A podcast where we share stories of hope for family caregivers breaking through loneliness to see God even in this season of life.

Stories of Hope for living content, loving well, and caring with no regrets!

Tryn Rose Seley #154

Episode 156

Rayna Neises, your host, talks with Phylis Mantelli.  Phylis is an author, coach, podcaster, mentor, mom, wife, and grandmother. Phylis’ book is titled, “Unmothered: Life with a Mom Who Couldn’t Love Me”.  She is currently writing her second book, “Six Life Lessons of Growing up with a Dysfunctional Mother.”  Phylis shares the following insights based on her long caregiving journey with her mother:

      • [3:19] Caregiving can help you learn about grace and forgiveness.
      • [5:18] Learning to set boundaries is important.
      • [8:55] There is a fine line between what you can handle, what is good for the family, and what is good for the one being cared for, and you must look at it from all angles. 
      • [12:27] At times God encourages us to stay the course, hold on, and be in the moment.
      • [18:05] Listen to the stories of the past.
      • [23:39] Hold on for one more day. Tomorrow might look different.
      • [25:51] You could be called to care for one parent, but not both.
      • [27:40] Support caregivers are just as important as the primary caregiver.
      • [29:34] Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself first.
      • Learn more about Phylis Mantelli and her books at her website www.PhylisMantelli.com.
      • This episode was brought to you by Content Magazine, an electronic quarterly magazine to help you find God during your caregiving season. The Spring edition launches April 1st, so pre-order now! Visit www.ContentMagazine.online to learn more.

This Episode is brought to you by:

Phylis Mantelli

Phylis Mantelli

Phylis Mantelli is the author of “Unmothered” Life With a Mom Who Couldn’t Love Me. She is a coach, Podcaster, mentor and a mom of two grown daughters.

She has been married for 34 years to her husband and they are the proud grandparents of two adorable grandchildren and one on the way! She is currently writing her 2nd book on the six life lessons of growing up with a dysfunctional mother.


This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.


*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation

[00:00:00] Rayna Neises: Welcome. This is Rayna Neises, your host of A Season of Caring Podcast, where we share stories of hope for family caregivers breaking through the busyness and loneliness to see God even in this season of life. I’m excited to introduce you today to Phyllis Mantelli. 

[00:00:14] Phyllis is the author of Unmothered. Life With a Mom Who Couldn’t Love Me. She’s a coach, podcaster, mentor, and a mom to two grown daughters. She’s been married for 34 years to her husband and they are the proud grandparents of two adorable grandchildren and one on the way. She’s currently writing her second book on the Six Life Lessons of Growing up with a Dysfunctional Mother.

[00:00:39] Welcome Phyllis, and so glad to have you here today.

[00:00:42] Phylis Mantelli: Thank you so much. Great to be here.

[00:00:45] Rayna Neises: So start off by sharing with our audience a little bit about your caregiving and who you cared for and for how long.

[00:00:52] Phylis Mantelli: Yeah, so I did care for my mother , even though I grew up with a very dysfunctional mom, alcoholic, narcissistic, and I think she was bipolar. But amazingly enough, God brought me back around and she came back into my life when I was a new mom to my daughter. I think she was a few months old. I, time just flies by, so I don’t even really remember. And I have trauma of remembering dates and times, so I always get confused with that, but I know she was a baby.  [00:01:24] And I got a phone call from the hospital one day that my mom had broken a hip and I hadn’t talked to my mom in probably a couple years, and she was outta my life and I just felt this pull to go and be with her. They also said that she had come in drunk and so they couldn’t give her any medication for 24 hours and she wasn’t coherent, so they didn’t even know who to call. And finally they got a phone number out of her purse, and she said to call me out of all three kids, . And so that began 16 years of caregiving with my mom. [00:02:03] She recovered quickly from that one, but didn’t learn her lesson. Kept drinking, broke another hip, and then she ended up, she got very afraid to leave the house, and so she sort of became home bound and. She had to have a whole hip replacement because she wasn’t mobile. So I think her hip started, losing bone mass and things like that. So that, that was a whole journey of medical issues that I took care of with her.  [00:02:29] And I actually became, kind of a part-time nurse for her because she had infections in her legs from not being mobile. So a visiting nurse showed me how to glove up and soak my mom’s feet and put usin and then bandage them and that kind of stuff. Never thought I would do that kind of thing, giving her showers, like all of that. But she ended up getting uh, dementia. And the last I wanna say it, it happened pretty quickly. She had it for, I think there was signs of it, five years in. But once it got really bad, we had to put her in a nursing home cuz she really didn’t know what was going on. [00:03:19] And then she did not recognize me towards the end. So yeah, it was a, a long time. My girls were teenagers by the time she passed in 2007. So it was a, a really long, hard journey, but I learned so much about Grace, [00:03:38] Phylis Mantelli: and forgiveness during that time. So I can’t say I loved it [00:03:44] Phylis Mantelli: when I was in it, but I can say now, looking back at the history, that I’m so grateful that I went through those hard times because it just made me appreciate family so much more. And also my girls got to see me being loving and graceful to someone who wasn’t really lovable a lot of the times. Yeah.

[00:04:07] Rayna Neises: That’s amazing. So many pieces of it because, and that’s so true about all caregiving is we have so many, it, it feels like as soon as we kind of get a clue, of how to take care of one thing, then something else happens and it changes in a different way. And it’s just always this needing to bend and to be fluid in how we’re caring even.  [00:04:27] And a lot of people don’t realize there is a lot of research now pointing towards alcoholism and dementia, [00:04:36] Rayna Neises: a lot of people don’t think about that being a cause, but it, it definitely can be.

[00:04:40] Phylis Mantelli: And also she was physically abused for most of my life, so she had a lot of head trauma from that. And so I believe that a lot of that was caused to create that also.

[00:04:52] Rayna Neises: Definitely . Our brains can only handle so much, and we think we bounce , but there’s a lot. We really don’t. We, all of those things are absorbed in different ways, and so that’s sad. So it sounds like it was so difficult, even just such a growing process, probably for you in just caring for her when she didn’t care for you.

[00:05:18] Phylis Mantelli: Right. So this is where I learned boundaries a lot. So this was why my siblings didn’t really wanna be around her is that she was very biting. So she was someone that because she had trust issues. She would rather try to push you away so that she could say, see, nobody cares about me. No one wants me. [00:05:38] And so there was this push pull of like having to reteach her and say There were days when she was not nice, and I, I would calmly tell her like, you are not being nice today. I’m gonna set you up for lunch and things like that. I’m not gonna stay and visit with you because you’re in a mood. And she tried to throw it back on me and I’m like, you know, I’m not a child anymore and I, I don’t need to put up with this, so I’m gonna go home and I need you to sit and think about it. [00:06:05] And then tomorrow I’ll come back and you know, we’ll start again. . And I think over time she was really like, oh, she’s serious. Cuz I set a hard boundary line with her. Even when she recouped after the first hip surgery, I thought I had this really beautiful life now and I had a good family and I thought, I just wanna bring her into the fold and show her what a healthy family looks like. [00:06:28] But what happens is when you bring someone toxic into the family, they disrupt the family that you’re trying to create. So I had to set a hard boundary of there was one particular Christmas where she really was disruptive and she started drinking again. And so I took her home and I said, you know, I think I was putting too much pressure on her. [00:06:50] She was intimidated by my husband’s family because she thought, you know, well, they’re better than me, and that kind of stuff. And so I told her, I’m not gonna put you in that situation again. But also, you can’t come into my house and be like that. So what I’m gonna do is we’re gonna continue our family traditions, but I’ll come over the next day and bring you food and things like that. [00:07:12] So we had to switch how we did things, because I think certain times, especially when your parents are ill or they’re just not capable of doing the thing you want them to be. I guess quote unquote normal. And, and they can’t be, they’re not capable of it, of, for whatever reason, if they have like dementia or if they’re just not as mobile anymore or they’re just grumpy cuz they’re getting older. [00:07:37] Right. And they just don’t, they, they’re set in their ways and I get, I’m getting that way so I get that, you know, and so I think we keep trying to go back to the way that they were or the way you remember them, and I think that’s a mistake. I think you have to meet them where they are and so I recognize that yes, there was a boundary line that had to be set, but also I wanted to meet her mentally what she could handle, cuz it wasn’t fair bringing her into something, even though it was good. [00:08:06] It was something that was making her be disruptive because she was uncomfortable. And so we learned how to maneuver things that way. So a lot of times it was just me or me and my husband. My girls, when they got old enough, they were like, we just really don’t wanna go over there cuz she’s kind of mean. [00:08:22] And I was like, you don’t have to, it’s okay. They loved her from afar. They were just like, she’s not someone we really wanna be around. So unfortunately, and I think it’s a mistake to force kids and stuff to be around people. I mean, it depends on the extent of that. Like of course older people are a little gruff, but she was mean. [00:08:44] And so there’s a difference. So I don’t think you should like have to force your kids to be around that when they’re not really being raised in that way. So caregiving is just a fine line of [00:08:55] Phylis Mantelli: you. What you can handle. What is good for the family, what is good for them. I think you have to look at it from all angles.

[00:09:03] Rayna Neises: Yeah, it’s kind of a dance that give and that take, and then again, when things change and it’s no longer working, it’s finding something new that does work. So it’s, and that’s kind of not how we’re wired. We’d really like it to be easy and, consistent

[00:09:19] Phylis Mantelli: We like systems and graphs and Yeah. Schedules and things like that. And especially if you have a, a parent that has dementia too, they don’t. Oh my goodness, like they don’t think the same way at all. And it’s shocking when you start seeing signs of that. So I remember, I’ll tell you a quick story is when I first noticed so of course, one time she left the cheese out like a whole block of cheese. And I came over the next day and I said, oh my gosh, mom, like there’s cheese out. And she goes, I didn’t do that. And I said, well, you live here by yourself, [00:09:56] Phylis Mantelli: And then another time I came over and she had taken all the Kleenex out of the Kleenex box and like stacked them next to her. And I said, who did this? [00:10:06] She goes, I didn’t do that. And I said, do you have like noms that live here? Like, what’s going on? And we laughed, but then I was like, What’s happening, you know? So it was that kind of stuff, like things were being left on or stuff was being like put in a corner somewhere. Just these odd kind of things where you’re like, this is, I mean she was already weird, but I was like, this is real weird behavior And so I just noticed like something was off and I started talking to the visiting nurse and she said, yeah, we’re gonna have to keep an eye on her mental health. There may be something slip.

[00:10:41] Rayna Neises: It’s funny how those little odd things, a lot of times they have excuses or they ha, you know, they’re kind of covering up pretty well for a while and then eventually, all the dominoes fall and, and there’s just no way to keep covering things up. So it’s hard. So tell us you have a favorite caregiving story that you’d like to share?

[00:10:59] Phylis Mantelli: So I do. So even though, she was this difficult mother and there was just a lot of trauma growing up with her . I was doing the caregiving out of obligation because I just felt a pull like that, God was just like, you have to stay here. I argued with God a lot. I would. Go in the car and be like, why do I have to do this? [00:11:19] I was just so angry and I didn’t understand, and I kept hearing him say, just patience and grace. Patience and grace. And I’m like, I have none of that right now. I was just, So mad that he was even throwing those words in my heart. And, but I would, I just knew, he was telling me to stay the course. [00:11:36] And so one day when I was telling you I had to wash her feet, which is just so biblical, it’s so crazy. I was on, ah, I was on my knees, I was washing her feet and I had my head down and I’m just, you know, I’m mad cuz I don’t wanna do this like this. This is not fun. I’m not a nurse like, and she started to pat me on the top of my head and she said, you’re a really good daughter and I bet you’re a really good mom.

[00:12:04] And it literally stopped me in my tracks because my mother didn’t talk to me that way. One and two, the words were so sweet and gentle, the way it came out of her mouth, I was like, This is directly from God. He knew I needed to hear those words to continue on and he also, I think was telling me this isn’t in vain. [00:12:26] Like [00:12:27] Phylis Mantelli: this is really, I want you to be in this place because there’s more down the road and I just need you to stay the course. Because I think what happens is people, . Even in the Christian world, people think that if I do X, Y, z, I’m gonna have this blessed life and everything is gonna be fine. And that’s just not the way life works. Even if you are a believer, it’s like we are gonna go through trials and tribulations and we are not to rush through those things. We are meant to stay the course cuz he is right beside us. And I think he was trying to say, just, I need you to, hold on. I need you to just be in this moment because now looking back, I’m just so glad I had those moments and my siblings missed out on those moments.

[00:13:13] And I will tell you, the day of the funeral, my sister practically climbed in the ca. We had to drag her away. And I kept telling her, you need to come and talk to her because she’s not gonna be around like sh, this is like a downward spiral. Like when she got diagnosed and no one really believed me. And then it was like they were gone. And so I can honestly say I felt at peace because I had done everything that I needed to do and the things that I couldn’t really physically do or mentally do. I was okay with putting a pause on that, but like for the majority of the time I was there and I did everything as a daughter that I should do, and so I feel great peace that I was able to be there for my mom, and I was so grateful that I was there for that moment because I would’ve missed that. [00:14:06] Phylis Mantelli: and my siblings missed that [00:14:09] Phylis Mantelli: by staying the course. Yeah.

[00:14:11] Rayna Neises: the peace that you have and the peace that you were able to make with her is so different than what it would’ve been if you hadn’t been that servant to her. That’s so beautiful and, and I love that God chose to soften her in that moment and give her a lucidness that probably was never there for her as far as really seeing, who you were and what you were doing for her, that, that’s just beautiful.

[00:14:36] And what a cherished memory. I name my book No Regrets and I talk about no regrets and it’s because of that, it’s. When we make choices to do the best we can do in that moment, it’s not that we’re perfect, it’s not that it’s a storybook situation, it’s that we do the best that we can. So we can look back with no regrets and say, Lord, I walked with you and when I was wrong, you corrected me and when I needed strength, you gave it to me. [00:15:01] And it’s just such a beautiful thing that we can look back and walk away from burying them without regrets. I think it’s doable and a lot of times people don’t feel like it is, but it takes that time, and you’re right, that investment of being there and finding a way to make the relationship the best that you can.

[00:15:20] Phylis Mantelli: Yeah. Caregiving is really a thankless job. I will say it’s like very, very difficult and it’s not something everyone can do, but if you have it in your heart to do it, even in those hard times, like really sit quietly with God and you can yell at him and say, you know, like, I’m really mad today. , like, I’m not afraid of yelling at God cuz he can handle it.

[00:15:43] He’s God. And you know, his feelings don’t get hurt, but he’s the one that gave me the strength to continue on. So he’s like, I know you’re stressed out. I know you’re not happy today. I know you don’t wanna do, yeah, I know you don’t wanna do this, but you know, it’s like being, you have to understand that if you’re called to do it, that you’re gonna have those moments of break and also take a break.

[00:16:05] If you can find someone else. because I see a lot of people over caregiving. Where they are wearing themselves out to the point where their health is deteriorating. I’m not about that. Like I would do as much as I could do when I needed to call in troops. It was like then I would have the nurses come in, when it became too hard and I couldn’t take care of her anymore because she was Well, her last day was she, she got up in the middle of the night and like screamed naked in her apartment that someone was attacking her and there was no one there.

[00:16:34] So they took her to the hospital and that’s when the nurses said, I don’t think we need to find a place for her, cuz she’s not willing, she can’t be by herself anymore. And I think that that was a smart thing to do because first of all, I could never have her in my house. It would be too disruptive.

[00:16:49] And I think people do that out of guilt, but you have to look at the relationship. If you love your parent more than anything, and you’re willing to do that and bring them in, that’s good too. But I would still recommend bringing in outside help because tw, especially with dementia or Alzheimer’s, oh my gosh, they’re, they’re awake at two in the morning, like they wander.

[00:17:10] And so you’re not capable of doing it one-on-one. It’s just, unless you have help, it’s just not possible. So you can’t play hero with that.

[00:17:20] Rayna Neises: You pay for it and they pay for it and you think that you aren’t, but all the way around it is. And I say that all the time. I went and I stayed with my dad three days in a row. And I would say to myself, it’s only three days, Rayna, but it’s a long

[00:17:35] Phylis Mantelli: It’s a long three days

[00:17:36] Rayna Neises: when you’re like on the whole

[00:17:38] Phylis Mantelli: 24 7. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:17:40] Rayna Neises: help. I had help Even in those three days, I had help because I needed to know if I was up all night with him, I had a block of time that I could sleep, you know? And honestly, I tell people all the time, I think he got tired of me too. I think he, you look forward to having those different personalities

[00:17:56] Phylis Mantelli: need another face in here.

[00:17:58] Rayna Neises: Exactly. We’re all different and we all bring different things. So [00:18:03] Rayna Neises: what would you say is the most surprising thing to you about care?

[00:18:05] Phylis Mantelli: Well, just that I think, you know, that it can be thankless, but also I just think can be really joyful and fun sometimes too. So one of the things I would say is if you’re taking care of a parent especially, is to really listen to the stories of the past. Like, I think that’s so important.

[00:18:21] I learned so. . My dad is still here at 97 and about five years ago he just started pouring out these stories. I had never heard them and I was like, you never told me this. And so I just think we can really learn things from our parents even in those moments. And maybe just sit and like even with a recorder or sit and journal or something and just find out stories.

[00:18:47] Why are they the way they are? Like what happened to them? You know? And how’s your history? I know a lot of people from that generation don’t really like to talk about their families, and I think a lot of them came from trauma. And so then they become traumatized and then they traumatize us and I’m all about breaking that generational cycle.

[00:19:04] But I think one of the things that I really enjoyed was learning some things just by sitting with them. And then also after she died, I went through all of her stuff because you know how parents hide things in everything. and my mom had tons of magazines, but I’m like, I know she probably hid something in these magazines, so I had to go through each one.

[00:19:27] But I went through this box and there was like cards from people that she had helped, and I never knew that about her and that she had prayed for. It just blew my mind that I, that was a mom I didn’t know. And so I was like, wow, there was a gentle side to her. So I think that’s unexpected when you don’t, those are things that you find out about your parents from going through their trinkets and listening to their stories and things like that. So it’s kind of an unexpected joy.

[00:19:58] Rayna Neises: I agree. I think it’s so important, especially because my history. I didn’t have that opportunity, not with my mom at all, because she was no non-verbal so quickly in her diagnosis, and I was so young. But even with my dad, he didn’t, we were born when they were 36 and 38. They lived a whole life before we were born, my sister and I.

[00:20:20] We never really, they never really talked. About that life before we were born. And so getting my dad to tell some stories, he definitely would talk about softball, baseball, a lot of those kinds of things that he did. But now that he’s gone, his sister is the last of that generation and she’s telling stories on them, that we never heard before. So it’s been really fun to hear things about what they were like and when they were so young, they married at 17 and 18, so I’ve just learned so much about them that they never shared themselves. And like you said, then cleaning out the house, you definitely find those little mementos and things, but you can never get that back and so it’s not too early. 

[00:21:02] Like your dad I think somebody was talking about just different seasons of life that I think as we get older, we get to a point where we’re really. Thinking and contemplating our legacy. And I think at that point is when we’re really ready to share. I’ve seen that with my aunt. She was never open about these things before, but in this season of her life, as she is going physically, things aren’t going well and she’s definitely struggling more. I see her more open to sharing that family history and those stories. So I think it, there’s something about us that are kind of wrapping up that legacy a little bit, you know, as we get to that later period of life at the journey. 

[00:21:40] So share with us one time that stands out to you when God was really there for you in your caregiving season.

[00:21:48] Phylis Mantelli: Ooh. Well, let’s see. There was a lot of time, so he was really there.

[00:21:52] Rayna Neises: to get down to one. It’s an.

[00:21:53] Phylis Mantelli: Well, so one thing I did, I think when he was there for me was that time when I was really, really upset and I heard the words patience and grace, and I just screamed in the car. I was pouring down tears. I can say years later when my oldest daughter got married. My husband was walking her down the aisle and those two words dropped back into my mind and I, I took my breath away and I just started bawling because I realized what he was saying is, I’m not telling you to have patience and grace right now. I’m telling you through patience and grace. There’s more. [00:22:30] Phylis Mantelli: more down the road. And so I need you to just hang on, right? And just do this thing because you’re gonna have this beautiful patience and grace moment. And it was like when I was watching her walk down the aisle with her dad, I just was like, why are those two words dropping in my head? God is with you. For the long haul.

[00:22:51] And so it was just such a beautiful moment of remembering those words. And so I actually named my coaching course Patience and Grace Coaching because those two words are super important to me. And it just brings me back to a time when God was like, I got you. I’m holding you. Hold on. You can do this. I know it’s hard.

[00:23:17] It was only by his strength because I really, really just wanted to walk away. I just wanted to do the same thing that my siblings did. It was just so hard and difficult, and he just kept saying, patience and grace. Patience and grace and you know, I just think like so many times. . You can’t blame people for walking away when it’s really hard like that.

[00:23:39] But if they could just know that their strength is not their own, that they can just, just hold on for one more day. I think it’s surprising how God can just show you, you can do this. When I think back, I’m like, how in the world did I do that? Like it just, it’s so long ago now. But I can put myself back in that moment and remember that stress and just the anxiety and just the tiredness cuz I was raising my girls too, and my husband worked 80% of our marriage away from the home. So I was basically, I would tease people and say, yeah, I’m a single mom with benefits I have all the goodies and stuff, but I was the only one. Like, so if I was sick, like I still had to get them to school, there was just times where I was like, I don’t wanna be this person anymore.

[00:24:30] So looking back, I’m like, God just gave me such strength that I could never have done on my own if I didn’t have a faith like I would’ve walked away. And so I’m grateful. For just him giving me that strength and telling me to continue on because now when I look back again, I just feel, you know, such a peace of knowing that I was a good daughter.

[00:24:54] Rayna Neises: Yeah. Well, and it’s that it wasn’t just that you had, that you’re a person of faith, but it was that you had a calling. And I think that’s the difference for, at least for me, is I know I’m called, I was called to care for my dad. I’m called to share, how to do that and how to take care of yourself at the same time, because that’s the only way we can do it well is if we’re taking care of us too.

[00:25:19] Phylis Mantelli: It’s funny. Yeah, it’s funny you say that because so I did feel called to take care of my mom, and then my dad started getting sick and older and I was just jumped right back into the caregiving thing of like doing his laundry, bringing his food, you know, all the things. . And then when he got put in the hospital at 95, my brother jumped in and said, I want to take care of dad and I. But here’s the thing is that you have to let go of control [00:25:51] Phylis Mantelli: So because I had been a child of abuse and just like all the stuff that I’ve grown up in. I was always the adult in the family, and so I was the one that was always controlling everything and like taking care of everybody. So there was a huge talk with God of him, of him saying, let go and be a daughter. You don’t have to be a caregiver this time. You don’t have to take control of it. Just go and be a daughter. That was foreign to me. I didn’t know. I don’t know how to do that. I only know how to caregive so, , just a little FYI out there. You could be called for one parent. It doesn’t mean you’re automatically called for all the, both your parents, just you all the time. [00:26:36] So I had to turn over the checkbook, the law, you know, I said, here you go. And also I needed to because my grandkids live six hours away and I was trying to be with them and take care of my dad and do you know when can I go see them and get him set in place that released all of that so I could just now be a grandma?

[00:26:57] And we go play with my grandkids and we go visit down there and my brother just took over the whole caregiving for my father, and now he has visiting nurses coming into my dad’s home and helping. And it’s hard, literally, I’m always like checking, well, I, you know, of course you always think you do it better And so I’m like, well, I wouldn’t have done it that way, but I’m, I’m constantly having to check myself and say. Doesn’t have to be your way. As long as he’s happy and he’s well cared for, it’s okay. So just a little tidbit for people that think that they have to have that responsibility. And once that’s your calling, it’s always your calling. I have to say. No, it’s not.

[00:27:40] Rayna Neises: There’s always, God’s always changing it up on us. Right? And I, what I love is what you just said too, is even in this season where you’re not the caregiver, you are still a daughter, you still have a role, you still are needing to play a role, but God is still teaching you things. Through this journey with your dad of walking him all the way home. He’s always about showing himself and helping us to learn and to grow no matter what role we’re taking on.

[00:28:08] I think the support and not the primary caregiver, but the support caregivers are just as important so many times because like you said, there can be those really difficult relationships that it’s not healthy for you to be the one that’s hands on. but it doesn’t mean checking out completely is right either.

[00:28:24] So it’s finding that balance of how do I support and you were talking about the wound care and all the ickiness. I was so thankful my sister thought that was cool cuz then I didn’t have to. So she was always the one changing the wounds and really keeping

[00:28:38] Phylis Mantelli: God bless her.

[00:28:39] Rayna Neises: I never saw any of it.  [00:28:40] My dad had melanomas. I had a really large hole where they took out that skin cancer and then he had MRSA in that wound. And so the skin graft failed. And so she took pictures and I mean, she was all, I never saw it once. And it, it’s funny cuz she’ll say, I would pick up her phone, I’d be like, you wanna look at a picture of her kids? And she’d be like, oh, be careful. There’s pictures of wounds in there,

[00:29:02] Phylis Mantelli: yeah. . Yeah. I’ll, I’ll look at, yeah, that’d be my husband. He’ll be like, Ooh,

[00:29:06] Rayna Neises: I’m like,

[00:29:07] Phylis Mantelli: Yeah. I always say I, I could be a nurse at this point cuz none of that stuff bothers me. I don’t like it, but it doesn’t bother me. So, yeah. I’m always watching medical shows. My husband’s like, why are you so obsessed with that?

[00:29:17] I’m like, I don’t know.

[00:29:18] Rayna Neises: It just it interesting. Never know when you might need it.

[00:29:21] Phylis Mantelli: Exactly. I can, I can stitch you up with a needle. It’s like, it’s great.

[00:29:27] Rayna Neises: Well, let’s wrap our time and have one just nugget of wisdom you could share with our listeners today.

[00:29:34] Phylis Mantelli: Yeah, I would just say be really kind to yourself, like take care of you first. That’s my biggest takeaway is that this is really a hard, hard season and you’re doing great and just by showing up and being there and don’t overwork yourself. When you need someone else to step in, please ask for help or get help. Don’t try to do it all yourself to be a hero, cuz there’s no hero if it’s like that. You can’t fill an empty cup kind of theology of you have to fill your own cup up first and caregiving is. like you said with your dad, it’s like 24, you know, three days felt like five months, right? And so I would say, really listen to your cues and your body in your own body, in your mental health, in your spirit.

[00:30:22] And when it’s time to like pull back a little bit, give yourself a break, you can always go back. If that needs to change, you can change. It doesn’t have to look one way.

[00:30:32] Rayna Neises: Yes, exactly. So wise, that I think is one of the hardest things. Just like you said, your caregiving for your mom looks different than what you’re doing for your dad, even in one season. There’s times it’s gonna look different, and we just have to be willing to make those adjustments as we need to. But grace, grace, grace for you, for them, for everybody, because we need it so much in this season.

[00:30:55] Oh, Phyllis, it’s been so good to have you. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

[00:30:59] Phylis Mantelli: Of course. Thank you for having me.

[00:31:02] Rayna Neises: Listeners, thanks for joining us. Today we had Stories of Hope from Phyllis, and this episode has been brought to you by Content Magazine. The spring edition launches April 1st, so be sure to grab your pre-order copy that’s available now. It’s electronic magazine that is designed to help you find God during your caregiving season.

[00:31:20] Take a moment to take a deep breath, find Him, and then jump back into your caregiving life refreshed. It’s available now at ContentMagazine.Online. 

[00:31:29] A Season of Caring Podcast has been created to share stories of hope for living content, loving well, and caring without regrets for family caregivers. If you have legal, financial, or medical questions, be sure to consult your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring.

            Meet Your Host

Rayna Neises

Would you like to be a Guest?  |  Email Rayna

Rayna Neises, ACC

Author of No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season, Editor of Content Magazine, ICF Certified Coach, Speaker, Podcast Host, & Positive Approach to Care® Independent Trainer offering encouragement, support, and resources to those who are in a Season of Caring for Aging Parents.

Her passion is for those caring and their parents, so that both might be seen, not forgotten & cared for, not neglected.

Stay Connected to Get the Latest Podcast Alerts

New Episodes Every 2nd and 4th Thursday @ 9am

To help the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or where ever you listen. Your ratings and reviews really help, and I read each one.
  • Subscribe at your favorite podcast platform or subscribe below and never miss an episode.

Your turn, share your thoughts . . .


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rayna Neises: A Season of Caring