Monthly Archives: June 2009

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Random Things:

1.  I can’t figure out how to turn the picture so it’s aligned correctly, but I needed to share this:

photo

The girls asked me a while ago what will happen to Nana after she passes.  They felt they had a pretty good handle on the spirit – the part of Nana that makes her who she is – but they wanted to talk about the body that spirit inhabits.  Since I’m terribly keen on being up front with my children, I explained cremation and what Nana wants done with the ashes that are left.  At this point, the girls asked if they could send anything with her – whether they could send tokens along with her body so that something material of them would be with her forever, and I thought that was a lovely idea, especially since Mom has already asked that the 10 Rules to Being Human she’s got on her fridge be burned with her.  Punkin’s got some chalk drawings that she wants to go, and Beanie wrote this note.  It’s quite plain, from what she wrote, that she gets it, don’t you think? (it’s hard to read sideways; it says Dear Nana, I’ll meet you there.  I might take a little bit.  Nana, I love you; please don’t forget.  I’ll try to tune in on your spirit.  ∞ Xs and Os, Beanie. I love that she’s got the symbol for infinity in there.  My kid rocks.)

2.  Honestly?  I’ve kind of been living under a rock for the last two months.  I only found out about Michael Jackson’s dying because Bill was talking about it one night (too loudly as I was trying to sleep upstairs).  In the short time I had at home this morning, I was folding laundry and watching Headline News when I learned that Billy Mays has died.  I know nothing more than that, just that he’s dead.  Ten minutes later, I found this on the LOL Celebrity site.

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I won’t miss him yelling at me on the t.v.

3.  My check engine light is still on.  My mechanic wants me to leave my car overnight so he can hook the computer up to it while it’s cold to see what code it gives him, but I’ve not had the chance yet to do that.  I saw this the other day, and it made me laugh.

funny-dog-pictures-found-problem

I’m pretty sure THAT’S not my problem (though I wouldn’t discount the possibility that there may be a stray field mouse or chipmonk in there somewhere; Mom lives in the woods…).

4.  I’m feeling a little better than I did on the day I wrote the “fragile” piece, but not much.  I’m coming to terms with how I feel and recognizing that despite my aspirations of being entirely unselfish and giving, I’m going to fall short.  Being big enough to forgive myself for that is something I’m still having to work on, though.

5.  Mom told me the other day that she had an experience that tells her she may be very close.  She was trying to wake up, she said, and felt at that moment that she could have decided to go and she would have just slipped away.  I’m glad I’m staying overnight for the next few days; if that happens again, I’d like to be with her to let her know that it’s okay to go.

6.  Mom has mentioned, in offhand ways, that there are some people that she feels she needs to see before she goes.  Meadmaker’s wife (hereafter known as Bobbie) and I are trying to help Mom tie up all her loose ends, so to that end, Bobbie called Mom’s ex-husband and I called her middle sister to see if we can get them to come and talk with her.  We were expecting the ex to blow her off, but Bobbie says that he called last night and told her he’d either call Mom or stop by in the next few days.  Middle sister is coming by on Wednesday.

7.  I am sick, almost unto death, of rain and fog and gray weather.  Given what’s going on in my life right now, the weather is not contributing in any positive way to my general demeanor.

8.  O’Mama helped me HUGE with my teacher license recertification this morning.  She’s some kind of fantastic.

9. Mom doesn’t sleep anymore without talking.  My belief is that she’s visiting the other side and interacting with people there.  She’s animated and active; her eyebrows move, her lips move, and often she’ll actually reach her hand out.  She never says anything discernable, but she’s clearly doing a lot of work in her sleep.

10.  Want to help a sister out?  Crisitunity is trying to raise money to go to yoga school.  Head on over and see if you can offer some assistance, and thanks.

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Monday Meme

Mr. Chili and I have been married for 13 years today.  I’ll probably write something else in honor of the occasion, but for now, you get a meme.

What are your middle names?
His is Chase, mine is Ann

How long have you been together?
We’ve been married for 13 years as of about noon today.  We’ve been together for nearly 17 and a half.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About a year.  We were friends for a while.

Who asked whom out?
He asked me.

How old are you?
He’s 47, I’m 40.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Mine.  Auntie lives significantly closer than his closest sibling, Bruder, who lives in Alabama.  Both of his sisters are living in England at the moment.  We see his parents a lot, though.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
His being unemployed for a while in the early 2000s was tough. Remodeling the house was a bit of a strain, too, but we managed.

Did you go to the same school?
High school? No. College, yes, but we went at different times.

Are you from the same home town?
No. I grew up in Massachusetts and he grew up a town away from where we live now.

Who is smarter?
He is, hands down.

Who is the most sensitive?
Oh, this one’s a tie, I think.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We don’t really go out often as a couple – as a FAMILY, though, we’re probably most often at Texas Roadhouse.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Las Vegas

Who has the craziest exes?
Probably him. I still see two of my three exes; he doesn’t have any contact with any of his.

Who has the worst temper?
That depends. We can both go off, but fortunately, we almost never lose it at the same time.

Who does the cooking?
This also depends. He’s got a few standard dishes that he does exceedingly well. I think I do most of the cooking, but when he does, he does it right.

Who is the neat-freak?
That would be me.

Who is more stubborn?
Also me (I’m mostly Scots, after all)

Who wakes up earlier?
ALSO me. He can stay up WAAAY later than I can, but I’m almost always up before him.

Where was your first date?
We went to see Amy Mann at a club out by the airport. It wasn’t an official “date” – there were other entanglements to be resolved – but that’s the first time I remember being out with just him.

Who is more jealous?
Neither of us is particularly prone to that ailment.

How long did it take to get serious?
I think we were serious as soon as we decided to start dating. We didn’t get married until almost four years after that, but whatever; the official certificate is kind of meaningless.

Who eats more?
Probably me.

Who does the laundry?
He runs it through the machines, I fold and put away.

Who’s better with the computer?
He is. I can do some stuff well, but whenever anything bad happens, I run crying to him to fix it.

Who drives when you are together?
We split this about 50/50. He generally drives long distances, though.

Happy Monday!

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Filed under admiration, celebration, love notes, My husband rocks!

Fragile

Lest you all think that I’m handling this with nothing but strength and grace, I’m here to tell you that it ain’t so.

This shit is hard, and I’m finding myself dealing with all kinds of unattractive and conflicting emotions.  I’m hoping that admitting them – to you and to myself – will help me to figure a way to deal with them.

Let’s start with resentment, shall we?  For starters. I’m resentful as hell at Bill.  A consequence of the man’s denial is that he has no idea of how dire Mom’s condition really is.  He thinks it’s perfectly okay for her to be alone for upwards of two hours (I don’t want her to be alone ever).  He argues with her about how often she needs to be moved or changed or have her sheets adjusted.  He’s taking nearly obscene advantage of me; he takes his time coming home from work, he leaves dirty dishes in the sink and expects me to do them (I know this because he told me the other day that he doesn’t expect me to do the dishes, but he keeps leaving them, anyway.  I went two days before I couldn’t stand it anymore).  His grown sons are visiting next week, and he’s expecting me to come to tend to Mom on his days off (and even if he weren’t expecting it, I don’t trust him to be available to Mom because he still thinks it’s okay for her to be by herself).  As a consequence, I’m having to do a lot of juggling to make sure I’m free to see that Mom is well cared-for.

Second, I’m frustrated by wondering what Mom’s waiting for.  She’s miserable.  Her pain meds have been adjusted three times in eight weeks, and it’s still insufficient.  She only has use of one arm.  She has two positions, and neither of them is accessible to her alone; she needs someone to move her.  She’s literally wasting away.  As far as I can tell (and I recognize that it’s not mine to tell, but still), there is almost nothing in her life that’s worth putting up with this kind of pain.  Mom used to be a strong, fiercely independent woman, and seeing her like this is exceedingly difficult for me.  I am willing to admit that I will be relieved when she finally decides to let go.

Third, I really miss my family.  While I want the girls to visit, I don’t want them to have to be here for too long; seeing Mom like this is difficult for me, I can only imagine how hard it is for my children.  Plus, there’s nothing here for them to do but watch movies and bad t.v.  My husband is having to take up all the responsibilities of our household; I’m literally never home long enough to do much more than throw a couple of dishes in the dishwasher before I fall exhausted into bed.  It’s especially hard on the weekends; my family went out and had fun with the Wayfarer clan yesterday, and I missed all of it.  Tomorrow is our 13th anniversary, and I’ll not be able to celebrate it because I’ll be here from around 9 to a little after 8 (that’s if Bill comes right home from work).  I want to go out with my girls, I want to have fun with my husband, I want to do something – anything – other than sit here waiting for my mother to die.

For as silly as it may sound, I miss my cats.

I miss my life.  I’m not thinking.  I’m not reading.  I’m not really writing.  I’m not able to see my friends or interact with people.  I’m not exercising or eating right.  I am entirely out of the loop about what’s going on in the world.

I hate that I feel like I am always on the verge of tears.  I’m tired, and I really want this to be over.

See?  Not all strength and grace.

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Filed under compassion and connection, concerns, doing my duty, family matters, frustrations, General Bitching, Home and Family, My husband rocks!, my oh-so-exciting life, on death and dying, pets, technical difficulties, Worries and Anxieties

Quick Hit: Armageddon

I have my mother’s sense of humor.

We’re sitting here together when what sounds like the civil defense alarms go off.  I wondered whether they were just a test or if we should be concerned, when Mom says “perhaps we should kiss our asses goodbye.”

My response?  “Oh, SURE!  Easy for YOU to say!”

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Filed under admiration, funniness, Home and Family, Little Bits of Nothingness, love notes, on death and dying, strange but true

Jigsaw Puzzle

Oy.

I’m trying to make sure that everyone – me, Mom, Bill, and my girls – are properly scheduled and/or cared for next week.  This process is complicated by the fact that Mr. Chili is going to Maryland for a few days to spend some time with Dudley and see a ball game (and I’m NOT willing to let him cancel or reschedule; he’s working hard to make sure that I have everything I need (and, by extension, that Mom has everything she needs) and it’s important to me that he gets out and has a good time).

So far, I’ve got 5 emails out to people asking for kid care, I’ve got three confirmed commitments (one of them is HUGE – I’ve got someone willing to stay overnight with the girls at our house), and I’m pretty sure that everything will work out.

MAN.  This is a lot more complicated than it seems…

die construction

image credit

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The Difference Between Living and Just Being Alive

I’m pretty clear on that distinction right about now.

Mom’s existence can not even charitably be called living.  She is in constant pain.  There are only two positions her body can be placed in, and the process of moving her from one to the other is exceedingly painful (she cannot move herself).  She cannot eat and is, instead, receiving her (inadequate) nutrition through fluids.  Bodily functions are extremely painful for her, and she often needs, shall we say, manual intervention to complete the process.  She experiences phantom pain that can’t be alleviated.  Her entire world has been reduced to an 8 x 9 section of her living room.  She can’t quiet her mind or focus her intention enough to read, so the television is on 24 hours a day.

It’s awful to see.

I’ve made an extra push to get done all of the worldly things she wanted finished before she passes.  The bank accounts are in order, the house has been transferred to MeadMaker, and I’m pretty clear about what specific things she wants given to people she cares about.

I’m finding myself wishing that she’d just let go.  What’s waiting for her has to be better than what she’s experiencing now.

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Filed under compassion and connection, doing my duty, family matters, Home and Family, ideas and opinions, messages from the Universe, on death and dying, ruminating, technical difficulties, Worries and Anxieties

He Never Heard the “Duh”

A few days ago, my beloved and I were able to spend lunchtime together, and this conversation ensued:

Him: You know you’re married to an idiot, right?

Me: Um, no; that seems to have escaped my notice (Chili’s note; Mr. Chili is one of the smartest people I know).  Why do you say that?

Him: So, the other day, I’m doing something mindless around the house – sweeping the kitchen, I think it was – and I was thinking about what’s going on with you and you mom.  One thought led to another and I found myself  remembering a conversation I overheard you have on the phone, and then I started wondering about what the “N” in n-stage cancer stood for…

Me: giggle, snort

Him:  Then, I swear to God, it hits me like an electric shock; it’s not N-stage cancer, it’s END stage cancer.  En-duh.  All my life, I never heard the “duh.”

I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.  My husband rocks.

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