My Caregiving Journey: A New Normal

A New Normal  Mom and Dad hugging in each others arms showing love for each other.
So Much in Love

Since Dad passed on the 12th of January it has been a nonstop whirlwind of preparation for the Memorial Service and Mass. Now that it has concluded, we are in a new normal.

“I Lost My Life”

Mom was staying at assisted living to sleep since Dad passed She felt closer to him. Today she decided to spend the night at home with my prompting. She wants to see if she sleeps better here at their house. I am still here caring for Mom through the mourning and adjustment to life without Dad. Mom has been remarkably strong, but as we drove to the house, she blurted out, “I Lost My Life”.

At the beginning of this mournful period, she said: “What am I going to do?” “I have lost my life.” With family surrounding her, she has come full circle. She knows Dad is now at peace and she has wonderful memories to look back on. She also has the knowledge that throughout his career Dad has touched many lives and they remember him for the good he has done.


Dad is/was a prominent figure here and was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame, the Baseball Hall of fame, the Boxing/Karate, El Paso High School, and Golf Halls of Fame for his writing. And posthumously there will be many more honors he will receive for his contribution to sports and the city of El Paso. As one close friend of his stated about Dad’s career in journalism as a local sportswriter, editor, and author, “he put El Paso on the map.”

My father started his career as a sportswriter when I was born (I am 72). While he was in college, in 1949, they pulled him out of class to work for the local paper, the El Paso Herald-Post and has been writing for 73 years. Before Dad passed, he was thinking of his next column. We focus on his accomplishments and his remarkable life now.

A New Normal for Mom

Mom is accepting it and now we move forward. She has qualified for the APlus+ program and can stay at home. 24-hour care will be provided although I will still probably have to hire out of pocket for some hours not covered by the program. But that’s okay. Thinking, praying, and hoping that I will be able to go home every once in a while.

A New Normal for Me

I am so grateful that I have/had everything in place with the help of the estate lawyer. But before I could take Mom off Dad’s accounts (I needed his signature) things are not moving as fast as they should. Now we have to do the alternative and pray that all will be okay. In the meantime, I am still a “mess”.

Caring for Mom alone is not an option. I am already hurting since I have had to help her dress for bed. The medication, the organization the overwhelming task of doing it all, bathing, changing, feeding (meals) ordering groceries. I know some do it without a care, but this is not my home. My home and husband are in another state. I asked Mom to come to stay with us. That was an emphatic NO.

Immediate Future

Looking to the immediate future, I will definitely need some help. The girls I had hired before Dad was hospitalized in August, found other jobs. I need help for the long term and pray everything will fall into place with the estate lawyer’s help. Going home for a few days to visit and come back to be with Mom may still be an option. What will this new normal look like? We don’t know, but I am ready for whatever comes my way, but I just don’t want to lose the other life I knew before this journey started.

A New Normal showing our daughters grave and her grandfather:s in close proximity.
Our daughter and My Dad

Coming Soon My Caregiving Journey- New Normal Chapter 2

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About desertturle

Anita Henson aka Winnie. A retired teacher, and caregiver for my loving parents, wife, and mother. Married to Greg "Tex" Henson.
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