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Me : Exposed

Sunday, March 04, 2012


emoticon 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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You are a strong woman. You've coped, not only with the loss of your granmother, but the relationship you weren't able to have with her. In spite of behaviors toward you, you did everything selflessly. It's understandable that depression has reared it's ugly head. I think having a game plan in place to LOVE and care for yourself is perfect. Seeing your doctor is an important piece of that. Sometimes we need a little boost to help lift the spirits. I wish you the best & please know that there is much support here to tap into whenever you need. These folks are sincere.

God Bless and keep you...hug your puppies, that does always help!


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IMIN2GENES 3/6/2012 9:51AM

    Susan, I'm so sorry! I read and commented on your last blog before reading this one. I'm very sorry for your loss. Your families behaviour is just plain insane (for lack of a better word, I do have a few...). I'm so sorry that they are making a painful situation even worse.

Your action plan is great! I'm sure your dogs will be happy with it too. My thoughts are with you.

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SANDEEB7 3/5/2012 11:02PM

    Susan, your own action plan is great, and here's hoping you'll stick with it. You are a beautiful person, you've had a trying time. Give your four-legged-friends a hug and cuddle, and be kind to yourself. Say the right things to yourself - your mind will think them, your ears will hear them, and your heart will feast on them. Capture each thought, dear Susan, and chuck out the one's that are from the enemy of depression. emoticon

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BOVEY63 3/5/2012 9:16PM

    After all the stress you have been through it's no wonder your emotions and body are reacting the way they are. Take the time you need to take care of you; and know that you have so many of us praying for you and sending lots of positive vibes your way.

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    Susan, I can feel your pain all the way down here to TX, and I sure wish I could erase it! How I know what it's like to have family that makes not a lick of sense! What gets into some people, I just don't understand! Please be sure that you realize that YOU are worth more than gold or silver, more than anything, and what others think or say about you has NO affect on who you really are. I know that when you're in the depths of depression, stuff like that isn't something you really hear, but it's still true. You are PRICELESS! How I wish I would hear it myself!

Love you, my friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 3/5/2012 2:08PM

    Just read this...I've been out of touch because of cleaning up tornado damage here...our house is still standing, thank God, in spite of lots of damage to our property.

Your plan sounds perfect and I know the sunshine will come back for you again. I'm sorry your family is so difficult. You, at least, can feel peace about being with your grandmother at the end.


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SPARKLISE 3/5/2012 7:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You will get through this!
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Q8PRINCESS 3/5/2012 2:24AM

    especially like action number 5 - Be kind to yourself. Grieving is a funny thing sometimes.

As for the rest of the family, well weddings and funerals can be quite strange affairs. Aren't you glad you can pick your friends? Okay that's a bit naughty of me.

I'm really happy to see you back online.

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PONYFARMER 3/5/2012 1:57AM

    Oh my sweet, sweet friend. I so know your pain as I have been in the big D myself this week and did all of the same things that you spoke of with one exception. I still took my 91 pound dog out for her run. She just needs at as her body now 9 is starting to fail her and everyday she does not exercise and use the muscles means that she will be that much closer to not being able to get up and down.

My heart breaks for you, but I love your action plan.

My depression really broke today, while at church I could not stop crying during the Lord's table. The Pastor noticed and found a Deacon husband and wife to pray with me. Right in the middle of the prayer I felt the Holy Spirit take away some of the sadness and from that point on I began to feel better. I too made an action plan for tomorrow and like you I think it is important to force myself to do more, move a bit more, get outside and don't feed the feelings.

Love you and have you on my prayer list.

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_LINDA 3/5/2012 1:36AM

    I liked the quote I saw once -we can't choose our relatives, but we can choose our dogs..they will love you unconditionally -let them into your heart and help you fight the darkness. You were there for your Nan, they weren't, you are one awesome, strong lady. Its their loss they won't have anything to do with you. So glad you are seeing the Dr.
My thoughts are with you.
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EJOY-EVELYN 3/5/2012 12:44AM

    How unfortunate that you cant count on your family, yet they can count on you. Id like to think there is only one concern that should be on your mind to influence future action and that would be God. You can rest assured that God is smiling every time you feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do the right thing. You were there for your Nan Praise God!

Im hopeful that someday you may have a Prodigal Son (or in this case Prodigal Family) story, when they come around to right thinking . . . hopefully it will come at a time youre also ready to provide a spirit of open arms. What can I say, Im the eternal optimist and love when the story ends with, . . . and they all lived happily ever after. I pray that this happens sooner, rather than later.
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GLORYANDME 3/5/2012 12:01AM

    Sending (((((hugs))))) across the miles. Your spark family loves you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYDE53 3/4/2012 7:57PM

    Please don't let your family's actions & attitudes dictate who you are, Susan!! You had every right to be there at that funeral with the rest of them. Don't let them make you less than who you are!! You did a great job caring for her!!!

Your plan is a good one and we're all here for you!! Stay involved with others, here or at home, I try to do that when I get depressed; it helps!! Dogs are great too!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYG7 3/4/2012 6:21PM

    Susan, dear.
I agree with the others who say that families can suck!! And they can also suck the life out of you - if you LET THEM!! I, too, was the strongest and most able of my siblings (1sister+1brother=both much older.....) when it came to family crises. And because I was the just 'get it done' type, they were all too glad to let me. And, I think they despised me for doing what they were incapable of doing. Think about it....you accomplished something they were not able to accomplish -- and you made your Nan's final days so much more loving and comfortable than they would have been otherwise.And you have those memories...they are yours and yours alone. You needn't share.

Rise above it, Susan. Be glad you are who you are - and be glad you are not who THEY are!! It took me many years to realize this - and it cost me a brother and a sister. But in retrospect, I never really had them in the first place. I have no guilt - and neither should YOU!

Lastly....love your dogs. They need you and they want to bring you a little comfort. Let them. They are the best medicine for depression.
.....and oh yes....do see your doctor. There are meds to ease you through a crisis.

All best love,
Libby emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BETHJRN 3/4/2012 6:18PM

    Sounds like a wonderful plan, my dear. You have been through a very difficult time, so allow yourself time to heal. I krow that better times are ahead for you, and I'm praying that they start soon!

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MILLIE5522 3/4/2012 6:13PM

    I am glad you are going to contact your doctor. You have been through so much these past few weeks and now its your turn to get support. I also suffer from depression which I know can take everything away from you but if you can hang onto the fact that it will pass with the right kind of help.
Have you tried Cognitive Behaviour Therapy? This addresses the thought patterns that can lead to depression. It helps me to stop my negative thinking before I am overwhelmed by it.
Best wishes and hugs. emoticon

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GEORGIAK25 3/4/2012 4:07PM

    The true attitudes of families turn out at a death and defineitely at funerals. You did all the right things, were there for Nan and you have no need to worry about these people. They do not deserve such a good person in their lives. Find the strength to Let Go and Let God take care of things in your life. Nan kinew you were there and were taking care of her. That was all that was of importance. Let them live with their warped sense of lives. It will take a few months not to see or think of nan constantly but I believe with your usual positive attitude you will overcome. I still miss my grandparents and it has been 33 and 28 years respectively since they left this world.

Here for you anytime.

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CHUBRUB3 3/4/2012 4:05PM

    Dear Susan,
Please accept my condolences, love and prayers on the passing of your Nan. You are a wonderful woman; a joy and kindness in all things. It is ok for you to grieve. It is also ok to get angry at your self posturing; selfish relatives. How unkind of them not to acknowledge your own greif. I would like to tell them what for.
Anyhow, your plan sounds good. You may even want to go back to work sooner so as to keep busy and get your mind on other things.
Hugs and love,

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HOPESINGH 3/4/2012 4:02PM

    It is good to know that you kept by your grandma all the way, and that you guard dear memories from her. Can't say I understand the behaviour of your relatives, not talking to you or not calling you to inform about the funeral. Pretty ugly of them, I think, but that just says a lot about them, not about you. You did what you could, the best way you could.
Please don't succumb to this depression (BTW, have you considered medication? I personally have had good experience). Do what you can to push it away, and congratulate yourself for every little step you take in the right direction.

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POPSY190 3/4/2012 1:53PM

    You will get through this with the support of those who care about you. The others are peripheral and will go their own way regardless of anyone else. It is unfortunate but you can do nothing about this: people change only if THEY want to make the effort to do so. That is what you have to bring yourself to believe. It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea that whatever I did it would not change someone else's attitudes and approach to me. You are feeling a natural grief for the loss of a loved person (even if she did not reciprocate as you would wish, you loved her) and for a relationship that might have been. Your plan for the next few days is a good one, especially re dr and dogs - call on those you can trust to help at this difficult time. Kia Kaha. Xx

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    That is a good plan! I truly think you know yourself very well and you will get back on track. I have to say that the dogs might be more of a help if you let them.

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HEATHERNL 3/4/2012 1:21PM

    I hope that you know that you have friends here always. They don't care if you are fat or thin, they do not judge you on good days or bad, they do not expect perfection. So come here and share like you just did.
It takes a lot of courage to be so honest and open. My thoughts are with you.

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GOANNA2 3/4/2012 12:44PM

    I am so sorry that you are going through a bad time.
The family's behaviour towards you is appalling but at
least you have the memory of remembering your gran
as she was and in your own mind you were the one that
was there for her in the end. That is so admirable.
The depression that comes and goes is like a wave -
that is how it was described to me by my psychologist.
When you go down, then the only way is back up. I totally
understand where you are coming from. Just hang in there-
emoticonand positive thoughts will get you through this.
Your plan sounds wonderful and you can do this. Just vent
away to us here as we all understand. Take care and you will
soon be able to start with baby steps at a time by taking a bit
of time with your beloved dogs. emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 3/4/2012 12:42PM

    All I can say is your family will reap the rewards of their behavior.

Maybe being at work would actually help? Take you out if yourself? No matter what, we are here.

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CODEMAULER 3/4/2012 12:27PM

    Family sucks sometimes; the funerals in my husband's family are some of the lowest examples of human behavior. Granted, my family is far from perfect, but at least they know how to conduct themselves in the public eye.

Keep your memories and experiences with Nan (good, bad and otherwise) close, as no one can take those away from you. This is what defines your relationship. Everyone else can take a flying leap off someplace high.

Talk to your dogs, too. They'll appreciate the attention and you know you'll feel better.


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JOANNANOW 3/4/2012 11:30AM

    Your plan for the next week seems wise. I think I told you this before but I will tell it again. When I was 17 my therapist wrote me a letter (he moved to the USA) in it he said "We live between islets of perfection". That stayed with me for the rest of my life. In the dark times when life was flat and meaningless that statement was there in my mind. I say" oh yes ... this is a between time". Working through those times becomes the work of a lifetime. Sometimes after a crisis there is a low period when you rise to meet a crisis like you did for your grandmother the sense of purpose and focus is crystal clear. It seems natural for things to collapse when the need has been met and the crisis recedes.
Oh boy I go on and on ... I hope you are feeling whole again soon. Give those pups an extra tickle from me. Sending hugs I know pretty soon you will romping with the dogs because you have a good plan and good habits that will prevail.
Sending hugs emoticon

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Lots of questions but I don't expect answers!

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?! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMIN2GENES 3/6/2012 9:45AM

    Hang in there my friend! Take care of both of you. It's all about finding some balance. I'm glad the nurses convinced you to take a break. Sounds like you really needed it. Watching a family member fall ill is never easy. My prayers are with you both!

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GOANNA2 2/29/2012 12:35PM


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BOVEY63 2/27/2012 1:29PM

    You really do need to take care of yourself an trust that the nurses will call you. I know this is easier said than done and I would most likely do the same if I were in your shoes; and would need you to tell me to take care of me.

Prayers and hugs for you and your Nan.

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Q8PRINCESS 2/27/2012 1:02AM


Just thought `i'd nagged but it is true. My MIL was taking care of her mother and she ended up in the hospital because she stretched herself too far.

so take care of yourself FIRST


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BETHJRN 2/26/2012 5:19PM

    Susan, pleaase take care of yourself. I'm sorry your grandmother is in such a state, but she truly is not your responsibility. While it's good of you to visit her so much, she certainly doesn't seem to appreciate it. I know that's not why your doing it, but you are causing yourself so much stress and pain. I'm not saying you should stop visiting, but perhaps you could keep them short. (Personally, I'd probably cut out after the first insult and tell her I'd had more that enough of her rude behavior, thank you very much!)

I understand that you don't want her to die alone, and that is admirable. However, you must realize that she is alone because of her own bitterness, and sadly enough, she will probably die alone even if you are right by her side.

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HOPESINGH 2/26/2012 6:20AM

    I think Linda is right - try not to run yourself down. It's painful to read how much you can forget yourself right now. Try to do just one small thing for yourself, like bring one apple or take a short nap when at the hospital.
Your situation is understandable, just be a little nicer to yourself - you deserve it. emoticon

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POPSY190 2/26/2012 2:08AM

    I agree with JLITT62. Sad though it is, your time and care are unlikely to change things. Try to think of what you HAVE done and given rather than what you think would be total perfection. You can't do the latter, no-one could. emoticon

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_LINDA 2/26/2012 1:01AM

    The mental and emotional stress of being there for your Nan is really pushing you over the edge. You have a wonderful, sweet heart of gold that is being slowly broken :(( Those horrible migraines are the warning signs and the nurses are seeing it. It is hard to think of yourself at a time like this, but you must try so you don't run yourself down and get sick. Do that and you won't be able to be there for her :((
Please try your best to take care of yourself. We are all concerned for you..
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LIBBYFITZ 2/26/2012 12:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 2/25/2012 11:42PM

    This is a crazy stressful time & you can only do what you can do. I understand what it's like to know that making healthy choices will make you feel better... but still choose otherwise. We're only human. Just do the best you can for yourself, ok? Hugs to you.

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JOANNANOW 2/25/2012 9:56PM

    Hearing you say that you can't focus on yourself is like listening to me right now! Strange that we are both in that same space this last couple of months. Having said that I don't really have anything to say that would help since I can't seem to help myself either. All I really know is that this too shall pass and we will be back on track when our crisis situations normalize.
You are doing such a difficult thing. End of life care is the hardest thing I have ever done and I remember that there is nothing that could stop me or deter me in any way. I had to be there and that's all there was to it.
My heart is with you Susan. Be good to yourself try to rest and eat properly. Sending hugs and love to you

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MAGGIE101857 2/25/2012 8:37PM

    It's so hard to do it all - you are both mentally and physically exhausted. When my Mom was in her final weeks, my sister and I spent nights drinking wine, eating licorice, Riesen's and those candies with the sugary center..I can't think what they are called. I gained weight, needless to say, but....in retrospect, it was just where I needed to be at that time. You will get back on track, so if I could give you any advice, just take a moment to write down your thoughts as you go through this difficult time. Sending you prayers....and lots of emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEATHERNL 2/25/2012 7:19PM

    You already know what you need to do. Take better care of yourself AND be nicer to yourself.
Let yourself off the hook girl! No one is perfect. I have met a few people who were close to perfect and they annoyed the heck out of me!!!
Take care of yourself my friend and WONDERFUL Sparker!

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CHUBRUB3 2/25/2012 7:14PM

    Hugs Susan.
You are taking on a huge role, that of guardian; granddaughter most loyal; companion; nurse; and occaionally the scapegoat (because your there and easily hurt).
No wonder you are getting migraines. No wonder you are letting yourself slip in the caring of self.
It is ok Susan to take a break. I know you know this and if something were to happen when you were not there, know that that may be God's way of showing you a kindness.
I hope you don't take this the wrong way, i am only showing my concern for you dear friend.
Hugs and love,

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JLITT62 2/25/2012 6:17PM

    I think you are thinking that if you do everything "right", then she will change her mind & love you. I think you know this; you're a smart person. I think you also know it's highly unlikely to happen.

You really do need to take care of yourself. You will never regret the time you spent with your Nan, but that doesn't mean you can't take a break & go for a walk. And Lou & Maddy need you, too, of course.

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SHEILA-45 2/25/2012 6:13PM

    It will all work out. Do what you can to take care of yourself and Nan. emoticon Try to find some balance

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No title - a blog from my gut

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 2/29/2012 12:27PM

    You are such a good person. It is too bad your grandmother
doesn't see it. I am so happy that you have met some family
now that genuinely cares. I hope you get to visit. emoticon

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SPARKLISE 2/25/2012 10:24AM

    I wanted my children to have red hair!
My daughter has a tint of red in her blond hair but keeps on coloring it to hide it. Shame.
I guess your goodness is paying off(by finding some family).
We do what we do even if other people don't understand. Doing what is right for you will help you have no regrets when she's gone.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 2/22/2012 8:12PM

    You are beautiful inside and out my friend! Don't let anyone tell you anything different and DON'T let yourself believe that you aren't. I think it's amazing that you care enough to keep visiting at all. I'm not so sure I would have the strength to keep going.

I'm so glad you found some wonderful relatives! That is awesome!

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YIWEN39 2/22/2012 8:08PM

    Susan, how great for you that have met new relatives!!! Ones that are ready to accept you and welcome you and want to know you! What a blessing, coming out of difficult circumstances :-) I'm happy for you.
And sorry too, that your Nan is so hard on you. As the other Sparkies said, it reflects on her, not on you. You are a great person, Susan, and you are proving that everyday!
Take care! emoticon

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LUVMYCRAZYKIDS 2/22/2012 11:43AM

    Let me begin by saying you are beautiful! Red hair is not common and you should feel lucky to be different!! I think it makes you stand out in a GREAT way! You are a wonderful person to be standing by your grandmother's side as she is in her dying days. I send prayers your way that you and she may be at peace once day. God Bless!

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    Susan, I just do not have time to post all that I'd like to say, and that is so frustrating! I have such a similar situation, and I understand your pain! I just want to get in my Jetson's spaceship and go see my dear Newfie friend and bombard you with hugs! Love you, Susan! Lori emoticon emoticon

oh... and POO on that old bitty! emoticon

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LIBBYG7 2/21/2012 7:18PM

    Oh Susan.....
I agree with those who say you should stand up for yourself and tell Nan how you feel about her insults and slights. That doesn't mean you have to stop seeing her....but do it on your terms. No-one can wipe the floor with another human being, and get away with it!!

Coming from a dysfunctional family - I, all too well, recognize the signs and signals in a play for power. Don't fall for it. Stand up for yourself.

BTW....There were only two redheads in my very large extended family - my dad (red hair and freckles) and one of his many nieces (my first cousin). I've always wished I'd inherited my dad's coloring - I LOVE redheads!!! They are rare - as you are.

Big hugs.
Libby emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 2/21/2012 6:04PM

    I see you've already gotten wonderful advice so I won't add to it. But I do want to say that I LOVE red hair and always wished to have it myself! My DD had a reddish tint to her blond when she was a baby and I was sad that she outgrew it. I hope you have lots of fun with your new-found family members...they sound delightful!

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SANDEEB7 2/21/2012 9:44AM

    Susan...now YOU need to start believing that you are beautiful and special. Hold your head up high girl, and just continue to be the lovely person you are!! Good has come from difficulty. Glad you found your family! :D

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TEMPEST272002 2/21/2012 9:25AM

    I feel sorry for your grandmother. To be blinded to your beauty, to cut herself off from the opportunity to truly know you, to be so hard at the end of her life. So very sad. I agree with another poster - those things she says, they have nothing to do with *you* and everything to do with her & people she may have been jealous of or disliked in the past.
I'm glad you were given this gift of getting to know more of your family. I hope you take them up on their offer to visit. BTW, ever since I read Anne of Green Gables at 9 years old I have been sooooo jealous of people with red hair.

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HOPEFULANGE 2/21/2012 6:48AM

    So glad to hear you've found your family! emoticon

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CHLOE453 2/20/2012 9:10PM

    emoticonOh dearest Susan...YOU are a beautiful person inside and out!! I am so proud to call you my friend. emoticon

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KAYDE53 2/20/2012 6:33PM

    Perhaps your Nan had problems at one time with your grandfather or her sister, but who knows, and then again, perhaps she's just cantankerous! I had a grandma who made harsh comments like this & played favorites too. I finally figured out she was the one with the problem, not me. It's sad, but some people are just that way. I loved her because she was my grandma, but I didn't really like her that well. I did feel sorry for her.

Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 6:34:17 PM

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GEORGIAK25 2/20/2012 2:55PM

    You know Susan I think your grnadmother may have been jealous of your beauty. I also think that she really preferred the booys in her family to you. Do not take it to heart. You are you and a wonderful person you are too. How apt that fate should put them in the same room. Enjoy this wonderful side of the family.
Be yourself, visit for your conscious sake and let grandma be grandma. Too late at this age to change her personality. I had a similar experience with my father. The sun shone out of my brothers .....you know whats yet I was the one who took him to drs, appts, and i worked full time. Still my conscious is clear.

You are a wonderful person and that is why you visit all the time. Blessing to you.

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    Susan, my darling Susan. You are the sweetest soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. You have got to be one of the kindest people that I have ever come across and no matter you hair color, your skin color or what side of the family you came from or who you turn after you are her sons daughter no matter if she like it or not. It does not mean a roll of beans if she appreciates all that you do or not because it is you, yourself, that you have to answer to at the end of the day and when you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel good about the choices you have made then you can sleep good at the end of the day. I tell my mom all the time when she talks about "having" to go visit her 99 year old mother.....you can't do it for them, you do it for yourself. God Bless you Susan for being so kind to someone who has not been so kind to you.
emoticon emoticon

oh, and for the record, I happen to love your red hair....just saying


Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 2:33:28 PM

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GRAMLORI 2/20/2012 12:44PM

    Ohhhh, the hurts we hold inside and never tell anyone about...and what a blessing to come out of these difficult visits that you have been doing for this season in your life! I'll echo what everyone else thinks....your hair is gorgeous!! I have two redheads....one homegrown and one readymade (to be adopted!)....the first one, I swear, was because his father once said, "I'll never have a red-headed kid!!" LOL

More importantly, Susan, you are beautiful on the inside, where it counts.

Hugs to you, my friend!

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POPSY190 2/20/2012 12:41PM

    Your Nan obviously is very controlling and loves the power being so unpleasant brings. So she is being kept happy by your long visits. But can you sustain the appalling cost to yourself by continuing this for any length of time? Perhaps you should start to curtail the duration of your visits. We tend to think that everyone feels as we do, but I was with my mother when she died and I don't think she cared whether I was there or not. She had a difficult personality too and I still, at 66, sometimes struggle with the damage done to my self confidence.
Like you, I was kept from my mother's only sister and her family. I have recently contacted my 2 cousins and photographs of Lynne are like looking at a slightly different version of myself! For an only child this is a strange, but lovely, experience. I have also found and met an elderly cousin of my mother who had also been eliminated from her life. He was welcoming and I immediately felt at home with his family. I'm sure you will enjoy your "new" family. So that is something very positive to come out of all this.
That connection with the past and your inheritance from Louisa is priceless; it reinforces your true nature to be identified by others with someone who was so loved - I suspect that is the source of your Nan's bitterness: jealousy of two people who had/have all the thoughtfulness, compassion and generosity of spirit that she lacks.
Love and best wishes from another blue-eyed redhead (alas, no more!).

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_LINDA 2/20/2012 12:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are a special soul. That is wonderful of you to put up with the abuse to make sure your Nan doesn't die alone. I know all too well the stigma of being a red head, that was one of the many reasons the kids chose to bully me in school, or at least gave them more than one option of what name to call me on any given day.
I am so glad you met the side of the family that can really appreciate you and what a wonderful contact! That will be so interesting to see how much you resemble your Aunt Louisa!
I am almost happy I don't have many relatives. Only ever knew my Mom's Mom and she was a sweetie (Mom was an only child). The grandfathers died before we were born and all my dad's relatives live in Germany, both his parents dead.
Try everything in your power not to let Nan upset you. They win that way. She is just an over grown bully.
My thoughts are with you..

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MELAINAMM 2/20/2012 12:21PM

    What a beautiful gift it can be to be RECOGNIZED!

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CHUBRUB3 2/20/2012 12:09PM

    Hugs Susan.
Words from our loved ones can be very hurtful.
Know that you are a beautful, kind woman inside and out.
You are a special wonderful friend and GD.
It is wonderful to know you are a gift and now have found people who also think so.

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BOVEY63 2/20/2012 12:00PM

    That is an amazing gift and a well deserved one for all the giving you do.

As a child I didn't know a lot of my paternal grandmother's family. Toward the end of her life we learned this was due to the fact that she was the result of an affair between her mother and a married man, and was adopted by an aunt and uncle. She didn't want us to know her secret. We have now met relatives we never knew (some living within 40 miles) and it has been wonderful. Enjoy getting to know yours.
By the way, I love redheads and changed mine to red when I needed to jump-start my life a few years ago!

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DOTMUL 2/20/2012 11:53AM

    Hi Susan, First of all, what good fortune to be blessed with red hair and blue eyes. What a beautiful person you are!! Both inside and outside!! I recognize your Nan..... My mother was b3@#hy and feisty. How many times she hurt are uncountable, but I realized very late in life that it was this side of her that kept her going to live independently until her 94th year. For some people, it is how they survive. Doesn't make it right or easier to bear, but it's their way to survive.
How fortunate you are and how appropriate to meet your Poppy's relatives there in the hospital and how nice to receive their approbation for your beautiful red hair and blue eyes and your resemblance to Poppy's beloved sister Aunt Lousa.
Just keep doing what your are doing, visiting and keeping Nan company and biting your tongue after her hurtful words. Isn't it possible that somewhere along the line, she was very jealous of Louisa's beautiful hair and eyes, and felt she fell short in looks and therefore was jealous of Louisa. Who knows??

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JLITT62 2/20/2012 11:41AM

    A big hug for such emotional turmoil. You really are just the sweetest person & I think red hair is beautiful - when I was still coloring my hair it was always a reddish brunette.

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HEALTHYBARB1 2/20/2012 11:41AM

    Thanks for sharing this life event...it always amazes me how one event can change our whole perspective. I love redheads and have always thought red hair was beautiful. Some times dealing with difficult people in our lives...especially in our own family is the most trying and having a servants heart and willingness to love them when they are being unloving to us our greatest challenge. I enjoyed you sharing the gift God gave you in sending a family member who could tell you who you really look like and give you a new perspective. Made me smile and reminded me to look each day for those unexpected gifts that happen just because God loves us. Your Nan's attitude about red hair will not be the one you will keep forever now but you will see your hair through the eyes of others who loved your look a like Great Aunt and want to share her story with you...hope you can find joy in learning more about her. Loving your Nan with unconditional love though challenging has brought you a blessing and that is pretty amazing!!! Take care. Hugs Barb

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JOANNANOW 2/20/2012 10:27AM

    Hi Susan with the beautiful hair. Your grandmother sounds like a real handful! You are so sweet to tolerate all that nonsense. You never know what's going to happen... to find a new branch of the family during such trying times seems so unlikely! It sounds like your kindness to your Nan has been rewarded in some way. Life is full of mysterious turns in the path.
Take a deep breath and remember to take a little time for you. Even a 10 minute walk can help keep you healthy and focused. Baby steps. Your caring and compassion are a great blessing for your grandmother and to all of us that you share it with. emoticon

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HOPESINGH 2/20/2012 9:37AM

    I think I partly understand how you feel about visiting your Nan. You feel it's your obligation, it's the right thing to do, and you are willing to take the pain and hurt it comes with. You know what, maybe you are doing the right thing. Leaving someone to spend her last days alone is not going to educate her now. It reminds me of the Hindu idea of Dharma - which is a word not only for religion but also for your duties, for what-you-have-to-do. It is not your responsibility if it succeeds or not, you just have to do it.
And I'm happy for you that you got something in return - relatives who somehow put you back to your place in the puzzle.
I was born with deep red hair but it turned dark blond after 1-2 years. Wish I still had it!

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HEATHERNL 2/20/2012 9:33AM

    I am so glad that you got such a gift yesterday! you deserve it so dearly.
Your Nan is one very lucky woman that you have stood by her all these years despite her completely b**chy attitude that you DO NOT DESERVE!
I really hope you do make that trip this summer and go find where your roots came from. Family roots and red head roots.
Being a redhead myself, I'll tell you first hand that your hair is GORGEOUS and anyone that tells you differently is not worth listening to. Love who you are my friend.

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NIKIBOBIKI 2/20/2012 9:32AM

    I have read your other blogs, I know she is sick. But, you really should get it off your chest. Maybe her feisty personality is actually looking for a bit of a fight? A bit of a debate? She might like it! I know a little lady at my Nan's home who loves a good argument. Makes her feel alive I think.

Good luck with it. Sorry for getting so up in arms in my other post. I have an old boyfriend who's nan was the SAME WAY. And it exhausted the whole family.

All the best emoticon

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Q8PRINCESS 2/20/2012 9:27AM

    FIrst I LOVE RED HAIR and am totally jealous of yours!

Too bad for you Nan is like that, she probably lost out of a lot of fun with you. She's poorer for it. People with that kind of bitterness lose out on so much of life.

You must realize that you are not "bad" but really great to still go back with love in your heart to see her. Remember that you first must look after yourself before your Nan, so take time for yourself! (Lots of nagging here)

The silver lining is that you meet some new relatives, like Aunt Louie's daughter. Should be a great summer getting to know her and find out about that side of the family. Maybe they have a photo of the Grandma you look like.


Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 9:30:46 AM

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NIKIBOBIKI 2/20/2012 9:26AM

    I'm sorry, but why don't you just talk back to your nan? Tell her like it is? You don't deserve to be treated like that.

There is no reason that anyone, dying or not, should be allowed to just be a hateful person and get away with it. NO reason. Have you ever told her "You have hated me your entire life and certainly let me know it. Yet here I am, still here for you. That means that I AM THE BETTER PERSON, and you will face your judgment in due time".

Seriously. Don't do this to yourself. Just don't. Family or not, elderly or not, if someone has been horrid to you their whole life, they do NOT deserve your kindness. Where are her "favorites", why aren't they there with her every day? Next time she comments on your red hair, tell her that everyone else in your life LOVES your hair, and that's all that matters. Tell her, you don't care that she hates your hair, it's not hers to hate. See how she looks at you then.

I think you NEED to take a stand. You father would understand. He knew her too. I doubt he would blame you for not subjecting yourself to any more cruelty. This is draining you emotionally, and damaging your spirit. If she doesn't learn her lesson now, then what was the point of her life? she will die never knowing that she could have been a better person.

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Am I being a jerk? Please read and "weigh" in - a genuine rant!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


As most of you know by now my Grandmother was hospitalized last Thursday so my life is rather in a turmoil of emotions right now. It seems like my cousin and I are doing all of the visiting while other cousins and my uncle (her son) don't think it is "required" of them. They popped in over the weekend and that was it.

Yesterday I send them a message asking if one of them could try to visit Nan on Thursday as both my cousin and I will be busy. Lisa is busy with all day meetings and lives out of town and has to rely on somebody else to bring her to and from work the next few days due to car trouble. Both of our dogs are having dentals done tomorrow which means full sedation. I want to be home with them for a few hours while they "come to their senses" as they are prone to being sick afterwards. I also said I could do the visiting in the evening and have taken Friday off so I can do the visiting then.

I got a reply back this morning saying I was insulting them and because I have no children I should be the one doing all of the visiting. Huh? I thought we were visiting for Nan's enjoyment and not for "brownie points". I know everybody is not the same and we all tend to deal with things differently but the same cousin and his wife who are saying this are the ones who always said if Nan could go live with them when she got "old".

Yesterday I spent over five hours with her and didn't get home to eat until almost 8 o'clock. This was after having one coffee and a bagel all day. I'm getting tired so tonight I am not visiting Nan as much as it will hurt me. Has anybody else gone through this with their families? Am I being an idiot here? My brother is thinking about flying home from Australia to spend some time with Nan while the others can't bother to show up for a brief visit?! AAAARRRGGGHHHHH

If you have read this far, thank you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHJRN 2/26/2012 4:56PM

    Seems like in every family one person --- almost always a woman --- gets the job of official care-giver. Mind you, she doesn't volunteer for the position, but since she is willing to do it, no one else bothers. And they always have such marvelous excuses why they can't be inconvenienced. You are not being unreasonable to want someone else to pick up a little of the responsibility.

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YIWEN39 2/22/2012 8:01PM

    Hi Susan, I'm so sorry to read you're having to go through this. As for families... I guess it happens, unfortunately. You're doing the right thing, and certainly not being "stupid" about anything! Your Nan is lucky to have you. Don't forget to look after yourself as well!
Sending hugs and warm wishes your way Susan emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NIKIBOBIKI 2/20/2012 9:30AM

    This is pretty typical of families unfortunately :( My mother was left to care for both of her parents in their last years. The siblings never came out of the woodwork until they had passed away and the "will" was to be read.

Take care of yourself as well. Don't sacrifice too much of yourself at this time. It won't do anyone any good. emoticon

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SANDEEB7 2/19/2012 11:35PM

    Mmm, family are just the pits sometimes!! Hang in there...don't expect anything from them...it will set you free. Just know that what YOU do is valuable - your Nan knows when you're there. It's their loss, quite frankly! They will be poorer people for their attitude. One actually has to feel sorry for them. Take heart Susan. You're special, and it's your special nature that makes you a lovely person. Don't let go of that. Also, don't let small-minded people rob you of peace within. That's how the devil wins. Be smarter! Let it go....

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HOPESINGH 2/18/2012 12:37PM

    I haven't been in your situation, but my husband and some friends of mine definitely were there. It's a very common excuse - "you don't have kids". I really hate it because I know very well that people who don't have kids still have a LIFE (I have no kids myself, at least not yet). Don't they WANT to see their nana?
Well, I'm basically on your side, I'd get really mad. So I'm not sure it helps, but that's how I feel.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMLORI 2/18/2012 10:57AM

    I wish I could give you a hug. Your family are the ones who are idiots. Oh, how I wish that people could see the results of their actions....or, rather, their inactions...all I can say is that you will never regret your time with your Nan, and she knows who has been there. Little comfort, and you have every right to be upset. Blow off steam here any time you need to, but, please....take snacks for yourself! That's not the way to lose weight...and stress can put it on whether you eat or not! Your nan....your family....is blessed to have you. Some of them know it.
Hugs to you, my friend...

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JOANNANOW 2/17/2012 2:02PM

    Your nan is so fortunate to have you Susan. I live so far away from my family that I don't have any experience with those kind of problems. I hope you take care of yourself and don't get too tired. I do remember that when my parents were ill and hospitalized it was exhausting and since I was an only child most of it fell to me... although 2 of my cousins definitely qualified for halos during that period.
Thinking of you and your nan. Sending love, emoticon

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CRYSTALLD 2/17/2012 8:30AM

    truely heartbreaking darling. You are certainly not being unreasonable...so sad that people often show their worst sides in times of crisis! Know that I am thinking of you!

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DOTMUL 2/16/2012 10:40PM

    As several have said, situations like this bring out the best and the worst in various family members. We don't get to choose our family and so must accept the clods with the angels. Some will help, some will talk a good game, some will agonize over why they can't help, you know all the excuses.
The TurtleBear said it best:
"It's always sad how stuff like this tends to bring out the worst in families instead of the best. You know when you go to sleep at night that you are your Nan's angel. All they wll feel is guilt."
Don't worry about anyone else, just do what you can do, and take time to take care of your lovely dogs, and yourself.
God bless....

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WALKZWDOGZ 2/16/2012 4:12AM

    Good grief. No, you're not being unreasonable. But I wouldn't get my hopes up on the others discovering sensitiviy or a conscience. I swear about every family has some members who "do the right thing" because they care and others who...well...dial it in, if they do anything at all. (Been there.) If that's their attitude, it may be just as well if they don't visit. You & your Nan need love & positive peaceful energy at this difficult time. Sending prayers & hugs. emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 2/16/2012 3:47AM

    I would hope that I could concentrate on myself, my faith, and my relationship with my grandmother. I would continue to try to love her as best I could. Theres not much I can do if other family members prefer to be a clod, except to pray for them and hope their heart changes in the name of love for your grandmother. I suspect that if people sense an antagonistic attitude, they will often come back (reactively) in a defensive manner. If youre able to ask for others to come to her aid -- with true kindness in your heart -- then so be it. I do not have the power to change people, however, God can. I would try to forgive them and move on.

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KAYDE53 2/15/2012 11:38PM

    I agree that a situation like this always brings out the true colors of the relatives. There will be the ones who help a lot, some a little, some not at all. You can only do what you can and that's all. It will be on their conscience, as it should. If they truly loved her like they should, they would go! emoticon

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GLORYANDME 2/15/2012 9:36PM

    You can only do what you can do. Don't worry about what other people are doing or not doing. Your visits are a blessing to Nan and I am sure she is so appreciative every time you and your cousin visit. Hope the pups recover nicely from their dentals! God bless you! emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 2/15/2012 9:15PM

    It's always sad how stuff like this tends to bring out the worst in families instead of the best. You know when you go to sleep at night that you are your Nan's angel. All they wll feel is guilt.

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SPARKLISE 2/15/2012 8:58PM

    When my husbands stepdad was dying last year,I was the only one visiting him and I was alone with him when he died.
It's tough,but you can't make people be compassionate.
You do what you can and be peaceful with that.
emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 2/15/2012 8:13PM

    Unfortunately, we don't get to choose who our relatives are.
I second what Heather said. Ignore them, its you that is important. Stressing over them gets you exactly nowhere. Your precious Nan will understand you have a life and is no doubtful grateful for all the time you ARE spending with her. I can bet you dollars to donuts, its a LOT more time then most people give their ailing, elderly relatives. All too often, when I was visiting my grandmother in a home, there were plenty of people not getting visitors, not even on weekends :(
Take care of yourself, you don't need any more stress.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Susan, I'm running to work so have no time for a good answer of my own, but I agree with our friend, CHUBRUB3, completely! Hang in there, my friend! emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/15/2012 1:57PM

    You have the right to be frustrated and upset at them.

I remember when my grandmother was still alive and my cousins from out of town would visit their other grandmother (4 blocks away) and not stop to see ours. She knew of this and it always hurt her so much. It angered me to see her so hurt. After she passed away I realized they had also hurt themselves because they never really got to know the amazing woman our grandmother was. As we were going through her things, my sister and I would make comments like "this was her favorite winter hat" or "she always loved this necklace' and still today hear ourselves saying something that is "so Grandma." My cousins will never know these moments and it is their loss. She passed away in 1995 and every day I know she is still with me.

You and your Nan are blessed to have each other and you will carry her with you always.

Prayers and positive thoughts for both of you.

Comment edited on: 2/15/2012 1:57:59 PM

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POPSY190 2/15/2012 1:32PM

    I agree with Heather. And you must look after yourself. People react in different ways to a crisis, especially when they involve hospitals and loss. Your request should not be labelled an insult and your childlessness and other personal factors have nothing to do with it. The extreme language makes me feel that this cousin and his family are not coping and lash out at what they perceive an a demand on them. Whatever the reason for their attitude it is their problem. Your Nan is very fortunate to have Lisa, your bother and you. But I suspect she'd be the first to say you must put yourself first at times.

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Q8PRINCESS 2/15/2012 12:54PM

    Yeah right, having children does NOT give you veto power from visiting. Sounds like they just don't want to.

Anyway, it doesn't matter. You are only in charge of you. YOU MUST take breaks and look after yourself as well. If you need to spend time doing something else then do it and don't feel guilty. When you go back to see her, you will feel much more refreshed and able to enjoy the time with her.

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KANSASROSE67 2/15/2012 12:42PM

    Agree with what others have said. You are doing all that you can do, which is a wonderful blessing to your Nan. The others will have to deal with their own selfishness, and perhaps, guilt, but you are not responsible for their bad behavior.

Thoughts and prayers.

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JLITT62 2/15/2012 12:28PM

    They're th idiots, not you! Seriously.

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HEATHERNL 2/15/2012 9:35AM

    My therapist recently taught me a valuable skill. Like you, I always felt bothered when people did or did not do what I felt they should. It bothered am A LOT.
Here is what my therapist taught me.
I need to stop personalizing things.
The only person whom I can count on or control what happens with is myself so I need to let what others do or say be their responsibility.
There are times when other people are just jerks. They can be insensitive, thoughtless, complete arseholes... but it has NOTHING to do with you.
The lesson I took from it is that I need to leave what others do in their court and not bring it in to mine.
Do what you can and what you want to do with/for your Nan. She is so blessed to have you. If you can't make it on Thursday then you just need to tell her that and then let it go. No need to feel badly.
Your Nan knows how much you love her. That is really all that matters right?

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CHUBRUB3 2/15/2012 9:15AM

    Dear Susan,
Unfortunately times of stress like this, brings out the worst (& the best) in families.
Your cousin had no right to say your request for his/her help with a little visit to Nan when you couldn't be there was insulting. If anything that is the insult.
But however selfish they are being, others will see it too and remember it.
They will also see your unselfishness and love for your Grandmother.
Hugs and strength to you for this difficult time.
Love to your Nan.

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CODEMAULER 2/15/2012 9:07AM

    Family never fits into a good definition, and stressful situations often bring out the worst in others. The folks that aren't visiting may be filled with regret later, and you may never even know that.

Live your life and do what YOU feel is right. It's not something that you can prescribe for others. It may be best to be prepared for disappointment, and realize that you cannot control how others respond.

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MAGGIE101857 2/15/2012 8:54AM

    Reading it and hearing you loud and clear!! They are definitely the ones who are out of line...unfortunately, it is true in every family. I gave up my job to help care for my Mom and then my siblings (who didn't do much of anything but complain) treated me like I was the "bad child". It was surreal.....I guess it still hurts after all these years! But I would do it all over again....and I'm sure you feel the same way. Take a day for yourself, let the nursing staff know that you can't be there for one day, and don't feel guilty. You deserve it! emoticon

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Going to the bright white light....a funny story about Nan

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 2/29/2012 12:30PM


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CRYSTALLD 2/17/2012 8:26AM

    she sounds like an amazing woman:) much like her grand daughter for sure! Stay strong! xo

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BRIGHTPENNY 2/14/2012 9:04PM

    i love the spirit in your grandmother, what a nice picture you paint with your wordsSusan! emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/13/2012 5:01PM

    I can tell now where you got your wonderful sense of humor from.
You definitely deserve your "me time" after all that you have done.
My grandmother was a hoarder too but fortunately not with food. I remember we had to go through everything because you never knew where she hid something (found important papers in a box of old newspaper).

Lots of hugs coming your way!

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GRAMLORI 2/13/2012 3:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love ya,

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KANSASROSE67 2/13/2012 1:51PM

    I LOVE the bright, white light...how wonderful to be so witty and fun even at such a time!

Hang in there...you are a terrific blessing to your Nan.

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GLORYANDME 2/13/2012 12:52PM

    Susan thanks for sharing Nan with us. Love her sense of humor and at 99 to be so witty! God bless her! emoticon

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SANDEEB7 2/13/2012 10:44AM

    Just caught up with you and your nan. :D You're amazing, not to mention her. :D :D Thanks for sharing with us. Wishing you strength as you walk this road. emoticon

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WALKZWDOGZ 2/13/2012 8:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
What an incredible lady & sense of humor. I think I love your Grandmother! Prayers & hugs to both of you!

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MILLIE5522 2/13/2012 5:04AM

    What a lovely sense of humour your Nan has.....I'm sure that is why she has got to 99. emoticon

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Q8PRINCESS 2/13/2012 2:07AM


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CALGARYNEWF 2/13/2012 1:37AM

    Wow! Your Grnadmother is awesome Susan! Clearly, the apple didn't fall far from the tree! emoticon

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JOANNANOW 2/13/2012 12:08AM

    Oh Susan the end of life is such a difficult time. You and your Nan are amazing..... the humour in what you wrote here is wonderful. Take good care of yourself. emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 2/12/2012 9:17PM

    What a jewel you've had bless your life over and over again. Kittens! . . . Bright white light! . . . Such great humor!

Why else to you think all these storage lockers are big, big business today . . . way too many of us have become hoarders of one sort or another. Thanks for taking the time to share with your Spark family. Hug, hug!

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HEATHERNL 2/12/2012 9:15PM

    What a doll! I hope you will continue to find time for yourself and also see that great Nan of yours! Thinking of you all!!!

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    Oh, Susan! She sounds like such a spit-fire! What a funny thing for her to say! I enjoyed reading your blog, even though it was sad! Thank you for sharing your life with your SparkFriends! You are such a great, and wonderful friend! emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 2/12/2012 8:25PM

    How wonderful for you to have such a special relationship with your Grandmother and I'm sure the family appreciates you cleaning things out! Enjoyed reading your blog about her.


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TEMPEST272002 2/12/2012 7:52PM

    What a lovely relationship you have with your grandmother. My grandfather had the same attitude when his time came. He told us all that he had a good life & he was ready to move on. Can't really ask for more than that. Hugs to you as you go through this. Measles & birthing kittens - you guys are hilarious.

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KAYDE53 2/12/2012 7:11PM

    What a joy!! She must be a wonderful lady & you have been blessed to have her in your life for so long!! My prayers are with you!! emoticon

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    God bless you for being there for your nan. Take good care of yourself Susan and I'll be thinking about you.
And thanks so much for sharing your intimate and endearing moments with us. It always makes me smile...well, truth be told it makes me laugh out loud.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CODEMAULER 2/12/2012 6:04PM

    I am sure that litter of kittens will be cute!


Be strong and take care of yourself in light of all that is happening.

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CHUBRUB3 2/12/2012 4:42PM

    I feel your love for your Nan.
Hugs and strength to you both.

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JLITT62 2/12/2012 3:50PM

    I did get a good chuckle out of your story - am glad that you're taking care of yourself. 99 yrs is truly amazing!

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GEORGIAK25 2/12/2012 3:38PM

    Oh what a treasure she is. Prayers to you both.

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HOPESINGH 2/12/2012 2:29PM

    What a charming lady! Worrying about you at such a time! And the story about being in labor with kittens was hilarious. Great imagination.
Don't kill yourself though, this might be a very long story and if your head is already exploding and your eyes are telling you to have some rest, do take it easy. As "easy" as possible, that is.

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_LINDA 2/12/2012 2:26PM

    What a card! You are a true comfort to be there for her. So glad you have support so you don't have to do much except stay with her. Those headaches are a concern, is there nothing you can take for them? Have you been to a Dr. for them? Sounds like a stress induced pain. That hoarding thing -just read another Sparker's blog complete with photos and a video tour of their crazy neighbour who hoarded not only in the house but a whole yard full of junk. Good thing she had only a room and not a whole house!!
Thoughts are with you and your grandmother -at least you can be there at the end with her and say your goodbyes..
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 2/12/2012 1:29PM

    What a feisty lady! What a boon to be like her in so many ways. (not the clutter emoticon) . My thoughts are with the pair of you. Loved the ceiling light tale.

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