Here I go again. It’s 5:00 am (not my usual rising time by any means) and I can’t sleep. I have struggled with a sleeping disorder/possible fibromyalgia for 4 years, and it’s reared its’ ugly head again. It happens after I’ve been through an extremely stressful period. Those of you who know about our oldest adopted daughter B (now 18 and estranged from us) know why it started 4 years ago. This go-round began with her again last July when she attacked our family (her family) in a way that broke my heart. This particular situation lasted for several months, while at the same time my parents were struggling with health issues. Dad fell and had to have back surgery and then went to rehab. During that time Mom was feeling bad and called me and EMS early one morning and she spent the next few days in the hospital. She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and a pulmonary embolism, among other things. So she ended up in rehab next door to Dad! After many hours of conversations, phone calls and researching, my brother and I helped them make the decision to move to Evergreen’s nursing home on Dec. 5, 2007. Because of Dad’s advanced Parkinson’s Disease, they are in a skilled nursing room, though Mom is listed as assisted living. The process of getting them settled and taking care of their needs has been a part-time job for me. I know now what it means to be the “sandwich” generation. I homeschool my youngest three children and am responsible for taking care of my elderly parents. It’s an incredibly exhausting position to be in. I feel like I can never give enough or meet everyone’s needs.
For the last several weeks I have been working at my parents’ house to clean it out to get ready to put it up for sale. My parents left their home not knowing they would never live in it again. So I have spent days getting Mom at the nursing home, taking her to her house, helping her sort through her life’s belongings and make decisions. Then the rest of the days I have been responsible for deciding what to keep, throw away, give away and sell. All while trying to keep my family in clean clothes and meals on the table. This past Saturday was our tag sale and we had a decent day. Everything that is left has to be taken care of so I can clean the house and contact the realtor. I have tried to do all this with a good atittude, but the stress is getting to me. Hence my lack of sleep. I can only pray that I’m at the end of the worst of this life event. I know God never gives us more than we can bear, and I believe that. I have to take comfort in the fact that my children are observing me honor my parents in a tangibile way. And they have opportunities to minister to their grandparents and also to me through their encouragement and concern.