Sorry for the long wait, my faithful readers!! Book 6 was not only extremely difficult to write, but I have a higher priority going on in my life at the moment – taking care of family.
Book 6 was a BEAR to Write
Not only was I writing the EPIC conclusion to the Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles, I had a TON of loose ends to tie up. And I changed the title of the book, too. Midnight Redemption is the new (and better) title.
Rest assured, it will have action and suspense and (I hope) a slew of unexpected twists and turns to keep you guessing how this story and series will end.
I had hoped to get it published in mid-November, but that proved to be very difficult due to some recent family issues…
Gods love and bless my mother-in-law! Her parents are in their mid-90s and she has been taking care of them for the last seven years on her own.
For the last two years, I've been going over there on Wednesdays for the full day to give her a break and some much needed time off and rest. I've also filled in for her when she and the family took a vacation.
However, Grandma is no longer able to walk on her own. She's too weak to get out of bed anymore and is now bed ridden. Grandpa's status is also declining.
When my mother-in-law literally collapsed emotionally and physically from exhaustion, I had to step in and take over…or we would end up burying her before her parents.
For an entire month, I was there from 9am – 9pm every day to get hospice started and take care of Grandma & Grandpa. Mom had to spend the night at her parents' house just in case Grandpa got up in the middle of the night – which he does EVERY NIGHT – and fall. Though she might not be able to pick him up on her own, she could at least call me and my husband to come over and help.
Needless to say, I had no time to finish the edits for my book.
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Where is Book 6 Now?
I am slowing pecking through the edits as I have time, which is usually no more than a half-hour at once. My mother-in-law is not strong enough to turn her mother in bed, but I am. I'm then responsible for turning her every hour or so to prevent bed sores. And then I have to change her diapers.
Rewriting scenes is very difficult when Grandpa – Gods love him – is coughing and hacking next to me in the living room.
(As people get closer to their final days, their body produces a LOT of phlegm – something I did not know until I started going through this experience.)
And then we have someone coming over from the Hospice organization almost every day to either check up on their health or give them their baths. Grandma & Grandpa cannot make their own meals, so that falls on me and my mother-in-law, as well as any of the house chores. And Grandma's almost to the point where she needs to be fed, since she is losing the dexterity in her hands to properly bring her food to her mouth.
I thought I could get Book 6 finished before Christmas, but that's not happening. I would like to say I'll get this done before the spring, but I'm not making any promises.
This has been a very trying time for the family and neither my mother-in-law nor I have our own lives anymore. We are living for her parents at the moment, waiting for them to pass and taking care of them the best we can while still letting them know we love them and want to help them maintain their dignity.
The good news is the hospice organization has a wonderful social worker who is helping us to obtain funding so we can get in some part-time help. We just can't afford to pay nursing assistants to take care of their needs out of our own pockets, and affording a nursing or assisted living facility is out of the question. Costs range at a minimum of $4000 and upwards to $20k per month PER PERSON.
Advice for YOU
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't be in denial about getting into your older years. PLAN for your retirement and your final years on this earth and do not leave that responsibility to your family members. It's not fair to expect them to be wiping your ass and feeding you.
The whole reason this responsibility has unexpectedly fallen on me and my mother-in-law is because her parents have been in complete denial about what will happen in their final years. They ignored it and avoided thinking about the provisions they needed to have in place when they became too old to take care of themselves.
ALL OF US WILL GET TO THIS STAGE IN LIFE. Please do not ignore this.
Don't ASSUME your kids will be wiping your ass. They have their own lives to live and it's selfish for you to expect them to drop their lives for you.
Don't ASSUME Medicare will cover your expenses. It won't.
Don't ASSUME Social Security will cover the expenses to have people come into your home and take care of you. It won't.
If you're a veteran, like I am, you might have some financial assistance. HOWEVER, as we are learning by trying to get financial aid for Grandpa (a veteran), the VA takes their sweet ass time. Unofficially, they're hoping Grandpa dies before they pay out the benefits. We're going on SIX MONTHS waiting for the aid to be approved and they denied us because they didn't give us information we had NO CLUE they were asking for. We now have to appeal.
What You Can Do
If you're uncertain where to begin preparations, it will depend on how old you are.
Start saving NOW! If you're older (50s+), it's not too late to make investments, so do invest but you may have to be a bit more aggressive about your savings and options. The younger you are, the better off you'll be.
Everyone should look into investment opportunities and start building a portfolio. Subscribe to investment magazines to start learning about your options. AT LEAST invest in a 401k if you can. OR put money away in an IRA. If you don't have enough money to start an IRA, put it into a savings account and save it up until you do.
If you can, investigate financial advisers and look into index funds. Although Social Security can contribute to your elderly expenses, they will only cover a small portion. Medical will also only cover a small portion. And you have to be at poverty level on your income to get financial aid of almost any kind – including VA benefits or state funding.
I wish I had the answers, but my husband and I are approaching the 50+ range and scrambling to form our plan. I'll try to publish ideas in future posts, but don't rely on me. You must take care of yourself now so you can arrange to have someone take care of you later.
All my best wishes for your future! And I'll keep you posted about Book 6 – MIDNIGHT REDEMPTION.