What an emotional and bittersweet episode for me! My family means so much to me and to recently come to the realization that we are at the point in our lives where I am now the caretaker, rather than my mom and dad, is a hard one. Let me give you a little backstory on my dear parents, Frank and Lois. . .
Last November, my mom had a stroke and was in the hospital for three weeks, followed by outpatient care. This came as a devastating shock for us because my mom has always been in good health, incredibly vibrant and full of life since she worked and played tennis up until the day she had her stroke at 85. So, for her to not remember anything or speak incoherently was really life changing for everyone. My dad, being 92 years old himself, is on oxygen full-time and has relied on my mom to take care of him for some years now. With both of them needing round-the-clock care, my sister and I were faced with the very difficult decision of what to do. Hearing my dad tell us that "Where I am now isn't home. It's only where I sleeps at night," still brings tears to my eyes. How heartbreaking to know he feels this way. I realize there are many of you out there that can also relate to these difficult decisions we have to make as our parents age and their health fails them.
My mom made it very clear that she didn't want someone else living in their house with them, so the decision was made to move into the assisted care facility they live in now. In hopes of mom getting better, we didn't put the house up for sale right away, but as time passed, we realized the days of mom and dad being able to live in their own home were gone, and we put the house on the market this past summer. The house sold quickly, which is what took me up there to collect my childhood items and memories. Standing in our empty home, holding my mom as we both cried while reminiscing about old artwork brought back a flood of old memories I hadn't thought of for many, many years. And, of course, driving around Medford with my girls, saying goodbye to the neighborhood I grew up in was so bittersweet. As I mentioned on the show, I never quite felt like I belonged in the Medford community, but I am so incredibly grateful for the time I spent there because it's hometown charm is what made me who I am today and I wouldn't change a second of it. I really do have wonderful memories full of BBQs and friends and of course, colorful Jell-O salads thanks to my mom!
As you can see, my two girls are a hoot. They are unfiltered and say what's on their mind at any given moment. (I have no idea where they get this from!!!) I just love them for it AND am tortured by it at the same time. It meant the world to have them up there with me during this emotional time. HH was up in Vancouver filming his new show Rush, which meant he couldn't be there, so the comfort of my girls by my side was everything. I think having Delilah and Amelia with me to see and experience this circle of life is an important part of growing up.
I'm also glad you got to see some of the amazing watercolor paintings my dad has painted over the years. Their beauty has brought so many people so much joy and I'm happy that they're hanging up for people to keep on enjoying. He is an exceptional artist, and it's just heartbreaking to know that his shaky hands and failing health won't allow him to continue doing what he loves. He's a special man and I love him dearly.
It is so sad to say goodbye, but I will always have the memories and I feel so lucky to still have my parents only a quick flight and phone call away. I cherish the time I get to spend with them. They are my everything.
Alright, let's talk about what the other girls were up to while I was gone! First of all, I loved the lunch I had with Yolanda and Eileen before I left for Oregon. Such a small world to watch the two of them discuss how they were connected through their kids before actually meeting each other. And then to see Yolanda call Eileen to invite her to Kyle's BBQ made me so happy. I just knew the girls would love her! Oh, and Eileen is now $100 richer because she won that bet Brandi made with her at Kyle's house. Not only was I the original Billie Reed, but I created Billie on Days of Our Lives! Time to pay up, Brandi!
The BBQ at Kyle's house looked so beautiful and fun, I'm really sad to have missed it. Man, is she lucky to have her Ladysitter, Justin. I am not even kidding when I say that I want to steal him away from her. He is fabulous with helping Kyle and I know she knows how lucky she is to have him in her life!
Just when you think you couldn’t love Lisa V's adorable zoo any more than you already do, she introduces you to her gorgeous gay swans, Hanky and Panky. How much more fabulous can you get?
I think it's interesting to see Brandi trying to get some kind of closure with Lisa V. We have to remember that there are consequences to our actions with others. Sometimes we can move on quickly, other times it takes longer and sometimes not at all.
I hope you're all ready for a wonderful and stress free holiday. Take this time to enjoy your family and friends and I will see you back here next week! Sending blessings and love to you and your families!