Friday, August 26, 2005

Fate is having a bit of fun here....

In a bizarrely similar series of events, my Great Aunt Theresa (Yes, my Grandfather's sister), passed away Wednesday (exactly two weeks after my Grandfather). She was in very poor health and hospice had been coming for a while. They are having the wake Sunday and funeral Monday. Exactly two weeks after my Grandfathers. Weird huh?

I was not close with her. This will not have the same affect on me. I will go to the wake and pay my respects. See all the same people that were just at my Granfathers wake. A comment was made that is so true: "The only time we see each other now is at weddings and funerals".

There is only one sister (of 7 children) left now. I saw her at the wake - she is a skeleton with skin. It's like she is going to completely forego embalming and go straight to petrifaction.

They say these things happen in threes........

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Checking back in

I am still here. I think. The last three weeks have been a blur. I actually took this weekend to become one with my couch. There were only small necessary tasks accomplished. Nothing that involved more than 2 kilowatts of brain power or any physical effort.

We watched the entire Lord of the Rings series (including the extended, two disc, Return of the King). I was so emotionally wiped out, I didn't even cry like I usually do when I watch LotR. Only comfort and junk foods were on the menu. Many naps were had. Showers, getting dressed, and the brushing of teeth were optional. Bed head was the norm. There was none of the guilt I usually feel when I check out for a day.

I think it's probably a normal part of the grieving process. A quiet time to let it all sink in. A time to figure out exactly how I feel about my Grandfather's passing. A recharging of the batteries before getting back to life. A rethinking of priorities and perspective, a realization of my own mortality. Maybe it's just my age, or the closeness of family. Whatever it may be, my Grandfather's passing has had a surprisingly profound impact on me. I'm still figuring it out. I feel an appointment with my therapist coming on.

Despite all that, stirrings of blog posts have been forming in my head. The titles: "The Vacation I Needed a Vacation From" or "I Swear, I'll Never Do This Again" have been forming in my head. My subconscious knows what I do not, blogging is a form of therapy. A venting to the web. Writing to no one, and everyone. It helps you work it all out. The feedback from comments validates your feelings and lets you know that you're not completely nuts, or alone. I am grateful for it.

As they say, Life goes on.

More soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

In Loving Memory

Henry Latta 1918-2005

My Grandfather passed away August 10, 2005 at 7:50AM.

I will post more at a later date. I will be busy for the next few days.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Much Needed Break

I'm on vacation. We've just been hanging around the house so far this week. Tomorrow we leave to go camping in Western Mass. We will go to the Six Flags amusement park on Friday. Then hit The New England Air Museum, The Zoo in Forest Park and possibly the Yankee Candle Company the rest of the weekend.

I'd forgotten how much prep work goes in to camping, and how much 'stuff' you have to bring just for two people. Luckily, my new SUV tent was delivered today. We can bring one tent instead of two. I can sleep on an air mattress in the back of my new SUV and my son can sleep on my old queen sized air mattress bed in the tent portion. Hopefully, this will be distance enough so that, my snoring (I DO NOT!) doesn't bother him.

I have plenty of snack foods & good eats. We stopped at the library today for some reading material. I'm bringing the laptop and DVD's just in case. I'm sure the Phase 10, Yatzee, Mancala, Othello, Jotto & deck of cards will help prevent any declarations of boredom.

Hopefully, we'll both come back alive.

I need this. I need to get away from our house. I need to get away from the stress & routine. I need to do something fun with just me & my son. It's been 7 years since I've taken a real vacation away from home and not just time off filled with work around the house. I need to relax.

I hope this will be a chance to connect with my boy, to give him a break of my being on him constantly. Being an only child means you don't get away with anything. You're under the microscope constantly. We both need the break. I pray I can hold my tongue and let him be a messy, obnoxious, brain dead teenager for a few days so we can both just chill and have a good time.

My parents are on vacation in Maine. My Aunt & Uncle are Grandparent sitting. They will also be bird sitting my sassy little brat, Galileo.

My Grandfather apparently suffered a stroke Friday and has been in the hospital since. He shows signs of coherency again and will probably be moved to a nursing home. He's 87, suffering from Alzheimers for a few years and has been receiving radiation treatments for the last few weeks for a cancerous tumor near his ear.

I do not like seeing my Grandfather like this. He was always such an intelligent, vibrant, outspoken, opinionated man with a generous heart. He would give you the shirt off his back, while lecturing you on how to improve your situation. He has become a mere shadow of the man he once was over the last couple years. He became very quiet once his hearing was beyond the use of aids. He couldn't hear a conversation anymore to participate. The blank stare or joyous expression of recognition when he looked at me has torn at my heart. Alzheimers has robbed this once extremely intelligent man of the mere ability of recognizing my face. I cannot help but feel that his mind is trapped within a failing body. My heart breaks with his moments of lucidity. Is he conscious of what's happening to him? Is his mind trapped within a body that won't cooperate? Would he choose to exist like this? For, in my minds eye - this is existing, not living. This once proud man, had been reduced to needing assistance from the bed to a wheelchair to the lavatory and now to a bed and catheter, having to be spoon fed by others. Is this what he would have wanted for his twilight years? Does your perspective change as you age? Do you want to hang onto life as long as possible, no matter what?

I cannot answer for him, only for myself. I would not want to exist like that. I do not want to be a burden to my son. I do not want to be kept alive just because of the miracles of modern science. There is no quality of life there. I'd rather pull a Dr. Kevorkian while I still had the mental capacity than become a ward of Medicare and a gorked out patient in a nursing home. But that's my choice. That's my 41 year old perspective.

Yes, indeed, a vacation with me and my son is very much needed.Hugs will be had by all. Life is too short. I'll be checking out till Sunday.