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The NEVERENDING aging siblings caretaking thread

Veloise

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Of my three siblings, I always thought that the first one we'd lose would be the one with severe medical issues ... or the one with multiple orthopedic surgeries and severe medical issues. Or me, the traffic-riding road cyclist.

Instead, it was my brother, the tall, strong former basketball player living his best life on the Texas gulf.

He'd recently divorced, sold the house in town, moved to the boat house, was pretty much doing what he wanted and enjoying life. The 46 years of heavy smoking caught up with him, and the heavy alcohol use complicated things. And getting divorced, with no one around to say, "50-lb weight loss? Let's get you to the doctor" was also an issue.

Ed landed in the ER on August 8, and went through a litany of issues before becoming affected by systemic changes. He started posting bizarre statements and photos on FB, followed by odd text messages and phone calls. (Pro tip: even if you've alienated your sibs, let 'em know when you run into major medical.)

Another pro tip: when you find out that your sib has major medical, create a Caring Bridge site, and advise his friends.

Finally, anyone of any age should have a "last and best" photo handy. (Having a Photoshop-experienced relative is the luck of the draw.)

Ed was only 61. What a damned shame.

IMG_20150316_133921193.jpg Ed portrait final square.jpg
 
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Reactions: Dan

Dan

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Damn, Veloise, I'm so sorry to hear about that. :( Thank you for sharing with us.

What's a caring bridge?
 

Veloise

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Damn, Veloise, I'm so sorry to hear about that. :( Thank you for sharing with us.

What's a caring bridge?
Caring Bridge is a site where you can share a caring adventure. I've seen it used for cyclists recovering from crashes, friends diagnosed with whatever, and more.
You can be as explicit or vague as you wish. You can add photos.
And your followers can comment, add remarks and hit the :heart: button, and ask questions.

Because Ed didn't even notify us, and told his close friends that he didn't want it broadcast, I danced around topics in the journals. Added the complete summary after the fact so that folks would have all their questions answered.
Here's Ed's.
 
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Veloise

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Another pro tip: if you live some distance away, and haven't seen your ailing sib in ... years ... and another sib suggests that you get on a @#$%^&*() airplane and go visit before it's too late .... do it.

Our youngest sister is going to be adding that guilt to what she already has (feuding with our parents, couldn't be bothered).

Me: Are you able to fly? [she was in a rehab facility for a broken foot]

Her: he's NOT DEAD YET, therefore, the question does not yet apply! It may be that, in a few months or weeks, flying won't be a problem.
 

Veloise

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Ed has a couple of local "friends" who apparently believed that they would inherit all of his worldly goods and properties. While they were a big help during his hospitalization, they seem to be dundering idjits when tasked with one simple job: find a venue for a local memorial service. I have to fly in, his ex-wife of a 35 year r'ship is traveling in, there's one weekend this will work.

Neighbor across the street messaged me, asked if there is anything that she can do to help. I requested a list of possible venues. Messaged a couple of them on FB, one got back immediately, here's the chef's phone number.

Took me 15 minutes. None of this "we have both been traveling and while we would both prefer sooner over later we haven't focused on time and place yet."
I think that translates as, "we have been enjoying the contents of your brother's liquor cabinet."

Don't misrepresent the facts to someone who used to pull ten hours of project management conference calls every week. My SIL says, "they don't travel. They don't go anywhere."

collage FB event(1).jpg
 

kjel

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Ed has a couple of local "friends" who apparently believed that they would inherit all of his worldly goods and properties. While they were a big help during his hospitalization, they seem to be dundering idjits when tasked with one simple job: find a venue for a local memorial service. I have to fly in, his ex-wife of a 35 year r'ship is traveling in, there's one weekend this will work.

Neighbor across the street messaged me, asked if there is anything that she can do to help. I requested a list of possible venues. Messaged a couple of them on FB, one got back immediately, here's the chef's phone number.

Took me 15 minutes. None of this "we have both been traveling and while we would both prefer sooner over later we haven't focused on time and place yet."
I think that translates as, "we have been enjoying the contents of your brother's liquor cabinet."

Don't misrepresent the facts to someone who used to pull ten hours of project management conference calls every week. My SIL says, "they don't travel. They don't go anywhere."

View attachment 45637
My late uncle's friends were like that as well. Some did stand to inherit portions of his estate per his will, but he didn't properly execute it and the probate court did not accept it. His friends were upset about it but the probate court gave us two options-my aunt (his sister) and I inherited it 50-50 or the state would take it. Guess what we picked?
 
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terraplnr

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My sincere condolences Veloise. I'd seen your new avatar photo but didn't realize he was your brother.
 

Planit

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My is still in rehab and will probably be there for at least another week+. Still has pain on left side and can not really pickup anything heavier than a couple pounds.

My brothers and I have already been talking to mom about moving since her condo is on the 2nd floor with no elevator. Not sitting well, but she is accepting the possibility.
 

Veloise

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FB_IMG_1577283434370.jpg
Christmas day 2010 in Houston

This was before Ed's perception of his lovely wife went south. (I've been reading the stuff on his laptop. She hit sleeping you in the face? Really??)
I'd expressed an interest in an outing, rather than sitting around the great room with the TV. The next day we went downtown and enjoyed the stage play Santaland Diaries, a one-actor presentation. The NPR version was on the radio this morning. :(
 

TOFB

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My wife wants to confront her dad's lifelong narcissism today. He is 87 and has Parkinson's. I am trying all I can to avoid that.
 

mendelman

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My wife wants to confront her dad's lifelong narcissism today. He is 87 and has Parkinson's. I am trying all I can to avoid that.
Good luck. I'd likely feel as you do on this type of situation.
 

Veloise

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The worst part, absolutely, is revisiting "things" again and again. On the 25th a friend texted me: "thinking of you today as you go through the day without your brother."
Seriously? "Thinking of you" would not have sufficed?
You had to remind me? You really thought I'd have forgotten??

Also, during set-up for the NYEve dance, my band friends asked, "did you have a good Christmas?" Kind of no way to reply to that.
Three of them are FB friends ... not sure how they missed the barrage ...
 
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