some odd changes

Dowlan has been deployed to distant lands for an undetermined amount of time.
Er, not quite.

Dowlan moved in with an older woman.
True, but not really it either.

Dowlan is off to save the day, leaving me to mop up the pee.

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to explain this one, especially considering I'd like to respect the privacy of others.

See, we have a branch of the family that we're not related to, but have come to think of as our own. We have several, but one offshoot in particular that we're close to. The head of this family is an elderly woman with dementia, who has two disabled adult children.

For the last two-and-a-half years, 'Granny' has been assisted by live-in companions to help her pass the day, help with meds, make sure she eats, etc. Recently, she made a plan with her daughter to go halvsies on a new house in a retirement community and her caregivers responded to that plan by moving out without notice and taking what they wanted.

It is six+ months before the new house will be done. The daughter is not able to care for her; paying non-live-in caregivers round-the-clock would bankrupt anyone. So Dowlan has gone to stay with her for awhile.

At least the next ten days, perhaps the next ten months.

There are quite a few pluses to this plan: the pay is excellent, it's not a far drive, it's something he's well suited to do, he needs a job and she does make for good company. The kids are all in school full-time this year, I have another month before I have to show up to work and we can go visit at any time.

It's just going to be odd. And hard. But I remind myself that we can do hard things.

But I remind myself that daddies frequently go off to work--they travel for business, they work in another town for awhile, they go off to war. At least we have the benefit of it being nearby and, hey, he's not getting shot at. We can end it at any time, any reason, no hard feelings.

He left Monday morning and I must say we're holding up quite well. I've been trying to do silly, fun things to help them not notice that the silly, fun parent is away for a bit. This morning I jumped on the trampoline with the kids and this evening I made Peace & Carrots, fondue-style for dinner.

Other than the parts of yesterday where Dixie dislodged her orthodontia and Charlie peed on the carpet, things are going well. I steam-cleaned the carpet yesterday, took her to the dentist this morning . . . we march on.


Peace and Carrots: I took small glass bowls and put dipping sauces in them--fruit dip, alfredo, marinara, ranch--had a larger plate of Things On Sticks to dip in them. I used baby carrots to make the shape of a peace sign on the plate to section off the meatballs, fruits, cheese cubes, etc.

It was silly and required little effort.


Judy Brooks said...

Gretchen, you are an amazing woman! And yours is a precious family. Love the pictures of your beautiful children on your blog site. Hang in there with our love and prayers.

Sally P said...

Seriously want pictures of Peace & Carrots. It sounds awesome.
It's not fun being a semi-single parent but you're right that it can be done.