Tending Mom and her Nest

Mom’s house mid-cleanup.

I’m back from my trip east to see family and finally feeling caught up. I worked hard in mom’s house and yard to get things back in shape. She hires people to help with house cleaning and mowing, but the details get neglected. I spent much of my time outdoors; picking up debris, trimming trees, pruning bushes, weeding and mulching beds, patching woodpecker holes, and detailing her car. It was nice to get daily fresh air and exercise, but I noticed lower energy and more aches this year. Mom was still impressed and grateful for all that was accomplished.

Mom’s side yard.

The talks with mom were hard, but it was good to voice our feelings and perspectives and clarify a few things. Mom still wants to stay in her house with the hope to die there and doesn’t want to talk about other options. What is new is that we have her permission to make decisions for her in the event of health impairment. So my brother and I will research in-home care and nursing care to create some plans in case mom can’t stay at home. Thankfully we have a couple of short-term solutions; me moving in with mom or her moving into the lower level of my brother’s home. Neither of us are ready for me to live there now. New insights are that mom feels pressured and not respected by the talk about options beyond staying in her house. And when we talk on the phone, I try to help solve her problems when all she wants is someone to listen. This is a big reminder to listen, encourage, and support her without trying to force changes. And to make sure that I’m tending my mom, not just her “nest” which I’ve been doing for the last 10 years in an effort to help her stay in her home.

Overall we had a good visit with time to relax, run errands, share meals and enjoy family time. It’s nice that we get along and care for each other in our own ways. I’m grateful for the time with my family, especially living across the country. I hope you enjoy my photos from walks around the neighborhood and a hike near the Great Falls National Park and the Potomac River.

My hike along Difficult Run creek that feeds into the Potomac River.
Lots of ferns, moss, and granite boulders in the shady bottom lands.

May you enjoy your nest, however that looks.


78 thoughts on “Tending Mom and her Nest

  1. Your mom’s home is so lovely and you did an amazing job beautifying it with all the loving detail you invested from your heart. I love the insights gleaned from your trip and it all feels really enriching…not only the time shared with family, but the growth through vulnerable communication and the presence of listening. Great reminders for us all to open our hearts to truly listening to others and letting go of trying to change anyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a beautiful, candid post. You’re tending to her in so many ways and also reminding us of how we can better attend to our own loved ones. My parents are also very protective of their nest. I want to learn how to love them and respect them as they enter into the late autumn years.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi
    The garden looks nice and so does tje nature on the hike
    Best wishes with your mom and you might already know this – but make sure you and your brother are on the paperwork as needed. It is so much harder to do if she passes – and I am not referring to power of attorney – I think there is other stuff to do that involves getting your names on docs etc

    Liked by 2 people

      • Well I am
        Not sure fully – but I think you need to make sure you are on the deed for the house and also – have you both added as “joint” on accounts and not just legal guardian – there is a difference.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure I helped much – but my FIL passed away in December and we learned that power of attorney meant little and Hubs should have been added to accounts etc

        And one more tip
        It might not be needed – but I wish I had written down more about his stuff and what his wishes were
        He told me details in 2019 but I never wrote it down and forgot a lot.
        He had weird musical instruments from late 1800s and wish I wrote the story behind them-
        He had pins from same
        Period and wish we knew the family history.

        Anyhow – it really is tough to manage end of life matters and Brad, maybe your posts sharing to experience will be a resource for other folks before they need the info .
        Oh and my father n law chose cremation and even picked the place (they were not a good place and that was headache ) but it sure was nice to have that decided ahead of time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ☀️😊
        And do you Remember when we talked about tulips Earlier this year?
        Well I posted about it and meant to link you but lost your blog name! Lol
        Not sure if that happened to you before – I knew the name was brad and I knew it was a writing name…
        Then I saw you in the reader and was like – yes – that’s him!

        Anyhow – I will add a ping later (not sure if you remember the tulip chat?)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your walk…beautiful and the work you did on your moms house is too. This is a hard stage of life. Thank goodness you respect enough to listen to what she needs right now, AND thank goodness she trusts enough to know that in time you and your brother may need to step in .

    I was so grateful when my mom knew the time had come to get help.

    Enjoy your walk into summer Brad, and rest easy, you are a phenomenal son. Donna

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and for sharing your personal situation, Brad. Helping aging parents is difficult and it can be hard to know what is best, but it sounds like you have a solid relationship guided by love and support. A blessing. 💞

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Not easy decisions, are they? I’m so glad that you’re listening to your mother and respecting her wishes. You’re bringing back memories of all of this with my parents. The way you’re handling it makes all the difference. Kudos to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow Brad….Good for you! The place looks immaculate and so colorful with all the plantings! A very pretty spot and it’s no wonder she wants to stay. You are good to do that for her. As we age it gets harder and harder to maintain everything! I’m sure she is thrilled you came and helped out. Glad you enjoyed the journey. Now back home to unwind and settle back in. Enjoy! VK 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. How beautiful the garden is! Just a bit of love and care makes all the difference… doesn’t it! It’s what I do too when I go over! It’s as if the gardener forgets the little things that actually nurture the garden. Oh I know what you mean about talking and putting plans into place! My mum is a walking miracle and still refuses to make a will or anything! In a way her life staying at home actually keeps her alive! She told me once that she’ll go if she really can’t manage… but knows she’ll be left in a room most of the time at a home and won’t last there long (they never really do)! She has 4 carers come in each day and her sister pops in late afternoon to chat and make sure she has a nice dinner! I go over about 3 times a year to keep the garden, house and homemade meals in freezer going. We agreed to go with the flow! Mum will know when she can’t manage anymore, so I give it all over.
    Over the last few years seeing my mum gracefully age and mature has been a beautiful experience for us both! She cared for me and now I care for her! More than anything I know our parents appreciate their wishes being met and not taking over… which I’ve seen some people do❤️ sending love your way Brad❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can feel the care and compassion in your words Brad. Sounds like your mum is at a stage of life where she’s still clinging tightly to her independence. How fortunate you all are to have each other and what a great job you did tending to her house and garden. Gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing your life and your patch. Whatever the future holds I hope it brings you much happiness. Big hugs my friend. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Brad, It looks like you did a great job with the yard. Your mom’s house looks cozy and lovely. I can see why she wouldn’t want to leave it.
    I am glad that she is slowly accepting certain changes. I know the feeling and what you and your brother is going through. In Brazil, it is a different culture as there is no conversation about nursing home or the such. My parents will stay where they are and we the kids will scramble to care for them. Not easy, but rewarding to know that we are taking care of them.
    I have a lot respect for you the way you care for your mom! Many blessings to you!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Brad, your Mum is so lucky to have you and your brother and family… Respecting your Mum’s wishes for her future well being, compromising and making plans for the future. They are always going to be difficult conversations, as no one wants to admit or see themselves as losing their independence or moving away from the home they love..

    Your Mums place and gardens are lovely and I can so see why she wants to stay .. You have done a lovely job of maintaining it and bringing it back into order… Gardens need lots of TLC… 🙂 of which I can tell you have enjoyed devoting your time and energy in pruning and tidying.

    The scenery around where your Mum lives is beautiful… Such gorgeous rivers and walkways to hike..
    Thank you Brad for sharing… 💚

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Your mom’s property looks beautiful, Brad. You did a wonderful job. No wonder she wants to stay. And I’m glad that you had such a productive talk, made some progress, and cleared the air a bit. It’s such an emotionally loaded topic. If your mom is open to some in-home assistance, which it sounds like she is, that will keep her in her comfortable nest for a longer time. Love your photos as always! Best of luck to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love the yard Brad….so beautiful!! Tough situation for sure, but sounds like you guys are handling it well. Glad you had good family time!! My best to you and your family and just take it a day at a time so to speak!!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So glad you were able to be there and do some practical things for her. She seems quite settled and content. Like my Mum too. It’s good to have conversations about options for the future. Sow the seeds but don’t let her feel pressured. Feeling in control is so important for that generation. ( and I guess ours too 🥴)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This is so beautiful! I love how you care for your mom and her home. Those conversations are hard, but it sounds like you are navigating them with remarkable grace and kindness. What a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. what a lovely, honest and heartfelt share Brad. These are hard talks and your sensitivity help in the garden (which looks beautiful btw) and love of you mom is evident. It sounds like you made some headway and had some important realizations. I can totally relate with my step father just passing and 4 other aging parents. Glad you sorted out this isn’t the time for you to move at this point but have some back up plans. Take good care. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You are a really good son, Brad! It is a very delicate time of life and making decisions that are right for everyone involved is difficult at best. I love that you are trying so hard to let your mom keep her dignity and be a part of the conversation. I wish you all the best with this journey…it is an important one!
    Hope you are well!! The photos are beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful words, Brad, and I can imagine the happiness your mother felt having you around ~ and for making her yard even more beautiful… great photos. The changes that come on when we get older, with parents and those we love and also with ourselves, your comment “but I noticed lower energy and more aches this year…” is something I think many of us relate to well 🙂 One priceless piece of advice I picked up on this visit, is listening. It can be the most powerful thing we can do (and something I can be quite poor about…). Take care ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, mom was very grateful, and somewhat uncomfortable at how much I did and how little she can do for herself. The aches do seem to be part of the process. darn! 😋 I hope I’m a good listener to her and my friends. Hugs…


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