Carol Dec 2011ABOUT ME

My Background

My name is Carol. I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA with my mom, dad, older brother and younger sister. My formal education has consisted of graduating from college at Auburn University, seminary and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Fort Worth, TX. I have an accounting degree and also a Master of Divinity degree – concentrating on chaplaincy. I love sports and use that passion to help me through many days!

I truly love Auburn University and SEC football. My other team that I follow consistently is the Texas Rangers! I actually worked for the Rangers for three years as an usher. I love baseball, so that was the best part-time job I’ll EVER have! Getting paid to watch your favorite team play –can’t beat it!

I moved back to Atlanta in 2007 to be closer to family. My mom and dad were getting older, having health issues and my sister has four beautiful kids that I wanted to be around more. Soon after I moved back to Atlanta, I felt God directing me to have a more definitive time with my parents. I’m so glad I listened to that urging. I began going to their house on Monday nights after work. Why? Well, I began processing their bill payments and reconciling the bank statement. We also had a set time that we knew we would have together.

Carol Pat and Mom

It was just a great bonding time for us! We had dinner and usually watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! I’m so glad we have those memories together. In 2011, mom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It was a total shock to us all – and she did not receive a good prognosis. She wasn’t able to have surgery. So, they did what they could with chemo and radiation. Mom was very courageous, brave and an unbelievable fighter. She stayed upbeat and as always, had a great sense of humor through it all. She actually beat the cancer. We were able to have the best Thanksgiving and Christmas season with the family. For that blessing, we will always be grateful. However she eventually couldn’t get past the complications that resulted from the treatment for her cancer. Mom died in January of 2012. I still miss her terribly.

There were many days during mom’s illness that we had to spend time with her in the hospital – which left dad alone at home at night. He has health issues of his own. I marvel at how God has taken care of dad during mom’s illness and even since mom’s death. However, it’s obviously hit him hard. Mom and dad were married in 1957. They were together a long time. Probably like so many other couples, they always presumed dad would be the one to go first. Dad is five years older than mom and he had some pretty major health issues going on in his life. Yet, here we are.

Why Caring Vine?

After mom died, I kept going to the house to be with dad on Monday nights. We also started a practice of speaking every day on the phone. However, earlier this year, it became evident that we needed to begin making some changes. I have recently left my job to become the primary caregiver for my dad. In this endeavor, I will be learning firsthand what that means and sharing much of the process and helps I receive along the way on this website.

I’ll begin taking on more of the everyday chores for dad – such as chauffeuring to the store, restaurants and doctors’ appointments; keeping up with his medications and getting to know his doctors and more about his care (when we get to that point); cleaning around the house; and de-cluttering the house (what is junk, what is donations, what are we keeping, and what can we sell – on eBay or other venues). What we are going through in trying to learn more about this process – in handling the grief, as well as the functions involved in seeing our parent(s) or loved ones grow older and needing help – is something that many are struggling with today.

The starting point for this website will be periodic devotionals that I’ll be writing. The one thing that I KNOW at this point is that I need to seek God in this process and allow Him to direct me. Then everything else will fall into place. I had hoped to do at least one devotional a week. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had enough time to do so. I will be writing them when I can. Hopefully at least one a month. I will certainly do more if I can. Thank you for understanding!

In addition to devotionals, hopefully we can begin pulling together resources – articles, guidelines or tips that will help in areas such as grief, caregiving, medical issues, financial helps for caregivers and organizational or de-cluttering issues. We can help each other. This website will evolve as we move forward.

Also, thank you in advance for being patient with us as we get this website up and going. We are learning that process as we go too! Please contact us – share your comments and let us know how you are doing. If we can pray for you, we’d love to do that too. We look forward to growing through this process with you. God bless you and your loved ones.

Carol and dad Jan 2013