I've only been to Sandra's twice in the past two weeks. She asked for a weeks break and then we had the Dallas Quilt show. She sits at the ovarian cancer awareness booth there the entire event and it's pretty exhausting for her. She emphatically told me she did not want me to come to the house last week because she was too tired.
By Thursday she called me and asked if she could have a do over. This made me chuckle. I told her I could come that day for a few hours or the next day for as long as she needed. She is not known for getting up early. She started to ask me to call her when I woke up in the morning but caught herself. She asked when I got up and I told her between 5 and 6. She asked me to call at 8 lol.
We have been working on putting things away from her living room that she has sorted through. I thought it was helpful to bring things out to her to sort when I wasn't there. I just overestimated the volume she could deal with and have totally overwhelmed her.
I'll have to find the balance to motivate her but not let it seem like too much.
Yesterday we were doing more putting away. She has a friend visiting from out of town. Her friend loves to quilt and asked Sandra for some tops to quilt. One of the tops needed a little more work that involved painting and drawing. When I left Friday I was concerned about her finding what she needed to finish that quilt and also find her backings, bindings and battings. Amazingly she had done just that. I helped her cut her backings and did find one more batt for her. I also did my usual put away, tidy.
One of the things Sandra wanted to do was vacuum her living room before we cut backings on it. She did not want me to vacuum so I had to make myself busy while she did the job. She also had to take her pills and so on. It was a long process. So while she was at it I stepped out onto her patio. She mentioned there was a missing shirt and wondered if there were more clothes on her screened in patio.
I started by straightening up her open covered patio. I found paper items out there that would ruin if we got a hard rain storm. I consolidated things into closed containers and got rid of trash. I did find a big tote full of new sweatshirts that had the tags on them still. She already has a large quantity inside also unworn. I asked her to consider donating or selling those outdoors. She is reluctant to let them go. I think she feels a little ashamed to have so many that have been forgotten.
Next I went to work on her enclosed patio. I did find another tote of clothes but no shirt. I took anything that wasn't a jacket or sweatshirt in to her to be laundered and hung up. There is still quite a bit of quilt stuff on her patio. I think the best I can do out there is consolidate and protect what is there until she is ready to deal with it. I did carry in a few arm loads of books and magazines. There are certain things I know she will let go and things I know she will hang onto. Once I sorted out her keepers and goers I added the rest of her to be sorted pile. I stopped there and went back inside.
I spent the rest of my time helping her select and cut her backings. I packaged up each quilt in its own bundle. I packed her donation pile, tidied up and we stopped there.
As I do each time I visit, I check the areas that we have already cleaned up to see if she is piling up again. She has really maintained a lot better than I thought she would. I see things creeping out in some places but so far they have been small things that she can easily move herself. I just remind myself it is her home not mine and that I am there in a support role to help her accomplish her goals. It is difficult to hear her say she doubts she will make many more quilts yet she is unwilling to let go of any of the thousands of yards of fabric she has.
Any suggestions for me?