Sunday, June 17, 2012

I am back home and getting ready for Betty's arrival.  The phone calls are hard as she is quite distressed back in FL but we are almost there, tomorrow she flies north.

Purchased some new undies, deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo so when she arrives hopefully she will feel at home.  I am washing the undies and putting them into the drawer under the old ones in hopes of them going unnoticed.  It is very funny how small changes are just not accepted. 

The day before we left was a very bad one.  Confusion about where she was, where she is going, how she is getting there, etc.  Then, there have been the daily calls full of anxiety.  It seems that I am able to calm her down but there is no telling how long that lasts once we hang up.

These pictures show some of the preparation I went to to make this as easy as possible for Betty.

So, all the clothes I sent were pressed, hung and photographed.
Betty has a list of what was sent and a photo next to the words.
We packed her suitcase with all of the rest of her clothes and made a list of what was packed.  Then I left notes that said Betty you are all packed!  I set up her flying clothes, earrings, shoes, etc.  Set them apart so that she can see them easily.

 Betty would look at the calendar and start to worry that she would have things to do and I would remind her to look at the printouts and see what "we" had already done.  As usual I tried my hardest to let her think she was ever so helpful.  It is so hard for her to think she has to depend on someone to help her.

We washed her sheets and as many clothes as I could get my hands on so that she started the week with clean clothes and bed.  I also washed her hair on Sunday and will do it as soon as she arrives.

The truth is I am overwhelmed and even more so now that we are here with water leaking from the shower upstairs and the toilets doing their leaky thing... (clean water thank God!)  We were able to visit with Josh, Annie and the kids yesterday.  

This is hard for me so I know it is a hard transition for Betty.  We pray that she will adjust quickly and feel comfortable here for the summer.

Friday, June 8, 2012

This verse is on the sidebar of my friend Delores' blog.  I need these words today as I am feeling quite fragile.  Amen!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Last night Bob mentioned that we would be leaving on Monday to head north.  Big time OOPS!  

Rule #1, is; Never tell Betty anything in advance of when she has to know. Ever.  It is remarkable how much anxiety we can prevent by following rule #1!

There was a distressed phone call not too long after they had hung up.  "So, you are leaving tomorrow?"  "I will probably get to talk to you won't I?"  The anxiety was in her voice mixed with a bit of anger that we had not come over to see her before we left.  Mind you we will be apart for a week at most.  But, to Betty a week is a million days.  

It's funny, but we try to be so careful about what we say and yet our mouths start spewing out information we KNOW we should hold back and once it is out there it is OUT!  I can't tell you how many times we have looked at each other after one or the other has let the cat out of the bag and just rolled our eyes knowing that the consequences for Betty and for us we different but equally profound.

I have been using for awhile.  They have this great checklist where I write down things that need to be done and check it off when it is complete.  I am THRILLED when I get to check things off.  Today I got to check off a biggie... mailing packages north.  Bob had very few to carry in because we decided to just limit what we send north as we are there for a seemingly short time.  I am not looking forward to the day when I say.."Oh darn! I left that down south!"  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Last night we went to Betty's to have dinner and so that we can get her to shower.  So far this has worked out well because I just scoot her into the shower as I tell her I need to get dinner started.  Last night Bob took all of her decorative plates off the wall and I wrapped them in paper and stored them in the new plastic bins I purchased.  One word, hurricanes.  Betty has always taken everything down so we continue.   She took her shower, I cooked her left-overs from the night before and made sandwiches for Bob and me.  

Just a couple of the MANY plates we put away.
I brought the box of clothes that I have been gathering from her house.  I have them all washed and pressed and put into a box to send north.  As I sat there in the chair while we ate I kept praying for guidance about approaching Betty with the packing and clothes issue.

After we were done I slowly broached the subject of needing to locate some of the clothes that we are sending north.  I almost made it sound as though she had been involved in the packing all along.  Packing for this trip, as you can imagine, is one of the hugest hurdles we face going north.  Our goal this time is to send a huge number of her outfits by mail and have her pack just one suitcase.  The suitcase issue is always hard because Paula, who flies north with Betty, prefers to just have a carry on and Betty thinks she needs a million outfits.  

Betty scurried around, trying to appear to understand what was needed but not really finding a single outfit I requested.  When I asked her for slippers she pulled out a pair that had worn enough on the sole to be too dangerous for stairs.  So, I went on the search in Imelda II's closet and found a brand new pair of totes slippers with a wonderful tread.  She "never saw them before" but agreed that they would be good to pack.  As an aside I also found the little clock that we have been searching for hidden in her old slippers.  She must have put the alarm switch to "on" and her way of dealing with the ringing alarm?  Inside the slipper!  

We were able to walk out of the house with most of the things we need to send minus a few that need washing.  That will leave her with a nightie, hang around shorts, a nice shorts outfit and her underthings to put into the carry on.  It should work out ok!!!  

Bob and I know that this would be easier if we all stayed here but also know that we need to spend time in our own home and being away during hurricane season is a huge plus!  We'll see if Betty does ok with the upheaval or if this needs to be the last year we do it.  I am not sure what we will do in the alternative but we'll face that hurdle when we come to it.  Last summer it only took Betty a couple weeks to acclimate herself and feel at home.  I am hoping this year will not be too bad for her.  She does want to see her family and sister-in-law/friend Kay. Plus she spends a week with her daughter which is respite for Bob and me.

Next task... to take pictures of the inside and outside of Betty's house because she does start to forget it and that makes her anxious.  I will make up a little picture album of her home, street, her neighbors homes and just down the street, her hairdresser Janet.