Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Topical Tuesday: My Year

I stumbled across Topical Tuesday while I was browsing some MeMes and thought it looked like a good one to bring to this blog.

The current Topical Tuesday topic is "My Year", it is a competition challenge they have going and while I can't say I have had a very good year, I have ... well, I believe the Chinese curse people by hoping they live in interesting times - don't they? So... my year. What can be said about my year?

It started out in a haze. I was still more than a bit foggy after the loss of my mother in September 2008, so I entered 2009 in a dense fog with one simple goal. Take care of my dad to the best of my ability. Everything I did was held up to a single simple measure "what would mom have thought about this decision?"

I don't remember much about the winter months that lead me into 2009. I remember cold sleepless nights keeping the Franklin fireplace going, and battles with the heater in the basement to coax it to heat up the water heater "just one more time".

In February I got my dad a computer for Valentines Day, then things kind of melted together until it all blew up for some reason in May. The oldest of my siblings felt I was mishandling dad's money and insisted that he had to go south on some kind of pilgrimage from which he would not return. Not as in he was moving south, but she had accepted that he should make one last journey and would die making it. To say that threw me for a loop is putting it kindly. I seems that it had been determined I was evil incarnate and people were suddenly making veiled, and not so veiled, threats toward me. I called in a semi-neutral mitigator in a family discussion and while there was a lot of smuggery going around at the start of the family meeting, it was not appreciated by the smug ones when the neutral party determined that things were not as they were being presented and dad not only was happy with me as his caregiver and money tender, but that he had absolutely no intention in hell of going south to die. He just wanted to visit some people down there and come back home. His doctor suggested he would be better off holding off and wintering down south given some tests she wanted to do and stuff, so that became the plan.

By June things had happened that made a trip to the south semi necessary for family reasons, and so we forfeited the trip in winter and south we went for a week to visit, then home again. After that the year seemed to hit a neutral level and things were relatively calm in my world until the day my dad realized the car he had loaned out in the springtime had not yet come home in late summer. I finally convinced him that it would work better if I took him to buy him a new car, but my siblings growled at that plan and dad's car was returned to him with later instructions to sell it or trade it in on a new car that had good brakes and working electrical system - still as the year draws to a close I am scared to take that suggestion to heart.

You would think life would proceed calmly, and it did for a time. Took my dad through physical therapy once again after asking his doctor about a referral for it, got him in to see the optometrist and get his glasses checked over, even started going to veteran's clubs and stuff a couple times a month. By Veteran's Day things had seemed to start smoothing over even more, only to explode in grand style when it was discovered dad wanted to stay home for the holidays rather than go out in the cold to visit others. That would take a blog all on its own to explain, but suffice to say as the year draws to a close I have been informed I am going to have my life made hell for the remainder of my days.

I look forward to 2010 with trepidation, since there is a good chance it will turn out to be even worse than 2009, but I dearly hope that the new year brings peace and calm. The life of a family caregiver is not an easy one, but I wish that it had come with some kind of warning label about how on top of all the difficulties, members of the family would likely turn on the caregiver.