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You know I go back and read some of my young high aspirations and this old lady gets ashamed.  When the kids were growing up though and was wanting to know what we had dreams of being one day, they listened to their dad had wanted to be a Methodist minister and when that died, he wanted to be a forestry man.  My high lofty aspirations of dancing half naked on a stage always tickled them.  At 29 though, I was ready to learn and went to college having to quit half way through to work.  Again though, I was lucky to fall into something so interesting that I got to see a lot of things I would have never seen otherwise.  I can tell you one thing that never came to mind (except when Billy would get me angry enough), I never wanted to be a widow.    

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I’m siting here in what I call the witching hour.  Going on midnight, reliving another day alone I got thru, still have a few hours til bed.  I have 2 things on my mind I have to tend to that 2 people could solve easily.  But I have to make priority choices as always.  It always causes high anxiety as it just keeps happening over and over again.  How simple life was when we could divide and conquer.  Now I have to figure where to move things to do it all myself.  Vet appointment or reschedule so I can have the car dealer listen to an odd noise in my engine today?  I have to decide on back surgery and staying in a rehab place because he’s not here so I can come home.  Means care for the dogs, being alone in some rehab place for a week or two.  Have someone come stay here, no way on that one.  This is where I really get so depressed wondering where is my partner?  Obviously Steve and I could handle those easily.  Outsiders have all thier opinions and truly don’t get it.  Especially the doctors.  It’s all just procedures to them, no big deal.  Sorry, just rambling because this happens so often and it doesn’t get any easier like so many think.  Another night of crying myself to sleep and waking up where is the one that supported me as I did them for so long.  No caregiver for me when I need it.  It’s so unfair. So lonely.  So sucks the motivation to keep going.  I’m so tired of feeling I can’t breathe without him.

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I sure can relate to what you are saying Gwen.  There is no way I can adequately describe the feelings of being left to fend for myself and swim the storms of grief.  Each day poses the same troubles, day after day just trying to keep your head above water.  And when the huge waves hit I often hope the end will be soon.  I keep going because I must.  This wasn't in our plans but every day brings an opportunity to to find something to hold on to. 

I hope you will find something to hold on to Gwen.

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No answers, only empathy from me...I struggle alone too sometimes, needing to be two people, in two places at one time.  I crammed so much in to my Wednesday a week ago, had to take the dog to the vet, back home and drop him off, then drive to the city (50-60 miles away), meet with tax person, go to Costco (way across town) and Winco to get groceries, get gas, drive the sixty miles home, haul everything in, put it all away, walk the dog, feed the animals, fix something to eat...I didn't know how I was going to fit it all in but somehow I did it.  It would have been quicker and simpler with George around.  

I think the harder thing you're dealing with, dear Gwen, are the medical issues, you could really use Steve's help taking care of you, not to mention what the TLC would do for you.  We feel so vulnerable and helpless when we aren't physically at our best.

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7 hours ago, Gwenivere said:

Means care for the dogs, being alone in some rehab place for a week or two.

Perhaps I should say nothing.  My granddaughter tells me that I just need to tell these people "no" but she does not think about her being in the midst of all my problems too.  Gwen, my problems are completely different.  The fur babies may have to stay in a kennel while you stay in rehab.  Visit places before you go to rehab.  When Billy was sick, the five weeks he was "down" I never thought about asking for help.  I had my son living with me and actually my daughter, granddaughter and an unmentionable person. (Unmentionable, because I want to call her names that are ......unmentionable).  And then, all of a sudden we had a visiting nurse and a rehab person visiting us often.  Who were these people?  I didn't ask for them.  Yet, they were there to "tend to Billy."  Perhaps you will have those also.  Maybe you can stay in your home and they can come to you.  

Yesterday I gave away money  that was needed by a family member. "Do you need it, will you have enough to make it?" I was asked this.  Well, they had to have it, would never have asked otherwise.  It left me with a bare minimum for three of us to live 10 days.  (They will pay me back in 10 days and then borrow it again) so I said no to the paying back.  This happens every month.  I pay all my bills on the 1st of the month, so I do not owe bills for the next 10 days, but my son is here, groceries still to buy.  In effect, I am supporting five people now.  One never asks, but this time I was let know how much he has to make it till the 1st, so I fill up a truck tank and give money.  At the end of the  month my granddaughter and I both are holding  our breath.

Just say "no" Mamol.  How can I say no when I have all I need, nothing I really want, and the guilt I pay for them doing without is not worth the penny pinching I will have to do.  How can I leave them in need to just keep it from them?  They need.  I have. I give.  Plain and simple.  All I want is a stone to put on our grave plot.  Not much to want but impossible to get in light of the need otherwise.  I get a lot of money in retirement for one individual, but not so much for five.  Say "no" and I cannot.

Sorry.........just another thing that we have problems with.  Some face it alone.  Some of us are rubber bands.  Do you remember the rubber bands that used to come on the newspapers that were threw into the yard, driveway, porch?  My dad had a long cup holder screwed into the wall.  The newspaper would come, he would put the rubber band on that cup holder.  Over the years, those rubber bands deteriorated.  Some of us have the problems of facing life all alone.  That is hell.  Some of us have the problems of being stretched like that old rubber band.

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4 hours ago, Marg M said:

Yesterday I gave away money  that was needed by a family member. "Do you need it, will you have enough to make it?" I was asked this.  Well, they had to have it, would never have asked otherwise.  It left me with a bare minimum for three of us to live 10 days.  (They will pay me back in 10 days and then borrow it again) so I said no to the paying back.  This happens every month.  I pay all my bills on the 1st of the month, so I do not owe bills for the next 10 days, but my son is here, groceries still to buy.  In effect, I am supporting five people now.  One never asks, but this time I was let know how much he has to make it till the 1st, so I fill up a truck tank and give money.  At the end of the  month my granddaughter and I both are holding  our breath.

Marg, my dear, I know you've not asked for my advice or input, but I feel compelled to share this article with you. Take it or leave it ~ but know that I, for one, do not think you are obligated in any way to put your own needs and that of your granddaughter aside so that you are "left with a bare minimum for three of us to live 10 days," or required to be "supporting five people now," or to find yourselves holding your breath at the end of the month, hoping you'll have enough to survive. That does not sound like a healthy approach to your own life, or a responsible way to care for your granddaughter, who is still a minor and truly dependent upon you for her care and livelihood. You are not a bank, but in effect you are allowing these other family members to regard you as such. I wish with all my heart that you can find a way to say "NO" without feeling guilty. If you cannot do it for yourself, I wish you would do it for your granddaughter. Is this the example you wish to set for her? 

Here is the article: Boundaries: Why You Must Learn to Say 'No'

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I have not read the article yet, but I will say that my granddaughter is the one that tells me "Mamol, you have to learn to say "no" you never tell them no and your going to have to.  I am going to read this, but I don't know if I ever will be able to say "no" unless I really don't have it.  I don't know if I can live with myself and yes, they do know it, and I know I am being taken advantage of.  Right now one is doing without a TV, I have three and would give one to this person but I cannot travel that far right now.  I just don't know if I can say no and live with myself..  Now I will read and make a copy of the note you sent.  

ADDENDUM:  I did read it, I printed it out. I understand the concept, but I still cannot appreciate any comfort that my loved ones go without, if I can possibly provide it.

There are many of us who have no one to help us.  Our grief is made that much greater.  I wish I could be there for them.  I cannot, but I can be there for others that need me, until I am gone.  Then, like Billy said, the worry will be on those left.  And, it will be written in stone.  I will make sure of that if I live long enough. 

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10 hours ago, Marg M said:

 Over the years, those rubber bands deteriorated.  Some of us have the problems of facing life all alone.  That is hell.  Some of us have the problems of being stretched like that old rubber band.

Marg, I don’t know what to add about all the people using you like a bank and your feeling guilt if you say no.  I get requests all the time from charities, but they are not family.  Truly a personal decision, but I do wonder why they are taking advantage of you, my opinion.  Like the TV, if you have on to give, why do you need to deliver it?  No one needs a TV, but if they want it, why not come and get it?  Anyway, I hope you find a way to take care of you, your son and granddaughter and have the others needs something they need to find options for besides you.  

You sure don’t see rubber bands much any more.  I remember when they got very old they would snap being so brittle.  I relate to those rubber bands.  I never know what each new challenge is going to do to me.  The surgery is a new development but it could be the one that snaps and takes me with it.  All the things that have piled up over the years of doing alone and hills compared to the complications of this mountain and I am not sure it’s surmountable.  It’s easy for people to say check out kennels and such.  The point is I don’t know if I can handle these tasks required when it would be so much easier to deal with if I had Steve.  But I don’t.  It’s also the panic disorder in the way too.  Also the support of my partner.  As Kay was saying about a day she had to do a gazillion things and you wonder if you’ll make it.  Yes, I have anxiety meds, lots of them, but stress eats them up faster.  Sorry, i turned this around to about me.

please think if you and Bri first.  Guilt is a terribly useless emotion in this case.   I have only felt it when I have deliberately caused someone pain of some kind.  Otherwise, it’s A great manipulator people can exploit which sounds the case.  My opinion only, you will do what you feel you must.  

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Gwen, your really someone I wished I lived close to.  (Well, guess you can't take the southern and put it in the Northwest).  I understand what everyone says, and I have everything I need.  It is funny, not in a ha-ha way, but ironic how little you really need when the one you shared it with is gone.  But, I still feel the same, I cannot enjoy something if I know someone else is doing without.  I am really not a goody-goody person, probably a stupid one more than anything else, but it does go along with all our feelings..........it is hard to enjoy anything anyhow, you try, but if someone you care about needs something, if you can do it, you do it.  I see all these homeless people, people sleeping on the streets and people on drugs that walk mindlessly through life.  Maybe I do this because I cannot help them, but I can help the ones I know, all of them but my grandson who is a homeless person, on drugs, somewhere we have no idea where he is, and we only feel hope when he is arrested and put in the system so we know he has a roof over his head, is being fed, and is warm.  I cannot help him.  I would if I could, but he does not want help.  He is "lost" in California somewhere. So I help the ones I can.

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Do none of these people get food stamps for their own food?  And if not, does that mean they already earn too much money to qualify for them?  If yes, then they can buy their own food.  If no, they need to go to the effort to apply.  If it's emergent, they will grant them immediately.

It's better than robbing an old lady and her dependent granddaughter of being able to comfortably eat the rest of the month!

Helping "the ones you can" does nothing for your grandson.  Oh Marg, I know how hard it is!  I don't hear from my daughter, don't know what's going on with her and my heart continually aches because of her, but I do know I have to take care of number 1 or I won't be any good for anyone else!

I guess the real definer is, do these people all do the best for themselves?  Or are you enabling them to continue in slovenly patterns?  What will happen to them when you are gone if they do not learn to solve their own problems?

Our role as parents is to not only take care of them as minors, but to equip them to meet life's obligations themselves.  Marg, you have a heart of gold!  I just wish you'd use it first on you and your granddaughter! 

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I am really ashamed of myself for fussing about family.  There are so many without family.  I am sorry for that.  I might be taken advantage of, it was allowed by me though.  Billy and I both knew we enabled our children and grandchildren.  We spoke of it and we both said, if we had to do it over again, we would not change a thing.  We gave up our dream retirement to help save our son.  He was ready.  He was 36, and he came close to death many times.  I do not regret one moment, although for awhile, I was kind of resentful.  If he had died because I held a safe place away from him, there would be no life left for me that was happy in any way.  

I have said too much and fussed out of frustration.  I am sorry.  Not to say I won't do it again.  I hope not though.  

 

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I didn't turn out like my mom, although I do wish I had gotten more of her genes, Billy wasn't like my dad, and I thanked God often for that, although bless his heart, my dad did the best he could and my mom did the best she could.  The book was never written on how to raise two people like my sister and I turned out to be.  To me, Billy was a perfect father who would do anything for his kids and grandkids, and did.  

I am happy Bri is adopted and won't inherit some of our genes, but she sure inherited all the love we had stored up, ready to give.  

family2.jpg

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