Thursday, August 20, 2009

Defining Me

At age 75 I am trying to 'find myself'. With Elbert living elsewhere, the children all grown and taking care of themselves I am having a very hard time trying to find my place in this world.

I have been a caregiver for most of my life. Started out at age 18 with our first child. There followed 4 more children. During that time (following the death of Elbert's Mom) he and I also had 3 of his sisters at various time. We graduated all three of them from high school. We also kept my father-in-law part of the time. I had total care of my Mother for 12 years and then I have cared for Elbert for 9. I am not saying this in the way of getting sympathy or using a 'poor pitiful me' ploy. No, I am using this as a measuring stick, a divining rod to figure out just who I am and what am I to do with me now. My role in life has always been decided for me. Now I have the freedom to decide for myself and I don't know how.

I find myself restless, not so much outwardly but deep inside. My thoughts drift about like the seed of a dandelion floating on the wind. I just hope that the seed soon settles on the ground and takes root so that I will grow in the direction as I need to at this point in my life. I mean I'm not a teenager here and I don't have a ton of time ahead of me to figure it all out. (grin)

I feel like I want a complete change. I have lost interest in many of the things that had appealed to me in the past. I want new direction and yet I am afraid of turning loose of the old one.

My daughter says that I have a new life now and that may be so. I went to visit Elbert at the Garden today and felt absolutely useless. He read the paper that I had brought him, chatted briefly with another resident, Louise, who was trying to get him to 'take a walk' and promptly fell asleep when we tried to watch a movie. I could have been a thousand miles away for all he was concerned. He has made his life at the Garden, made new friends and he's very comfortable.

I just gotta figure out how to make my life now without taking care of someone else. Gee, that could be great.... if I ever figure it out.


JeanMac said...

Oh, gosh, what a struggle. I hope the pieces will just fall into place for you.I am so encouraged that your husband is comfortable in his new home. We are heading in that direction and it really encourages me. Good luck, you have earned all the happiness you can muster!

Peggy said...

Hi Latane, it is a measure of your inner strength that you are even contemplating making a new life at 75 years old and not just sitting back waiting for life to happen.Maybe try some short break holidays to visit family and friends which you may not have been able to do over the last few years? It will be hard to sit alone in the house sewing or quilting for a while but with your experience in these crafts maybe give classes or attend craft fairs or exhibitions to catch up on old friends with similiar interests.The world is your oyster to go or do as you please!

Helen said...

Hello there! No matter the circumstance, we all transition through life ~ and not always with the greatest of ease. You sound like a person who enjoys people and life - depending on the need in your community, volunteering may be something you would find fulfillment in. Our world needs caring, loving souls ~ like you!

Susannah said...

Hi Latane, I can just imagine how you are feeling. I think it is just going to take time. You have been nuturing everyone forever and it is hard to accept that it is about you now. I hope as each day passes, you will become more acustomed to this different way of life. Nobody ever said it was easy. You can do it, though. You are a very strong lady and with God's will find this new path that you are suppose to be on.

Sincere thoughts and prayers,

Sharyn said...

Good morning Letane, thank you for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog. I don't know that caregivers are angels, I expect we all chafe at times, but in my case I just feel it is part of my higher purpose and I'm happy to serve. I've gained a lot from the experience, I'm sure you have too.
Holding you in my heart, merciful journey to the new you. Sharyn

Dolores said...

I have no doubt that you will find a place that gives satisfaction and comfort to you....

You express your feelings so honestly and so beautifully. I hope you know how much you are helping others who travels this journey.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Tile Lady said...

You are all so sweet to make such helpful and encouraging comments to Mom, and I know they have been meaning so much to her, and helping her through this! She is very down today, but I know that it will take some time to truly adjust to this HUGE change. It is the winter of their lives and now they are living apart, and there is so much to adjust to. But, I know she will. She's such a great lady, and has always been there for all of us....I hope in some small ways I can be there for her now too. I try anyway. I am so thankful for them both! My parents are two very special wonderful people, and I am just so blessed! I hope soon Mom will feel like she can have fun again, and will be more at ease with the way things are.