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Granted, the nature of this site means that we will always hear more about the bad cases. Someone from a functional family with a good caregiving situation would have no reason to post here.

But. There are A LOT of horror stories. So many that I think they are more or less the norm.

I'm inclined to think that no one should ever take up significant caregiving responsibilities without having full PoA, and getting whatever inheritance they expect UP FRONT. And no one should quit a job to caregive unless their financial situation truly enables them to do it safely.

And that's just the financial angle. If the family dynamics are such that you, the prospective caregiver, are not likely to get support from relatives (or worse yet, be attacked and manipulated by them), DON'T DO IT. Relative should be told by the care-receiver, in writing, that the care-receiver's assets will be used to fund care, and that IF there is anything left, MAYBE they will get an inheritance. But they are must keep their face-holes shut about it if they want to get anything at all.

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I grew up in a culture where the young took care of the old. Even as a 20 year old, I thought to myself, I will never put my parents into a nursing home. Both my parents grew up poor and I know they sacrificed a lot for us kids. My parents did what they could for us. It sure wasn't easy.

When I was older and finally had a good job, I tried really hard to make things easier for my parents. I never wanted them to feel abandoned. It wasn't easy and there is still lots of anger and resentment but I hope they know I tried because I wanted to show my love for them.
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I would like to say, I did it purely out of love. My brother became ill when mom diagnosed with alzheimers and kept telling me he was leaving 160 thousand for mom, but his wife could change the will. I knew then I was screwed. My sil snd I had words 6 months before this when she straightened up my moms silverware( plated ), took what she wanted and saved the rest for me. My mom never had anything because she raised us on her own and dome spoons from England, where she was from held dome sentimental value for me. When I asked my brother for them I was cussed out because he was sticking up for his wife. Long story short, when brother passed, I didn't get a penny or any help from sil. My mom got 1000 month social security and no inheritance for me.Believe me it cost more than that for me to get sitter now and then. Pay for ensure, diapers,etc.Besides no physical help, no emotional support. There are ones like me that do it out of love. I don't care how good the nursing home looks, there is abuse. I took care of her for 4 1/2 years and would do it again.
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I have no idea why some older people (like my dad) are (were) patient, non-demanding and grateful and others are expecting care at the drop of a hat, are bitchy/blaming and impatient.

The "greatest generation" (our parents) seem more self absorbed because they were told they were wonderful. They seem like everything's owed to them. I think my dad was the unusual one.

However, we have a right to live our lives also and not buy into the guilt that is slung like mud because we haven't filled their request.

Caregiving can be exhausting especially when dementia is involved. There are very few c/g's that can keep "taking it" and never complain about it.

We also come here to find solutions to our problems. Many of us have had less than wonderful (or even good) childhoods yet the responsibility of elder care falls in our laps.
We can't be superhuman and smile and do everything for a parent who could have cared less for us. Then to suffer the physical/verbal/mental abuse (dementia-or not) makes the job intolerable.

I'm not going to feel guilty for venting my feelings to others who completely understand. That's what this forum is for.
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Because they cared for you when you were young and you loved them. Sometimes situation called for it and you have no choice. Sometimes what goes around comes around.
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If I look at my family and the stories on here - people are venting because they have a stressful and bad situation and that is what we often read. And this website is a lifeline to them. In my family - it really depending on the nature of the individual being cared for. My grandparents generation were all wonderful - they chose assisted living themselves, they didn't burden their kids with care but said "please, thank you". There was a lot of consideration and respect for other people. My grandparents and husbands grandparents lived between 88 and 100 years - so many years where they did need help. They tended to use the facilities available in assisted living for cleaning, meals, trips to doctors, etc. I was in high school when my grandmothers were in assisted living/nursing home. They worked wit me for grocery, medicine delivery - around my schedule and just enjoyed playing cards with me or we would knit together when I visited them in nursing home.

Now my parents generation are HORRIBLE. My inlaws, and my parents ALL refuse to discuss any consideration of assisted living - they range in age from 75-82 and are in their houses - stairs, yards, long drives to doctors etc. They all make huge demands on our generation's time for yard work, house cleaning, driving them when they don't feel comfortable, snow removal, etc - basically expect us to be indentured servants. An attitude that makes me want to scream.

We are always in the dog house for saying "no" and that we will help with tasks for which there are no existing services - so "NO, I won't wash your windows - there are services that do that". Heaven help us when their health really starts to fail. My dad is killing my step mom because he fights with her EVERY week EVERY Monday and Wednesday when respite care comes in and is a demanding, controlling inconsiderate man demanding that they stay in their big house when she is desperate to downsize - she is doing all of the cleaning, yardwork, maintenance AND taking care of him 24/7. I did my monthly care giver weekend last weekend so am wound up because I had 48 hours of this - what she endures 24x7.

I think a lot of the horror stories come down to caregiving for horrible people. Bless all of you out there who do it.
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This is my first time here and I'm starting to think something is wrong with me.....I am 42 yrs old andy dad and myself cared for my mom until she passed in 2011. She had c.o.p.d. and was on full time oxygen for 10years. She also suffered from depression and severe anxiety, I am the only child and couldn't of asked for better parents. They were married 42 years ,my dad worked at the local lumber mill for 23 years ,6 nights a week to make sure we were well taken care of but mom was the one who held everything together..I have a almost 21 year old son and we are all very close..watching her go through everything and knowing I was the one that knew how to get her through the panic attacks,I was who made her feel better just by being there, she was my mom and she needed me. Mom couldn't leave the house without taking medication ,making it almost impossible to keep Dr.appt. she was also was a co2 retainer ..the time came when we would call the ambulance at least weekly, I was so scared and upset that I didn't want to ride with her,but I DID,, I didn't know how to take care of my self,let alone everything. But I learned,or at least did my best...
I read all the stories and don't understand.. these people don't want to have someone else taking care of them. They don't want to be apart of a horror story..it's sad..
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I care for my grandma knowing no one else would care for her so lovingly as I do. My sister wanted to place her in a home and still wants to. My mom has passed away so she can't help and there is no one else to help. Is it hard? Second hardest thing I've been doing in my 37 years of being on his earth. Being second to watching my mom die of cancer while holding her hand last month. But I at this point of my life and her life, wouldn't have it any other way. No one else would get up every 20 minutes when she has a UTI to make sure she gets what she needs which is being taken to the bathroom each and every time she requests even if it's every 20 minutes in the middle of the night. No one else would notice her highs and lows of diabetes and keep her sugar in tact through meals if need be just to avoid her being poked with needles making bruises. No one else would spend hours trying to talk to her to explain things knowing it's useless.

There are some good days (rare) and some terrible days but it's what I feel the calling to do. My mom and I had agreed to do this while she was alive and even after mom has passed leaving my devastated (despite my mom saying she had one regret which was not placing grandma in a home for me knowing i couldn't do it), I want to make sure she has the best care. So I will continue to do all night long bathroom breaks catching sleep here and there when I can. I will continue to take her to the doctors for UTIs, pain management and anything else she needs even if it's once or twice a week visits. I will continue to make sure she is bathed, clean and as healthy as I can even if she protests and it means me cleaning up pee and poop as she has accidents sometimes. Caregiving is hard. It's not for everyone but I will continue until I can't anymore and hopefully that doesn't come until after she gets so sick she passes away gently without pain at the house the way she wishes.
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The OP is nothing but a troll. She doesn't even do caregiving.

I did it because I had wonderful parents, I miss them.

This is nothing but an attack on caregivers.
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ive served in the military , raised a family of two good sons , built two homes , muscle cars , custom trucks , motorcycle trikes , a fairly successful small business , and won the respect of people in multiple counties , but by far the most rewarding thing ive ever done was caring for my demented mom and more recently my beloved aunt . two sentences drove me . one from my mother ; " i feel safe with you because you have a spine " , the other from aunt edna " i just feel safe with you " .
no dementia caregiving isnt easy , nothing worthwhile is . id do it again in a minute and in fact would do it for a living if the opportunity presented itself . im good with the demented . i follow their lead and listen to them . no pressure , no role reversal . i give them back the control that others try to take from them .
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Yes, I am poa for my mom.and believe me no inheritance, assests,etc and this could go on for a while with alzheimers. I am single no children siblings husband no one. I do this because I love my mom and know how nursing homes are.. I am retired nurse and don't know if I have enough funds for my future, although I have saved and lived frugally. Brother who passed had about one million and left it all to wife, although bragging he was leaving 20 percent for mom, . nothing I can do.
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Just remember, if you find yourself in a position where a parent needs a place to live / help / etc

BEFORE you sign that POWER OF ATTORNEY. Remember, its an "Actual job" . And when you sign it, you are "respondsible for them" and all decision making if they cannot. This is not just about "who gets monies".

ITS A REAL JOB. And the hardest you will ever ever do, being a parents caregiver! *Sigh*

My sister in laws & brother in laws have also been "way too busy in their lives" to take care of their own mother or father....so both ended up with me and my husband. They are not POA's, and we wash our hands of them & their selfish ways.

We know we will sleep at night when my fil finally passes. They can go through life with the guilt. No empathy for them.
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Well, I guess it depends. I am and will be the sole caregiver for my husband (serious mental illness) when he is sick (episodic and much less now that he has the right meds and environment) because when he is well... He is wonderful and I love him so much. Now.....I have only been taking care of my father 3 months and he is a horrible man. I am doing it because there is no one else and he has incurable cancer. I feel forced by moral codes and obligation I guess. It is torture to me and i have no inheritance coming....trust me. He has nothing at all and I dont have much more than he does. It all depends I guess.
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Thanks for everyone's comments... makes me feel less alone and I find comfort in knowing other people have insane parents, too. I hope you know what I mean by that. You start to think you're the problem, you know? JessieBelle, maybe we should put your mother and my father in the same room. They could commiserate with each other over their problems and give our ears a much needed respite! :)
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margarets, to add to my other postings.... I bet for some Caregiving started out as a temporary situation like one or two hours a week.... no big deal...

Then it became 4 or 6 hours a week... ok, still can do, just got to juggle appointments with work schedule....

Then it became 10 hours a week... durable but tiresome....

Then it jumped to 20 hours a week.... whoa, it's like having a part-time job on top of a full-time employment.... so tired neither *job* is getting 100% attention...

Before you know it, it became 40 hours a week... OMG, two full-time jobs, one at work, and one at home.... burn out starts if it hasn't already.... time to resign from employment.... can't keep up at this pace.... got to hire part-time Caregiver.

Then it became 168 hours a week.... that's every hour, every day, months on end.... what in the heck happened? None of this was part of one's 5-year plan. Got to hire more help.

margarets, can you show how the *horror stories* can just spring up on a person especially when all the hours to help one's parent(s) or spouse accelerate within a short time span and it feels like it is going to last forever.
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likefrogs, I like your name. Frogs are cool. What you wrote made me think that most people could not be caregivers for people with dementia. It does put us totally out of our comfort zone. I think a person who cares for someone with dementia must have a high threshold for personal pain and discomfort. Maybe it is what is meant by some people are not cut out to be caregivers. I know that neither of my brothers could tolerate the things I go through. Mom would be in a NH by now... which may not be a bad idea, but it would make her miserable. But despite the bad moments, it is okay over all. I know I'm doing the right thing.
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I understand completely, breakdown. My mother slept late this morning, even though I tried to get her up. I had to go out to refill some of her prescriptions, place orders for refills on another, and go to the store to pick her up some crackers she can't live without. Then I come back to a mother who said she was out of insulin -- she wasn't. Then she said she needed to take an extra shot of it -- she didn't. Then she didn't believe her sugar was up because she had drunk too much orange juice. She launched into how I wanted to see her get dizzy and collapse over dead. I retreated to my room, muttering every foul word that came to mind. So tired of do so much but never enough. Why do they make caring for them so hard so often?
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I may be wrong here as I quite possibly and exhausted, but as a caregiver for my husband with cancer ( Thank God he is clean now) and now the caregiver of my mother with dementia. I need these forums. yes, they are places to vent, complain. scream. cry, what ever, but unless your in a situation where you can empathise with each other you don't need to be here. I don't speak on the fourm much, but I gain a great deal of comfort and resource from it. Devotion to parents is something many have. It means stepping out of your own comfort Zone, it means living a life you didn't really plan on. It's what some of us do . And for the ones who do, we need each other to lean on and help get us through. For many of us we either do not have sibblings, or don't have any that gives a rats tail. This group of wonderful people are my co- siblings. I don't look at it as nightmare stories I look at it as relief knowing were not alone.
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It's a situation of a helpless can't read, write, or speak English well "mother" for me and a father who moved an hour and fifteen minutes from me but expects me to come running when he needs a chaffeur. Insists on going to a hospital two hours away on top of the travel time from my house. I love how quick people are to judge other peoples' situations when they had a loving, "normal" childhood. Cut some slack to those of us who have life sucking leeches who do nothing but complain and don't want to take your suggestions or do any self care to improve their medical situation, all while acting to others and not showing their true, miserable selves. My father will complain nonstop about medical issues and personnel. I tell him he needs to be his best advocate. People aren't mind readers. He thinks if he says anything, he'll receive poor or no care. And no, this isn't a new thing. They both have ALWAYS thought everyone is out to get them. My current situation is his legs are horrendously swollen, recovering from cellulitis, an insulin dependent diabetic, and won't tell anyone this... yet keeps saying he fears amputation. I am banging my head against a wall b/c I get chewed out if i suggest he call his doctor for an earlier appointment. Get this... he is being treated on an outpatient basis now, at the hospital for four hours a day, and hasn't/won't mention this "because he has an appointment next Thursday". Long story short, I have a sister who knows she doesn't have to do a thing (lives two states over) and my parents TOLD me I am the chosen one. So do not think that everyone has choices. And I completely agree with one lady's comment that all of the suggestions for care facilities are hilarious. Who exactly pays for that?! My heart goes out to all caregivers, for sure, but especially to those who have no other options and have bad parents. And please don't suggest I get counseling...it won't change the fact that I am still stuck or keep me from hearing all of the outrageous things I do. But... thank you for a place to vent.They have everyone so fooled that anytime I try to talk to someone in real life, I come across as a horrible, ungrateful brat. No one wants to hear your problems. They only want to
hear everything's fine.
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Not every horror story means caring for someone is too difficult. This site is a place to VENT. That means every crummy icky terrible horror story comes out because it is a safe place to share. Most of us read those stories, recognize the truth in them and our own situation - share what we can with the others on the site and where we are done, head back into care giving. The site is about hope and shared stories - not a cautionary tale to avoid care giving at all costs.

Everyone's story and situation is different. Jesse Belle said it best - those that become caregivers do because of love. (Mother Theresa said pretty much the same thing too). It's love whether it is your kid or a parent or a pet or anyone you care about - and you when it is your turn to care for someone you will know it.

Having been lucky enough to be on this site for most of the time I've cared for my mom I've decided that most self-selected caregivers are really secretly angels who are too busy to put their wings on.
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i ended up at my mothers house 7 yrs ago because i was working on a stone house 1 / 2 a mile from her house and i was so d*mn sick from a hepc treatment that i couldnt drive my big truck home after a days work . i told her i planned to stay at her house for a while . she was alone , in the country and doesnt drive . i didnt realize at the time that she had been hinting at such a thing for months . she had ran my sister off a few months earlier basically because my sisters family are such losers they will depress you to death . mom needed me . a few months later my hepc treatment was over and i was feeling human again , but at what point could i walk out and leave her alone again ? answer ; you dont .
i stayed with my mom until her last breath . she had a nice home and did not want to go to a nh .. assets ARE somewhat of an issue . she saved all her life so she could leave something to all three of her kids . she , more than anyone , didnt want to see it gobbled up in only a few months by a nh . i filled the need , i recieved some of her assets . if anyone is trying to make me feel guilty for that , blow it out your a** . i done a good job thru very difficult circumstances and earned it . ive been visiting a nh on behalf of my aunt . my care for mom was much more personalized and loving than theirs ..
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Margarets, it's all well and good to say that -- "I think I am asking a legitimate question, and I think the responses are very revealing."

My issue is when someone gives you an answer, and they tell you from first hand experience, the same as I would, that I caregive primarily out of love, out of wanting to do the right thing by my elderly father...

And you respond that you "don't see much evidence of that," then I think you're being very counterproductive. You are not a hands on caregiver? Well, good for you! Please allow those of us who are to tell you the answers to your question, if it is indeed posed as a legitimate question... without you coming back like a troll and saying "you don't see evidence of that."

Sorry, all, I just don't like the general feel of this thread at all. So, I'll butt out now. Hugs to all... even though there's no 'evidence of love'... grr... I'll just move along... :-P
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Speaking for myself, my brother passed last year left all money to his wife knowing I would be taking care of mom with her slzheimers. She worked all her life in retail raising us three kids on her own since dad was no where around. All she owned was old mobile homep which o sold for 7 thousand dollars snd she gets 960 a month. I am divorced, no children no fsmily period. I do it because I care about her, but don't know how much longer and the nursing homes are horrible.
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We do it out of love for our family. Its nice to share different experiences on here and get emotional support when needed. Its nice to know we are not alone.
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Meant to say pout not point. Kindle is odd
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Some of us gave up jobs and moved 800 miles to help a parent who may have not been so bad off at the beginning. Some of them, ok I mean me lol, wanted to find a new job at New location,but couldn't. Then mom had a "great" idea. I would help her and she would pay room and board and healthcare. I told her I thought it would be better if I tried to get a job, if not full time than part time and she should have homecare while I worked and I would be there for her when I wasn't working. Mom pointed and said she didn't want that and told me that she was my job. Got a job anyway even though it's part time as I've been aged out of work I had done in the past. Mom now has advanced PD and dementia and still doesn't want homecare but has changed the narrative. NOW she never wanted me here and she doesn't think she needs 24/7 and I'm stealing from her and setting fires and hitting her. Yepd I painted myself into a corner. No good deed ever goes unpunished.
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Amen to Debralee you answered in a nutshell!

For anyone to do this for financial gain must be even more crazy than dementia parents! I care for my mum because she was a good mum and i love her although she was never an easy person to love. Now shes in midstages and im thinking how did i think i could do this alone? Honestly i cant and we are now looking at home mums not safe alone i or anyone cannot be here 24/7 with no help its just stupid to think otherwise. If i wasnt here mum would be alone all night and only carers coming in during the day its the night when we need the carers more? i have suggested to siblings that mums home go up for the cost of a fulltime carer so she stays in her house WELL you can imagine thier response? I would rather give up my inheritance and have mum stay in her own home with a fulltime carer but siblings are too greedy and think more about money than whats better for her? right now its mums house her money her care? when siblings disagree and youre the one who ends up tearing your hair out as they dont care as long as youre there sometimes the only solution is a NH. My sister and brother who do nothing to help here want POA! ive told mum you give them POA and im packing my bags POA should only be given to the caregiver noone else.

Margaret i think youve no idea what its like looking after an elder parent that you love and see decline IF you did you would NOT be asking this question! My friends think im nuts they say "oh a home" you cant just PUT your parent into a home if they dont want to go there? Like debralee says alot of us do not want to put our parents into a home but sometimes the reality is sometimes weve no choice!
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Most adult children do not want to place their parent/s in a nursing home. They take on the roll with good intentions until realization hits. Yes there are horrors stories, but a lot of them are the caregivers who have been doing it for a long time and are burned out: physically, emotionally or fianancially.
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To expand a bit, we are moving from S. CA to the NW (Vancouver, WA), specifically because we now need more family support. All of our family lives in that general area. The reason we need more support? My husband's mother, who lives in Spokane, WA is showing signs of dementia, and my husband is having to spend increasing amounts of time up there with her (someone does stay in the house with her - she is not alone) to take care of her affairs. The past 3 months he has spent about 5 weeks up there. From Vancouver, it's about a 6 hr drive. From here, about 23 hrs. Much easier to just go up for a couple of days as needed instead of being gone weeks at a time. So, after 3 years of caregiving my mother, we are re-arranging our lives so we can take on his mother as well. We're doing this for many reasons. The first reason, and main reason is because we love our mothers and it's the right thing to do. One way or another, we need to see that they get proper care. My husband's mother has long term care insurance and was in the military during WW II, so when she is no longer able to be in her home by herself, we will either put her in a nursing home or have a full time aide come in with the military aide in attendance benefit. My mother we will keep at home as long as she is comfortable there. Hopefully until she dies peacefully in her sleep some time in the future. I will be glad to get back up to the NW so we can have family holidays again. Mom loves the holidays as much as I do, but it's just not much fun putting together a huge meal for only 3 people.
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My reasons for taking this on were mixed, and the results have been mixed as well. At first, I didn't even question my parents' decision to make me the 'go-to' person. I felt somewhat honored, and was very eager to prove myself capable. When my father died and my mother required/demanded more and more attention and assistance, I still reacted like an eager to please child whose purpose in life was to try to make her happy and proud of me. However, I started to notice how this was NEVER actually happening. The workload for me increased, her 'absent mindedness' evolved into dementia, her narcissism became more and more magnified, and so it goes. To make matters worse, she has been totally uncooperative about absolutely everything--it's her way or the highway. I don't provide hands-on care, thank goodness. If it becomes impossible for me to provide care for her, I could bow out and place the responsibility on the state. But that feels pretty extreme right now, and as long as I can manage this, I'll continue to do so. Our relationship was never good, and any chance for improving it is now gone. I would have preferred not to go through this. It's been a tremendous burden and there has been a lot of heartache. I truly hope that it won't continue for very much longer. But, I've become a much stronger person, and I've learned so much about so much! It's changed me in many ways for the better, I think. But would I do this again? For someone who I felt love towards, who loved me, yes I would. But I hope I never have to do this again, let's put it that way.
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It creeps up on you and that may very well be the way our parents planned it. At first it's just little helps here and there. Then it grows and grows and grows until you can't see a way out ever. If it doesn't kill you, one becomes a better person for it.
Margarets - Please do not blame God for your decision to be a caregiver. I do not recall anything in my Bible about being a caregiver. My Bible says to honor my parents and that can take any number of forms; not necessarily being their caregiver but sometimes leaving them to their own devices and honoring their own decisions. I have had some difficulties in not despising but have worked through that. None of this is God's fault but the ways of humanity. Nothing bad or evil is of my God but He does allow the test to prove us.
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