Author's Note

I hope that this blog will inspire you and renew your resolve to overcome the fear, the pain, the overwhelming sense of dread that you may have found yourself in. If I can make you laugh, cry, or have some personal realization about your own situation, I will be incredibly pleased - for you.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." - unknown

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Swap!

Sat & Sun, June 28 & 29, 2008

Well Hudson made it in from the east coast to take over the care of his father so I can leave the west coast and head back to close on the house, resign formally from my job (set a date), work out the details with my boss, pack the house (ARGH!), go to the going away party for Dave and I, and make the move (which should be sometime around mid to late July).

. . .

I am so very proud of our son.  He was 22 years old and just finished his third year of college (out of five) and when I asked him if he could forgo the summer job hunting and come out and take care of his father instead, he said, "yeah, sure".  I asked him how long it would take him to get his stuff out of the apt, in storage and so on and he said a few days.  He pulled it all together in about 5 days.

A moment here to just talk about our children.  I didn't know fully how they really felt about everything.  I assumed (and hoped) that they were talking with each other.  I know that at the time Montana felt very strongly that it would be OK.  She felt this immediately.  There was a calmness.  Since I was able to tell her in person before I left, what was going on, it was very comforting for me to "feel" her energy as I recounted what had occurred up to that point.  With Hudson it was a little more difficult because I had no choice but to tell him over the phone.  Its not always easy to read people over the phone.  On the surface however, he seemed concerned but confident that it would sort out.  Later on in the saga, both children asked me what they could do.  I told them:

"Live your life, do well in school, stay out of trouble, and try to handle your own problems as best you can."  

It may not seem like much, but to me, it was HUGE.  If I could focus all my energies on getting Dave stable and well, not knowing what was ahead of us really, except that it would be time consuming and fraught with hurdles - to not worry about the kids would free up a great deal of my energies.  The last thing I wanted was for them to stop going to college, get depressed or whatever one does when hit with a trauma such as this.  We were now 3,000 miles away from them on top of everything else!

They are both pretty resourceful, self sufficient kids.  I raised them that way.  I couldn't help it.  I lost my father when I was just shy of 13.  He rocked my world.  He was my hero.  When I was about 16 and coming out of the "fog" of losing him, I realized that he had taught me all I needed to know to live my life successfully.  It was quite a moment. I still remember it very well, it was pivotal.  Somehow I pulled myself together and began to really live at that point.  When I had my children, I just very naturally taught them things very early in their life.  It was not uncommon for adults to comment.  When they were teenagers they would often complain to me about how so and so's mother does this or that for their kids!  Oh well... later though, my son called me when he was in his second year of college and told me how his housemate was completely inept at taking care of himself.  That his mother would come and get his laundry each week and take it home to wash, buy groceries and CLEAN HIS ROOM!  I was incredulous of course, and I gently asked (as I couldn't tell yet if he was resentful or annoyed), "Do you want me to do your laundry or something for you?"  He said no and then went on to concede that I had done a good job raising him to be self sufficient and that while at times he hated me for it, he realized how much better prepared he was for life.  Sniff, sniff.

So now here we were, a family, at different season's of our lives, the children budding into young adults and negotiating their life with much less supervision from their parents, Dave and I on our own adventure as "empty nesters" - and we have this "thing" happen.  How do we move forward?  How do we keep going?  What should continue as is and what should change?  I have learned in my life that you keep moving forward.  Small steps, big steps, it doesn't matter as long as you are indeed moving and it is forward.  That is my stable datum if you will.  So all my decisions were with that basic premise.  It has served me well in the past and it has served me well through this.

I want to take this moment to thank my children, Hudson and Montana, for being there for their Dad and I, for doing so incredibly well in school and continuing to move forward in their lives when they weren't sure if they shouldn't do something else.  I am incredibly proud of you and proud to be your mother.  Everything I had hoped for you, I have received in spades... and everything from now on is gravy!  Continue...  Love, Mom


  1. Lori, what a rock you are! And so articulate too. Reminds me of just how important caregivers are (carers in UK lol). No way could I have got through this so well without my rock Nick. 3 cheers for the rocks in our lives. And not to forget the kids, wow they handled everything so well, and so young really.
    I would like to add also, there has been many times in the last 2 years that you have been my "rock" through the spoken word online, thanx m8. Lots of luv to you all Tricia

  2. And YOU Trish have been there for me too! I am always struck at how much I learn from patients/caregivers who help me to sort through emotions and practicalities of dealing with these "dramas" that happen in our lives. "No man is an island." And I am loving how crowded mine is! :)

  3. I love this blog. I love that Hudson is so loving. I look at Davids Photo and want to cry,not for his illness, but because I love him so much. He is such a loving person, even if it's hidden behind his busy schedule. I hope he knows, though we are not so close, that I love him like a little brother. David, if you read this, remember that I love you no matter how much time and distance is between us honey.
    Your Cuz, Arlina Bambina, lol.

  4. I am enjoying reading your journal very much and so glad to see your entries once again. A great insight into the past very busy few years. What a lot we have covered Lori and how wonderful to read how well Dave has done. My continuing support always, you are a great wife and caregiver x
    Love Susie