I know, I'm supposed to be starting the year with an optimistic, upbeat message. While I can't say I'm there, its better than it sounds.
I've been at my mom's house since Dec. 22. I'd hoped to be "home" by now, but it just hasn't worked out that way. There were things I wanted to do here and things she wanted me to do here.... and this morning we acknowledged that its silly for me to go home on Jan. 4 when I plan to come back up for a Jan. 12 memorial service, especially since my sister has told me that she can't give me a ride up here and I'm not sure how hard it'd be to arrange another ride. So, I'll stay, probably until Jan. 13. Sort of makes me want to scream, but I think we'll work it out okay.
My mother is 88 and my step-dad is about 85. My mother lost count of how many people she knew who died during 2012, but she's pretty sure that its between 15 and 20. I've never seen her so rocked by this, but this is by far the worst year she's had so far. At least her sisters, who are 91 and, as of tomorrow, 93 are still with us. I know that losing her sisters will really knock her feet out from under her, so I'm glad we're not dealing with that yet. (that and, y'know, wanting to have them around as long as possible because we all love them... and all that
) My step-dad has lost 2 of his sons (that's half of his children) and his sister in a little over a year.
The more time I spend here the more I have to face what life is like for them now. They're both hard of hearing and forgetful. Neither of them is steady on their feet and they both tire easily. My mother is really very healthy - she's just 88. My step-dad is diabetic and has heart and back problems, and he doesn't do a very good job of taking care of himself. We will all be very surprised, including my mom, if she doesn't outlive him. My mom has been having problems with a knee. One doctor wants to replace it, but she and another doctor agree that anesthesia is a huge risk at her age. We've had good news on that front. They're giving her injections that are supposed to replace the lost cartilage (or at least feel like it), and she has started exercise classes. The plan is to strengthen the muscles around the knee and also work on her balance - all much needed. The best news is that she is enjoying it.
For me, things are much (too much) the same. I've had no research work in about a month. At least I've had a little bit of bookkeeping work for my brother-in-law, which got me through last month and might get me through this month. I have ads in 2 publications that will start within the next couple of months (one Jan/Feb publication and one quarterly publication, so not sure just when we'll see them), courtesy of a friend who gave me a badly needed and unsolicited business loan. I hope that'll help, as I really need more work. The good news, so far, is that my mom has offered to help with rent for the first few months, so once my income starts coming up I will be able to move to a better location sooner than I would be able to otherwise. One of my sisters has offered to cosign a lease for the first year, but she's already helped me a lot financially and can't help much more, so I have to get at least partway there myself. Where I've been living in southern MD is just too far away from... anywhere... to be a long-term solution. I can't get temp work from there to supplement the research and the bookkeeping, so I've been stuck in a catch-22 for months now. Now if I can just manage to shove the door open a little, things should start to fall into place to make things much better.
So, we're all dealing with ongoing issues, but we are pretty much upbeat and optimistic.... not really a bad way to start a new year.