Saturday, December 8, 2012

We'll miss her...

Mrs F got the call this morning, and has left to join her mom's family to mourn the passing of her grandmother, whom you all know so affectionately as The Cougar.

As Mrs F noted, we all as a family had a close relationship with her grandmother, as she was the only person of that generation living close by. We spent time with her often at her home here and during summers at the family cottage, and those two places were the setting of so many family events. To our girls, Mame (as she was known to one and all in real life) WAS who they thought of as a grandparent, since their true grandparents are younger. Kid is especially hard hit by this, as she and Mame had a special bond.

As this unfortunate and untimely decline has unfolded, Mrs F has come to accept that Mame is at peace with all of this and is now joining her husband and friends and family in the afterlife, and that knowledge has helped Mrs F immensely as we waited for the end to come.

That said, I'm sure she will need and appreciate the support that so many of you have given her during so many times of need in the past. I can't tell you all how much of a relief it is to our whole family to know that she has such an amazing support system here.

Mr F

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Unfortunately I'm Tired

Dear World,

I'm so tired this week.  Dealing with my sister over the last 3 weeks, every moment a crisis with the weight of an actual life on the line was... well... extremely draining.  I hadn't slept through the night, always on call, and was pretty much existing on pure cane sugar.  That crisis while not averted still looms large and painfully constricts my thoughts.  She went back, and it's depressing.  It is literally depressing me, feeling so hopeless.  I have to work every single day not to let the frustration make me grow angry and shut myself off to her.  There is an overwhelming urge to do that.  To throw up all the time and energy and money we put into helping her and slam the door.  It isn't recognized, it won't be recognized, it may never be acknowledged and anger can make you focus on that.  On YOU.  But it wasn't ever done to bring us recognition it was done to show her love and support.  And you can only love and support someone where they are at.  And right now, she is back there.  And I have to keep answering the phone and being open minded and understanding and hoping that in doing so... one day... she'll believe she can have something more from this life.

So that is always simmering.  Sometimes on the back burner, but usually on the front.  Our house is suffering, our diets are suffering, our sleep is suffering, my parenting is suffering... our cats are suffering for crying out loud.  It is so hard to help her when the help is keeping her there.  I feel like I'm on an episode of Intervention and I know I shouldn't "love her to death" but at the same time if I alienate her now there will not be another chance.  Mr F who had so valiantly given of himself is, truthfully, a bit angry and frustrated.  He'd like to move on to other crises... I'm not sure I can move on.  In fact I feel strongly that I can't.  I'm too scared that their good phase is *too good* and am afraid of how it will end... I am constantly waiting for that call.

Meanwhile, my heart is breaking for my grandmother.  She fell ON THE SAME DAY that my sister had the first very big scary fight.  This stuff has been concurrent every step of the way and the one I deemed life threatening and poured all my energy into (every single day) was not the one in danger of dying.  I'm shocked.  So shocked and saddened and overwhelmed by it all.  And, unfortunately, I'm coming into this from a extremely beaten down emotional place.  There was no break to come up for air and I'm feeling pretty depressed, to be perfectly honest.  Life has been rough, and stressful, and disappointing, and literally life & death for a couple of weeks... and it is very hard to sustain that level of stress for an ongoing period of time.  Hard to be so emotionally distracted and still show up for LIFE... making lunches, washing uniforms, checking homework, remembering that it is "Wacky Hair Day", figuring out the ridiculously complicated benefits choices for open enrollment at Mr F's work, and trying to figure out how and when we can decorate for Christmas.

It seems that I'm always waiting for a crisis to end, to finally take a breather, maybe have a year where it is just a *normal* life.  Without a tornado, new job, new school, broken arm, abused sister, and now dying grandmother.  I'm sure I've missed some things.  We have not had a year without at least one major transition (usually several more), or major medical stress in... well... I'm not sure we have since we left NY.... 11.5 years ago!

There are a lot of things I can't control.  But I'm working on recognizing the things that I can.  My sister's situation is legitimately stressful... dealing with her/my family was surprisingly the MOST stressful part... and that is something I could have avoided or truncated and should not have let it takeover.  I need to choose to disengage from stressful people and relationships and let them think what they will, without feeling I need to defend myself all the time.  I'm fairly sure Julie wouldn't defend her actions if she knew that her motives were in the right place.  I need to stop wasting my life on that.  I waste SO MUCH time on that.

So, anyway, if you are a non-toxic person in my life, just know that I'd like to spend more time with you.  I don't mean to ignore you... it 's just that toxic people tend to take up all the room and I haven't had the strength of character to walk away.  You know... "Oh, nice person that genuinely likes me, I'm sorry I can't have a relationship with you, I'm too busy defending my perfectly reasonable life choices to an asshole that hates me".  It's laughable, but also so sad that so much of my life really has been devoted to that.  I am trying to do better.  I'm trying to see a situation for what it is and let it go... to disengage.  A lot of my close relationships have been modeled on a pretty negative one (my father) and being in the struggle all the time to get someone to like me, see me, recognize me is always about that core relationship.  It draws me to people who are guaranteed not to.  I'm knocking down that first domino now and hoping that the rest will tumbled down in quick succession.  I think that I'll breathe easier when I realize that it is much easier to surround yourself with people that REALLY DO LIKE YOU, than to try and convince people that don't that they should.

Mrs F

PS I was really excited about sending out Christmas boxes... not sure if that is feasible or not this year... but keep an eye on the blog.  If I can, I'll give one away.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

And In Other News

My beloved grandmother, The Cougar, is passing away.

She tripped and fell 3 weeks ago.

No one knows why, but she just isn't pulling through.

One thing led to another and things have progressed very quickly.

A woman who was in good health, and her usual spunky attitude, just 4 short weeks ago at Kid's birthday party is now on hospice.

It's been an overwhelming shock and hard to comprehend.

I believe that her strong faith in an afterlife with her husband and parents and friends that have passed on before her is a comfort to her and that she yearns to join them and end her pain and suffering.

We had a close relationship both when I was a child and recently as an adult.

She was an avid blog reader and enjoyed her Cougar fame.

Mr F lived with her for several months when we were stuck in NC selling our house, firmly cementing her crush on him.

Just a month ago she was making us gag and laugh with her  sexually inappropriate comments towards him.

Now we are driving up to say goodbye.

Because she was a young grandmother (only just 82), and a constant larger than life presence at all our family functions and summer vacations, my girls have always considered her their grandmother, not my grandmother.

This is the first death of a loved one they will remember.

Kid is devastated.

Baby is nervously pretending that she doesn't hear us.

I'm trying to get this right.

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