Reposting this today. Still true. My issue, I suppose, because people expect me to be how I am most days, but aren’t sure what to do when I crack. I’m a nurse. No documented positive COVID-19 cases yet in my corner of the nursing world. Still everyone is on edge preparing for what might be. So angry at those at every level who are supposed to make sure we have the supplies we need. I broke down and cried for a couple minutes after someone decided to crap on my day.
I haven’t written in a long time. I think writing is important, but it has pushed to the side by the rest of life.
I have been spending much of my time trying to assist my aging mother. Unfortunately because of her limited mobility and weakness she is presently in a nursing home. If she would get stronger, she could move to another place. She will likely never return to her home though. There are too many stairs. The bathrooms, bedroom, kitchen and laundry are all on different levels.
If she would move to a smaller place she would still likely need frequent caregivers in her home. We have talked about this. She resents the idea of someone “supervising” her. It is hard to know if her early dementia stops her from realizing why living alone could no longer happen. She was in a pattern of not eating or drinking enough. This plus her mobility issues would lead to weakness and falls. Many trips to the emergency room with short hospitalizations. I’m a nurse. Putting on my daughter hat and seeing things from the other side, I’m frustrated how difficult it is to get people to take my mother’s situation seriously during these visits to the emergency room and short hospitalizations.
Could my mom live with me? Probably not. There are people who would insist I could make it so, if I really wanted to. I recently took my mom out to do some necessary errands. Without help, it was tremendously difficult for me to move her from the car to the wheelchair and back again. I’d probably still need in home help. It would only take days if not hours for she and my husband not to get along if she would move in to our house. My mom can be a difficult person, and that isn’t going to get any better with dementia.
If you are an able bodied person, you don’t have any idea how difficult life is for someone in a wheelchair until you take them out into the community. I took my mom to the bank one day. While I am sure the bank met regulations for being accessible it certainly didn’t make it easy. I was grateful that people at the bank helped by opening doors and performing other small kindnesses. One of the bank tellers, who only had small involvement in my mom’s business that day, helped me lift the wheelchair into the trunk. She also gave us a couple of cold bottles of water—-it was summer and I was sweating bullets. None of those things were in her job description, but they made my day just a bit easier. I was profoundly grateful that someone would do these things when they didn’t have to. In many ways I feel profoundly alone in this journey with my mom. Sounds stupid, but those small kindnesses made me cry when I was alone later.
I have taken over my mom’s banking and bill paying. My mom never did anything online, so trying to navigate through all of the paper is a bit mind boggling. I have tried to set up some online accounts to make things easier. When my sister was my mom’s paid caregiver she had set up some online accounts but didn’t write the usernames and passwords anywhere. So when I try to set up online accounts, it tells me one already exists, and won’t let me proceed any further.
Financially, my mom has no pressing need to sell her house. It needs to be done though. Mom’s house needs a lot of work before it is sold. Landscaping, painting, new flooring in a few rooms. The house could be sold “as is”, but I think that would just make it stay on the market for too long. My husband has ideas of how this all should proceed which I don’t really agree with. He doesn’t own the house, and I still have to tread carefully with my mom to naviagate the situation. Sometimes I feel like moving into my mom’s house—not something I would actually do for practical reasons, but the temptaion is there. There is pressure I put on myself to be all things to all people—-and right now I am failing miserably. There is a lot of peripheral BS In my life that makes the situation with my mom more difficult and vice versa.
My sister is completely out of my mom’s life, and doesn’t live locally. However she has some friends that think I need to provide answers with what is going on with my mom. If one of her friends tells her something she doesn’t like, she’ll attempt to have a temper tantrum with me. People will take something small and twist into something it is not. For example, a storm causes a tree to lose a few branches and if the situation is not remedied right away, I’ll get a phone call. My sister has had some incredibly destructive behaviors–I wish her friends would realize I am trying to protect and care for my mom, and not complicate things by causing drama.
I still have one kid in high school. Unfortunately, the needs of my mom have meant I have less time and attention for him. I guess they call that being part of the sandwich generation.
Today is Father’s Day. It is a day for the kids and I to celebrate my husband/their dad.
I always do some reflection about my own dad on this day. He has been gone a long time. I always regret that we did not find more common ground while he was alive. I felt there was a wall between us, one I did not know how to get past. It took me a long time to realize this, but I think we had common points of our personalities that made us difficult, in a way. We both should have tried a little harder I think to break down that wall. It took me a long time to realize that just because I was shy and introverted by nature, that it didn’t mean I could not push through the difficulty to connect with another. Somehow with age it has been much easier to deal with my inner nature and become more outspoken.
My dad died before 9/11 happened, an event that was world changing. I’ve always wondered what he would think about our country. He was Republican but I can’t see that he would have had much use for Donald Trump. My dad would have expected someone in the role of President to conduct himself with a minimum amount of dignity. He would have been deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s insults towards John McCain’s military service. I hope I have taught my kids such behavior is never okay.
My dad could be a difficult person. He had a hard childhood and had to mature early. His dad lost a lot during the Depression and from what I understand never quite recovered. I think my dad understood from an early age, before going out into the world, that he only had himself to depend on. He worked from age 13 until a few months before he died. The decision to stop working, despite his diagnosis of cancer was a difficult one. My dad looked to himself to be the sole provider for the family. My mom did work a little here and there. She was a stay at home mom when I was in school. My dad’s work ethic and their joint effort at managing their finances turned out well. As I help my mother through the aging process, I am ever so grateful that mom has plenty of money to see her through all of the challenges in the future. I can’t imagine how challenging it would be for an elderly person to struggle financially.
Up until recently I was only aware of a handful of photos of my dad in his younger years. I’d discovered there was a hidden stash. I’m not sure why I didn’t know about them. Seeing my dad as a young boy, shorter than his older sister, was interesting. Seeing his face without the heaviness of a difficult life, I wish I would have known him then.
My son was born after my father passed away. I regret that my son never was able to know my father. As my son gets older, I’ll look at him, and see a hint of my dad in his features. It makes me remember my dad, and makes me happy at the same time.
Obviously the title should be a deterrent if the thought of anything colon related makes you shudder. You have been warned.
I recently had my second colonoscopy. It was a pain in the rear end, lol. It looks like I’ll be having a third. Turns out my colon is an overachiever in producing troublesome little polyps. Troublesome polyps that could someday be cancer.
I don’t always take everything health-related as seriously as I could. Somehow though the idea of having colon cancer or even worse, getting a colostomy, scares me to death. I had my first colonoscopy along with an upper GI endoscopy because of some vague but possibly troublesome symptoms which included rectal bleeding. So my gastroenterologist has taken pictures of the entirety of my digestive tract. I guess you could say she knows me inside and out!
I haven’t received the full pathology report for the most recent colonoscopy. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I also found out that I have diverticulosis which means I need to eat more fruits and veggies.
People(in the gastroenterology business) keep asking me if colon cancer runs in my family. I’m not sure that my dad ever had a colonoscopy before he died. My mom flat out refuses to have a colonoscopy, and I doubt that will change. Other kinds of cancer run in my family.
A colonoscopy is a pain in the rear, yes. But it isn’t as bad as everyone make it sound. Drinking all of the prep material to make sure you have cleaned out all of the poop out of your system is the worst part. The actual procedure is quick and painless. I suppose it is just the thought of someone visualizing your insides with a scope that makes people refuse the procedure.
I say go have your colonoscopy if you are of a certain age, or if your doctor recommends it. If I did it you can too!
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteousa]”>[a] will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 b]”>[b]Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 c]”>[c]Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’
I was at the pharmacy, waiting at the counter to get some anti-nausea medication. I’ve been dealing with periodic nausea/vomiting for a time and sometimes one just needs some relief.
We have a new insurance plan. More money for less benefits. As I waited for a total I imagined the worst case scenario in terms of price. The medication ended up being affordable with insurance, less so without insurance.
It seems ever since the election of Trump there is a certain fraction of Christianity that has become more visible. They are concerned about feminists wrecking the country, gay people marrying, wives staying in their place and the rights of gun owners. I could go on, but you get my idea. They all have a biblical rationale for their beliefs.
There is no thought to the spirit of Matthew 25:35-45, the idea that we are to look out for those less fortunate than we are. Those Christians that voted for Trump are just concerned with a handful of ideas.
I read a blog by a Christian woman yesterday. It was one of those special screeds only a Christian woman can write. Much of the focus of her blog was a critique of what women should/should not do, and her justification of why these things may not be biblical. I asked her where Matthew 25:35-45 fit into her Christian walk and I don’t think she understood the question.
Back to the pharmacy…I wondered what I would do if I could not pay for the nausea medication yesterday. I wondered about how our healthcare system in the USA is so much more complex for those who are poor. I wondered why we can’t make it a priority to focus on the needs of those less fortunate in our country. Why don’t the many Evangelical Christians who voted for Trump seem to care about these issues?
1)My eyes are getting old. If you want me to read your blog please don’t use a fancy font. Also don’t select a purple background with dark grey type. Just way too much effort for my eyes.
2)If you want me to read your blog use discretion please with unnecessary pictures of your naked feet. Please at least have your toenails clipped if you find including your feet in the post necessary.
3)Publish my comments please. That is all the fun of blogging! I commented on another mom’s blog. She was the mom of a three or four year old girl. She didn’t like people using the hashtag #boymom to identify the experiences of having a son. She didn’t feel like girls and boys were that different. I don’t think we should put people in a box, but on the other hand my son and daughter are different and that is okay. I’m not a hashtag user but if people want to talk about their experiences as a #boymom, that is okay. You learn pretty quick when you bring your son home that you must be a lot hastier changing the diaper than you were with your daughter. You’ll see quickly that your son is more likely to turn most any object into a sword or a weapon than your daughter is. Of course there are exceptions. I commented on her blog and my comment never showed up. I guess an actual #boymom wasn’t welcome to the discussion.
P.S. Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers out there who have published my comments.
I wrote this several years ago. It is inspired by my mother and father in law. Since I wrote this my father in law has been reunited with his bride in heaven and this will be their first Valentine’s Day together in that celestial place. Annie’s spirit is now at rest.
It is has been several year since I left this world. My spirit feels restless, I don’t feel settled in my home up above.
We shared fifty years of married life. You were the only one to ever call me Annie, everyone else called me Anna.
We met one day as teens the day I took my brother fishing at the lake. You lived the next town over. I think I loved you the moment I met you. After high school was over we married, and just about a year later we had our first baby.
I’d never really thought about doing anything else with my life, being a wife and mother was everything to me. I’d had five babies and I still relished my role.
Some people thought I was a bit simple, relishing a kid’s first day of school or lost tooth or trying to perfect your favorite pie. Those were happy days for me.
One day a cold shadow seemed to enter life in our small town. A pale woman with lizard eyes seems to always be on the periphery. I see you talking to her after church and at the town festival. I know as a banker you see it as your role to be friendly to all but this seems different.
I hear whispers. I wonder what is happening when you say you are working late. I don’t ever confront you. I will never say the lizard eyed woman’s name. I don’t speak to the lizard eyed woman. I pretend she is invisible.
But just as I feel the situation is getting intolerable, the lizard eyed woman’s husband decides they are moving to another town. I hear the lizard eyed woman’s husband is mean, but to me he is a kindred spirit.
After they move, I do my best to forget the cold shadow the lizard eyed woman left behind. Our children marry. I get lost in the weddings and grandchildren that seem to happen every few years.
Our family gathers together. I hear my name…Annie, Mom, Grandma. It brings me joy to hear my name. I don’t feel quite right that day, but I take comfort in the hugs of little kids. The very smallest child there can’t yet say my newest name…great grandma. I get to hold her for the longest time.
After that day I still don’t feel right. We see the doctor, he says my time is getting shorter. As everyone comes to my home to visit, it all seems bittersweet. As the time gets closer I hear your sister say that you and I will meet again someday in heaven. I can’t respond to her but the words bring me comfort.
I’ve left this world. As people mark the end of my life I hear my name…Anna, Annie, mom. I see my physical body in the ground and I am told my spirit must leave this world.
My spirit is unsettled. I know everyone, including you must move on with their lives. I don’t object to you finding comfort in the arms of another, until I see it is the lizard eyed woman.
Our children sense you have changed somehow. You delay telling them about the lizard eyed woman. But then she insists that everything be out in the open. She is now your wife and takes your last name. I guess she has forgotten the last name she shared with her own kids and their father. From that point on the children will never see you without her. The children all whisper amongst each other…the oldest try to piece together old memories of this woman.
I see the traces of me in our house start to disappear. The afghans I had crocheted, little knickknacks I had collected along the way. Even our most recent family picture is gone.
It is time for Thanksgiving, this time at our granddaughter’s house. You say you won’t come with out her. Conversation at the table turns to holidays of old. Laughter. I hear my children talk about me, “mom”. My spirit warms. But then there seems to be an attempt by you to change the subject, as if everyone should forget the family history. She with the lizard eyes purses her lips in disapproval every time an old memory comes up. I feel cold again.
I’m not sure my spirit will ever be at rest until you will freely say my name, you allow your children to speak freely of me and I know that I am not forgotten.
It is said that the shooter at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was concerned about “invaders” coming to the US in the migrant caravans. He thought Jewish people were assisting those in the migrant caravans and that was not okay with him. He was a deeply hateful anti-Semite.
Can you imagine what the members of the Tree of Life synagogue are experiencing right now because of one man’s hatred? I can’t imagine how devastating this would be for them, for anyone to be attacked in such a way, and to watch loved ones being killed.
I looked at his picture. He’s white. I’m white. Obviously our ancestors crossed the pond at some point making both of us the descendants of invaders as well.
What makes someone like him the judge and jury of who can come to America for a better life?
Looking around at Trump’s Christian fan base, they seem ignorant to the fact that our country is crumbling by the day. A portion of Trump’s Christian fan base thinks other issues are much more urgent, such as those who would celebrate that Satanic holiday Halloween. I love Halloween, so take from that what you will.
My country becomes more baffling and broken each day. This hatred festering in our country has got to stop.
In these tumultuous times, I think it is important for women not to forget their history. It hasn’t been that long since a man could have a female family member committed to an asylum for most anything, including a perceived display of female sexuality. Being a pregnant single woman would be one of many reasons you could end up at the asylum.
This time of year is always bittersweet. Summer always goes by so fast, and then the kids are back in school. My daughter went back to college, and my son in back in high school.
I always have dreams about what we will do as a family in summer. The kids are older now and doing their own thing so family time is precious.
Trips to see my mother and assist her also compete for my time. I don’t know if this stage is temporary, but right now my mother’s memory problems seem to make her more relaxed and more pleasant of personality than what she normally is.
At this time of year I often think about how I’d once thought about homeschooling my kids. I wonder what homeschooling families do when mom gets sick. I have been slogging through some medical issues since spring and this thought just crossed my mind. My mom didn’t home school us, but she wasn’t “allowed” to be sick. When we were old enough my sister and I could help with various chores. Probably at a certain point we were too clueless to offer help. My dad would have never thought to vacuum or load the dishwasher or deal with school issues. What happens to home school when mom is sick? My dad would have been qualified to teach some high school math and most college math I am sure, but he would have never made the day to day commitment to do so. He did help us from time to time, but often his answer was along the lines of “You can use calculus to solve this in a matter of seconds”, but since we didn’t know calculus we remained puzzled.
This year my son is taking chemistry and will be reading some Hispanic literature as it was written in the original Spanish. Two things that are certainly far above my pay grade. I did take some high school and college chemistry, but most of what I learned is stuck in a locked compartment in my brain, and I don’t have the key anymore. Reading literature written in Spanish….not in my skill set at all. I could attempt some French literature, I suppose, but my brain is rusty there as well. I’m grateful that my son has school and sports to keep him stimulated.
The bloom of summer is fading for me, just as it is for the world. Time for the next season.