Friday, August 21, 2009

Tumult & Thanks

I am not feeling so strong lately and there is little to be done about it. Hospice has given us news that has shaken this family to the core. My sister's situation is grave, and we brace ourselves for what we cannot wrap our minds around. It's too much for me to elaborate on right now.

I'm overwhelmed and exhausted. I begin to notice stress manifesting itself physically. My hands shake a lot, and when I retire at night, my entire body shakes for a few minutes before calming into sleep. Hives break out on my scalp. My skin is duller, my eyes darker, and I'm putting on weight. I try to get a grip on all of these things for my own sake, but sometimes just don't have the energy or the desire to do something as mundane as moisturize.

I am getting help with Mom. We have an assessment with senior resources on Monday that will determine what help they can do for us, and at what cost. Mom is edgy about this, but I am, quite simply, burning out. One evening surprisingly cleared up for me this week, and I was ridiculously (and ashamedly) relieved to have an extra 2 hours to myself. To suddenly be able park my car and take a stroll and clear my mind was a luxury.

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Hey! I have a Son! And a Daughter-in-law! They are on the road home as I write this. Brian & Courtney got married on May 19, and my head spins at how little time I've had to communicate with them. I haven't ordered wedding photos from their photographer yet; I haven't given them the address book I wanted to. I don't call enough, email enough. I'm banking that they're taking care of each other, while I take care of...whatever it is I take care of here.

This trip home for them is both a source of joy and great heartache for me. It will be his last trip home before he deploys to Iraq in October. I've had so many distractions that I've put his deployment on the back burner in my mind. Denial is probably more like it. I don't want to say goodbye to him for a year, could I just scratch this off of my list of things to do?

Thankful...

We are all gathering, tonight, at Courtney's parent's lake house. There will be BBQ-ing, laughing, and celebrating. I'm going to go enjoy my kids, and try not to feel guilty about what I'm leaving at home for 24 hours, ok?

A friend that I reconnected with on Facebook, Rachel, has been reading my blog and FB updates, and stepped up to help me out with Mom, recently. She took a lunch and dinner "shift" when I had to be out of town, and now her daughter is going to start dropping in and helping out. She has Mom covered until we get back tomorrow evening.

A coworker friend brought a big batch of cookies for me to take to Teri's family yesterday.

Another coworker friend fixed up a plate for me for lunch yesterday, a Filipino dish called Pinakbet. That was just crazy-nice.

Another coworker and friend that is currently undergoing chemotherapy, Sue, and her partner Cindy, honored Teri and Tim in the most unique way yesterday:

They named these wild turkeys in their yard "Tim" and "Teri." Sue felt it was a dubious honor as turkeys are, well, kind of stupid, but Cindy insisted that these are bright turkeys, and brighten up a day, like the human Tim and Teri do.

We visited Tim and Teri last night, and Brandi hauled out the laptop and showed them Tim and Teri Turkey. Teri was feeling like hell, had taken morphine for pain, and something else to counteract the nausea from the morphine, but still she laughed at her Turkish namesakes.

Another soldier's mother, Kathy, is cooking up something for Teri & Tim's freezer (we're back on the human Teri & Tim again).

I'm getting better at accepting and asking for help. I have to admit that I'm more likely to accept offers if they're "insistent." I'm not sure why we have a tendency to say, "no thank you," "I'm fine," or "we couldn't possibly"...even in the midst of our minds screaming "Hellllllp!!" The few people that I've let step in, despite the dozens of offers, are those that have had to put their foot down with me and have said "Dammit, I'm here and I'm not budging!" And I say, "well, fine!" and am instantly so relieved to have something taken care of for me.

I'm working on this. Most days, though, I myself don't know what to do. Other days, something comes up right-this-instant and I think, "dang, now would have been a good time to get some of that help."

I finally thought of something, and asked someone to do something: Kathy, above, is going to the farmer's market for me tomorrow, and picking up basil. Brian wants me to teach him how to make pesto this week, and where am I going to get that much basil if I'm out of town in the morning? So. Yay me. Yay Kathy. Yay teaching my kid to make pesto.

I can't thank you all enough for your cards, gifties, comments, emails, and your support. I have too much going, and even though I have so many great people around me, every word and gesture means the world to me; your card or note may just come in after a cry and a nap, or just when I could use a break from being alone with my own mind.

A distraction, a smile, a word, is often what we need to just get back up and get moving. And that's where I am, today. Tired, grieving, thankful, shaking, appreciative, happy, scared, laughing, crying, sick. I'm taking it one minute at a time.

For now, I just want to get out of here and hug my kid.

I'll let you know, tomorrow, what I/we need next.

Thank you, and much love.

17 comments:

  1. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  2. Sending much love and good vibes to you and yours Lori.

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  3. Oooo...pesto lessons. Sounds like a great way to spend a little time with your kid.

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  4. Anonymous12:55 PM

    prayers sent again your way and with all your family. I love you, Kelly

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  5. Keep on keeping on Lori, downs will be off-set with the ups ... and as always, you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    PS. excusing yourself and going into your room and throwing your pillows all over while yelling fuck, fuck, fuck, is ok too ;)

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  6. ah sweet pea....sometimes I almost don't want to read your posts because unfortunately I relate SO well to what you're going through. And it's funny.....you'd think I'd know what to say....except maybe I just know there is nothing to say.

    We are here....life is calmer for us right now so don't hesitate to ask....or just come over and let me give you a glass of wine and a hug.

    I know honey.....I know.

    Much love to you.

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  7. I feel selfish for appreciating this update. Where -and how- you found the time to write this is absolutely beyond me. I love all the people who are stepping up to help you out any way they can.
    When I'm really low, someone incredibly special will say very gently to me, "you're a good girl, Danni". This warms me to my toes. I don't know why. It soothes me.
    I am so glad tonight will have you hugging your boy. So very glad.
    You're a good girl, Lori.
    ((hug))

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  8. Sounds like Brian and Courtney are just the right medicine for you at this time. May I please have your mailing address? Looking forward to seeing all of you soon! The WILL Power wrist bands are waiting for you.

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  9. I remember all too well the phone call about Hospice and my brother... I'm thinking about you.

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  10. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Lori, I'll be thinking about you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. And, it's ok to ask for and accept help--really.

    Sharon

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  11. Hugs Lori. BIG HUGS.

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  12. Hang in there, Lori. Your strength in incredible adversity is a strength to a lot of people.

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  13. As hard as it is, let Hospice help as much as they can with your sister. I have been through hospice with my brother who passed away 2 days after Thanksgiving. Let's others help with your mom because if they didn't want to do it, they wouldn't offer. I wish you lived closer so I could offer a hug!!

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  14. june in florida8:04 PM

    Lots of hugs Lori, this is a tough chapter in the book of life.Maybe Brian and Courtney will have a surprise for you and the families?

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  15. It doesn't feel like enough to say how sorry I am about your sister, but I am. You are surely peaking on every known stress test. The only good news I have is that your new daughter-in-law must think you are so awesome for not butting into their life. I wonder if she realizes that you just don't have the time or energy to do that. I wish you the very best.

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  16. Very sorry to hear all of this . . . except for Brian & Courtney coming home, of course. Very happy to hear that! Hope it was a great evening. Thinking of you, and remember, I also go to the farmers' market, would gladly pick up anything for you.

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  17. Much love to you.

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