Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thing I Know Right Now...

*Riley turned eight this week. Happy Birthday to my beloved first child!! I still haven't forgotten what we went through to have her it just fades ever so slightly. Becoming a parent changes EVERYTHING. All of the emotional work I have done in my life to help benefit me, really helps me to be a better parent to her and Mallory and I can see the difference. And I need that to get through the teen years and teaching them to fly on their own.

*Going through a major ongoing medical crisis with a parent or in law enables you to see the best and worst of people. Who can "take" it and who can't even speak about it. I understand not being able to talk about it, you can't fathom the depths of this process until you've been through it. And then there are some who are not capable of it at all or are afraid that they are going to upset you. But the truth is you live in a state of upset, its never far from your mind. When George's dad died, we were many states away and it did not impact us, not like now, direct care of a loved one. George still lost a parent but this IS SO VERY difficult. Watching someone waste away in pain is heartbreaking. Having to reverse roles and take over is a process. And there are people who can give and listen and you hold on to them dearly and you are eternally grateful for them.

*Certain people are disappointing me and it caught me by surprise and a lesson was revisited. I am attributing this quote to Bruce Lee from a Facebook post so it might not be accurate, yet it is so spot on. "I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine." I have learned this so intimately in the last two years and it rears it's head again now and so it is a little easier to let go of the disappointment. And people who had disappointed me in the past have shown up! What are you gonna do? LIFE AND PEOPLE aren't perfect and the sooner I accept that, the less stress I have in my life.

*Finally it hit me, I WOULD be good on a church care team. I didn't think I was good enough before...I had an aha moment and thought, Hell yeah, I'm good enough. If I'm not Care Team material, who is? I just need to have it in me to give. Now is not that time.

*The busy fall season has started - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. I don't have the same sense of urgency this year, it is giving way to figuring out if Mary will make it to Christmas, or Thanksgiving on some of the bad days. Each week is so very different and things change within those few days. Her condition is worsening week by week, and we are just trying to keep up. There are good days and bad days yet it is also a continual decline.

*I am falling more in love with Adam Lambert...or maybe it's just escaping into music for a little while. I turn it up VERY loud in the car when I'm by myself. Mallory sings the words without music now.

*I am okay with not folding the clean laundry right now. My husband is not. He folds it yet he expects me to have it put up. This is a problem...I'm trying to make do running on fumes. Getting done exactly what needs to be done.

*I'm so tired but I can go on. It's kind of like the postpartum period, you think you don't have it in you but you just keep going. One foot after the other. Except for at night, it's not a baby that wakes you, it is heavy thoughts of life and death.

*I will miss Oprah. When she is "on" in an interview and by that I mean somewhat objective, she is SO GOOD. I have a back log of all kinds of shows on all 3 DVR's. Now I just delete what I will miss the least before the machine deletes them. That makes me feel like I have accomplished something. There were a few recent Oprah interviews that I caught that were fantastic - The Judds, Aging Celebrity beauties, Tyler Perry and Jane Fonda. Fabulous life lessons.

*Concrete has been pored to start the addition of the keeping room. We ordered french doors, have picked out tile, still need to pick out paint. And have looked at furniture. It's all good until they rip up my kitchen floor and it is a MESS. But I'm still so excited to get a new floor, one that is even and doesn't hurt my bare feet when I walk on it. Haven't had time to pick anything out lately and you know, it doesn't matter. It will happen when it happens.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A little comic relief

Six weeks ago when we bought these costumes with a 30% off coupon, did I know we would need some comic relief? Unconsciously I did. We won best costumes in the family category at our church's fall festival! It looks as though we are ready for Renaissance Fair, right?! Did I feel silly putting this on and going...uh,yes...but it ended up being fun for an hour and a half. Yet the girls decided they wanted to go and were thrilled to win a prize. We took a picture because George will be on call on Halloween. Mary liked to hand the candy out at our house and see all of the costumes come by. {heavy sigh}

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is the Tough Stuff

I just saw a beautiful sunrise full of pinks and blues. It seems so poignant. The world just keeps going. Last week was rough, Monday was horrible, and well really, the last number of weeks has been difficult. Mary is not doing well. She is in a lot of pain. She was admitted to the hospital for pain management last week and now she has narcotic pain patches and also taking an oral pain pill and it is not working all the time, especially when she can't get up to take the medicine by herself. She has now started 12 sessions of radiation on the hip which will hopefully decrease the pain. I told George that I just feel an overall sense of doom and he concurred. We are journeying through uncharted territory and the pathway is not of our making. We just have to respond as best we can.

It is just so painstaking, difficult and hard. I am exhausted as is George. I can't imagine what Mary is going through. What I'm going through is trivial compared to her but I can only experience my world with glimpses into hers. This IS the tough stuff. George and I are working to stay on the same page, and not take our stress out on each other, communicate and work together. We hit a major bump of care. Mary is back in her apartment and wants to remain independent but she can't. Each week is something new and her condition and her body are seeming to deteriorate before our eyes. I had to push it until she agreed to have someone come in to her apartment to help her get ready in the morning. The roles are starting to be reversed. She doesn't like it and neither do I but it is necessary. [And on a high note, she was pleased after having the caregiver come this morning to help her in the mornings and thanked George and I for pushing the issue with her.] {And then she changes her mind and doesn't want her to come again...and then I have to push it again...}

I can feel the stress in my body. My shoulders are so tense. My brain is on overload. I haven't exercised or practiced yoga. Just when I need it the most, I can't get there. I'm beginning to come up with alternatives for stress relief. Hot baths, and good music and laughter when I can. I turned up the volume on Adam Lambert in the car on the way home from Little Gym yesterday and just started singing, loudly. The girls joined in. I needed a release. I have seen pain and agony and Monday's moments are seared into my memory. One of the song lines is "I got my boots on" and when we got home, Mallory ran and put her boots on. Precious and priceless. Later at home, I turned Adam on again loud and the girls and I danced. It is a slight relief from the tough stuff. Enough to get me by for a while longer.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No great title.

There have been so many lessons for me going on right now and I don't have much time to write about them and I miss that. Things have slowed down a bit and I am trying to squeeze some coherent thoughts out. Some of the lessons are more shareable than others. I still want to write about my Glam experience with Adam Lambert, it was so much fun and that blog is coming. I'm waiting for a copy of a sermon from church to tie it all together!! Yes, I will tie my Glam Nation experience with God!! I love putting those connections together and seeing Gods work all over, not just related to the four walls of a church. And in places and people that a narrow minded person would never allow to happen. I use to be narrow or think I was supposed to be narrow, but now I am opening it wide up. I love that about myself now!!

I have been going non-stop for the last few weeks and that is not normal for me and I can't hang. I am so far from being Type A - I'm not sure how far they go into the alphabet, (maybe Type L for lazy) but I do not like going and going. I have SO learned that quiet, reflective time is what keeps me going. I am sitting in my bedroom, typing with the windows open because it is wonderfully cool outside!!!, the cats are on the window sill and I'm listening to birds chirping as well as the noise of suburban Baton Rouge. I am tired, the last couple of days, sleep has been disturbed by heavy thoughts in the middle of the night. But that is okay. That is life. In the past, I would have freaked out and said, I can't go on, and been extremely negative and fought myself the entire time, now I am learning I can go on and I don't spend as much time having the thoughts go round and round. I have learned to stop and examine the thought and then let it go or do something about it.

There have been many tears shed this week for all kinds of reasons. I have fabulous friends who have listened to me cry and vent. I am so grateful for my friends and my therapist!! It takes a village. I'm just learning to expand the village, think out of the box, and stop thinking in ideals. One day at a time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Driving my husband's new car...

My husband and I recently purchased a new four door sedan for his use. It was a hard decision to start making a car payment again but he was driving my nine year old girly SUV for years after an accident in his car. So we took the plunge and he got a new car with the newer features. Well, he needed to drive my hot rod, ego massaging minivan to take his mom around so I got to drive the fancy new car all day. This is going to be fun....right?! New car...woo hoo!

The day started off badly, when the girls and I couldn't even get IN the car. When you walk up to it and have the keyless device in your purse, it immediately unlocks the door when you put your hand on the door handle, NOT when you push the button on the door. The button on the door, LOCKS it. Yes, it's simple, but I hadn't driven the car very much and it wouldn't have been so bad but Mallory starts crying thinking we are never getting into the car. (I still remember being excited about just being able to push a button to get in my Highlander, that was fancy for me then!) I kept locking George's car accidentally. FINALLY, we get in the car and there is no place for backpacks. And as compared to the vastness of the van, we are in a tin can. I feel slightly clausterphobic and the girls do too. When we were test driving the different sedans, there was only only excitement but know it is ALL gone.

I get back to the house from dropping them off at school and park in the garage and I hear a beeping noise - I have had my experiences with beeping noises if you recall. [Things that go beep - May 2010] It scared the heck out of me at first and then I realized that it was the mechanism that was telling me I was too close to something. also beeps when I go through drive thru windows because I GET TOO CLOSE. And I feel so short, not to mention I don't have my usual place to put my purse. Discombobulation, big time.

And I guess the irony for me is that it is such a nice vehicle yet we are creatures of habit and we have gotten used to our space. The girls are so excited when we got in the van this morning. Nothing like a new car to make you appreciate the ole' minivan. Woo Hoo!!