Caregiving Archives - 1010 Park Place
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Caregiving

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I don’t have grandchildren. I’ll try not to sound triumphant here, because the word on the street is I’m missing out on something so huge that apparently it would be sacrilegious to admit I am immensely relieved I don’t have grandchildren.

My friends rhapsodize that grandkids are the babies you can spoil to death in a way you never could with your own. They tell me the relationship with an older grandchild is special because of the purity of the relationship. There are no issues such as discipline, clouding the fun and games of time spent together.

But what I hear is babysitting. Babysitting here. Babysitting there. Babysitting while the parents go on a vacation… instead of me.

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IT'S DIFFICULT GETTING ANYTHING DONE WITH ANNIE AND LULU IN MY LAP.
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Annie and Lulu are growing into fine young ladies, especially after I sent them to finishing school while I was in Italy this fall. For three weeks the girls learned the finer points of sit, stay, heel, come, inside and place.

Now the biggest challenge they face is me.

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At our age, when it seems like we have worked hard and should now get to relax and enjoy the fruit of our labors, many of us find ourselves caring for aging parents, an ill sibling or life-partner, or even a grown child who is sick and unable to care for themselves. We hadn’t counted on this twist of fate. Continue Reading

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This was my little man, Sam. If you look closely, you can see fur peeking out from between his toes, a sure sign he was a house puppy, which was fine with me. Being an indoor dog made it easier for me to give him hugs, rub his soft silky ears and tell him how much he was loved and adored.

Sam captured our hearts the second we saw him. James said Sam was the only dog he knew who’d read and memorized the “Puppy Handbook.”

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Megan is a devoted wife, mother of four children of various ages, a photographer and the one in charge of cooking, cleaning and providing a family taxi service. Her pottery wheel is where she says, “I go, daily, to reclaim my sense of self.”

To the casual observer Megan and I are completely different. She’s tall and slender, never wears makeup or nail polish and is very quiet. I, on the other hand, am short and curvy, rarely seen without mascara and a red manicure and can be quite vocal. We live vastly different lives.

Yet we strongly agree on one particular topic; the importance of self-care.

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Annie
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My forearms look like someone burned rubber on the highway except instead of tire marks, they’re teeth marks, and I have a newfound respect for mothers… especially of twins. I now understand when mothers say they haven’t gotten out of their PJs or brushed their teeth, all day, and the only meal they’ve eaten is a cold slice of pizza on the run.

If you or anyone you know is lonely or depressed, I suggest a puppy instead of antidepressants. If you get two puppies, just don’t expect to get anything done!

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My bedroom smells like urine, and there’s a dog that likes getting stuck under my dresser, but I’m deliriously happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an eight-week-old puppy and until now… I’ve never had TWO. Everything is something to chew on: the dust ruffle on my bed; the edges of the old mirror that leans against my wall and the terra-cotta pots in the courtyard.

When they’re out of their crates, I feel like it’s Roller Derby time. Girls rushing past me like they’ve got wheels on their feet!

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My parents helped me so much with my kids when they were little. Loving, experienced… and free caregivers. It don’t get much better than that. Fortunately my folks lived close, so often my kids went to their place.

But many grandparents live far away, or take care of grandkids at their children’s home. Even when coming for a social visit, they often end up babysitting, and trust me. They love it. Continue Reading

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I knew Chantilly would be a good companion kitty for Penney, and we bonded, just like that! She'd already been spayed and had a microchip. Good work City Critters!
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I live and work in one of the largest cities in the world, have a lot of wonderful friends, but what would I do without my sweet kitties? Continue Reading

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Candy Martin, President, American Gold Star Mothers
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Did you know the last Sunday in September is Mother’s Day? While it’s not the traditional mother’s day most of us think of, Gold Star Mother’s Day is reserved for mothers who’ve lost a son or daughter in the active service of our country. Gold Star Mothers is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to continuing the service their fallen sons and daughters cannot finish. It’s been almost 100 years since Gold Star Mothers first came into existence.

During World War I, Grace Darling Seibold stopped receiving letters from her son, George. Every day she went to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., hoping to find him among the wounded.

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