Welcome! We’re so glad you’ve found us and our little blog about aging and more!
If it is your first time here, allow us to extend a warm welcome to you. If you are a return reader, welcome back!
AGING AND MORE with Grace + Frank
AGING AND MORE is a blog that was born out of an extended period of caregiving with aging parents. Suddenly, we found ourselves thrown into the middle of a medical crisis with Frank’s folks and squarely positioned behind the eight-ball. Which to explain for any of you non-pool players, is about the worst place to be when playing eight-ball!
During our time in their home, we began to identify a never-ending list of needs and as we sought resources, information and aids, we were sorely disappointed with the lack of information that was readily available to us. And likewise to them.
It is our desire to share information that we hope will be helpful, not only to others who find themselves at this crossroads between independent living and assisted living, but also to those who are yet fully with both feet in the independent living world, with the hope of easing the transition to assisted living, if and when that day arrives.
After reflecting on what we could have done differently to have been better prepared, we realized that we are uniquely positioned between a conversation that is past due, another that seems premature and our own that seems yet to be a lifetime away.
A Conversational Crossroads
Allow me to further elaborate.
Frank’s folks are beyond the crossroads where independent living becomes assisted living. The time to start the conversations and planning for higher levels of care, has passed and we now find ourselves in a reactionary, survival response-mode, where the luxury of planning has slipped past us.
My [Grace’s] parents are still solidly positioned at the independent living end of the care spectrum which makes the need to begin the conversation about higher care planning seem grossly premature. And yet in light of the current situation with Frank’s folks, it is clear that one never knows what tomorrow may hold. The timing of a transition cannot be foretold. Hence, a seemingly premature conversation that we must figure into our lives while independence is yet strong.
And lastly, our own planning. We are still young, in comparison, and both of decently good health. Our own aging is the furthest thing from our minds. When the sun is shining and the weather is sweet, who thinks of the storm? In the words of JFK, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining!” And so, we too, look forward to our own inevitable aging, not with particular eagerness, but with a due sense of planning and diligence, so that when the storm and rains come, we are as prepared as we might be!
Grace enjoys sipping a glass of red wine, while reading or sitting on the patio in the evening, enjoying the evensong of nature. She enjoys cultivating a garden that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and when she doesn’t have a trowel in hand, you’ll find her with her camera in tow! She dreams of living on a hobby horse farm, surrounded by the mountains. And the sight of a breaching whale makes her squeal like a giddy schoolgirl.
Frank is our coffee drinking jack-of-all-trades! He is a technology junkie and escapes the busyness of life with a good movie. Gazing up at the night sky, sharing a cigar and conversation with God, is where you’ll find him on a clear, quiet night. And during a thunderstorm, he is your one friend most likely to be struck by lightning, standing atop a mountain, waving a golf club around just for kicks!
Meet Grace + Frank
Together we love to travel and explore. We have a long, long list of places we’d like to visit (and even revisit) before the end of our days. We value each and everyday we have to share with our families and are beginning to entertain the notion of being “stay-at-home” care-givers for many of the same reasons a parent choses to be a “stay-at-home” mom or dad. We enjoy camping, trying new things and make a great team! We buffer each other and make-up for one another’s weaknesses!
Mixing things up!
You’ve no doubt heard the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” and its singable chorus “And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon; Little boy blue and the man in the moon; When you comin home, Son, I don’t know when; But we’ll get together then, Dad; We’re gonna have a good time then.” I [Grace] almost get choked up just writing this. Those days pass us by so quickly and then one day they are gone. Our parents work to retire and then we work. To just be able to hang out and have a good time with our parents is a treasure that too often is stolen from us.
We are trying to figure out what it would mean to step away from our chosen careers and break with the traditional work week and workplace. AGING AND MORE with Grace + Frank is part of that journey, and we hope you will journey along with us. One things is certain: Time stands still for no man and it is seldom that things get easier with age.
Drop us a note! Say “Hello!”
Finally, if you find yourself on a similiar journey drop us a note – we’d love to hear from you! Certainly, we don’t presume to know everything about anything. There is always more to learn and we find that we learn so much from others who are on the same path. It is our sincere hope that you’ll share your own tips, tricks, experiences, successes and failures with us, so that we might also learn from you!