Family history

Just-Moxie

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O.M.Gee....what a shock. I have recently learned my Dad is basically a "city boy"! And here all these years I have known him, over 50+ years, he claimed to be a "country boy". Hmmm.....what an odd realization. I tried to talk to him about chickens....that's when he tells me he knows nothing of chickens or anything else country. No wonder he did ok living in the big city in the 50's till now.
His background was.....born in rural KS in the 20's, to a railroader father. He had 3 other brothers, and had told me his dad hunted. Rabbits I guess.
I have been trying to sound him out on some things......but back when I came up for step moms funeral....and I had brought some REAL fresh laid eggs.....he refused to eat them. Really? wow
So, I know he will resist my attempts at composting. Anything new.....he resists. Not interested. "Leave it as it is..." Well, he is 94. Mild dementia...I think.
I know my mom was country. Down in the MO Ozarks, born and raised by Noel MO. But she passed in 2003, so I can't even talk to her. Of course, if she hadn't passed away then, I wouldn't be sitting here in this house in 2019.

Dad....is one of those stories you read about. How, when he was young, he met someone. They fell in love. WW2 got in the way. They each went on to lead separate lives. Met again in their late 70's. Finally married in 2014. He now lives in her home. 22 miles south of Kansas City MO. Away from the home he had with mom. Step mom wanted for me to have this home when she passed. Shocking to my dad, she passed first. They both expected he would be the first to go. Now, here he is...94...and needing assistance. But not needing a nursing home or assisted living facility. He is better off here.

Anyways.....I am moved into his house with him.......but of course he resists EVERYTHING I attempt to do. Even cleaning. argh
 

flowerbug

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Anyways.....I am moved into his house with him.......but of course he resists EVERYTHING I attempt to do. Even cleaning. argh

that is somewhat like how it is here. Mom is set in her ways and resists changes and certainly does not understand natural methods of gardening nor does she really want to learn. once in a while something gets through but it takes a long time.
 

baymule

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The best you can do is the best you can do. Some days will be awesome, some days, not so much. We are here if you need to vent. Already been there, we moved my Mom in with us after her stroke. I had those bang my head against the wall days. LOL
 

Ridgerunner

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So he is about my parent's age or age dad would have been. What can I say, much if that sounds familiar, except than Mom and Dad were or are as country as you can get. If you need to vent, many of us will understand.

If you can, try to drag some stories out of him. What did he do in high school. during the depression, during the war, and afterwards. There are lot of stuff I didn't find out about Dad especially until he was staring death in the face. Mom still won't talk much. I didn't know Dad was class president of his senior class. I did not know that he was in Seattle to get on a boat to Japan when Truman dropped the bomb. Or that he dropped out of his first semester of college when he got an abscessed tooth and owed a dentist $10 to take care of it. He felt it was more important to repay that debt than continue school.

Some of those stories helped me understand more about some of his actions or what he said as I was growing up. I've tried to repeat many of them to my kids and grandkids but many of them will be lost even if a few of them are now written down.
 

Prairie Rose

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For us it ended up being the other way around, as much as we tried to take care of my grandmother in her home, she eventually moved in with us. At her home, before dementia took her ability to live alone safely, she had massive beautiful gardens that people would stop in the middle of the road driving past to come look at, and pet chickens that she sold eggs to neighbors from. Mom said as a kid they grew most of their own produce and she remembers them even having a cow and some pigs alongside the chickens.

Here we just have a lot of open space and no real room for livestock. We let her have free rein of the yard, and she ended up mostly making herself a 'garden' in the old dog pen alongside the barn. Lots of random flowers plopped in random places throughout the yard, and whatever veggies she thought sounded good at the time in the old dog pen. It kept her busy and happy, but we didn't do any other kind of gardening at the time to have any kind of conflicting ideas to fight over. I do know that is when the big flowerbeds were finally let go and mowed over, and most of the roses and shrubs were killed too.

I think of that as a trade off...I have a blank slate to work with now, and I got to listen to her tell me about her family life while she lived with us. it was super frustrating at the time, but worth it in the end.
 
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flowerbug

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I think of that as a trade off...I have a blank slate to work with now, and I got to listen to her tell me about her family life while she lived with us. it was super frustrating at the time, but worth it in the end.

that is why i won't trade this time for anything else, no matter how many times i have to shake my head and grin and bear it. for all she has done for me through my life this is just the right thing to do.
 

Just-Moxie

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If you can, try to drag some stories out of him. What did he do in high school. during the depression, during the war, and afterwards. There are lot of stuff I didn't find out about Dad especially until he was staring death in the face.

Some of those stories helped me understand more about some of his actions or what he said as I was growing up. I've tried to repeat many of them to my kids and grandkids but many of them will be lost even if a few of them are now written down.

Right now, he only likes to tell his stories to his church friends. Basically only one story, of his being on a ship in Philipine harbor and ship getting torpedoed on Christmas Eve.
I try to get him to talk about his early days and family, but he shuts that down pretty fast. Apparently Grandpa was a rough and abusive man, and of course dad prefers to forget those days.
 

Rhodie Ranch

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A few years before Daddy passed away suddenly at 75, he wrote out several pages of his life. We four children knew very little of it. Its a treasure now.

Army Air Corp, Fuller Brush salesman, father whom he hated, contemplated being a Methodist minister, and more...
 

seedcorn

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When you think about it, our parents/grand parents lived in a tough age-WW1, depression, WW2, Korea, etc. we have been spoiled because of their sacrifices.

Agree, get what you can of family history-good and bad. It’s what has made us what we are-hopefully more good than bad.
 

digitS'

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Moxie', I would like you to check for caregiver groups and counseling in your neighborhood. That's what you are now: a caregiver.

You have to take care of yourself. You are #1. Maybe #1.1 is your dad but you have to be in good health to properly care for him. It can't be any other way.

I belonged to 2 groups when I was the "well spouse" of a chronically ill spouse. One was for that specific group and the other was for caregivers - most of those members were caring for parents. I'll tell you what I intend to do soon -- Dad was in hospice care. There is counseling for caregivers and the social worker came to his graveside service and suggested that I talk to one of those folks. Okay, I do one-on-one better than trying to understand people in group settings these days and there were ... "frustrations."

My relation with my father was not a good one beginning shortly after my mother's passing. He remarried. My kids, even a close member of his second wife's family, blame his wife for Dad & my problems. Well - whatever. A major obstacle was Dad's insistence that everything had to remain the same. He owned property. Remarkably, he was able to make use of that real estate and equipment into advanced age. His second wife died and her heirs expected that property to be sold. A court order set out ownership and a course of action. No! No changes .... why? He could not explain.

My brother's relationship with Dad was "distant," shall we say but they maintained it until Dad had a serious health problem and he and our stepmother had decided to sell that property. Bro showed up to help. Boom! After assessment and agent contract and even a buyer had been found - Dad and Stepmother backed out ... and, they did it with accusations towards Bro. That was IT for him. Their relationship was distant before, it became nonexistent. Things came to an absolute stop, and after Stepmother's death, I waited for her family to sue.

Well, guess what? Not all that long after the court order, they decided to sue each other. Dad died this fall. I can make the legal decisions for half the estate but ... everything is at a standstill. Yet. Good Heavens! Most everything could have been accomplished over 2 years ago. The wheels of progress could have been re-engaged over a year ago. It was a court order that they must be in May. During the final month of his life, no judge would have credited Dad with mental competence. However by that time, the stepmother's family had started their own little war.

Steve
 
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