Don’t make this mistake


Do you ever wish you’d done it differently? My favorite advice to receive is tender wisdom folks learn the hard way.

Today, I share something specific I learned as my mom lay in the hospital for the last time. I didn’t know we were saying goodby. We thought she’d go on to rehab as we had done so often in the past. Six weeks of no driving for her; six weeks of carpooling for me. No problem.

However, this seemed different. Legitimate fear toyed with our imaginations. What if therapy doesn’t cut it this time? She was obviously fragile. What if Mom is bedridden? Then, how do we tend to her 24/7?

I didn’t initiate the right conversations. I got caught be surprise. So, this is me offering you a chance to skip the panic I felt in those moments.

My mom was fiercely independent and determined to care for herself. We all loved and admired her for her amazing heart. Still, the moment arrived when depending on others was unavoidable.

In those moments between two massive strokes, I learned some valuable information. If your parent has long term insurance to provide for home care, it can delay two or three months before kicking in. Sadly though, patients often need around the clock care immediately after leaving the hospital. In fact, that’s when they need it most.

Here’s what I learned. In the months leading up to a traumatic hospital visit, if you have anyone come in, everything changes. For some policies, even a once-a-week visit can mean that the policy provides care without delay when the patient goes home. If only we’d known. Maybe we would have hired someone to fix casseroles for us all or just check on her so I wasn’t worried about her falling while I was at work.

As you may realize, my mom went home to be with her Savior this past December. I can’t write about it yet; my heart is dull with grief. Eventually, my thoughts will clear and when they do, I will share more with you, my reading friends.

For now, this is the best I can do. Perhaps you find yourself in that impossible place of wondering when the moment will come to get extra help for your parents. I truly hope you initiate the conversations now. Maybe you can clip this column and give it to your parents.

Mom or Dad, if your children hand you this column, please let them line up some help for you. Not because you need it, but because they want to spend time with you that is fun and tender. They may need help, so they can be free to enjoy the time you have together.

Blessings to you, dear ones!

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Contact her at


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