Grandma died…the lessons continue ~ part two ~
When the tables turn can you find the lesson to learn?
It is time to admit you need help…
The opportunity came years later to repay my grandma for all of her love, sacrifice and guidance. My husband and I brought grandma to live with us in her time of need. Even though she would never admit it, the time had come when she really needed to have someone with her. She still had her senses about her, she was still mobile, but she just needed a companion…in case.
Moving grandma into our home was a HUGE adjustment for all of us. Have you ever had to reverse the roll of caretaker with one of your elderly relatives? My word, it is difficult to say the least, thank goodness for LOVE.
In grandma’s mind, I was still that little five-year-old girl. Indeed, she was still my grandma and I respected her for that role in my life. However, she needed guidance to remember what she needed to do to take care of herself. I must give her credit; she humbled herself every day and did not complain when I urged her to drink just one more glass of water and take her vitamins.
Last softball season…
My husband loves to play softball on the local mens league. During the spring grandma and I would pack our lawn chairs, water bottles and snacks into the car. Driving to the softball field she loved to just gaze at the wide open fields and reminisce. Soon we arrived at the field and then worked our way up the hill to find our favorite spot on the grass to watch the game. Looking back, I feel so badly at how I treated her with such impatience that day.
After just getting settled in, she had to use the facilities. I guided her gently down the sloping hill to the girls room. She handled that trip just fine. However, on the return trip she started slowing down, her breath was nothing more than short gasps for air. I kept encouraging her to take one more step. Finally, we made our way back to our seats, she regained her breath and we continued watching the ballgame.
She really enjoyed talking with the guys after the game. Recapping each play, she was sharp as a tack it was as if she were right down there on the field with them. The ballplayers really loved having a fan like my grandma, too.
Signs of trouble ahead…
That night we had our first sign of real trouble. After she had scurried off to bed, we noticed she was sitting up. We encouraged her to lie down because she needed her rest. She tried so hard to comply with our request. Her body would not cooperate. She could not breathe when she laid flat. We made her comfortable in the big recliner and covered her with a blanket. I knew it was time to have the dreaded talk with her.
The next morning it was time; the day had come when I knew I had to insist she allow me to take her to the doctor. She had only been to the medical doctor four times in her 90 years! She said that is why she lived so long! I arranged to take time off work to drive her to her appointment. My job was not real understanding of my role in grandma’s care, but it did not matter she was my priority now.
The outcome of the doctor’s visit was not what either of us wanted to hear. Her body was full of fluid, congestive heart failure. He would administer medication to rid her body of the excess water, however there would be no way I could give her the round the clock care she would need. She was refusing to go and it was up to me to convince her, for her own good, she must allow me to check her into the hospital.
We promised her it would only be for a few days at the most. Overnight she returned to her normal body size. It was amazing how the skin and muscle reacted to the water leaving her taxed body. She felt amazing, she was joking with the nurses, walking the halls and having a grand time. She was even sharing stories and her vitamins with the nurses. She told them they needed to talk with her grand-daughter and buy some.
We had an amazing visit that night after work, reminiscing, telling stories and the like. We learned more about life, business and what is important in life in one evening than most people do in a lifetime.
The final chapter of Grandma's story and my lessons yet to come continues on Thursday. Join us, won't you?
By the way, we can't get the word spread about these lessons without you. If you have learned anything at all from our story, send a tweet to your Twitter friends, drop a short post to your FaceBook friends. You can bet they will enjoy and learn right beside you
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
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