On this International Women’s Day Join me and consider reaching out to the DVasha Series. If not for my mother, your mother, and all the women who chose to set the path before us, we owe them our gratitude.
I have been personally blessed that I had a mother and a mother-in-law who accepted me and love me, warts (zits) and all. Although we did not always agree, or follow the same paths in life, we respected each other’s choices even when questioning them either silently or in a deafening voice. In addition to these two marvelous women, in my teens, a beautiful woman by the name of Sue Givot, unofficially adopted me as part of her family and over the years we have stayed in touched. Sue, her husband Irv, and their two daughters Debbie and Jodi are as much of my family as those I share a bloodline with.
It has been said we share in everyone’s life that we have connected with. If you think about how many people that have been in your lifetime, it is no wonder we are 6 degrees removed from another person. We are making connections all the time, and we never know where that connection will take us.
Did your mother ever remind you never to go out of the house without wearing clean underwear? She didn’t want you to make a wrong impression just in case you were in an accident and someone (like a paramedic, nurse or doctor saw your underwear. It happened to me three times. All three times I was wearing clean underwear when I left the house!)
Our mothers, or the women who mother us in our life, are guiding us even when we aren’t asking for their guidance. They are there to lead us, pick us up, and support us. If it weren’t for them, where would we be today? They have taught us to be strong and independent and caring.
However, as vigorous and independent and caring as they have taught us to be we have left many of them behind! As they age, we put them off as we take over, leaving them in the hands of others who we hope will care for the, who we expect will care for them.
I began the DVasha Series to share with you what I learned in a few short months, and what others are sharing with me that they have not spoken about because they feel that they may have let their mother or their guide down. (We must take care of the process now!)
Eldercare is not all bad, however, it is not providing the care that most of our parents deserve. We need to be more aware of the needs of our parents and communicate with them before their needs become an emergency. Preparing for aging in place takes planning, and it may not be a conversation that should be settled by family alone but should include professionals who understand the process.
Here in the Cleveland, I have met with Heather Greene who is a certified Elder Care Coordinator. Heather wears many hats, but one major hat she wears is sitting down and discussing with you and your parent (representing your mother or father) how they want to live, where they want to live, and how they can manage to live in that manner. Heather does the research on finding the amenities that work for the elderly and proposes options.
However, Bradley Greene has an Elderly Law Practice. Brad is exceptional in planning life care planning. I love this line from his blog page: “Thinking about your future, or that of a loved one, involves much more than just paperwork and signatures.” These two people are unique as far as I know. There may be others in the community like them, and if there are I invite them to reach out to me. We need more people to help all of us age together.
Sadly, I watched my mother live out her days three hours away in an independent living environment that she loved but was not convenient for my brothers and me to visit much more than 3 – 4 times per year. I was lucky enough to spend the last 2 ½ months of her life with her and grew to know her more than I ever thought I could, and I understood why she chose to remain in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She still had elementary school friends living in her complex, people she worked with throughout the years, extended family, new friends, and a staff of loving compassionate people.
However, if I had not had the luxury of the last 2 ½ months of her life I would never have learned any of this, and that is why the DVasha Series is so important not just to me but for so many. It’s time to come together. We need family (mispacha.) No one needs to be alone. There is too much depression in this world, too much sadness. We can kick it in the butt. Let’s reach out and start talking to each other.
If you’re not a mother, that’s OK; I’ll adopt you!
In Memory of my Mother and In Honor of Purim:
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