~ HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION! ~

My parents live 1200 miles away.  This summer they flew up for vacation, planning to visit with my brother and sister-in-law, friends in Maine, family in New Hampshire and ending their trip at my house for a week.  They arrived as scheduled and went to my brother’s house.  My brother noticed that my mother seemed to be walking rather gingerly but thought given her age, she’s 83, and the tire of travel that it was just exhaustion.  He thought that, until he noticed the blood on her arm sleeve and asked what happened.  My mother was hesitant to tell but finally said she had fallen on the escalator at the airport in Florida.  Her carry-on got caught in the steps as she was ascending.  She reached to grab it only to have the bag pull her backwards and down.  My father, who was a few steps down, was bombarded with luggage, which then knocked him down.  The escalator stopped immediately and they were converged upon by every official in the airport.  Security, the airlines, the airport officers, EMT, all helping and asking if they were alright.

escalator

They asked my mom if she wanted to get an X-ray, as she had hurt her right hip.  She walked around for a bit, decided she was okay and would continue their flight here.  In hindsight, they should have turned around and went home.

My mom has macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease, and her depth perception is not good.  This was her 5th fall in the last few years, thus the hesitation in telling my brother.  Collectively in the previous 4 falls, she has broken her back, each wrist and her shoulder.  She had just healed from her shoulder injury, finishing up with physical therapy, right before leaving on this trip.

After their visit with my brother and sister-in-law, my parents were preparing to leave for Maine.  My mother’s side had been bothering her the previous days and she was not sure if she should make the trip, it was a seven hour drive.  I told them that if they did not want to go they were welcome to stay with me for two weeks instead of the one week, as planned.  They considered that option, but when the morning came to leave, my mother felt better and decided she was okay to make the long drive.

Two days after leaving for Maine I received THE CALL from my dad, “your mother fell, she’s in the hospital, she fractured her femur”.  The fracture was near her hip socket, where she had previously had hip replacement surgery.  Fortunately there was no structural damage and she did not need surgery.  After hanging up with my dad, I wept.  I felt so bad for my mother, here she goes again.  She must feel so frustrated, disgusted, and defeated not to mention the pain she must be in, I thought to myself.

She was walking down outside steps and when she got to the last one she thought it was a shorter distance to the bottom than it actually was.  As she took the step, anticipating to touch the ground and not feeling it, she fell forward, hit the garage and then the driveway.  She hit her head, elbow and hip.  I can only imagine how scary and painful that must have been for her.  She was brought by ambulance to the hospital, where she would spend the next week recovering.

The hospital she was admitted to was Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, ME.  She said Pen Bay had the most caring staff of doctors, nurses and others that she had experienced in a long time.  Her stay there, although an undesired one, was nurturing, pleasant, healing and restful.  May God send blessings to all at Pen Bay Medical Center and a heart-felt thank you from me for taking such great care of my mom.

pen bay

After six days in the hospital my mom was released and my parents made the long drive here, a six hour trip.  How would she endure riding in the car, bumping along with a fractured femur?  They arrived around 5 pm, tired but happy to be here.  My mother was very sore, it was difficult to get her out of the car and take that one step into my house.  It must have seemed as if it were 5 feet high, but she did it.

In the meantime, I have a very dear friend who helped me get the necessary medical equipment; a commode, wheelchair, shower chair and grabbers (you pick things up off the floor with them).  I would like to give a shout out to the South Hadley Council on Aging, they provided all of this at no cost.  Again God, please send blessings to my dear friend and the center!!

My parents’ one week stay turned into three, as my mother needed time to heal before she could travel.  My week off from work was spent watching over my mom 24/7, helping her in and out of bed, getting up during the night, helping her bathe, dress, and walk.  I made meals, brought her to the doctor, picked up prescriptions, rubbed her feet, rubbed her back on particularly bad nights when she just could not get comfortable.  She had good days and bad days.  She used a walker to get around and 3 to 4 times a day she would walk all through my house as physical therapy.  The hospital said she was to start walking right away, which was a surprise to me, but the more she walked, they said, the quicker she would heal.  She was such a trooper.

Although my vacation was not spent as originally planned with them, I would not trade the three weeks that God blessed me with.  I don’t see my parents as often as I should and a week is such little time.  I certainly would not wish any harm to my mother but I have to say, I am most grateful that we were able to have an extended stay together.  I cherished every minute of taking care of her!

She is or was a nurse, and she worked in a nursing home taking care of the elderly.  I understand now how that is such a rewarding job for your soul.  I enjoyed every moment running around, getting up during the night, rubbing her, cooking, dressing, doing her hair, helping with her makeup, whatever I could do to make her feel comfortable.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

When the time came for them to go home, I flew with them.  I had to, there was no way I was going to let them make that trip just the two of them.  Once again it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

They are now settled comfortably in the familiar surroundings of their own home sweet home.  My mother continues to improve and I talk to them daily.  I love that too.  For me this unfortunate accident was a blessing in disguise, it brought me closer to my parents and I thank God everyday for that!

Love you Mom and Dad!!  xoxo

summer vacation

(c) onceuponahotflash, 2016

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57 thoughts on “~ HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION! ~

  1. sorry to hear the falls and pain your mom has had and the worries family members have. it cannot be easy for anyone…. it is good that things seem better and you focus on the best out of these ordeal. very positive, very constructive attitude.

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    • Thank you. Yes it was and continues to be worrisome, especially with them living so far away, but as I said I am so thankful I was able to spend that time and take care of her. It truly meant the world to me!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad there were angels of all sorts to help your folks (and you) during this stressful time. It feels good to be able to help those in need… And it’s especially wonderful when it draws us closer to one another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! I’m so grateful to all the angels who helped too. It feels so good to help those in need, it is the most rewarding feeling to make someone feel better! Yes I so treasure the opportunity I had to spend more time with them and now we are closer because of it!! xoxo

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  3. I feel so sorry for your poor mom! But she sure is lucky to have you as a daughter! As unfortunate as the accident was I’m glad that it was a blessing in disguise!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, your poor mom! So glad you were there to help out and fly back with them. What a wonderful daughter your mom has! Sending hugs 🙂

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  5. Wow – it’s so hard to watch out parents age. But so thankful for any time we can spend with them. You are lucky to have them both. Best wishes to your Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, it is hard. I’m very thankful for every moment and very lucky to have them both. Thank you for your wishes I will send them to my Mom. 😊

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  6. I’m so glad your mom had so much support, and that you were able to spend so much time with her. Time well spent. Sending hugs to all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too am glad I was able to spend so much time with her. Thanks for the hugs, they feel wonderful!! xo

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    • About a year before my mum died, I was called home to the USA because she was at death’s door. I spent two weeks living (sleeping in a recliner chair) in her hospital room. I spent so much time there that I knew all the nurses, knew where all the supplies (sheets and such were) and was even invited to the opening of the new morgue (I didn’t go). Mum said it was the best time we’d had in a long time, and I had to agree.

      Went back six months later and took my daughters. Mum was at home then, but went into intensive care on the day we left.

      Another six months later she died before I could get home. Cherish every moment, however they come.

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    • Thanks for sharing that Peggy! You are so right too, cherish the moments, however they come…very wise words!! Sorry to hear about your Mum, but happy to know you were able to spend some quality time with her too!!
      Wow you passed up a Morgue Opening… 😉

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  7. I’ve heard so many people complain that their plans were interrupted due to an illness in the family, so it was refreshing to read that you recognized this as a blessing. We’re on this planet for such a short time, why not spend as much time with those who need us and that we love? A wonderful post, Deb!

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    • Thanks Rob! Your kind words make me smile and you are right, spend as much time with those who need us and we love…you never know when that opportunity will be gone!! 🙂

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  8. After sharing this post you must be feeling light-hearted.
    It’s very beautiful that you took care of your mother as she took care of you when you was small and dependent.
    May God Bless her with health and May you have plenty of time to spend with your parents!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Madeeha!! I had those same thoughts, like I was giving back for all those years that she took care of me! I was so grateful to have been given the chance!! I was feeling both light-hearted and sad, sad that my parents were now back home and not here, but happy that I was able to help. Thank you for the wishes of health I will send them along to my mother!! xo

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    • Yes, please do send them both my best wishes and don’t you worry they’re always near you and keep praying and you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your parents!! 🙂

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    • I told them of all the wonderful well wishes from you and everyone else, they were overwhelmed. Thank you dear Madeeha, I will keep praying and look forward to spending more time with them!! xo 🙂

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    • Good hearing it 🙂

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  9. Deb, Great post. Yeah, it is so so hard to watch those you love struggle as they try to maintain a lifestyle they have become accustomed to over the years. Bless your heart and bless your dear mother’s heart. I’m so glad you have each other. I mean you could have said screw it and headed for the nearest liquor store! But you stayed and dealt with the situation…and you did so with a good heart. I’m so glad to be a blogging friend. 🙂

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    • Oh thanks Paul, your words make me laugh and cry (happy tears). It is difficult to see them struggle and most of us will be there one day too. You are a very dear blogging friend and I’m grateful for that also!! 🙂
      Darn it, liquor store…knew I was forgetting something, that would have helped…hee hee 😉

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  10. I am so pleased that through all these mishaps that some good came and you and your parents were bought closer!

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  11. Two things:
    There is a program called Freedom from Falls. Each year our local MS Society chapter arranges for a PT to present it to our clients. You might look for something in your area.
    I’m going to try to attach a link to a pamphlet about falls that has some good information you might find helpful. It also has a resource that might be useful.
    Falling in the elderly population is a serious concern, and no one is immune. I wish you and you parents well and offer them a gold star for trying and not giving up.https://www.lsqin.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/FallsPrevention_Trifold-2-FINAL-9.4.2015.pdf

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    • Oh wow George, thank you so much!! I will research this and send the information along to my parents. How very thoughtful of you to take the time!! Yes falling is such a serious concern, and to have to keep recovering from them, the older she gets the longer and more difficult the road to healing. Thank you for your well wishes and I will pass them along to my parents as well.
      I hope all is well with you and your family!! I’ve been a little busy 😉 and have not been visiting sites, but now that I have more free time, I look forward to “popping” over!! xo

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  12. I’m sure it meant a lot to your Mom and Dad. Hope she’s better now. Debra

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    • It really did, it meant equally as much to me, to my surprise. Thank you Debra, she’s progressing and has come a long way from where she was!! I truly appreciate your kind thoughts!! xo

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  13. I’m sure the time meant a lot to your Mom and Dad – I hope she has a speedy recovery. Debra

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my goodness Your poor Mom. That is scary. My parents live 1400 miles away. So I feel you. My brother lives minutes away so that makes me feel better. But the older they get the more concerned we all get. So glad you were able to spend time with them. ❤

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  15. Oh no! I’m so sorry your mother was hurt like that! How scary that must have been for her, your dad, all of you! Thank the Lord she was able to get really good care, and especially that you got to spend such nurturing time with her. What a blessing, to have your baby take care of you! I bet your mother was so happy to enjoy that “role reversal” with you. 🙂 I’ll keep her in prayer that she continues healing.

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    • It was so upsetting to me when my dad called. But it was wonderful to take care of her and have extra time with both of them! Thank you Vanessa for your prayers I know they will help. She is having an x-Ray tomorrow to see how it’s healing. 😊

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  16. OMG! Deb!!!
    This is something which made me read repeatedly, I read it yesterday and so many thoughts were just revolving around me as I very much wanted to comment on this. I read it again today, twice.
    I can imagine the pain and agony your Mom faced and your Dad being at the side of her. She is 83 and your Dad maybe around 86, I suppose. This is incredible to plan and have such a trip, that to thousands of miles having to meet you and your brother and sister in law.
    Looking to the ordeals she has already had in the past, I feel such tours should not be planned at all in the first instance. I have certain things to tell, I do not think you shall misunderstand. At this age of Mom & Dad you all should have not encouraged them to plan the trip. Even my Mom & Dad have had such trips. I feel enough is enough, if anybody wants to meet them or they want anyone to meet, one should go and meet and spend enough time with them at their place as you call their Home Sweet Home. This mishap is not ordinary and by the grace you and your brother were there to run around and the treatment all went so fine. But look to what all went through of which you are the witness. She being a nurse herself might have taken it very, very positively. Being a nurse; what a noble job, I can imagine how beautifully she might have served her patients. All blessings have been showered on her.

    You have not mentioned about the money having to spend on all this, which of course is not necessary but getting treatment for all this that too in the US. Oshh…..This is again a very delicate thing as to who is to share for such things.

    You got such a privilege to serve them and have earned blessings for your own self.

    I would like to tell a few things which I thought I would never ever share it on the blogosphere. But I am feeling I should. It all began in 1995, ever since almost more than twenty years now; it was an unfortunate accident near Delhi almost 1000 miles away from my native, in which there were three deaths close to the family. I have been running around taking patients now and then. I have got them treated in the best of hospitals of India. I have almost become a self appointed nurse to those whom I am just going to mention. My Mom & Dad, My Uncle (My mom’s sister’s husband, whose three sons were living in US at the time, whom I got operated for heart bypass) , My Co-Brother, My Co-sister (they are my wife’s sister and husband, whose both son and daughter are doctors), My closest of friends, My father-in-law who always wanted me by his side, he was involved in that accident; during his last three years for anything he would call me, even for a small thing, as soon as I was there he would feel so good, just normal. He had three other daughters to take care of, but he wanted me. I have left my place, family and my business for so many weeks to get them treated. Close to their family some of them have raised their eyebrows – why, why this guy in their treatment.

    Many a times I feel have I ever done all this. It was just a dream. I never ever feel to rise my collars.

    Mom & Dad are two Precious Gems whom you shall not get for a price.
    Blessings are invisible kind of stuff.
    Shiva

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    • Wow Shiva this certainly resonated with you. The original reason my parents planned this trip was because two of my father’s siblings were ill and close to death. He wanted to see them before they passed. He never did get that opportunity and one did pass the last week of their visit here. I do agree with you and have told my parents that I think their traveling days are over, it’s just not worth the risk. My dad is also 83.
      How noble of you to take care of so many people so far away. It is quite a task to perform. I can understand why your father-in-law preferred you, he had a connection with you and that helps to bring comfort to us when we are ill to be with someone we feel connected to. Many blessings are and will be showered on you too! We are here to help each other in whatever way we can and you did just that!! What a wonderful feeling it gives, does it not?
      Yes my mom was a wonderful, caring nurse. The patients loved her and they were so lucky to be in her care.
      Mom & Dad are two Precious Gems who I care for and love deeply. I have told them I shall come to visit them from now…I think they are finally in agreement.
      Thank you for sharing.
      Deb
      xo

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    • I was wanting to know your response. It’s good you have taken it in right perspective.
      I had also sent you a mail please check.
      Shiva

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  17. Nice story Deb. You certainly can make lemonade out of lemons! I know Mom and Dad enjoyed their extended visit with you as well! You are such a caring and devoted daughter. I guess what goes around comes around! Love you and who you are! XXOO, D

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    • Thank you! It truly was a blessing having the extended time with them, one week is just not enough. Even when it was time for them to go home I wished they stayed longer, but I know Dad was antsy to get back home and I don’t blame him. Everyone prefers to be in their own home, plus I figured Mom would heal even better there. Thank you for such kind words, they’ve made me smile, as do you!! Love you too and so glad you are my sister. XOXO 🙂

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  18. Deb, this is definitely not like those ” How I Spent My Summer Vacation” compositions we did each September on returning to school! Your mother is incredibly strong to endure everything she’s gone through. I really do hope she heals quickly and that your future vacations are accident free for all of you. Take care and maintain that amazing positive attitude of gratitude. Clare

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    • No Clare it definitely is not like the ones we wrote in school. However I cannot not express enough my gratitude for having the extended time with them!! Yes my Mom is a remarkable woman, in addition to all those falls and broken bones, she has gone thru a breast cancer twice and had a mastectomy both times, 18 years apart from each other. The second one was just a couple of years ago! She is quite the role model!! What I love now is that I call them every day and we chat, something I was neglectful of prior to this. Yes from now on I’m traveling to them!! 😉 Thank you for your kind words. xo

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    • I hope you have many more wonderful days with them. It’s the time that is important in the end.

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    • Thanks Clare, me too!! You are so right about that…glad I learned that before it was too late!! 🙂

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  19. Ohh Debbie dear, my thoughts and prayers with your parents. And you have been such a wonderful daughter being there for them and what’s more, enjoying taking care of them. How is she doing now?

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