Sunday, March 04, 2012
right here if you are reading this for entertainment value because this is being written for me and some of it will shock you.
The goings on over the past few weeks in my family life have taken its expected toll and I can feel wisps of the ghostly depression that lurks in my life reaching out further and further until its tentacles arrive at their destination...my heart and soul.
Depression to me comes in many forms and shows its face in many ways. Some are expected and others are not expected. I don't want to care for myself, I don't enjoy my dogs, I am full of self pity, I don't want to exercise and sometimes I wonder what life would be without me in it.
I am normally a person who is pretty upbeat and who is very compassionate about reaching out to others. In fact, one gift that depression has given me is to be open and free with my emotions. When Nan was dying I wasn't afraid to tell her that I loved her and we did share a few funny last minutes. I let my feelings of "rejection" by her go by the wayside because in death it was all about her and so it should have been. I am proud that I was strong enough to be with her when her time was up. I held her hand as she took her last breath so for that I had complete closure for which I am very thankful.
Why, then do I feel so bloody low? I have discovered that my uncle and my cousins left every responsibility to me because they couldn't do it. Okay, I don't feel victorious but I do feel thankful that I have been given that kind of personality. Why then as soon as it was over was I cut out of everything again? I found out on facebook when the funeral was going to be, I wasn't asked to participate, at the funeral home not one of my family spoke to me, (they didn't speak to John or my mom either!) and the funeral itself was a weird affair in which they all bawled their eyes out and I kept looking at nan's picture and remembering the good times. For despite everything the very gift of being able to know your grandmother for 55 years is a blessing!
Oh, dear, this is a struggle. I thought I was doing so well (thanks to my venting blogs and your wonderful support) but my body is betraying me. I can't sleep without seeing Nan over and over again in the hospital, I am weak physically (John took me out to supper a few nights ago and I had to be led outside as I thought I was going to faint), I don't want to talk to anybody, I don't want to go to work, and what pains me the most is that my beloved dogs try to get my attention and I turn them away.
Here is my action plan:
1. Take another week off from work
2. Make sure that when I do eat it is of benefit to me and not junk food
3. Exercise in some form for 10 minutes a day
4. As the weather permits gets outside
5. Be kind to myself
6. Drink my water
7. Connect with my SparkFriends
8. Let the anger and depression ebb and flow and accept it but don't encourage it
9. Call my doctor
10. Smile more at my dog's antics
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Again, many thanks to all of you who have carried me through the past few weeks. I haven't been much of a Sparker to anybody (especially to myself) since Christmas due to a variety of excuses. Yes, for that is what they are "excuses"...legitimate or not.
Right now I am beyond caring for my weight or my health. Wow, that is shocking to even write! Okay, let's revise that sentence....things are so haywire in my life right now that I am not making the best nutrition choices nor am I doing any form of exercise. Why? Because I am so busy putting one foot in front of the other that I cannot bear to have to focus on one more thing.
I know, I know! I can hear you all but right now as obstinate and as stupid as this sounds, I cannot focus on me. If I thought Nan was going to live another month I think I would cut myself some slack but things are not looking good and I am either sleeping, going to work, or I am at the hospital.
Why can I not give myself a break? Darned if I know! I know if any one of you were in my shoes right not I would be the first one to give supportive advice such as "you have to take care of yourself first", "make sure you bring along some healthy snacks", or "make sure you are getting your rest". Bah-ha!
Today, even the nurses suggested I go home as I had such a migraine developing that my right eye was affected. Now that I am home and I have taken my migraine medication I feel the need to return to the hospital despite the nurses promising me to call me if there was any change in Nan.
Okay, I don't know why I even bothered writing this blog but it somehow seems more manageable on "paper".....err...the computer screen. I am promising myself that I will not go back to the hospital tonight and I definitely have to make some plans to organize myself better so I can take care of both me and Nan. Jeepers, imagine how dedicated I would try to be if the woman actually liked me?!
Monday, February 20, 2012
Good Day -
This blog is about self-discovery and about a wonderful gift I was given yesterday that means the world to me. You see, as much as I say Nan means a lot to me I have always had a very complex relationship with her. I knew I wasn't in the "favourite" category but that didn't really bother me because I am a people pleaser. I kept going back in the hopes she would like me.
Needless to say, therefore, this past week or so has been one of extreme inner turmoil. From the day I was born Nan told my mother that she would not make anything of me. Why? Because she had always wanted girls and went on to have four boys, and then the first three grandchildren were boys. I was the first granddaughter but I was also a redhead. Strike two. Yep, all of my life Nan has told everyone in hearing distance that she hates red hair and that if she had been cursed to have one she would have poured black shoe polish over their heads.
Oddly, enough my redhair came from her husband's sister. Poppy had a reddish cast to his hair and the freckles but she made no secret of not really liking him either.
To say Nan is a stubborn old lady is an understatement. She is a stubborn person and has been all of her life. Like the time as a child she was wrongly accused of drinking the jug of fresh milk so she vowed then and there never again to let milk cross her lips. Mind you, she never let her boys drink it either and they all lost their adult teeth by the time they were teenagers.
She either loves or hates. She hates my husband...he is Roman Catholic. He hates everyone who married into the family. I have a cousin who was adopted and Nan made her life miserable! But yet everyone loved Nan. She had favourites and I couldn't understand why she didn't' seem to like me even though I spent a lot of time with her. I donned on me yesterday, I am a redhead and remind her of the people she despised.
So, in her dying days I am the one who is back and forth to visit her and everyday she makes sly comments about me which I try to brush off but which make me break down when I come home. Like I don't know how to make a proper cup of coffee, I am being sly if I step out to use the washroom and she thinks I am talking about her. Despite this I keep going back with a smile on my face and cry when she can't see the hurt she causes. The ones she loves and love her (they were in the favourite lot) flit in and out and make her smile and then leave again.
Now, I am not trying to get anybody to feel sorry for me. I am doing my visiting regardless and very few will ever know the inner pain she causes me. My mother knows and refuses to visit Nan (her mother-in-law) at all. I guess I am too much of a pushover because I wouldn't want to die alone so I figured others wouldn't. Also I feel like I am letting Dad's memory down if I don't visit.
Which brings me to yesterday. A new woman was brought in and in a moment of true irony she is the granddaughter of my grandfather's sister. We were never encouraged to know that part of the family and Newfoundland being so remote families didn't visit.
Anyway, I strolled in and the woman in the bed gasped. She apologized and said, "I thought you were my grandmother's ghost walking in because I have never, ever seen anybody who looked so much like her." Apparently, I look exactly like Poppy's beloved sister Louisa who also had fiery redhair and blue eyes!
From the bed Nan snorted and piped up how much she hates redhair! Then the woman joked and said well you must have liked them at one time because you married one and Nan piped up and said, "I shouldn't have".
As this woman's visitors came in they all exclaimed how much I looked like their beloved grandmother. John was with me and I almost cried because I never saw Aunt Louie but it is such an honour to have somebody say that to you. Especially when your own grandmother won't let a day go by without saying how ugly it is.
So, even in death my grandmother continues to be nasty but I keep going back for more. I don't know why but meeting those relatives gave me such a beautiful gift yesterday. We have vowed to stay in touch and Aunt Louie's eldest daughter (85) has invited John and I to visit over the summer and she will take me around to see Poppy's birthplace, etc. They have also vowed to send me a picture of Aunt Louie so I can see how much we looked alike! I finally fit in somewhere as I am the only redhead in all of my relatives up until now!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Thanks to all of you who have given me SparkGoodies, sent SparkMail or responded to my feed over the past few days. I am taking most of today as "me" time because I don't want to get exhausted so to fill that need I have done nothing today other than walk 2.5 kms and play with Maddy and Louisa. I will go to the hospital to see my grandmother after supper which a good friend is so graciously cooking for us.
To bring you all up to speed, Nan has been admitted to the local hospital and it has been there since Thursday night. I am the only relative here in town (except for Mom who is her daughter-in-law) so I am the official next of kin along with my Uncle Eric who lives about one hour away.
My cousin stayed at the hospital with me Thursday night until about 2 a.m. when we felt it was okay to leave. The next morning we were back there again and stayed until just before supper when I thought my head was going to explode from a horrible headache. It was so bad my vision was actually blurred in one eye and for awhile my husband wanted to take me to the hospital!
Yesterday my cousin and I went back to the hospital in the morning and in the afternoon I went to the home to clear up Nan's room. We've been told she won't be able to return there so I got a head start of gutting the room of her clutter. Did I mention she is a hoarder? John came to help me and hauled away TEN garbage bags of candy wrappers, rotten food, dirty tissues, etc. She had some pretty weird things like a bottle of dishwasher detergent, some disks for cleaning computer drives (!), and some of the stuff I tossed was the very same stuff I helped pack up 20+ years ago when she moved to our town!! Honestly!
We took all of the pictures, money (yes, she had money stuff into a china milk jug and it was tied up in a nylon) and important papers and brought it to my house. I have told the family about the money (it was only $80 but I didn't want to be "blamed" for anything) and that I left her room locked. My Uncle Eric was very thankful that I did the "gutting" for him so I felt good about that.
Anyway, I arrived home last night about 12 hours after I left in the morning...hence the need to take some time for me today. I will, of course, visit later on today and talk to the nurses to see how Nan is doing.
She is a funny old bird and always has been. Apparently I'm a lot like her in some ways but most especially in the way we can carry on and make up stories. Yesterday I told her I was going to clear out her room (I just told her I would do some general spring cleaning) and she asked me what I was going to tell the residents. I knew she was concerned because they can be a bit nosey so I said I was going to tell them she had the measles. Nan laughed at that and said she would rather I told them she was in labour with kittens. Of course, two minutes after that she didn't know who I was but that is all part of it.
I know she is 99 years old but this is my Nan and she has been in my life forever! She doted on my father who died in 2006. I was the one who the family asked to tell Nan what is wrong with her....it is a cancerous mass in or around her lung...and she told me "not to break down" while I was bawling my eyes out and blubbering like an idiot. She calmly said "I've lived 99 good years and I look forward to seeing Fred (my dad) again" Then she winked and said she could see a bright, white light and how pretty it was. I was shocked and then she said, "I'm talking about the ceiling light Susan, I'm not going anywhere soon"
Must go and eat something healthy to keep my strength up. Thanks again for reading and for caring!
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