Sunday, January 27, 2008

To Catch You Up

It's been forever since I posted any art, so until my memory card returns, I remembered I had never shown this piece, done last year for a round robin tag book.
here is another piece making it's maiden blog appearance. No telling how many things aren't uploaded in my computer...

I've been avoiding my blog. A lot of stuff's been going on this week and while I am proud of myself for dealing with it well enough, I've generally been trying different ways to get away from it all, too. Maybe I was just waiting until I knew how I felt, I dunno.

Have you ever had a series of shocks, little tremors really, hit you all in a week? Each one on its own should be conquerable, and you try. But at some point the multiple hits make it all just a huge bummer?

I know there are many people out there going through truly horrid crap, some with no good outcome at all. I think of those faceless people I don't know, and my own ambivalence and sorrow seems really self-centered. So, I just deal and let it all slumber under the surface.

Life never sleeps, it seems. And as if the big overriding themes of each event weren't enough, little sharp, painful everyday details have been sticking me like a cactus. This week, I came to the realization...no, possibility, still, I'm still in denial...that this week could be my life, the rest of my life.

My Father-in-law has the stage 4 lung cancer, as I've mentioned. Being the silly, sheltered gal that I am, I hadn't looked at the situation and extrapolated it out into the future. My mother-in-law doesn't drive. Now, maybe being the first generation American-born child of Catholic Czech immigrants, from a family of 11, has something to do with it. Most people are molded by their upbringing and background, no matter how we seem to not want to accept that.

She is and always has been a subservient sort of wife: good housekeeper, cook, mother. She never worked outside the home and thus never drove, I guess. She wears thick coke-bottle glasses and doesn't admit to being hard-of-hearing, either. So, who knows why she doesn't drive, but it makes it very difficult nowadays.

F-I-L did all the grocery shopping, but now he can't drive due to being on so much pain medication. They're both 79. He's becoming more and more a really royal pita, because his meds and treatment, as well as his advancing Parkinson's, is all exacerbating his moodiness and tendency to bark orders and cruel jokes. Not to mention his selfishness, from being waited on hand and foot his entire marriage, is getting really aggressive. In short, he is changing personalities before our very eyes. A personality that we all knew lurked within him but one he managed to control, until now.

I don't remember if I'd ever come right out and blogged this, but I was really making progress forging a closer relationship with M-I-L. Now, I guess that's just in time for all this. She has been reacting to her husband's change by first denying it, then griping about it but denying anything could be done about it. I began to figure out that she was still waiting for him to make all the decisions, even about this, about himself.

Well, so I had to tell her, and I did, once. And she made some baby steps, but I'm going to have keep telling her, as the situations call for it. But she's awfully clingy, and I'm sure she's lonely, scared, and feeling alot like I am times 100.

It's like one moment I want to try to dig out my pain, then it reminds me of others' worse pain and I feel really guilty for having any pain. How unworthy of me. I've even tried on and off to model Ruth from the Bible. I'm pretty sure it would be some comfort, if Ruth was schizophrenic.

Ok, so I've been driving them to his radiation. It's like an all-day thing, because I have to double back to pick them up and it makes the driving ridiculously long. It's down in Clear Lake at an MD Anderson satellite facility, and there's a Starbucks right around the corner. Now, I've never been into the whole Starbucks thing, but it has become a treat I give myself. I let them off, then head there. By the time I've gotten my skinny mocha latte, they are ready to leave. Works out good.

So, did I mention they have 5 kids? Funny thing, okay one of them lives at home and is mentally retarded due to complications in the birth canal. She works at a school cafeteria, but doesn't drive or go anywhere alone. That leaves Hubs and 3 siblings. His brother lives in Dallas, so now we are down to Hubs and 2 sisters. Both sisters live about the same distance way that we do, 15 miles or so, but they play this sick game of chicken when it comes to helping out with this. And they are and always have been a noncommunicative family. I mean, they can chit and chat up a storm, but tell someone how they are really feeling about really personal stuff? Ha.

So, I can't tell if they are all in shock over their dad, but they act like they are annoyed and go ahead and kick already. They have lives. So, guess who is getting stuck not only with taxi, but also with phone calls whenever something is weird?

Sometimes I'm the only one who has any compassion for them. Sometimes I wonder if this is how kids turn out if you raise them that sternly and you don't express feelings. They are like, hey, he'll get through it and he can hire someone to do all that.

Okay, so enough about that. The helpers get narrowed down this week to only Hubs and his teacher sister, because the youngest sister's husband got diagnosed with melanoma that has spread to his lungs, abdomen and back. And they've known for awhile but told us this week.

This is the inlaw that I most enjoy, so I'm really bummed about it. But I can't even be comletely Ruth-y about it, because I'm also highly annoyed that now she can't help take care of her parents and spread the load.

Getting the angel/devil trauma I'm experiencing? Here's the third layer. They say these things run in 3's. My mom calls me last Monday to tell me they found a suspicious spot on her lung xray done for a physical. She's really torn up. We both are, but somehow I'm trying to be calm until the doctor calls back and tells her something. Well, we wait all week and no phone call. Thursday she goes back in there and tells them how unhappy she is about having to wait that long to be told yes or no.

Apprently she is pretty bitchy and threw a fit, because that evening they call my dad and tell him both of them are being dropped by the doctor, due to my mom's behavior upsetting other patients. So, here we'll be one week tomorrow and she still knows nothing and now has no doctor. There's another stupid thing they've done and I'm powerless to help.

So, this brings up what I've been trying to suppress for 3 years: I'm immensely angry at times at my parents to hauling off and moving 600 miles away. And then getting ill and old. It's been very hard for me to deal with the anger, so I've just been pushing it down. Now, I'm having to caretake my inlaws, something I should be doing for my own parents. I'm telling you sometimes I don't even know what horrible naughty feeling to feel. I just know it should be one I should feel guilty about. And, I'm pissed about that.

Well, I got the jist of it out.Does it help me feel better? Not yet. Maybe later. I guess one good thing is you know where my head is at. I may not be Ruth or Florence Nightingale, but I do feel I should get a couple of rah's for not totally succumbing to the dark side of my behaviors.

Hopefully now you also understand why I'd think, hey, this might be what the rest of my life's gonna be like. I think that bums me out the most. Terrible to think, I know, but it doesn't make it go away.

Hey on a good note, Missy has my camera memory card and will bring it home with her next time she's here. I didn't even ask her how or why it ended up with her. I just decided to be grateful. I'm not totally rotten. ;-)

20 comments:

csimmers said...

Hey girl! I just want you to know you're in my thoughts and I'm trying to send positive energy your way. Try to stay positive and just let out a huge scream when needed. Know that you have lots of cyber friends that don't mind listening. Hang in there!!! {{{hugs}}}

Noelia said...

Aimes, that was a lot of stuff you needed to get off your chest. Just know that I'll be praying for you. I'm going through something similar right now, just haven't blogged about it yet. But just know that you're in my prayers and thoughts.

HUGS

P.S and your art is beautiful

Benita said...

So sorry to hear that you're going through so much right now :( You will be in my thoughts & prayers! I love the 2 pieces you posted....gorgeous!

Dana said...

Hey Aimes,

I extended the challenge. Not done myself. LOL I extended it another 2 weeks. Are you still in...

Katy said...

Aimeslee! I've missed you here. You really needed to get that off your chest, and there's no reason to ever feel guilty for your FEELINGS. You deal with them, and work from their out.

Now, regarding your DH's siblings...you need to stop worrying about being like Ruth, and step up to the plate and be a little RUTHLESS and tell them to get their acts together and behave.

Anyway, no matter what you end up doing, know that you are loved.

Ryzmomplus2 said...

Wow! Sorry to hear about all your going through!

Linda said...

I'm sorry that all of this is hitting you at once. Remember to take a moment for yourself when you can. I'll be sending out positive thoughts and prayers for you.

Sarah C. said...

((HUGS)) and prayers for all you & your family are going through. Glad to see you are creating again - love the birthday card.

toners said...

Sending (((hugs))) to you and your family. Cancer is such a difficult disease for everyone involved, and families are also tough - so when the two are combined, it can be stressful. We're all thinking of you.

Lida said...

I am so sorry you and your husband are going trough this, I live my share with dso and her mom and brother and is its so emotionally exhaustive. If you ever need to yell or vent please do give me a shout, I´ll yell and vent with you!
Or I can take the tequila out, you bring the limes lol ;)
I´ll be thinking about you.

KarenSue said...

best to you,
hopefully things will be looking up for you soon...and there will be relief.

families can be difficult,
take care,
Karen

Superscrapifragilisticspalidocious said...

It's hard to have aging parents and kids that are still growing. I know the mixed feelings. My husband's mother is in Canada and needs help. His sister is the only one near by and 20 miles is closer than 2000 miles.
I pray peace comes over your family. That hearts will soften and children will honor their parents. That the doctors will receive wisdom and the caretakers and givers will receive comfort. We lift your family to Him who is the great I AM and He can do things exceedingly and abundantly. All things are for a purpose and may He reveal His purpose to you but most importantly that He will provide during these times and reveal His love to you and your family.

Linda said...

Back again! Thanks for the last few comments on my blog. You had me cracking up about using my new paper and I have a whole boat load of it I need to use too.

Gina (frazzledmom) said...

Yikes, Aimes! That's a whole lot of stuff that you're having to shoulder right now. I'm glad you got some of it off your chest. I can't help feel annoyed on your behalf that you're doing so much for your FIL, when there are others who should be helping too. But I admire your kindness and how giving you are.

I'm sorry about your Mom's situation too. How the heck can a doctor drop a patient? Surely that's against their Hippocratic oath!

Oi vey!

But on the positive side, your two projects are simply awesome! I love your style. Go get creative and work out some of those frustrations in your art! {{{ Hugs }}} to you.

Barbara said...

Wow, Aimes, you sure are dealing with a lot. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It may not make it easier, but if I may say, even thinking that this will be the rest of your life is adding too much on the top. "This too shall pass" in it's own time, and your life will continue. You're a good, caring woman being asked to help others. You're being asked, because they know you're a good, caring woman. That's the way of it. I wish you moments of calm resolution - and when going through something this hard, small moments here and there may be the most we can ask for.

My best to you, take care!

Kim said...

I am so, so sorry you are going through all of this right now. Hugs to you...

Linda said...

Back one more time, I hope you don't get sick of me. I left you a little surprise on my blog.

Shirley Fyfe said...

Hi Aimeslee - boy it certainly sounds like you have an awful lot going on in your life at the moment - sending you some cyber{{{hugs}}}

Sarah C. said...

Psst! Just popping back in to let you know I left you a little something on my blog. :)

grandmascraps said...

You sure are dealing with a lot right now, Please accept the hugs and best wishes coming your way from NC. It is not any fun when your parnets move away. It just doesn't seem right some how. I've been in your shoes. My DH and I lost our fathers in the same year (1984) and our mothers both in 1990. Being the long distant caretaker was hard, but I wouldn't trade their final months for anything. I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of. Hang there my friend. I will keep you in prayer.