Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In Solidarity with my Sister for our Mom in IL

My sister Elaine lives about 15 minutes from the Holmstad Retirement Community in Batavia, Illinois where my Mom is in the Michaelsen Health Center (skilled care). She has been responsible for Mom’s day to day affairs since Dad died five years ago, and she had the power of medical attorney. A degreed nurse, my sister recently left a more administrative job to become the day nursing supervisor for the assisted living unit at Holmstad, which is adjacent to Michaelsen. That means Elaine sees Mom every day. I really appreciate that she has handled this responsibility so well and willingly, and I try to make sure she knows I support her. Her husband Max has had some persistent health concerns the last couple of years and is starting early retirement. Elaine’s proximity to Mom and her nursing profession is a real gift to Mom and to me, though I know at times this gets stressful.

So when Elaine called me the week before Holy Week to ask that Candy and I come up to see Mom, we had to do some juggling so we could come right after Jon’s family left. The people of 1st Christian Church in Duncanville were amazingly generous and encouraging in their support and prayers to facilitate us making this trip on such short notice.

On Thursday morning, April 12 we all participated in Mom’s quarterly care conference with the staff of Michaelsen. This helped give us all a better picture of Mom’s situation and made us even more thankful for the care she has receive there and how positive she feels about that care. We enjoyed visiting most of the rest of that day. On Friday she needed a rest, but we had a wonderful afternoon and evening. Before leaving that night, I read St. Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders from Acts 20, and we talked about the spiritual legacy Mom has left on three generations.

During Mom’s Friday afternoon rest, our niece Helen (Elaine’s youngest daughter) came down from Madison, WI. She and I had a nice chat while Mom slept. Helen was also with us for Friday dinner (as was our brother-in-law Max) and for our prayer together at the end of the day.

In keeping with Mom’s level of strength, Candy and I had brief visits with her on Saturday morning before driving to Milwaukee to see David’s family and on Monday early afternoon as we began our return journey to Texas.

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