On The Road Again.....

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In my fav motel room in Marion Ohio. Home of Warren G Harding. You can tour his home place...Whoo Hoo...This is a little more than half way home for me, was going to try and get a little further south but heavy rain, fog, construction, 8 hours driving, I’m done in.


No immediate crisis but haven’t seen folks since I got them in AL mid December. Bazillion things to do down there....Check on folks, meet with realtor, go file stuff at courthouse, get new title for car....can’t find it anywhere.....Try and finish clearing out old paperwork, pictures, any valuables from house....And on and on.....


Neighbor lady visited mom and dad yesterday. Her report....Mom is still mad at me....Dad has lost his wallet and watch....He can’t even see his watch....I had cleaned out his wallet except for worthless cards and grandkid pics......Mom says she owes some gal money for buying her some clothes as I dumped her in there with nothing..omg.....And mom told her there was hundreds of dollars in their car....


And so it goes. God only knows what I’ll find when I get there. Staff tells me they’re doing pretty good. Dad hasn’t tried to break out and find his car for several days now, so that’s good.

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Windy, this sounds so very much like FrequentFlyer's mom and dad trajectory..... mom totally unaccepting and dad kinda of confused but glad to be in care.
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Exactly Barb.....The staff sees the person that IS....

The staff person in this case is the activities director. She sees Dad wandering around, very confused, needing something to do. If I tried to get him to do a model airplane or a puzzle he’d just think I was nuts. My kid? What does he know......

Mom, on the other hand......Much tougher case. A little more with it, but has suffered from serious depression her whole life. And now, a series of bad falls, head injuries and dementia coming on fast. Other than dinner time where she’ll visit with her friend E, they can’t get her to do anything. I don’t see that changing much.
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Windy, when my very shy and very unsociable mom went into Independent Living, we feared it would be the end of her (you know how people here say "My parent would DIE if they went into a facility!)?

Well, mom kinda sorta blossomed. Discovered that if she could sit in the library each morning and engage one person in conversation, she could decide for herself if she wanted to pursue a friendship. She ended up making a very good friend, a lady who was legally blind but still a spitfire; she got mom to come to "stock market club" (turned out mom was a great stockpicker and was much sought after as a partner--this from someone who bought into my dad's view of the market as a ponzi scheme). She went to EVERYONE's religious services, because she'd always been fascinated by religion. She went to jewelry making class. It was totally amazing.

When it's the right facility, it can be a miracle for our parents.

I'm reminded of a story from many years ago; there was some tangle with my dad, and I was able to figure out what to say to him to get him on my side.  My mom was a little put off by that.  I said to her "I've know daddy my whole life; you've only known him for 20 years".  

The social workers and staff who meet our parents in old age don't see the person that was; they see the person that IS.  They understand how to engage them in the moment and don't bother with preconceptions about what came before.  Does that make any sense to you? 
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After two days of snowy, sloppy driving, finally back home.

Staffer from AL texted me pics of Dad working on the model cars and airplanes I got for him. She had suggested I get some for him and said she would help him. Amazing what they can get him to do......Models!?.........Bathing!?
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This so reminds me of our 17 day blitz of trying to sort through 83 years, 3 generations of "collections". There was a huge box of slide cartridges, all carefully numbered, and we could not find one of the cartridges..........A month later.....Duh....it was IN the 1950's hulking slide projector!!! Good luck you you on your mission.....
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Sometimes the smaller local town libraries like to have photos, as there may be someone in town who is into local history big time.

Oh, my Dad has a ton of "slides" but try to find a projector now a days. Dad had one, but he probably took it apart to see how it worked and never got it back together at his age. I use to have a Kodak circle tray that use to hold dozens of photos. So there I am, holding up the photos to the light bulbs :P

There is a photography store in the area that will take slides and put them onto a disk. I will see if they could make actual individual photos instead because a lot of my cousins my age don't even own a computer.
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I found all the old 8 mil films, and projector. The old screen is with the junk in the garage. It’s unlikely I’d ever get the old stuff to work. All the films are ever so dry and brittle.

Fortunately, Dad had all the films transferred to DVD not too many years ago. It’s all great stuff that I’ve seen a hundred times growing up.

Weather clear, heading north in a few minutes.
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Windy, my dad too had the 8mm movie camera and the light bar.
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Yes Golden, you have to downsize, even with the pictures. When I was born, 1954, Dad took lots of pictures with the Kodak brownie(?) and the classic 8 millimeter home movies. He was always coming at us with the crazy, hot light bar in one hand and the camera in the other.

Later, Dad got into computers and had a ball for years until the dementia knocked him down. He took hundreds of pictures of five grandkids and spit out dozens of copies of each picture on his printer.

OMG.......It took me forever to sort this stuff out, save a few copies and ditch the rest.

And the really old stuff......I know who most of the pictures are and labeled them as best I could. This is stuff from around 1890 to 1940. Thing is, I’m the last person on earth that these pics have any meaning for.

I thought about showing some to mom and dad to identify. Maybe someday I can but right now they are too confused and upset with Any memories of home and family. It would just put mom in turbo weepy mode.
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windy -glad you could make a deal with the sump pump repair.

Photos are a dilemma for me too. My kids aren't interested in them. My sis has our family albums, but I still have many photos. I think I will scan them and send copies to my kids, my nephew as he may get nothing from my sis, (my niece will get the album and she has no kids) and the cousins. If anyone is interested, I can send them originals. What's left will be tossed unless there is something I want to hang on to. As you downsize yourself, you have to get a bit ruthless.
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