Life around here lately – an update

February 7, 2024
Bric-a-Brac
Bric-a-Brac

A very small sample of some of our bric-a-brac. There’s much more!

Hey there! Life is pretty full on around here right now so not much spare time for writing well thought out posts or for editing a heap of photos so I thought I’d just do a quick update on life around here lately and at the end of this post, there’s an opportunity for you to help keep #WWWhimsy going while I’m going through the busiest of times, if you’d like to.

Before I start, I need to say that I share this stuff (within reason) NOT because I want sympathy or think I’m hard done by, but because this is real life that needs to be shared and not swept under the carpet. There’s no need for a brave face or a stiff upper lip. Those are beliefs of the past that were very damaging. I believe in sharing the reality of midlife and aging parents and what I learn in the process – about the aged care system, what challenges we face as we move through each phase, the emotional rollercoaster, the sentimentalities, the spiritual journey, and what we learn about ourselves. I’ll share more about my learnings when I have more time. It may just help someone else one day. Of course though, I keep personal details private.

Life is very multi faceted at the moment. In a nutshell:

  • There’s visiting Mum. It needs to be regular to help her settle in and to be her advocate because she can not speak much. It’s mostly yes or no but sometimes we are thrilled when she manages another word. Sometimes she speaks a sentence but we cannot understand it. However, we understand the intention of what she is trying to say regardless because we know and love her dearly. We’ve needed to spend quite a bit of time liaising with nursing and care staff there, and the doctor, about her health and well being. There’s been lots of ups and downs. Despite the facility where she is being wonderful and her receiving very good care, generally she has deteriorated since being there. Whether that would’ve happened anyway or it’s accelerated because she is no longer in her own home or a bit of both, we can’t know for sure, but it’s something that troubles us deeply and interferes with quality sleep. 
  • There’s all the expenses. The time dealing with Government forms and chasing up things that have not yet been processed (which would help alleviate stress over expenses hopefully). I’ll elaborate more on this one day when I have more time, because there are things that people should know when going through this process and I’m in a position now to be able to advise!
  • There’s the time spent over at our family home trying to clear it and get it ready for the stylist & sale. We have all had to decide what we each would like and what can go and where does it go – furniture, handbags, clothing, jewellery (we haven’t done this one yet), bric-a-brac, records, crystal glassware, the list goes on and on. We’ve realised that with our short timeframe, some items will have to remain in cupboards until after the house has sold. For instance, we are leaving the kitchen until later because currently we are spending nights there and need to be able to function. We’ve also packaged up (in K-mart crates – they are great) lots of sentimental family treasures like photographs and letters etc and taken them home to go through at a later date.
  • We have to hand over to the Stylist on 21 February. We haven’t a lot of time left. We have some large pieces of furniture that need to go before then as she won’t be using them. There will be two rounds of furniture going – before the stylist and after the sale. Quite a few furniture pieces are staying for the styling which is great because it saves on expense. Some pieces us siblings will keep but the rest has to go. Marketplace has turned out to be full of scammers and apart from scammers we’ve had zero interest. We have realised that we may need to go the route of a clearance organisation. We actually had someone from Brisbane Estate Clearance come out to meet with us and we await their quote. It is very sobering to realise how little money we will get for items that seem very valuable to us. Beautiful pieces in tip top condition. What can you do? None of us can take these items.
  • We have a lot of bric-a-brac. We have all been through it and taken what we’d like. The rest will have to go. We have a ‘bric-a-brac man’ (that’s what we call him) coming on Tuesday afternoon (the day before this post publishes). He is also interested in some small furniture items, so we’ll see how that goes!
  • We have to organise a gardener and a cleaner before we hand over to the stylist because photography for marketing will happen soon after that. I made some calls and have left messages on the day of typing this (Monday).
  • We also need to organise a building and pest inspection so that is available for prospective buyers. The agent has advised to hold off on this until the stylist is done and gardens done etc as photographs will go in the report which prospective buyers will be seeing.
  • We also need some time at home to look after our own households and our selves – grocery shopping, laundry/washing, general household chores, keeping up with medical appointments and so on. And of course, there is a very real need for some time for ‘us’ to rest and to restore so that we can keep going till things settle down a bit more. What is making everything SO MUCH harder is the dreadful heat and humidity we have been having. To top it off, the family home is in the western suburbs which are so much hotter than where I live, and one of Mum’s split aircon systems isn’t working. You’ve gotta laugh or you’d cry!

So that’s a little taste of what’s on our plates right now (there’s more but I don’t want to rattle on too much in this post – trying to keep it short and sweet). 

On a positive note, I think I’ve almost reached a point of acceptance. I’ve accepted that we have no choice but let the house go and I’m focussing more on gratitude for having had it as part of my life for such a long time (nearly 60 years) and I’m just rolling up my sleeves and working towards getting the job done. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still get pangs of pain in my heart now and then and when the time comes to hand over completely, never to enter the house again, I know there will be tears. 

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like ~ Lao Tzu

HOW YOU COULD HELP ME

So now to where you might be able to help me. If anyone would like to write a GUEST POST for me that would be very helpful and much appreciated!

This is only open to people that are known to me. Denyse Whelan has already offered (thank you Denyse) and so hers will be the first guest post published next Wednesday 14 February.

I think three or four guest posts would help get me through until the house is handed over and I hopefully will then have some more time available to me.

If you’re interested in helping out with a guest post let me know at min@writeofthemiddle.com and a huge thank you to you in advance.

More info & what I’d need for your guest post

  • I will write a short intro to your post and will be sure to include links to your blog and social media (can you please let me know those links).
  • If you send your guest post to me in Microsoft Word, I will just then need to cut and paste it in and then do the intro and background meta tags, SEO etc. 
  • I’d need at least one image (landscape) for feature but feel free to send more, otherwise I’ll find an appropriate free stock image.
  • Your post can be on any topic (but please not political or religious). Let’s try and keep it light & uplifting topics cos I know I need that right now and I’m sure others will benefit too!

If there’s no interest that’s perfectly ok. I know everyone has busy lives. I’ll just do short and sweet posts to keep #WWWhimsy going until I have more time available to me.

+++++

Thanks for your understanding everyone. I’m very keen to keep #WWWhimsy going through all of this. I am hoping that March will be a better month for me and that I will have more time then to do the things that I enjoy. Of course once the house sells I’ll have another busy period for a while but I’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Ciao for now,

P.S. At the time this post publishes, I will be over at the family home chipping away. My sister and I will have arrived there on Tuesday and stayed the night. I might take a while to reply to comments and read and comment on posts, but you know that I always do eventually.

Linkup Party for Bloggers

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


You Might Also Like

26 Comments

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid February 7, 2024 at 6:35 am

    Min, I see you, I feel for you and I want you to know you are doing a wonderful job. You’re juggling so many balls in the air right now and it’s not just the physical demands you’re dealing with but so much emotional labour. I have friends who are clearing their parents’ house right now and are having similar problems to you offloading stuff – if it makes you feel any better, no one wants their beautiful old things either. As agonising as selling the house will be, it will be a big load off your plate and you can focus on mum and your own wellbeing. You know what they say about putting on your own oxygen mask first…. Sending you a big hug xx

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks so much Sammie. Yes you get it! Thanks so much for the big hug, it’s gratefully received! xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris February 7, 2024 at 7:34 am

    Hi Min, it must be very hard for you at the moment and you’re right these things need to be told and shouldn’t be swept under the carpet. We had similar issues when we put my father into aged care and it was all such a new experience none of us knew what to do or how to handle it, let alone dad who wasn’t happy to be there, despite knowing mum couldn’t care for him at home anymore. When mum moved down to be closer to us (after dad had passed away) getting rid of her lovely things was so sad as no-one wanted them. You’re doing the right thing getting people into help but it’s all so sad isn’t it? I’m happy to help in any way I can, I’ll send you an email.
    Take care and just do what you can when you can. Thanks for carrying on with the linkup, it can be a distraction I know, but also hard work for you! Hopefully my post brings a smile to your face when you get around to reading it – no pressure!!

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Deb, you just get thrown in the deep end of all this aged care stuff and have to find your way and it’s deep and murky waters for sure! If you can help with a brief guest post it would be so appreciated. Only if you have the time – please don’t feel obligated. Thanks so much. xo

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 February 7, 2024 at 8:06 am

    Hi Min, I have been where you are when Mike’s Mum went into aged care and we had to sell her family home. She had accumulated so much during her 90 odd years and I don’t think she ever threw out anything she could resuse. It is a very emotional time for you all. I also found that sadly most of her possessions although beautiful in their time were not wanted by family members. Take care of yourself and take it slowly. I’m happy to help out at any time. I appreciate you still making the linkup each week with all going in your life. x

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Sue, it sure is an all-consuming and turbulent time. She’s my Mum who has always been so strong and energetic and capable, and to watch her change into this old person with Alzheimer’s is totally heartbreaking. Add in all the other things I’m trying to manage and it’s a very difficult time right now. Thanks for the offer to help out. The only way I can think of right now is with a guest post but please don’t feel obligated – just let me know via email if you want to contribute a short guest post. Thanks Sue xo

  • Reply Denyse J Whelan February 7, 2024 at 9:18 am

    Reality checks here in so many ways Min. I understand how hard it is from my life experience and that of Dad’s after Mum died. There is no money to be made really and your thinking on being grateful for all that was….in terms of times and memories is what you take with you. On the day Dad’s house was ready to be handed over…My brother followed the removalists to the place Dad was moving into, my sister in law took Dad to the doctor as the stress of all that happened along with a savage winter made him very unwell…I went around the house and took photos of everything and said “goodbye and wished the new owners well”. I had also left them a little album of pics about the house and its years with our family 1959-2011 and the new owners treasured it.

    May you be well, dear friend, and it sounds like you are doing well in self care. All power to those who make things happen and do things well.

    Your Mum’s local Federal MP needs an email about your plight with Centrelink. They always act after that.

    Glad I could help out with a post for next week!

    Denyse. x

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Denyse, it’s a real shock to discover how little you get for beautiful antique pieces of furniture and the bric-a-brac too. I’m trying my best to get my mind into a more positive place with a different perspective and one of gratitude. I plan to write a little history of the house to leave with the new owners. I hope I can find some time once the house is handed over to the stylist. Photos of the house way back when would be in albums which are all boxed up at the moment so not sure if I’ll access them in time but I’ll try. Thank you so much for your offer of a guest post. It’s so very appreciated! xo

  • Reply Christie Hawkes February 7, 2024 at 9:26 am

    I remember all too well going through this process first with my mother and then with my mother-in-law. I feel your pain. Wishing you all the best!

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you Christie – it’s a terrible time isn’t it? So many emotions, so much exhaustion, and more. Thanks for your good wishes! xo

  • Reply sherry February 7, 2024 at 9:49 am

    I really feel for you Min. Hubby’s mum went into care some years ago so the family home had to be sold etc. Very difficult times and yes very expensive! And it often ends up being very divisive with the siblings, sadly. And yep nobody wants old stuff – antique furniture etc these days. I have been trying to tell people very gently that just because it means something to them, that it doesn’t equate to anyone else wanting it or wanting to pay for it. In fact, we put out his mum’s china wedding dinner service for hard rubbish day a few years back as none of the siblings wanted it! An old lady actually took it all away in one fell swoop! Wishing you well, and praying that autumn hits us very soon!!!
    cheers
    sherry

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you Sherry – yes it sounds like you get it indeed and thank you for your well wishes! Oh my gosh re your m-i-l’s china wedding dinner service – so sad isn’t it? I’m praying for autumn too! xo

  • Reply Natalie February 7, 2024 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Min, I feel for you as I’ve been down this road before with my parents’ home. I hope everything goes smoothly for you in the coming weeks. Take care of yourself and take breaks every day to rest and recharge. I’ll send you an email to see if my idea for a guest post works. Thank you for hosting #WWWhimsy this week.

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Natalie, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been down this road too. It’s so hard isn’t it? Your offer of an email and a guest post is so very appreciated. Please don’t feel obligated though – only if you can spare the time. Thank you so much! xo

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 7, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    Min I feel so sad at what you are going through, and angry that beaureacrats make things more difficult. I’m fortunate that I haven’t had to face this with my parents. My mother though 90, is still well and won’t discuss anything about the end. Well I realise that will be a problem when the time has come. Your post has made me realise that I have to make sure my own family don’t have issues when I’ve gone. It’s been on my mind lately to start a process for end of life. You have a fantastic attitude and the fact that you can see what you’re grateful for, while going through a difficult time, will I’m sure, help you to get though it.

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Jennifer, you’re so lucky your mother is doing well at 90. My Mum is only 82.8 (83 in May). With what I’ve been going through, once things calm down, I know I’m going to start working my way through my own house room by room decluttering!! I’m trying hard to get my mind into a positive place, looking for lessons and gratitude as the alternative is just no good for anyone. Thanks for your lovely comment. xo

  • Reply Natasha Mairs February 7, 2024 at 9:40 pm

    Stay strong and sending my love and positive vibes. Thanks for hosting this week x

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks so much Natasha and my pleasure. xo

  • Reply Joanne February 8, 2024 at 7:15 am

    Oh that does sound like such a busy and stressful time! Wishing you and your family the best of luck as you go through all this.

    • Reply Min February 8, 2024 at 2:29 pm

      It is Joanne, but I know this is a path than most will have to go down. Thanks so much for your kind wishes! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 9, 2024 at 6:36 am

    THere is a meme going around – if you don’t speak it, you carry it and that gets heavy. I think it’s the simpliest way to explain why it’s so important to vent frustrations. Life is overwhelming and tricky at times. As for the guest post, happy to help but if you already have your four, that’s fine. YOu know how all over the place I am at the moment….Good luck with it all and never feel the need to hold back. It is unfrotuantely something most of us will go though so forewarned is forearmed. I am glad you are coming to terms with the house. The memories it holds for you are actually just in you. You can conjure them up at will with a photo or a trinket. Or just putting aside time to think about it. You will be giving the building to some other family to create their memories in….big hugs. It’s hard.

    • Reply Min February 9, 2024 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Lydia – I like that meme. So much truth to it. I’m the kind of person who needs to let my thoughts out. I like to talk. I love deep and meaningful conversations. I value learning through life experience. I have two guest posts so far so if you have the time and capacity for a guest post then I’d love to hear from you! No need for anything long or complicated. Quick & light can be awesome! Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment. It means so much to me. Thank you! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 14, 2024 at 5:48 am

    Ok, will get something to you in the next week that can be used at any time…..(And if you don’t want to use it, then let me know and I’ll plonk it on mine)

    • Reply Min February 15, 2024 at 9:39 am

      Thanks so much Lydia xo

  • Reply Janet February 14, 2024 at 8:00 pm

    I feel for you Min, we have been through this with the husbear’s parents in the past couple of years. My dad is very frail but my stepmum is doing an amazing job of caring for hm at home. I don’t know how she does it! I’d love to do a guest post, will put my thinking cap on x

    • Reply Min February 15, 2024 at 9:53 am

      Hi Janet, thank you! Nice to see you too! Aside from when we lost Dad 6 years ago, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. My beautiful Mum. Watching her deteriorate is heartbreaking. Then packing up and having to sell our beautiful family home that has always been there for us. Double whammy. And I’m a hopeless sentimental, emotional thing which doesn’t help. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a similar experience with your husbands family. Well done to your stepmum for looking after your Dad. My sister and I, along with a Home Care Package have looked after Mum for over two years in her own home (before she went into aged care on 30 Nov) and it’s done with love but it’s very hard at every level – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. A guest post from you would be wonderful. That’s so generous – thank you so much! xo

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.