Sisters Learn the Value of Working Together

I wanted to share my story.

My sister and I were never particularly close. Mom died (an only child) 12 years ago, Dad remarried a woman with 4 kids (whole other story) and moved to Florida leaving us to care for our grandparents. Gramma was the strong one, Grampa has always been like a little boy. When Gramma, at age 85 developed cancer my sister and I decided to take charge. Gramma was relieved.

We took turns taking her for treatment, got Grampa's driving privileges revoked (long overdue) and were with them every single day until she died in my arms in January 2003. Not one day went by that my sister and I didn't call each other to update on the day's events with them both. We sent each other cards, bought each other little gifts, just to let the other know how much she was appreciated. Now we are dealing with a 91 year old man, who is incontinent, deaf, suffering from dementia, and is really a pain in the rear. But he's our Grampa, and helped raise us and we really love him. It's our turn to take care of him.

We both applied to the court for co-guardianship and co-conservatorship. We had to forcefully move him to assisted living where we still visit every day. Every move we make has to be decided together. When we moved him we had to clean out a house that was worth a lot of money, but hadn't been cleaned or updated in 35 years. My sister wanted the dining room set, no problem, take it. I wanted the photo albums, no problem, take it. We are both named in the will, but I think sharing the responsibility of the personal care of our grandparents has brought us closer and made us realize that things are just things. As long as we remain a team. If I die first, she gets the photo albums. If she dies first I get the dining set.

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