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My husband’s mom, Ruth, died 2 years ago of cancer. In her last days she was at home with her husband, Bill, who never left her side. We were all there with her the day she passed, the moment she took her last breath. As you might imagine, it was devastating. It’s true what they say, even when you know its inevitable, you can never be prepared enough for the loss of a loved one. Needless to say, Bill has yet to recover from the loss of his beautiful “Ruthie“.

Bill remains severely depressed and his health continues to deteriorate. Since Ruth’s death we’ve tried getting Bill to move from his home in Phoenix to where all of us are in California. All 3 of his sons live in southern California and all of us have welcomed to take him in to live with us so he won’t be alone and so we can help him with doctor appts and medical needs. He continues to refuse. And there have been too many instances either neighbors or life-alert has had to come to his rescue. We all drive to Phoenix as much as possible to visit with him and always go down there whenever there’s an emergency, which is quite frequent these last months. But still we‘re not able to convince him to come home with us to live in California.

We recently found out that Ruth made Bill promise not to leave their home in Phoenix and not to become a burden to their sons. So he continues to keep his promise to Ruth. But what he doesn’t understand is that that promise makes it harder on the sons. It would be better for him and the boys if he DID come to live with us, where one of us could always be with him, where he would constantly be surrounded by love and family, his grandkids, sons, etc. We could all help with his medical needs, appts, meals, day-to-day tasks, etc.  

It may sound a bit insensitive, but it’s been hard on the sons having to make that 6-hour drive so much and so many of these trips are at a moments notice whenever an emergency comes up, work isn’t understanding when one has to get up and go (frequently at that), especially now when so many are being let go. Plus when we can’t be with Bill on a daily basis, we all worry so much more about his depression, what he might do, or how he won’t eat for days at a time. Plus he’s been in and out of the hospital so much, and we want to be there for him during those times too. So again, we rotate taking time off work to spend the days or weeks sometimes while he’s in the hospital.  

If he were here with us, we could all manage the situation much better without putting jobs at risk, or the rest of the family (kids) on the backburner so much. He’d be here amongst us. I wish he could understand how much better he might feel again if he would just give up the promise to Ruth and enjoy life again with his family while he still has time with us. And I wish he could understand that we all love him so much and WANT to help take care of him.


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