My Most Challenging Year Part 1: When Family Tragedy Strikes

As is tradition here on EJ, this is my end of year post, or two posts in this case, recapping the year that was and my plans for the year coming up.

Yesterday I read over the article I wrote at the end of 2010 – My Big Plans For 2011. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan – they rarely do – but 2011 was particularly challenging. Life has a habit of blindsiding you, but I have to say that 2011 in particular was one that I really did not see coming.

It all started well enough. I set three main business goals for the year: A software project I had been thinking about for a long time and started in 2010, a new course called The 2-Hour Work Day and continuing to develop this blog into an independent entrepreneur resource.

I finished writing the free report for the 2-Hour Work Day, including sourcing a cover design and logo mascot. The report is 100% done and ready to go, but I’m not going to release it until I am ready to produce and sell the course behind it.

While I was writing the 2-Hour Work Day report during the first half of 2011 I was transitioning in a new team of wonderful writers here on EJ. I also brought on an editor to help recruit new writers, and edit and publish articles, freeing me up from the last remaining jobs I do to keep this site going.

Taking the final steps to remove myself from the maintenance of this blog turned out to be incredibly important, but not for the reasons I expected.

In June my mother had a series of small strokes in her brain stem. For the first time in my life I found myself staring at a loved one in the ICU of hospital. She had made some bad decisions with her health, many because she was afraid of hospitals, to end up supported by a ventilator, with an irregular heart beat, fluid on her lugs, tubes connected to her and all manner of horrible things going on.

You can read more about what happened in this article I wrote a few weeks after my mum had her stroke – The Day My Life Changed.

Our Life In Hospital

From the day that mum entered hospital I have been with her. I’ve now spent over six months going to the hospital every day, including weekends. I’m writing this sentence, sitting next to my mother while she has an afternoon nap, a common occurrence after all the therapy work she does in the mornings.

My Temporary "Office" In The ICU

During the first week in the ICU, my mother was borderline. As is standard procedure in the ICU, after a week on life support we (me and my mother’s partner) were asked whether we wanted to take her off support. We decided that while she had a chance we would give her more time to recover, even though she was barely conscious. The doctors told us to prepare for the worst.

Several times while in the ICU we were ushered into a small “family room”. This is the room that you will know from TV dramas, that place where doctors have to do the horrible job of telling people how their loved ones are. It was a surreal experience to find yourself in that place with someone telling you that the person you care about the most in your life was not likely to recover.

The ICU experience shook me hard. I would go so far as to say that I am not the same person I was after seeing what happened to my mother in there. Of course the purpose of the ICU is to help people recover from acute issues, but obviously if they are in the ICU they are not in good shape. My mum had a stroke with many complications related to a thyroid disorder she has had for years, which made for a tough experience – and that was just for me observing – I can only imagine what it was like for her (thankfully she can’t remember any of it today).

Since my mother was not showing much sign of consciousness she was on what is called hourly observations. This means the nurse has to do a round of procedures to assess how conscious she is using a scoring system called the Glasgow Coma Scale. This involves asking her to squeeze your hand, open her eyes, wiggle her toes – basically move any part of her body on command. When she doesn’t do it on command, they have to use pain – usually a pen pressed hard on to her fingernail – in order to elicit any response.

Observations are done once an hour every hour, including at night. During a time when you need sleep to recover you are kept awake with constant prodding and pain to make sure you are not having more strokes or seizures. On top of this you have hourly blood taken from you, drugs pumped into your veins via canulars, a machine breathing for you via a big tube down your throat and liquid food pumped into you via a tube down your nose. It’s basically torture.

Things progressed slowly and we didn’t know how mum would go. Her heart stabilized and she began breathing unassisted. The next big decision we faced was surgery in the ICU to go down her throat to see if some nodules were cancerous or something else. We consented, had a nervous wait, and eventually found out they were not dangerous.

Since it is not recommended to have breathing tubes down your throat long term, the next decision was whether to have mum get a tracheostomy (trachy), which is a hole in your throat where a tube goes to help clear your airway when you can’t breath or swallow or eat safely, which in this case with mum and her stroke, were all damaged in some way. The surgery was done safely and the trachy is still with us today.

Although my mother still had not improved neurologically very much (not very responsive to commands), her body was stabilizing. After three weeks she was in a condition to go to the stroke ward and get out of ICU. The ward would become her new home.

The roller coaster ride didn’t stop then. I won’t go into great detail as there are too many events to talk about. We’ve been through about 10 different emergencies (called a MERT at the hospital) due to breathing issues, had several infections, my mother pulled the trachy tube out herself once, more surgery to place a tube in her stomach to feed her liquid food, another surgery to remove scar tissue in her throat, and many other challenges.

Not a week goes by where you don’t deal with something. In fact just this morning as I write this sentence my mother had another emergency due to not getting enough oxygen in her blood.

By and large though, she is much more stable than she was. Her short term memory isn’t great, which in some regards is a blessing as she forgets what happened to her yesterday and weeks before, including emergencies, surgeries and other not so fun things.

She has trouble focusing on more than one thing at a time, but her personality is still there. She laughs and jokes with us, and although she can’t talk with the trachy, non-verbal communication, lip reading and writing (she is learning how to write with her non-dominant left hand while her right is recovering movement slowly), all make basic communication possible.

She can’t rise out of the bed, sit up, walk, talk, eat or pretty much do anything herself. She is progressing in therapy in all these areas, but she has a long way to go. It’s a precarious process, as for each step forward we’ve taken a step back after an emergency or infection or complication. Thankfully mum is not suffering significantly, and for most of the day she has me or her partner by her side, not to mention her addiction to TV is well maintained and enjoys a daily afternoon nap.

One of the saddest realizations for me as a result of staying in hospital so long is seeing most people suffer alone. Patients have the nice nursing staff and the occasional family or friend visit, but most of the time they are in bed with no company.

I don’t know whether their family is working or in another state/country or just don’t care, but the norm is for people to be alone for most of the day, staring at the ceiling, enduring treatments, crying and being lonely and depressed. It’s not like this for everyone all of the time, but for many people, that’s the predominant experience they have – and for some, the final experience of life before they die.

The Gift Of Time

Ever since I have had my own business I’ve relished the freedom. It’s the core reason I am an entrepreneur. It’s the main thing I promote to other people as why running your own business is so desirable.

I’ve enjoyed this freedom in many ways. I’ve travelled the world for 8 months with no deadlines to be anywhere any time, or budgets to constrain me. I’ve spent countless hours in cafes, taking my time to write articles and run my business with no boss telling me what to focus on. I’ve had many days where I’ve done absolutely no work at all, and days I’ve spent hours on a project I love, not wanting to stop.

All of this has been wonderful – a gift – but I didn’t realize the real gift, by far the greatest gift my business has granted me, is the freedom to go and help my mother each and every day without worrying about money, or getting fired, or needing to meet someone else’s deadlines.

I’ve promoted the “Internet lifestyle” over and over again, but now I can say unequivocally, the reason to start your own business is so you can be there for your family.

I’m with mum every day seeing how much she progresses in each therapy session. I’ve seen important things that I’ve passed on to doctors, nurses, physios and therapists that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. I’m the only person who deals with every other person helping my mum, so I can connect dots and spot inconsistencies. I’ve been there when my mother wakes up from a nap scared, wondering where she is, able to instantly comfort her simply by smiling and letting her know I am there.

These are benefits that every patient in the hospital should have, but they don’t. This is not a role for a staff member at the hospital, it falls on family or loved ones as they care enough to look after the finer details, the little comfort things and have the intimate knowledge about the person they care about so much necessary to help.

The Long Ride Home

Looking after my mother has been both a stressful experience and at times amazing too.

Mum and I at the 2010 Brisbane Greek Festival

For about two months she wasn’t really awake, more like a body that we kept going and hoped would improve. Then one day while she was in her wheelchair I asked her a yes/no question, as I had done countless times before without any clear response. This time I noticed a slight nod of her head. I wasn’t really sure though, so I dismissed it, at least until two days later when in the same situation she very clearly responded with a yes nod.

The day after that initial response my mother “woke up”. Her eyes remained open, she followed conversations and was able to nod and shake her head to answer questions, something she couldn’t do consistently before.

It was one of the best days of my life.

Her improvement opened a window to recovery that before looked closed, and opened a line of communication we were desperate for.

It was also an incredible day because of how all the staff reacted. Seeing people who were basically strangers get so excited – fighting for their turn to help my mum – just so they could see her awake and responding, literally brought a tear to my eye. At that moment I fell in love with my fellow human beings on a level I have never before and understood why they love their job. There is nothing more rewarding than helping another human live again.

Although I’ve struggled with the stress and raw brutality of this situation, early on I had to reach a place where I could find a purpose – a focus for my energy – otherwise I would spiral into terrible places. This was necessary for me to function and to be helpful to my mother.

My main goal became to ensure my mother had the best care and that there wasn’t anything extra we could do for her or become aware of. My mother’s partner did a great job researching everything as we found out more about her conditions. We spent most of the day with her initially, but he had to return to his job eventually. I started doing the day “shift” while he manages the nights after work.

Because I’m there during the day, I participate in all of the various therapies she goes through. This includes physiotherapy, which at the moment involves working her way towards walking and building her core strength so she can support her own body when upright.

She works with an occupational therapist, who helps with motor-skills required to do things with her hands and arms, like pick objects up, move them, etc. She also works daily with a speech therapist, which at the moment is the most important role because our big goal is to remove the trachy so mum can talk, eat and breath like normal and move on to more physical rehab.

Speech therapy has been an up and down process. It’s a tough experience for my mother because she has to endure coughing fits many times a day to learn how to swallow again. Imagine that feeling when something goes down the wrong pipe (your airway) and you cough – that’s what she experiences constantly as she learns how to swallow again.

By and large mum has wonderful doctors and caring nurses – people I label heros given what they do day in and day out (anyone who works with spew and poop every day is a hero in my book!). I did find myself becoming extremely frustrated now and then with situations and people, but over time I’ve simply had to let things go and accept some things are out of my control. This has become easier as people and events become more familiar, things stabilize and patterns formed.

Overall the hospital experience for me has been like nothing else in my life. Previously I was afraid of hospitals, afraid of sick people and being exposed to the reality of the suffering aspect of life. There’s nothing like immersion therapy to desensitize you to things and in this case it has been life changing.

On one level I hate that I’ve come to a point where I can be somewhat unattached to the suffering of others (besides my mother of course), but it’s necessary when you are exposed to it all the time. I still fear what bodily suffering may be in my own future, but at least it feels more like a fear I know better – I know what to expect. As Kylie Minogue sings – better the devil you know.

You Don’t See This Coming

For me one of the realities I’ve had to confront is how life changing a stroke is for people. It’s like you go to sleep and then wake up without a part (or parts) of your body working anymore. You don’t see it coming and you just have to come to terms with the loss.

A stroke forces people to give up dreams, to realize that just functioning as a human – eating, drinking, walking and talking – is what you work on for your near future.

Forget about doing your job, or playing your music or creating your craft, or building your business, or playing your sport – or whatever your life was about – that’s over for you now.

The ward my mother is in has different patients come in and out every week. Primarily they have had a stroke, which can result in varying levels of paralysis, from complete lack of movement (locked in syndrome) where your mind is active but your body isn’t, to difficulties with swallowing and breathing, where you may need a trachy like my mother, to one side of your body weaker or paralyzed, or perhaps not much impact beyond your balance being off, or your mind being a little bit “slower” than it used to be.

Recovery time can last from days to weeks to months to years, and some things you never recover.

One doctor from the ICU who I bumped into at the hospital cafeteria a couple of months later asked how my mother was. At the time she had just woken up so I was excited that we could communicate with her again. The doctor said that was good, but we had only just begun the process. She said we should look at the next three years as a recovery period, that while we were in hospital we were not out of the woods, so to speak. This is not like an infection or a broken bone – this is long term.

Since we are in a neurological ward there are patients with epilepsy who often come in when their seizures get out of control. On several occasions I’ve heard thrashing going on in the bed next to us and had to grab a nurse to tell them our roommate is having a seizure. Nurses calmly come over and make sure the person having the seizure doesn’t damage themselves while thrashing about, as if this is something normal (of course for a nurse in this ward it is normal).

Just recently a patient who was with us for a month, who had a stroke and a trachy like my mother progressed really well – to the point where her trachy was removed and she was ready to go home. I looked to her for inspiration on some levels because she is just one year older than my mother.

It was friday night and she was due to catch a train home saturday morning. At 4am that morning she had another seizure and found herself in the ICU again. The next week she came back to us in the ward and has not been the same since. She spends most of the day crying, asking where her son is, and is confused and scared. She continues the long journey to recovery.

I think I’ve written enough about the hospital and what I’ve experienced. You can tell this period of my life has had a lasting impact on me. While I’m better for it on many levels, it’s also been a harsh immersion in a world I was not very familiar with before – a world of suffering, and recovery, of unpredictability and a demonstration of how caring humans can be for each other.

What I can say is that the Australian health care system, and the people that work within it that I have come into contact with, are wonderful. The press has a habit of complaining about healthcare system problems, which of course there are, but the good parts do not get enough credit or exposure. What these people do day-in and day-out and the level of service provided, must be praised. I’ve never felt more that I truly live in a “lucky country“.

Family Tragedy and Health In Focus

Just before my mother had her stroke she was in Toronto visiting a hospital to look after her own mother. My 90 year old grandmother had been having her own set of problems, mostly lung issues, but seemed to be getting better. As my grandmother showed signs of improvement, my mum returned to Australia to sort out her own health problems.

My Grandmother and I in 2008 in Toronto

Unfortunately my grandmother decided she didn’t want to live anymore and progressively got worse after my mother left. While mum clearly had a lot of fight in her and still does, my grandmother, who had never been the most optimistic person, decided she had had enough, which probably was cemented when she heard about what happened to her daughter.

My aunt in Canada was on daily hospital watch on my grandmother, while we were doing the same here in Australia with my mother. Our family is not large, so we don’t have the human resources to back each other up, especially given the distance between us, so she had to do this job without us.

A week before my mother woke up, my grandmother died.

I actually believe my mother and her mother (who share the same birthday), were in some form of communication despite being in different countries and not fully conscious. At one point they were mirroring each other in symptoms even though there was no link in their medical conditions. I think they had to sort something out (they have a long and rocky history together), then once my grandmother passed on, my mother woke up and began the process of recovery that we are still working on now.

Needless to say, this was a very tough two months for me and my family. When my grandmother died, my mother and I were supposed to be there, to be at the funeral along with my aunt, uncle and cousins. Instead I had to write a short eulogy note about my grandmother on behalf of my mother and me which was read out at the funeral. As my aunt said, it wasn’t how things were supposed to go, but 2011 was not exactly going according to plan.

On top of these two big family events, I’ve taken a friend to emergency for a broken thumb after falling over skating, then back again for another friend to have her appendix removed and again a week later when her stomach got infected after surgery (which also included a nurse giving her a drug that caused a hysterical reaction). I fell off my bike and had my right wrist in a cast for a month and visited the doctor myself several times more for scans to make sure my own body was holding up during all this stress.

Oh, and Ramses our cat has been in vet hospital twice too, once for fleas and another time for a life threatening blocked urinary tract issue that we are still treating now.

What Do You Do When Everything Seems So Fragile?

This year has highlighted how transient and temporary things are. Even what we value the most – our own bodies and the people around us.

For two months, especially when my mother was not neurologically responsive, I questioned whether my mother would want to be alive in a body that barely functions. I asked myself whether I would want to be if I was in that situation, and I found myself saying no, I’d rather die. I asked my dad and friends the same question and most responded the same, although if there was hope of recovery they would want the chance to do so.

I’ve had to contemplate some hard questions, this time in stark reality rather than hypotheticals.

What happens when things you care about die?

Life is full of suffering and I’m seeing real examples around me every day. As long as you live, then you will suffer at some point, especially as you head towards death. Sure you might go in your sleep, or in a sudden tragic accident, but there’s a good chance you will be diagnosed with something and then go through a medical treatment process until you die. These are not options you can opt out of unless you go with suicide, and I can’t say that is very appealing either.

We can take some comfort that drugs today help ease pain, but at the end of the day (quite literally) coming to terms with suffering and death are facts. You can dodge bullets, maybe recover a few times, but eventually something is going to get you.

Now that idea might inspire you, as it has countless people, all people who of course eventually died too. We don’t have long, so let’s make the most of it. Let’s make sure our life is amazing so we can die knowing we gave it our all.

I can’t say I’ve had that reaction to the prospect of suffering and death, at least not all the time. Many times this year I’ve been extremely frustrated and despondent. I want to know what’s the point of living when you die and suffer so much. It’s like you get the chance to experience so many emotions and experiences, to convince yourself to strive to be the best person you can, to achieve things, to help others and then…it’s over. Or at least you die and something else happens.

It’s lead me to reach a point where I’m incredibly curious about what happens when you die. I need to know so I know what is the point of being alive. The problem is that I’m scared and depressed by the process we endure before we die. It makes me desire an unexpected death while sleeping pleasantly in my bed at 90 years old.

I’ve dealt with this challenge before of course, and question my existence and the whole system we operate within on a weekly basis, often reaching conclusions that aren’t complete. I choose to live in the moment and move on, accept circumstances and do the best with what you have.

I can say one thing – I’ve certainly become a lot less hung up on the little things since all this happened.

I’ve managed to suffer a lot of angst and depression in my life because I wasn’t happy with certain things. After seeing what other people go through, I’m pretty darn happy today just being able to walk and talk and eat and drink. Being in a state of basic good health is a blessing, something you have to treasure above all else.

I’ll end part one of this year in review article here. Clearly family events has dominated the year, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t working on business projects too.

In my next article I’ll recap 2011 in regards to business undertakings, in particular some big changes I made to my overall business model and what 2012 will be about for my business. Stay tuned!

Yaro Starak

P.S. Part two is now ready! – My Most Challenging Year Part 2: A New Business Is Born

About Yaro

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Ana

    strength to you and wish things get only better in the coming year

  • Yaro, reading about your mother brought a tear to my eye. I even got excited when you mentioned your mum waking up. You mum is one hell of a fighter. I went through a similar thing with my grandmother a few months ago and the hurses and doctors in the UK were fantastic.

    I hope 2012 is a much better year for you and your mother. 🙂

  • Dear Yaro,

    I’ve been following your story for many years now and want to thank you, not only for being so honest but writing so eloquently about your feelings.

    I found this post very moving and thought provoking. It does make you wonder what you would choose, and then if your choice would change if you were actually in those circumstances.

    I suppose it’s too soon to ask you if you have asked your Mum if you did the right thing for her? And I suppose her answer to that would change on a minute by minute basis too.

    Looking forward to part 2 and to hearing about your Mum improve.

    Thinking of you, Nicola x

  • Yaro,

    all my support to you and your family. I can relate to your pain since my own family is not in its best moment. We’re dealing with a similar situation to yours, a stroke on one of our members. And that’s the least of our troubles right now. Go figure.
    I won’t go into details, this is not the place.

    Just take care.

    Cristina Ansbjerg

  • Hi Yaro,

    Hope this year runs smoothly for you mate. If you ever want my input with writing about YouTube, I’m more than happy to get involved!.

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  • Dear Yaro,

    I’m seriously touched with the post and i understand what kind of struggle you might have went through… I hope the years come will be better for you and my best wishes for you…:)

  • Yaro, it takes a tremendous amount of strength to get through what your family is experiencing right now. It also takes a huge heart to share your feelings about it with others. You are the kind of rock that everyone should have in their lives. Your family is blessed to have you, and I wish you all the best. Stay strong, focused and giving. You’re in my prayers.

  • Thanks for being so honest, Yaro. This post touched me on many levels as there’s been a number of deaths this past year within my circle and a dear friend battling her ‘last’ days with cancer. Thanks for the reminder how transient and transparent things are around us. Wishing you and your Mum the best in 2012.

  • It’s hard when tragedy strikes, but luckily you have the resources and time being an entrepreneur to be able to be with your mom everyday. My prayers are with you and her.

  • I just wanted to say thanks for sharing Yaro. We’re all on our own journeys and I find it helpful and inspiring to hear where other people are, even if, in your case you’re in a difficult phase. I wish you and your family well and hope that 2012 brings an upturn in health.

  • My heart goes out to you and your family. I’d read about what happened to your mum earlier, but to hear as much of the story as you have shared in one piece has been gut-wrenching.

    I’m caring for my 89-year-old father who lives with me, and I am not looking forward to the future as far as his demise is concerned. I’d rather dwell on each day as it comes. For him, and probably for me, I hope the end is quick and painless whenever it does occur.

    My prayer for you is that you remain healthy and strong, and that your mum heals to the best extent that she can so that you can spend quality time together.

    I’m looking forward to your next post as you wrap up this two-parter.

  • I felt sad when I have read your post. I just wish you’ll get all through this. I salute you for being so brave enough to have the courage in facing your life problems. I’ll pray for you and your family.

  • Am deeply touched by what your mum had to go through. That’s part of life; these are things that we can’t control to a certain degree. Our life is run on decisions, and decisions that we take every second has impact on our lives, negative or positive. Most times we take those decisions unconsciously, so later in life we start seeing the results.
    My mum had a similar health problem not stroke but cancer of the breast which lead to her losing one of her breasts. But unlike you, I wasn’t there for my mum. I wasn’t there to help her, comfort her or just simply be there by her side. I never realized the pain, the suffering and anguished she had to pass through during her chemotherapy until the day she came home from the hospital. I shed tires because the person I was looking at wasn’t the agile robust larger than life sweet mum that I was used to. Rather I was looking at a woman who has pain and suffering written all over her face. She was emaciated, small, and weak and all her hair was gone.
    That was the 1st time I realized that we humans are just so fragile, here this minute, gone the next. Why wasn’t I there all through her treatment? Because unlike you as well I was worrying about how to make it in school as was still in school then. That day, I had a glimpse of what the actual cost of life is, TIME!! Then I knew that having a job is not the way to go but back then I knew no better. I never new one can still provide for his loved ones even without having a regular job, but as I was part of the system of “go to get good grades and look for a safe secure job mentality” I couldn’t just stop to rethink the pattern my life was taking.
    The good thing about that revelation then was that I realized that there should be something better than just the job mentality we have been fed since we were born. I left myself to just follow that part for over a decade till some couple of weeks back that I have decided that I will do something about it. Reading your blogs helped me make that decision to follow in your foot steps and build a business online. Though I might be late but I think it’s better am late than never

  • Hi Yaro,

    Wonderful post, thank you for sharing. Stuff happening with parents and illness is terrible/wonderful. My dad spent 3 weeks dying some years ago and it was the best/worst time. So full of highs and richness and also sadness. These are the times in life where things seem to come into sharp focus and makes sense as well as mangle us up! Strange and wonderful – the mystery of it all. Blessing to your mum and you. Toni

  • Takeshi

    Good to hear from you again Yaro. May 2012 bring many good things!

  • Blessed Yaro and family. In my prayers as you grow, heal and surround yourself with peace and light. Thanks for sharing your heart and allowing us to e aprt of your life. Namaste

  • Reading this heartfelt and touching story really does make me think about what would happen to my litttle family in that kind of situation. You mention how lucky you feel to be able to spend the time with your mother. To be able to work for yourself in your place of choice in your own time – allowing you to deal with family issues too.

    We have all our insurance policies set up ‘just in case’ but as my 8 year old daughter pointed out when we played monopoly – “money is great, but once you’ve spent it it’s gone and you can’t get it back!”
    I’m working on our own internet businesses – and progress is slow but I have a belief and confidence that I’ll get there – and seeing others successful in this field helps me no end!

    You are a constant inspiration to many Yaro – in the knowledge and encouragement you so freely share, and your down to earth honesty in showing yourself as a real person.

    Thank you and I wish you and your family all the best for 2012.

  • Emmet


    I must commend you on your willingness to be vulnerable, sharing your story will be beneficial to everyone, whether they’ve been through this sort of situation or not. The strength that shows is immense. I wish you and your mum the best and I hope things continue to progress.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Your mother and you are in my prayers. Thank you for the article. I have a father with late stage Parkinson’s so it is hard to see someone who was once so strong deteriorate before your eyes. I sympathize.

    Best, Christine

  • Life rarely goes as we plan and there is little we can do to be prepared for those eventualities. My prayers are with your mum.

  • I never knew anyone close to me that had had a stroke so I asked you a very stupid question right after you wrote about your mother’s illness and that was when did you expect her to leave the hospital. I honestly had no idea. Not only are you a brilliant blogger but you are really provin\g yourself to be an amazing person. Your mother must be a terrific mother and person to get such love. I had a distressing situation happen that made me think about taking care of my health better. A young former co-worker and wonderful person, 3 months after his baby was born, died suddently. I’m still in shock. I really am so happy your mother is doing so well, considering, and that she’s got a wonderful son by her side.

  • My dear friend Yaro –

    Thank you for bringing us up to date with this touching post and your part in your mother’s treatment.

    You express your heart everywhere you go. We are all so grateful to you.

    – gave me my first start at blogging. Now in my fifth year.

    I think of you and your mother often.

    Please know how many of us are with you in spirit and with our prayers. Lots for you too.

    Sending you love and support.


  • Hi Yaro, My wife and I own a Visiting Angels franchise where we provide non-medical in home care for seniors. Everything from a few hours a day to end of life care coordinating with various Hospice organizations. We see what you have experienced with your mum on a daily basis but sadly we do not see family step up the way you have. What the family doesn’t know is that when the loved one passes is that there will be a tsunami of guilt that will not go away. God Bless you and keep you and your family in this difficult time.

    • Hi To Yaro and Michael
      Reading your story of the last year brought me back to late 2009 into 2010 when my father was diagnosed with cancer. My parents live in Florida and I in Massachusetts made being there difficult. As I am self employed, I made the commitment to be there for the duration as my mother was so used to dad being there for her and her daily difficulties. While I fully expected to be there for the duration to help out, the expectation was for a recovery; however, that wasn’t so. Just when everything looked like dad would go home and continue his treatments, everything changed in an instant and the next thing I knew we were arranging for in home hospice care which, just as quickly turned into in patient care…. And then the term “end of life care” was introduced since there was no way back. Fortunately, a brother and my sister came in from Virginia and New Hampshire to be there as we all learned first hand of the compassion and dedication the amazing staff at the Hospice house that dad would be in until it was over.
      I am still trying to fathom how scheduling a heart operation ended up at a hospice house and a funeral as his two year anniversary approaches.
      I just wanted to say that I understand a lot of what you were saying about becoming desensitized to pain and suffering. And I wanted to let Michael know that anyone who can be there for families – and yes, those who are mostly alone as well, as they face their final days, are true Angels. The staff thanked us everyday for being there and when I turned around to say thanks back once I asked why they were genuinely grateful for us being there, everyday and they simply said that this was not the case for many individuals……… Most spend their final days alone. Michael, I wouldn’t change my decision to be there, I have two brothers that couldnt be there for their own reasons who I did my best to keep informed and relieve them of their guilt. Even though i was there I still experience guilt for things that I was powerless to change.
      Thanks for sharing and Michael ! Thank you to you and your wife for being a vital part of life – being there for those who need special care in their elderly years!

  • Wow! You had a rough year. You are a really dedicated son. There are many people who just wouldn’t spend that much time in the hospital with a sick parent. I’ll keep your mother in my thoughts.

  • I’m touched by your story, Yaro. What a lovely gift you are giving your mum. I think it’s true that we grow through painful journeys, like the one you are on – but it’s a hard road.
    I’ll light a candle for you and your mum.

    P.S. Don’t forget to take time out to have fun! You’ll need that to survive the long ride.

  • Akshay

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing Yaro. We’re all on our own journeys and I find it helpful and inspiring to hear where other people are, even if, in your case you’re in a difficult phase.

  • I had a slightly the same incident. When I was on the peak of my blogging career, my grandma became ill and needed to undergo an open heart surgery. That incident made me more motivated to work as I need to support her hospitalization.

  • Happy New Year Yaro. Hope 2012 brings a smoother ride for you and your family. Come to think of it, I’d hope the same for myself too!

    Didn’t realize the scale of these events – feel free to postpone our chat until the right time.

    Blessings and best wishes mate

  • Hi Yaro,

    Sometimes things do go like we have planned. However, when this happens there are many little lessons and blessings that surface as a result. We grow ourselves and become better human beings. I see this happening in you as you share your story with all of us. Thanks for showing us your heart, teaching us how to run a successful online business (even when the unexpected happens), and being the encouragement we all need. May 2012 be a wonderful year of many blessings for you!

    • I should have proof read that better before hitting “Enter”. I meant to say that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but sometimes we are better for it. Sorry!

  • Yaro, this article really made me emotional. As someone who has experienced something similar in my family (father), I can feel the emotion behind your words. You are a strong man and a wonderful son. Your mum, yourself and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Yaro-Thank you for sharing your story with us about your mom and grandma. Let’s hope that 2012 is better for everyone!!

    Katrina Rooker

  • Hi Yaro

    I’m from France, I’v discovered your blog with your interview for Olivier Roland. Next I’v read your blue Print, wish is great. So thank you for that.

    And, I really like the way you see life, making hard work that you love, but for having time for the things that are really important.

    I wish you the best for 2012 !

  • Thanks very, very much for sharing this story … I’ve been very ill and at the hospital myself, and the same goes for many in my family (cancer in particular). So I can definitely relate, but I have seldom read a more eloquent and honest account about what it actually does to a person – the perspective it gives (and the gifts it can convey) – to be exposed to this situation.

    By passing them on, you have given all of us something very valuable, perhaps, in a sense, much more valuable than many of the otherwise excellent articles here on this site.

    I mean, if we forget what it’s all about in the end, if we get too caught up in the race to earn money, acclaim and whatever else (and I have been very guilty of that, too) … well, what’s the point the day it is our turn to go to that hospital, either as a patient or as a loved one who needs to be there for someone else?

    Incidentally, a few days after reading your post I found this very moving and insightful article on a whole other web site. I feel it is fitting to share it here, and I hope that others might gain from reading it, as I did:

  • dear Yaro-
    Thank You for having the courage to share. Losing a loved one to the process of illness is difficult. Fortunately, I too was able to be there for a dear friend because I am a ‘free-lance’ artist. I never felt so wealthy as to be poor in money but rich in time. Spending those last days feeding and caring for someone you love is invaluable. I wish you and your mom many blessings in 2012.

  • Be strong Yaro… keep faith and may GOD gives you strengh for accompanying your loved one

  • 2011 was a tough year for us too. My husband suffered spinal cord injuries in a mountain biking accident in April and is still disabled as a result. He’s improving but it takes a long time. He now works from home – fortunately his employer (and the type of work he does) has allowed this to happen. And I had an accident in December – just a great way to finish off the year – NOT. I’m still recovering and on crutches. We’re praying for a safe year in 2012, one that we can both recover in and get back to our beloved activities of mountain biking and bushwalking. I am grateful that I, too, run my own business and while I don’t quite have the freedom you have, I don’t have to answer to bosses, ask for time off and can continue as long as I have a computer and internet connection.

  • What a great post. I applaud you for allowing one to gain insight into your personal life. Keep it up, great article.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Thank you for sharing your life and family experience, especially regarding your mom. I must admit, your story touched my heart. Good luck for 2012 and wishing you, your mom, family, all of us for good health.

  • Zoe

    This article touched my heart. I hope your mum recovers quickly and well.

    It reminds me to relish our health Yaro. It’s something we should all appreciate. It’s not something money can buy once you lose it. This is one of the main reasons why I’m so deeply involved in health and diet – I’ve seen my mother go through heart surgery at a young age so that left a lasting impact on me. It made it a life mission to make sure she and my family doesn’t go through anything like that.

    I think what everyone can take away from this is: look after your health and create financial freedom AND time freedom.

    I hope we all get closer to these goals in 2012.

  • Hang in there Yaro! You rock!

  • I am very sorry to hear of your family tragedy troubles Yaro. I think you did the right thing here getting it off your chest and sharing with your friends. It is a reminder how fragile our lives are and we tend to forget this especially in the “developed” world where we take so much for granted. I am going through some of my own issues right now including a divorce after 14 years of separation. The legal costs are staggering. The good news is that I have a new Granddaughter and it has brought me together with my daughter. We had a scare since she was born a premie but she seems to be very active and healthy! I hope that your 2012 will be better and everyone else too. I look forward to your updates. Canada loves you.

  • Hi Yaro!

    I just got your email and came here the first thing on reading the title of the post. You surely have been braving things up so well and are indeed blessed to have the opportunity to be by your mother and look after her, in whatever way you can . Yes, it must be stressed, but at the same time satisfying that you are doing your utmost possible to look after her, and be with her when she most needs you.

    I have often seen such patients left to the mercy of the hospital staff, which must be giving them such a cold feeling. But am so-so glad for your mother that she has you beside her.

    I hope and pray that she will recover soon, and am sure she will with you beside her. About work- you really don’t have to worry- it always does catch up from where you left up and little ups-and-downs in life are alright.

    Wishing you and your mother all the very best and may she get well soon. Our prayers are always with both of you 🙂

  • Yaro, it’s incredible how you explain clearly all the steps and moments you went through with your mom last year. It’s like we were in front of each other with a coffee cup! You have such a way to bring emotion in each word you write. I wish I had someday this talent for my written projects.

    Everytime I read from you last year, it was clear that you were going through someting very hard. I’m sure we are a lot of people that could feel it very well.

    It’s amazing to realize that, reading someone’s words on a long-basis, is almost like knowing the person as a friend.

    Thanks for all your words and thanks for your work!


  • Robert

    Thanks very much for sharing this, Yaro! Wish you all the best for 2012!

  • Hi Yaro,
    You’ve been an inspiration to me for a long time! Now in even a different way. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I left a life I had known for my whole adult life about a year ago to be closer to my still healthy but aging parents. Your story reminds me just how grateful I am to have made that difficult decision. Love & light to you, your mom and all who do not have someone as gracious as you in their life when they need them.

  • Yaro my heart goes out to you! I’ve read through your story with a tear in my eye, only to erupt into tears streaming down my face at your mother waking up!

    Not sure what it is about 2011 but it sucked for a lot of people I know… so am pleased to be bringing in 2012!

    I have a really good friend that we joke a bit ’cause no matter what the situation he’ll find an “at least…” in there somewhere – including the write off of his brand new Monaro a while back – at least no-one was hurt. When life throws me a wobbly I try to look for the “at least…” – and there is always one in there – somewhere… sometimes it can take a little while to see it tho.

    I mention this cause a few years back I got a call at 2am from my Mum in Adelaide (as you know I’m in Brissie) and she was crying uncontrollably – unable to form a sentence. I immediately thought my 90 year old Gran in England must have passed, and I mustered the courage to say “Is it Gran?” – and she answered “no Sweetie – it’s your Dad!” – I collapsed on the floor howling – my world shattered in an instant. He’d had a massive heart attack in his sleep – no warning… nothing. No illness that we knew of… nothing.

    “At least” I was running my own successful ebay business at the time and I was able to jump on a plane at 5am and be in Adelaide with my Mum in time for brekkie (which consisted of very large quantities of Dad’s very best port!!). My business allowed me the freedom to take time out to be with my family – something we just don’t appreciate until something like this strikes.

    That was a brutal experience and it’s been some years before I could see the “at least”. Geez it’s actually been 9 years and I busted out crying only yesterday when I heard an old song he used to sing to me – I’m sitting here still crying (bloody mess actually – will pull myself together shortly!).

    As gut wrenching as it is – there’s always an “at least”.

    I’m so glad your Mum is awake and on the road to recovery – if she has half your strength of character and kind heart I’m she’ll be just fine!

    Take care and be kind to yourself – here’s to 2012.


  • Cathy Alexander

    Yaro, I wish you and your mom the best. I know some of what you are going through. I too have been dealing with multiple hospital stays as my father has been very ill. I have also noticed all the people that have to be in the hospital alone with no family. My sisters and I made sure that my father was not alone. With dementia it was very difficult to keep him in bed and from hurting himself-he thought he was at home and should be able to get up and walk around even though he was hooked up to multiple machines. I know that if one of us had not been there he probably would not have made it. I moved in with my elderly parents a year ago to take care of them since they both have Alzheimers. It has been difficult to say the least. I have been working hard to get my internet business up and running so that I can continue to be here for my parents. I am glad I ran across your website. It is helping. Thank You!

  • mel

    Very sorry to read about your mother. My son was killed in a car crash at the tender age of 21 and my beautiful wife died last year of a horrible stomach cancer which came out of the blue; she was 59.
    So I have been there. And it is truly very difficult.
    However, it all depends on how you respond. Bottom line is that you have to move on with your life. You cannot spend your time reflecting on how difficult life really is. You will grow out of your tragedy.
    I noted your point about living in the moment. It’s so important. We take our health and what we have for granted- until some tragedy pops-up. So we have to truly appreciate our blessings. Here is a lovely poem which I hope will inspire you- and anyone else who is reading this comment:

    Good luck, Yaro.

  • Hi Yaro,’
    First of all, my prayers will be with you and your family. However, I am writing to address a couple of issues concerning your personal questions to yourself. Yaro, my friend and mentor, you are going to have to exercise your faith in your Creator, because life’s challenges come to us all. This is because of Adam committing high treason in the Garden of Eden and caused, The Fall of Man. I don’t know of your religious beliefs, but concerning life after death– Death is nothing to be afraid of, unless you have not made restitution with your Saviour. It is simply the passing of one’s soul from life here on earth to it’s eternal destination. That can be one of two places, heaven or hell. When and if your mother does passes, she will still be in existence, for energy and the spirit can not expire. She will simply be separated from you for the time being. That is what death is — a form of separation. I strongly urge you to seek Christian counseling for a more indepth study on this subject. Everyone has to die, but not necessarily before their time. If your mum is in dire pain, do not be selfish enough to keep her here. If she needs to shed her body to be free from pain, then please allow her that right. She will always be with you in spirit. Love does not dissipate because of separation. Heaven is a very lovely place. The only thing that one can do in this life is to ensure that he or she has received TRUE salvation. It is definitely not a good thing to leave this earth without it. Trust in God, even when the winds of life are blowing you all over the place. This just shows that you have strong faith in God, even when it seems He is silent. I know my comment is stronger that the others. But I strongly feel you need to hear this. The purpose of life is not in accomplishments or acquirements. It is for you to determine where you are going to spend eternity after you pass from this life. After you pass from the earth realm to the spirt realm, your decision can not be changed. I leave you with this one last clue. Jesus said, “Iam an the Way, The Truth and the Life.” No man cometh unto the Father, but by way of Me.” There are only two ways out of this world – one way to heaven and one way to hell. There are no other options. Just make sure you and your family are ready to die when their times does come.

  • Eric Latham

    Dear Yaro,
    Thank you for having the courage and the strength to share such deeply emotional and personal experiences. My heart goes out to you and your mother. My hope is that your mother will continue to improve and that you will continue to heal as well.


  • fran

    Wow. What stood out to me most about this article is your unwavering devotion and commitment to your mother. I hope you realize now rare that is and acknowledge yourself for being so compassionate and loyal. Many people cannot be present like that for others in pain. What a gift that you and your mom are obviously so close. Wishing you both a year filled with love and miracles.

    • Kathie

      I absolutely second this.

  • Ron

    Life can be harsh sometimes. 2012 will be better.

  • Shanon Fraser


    Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. Extremely thought provoking, and confirms my own realizations that I have come to during the course of my own challenges throughout 2011 and basically all of my life. It’s not a coincidence that you have become an internet entrepeneur for the love of professional growth and freedom, only to learn that the freedom you have gained is, in reality, an opportunity to grow spiritually in a way that you never imagined. I know this experience is painful, and it doesn’t really help to know that we all experience this type of pain, but I commend you on writing about what you have been going through …. especially pointing out how most people end up suffering alone in the hospital. Corporate America doesn’t really support a well-balanced life for its employees and especially now with the economy the way it is, people are working 24/7 just to keep the lights on and simply cannot take the time off to be there for family members in the way you have been there for your mum. I think it’s so important for society to get back to family values and for corporate America to support this aspect of life more…because while making money and being successful in business is a big part of living a happy life…the ultimate “meaning” of our existence is the spiritual growth and evolvement that is developed only via our connection with those we love …as well as strangers. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your journey. I hope 2012 is a much better year for everyone!

  • Courage and Keep up, Yaro!

  • Brenda Thomas

    Your post is very, very touching. I must say that for you to feel 2011 was a blessing in disguise is the best possible outcome. I too have been seriously driven to find out what happens after death. The author I would recommend on the subject is Brian Weiss. Many Lives, Many Masters is a title I recall thinking was amazing. Good luck in 2012.

  • Oh my, Yaro, thank you for your courage, openness and honesty in sharing your experiences.

    I so totally understand… I went through this too, and my dear, wonderful, blessed Mummy made her decision to leave. I do understand her decision now, but so miss her, and love her forever and ever…

    Her decision makes me think about those issues you touched on too.

    Let us live each moment fully to the max, as if it were our last… And, help as many others live better lives, that makes it so worthwhile…

  • Yaro, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had to endure so much in the year 2011…but I’m sure you’re a much stronger person because of all your hardships.

    I’ve also experienced the loss of a loved one (brother) and seeing the slow process of inevitable death was both heartbreaking and relieving only in the sense of not seeing him suffer anymore. Watching a loved one go through so much pain really does put a lot into perspective.

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers and I wish your mother a speedy recovery…all the best for the new year!


  • Pm

    Very touching story that I could not even fathom. I will definitely be taking time throughout 2012 to evaluate life as a whole more, taking into perspective stories like this and realizing anything can change any second of everyday. Thank you and prayers to your mother and family. She has made it this far, She will make it the entire way!!!

  • I am very sorry for you having to face family heartache such as you did, many of us had, and perspective is often all that is gained in my experience…

    Best of luck

  • Hi Yaro,
    I wanna join CrankyAds but currently I’m using Joomla environment. Unfortunately..

  • Yaro-

    Your honesty, though difficult to read, is appreciated. You are quite the person for all that you’ve done this year and who you are – I feel honored to read your posts.

    I hope it helps you to know that I, like all your readers, appreciate you. Keep talking (writing) about what you’re going through. I think it will help.


  • Wow! What a year you’ve had.

    I’ve been through similar situations. In fact, a lot of what you experienced with your mom I went through with my mom. My parents had a car accident and my mother suffered a brain stem injury which left her paralyzed. She was in a coma for 3 days. When she woke, she was pretty much able to move her eyes and that was about it.

    She did recover the ability to breathe on her own, but had a trach tube and stomach feeding for the year and a bit that she survived after the accident. She was completely there mentally and learned to communicate with us through a spelling chart — responding with eye movements when we pointed at the right word or letter.

    Thankfully, my dad was retired and spent almost every waking hour with her during most of the time (the first month he was bedridden due to his own injuries, including a cracked vertebrae).

    In recent years, we’ve had a similar experience with my mother-in-law who had cancer. After her treatments she lived with us and we were able to have hospice care for her in our home. It was a bittersweet experience. We were able to have her with us rather than in a hospital to the very end. Very hard, but worth it if possible. Especially since she had been that support system for my father-in-law as he battled cancer as well.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say that the health care system is unfairly criticized. We have the same problem in Canada. While the system is often in need of repair, the people are wonderful. They care, deeply, about complete strangers. They deserve far more than they get in terms of recognition.

    I wish you well on the road to recovery with your mom and on your own quest for meaning in life. I have a strong faith in Jesus which has been challenged in many ways in the past few years. Yet it remains strong, in part because of the examples of faith I witnessed my mother and mother-in-law during their harshest struggles. If you ever want to touch base with me about that feel free to email.

  • Hi Yaro,
    Being there when you mother wakes up is very important. I have gone through a similar experience with my mom when she had cancer. All you can do is spend as much time as possible with family members when something like this happens. Sometimes the patient will have incredible dreams that they can share with you. I always thought this was a small window into what lies beyond.

    There is a wonderful book written by Alan Watts called “The Book”, which talks about the meaning of life and death. I have found this book very helpful when this type of reality strikes.

    You are very fortunate to have the time to spend with your mother. You made the right choices about your career which is allowing you to be with your mom now. Keep up the good work.

  • What an amazing experience Yaro, I am so grateful you shared it. If you haven’t heard it recently, you are an amazing son. I can only hope for the love and compassion you have shown your Mom from my own kids in the future. I am sure your Mom appreciates you so much!

    2011 was a tough time for many people — it helps so much to share the growth, so that people know they are not alone in their human side of the business journey.

    Sending hugs and healing vibes for your Mom from Arizona.

  • Hi yaro. I work in healthcare and really understand what youv’e been through. I witnessed families of how afraid they are, the possiblity of losing their loved ones. One time I even witnessed a patient last breath. It’s surreal, but its the reality. Just be strong.

    What happen to your family is a reminder to all of us that we have one life to live. Sometimes the hard lesson to learn is how to live life to the fullest.

    Thanks for this article yaro, it’s really good.

  • […] at the heroes in your own life. I read a very personal blog post today from Yaro Starak about his challenges in 2011. What struck me about this post was how much he decided to let us in. Us being his readers. Yaro is […]

  • Yaro,
    I remember reading about your moms initial strokes months ago. It sounds like she is making slow but steady progress.

    I myself am a Speech-Language Pathologist (and Internet marketer at night). I am wondering if they have been encouraging her to use any Apps. There are a lot of good communication apps out there. I’d be happy to send you a list!
    ([email protected])

    Best wishes for your mom. I hope you’re taking care of yourself too.

  • Yaro you’re an amazing son. I’m sorry that 2011 was such a tumultuous year. I wish you and your family all the best for 2012.

  • Hi Yaro, I was so sad to read about what happened with your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you. It’s a very difficult thing to get through.

  • Rachel

    2011- Pain Year
    It’s strange, the twisted threads of life. I discovered your website and newsletter from a hospital pillow that was mine for most of this past year after a car accident.
    Blogging was an idea that had been tinkering away in the background of the full swing of my being Mother (to five). Blogging for profit,was a complete unknown… but writing, my long love and live art, suddenly became one of the few things I could do professionally because…well….”Lame” and “Cripple” are words that sound like a bit of medieval melodrama…but I’m getting used to them. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying all the inspiration you spangle cyberspace with. This post about you and your mother, however, is a bit of raw realness that I actually feel gratitude for…enough to leave a comment (which I never do) and say “Thank you”.
    Thanks for having the guts to be honest about pain. I agree, pain IS a fact and really really needs to be looked squarely in the face.
    The hardest part of my year has been the new awareness of how many of us are completely unable to process pain. Everyone seems to be trying so franticly to deny, down play, ignore, push away, control, or blame others for it! In fact, I’ve begun to wonder if it is this drive to keep pain away from normal life that has spawned so many “systems” of belief….everybody out there looking for a system to somehow explain or contain the pain. That is why I think the hospitals are as desolate of family as they are…what goes on there doesn’t fit in with most peoples systems. It was all quite an eye opener for me into just how much our Western culture adheres to the “out of site, out of mind” concept. I know modern medical care is a blessing that relieves a tremendous amount of physical suffering people experienced in the past, but what have we lost by totally institutionalizing our sick and dying? Definately perspective, but maybe even more….I mean who else stands on the edges of the spiritual and physical dimension as closely as they do? What stories do we miss that they (the ones who can no longer pretend) would tell us in their tears as well as their adventures into unknown places?
    Good on you, Yaro, for being willing to go there. I KNOW that sense of bizarre from which you write. Hang on for the wider spaces and freer air of a life lived with eyes wide open. Praying also that each of your hurting family encounter the great arms that are there to free fall into…cause, thank God, we don’t have to live that freely alone 🙂

    When I hit the tree it splintered into a thousand gorgeous colours and a door of light appeared in it. I felt the universe bend as I nearly pressed through its fabric… before bouncing back. Now as I have gone through wave after year long wave of pain (physical, emotional, etc )…I have come to fully realize two things: #1)There is a Good God whether I like it or not (and something Holy and Wonderful and Huge on the other side) but# 2) He is not Tame. He doesn’t conform to any of our systems.
    To my delight though He DOES seem to be big enough to handle all the screaming, ranting, and angry raw honest raving we can throw at Him! I think it’s almost like He’s going, “Ahhh, at last, here is no perfect puppet on a string, here is a live, wild, human being to engage with…. let Me pour all My Unconditional Love into your honest wounds!”

    Hope, you and Jesus Christ, the God who suffered, find each other soon. Life, death, and life again will never be the same!

  • Rachel

    P.S. Maybe there’s a blog that will be written one day called “Recovering Pain” Hmmmmm, you’ve got me thinking….

  • Hello Yaro.
    Completely understand where you are, for I have been there too, helping a family member recover from a traumatic brain injury at the age of 25. It’s been two years. I’d like to give you hope and let you know that as hard at the road is, it is also rewarding. We go through phases. From sadness and pain, to euphoria at little recoveries, to questioning life , its meaning. You’ll see that slowly all the unnecessary stuff falls away, like little worries, or anger. You will see life differently and it will be poignant and beautiful. (there will also be restlessness ). but ultimately there will be care and so much patience.

    At some point one realizes, there is so much peace is caring for our loved ones. And in simply caring, for all people and life. Life is about this for me, these simple moments of love and support, of amazement at the human spirit and life, and the noble struggle. We as a family simply trust , and surrender, and with all hope , walk on, with much gratitude.

    The spirit reacts to love and support, so as long as we keep on believing and keep on striving, we see results , slow or fast. It’s amazing how motivated one can be, there is just no bogging down ! So keep going, as am sure you will and keep encouraging your mum. Do email if there is any way I can help. Two years have taught us much.

  • Hi yaro. Been following u for years and when I say I know how you feel I do. I was in the hospital for both parents last year and lost my mom to alzheimers in april. Tragedy hit my family on both sides and trying to run a business at the same time was challenging. 2011 is definitely a year I know many people, myself included would love to put behind. Wishing you a blessed 2012!

  • Sam


    My thoughts and prayers go out to you. What a blessing you can spend so much time with your mother during this trying time. You have a strong spirit to endure so much and still hold it together.

    In searching for answers about what happens after death, I’ve found this video inspiring and hope it helps comfort you as well.

  • What excellent writing and a carefully worded account of your and your mother’s journey. Your family is so fortunate that you can spend so much time with her to help her with her recovery. Congratulations on developing your business so that you could time in the hospital when you were needed. Yes, Internet businesses are great. Thanks also for giving a compliment to the Australian Health Care system. It’s so important that everyone has good health care, a point mising here in America among most conservatives. Best wishes to you, your mom, and your family in 2012.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  • Yaro, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother, your mother’s illness, and everything that you and your family are going through. Your Mom must be so proud, so thankful to have a son like you. I hope that the rehabilitation process goes better than any doctor could hope for.

    This post really makes think about my own life and how having that freedom can really a difference. 2011 was a crazy year.

    After visiting with my family I returned to Japan exactly one day before the Great Tohoku earthquake. I’ve never been through anything like that before and I hope I never have to again. Seeing how many thousands of people were killed by the subsequent tsunami, really shows just how fleeting this life can be. I saw so many foreigners catching planes to leave the country and leaving East Japan. I remember being so frustrated because I didn’t even have the money to go anywhere; I was transitioning to a new teaching job. Even if I had been working though, the company wasn’t going to pay to get me to safety. It was up to me. It was after the earthquake that I realized things have to change. It’s been an eye-opening year for me, and I’m doing everything I can possibly do to make 2012 a better year.

    Yaro, I know you don’t know me, but I hope someday that I’ll be able to shake your hand and tell you how much of an inspiration you have been to me. It’s because of you that I started thinking differently, that I started blogging in the first place.

    I sincerely hope things get better soon.

    I’m rooting for you and your Mom.

  • Children are a gift, but a mother’s love is a blessing, your family is blessed in both these respects because the ‘ties that bind’ are clearly made of love. It shows in the photos attached to the post (including the chap peaking in the photo of you and your gran – he made me smile 🙂 ).
    I feel for you and your mum for not being able to in the gathering that bid your granma’ farewell; but we’re never tried beyond our capacity.
    Thank you for sharing, and stay blessed

  • Yaro,
    I’m sorry that you had to go through all this…but you are a wonderful son. Your mom is blessed that she has you. Things like this do remind us of the really IMPORTANT things in life…not the big money, but the relationships we have with the ones we love. Thank you for sharing this incredibly personal story…I’m sure that it helped a lot of people who can relate.
    All the best for 2012 (and beyond),

  • Yaro, really 2011 has been a hard year for you, but your mother is lucky to have a son like you. As you saw in the hospital it’s a blessing not everyone can have. I mean not only because of work but also because of feelings and sentiments. The article is great but the love for your mum which traspire from almost any word is really the best part of it.

  • Gil

    Well done Yaro, not just your excellent writing but your compassion and dedication to you Mum during the long hospitalistion thus far. I trust she continues to make progress, with love all around her the benefit to her is huge.

    So much of what you have written resonates with me. I was diagnosed with throat cancer back in June and have been having excellent treatment – mostly
    six-day 24hour a day chemo by drip followed by two weeks at home recovering and then back to hospital for the next session for the same again three times over. Luckily it hasn’t been too bad an experience because I felt quite well pretty well all of the time and in December was given the ‘all clear’ – that is more properly called ‘in remission’ and we hope it stays that way.
    I had a loving wife who visited every day – a 40 mile round trip- she brought me goodies that weren’t on the menu, another aid to recovery.
    I wrote a blog which is fairly light-hearted that I hoped might help others going through similar treatment. If any one feels like reading it they are very welcome.
    It’s not gorey or miserable, sometimes funny, has rude bits but it did me a world of good writing it. – it has not been monetised in any way.

  • Hi Yaro, it’s a very touching story, and time was tough for you, but hey you got through it!

    Your mother must be blessed to have a son like you 🙂

    All the best

  • Dear Yaro … You will live to never regret one single second spent supporting your mother when she needed it.

    I know that to be true because I went through a similar senario with my own mother and painful as it was, I am eternally grateful that I was able to support her for the months, then years, that I could. I still find it painful and I think what you have done, by writing about it, will help you deal with all the pain of the situation. One day I shall do the same and clear out my own pain.

    Thank you for sharing Yaro.
    Sending you a big hug and love …
    Keep strong for your mother and for yourself Yaro.

    Credit to you.

  • hey yaro
    ya what a year for you i could feel your pain through your words
    didnt know half way through the article if i could read on i commend you for your true loyalty to your mother and all the best to ye for 2012
    gerry d

  • Happy New Year Yaro!
    I was following and suffering your Mom’s challenge from the beginning. I had a similar experience though I live in LA and my Mom was in Argentina. She had brain cancer.
    I not only sympathize with you, I also feel for all those souls that end up in hospitals alone, to the hands of the un-ethical medical and pharmaceutical industry.
    I’m planning to start taching internet marketing to alternative and complementary medicine practitioners and doctors in Los Angeles, not only for the need they have on growing their business in the internet, but for the people’s need to be treated with love and care. This only will be accomplished when alternative and complementary practitioners and doctors, learn how to be successful in the internet, and become main stream medicine and prevention.

    Yaro, in time, I will ask you to help me promoting my internet marketing for alternative and complementary business.

    My best wishes for you and your Mom in this promising new year. You had been always a source of inspiration and a model of ethical business.


    Carlos Caridad

  • roberto

    Very impressive, its amazing how we can have our dear family one time with us and than something can happen to make us see them fragile…I wish you the best Yaro.

  • First off I wish the best for your mum, more of those hopeful moments, and yourself. She’s lucky to have someone who cares like that.

    And thanks for your transparency. These are not easy issues to talk about and publish, as a blogger and fellow human I connect with it. I’m glad to know you better.

    I love your sentence “I choose to live in the moment and move on, accept circumstances and do the best with what you have.” Really, it comes down to that. We try to be superhuman and be in control of everything, but making the best of our time and loving life is all we really have.

    I had these super goals last year too and now I’m just living kind of goal-less, designing my life as I love on the moment. I set my priorities which includes my family at the top too, growing my projects after.

  • Yaro What amazing strength you have shown through such a difficult year. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience with us as it is a reality that we think will never happen to us but of course we all have to suffer pain and loss at some point in our lives. It is wonderful that you could be there to support your mother in her darkest hours and makes me realise I have chosen the right path with starting my own Info Publishing business as I want to be in the position to have this freedom too especially now I have 2 little boys who I want to be there for while they grow up. I’m wishing you and your mother all the best for many more happy days together ahead as she continues to recover. I bet your Mom is extremely proud of you Yaro and feels very lucky to have such a wonderful caring son!

  • Hi Yaro
    Thank you for such an amazing level of honesty. 10 years this year I was with both of my parents as they passed away in just their early 70’s, so I completely understand your being able to take this time to be with your Mum and do the little things that the nursing staff simply do not have enough time to do. It is a very humbling time and as you say eye-opening. 2011 was a challenging time for my family with my daughter who was in and out of hospital 5 times through out the year, but who has now finally made a full recovery and is able to move forward in her life. Plus in between that we had our numerous earthquakes in Christchurch. We are looking forward to moving on this year in a more positive way and focusing on other areas. All the very best for your Mum and you and once again thank you for sharing this with us all.

  • Yaro, you really had a year and if I remember the floods in Brisbane was also something to think about, you were an inspiration to me but 2011 has been a tough one and I believe I will fly just as you and your mum is flying, thanks for sharing this blog piece, its worth the read

  • Yaro, my grandmother suffered a stroke that left her permanently debilitated when I was a baby and my own mother (her daughter) suffered for years before her death from devastating TIAAs (mini-strokes). I feel your pain to some extent.

    Blessing to you for a happier and healthier 2012!

  • Hi, Yaro. I couldn’t read your post without saying how sorry I am for all you and your mother have been through. It really sounds tough. These experiences deepen us, it’s true, and I can feel that depth come into your writing in a way I hadn’t seen before. Thank you for sharing yourself so openly and truthfully.

  • Joy

    Hi Yaro

    My heart goes out to you. Take it one day at a time. I will pray for you & pray that you get the strength and energy to continue on this journey. Don’t despair. I hope the best for you and your mum.


  • Good to hear from you after a while Yarro. May God bless your Mother. I am most impressed with the love you have shared with us for your mother. It is the duty of a son to watch over the mother and sisters in a family and you have been instilled with love and responsibility from an early age showing me your mother is a very loving and responsible woman. I wish you all the very best for 2012.

  • Thank you for your insightful and very open description of a very challenging year. As I have always felt you are an exremely caring and thoughtful person and your mother can only be proud and blessed having a son like you at her side. Im praying that everything comes back to normal for you and that your mum makes a fantastic recovery .
    PS take your cat off cat biscuits and feed only raw meat …..vets wont tell you this because they sell the biscuits. Have a look at a feeding schedule called B.A.R.F. which will help your kitty it a natural animal feeding program and will help you cat recover naturally without drugs ….once less stress for you

  • Yaro,
    You’ve dealt with adversity and crisis and have demonstrated a son’s love
    and an heroic devotion. You are also sensitive to those around you and
    you display empathy. Emotion, tears, the rise and fall of hope, the crush of devastation all dwell in hospital wards and ICUs and you have clearly been changed by the experience of this past year. This learning, this evolution
    as a human being will serve you and your associates well. I hope the very best for your mother’s recovery and future and for your own as well.
    You have a shaping influence on many and your own shaping by the events of 2011 will continue to motivate your own growth. God speed.

  • Yaro, your heartfelt words have touched my very soul. Your mother is very lucky to have a son like you to be there for her every single day, and I admire your strength and determination to be there for her.
    My own mother (she lives in the UK, I live in Australia), had a severe stroke eight years ago and I flew over as my brothers didn’t hold out much hope for her. She was completely debilitated and it was a shock to see her like that. After weeks in hospital then months in rehab, she went into a Nursing Home as she needs 24 hour care; she still can’t talk except to say yes and no.
    I flew over again to the UK last September to spend some time with her. She is now 91. My brothers live locally, and visit her regularly but I feel guilty because I can’t. I can’t speak to her on the phone because she can’t talk. The only way I can communicate with her is by writing her a physical letter; she can’t write back, but she loves getting my letters.
    At least you are able to be with your mother on a daily basis, and I’m sure it’s a great comfort to her just seeing you every day. I hope she continues to progress Yaro, and for your continued strength and courage.
    Hopefully, 2012 will be a better year for you.

  • Dorothy

    You might find this interesting…

  • Bonita

    Know exactly how you feel as I visited the hospital everday in 2011 to be with my father who died after 3 weeks in the hospital. You are so right – you see that the majority of the hospitalized suffer alone, and yes death or the pending death of a loved one does change your view of life in exactly the way you said. Thanks for your great blogging advice, and thanks for sharing your life – brings you closer, renders you more personable. Sorry for you loss.

  • I hope you are getting the support you need Yaro.

    Finding meaning in suffering is awfully difficult. So is encountering our fragility. I hope you have people and ways to help you be with these things.

  • reading your post further reinforce how much freedom internet business gives us.
    if employed, no way would we be able to be at hospital day and night for our loved one.we would be out of job very soon.
    but with e-business, we can do it anywhere we want.
    this is exactly the freedom i have dreamt of and lucky enough to be living in it now.
    hope things goes better for you Yaro.

  • Discoden

    Hi Yaro,
    Thanks for sharing. I can relate to your feelings as I also have a close relationship with my mom. My mom is also one of the most important persons in my life and I have promised my mom when I was in highschool (i’m now 39) that no matter what happens, I will take care of her. Thankfully she is still in great health and going strong at her young age of 75. I feel more motivated to continue in my journey to find a way to earn a living online where it will allow me to have time for myself and my family and not shackled down by our 9-5 jobs. Praying for you and your family. Stay strong and more power to you!

  • Javier

    Thank You for sharing your experience and feelings Yaro. I am deeply moved by your post I can not even imagine what you have being going through. I really admire your strength during this difficult period of your life.

    Wishing you this coming year brings you lots of happiness. All the best four you!!
    Take care.

  • Khalid

    Hi Yaro,

    Sending thoughts and prayers for your mom from France. I hope she will recover health soon.

    In searching for answers about what happens after death, just read the holly Qoran, thats all. Trust and believe in god will help you a lot : my mother was in hospital a few years ago and your article reminds me a lot of things.

    Working as an entrepreneur is a wonderful gift and i agree with you. Il ‘ll do my best to become an “owner of my job and my time” to be often with my family and i’ ll follow your Blue Print method to be one.

    Many thanks for your article and take care.

    Best regards,


  • Thank you for sharing this aspect of your life, Yaro. Its good to find emmotional release in writing. I wish all the best to your mother and you.

  • Many of your mom’s health struggles mirror what we are experiencing with my dad’s dementia. Life does flip you upside down. You are doing a great work in staying by her side.

  • Hey Yaro, sorry the year was so tough on you. I have been wondering why your presence wasn’t so large in 2011 and now we all can see. You seem to have stood strong through incredibly hard times.

    Take care of yourself and I look forward to seeing where you go in 2012.


  • Hi Yaro,
    I’m sorry about the events that happened to you last year and can empathise with you. My father is at the later stages of cancer, and nothing can prepare you for the shock, the grief and sadness that overcomes you when you watch the strength and independence taken away from someone you love.
    How you view death and what happens to you is such a personal thing. I’ve been asking these questions myself for years now and I know that alot of people have different opinions on it.
    Take care and do nice things for yourself.

  • Simone

    Hello Yaro,
    Thank you for your dedication to write us during your difficult time.
    I was very sad to read of the passing of your Grandmother while your mother was very ill.
    I lost my Grandmother at 92 and their isn’t a day that goes past that I do not think of her and gentle guidance in my life. Since she was always there and a strong anchor in my life she is truly missed.
    I pray mother has a very speedy recovery and that the rest of your experiences are in your past.
    Like for you, 2011 was a terrible year.
    I hope we find great peace, prosperity and kindness towards each other for 2012.
    Thank you for sharing

  • Yaro

    So sorry to hear of all the trauma and tragedy in your year. Im not sure if you are a Babyboomer but, as one myself, I know what it is to have ageing parents.

    I also know what it is, for the first time, to be the sandwich generation – my immediate family ranges from 16 to 86. That is a huge gap to span and at times I feel it tremendously.

    I also know what it is to experience life beyond life and it is in the times like you have been thru that we have the opportunity to stope and reflect on ‘what is’ beyond the veil of death.

    Best wishes and condolences to you and your family.


  • Jean

    I am touched by your story ….not easy to read by any means . Where does one find the strength to cope with the suffering of a loved one. I cannot even endure watching the suffering of an animal on television.
    You are a courageous person and a wonderful son.

  • James

    I am much older, and trying to live in today, because my tomorrow may never come. I’ve lived longer than either my mother or father ever did, and have known and experienced in some way, with them, what you are learning now. My heart goes out to you. What I think I have learned is that we’re here to help each other get through this thing called “Life,” whatever it is: to enjoy each other in the good times; and support each other in the trying times. So take heart, young friend, yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come, but you have today! Experience, for this is life. Live it in love and understanding. Take care.

  • Joy

    My thoughts and prayers go out to your mother, yourself and family.
    As someone who works in the health industry and specifically aged care, on a daily basis, I see a lot of heartache for the elderly when family do not even visit regularly let alone give emotional or physical support. I would like to thank you for supporting your beloved mother in her time of need. Believe me when I say just sitting by her bed and holding her hand or stroking her forehead will do wonders for her recovery. Knowing she is loved and treasured is the greatest medicine.
    God Bless

  • This just shows how invaluable working on an online business is, Yaro got me into this 3 years ago and thank goodness I left my job a year ago. Best wishes to your family Yaro.

  • Hi Yaro,
    I read your moving account of life in ICU with much interest. I spent several years working in ICU as a doctor and have seen how others suffer many times. Very often it’s the families of patients who suffer the most. It is very distressing to come to the hospital every day and see their loved ones so ill, and with so many tubes and machines attached to them. In most cases the patients themselves are sedated enough to prevent them suffering, but that is not so for the visitors.

    It’s easy for the family visitors to wonder if they are doing the right thing by their loved ones, and sometimes, no one really knows what is the best thing to do. That is a terrible responsibility for anyone to bear.

    Sometimes also, the family and friends find it very difficult to keep coming to visit every day when they see no progress, and they have their outside lives to manage as well. Sometimes, the daily visits become sporadic, or even disappear altogether. No one ever blames them for that. It’s very understandable. No one knows what they would do in similar circumstances. We mostly hope that we will never find ourselves in that position, and therefore will never have to be tested like that.

    Your mother is very lucky indeed to have a caring son like you – and one who only works for 2 hours a day and has no financial worries!

    I wish you and your mum a good outcome, and congratulate you on sharing such an intimate and personal story here, with your online friends.

    Best wishes, Carol.

  • Hi Yaro,
    Very touching post, thanks for sharing. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I went through a similar experience with my father, so I kinda know what you are going through, although, every one of us has a unique journey through this world. Peace.


  • Hello Yaro,
    First of all my best wishes for you and your mother.I pray to GOD that she recovered very soon. This whole incident reminds me about the heart attack of my father and it is true that I was not lucky like you as I was not present there that day because of my JOB.hats off to your mentally strength and care for your mother.I am very inspired with you and reading your articles to follow you.I also wants to become a son like you.Please help me out for my journey as I booked my domain and hosting but still not having enough knowledge ,how to create my first blog and can share my experience and ideas.

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring
    bil[email protected]

  • Murad

    Hi Yaro,

    The last Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

    Take benefit of five before five:
    your youth before your old age,
    your health before your sickness,
    your wealth before your poverty,
    your free-time before your preoccupation,
    and your life before your death.

    This is a beautiful reminder of the gifts that we are blessed with and it is up to us whether we take advantage of them. We are also reminded that the things that we have at our disposal now, will not be with us forever.

    I sympathize with you as I was in a similar situation supporting my mum throughout her chemotherapy treatment. It’s a weird situation, you sit there and watch how one of your dearest person literally gets poisoned.

    With regards to keeping a balance of this life and hereafter, I would like to share one final recommendation from the Prophet:

    “Work in this world as if you would live forever, and work for the hereafter as if you would die tomorrow” (Prophet Muhammad pbuh)

    Best regards,

  • Yaro – You are just an amazing son. To see how dedicated you are to your mother is something so many mothers can pray for.

    I’m praying for you and her and everything you’re going through to Jesus, for him to heal and comfort and answer questions.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Thank you for sharing your personal story. I lost a loved one exactly one year one day ago, and my entire life was turned upside down.


  • I want to thank everyone who left a comment in response to this post.

    Your support means a lot to me and my family as well. That’s one of the things I enjoy the most about having a blog – the community at EJ is a safe place for me to share things like this from my life – my personal stories.

    Writing these articles is a form of therapy for me and with the added benefit that through sharing I have an impact on other people.

    I especially appreciate all the comments from people who have lived through similar experiences in their lives, dealing with health challenges in your family and even death. We all go through life as humans and exit the same way, and I take some comfort knowing that there are no options – we all have to do it, so it’s best to accept it and get on with the job of living until it’s your turn to die.

    Thanks again for all your heartfelt responses, and sorry I cannot respond to every one personally, there are just too many of you!


  • Hi Yaro:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to endure so much pain this past year. I was able to identify with your words, as I experienced many of the same things you did when my grandmother had a stroke and a week later my grandfather had a heart attack on his way into the hospital to visit her. I too learned more about the human condition, a lesson that maybe prior to that time, I wasn’t ready for. The entire experience forever changed me and I can feel in your words that you’ve been changed too. I realized how precious and short our lives really are and it put into perspective for me what’s really important and what is not.

    Yaro, your mother is lucky to have you by her side, nurturing her back to health. I wish you both continued success in her recovery.


  • Jennifer in Canada

    Yaro – My dad had a stroke at age 52 and died 3 days later. At first I thought only of that terrible time but now I live with daily memories of all the good times we had. Years later I was in the hospital for a few weeks and it actually made me feel better about hospitals and illness. Strange, yes. But while I was there, I was mostly mobile and would visit with my fellow patients. I felt like we were all less lonely and healing faster by having company.

    Last year, an elderly friend was in hospital and as her family has mostly passed away, her neighbour and I tag-teamed our visits so someone was there for her every day. She later told me that it kept her from giving up. So my lesson is that out of difficult things, we can learn and do great good or maybe just a little good. My thoughts and hopes are with you, your mom and her partner.

  • Yaro: Thank you for sharing all that you all have been through. Your writing provides lot of insight and good questions for us to ask ourselves. I, too, admire your strength and the incredible love you have shown your mother. What an incredible family you are! I hope that that you will experience equal joy to balance out the suffering you’ve witnessed and experienced. Warm wishes to you and your Mom. Laila

  • Hey Yaro
    It’s taken me a while to get back to you and respond to your honesty and vulnerability…… leaders go first and show others who they REALLY are and what’s really on their heart and I appreciate you doing this for your ‘tribe’.

    I too went through the year from hell last year…. finances, health, home, business… everything that was stable seemed to collapse, so it is wonderful to hear that other people who seem to have it all together are actually dealing with their own personal demons and challenges and like you, showing their humanity.

    Much love to you and your mother for her swift healing and return to outstanding good health… and yes, you are an outstanding son!

  • Bobbie

    My mother had a stroke in September 2011. She just ran out of her 100 days of rehab that was covered by medicare. He progress has been so slow with one step forward and two steps back that we can’t care for her at home. We just got her moved into a nursing home, my heart is broken as this is something I never thought I would do. I feel that they should extend rehab to those who are at least making progress because she has went from everyday therapy to nothing. I can see her getting weaker. I too try to visit everyday even though she is in another city. It’s exhausting working, visiting, taking care of my kids and house etc…. but my brother and I are the only ones that visit. This has definitely been a life changing experience. One that has taught me unconditional love, the power of prayer and I will never pass another patient without smiling or saying HI. For one because most are so lonely and depressed and another because I have experienced too many people thinking my mom has no comprehension due to her not being able to speak well. Thanks for letting me vent. I could definitely write a book over my past 4 months. It’s a long journey but I will always be by her side.

  • […] he wrote two blog posts My Most Challenging Year Part 1 – When Family Tragedy Strikes and My Most Challenging Year Part 2: A New Business Is Born in his […]

  • Thanks for sharing Yaro. Wishing your mum good health and yourself all the best.

  • […] He spent his days at the hospital with his mom. Maybe the ball dropped a bit keeping this up. My Most Challenging Year Part 1: When Family Tragedy Strikes My Most Challenging Year Part 2: A New Business Is Born __________________ HTML Basic Tutor – […]

  • Katherine H.


    Sorry to hear of your hard year. It seems to have been really intense for you. I mean, you really didn’t even know if your mother was going to live, for a while; and there were other things to deal with on the other side of it, including your grandmother’s death. So sorry.

    Sometimes I wonder why it has to be so hard for people at the ends of their lives. If more of us thought about these people who have nobody there in the hospitals… and maybe if a bunch of those of us who have flexible time were to come up with a plan… Say, for volunteers to “adopt” patients like that and make a commitment to stay with them all the way through their difficult times… It could make so much difference for so many, couldn’t it?

    I myself wouldn’t fear going through old age as much. It’s the people who care who make the difference at the end, is it not? At least, it seems so to me.

    I trust your mother’s doing better now, right?

    • Thanks for your comment Katherine, and your ideas too. It’s not an easy problem to solve as most people’s lives aren’t structured to create much free time. My mother is okay, it’s still very much a roller coaster ride and we have a long way to go before we can get out of the hospital. Fingers crossed we will get there one day soon.

  • Marie Di

    Hi Yaro,
    I don’t know you personally, but I appreciate your sharing. I went through something similar with my mom 10 years ago. I’m gald you are successful enough at IM that you can outsource and be so mobile that you could be with her.



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