Archive for December 18, 2011

Group Homes

One of the students that I know and have worked with in the past will be placed into a group home over the Christmas break. Another, in the care of an elderly aunt with severe medical problems, is on a waiting list.

When I found out about the little girl being placed, I immediately came home and asked my husband if we could keep her. He pointed out that we ain’t exactly spring chickens, and this young girl will require a lifetime of care for she will not be capable of independent life. She was too much for her own grandparent to handle, and her grandparent is younger than we are. I was not alone in my instinct to take her home and protect her. A male substitute (retired from teaching) that had worked in that class cried at the thought of what would happen to that vulnerable child placed in a group home. He and his wife would take her but they, too, were too old.

It is hard to hear this.

I was not able to be there to say goodbye.

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Bittersweet Changes

Every year my husband’s family, wherever they are, turn into homing pigeons the weekend before Christmas and head home to my mother and father in law’s house. They have presided over the Christmas festivities for years….well, since before I entered the family, and I’ve been attending them for 34 years now. We’ve quietly discussed changing the location or having different folks host the meeting but all of the females (who are the ones that do the fixin’ and cookin’, after all!) work outside the home. Indeed, two of the women of my generation couldn’t be there this year due to their work schedules and, because their husbands are unemployed this year, they dare not insist on having the day off. We fear that their husbands, due to their age, will never work again. Many of the younger generation have neither the space nor the inclination to host a crowd.

My mother in law was having a very difficult time this year. It came as no surprise to me, therefore, when my father in law announced that they could no longer continue to host the celebration of the family.

I wish that I could step up and take over but, dang, between work, livestock, grandkids, ailing parents, and looking for a second job, I barely have time to take a shower, let alone cook for a small army. Maybe we could have a housecleaning, decoration, and spaghetti party. I cook the spaghetti, they clean and decorate the house? Something tells me that isn’t exactly going to catch on.

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