Where Do I Go?


The above titled song from "Hair" has been playing around in my head today.  Lyrics reflect what I am feeling.   "Where do I go? Follow my heartbeat. Where do I go? Follow my hand...Tell me where.  Tell me why.  Tell me why."

So where am I?  Right now I am working from home.  I SHOULD be in the office, but I tried that yesterday and it didn't work out too well for me.  I had several calls from hospice.  The case manager wanted to check in on my dad.  (Fine with me, but they needed to call his caregiver so that she knew.)  A different nurse was going to come out.  Then they both called me afterwards.  The case manager called first, saying that the care giver was going to need more help; who did I know/have who could assist? Well, I thought hospice would assist, and they do, but I didn't have someone every day to help her and I DIDN'T have a back up plan.  The case manager said she would try to get an aid for us and then would also get me a list of agencies that might help.  I was upset with this, but the case manager was compassionate.

Then the nurse called and while I'm sure her intent was not to upset me...well let's just say that I was in an office "phone booth," (a small enclosed space that is larger than your traditional phone booth, but where you can have privacy for calls) in tears and panicking.  Where and how was I going to get immediate help?  I had scheduled a family vacation away from everything, did I need to cancel? Could I send the boys on their own?  I was feeling judged (for planning on going away), hurt (as if I didn't have good enough care for my dad) and overwhelmed.

Thankfully, after I pulled myself together because I had a work related conference call, I was able to call my dad's caregiver.  She initially said she could get some friends to help her.  (All she said she needed was maybe an hour a day.)  Then she found out that they WOULD send her an aid 5 days a week and she felt with a friend's help (or even without) she could handle.  She has been living with my dad for a year and a half.  She KNOWS my dad.  She KNOWS her limitations and abilities.  When she needs something, she is strong enough to ask for whatever that might be.  And while the nurse might have meant well, I really hope we get a different hospice nurse going forward.  (I did try to nicely mention this in an email to the case manager.  The nurse who came over the weekend was WONDERFUL and I hope she can be assigned to my dad regularly because she was able to handle A LOT in the time she was at the house.)

In anticipation of today's calls (because there will be calls), I am at home where I have plenty of tissues and space to talk and cry as needed.  I also have a husband who is here to support me.  And I VERY much need that.

The question still looms...where do I go?  I am packed and ready to go away on a family vacation.  Is that desserting my dad?  Maybe.  Is it spending precious time with my son and husband?  Yes.  This could be our last family vacation.  (Who knows what my son will end up doing in college and with his breaks.)  It IS important that we get to spend time together and BE with each other.   Is this being selfish or is this self care?  And will I be able to relax and push my father's health to the back of my brain?

When we come home, where do I go?  I expect that I will unpack, do laundry and repack and head to the shore (solo) the next day.  I expect that I will spend a week or so away from my family and with my dad. While I love being at the Jersey Shore for 4th of July, this is NOT how I'd like to do it.   This isn't a summer getaway; this is being present.  (And working remotely as I can.)

No matter where I go or what I do, sacrifices have been made (and are being made).  There is no right answer.  I can't do the right thing because what is right for one party, means another gets slighted.

So where do I go?  I don't know.  But whereever I DO go, I need to do so with love and a focus on the now, appreciating whatever precious moments life has to offer.


  1. You deserve the time with your family. Everything that can be done for your Dad is being done, and you have handled it all. You're a wonderful daughter, wife and mother and I'm so proud to be your mother-in-law.


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