9 Months

I love this photograph of Pete from sometime in the early ’80s. It’s how I remember him best, with no confused look in his eyes and a shock of wavy (though receding) hair. These were the days he spent teaching me how to hit a ball and appreciate underducks on the swings in the park behind our homes. The good ‘ol days, for sure.

Once again, three months has brought lots of change.

First and foremost, at the end of August we hired a daytime caregiver. Her name is Crystal and she’s 25 and contagiously bubbly, which puts Pete in a good mood of his own most days. She’s with him a little longer each day than I was, allowing all of us (me, my mom, and my stepdad) to go back to our full work routines. I spent the first three days of her employment with the two of them, hoping for a smooth adjustment. And on the third day when I explained to Pete that I would see him the next week instead of tomorrow he said, “If you gotta go, you gotta go!” A good sign if there ever was one.

Secondly, my mom closed up Pete’s Pennsylvania home early last month. After several trips back spent weeding out twenty year old receipts and other junk, it was time. Plenty of furniture was given away and his car was sold. Everything else was boxed up, loaded onto a moving truck, and sent into a storage unit here until we can root through it all. Of course Pete has no idea all of this has happened, though the only houses he asks about these days are boyhood homes.

I’ve gone back to freelance graphic design and blogging on my own time, instead of hurriedly in the evening hours. It’s good. And though I thought there would be a modicum of guilt attached to this moment, there really isn’t. I know that I did my best job helping Pete for as long as I could. And now it’s nice to visit for Sunday dinners instead of being the one telling him he can’t do something he wants.

So for now this will be the last Pete update. I cannot even begin to thank you all for your kind comments and emails and shared stories and words of wisdom. They mean more to me than you’ll even know. This site was never meant to be a story of the trials and tribulations of my life, but I’m so happy that when it took a tiny turn in that direction you were there as always.

  • Melissa

    October 11, 2012 at 11:53 am Reply

    thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life. pete is so fortunate to have such a loving family to care for him, and the new bubbly caretaker was just what you needed to ease the pressure from your mind and time. sunday dinners must definitely be cherished.

  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    October 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm Reply

    This post, as many of the Pete posts did, made me cry. You are such an amazing woman Kelly. I love the time that you spent with Pete and what you did for your family. I think it is great that he has someone else there with him right now. I agree that being able to be with him without having to be the one telling him daily what he can/can’t do will be nice. It will allow you to enjoy your relationship with him. I love you to bits lady and am so glad to know you both through your blog and in real life. And I love that Mel was the first comment….that woman is such a class act, much like you are. Love you both.

  • Melanie

    October 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm Reply


  • victoria

    October 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your touching story. I’m happy for you all that you can enjoy each other and you did such a good job helping Pete find his new way.

  • Addie

    October 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm Reply

    Kelly, I was just wondering when the next Pete update was going to come and how you were handling everything… so glad that you found the perfect solution and everything has worked out – you did such an amazing thing, so Im glad you get to live your life again and enjoy both worlds.

    Im kind of sad though that this is the end of a few personal posts every now and then…

  • Pam

    October 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm Reply

    thanks so much for sharing something so personal.

  • jamie brunner

    October 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Kelly – I check into your blog almost every day, I frequently pin images from your posts, and I often forward your links to friends I know would appreciate them…but it seems the only time I comment is when you post your personal stuff. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

    I so appreciate your design and graphic posts and I should thank you for them more often, but there’s something about the personal connection that makes me put fingers to keyboard.

    I wish you and your family well and I’m so hopeful Pete’s situation continues to be as good as possible.

    Warmest regards – jamie

  • Kirsten

    October 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing Kelly. These truly are the things that we remember. Best wishes to you and your family. Kirsten

  • rooth

    October 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m glad that your family is working through it and that you’re getting more time to yourself as well

  • Elizabeth

    October 14, 2012 at 8:15 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing this Kelly. I am glad to hear that Pete is in good hands and that you have been able to focus on your own projects more. I’ll be thinking of all of you and hoping for the very best over the coming months.

  • Belinda

    October 15, 2012 at 5:18 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing this update on your time with Pete – it’s very inspiring. It sounds like he is being well looked after, and that you are finally able to get a bit more time for yourself. You shouldn’t feel guilty – deserve some time for yourself, and your interactions with Pete will be more positive now so you will enjoy your time with him more, I’m sure.

  • Uncle Beefy

    October 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm Reply

    A lovely update and glad that you and yours can exercise a little more self-care now, Miss Kelly. A beautiful post that gets me right here. xo UB

  • nina

    October 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm Reply

    I sometimes feel guilty when I’m half-listening to the same story I’ve heard ten times before. The day-to-day engagement can become tedious and tiresome, and lately there have been fewer and fewer opportunities to recharge. Jessica W., my 85 year-old mom, seems to sense that someimes it’s just not working for me, and that makes me sad.
    Kelly, I missed your previous “Pete posts”, but I’m going back to look for them. I’m encouraged to seek better solutions.
    Peace and love to you and all caregiving

  • Caitlin T.

    October 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm Reply

    Thank you for the Pete update. It’s been nice to follow along, especially as my own family goes through a similar situation. I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to transition back into your job. It sounds like everyone is in a good place right now!

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