“Storms make trees create deeper roots..”

Dolly Parton


I have missed you, Welcoming House Readers.

And I have missed blogging.

I have struggled with how to share with you so many things over the last 8 months as I have walked through some dark times in my life. How to keep up with the lighthearted banter, and the recipes, and the fun sharing of my family.

I finally sat down with my best friend after 4 months of dark valleys and told her I was really struggling.

I had lost sight of why I was doing so many things.

I had lost sight of why I even cared about other people.

I felt broken, and alone, and so angry inside.


Taking care of a parent who is struggling is no joke. When I went into bringing my mom home to live with us almost 3 full years ago, I had no idea the cost it would bring upon my family, and upon my heart. In so many ways the first six months it was all about if she would even be able to remain with us instead of a nursing home. My family, my own ability to take care of myself, all fell to the side as I did everything to help her take care of herself.

I did not consider the dementia side of things when I brought her into my home.  I was doing what I felt every strong woman who loves her family, and can care for her family would do.

It almost broke me.


In March, against the recommendations of all of my siblings and her nurse, my mother insisted on moving back to her home.

She lives there still. She went through more than 2 weeks without water or a working sewer. She welcomed a social worker from our state government into her home and accepted a lien on her house to receive full government help. She insisted on doing absolutely everything she had accused of us trying to force on her for years, and then blamed us for having to do it. Publicly.

She refused to accept help from us.

She told others in a very small town that we were horrible people who simply wanted to take advantage of her, a vulnerable adult.

After 2 years of having her in  my home, paying her bills, feeding her, taking care of her, that was the end. And it totally devastated me. Devastated my children.

It made me sad, and mad, and left me feeling helpless.

And overall it broke my heart again and again because she is my mom, and all we wanted to do was help her, keep her safe, and keep her strong. We wanted to do what we always do…help someone get back up on their feet again and walk forward into the future that the Lord has for them. That still is our hearts. But it was a heavy blow.


So for a time all I did was stay in my home. I couldn’t face people who might not understand the situation and hold me to blame for her words, not realizing what the truth was.

My brother called me, perhaps understanding the situation, perhaps just trying to be the awesome big brother he is, and ended up moving up here in April to take over doing whatever my mom needed so our family can heal.

It has been a rough road. But with the grace of God…with friends who KNOW us…with a small town that loved us and welcomed us back, I feel strong again.

And it is time….to start again.

You will see me here more often. Sharing stories, sharing recipes, sharing our lives on this side of the screen. Loving someone and laying your entire life on the line for them means there will be messy consequences. It means there will be days you stare at a blinking cursor on your computer on a blank draft for a few minutes…and walk away…because it hurts too much to put it into words.

It means you walk through it, you scream through it, and in the end, you live. You get up, dust yourself off, and determine that it is time to move on.

You love as best you are able, you hold your head high, and you pray for them. You pray for their safety, and their future, and their  ability to take care of themselves. And that is a powerful thing.

Blessings to you and yours

~Heather <3