Monday, April 21, 2014
I am starting a new week with a fresh clean slate. There are really no leftover duties from last week in front of me. It is time to start anew and move forward with joy and determination. I have continued to struggle with eating, sleeping, pain, my son's pain, and a lot of other things that have been shaking my world "tree" that grounds me. I worry that these hurricane force winds that are shaking me may rip my up by my roots. I KNOW this sounds dramatic and I don't like to let negativity sap my strength, but I am struggling. I feel pushed and pulled and don't feel like participating in a lot of the things around me.
I had a tough conversation yesterday with my step-nephew. It was hard on both my son Ed and on me. I love the young man dearly. My son and I consider him to be a VERY special part of our family. Unfortunately, he is severely depressed, lazy, and wanted to move in with us and "find a job". Part of me wanted to allow him to do so, but sadly, he has not held a job in several years, and really hasn't looked for one either. When I pointed out that we live at least half an hour from ANY possible jobs and an hour from a reasonably decent selection of them, he said, "I thought I could just have Ed drive me around looking." It costs me about $50-75 each week just to put gas in my car to do the MINIMUM activities - not counting Ed's doctor appointments or extra activities. In fact, I skip going to the pool on many weekends because I cannot afford the extra trips. I don't make the extra trips for Bible study or even extra church services, because I can't afford the gas. He has NO MONEY and based on his past behavior, he is unlikely to make any effort now to get some - especially not if we provide a place to sleep and food and Internet access = I love him, but I can't really see that I would be HELPING rather than enabling him to continue to sink further into his depression. He is 30 years old and was living with Helen until her death - his family kept telling him that he needed to get a job, to find some way to support himself, but to no avail. Helen begged him to look for work. He did put in ONE application - and then claims he worked ONE day but never went back even for his paycheck - after all, it wasn't really worth the effort. I know he is desperate but Ed and I talked about this and we would let him stay with us IF he was working and had held the job for at least a month, had transportation, and was at least making an effort. Ed and I both agreed but with tears running down our faces that we could not let him move in under the circumstances. I feel like I am a horrible person BUT KNOW in my head that we did the right thing. Helen supported him for the past 5 years and kept telling him he needed to get a job, gave him a car and paid for his insurance, and he still did NOTHING. His uncles have tried to talk to him, we all love him but he is just unwilling or unable to make any effort to take care of himself. It was even too much trouble for him to feed the animals when he lived with Helen - at 90 she had to go outside and feed the dogs and cats regardless of the weather or how she felt. Clinically depressed is what I see, but also a long heritage of laziness in his entire family. I don't know how to help him and feel completely helpless. He denies any depression, anger, or anything else being wrong with him. In the past ten years, he has lost both his parents, his brother, and all of his grandparents - father committed suicide, mother died from severe complications of her own depression - his brother had a one-car fatal crash - his sister had 5 children all of whom were taken away from her and put up for adoption - his girlfriend had 2 children that were also taken away. How could he NOT be depressed. It depresses me to even think of all he has been through - but if he denies needing help, it is unlikely he will get help. Sometimes, tough love is TOUGHER on those of us who must dole it out than on those who require it.
Sorry I am rambling and venting. There really isn't anyone I can talk to about this. I genuinely believe I did the right thing but inside I feel like a horrible terrible, very bad person.
I hope everyone is blessed with love and kindness, generosity of spirit and the ability to make even the TOUGH choices and decisions for themselves and those they love - even when those choices and decisions hurt. I did give him the kindness of listening and talking with him, but I know that he wanted more than I am able to give - Ed and I struggle to make ends meet as it is and most of the time we are behind in our own bills. We don't live frivolously and while I couldn't provide extra financial support, I did try to give some love and kindness - DARN, there I go trying to justify myself and I was just trying to end on a positive note.
Forgive me today it is hard to be positive.
Be blessed and a blessing to others.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Today is EASTER Sunday. It is an important day for those of us who are Christians and it brings such a wonderful message of HOPE, LOVE, and GRACE. It was a nearly perfect day for the first time in years. The temperatures were mild - mid-sixties. The sun was shining. There was a baptism for our newest member who was born February 3rd. The church was full. Most Sundays, our procession is the pastor and me - I serve as acolyte and chalice bearer. Once in a while there is a third person but very rarely. Today, we had a procession with two little ones carrying a butterfly and a phoenix, two crosses, and the Bible, PLUS the pastor an me. I was amazing. We had more than double our typical Sunday attendance and about 20-30 more people than even at Christmas and Easter normally. We had CHILDREN - enough to hold an Easter Egg Hunt and it was with so much joy we had the chance to have so many kids and even young teens and young adults with us today.
Brunch followed the service and Easter Egg Hunt and it was lovely. We also had a number of people who were long-time members of the church but who have since moved away who came back to share the day with us. My heart spilled over with joy. My son Ed even went with me. He doesn't often attend church - I leave house at 8 a.m. and don't normally get home until around 2 p.m. - it is always a special time for me - he gets antsy and bored long before I am ready to leave, but he will occasionally go with me. It is nice when he does. There was such a feeling of LIFE, LOVE, and JOY in our church today - WOW - it was TRULY a celebration of the resurrection. We ate our main meal with the congregation and then took home just enough for a single serving of supper for us to eat this evening. No leftovers are a blessing - no nibbling or mindless munching.
I wish all of you special and fantastic people a BLESSED and fabulous week ahead. I wish you love, joy, hope, and the faith that helps you to retain that joy, hope, and love. Be blessed and bless others by sharing your joy, your hope, and your love. Find time to give a little extra attention, to provide a listening ear, to reach out in love, to hold out your hands and your heart to those who need you. Give your loved ones a smile, a gentle word, and the wings to fly on their own. HAPPY EASTER and have a wonderful week.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
My day started with a positive note. My son Ed decided to get his blood work done for his doctor's appt. next week and was told the results of his culture came back and he had a staph infection but NOT NOT NOT MRSA. Then we went to his pain clinic appt. - turns out they only did an evaluation and he has to go back on Tuesday for yet another evaluation by another doctor - I was REALLY annoyed but not overly surprised about it.
We then went shopping and I found TWO beautiful bathing suits in my size and for ONLY $12.99 each. One is a deep pink that is almost red and the other identical design in black. They are a bit shapeless but have a really modest neckline (I do a LOT of moving in the water and the GIRLS don't always want to stay where they belong if the suit is not cut right), and the trim is a series of brass eyelets and a cord running through across the top. I couldn't afford them but I also have not seen anything in that price range in the past couple of years - lowest cost tends to be closer to $35 and the ones I like tend to be in the $85-100 price range.
Then we went for Chinese food and then to my PT appointment.
THIS is where my day got REALLY HARD to be nice. I walked into the office and the receptionist said, "why are you here, you don't have an appointment." I corrected her and showed her the card that said I DID TOO have an appointment. She then told me that the PT had dismissed me on Monday. I looked at her like she had two heads and I said, that it was strange because the last words my PT and I said to each other on Monday were - PT - "Keep doing the exercises at home." ME - "I do them regularly and I will see you on Thursday, whoops, actually it will probably be your assistant then." PT - "okay see you later." Receptionist said, well you did your exit interview, didn't you - NO, well he gave you the t-shirt that says you completed your PT, didn't you - NO, well, he gave the discount certificate for 20% off the fitness center membership for the next 2 months - NO. The receptionist was very nice and she gave me the t-shirt and the certificate and 2 guest passes for the fitness center and apologized profusely. I said I didn't blame her, but I thought it extremely strange that I was not only given any of those things before AND WAS NEVER TOLD I WAS DISMISSED - AND that I wanted to speak to the PT myself. He came out to talk to me and he kept implying that somehow it was MY misunderstanding. It was NOT, it was HIS entirely and his apologies sounded more like blaming ME. I got even angrier and I asked him about the PROTOCOLS that are in place that would have prevented this type of "misunderstanding". He said he tried to follow protocols = I countered with asking which protocols he had followed. First of all, he should have told me at least a week in advance that he thought that I had improved as much as I am likely to be helped with PT and that it may take a long time to heal completely but that PT was no longer indicated. Secondly, he should have told me on Monday that it was my last session. Thirdly, he should have had me complete the "exit interview". Fourth, he should have given me the certificate of completion with the 20% discount on my fitness center membership. Finally, he should have given me my t-shirt. I pointed out that IF he had followed ANY ONE of those protocols, the situation would not have happened and that frankly, I found it offensive that he kept saying "I thought we were both on the same page" and implying that somehow I misunderstood something. It was NOT my error. It was NOT MY misunderstanding. It was entirely 100% his lack of professionalism and failure to follow procedures correctly. He offered to continue therapy but didn't see that it would help much more. I am okay with that IF he had explained it. Frankly, I don't want to keep going to appointments that I do not need and that will not help. I was and still am angry about the situation and haven't decided if I am going to file a complaint or not.
After that, I went to the pool and worked off some steam. I am tired and feel like I have been through the wringer and yet it could have been a really nice day. It must have been the day for disappointing doctors - my friend came to the pool and HER doctor's appointment was canceled without any notice and so was the appointment of one of my students for a procedure that has been scheduled and rescheduled about 10 times in the past several months.
Anyhow, be blessed, being kind and considerate does NOT mean you cannot stand up for yourself or what is right when you have been treated badly. It did mean, I had to remain civil and not swear or scream at him, despite really losing my cool and being IRATE. Be blessed and bless others with kindness and understanding even when they have really messed up. Bless them with your time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, and then share your joy and love and peace with them.
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