Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The bitching and crabbing continued Monday. I went to get my hair colored and told mom that was what I was doing and she would be bored. Still she wanted to come. Halfway there, after asking where we were going a half dozen times, she said, "Why am I going?". AGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

The social worker from the senior outreach program is going to pick her up next Wednesday and take her to a movie at the Senior Center. She asks about that every day. Today she said that lady called and said she was sick and couldn't pick her up. I know that she didn't call, because she would have called me, not Mom.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I am tired of being bitched at and crabbed at. Even though I know she doesn't know what she's doing, it's still hard on me. She wants to go out for dinner, then when we go out for dinner she complains that it's busy when we pull into the parking lot. She wants to visit the senior center but when we go to see the woman who sent her a note and that woman is not there she complains and crabs at me. I try to take it one day at a time because if I look too far into the future, thinking about a future of this is depressing. Don't get me wrong, there are some good times too. But my life has changed drastically in a little over a year. Sometimes the responsibility is a huge deal. Sometimes I'm grateful for the time I get to spend with mom. Sometimes I am infuriated by the guilt I put on myself. The monotony can get so old. But I know that I'm making a difference in her life. I know she appreciates it, but sometimes she gets so frustrated by everything she is experiencing. Her life is changing, she is dependent on her kid. That's gotta be hard. Especially since the kid she protected all of her life is now trying to take care of her.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This posting on rosie.com from Pat Tillman's brother is too important and poignant. I need to include it here.

From Pat Tillman's Brother

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.
Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.
Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.
Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.
Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.
Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.
Somehow torture is tolerated.
Somehow lying is tolerated.
Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.
Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.
Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.
Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Today I am achy, but Mom gave me a great shoulder massage and I feel better. We have yet to see the sun and it is getting really old. We need sun!

Talked to the social worker at the senior center and she said that Mom might enjoy coming to the center to exercise and they also have a movie afternoon a few times per week. She is going to send Mom some info on this. Mom has again expressed an interest in participating in some of the activities at the day center that we visited. But when I remind her that we visited she clams up. I'm going to try to set up a time for her to spend a few hours there.

Tonight after Mom hung up the phone, she asked how you knew D. I told her that D is your brother and that A is her daughter. She asked me several more times and I told her, gently, the same thing.

I worry about the Trog. He really has a lot of stress in his life and I know that he keeps alot of it inside which is not good. He and I are in similar predicaments.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tears and anger. That's what I came home to today. Being cooped up in a house all day is hard. But I've offered alternatives. It doesn't help that we've had no sunshine for days. It's still upsetting to me. I remember how she treated my dad during his illness. There were times when she was very unsympathetic and she was not very caring. Boy is she lucky she has me. In the last year I've learned patience. Now I need to learn to put myself first and not let her guilt trip me into doing things I'm too tired to do. I need a break.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

William McGuire, CEO of United Healthcare, has been asked to step down for backdating stock options in order to increase their value. He will walk away with billions while hundreds of thousands are uninsured, others were denied coverage for life-saving procedures and healthcare costs skyrocket. The greed of it all is apalling to me, but not at all surprising. Somewhere along the line money became much more important than humanity. And that saddens me. But it doesn't surprise me. We are at the mercy of the so called elite. The richest of the rich, who grow richer by unethical means on the backs of the weaker humans. For every Bill Gates and Warren Buffet there seem to be 5 greedy SOBs who are concerned only with their own monetary gain. Things have got to turn around in this country. Those with the most need to be responsible citizens. Or something's going to happen. The French Revolution....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I learned today that the son of one of my coworkers committed suicide. It makes me sad and angry that this demon that is depression took another victim. May he rest in peace. My thoughts are with his family during this excruciatingly difficult time.
Negative political ads abound on the airwaves in Minnesota. I'm sure the same is true everywhere else. So far, a few candidates seem to be taking the high road. I think I've finally turned my mom into a liberal. Or maybe there has always been one lurking within her, beneath the shadow my Dad's ardent conservatism. And by conservative, I mean conservative like Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower. He would not participate in this new, religious right movement. I for one cannot abide the intolerance, greed and lack of responsibility that the current conservative movement condones. Don't even get me started talking about the Iraq war, Bush's economic policies and his foreign policy. How he ever got elected for a second term is beyond my comprehension. My sister's theory is that he used fear, of a terrorist attack, to garner support. She could be right.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Took Mom to the physical therapist today and she gave her some exercises that we will do together. Then we went to visit the day center and Mom was peeved even though she went in. I'm hoping that she might decide to do it in the winter. Speaking of winter, we've been having snow flurries and it has been bitterly cold here for the last few days. But for the weekend, the forecast is for 50s and sun. We are ready.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I don't know what made me think of this. In the early 90s my dad had a defibrillator implanted but prior to that he was frequently rushed to the hospital with ventricular tachycardia. At least once his heart stopped. My poor mom was at the hospital and she heard them issue a code blue and instinctively she knew it was my dad. Luckily they were able to restart his heart. Of course, my parents never told me about these incidents and my mom only mentioned it after my dad had died. They knew that I would worry and the last thing they wanted me to do was worry. Unfortunately, I've spent the last few years worrying first about my dad and now about my mom. I think that was the most distressing thing for my dad during his illness because he wanted to protect me from everything. I know that my mom worries about me worrying about her now and it upsets her. They were that way about all of their kids, but because I am the youngest they were especially protective.

Today we had our first snow flurries. It started out as a cold, rainy day, then around 10:00 am I looked out the window and saw snow flurries. Well, now we've gotten it out of the way and we can warm up and enjoy a lovely Indian summer. We've had a hard frost too. It's a little early this year, but now that should help with my allergies.

Monday, October 9, 2006

For some reason today was a hard day for me. It's been a little over a year. But the wounds are still fresh and I still don't trust. I can't stand to even see their faces. I know that I am not without blame but I also cannot excuse their behavior and the fact that I have been totally ignored and treated like dirt. I've learned my lesson; don't expect people at work to be your friends. I am all business now and it is basically a job for me, a way to make money for the things that I need in life. I think that today everything just came to a head for me. I know that she doesn't mean it, but Mom makes me feel guilty in the morning when I leave for work and she gets exasperated with me. I know that she is just thinking of a long day of alone-ness that she must face again. But that doesn't make it any easier. I feel guilty about not having enough energy every day to go out for dinner when I all want to do is come home and cuddle with Lily.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Mom is up and down several times a night. She is aware of this so I don't think it is tied to memory loss. Sometimes she cries herself to sleep too.

Her hip does seem better since she's been using the muscle relaxant and Tylenol. Friday we go to physical therapy.

The other day I was thinking about how long it has been since mom's other kids have seen her. She sometimes gets her son confused with her husband now, and her daughter confused with her sister. When we looked through photos the other day this was apparent.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Today we went to the doctor where an X-ray was taken. Luckily no breaks from the fall, but there is basically no padding between the hip bone and the hip and she has arthritis really bad. They prescribed a muscle relaxant and physical therapy. I hope I don't inherit the hip thing. Both Mom and her sister have this problem.

I visited the adult day care center today. It seems like it would be a good place for mom. I'm going to try to get her to go for an hour to see if she likes it.

And I went to the therapist today. She wants me to try to do some things for myself. I will try.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

I'm sure there is a lesson in growing old. Perhaps for me it is to take better care of myself as I watch my mom struggle with memory loss, pain and being overweight. Tonight she fell. We could not get her up. Finally she scooted herself from her bedroom to the den, then was able to get up in one of the chairs by first pulling herself up onto her knees and then moving back into one of the chairs behind her. I've got to hand it to her, she is tenacious and a trooper. I tried to help her but she did most of it on her own. It's now time to buy a walker, whether she wants one or not. She has already said that she needs 'two canes' to walk. Well, a walker will do that. Now I have more to worry about when she doesn't answer the phone.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

It's a good thing that I never had kids. I just cannot deal with petulance. Mom can be so petulant. I need to get her to change her underwear, she smells. But when I tell her she smells she gets mad at me and then I feel guilty. In the morning when I leave for work, she makes me feel guilty for going to work.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Why can't people keep their cats in their houses? Stinky was howling away tonight at a cat that was perched on the egress window well. She gets crazy about other animals in her territory. She probably should have been an only kitty, but she's found her forever home now so I just have to do everything I can to encourage her to get along with Lily. Lily is my baby, she really is like a firstborn child, that's how close we are.

It was an amazing, glorious day today. Sunny and warm. The fall colors are gorgeous. When we crossed the river today, the trees were gorgeous against the blue sky.

This Friday I have an appointment to go to the adult care center. I'm going to go first without Mom to scope it out. She wants to go out to dinner every evening and I try to oblige, but sometimes I'm just too tired. And she tries to help out but doesn't really. I know she feels guilty about that. I feel bad about the pain she is experiencing in her left hip. It is really painful for her.

The Twins have won their division, much to the chagrin of the Tigers. It's too bad. It's still a long road to the World Series.

Meanwhile the world is going crazy; kids are shooting principals, adults are shooting kids. Once again we are reminded that our schools are vulnerable and violent places. Just stop being violent!

Nine Years and Counting

Mom has been gone for a little over nine years. This blog was a huge mechanism for helping me cope with her illness and daily downfall. I...