We hardly had time to process that our family is no longer caring for Grandpa when Rich was sent out of town for work. We do not do husband-working-out-of-town well. As a family or as couple. His job as a carpenter is not one that we would expect him to work away from home. I was thinking about the by-line for this blog… “preserving the fruit of life through tough times.” Rich working out of town is a tough time for us.
We are starting our fifth year caring for my husband’s father in our home. It has been a very rewarding experience that has enriched our lives tremendously. The last four years haven’t been conflict free though, and I’ve learned a lot through the process of sharing my home with an in-law. Perhaps these three lessons will encourage other families in a similar living arrangement.
1. Maintain a Proper Perspective of the Responsibility
We had the opportunity this fall to visit the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin with a group of volunteers. We spent a Saturday cutting firewood for the tribe's senior citizens. As our group processed what it meant to be invited onto the reservation, we were challenged to think of ourselves as bridge builders from one culture group to another, and then further challenged to think of tangible things we could do to build bridges.
Our list, written on wood, became an actual bridge of simple things that establishes and deepens relationships.
A bridge builder:
Submitted by kim on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 09:19 in Marriage
Our marriage has been in a whirlwind since November when Rich started working out of town. He was gone four nights a week for eleven weeks. We had never dealt with this sort of arrangement, and it required purposeful adjustments.
Then suddenly, four weeks ago, Rich was home. A lot. He was laid off. We went from three months of not having enough time together to having too much. We've struggled through the last month, forgetting much of what we know about good communication. We've forgotten that we know we have to work on communicating. And just when we thought we had a handle on things last week, his company called and sent him out of town for seventy-two hours - over a weekend that was full of plans!
Submitted by kim on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 00:47 in Marriage
The beginning of January always feels like a new start in being in love. I married the end of December, the 30th, just before New Year's. A few weeks ago marked twenty-two years for the man and I. Daily, I wonder how we arrived at such a high number so quickly. And then I remember. Every so often, we sneak away to fall in love again.
And those little trips kindle something that ignites again.
Submitted by kim on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 10:08 in Marriage
Happy New Year!
Years ago on a frosty winter night I found myself at a table for four in a the cozy little house that had been converted to a restaurant. My date had arranged the evening so I could meet his best friend, Andi. What I didn't know prior to sitting at the table was that Andi was female, and she was married to Dave.
My relationship with my date didn't last. But at the time, I really liked him. So I was intrigued by Andi. Obviously, there was something about her that was like-able if she had earned the status of best friend to a guy!
I spent the evening watching her. Something about her has stayed with me for decades. Andi smiled at Dave constantly.