
This is the beginning.
During the past months Mom lost 15 pounds and I gained 21. Proof how stress combined with lifestyle and our personal 'systems' affects even similar people so differently. There is a lesson in that, folks.
Ok. How could I have gained? I no longer walked as much and was so focused on preparing meals that were nutrient-saturated but also calorie-laden (doctor's orders) that even limiting quantities did not bring the balance that my usual lifestyle maintained. Stop. Think. Yes, there is a lesson in this, also!!
Now I am prepared to get back on track.
Food is the first and most crucial aspect, since I'm more concerned with low-calorie nutrient-density than I am with losing pounds. When I'm home: easy! And when at my mom's house: still easy!! Yup. Mom likes the way I eat (bikini plate that syncs with my recommended nutritional breakdown), so when I'm at her house I can stay on plan. Whew.
Activity is the second aspect.
During the coming months I will be staying at the lake much of the time. I can resume my walking while home or while there, which is a first step. Secondly, I have done only limited daily stretching for the past 2 months and will resume the full 30 minutes of daily stretch routine and also the (dropped for months!) previous dumbbell and other 'floor' exercises.
In life, we go through rough times. But life does not end unless life ends. Sound odd? Think about it. How many people do you know who go through a difficult time and then in effect give up truly living? I've known and do know many! But I'm not one of them, and neither is my mom. Despite all, the fact is that every tomorrow is just waiting for us to create. Every goal is worth determining "I can and will do this"!
I am healing from a loss and beginning anew, motivation that is from within, and tools that being here on SP helped me set neatly in place as I've journeyed from poor health to a healthier lifestyle. Would I have my positive outlook if I'd not been so actively engaged in reading SP articles and digging into its many resources? No. I'm absolutely sure of that. SP has given me a strength of purpose that goes beyond anything previously in my arsenal of support and information...which, incidentally, is pretty good!
Never really off the track, I'm firming my grasp onto it and going forward.