My Mom and I went on vacation to Missoula July 22 to visit my sister who has a house in the woods by a creek, and a cabin on Flathead lake. We jump off the dock into the frigid water and swim like crazy till we turn into icicles.

Februrary, 2013
This year was different. Two days after we arrived, my 94 year old Mom lost her balance stepping up on the curb while heading into an REI store, breaking her femur. The doctor took us aside before the surgery to install a titanium rod, and said, “”Just to let you know, 30 % of people in her category are dead within the year.”
But of course, he didn’t know my Mom, and her plan is to come out of this stronger than when she went in, but it’s going to be a full year of recovery. It’s been hard, really hard. Discouraging. Depressing. Every day is a fight. This morning she didn’t want to get up. She reminds me of what a wonderful gift it is to be able to just stride down the street.
She spends her days working out on a recumbent exercise bike, lifting weights, and I now go with her to her water aerobics class. The first day back, her classmates cheered and clapped as she climbed down the ladder. She disdains going in the slow way, but prefers the ‘all at once’ method, so as not to drag out the pain of getting wet. For the past decade, she’s gone year round, three days a week. On some cold, dark days, she’s the only one in class. And she’s looking forward to driving again soon.
My Mom exemplifies her generation–independent, determined, a classic depression kid.  Sharper than I am in many ways, hard working and thrifty. Before the accident, she was driving everywhere, shopping, cooking, doing  laundry, ironing, gardening, and charity work. She published her autobiography  just before this trip. But she’s quickly getting back in the groove. Today she did laundry and ironed a stack of clothes.
I feel closer now to the families who call our office needing companions for their seniors for a few hours during the day, a weekend, overnights or on a regular basis. Sometimes seniors have kids who want them to have help, but the seniors aren’t ready to hear of it. But it’s a relief nonetheless to know that a trusted professional is available when they’re ready.
Beth Weise

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Picture this: Your Nanny walks through the door in the morning with her cup of coffee and a new library book. Your little munchkin runs right past you as your’e moving towards the door, and throws himself into her arms.

She laughs and scoops him up and they start breakfast. He doesn’t even bother to say goodby to you. Sound familiar? Outside of your immediate family, your caregiver is probably the most important person in your network, and nearly one-third of Moms say they have felt jealous of their Nanny.

How do you cope? First, realize you’ve found the right person for your child. Your child’s strong bonds with others will never diminish his love for you. Having good relationships with caregivers actually acelerates other healthy relationships in his life. Your Nanny is one more person who loves your child.

Secondly, create daily rituals between you and your child, like breakfast, bathtime, reading at bedtime, playing with duplos, or going out for a family breakfast on Saturday mornings.

Knowing there’s something special that just the two of you do will help you get through those moments when you feel replaced.

One Mom frequently came home with a new toy because she felt shaky about her child’s affections. Her Nanny was able to reassure her that no one could ever take her place in his life, and homecomings became much calmer.

You are irreplaceable in his life, and always will be.

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