Posting writings: Part 2

Our handyman friend is here to fix our fence and deck over the next few days. It’s so hard listening to Steve try to talk and and have conversation. Half sentences and lots of you knows and veer offs from the subjects. The other man is a Steve also and he’s just letting him talk. Bless him. I could easily cry but what good would it do..
My pastor had texted about getting Steve to come with him on a drive and as I read it, my phone called him back. I had the best conversation with him. Totally moved me outside of myself. I’m so sorry for all that happened this morning. In God, I am not limited. We are going to keep moving forward on this journey and whatever lessons lie before us, I pray they come with a side of Mercy and Grace. I’m sorry for spilling over onto this group of lovely ladies and I thank you each so much for being here to lift me up.
I had a small burger patty and some blueberries with sour cream and a pinch of sweetener for lunch. That’s one of my favorite things 🙂 Plus, the doctor noticed I’d lost some weight. YAY! I decided the 55 lbs I put on since Steve’s stroke, has to go.
His blood work came back excellent. His PSA has stayed the same (prostate is enlarged) b/p and cholesterol are great. Diabetes is still controlled with diet. Steve’s fine except he decided to be a whiner and carry on about hating Rocky Mount again. How can he hate it? He never goes outside. He got all ticky and made me drop him off instead of coming with me on errands. Fine. I took my time.
It’s hard to always do everything alone. I love him but it’s not enough for either of us. I sure wish he’d decide to still LIVE. We are both too young to go on like this. I’m not going to stop doing what I can because he won’t join in. Unless he’s tired and strained, his mind is good. He has what I think of as EPISODES of difficulty now, which is so much better than before. Praise god for that improvement. His taking Prozac has help ME more than I can say. I feel guilty for wanting MORE and I feel like he’s released our relationship except for the part of me that feeds him and cleans up.
99% of the time I manage by putting on my smile and thanking God and putting everything out of my mind. I can ‘busy work’ with the best. Still… sometimes I find myself kinda wishing I didn’t remember how we were. The dogs were all on his bed the other morning and I slid over so he could get in my bed, with me. Out of habit, he raised his arm and I moved against him and we laid like that for a couple of minutes then he rolled over saying his shoulder hurt. I got up and cried.
This message sat for several hours during which time I let myself get angry. He was complaining about our home and where it is, loudly, and I let him have it. I told him how I felt about US and ME and his own body not being enough to inspire him to walk and work on himself. I’m paying a lady to come in tomorrow and clean for me. She will add the shine to things I can’t manage; mostly dusting and floors.
Steve has and could, fold clothes for me and with me – He was getting his own coffee and putting his dishes into the sink and picking up his own trash, and he fed the dogs and washed their bowels. Now nothing. He won’t even put his peanut butter on bread. I feel eating out of the jar is gross. I know he’s weaker – he is back on his cane because he said his ankle was going to snap in two. He won’t take a Tylenol. Now he can’t walk well again. He moves only to the bathroom or between chairs – 8ft. I called boloney on his not being able. He doesn’t want to be able. He just wants it to go away and be over. I get that, oh God how I get that. He finished his trivia game online and hung his head for a bit then went off to bed at 5:30. I wish I’d of bit my tongue.
I so seldom get angry. I rarely verbalize it. Today I did and then I felt instantly bad. He didn’t do this on purpose. He didn’t have a stroke because he wanted to. I want to raise my voice to the sky and scream. Why did this happen? We were nice people trying to build our lives and finish raising our kids. We were lovers and friends and confidants – and now WHAT???? I am so tired of being alone. Some days I do it better than others… today wasn’t one of those days.
The people came and brought the saw and the rocking chair. They got here and Steve headed into the bedroom with his BLANKIE – his word. G and I drug this big old thing through the house and into the back room and set it on the rug so He could inspect it. I went in and told him to get up, come see your saw! And he said “NO I’m not interested.” I want to let my words run on because I’m so hurt from this morning, but I won’t and I’ll get over everything…but this morning… really hurt me.
The lady who brought the saw with her husband was really nice. She hugged me tight when I told her I’d take care of her grandma’s chair. These people didn’t want to sell their stuff. Just pushed against the wall like the rest of us.
Sigh… half the day is done. Next Tuesday I’m getting my brakes done, a tune up, and oil change and inspection. I’m taking care of business. I’m OK.
   
He hates me and wants me dead again. He came at me with his cane and I took it from him. I am a big gal and have Martial Arts training for defense so I’m not afraid, but man, this is tough. He asked me how much we have left from the money from the house sale and I told him. He’s screaming, hitting walls and slamming doors. I can account for every penny spent and he’s screaming idiot at me. I have kept my cool and he’s back in front of the tv. When he came at me, I told him I’d call the police and I will… How can this be part of our lives? We were friends and lovers and parents and now we aren’t. Sigh… where to write and put this??? Only here.
Here’s the shame of things…hubby has to get mad to his core to help himself. He cried and yelled and carried on all night. Then he got up this morning, made his own coffee and carried it while holding his cane (not using it) clear into the living room – a good 20 feet!
He refused to let me help because I am now the same scum as the rest of my family, but the lines have been drawn that I will not allow to be crossed. I’d say we are doing better even though he’s still mad.
I swear…one thing after another. Now he wants to talk about a divorce. I won’t say a word. If he leaves. he can figure it out on his own. Every bit of this is on his damaged mind. I didn’t even answer him. I am having heart palps though and I know I need to go eat something. I try to keep quiet. Guess this is my time to bite my tongue. I don’t need I’m sorries. What I need to know is what kind of real damage he can do to our household besides kick me back to 1,020 dollar a month income and try to take my dogs. Just GROWL.
Steve had the dogs crouching around MY feet from screaming at the ball game along with 2 full days of it again. Poor little Scotty was acting like there was a thunderstorm. Our son was trying to do his school work and couldn’t. I was jumping out of my skin and he didn’t care. He was doubling in half and screaching at the top of his lungs over and over. I kept quiet for a good while then told him if he did it again, I’d unplug the tv. He did; on purpose; the next play; and so did I. I pulled every plug on that side of the room. He stormed off in the bedroom and screamed for 30 more minutes. I finally went back and got our poor arthritic dog to come. Poor baby was stuck – couldn’t leave the bed. Then I closed the door so he could do what he wanted because it was so out of hand. I realized that wouldn’t work because he can’t see in the dark, so I went in, pulled the light cord, then shut the door.
It took another full thirty minutes for him to stop and come out and quietly sit at his computer. I made him soup and a sandwich and gave him his medicine. He said a couple words but the dogs didn’t budge from my side. After that it stayed pretty calm. I have several videos of the screaming.
What is clear is that he is unaccepting of where we are and planned to use that house money for getting away from here in his head. I had no intention of that being our plan. We paid people back, and went about fixing this house and he’s super angry. I’ve said over and over I can’t move us without him being better and he has sat in a chair for months not working and loosing the advances he’d made. So I fixed the house and replaced creature comforts like blankets and sheets and towels and fixed the sagging deck and bought paint. I am not trying to hurt him, I’m trying to build us a life.
So he came into his bed at 6am, crying and banging. Woke me and the dogs up and continued on. I finally said Stop it and he sniffled cried softly and hiccuped and loudly cleared his throat for a while and drifted off. I made sure he was covered up and let 3 of the dogs outside. Now I’m writing and having coffee.
I was supposed to go camping this weekend with the church. I am so worried over leaving them all here without me. Our Son, Geoffrey, has Asperger’s and will stem from this behavior. Our pit will growl at Steve’s screaming and Steve will scream at him more. Before this fit throwing he said he wanted me to go, but how can I? I have to decide today preparation wise. I have food to make for myself and for Steve and G. I have packing to do and instructions to write out. I could just stomp my feet over all this ugliness.
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Posting writings, part 1

I left Steve with our son and went to church today. I only made his coffee before leaving at 9:00. I got home at 1:30 and asked if he had gotten himself anything to eat. Of course he didn’t. He decided to wait for me to get home. I’m leaving him to go camping with the church in 3 weeks. I’m going to leave food them both, but if he only sticks a spoon in the peanut butter jar, that’s his fault, not mine! He can’t “carry” stuff. He could at the end of last year, but he’s regressed. He talks about when he’s better, but he doesn’t do things for himself that he COULD do. It’s frustrating. He could ask Geoffrey to help him, but he won’t do that either. I try not to do too much, but it seems I need to move back into living my life and if he chooses, he can come along, or I’ll have to leave him at home. He’s so welcome to come along… I can’t stop doing all things because he had a stroke. It’s closing in on 2 years …

Well, today he hates me again. He’s been screaming and accusing me of being cruel. I just am tired of butting heads. I am tired of being in charge always and him being in a dream world. I lost my cool when he raised my hand vac out of my reach and I said give me the ___ vacuum. Oh my – I’ve heard 3 hrs of how I have no right to even go to church and he has to work so hard to get there…blah blah. We have argued since yesterday and I am so exasperated. I do it every time – I start believing he’s ok in his thinking like he says – since he’s been ok for a month. Like a fool I have an expectation. I KNOW better. He’s not ok. None of this is ok.

I told everyone we are having work done on our house and the man doing it has become a real friend to us over the years. I had a little crush on him once upon a time – he’s a handsome man with curly hair, tall, and muscular…classic builder. The body is just a machine and gorgeous. I appreciate him coming so far for us. I’ve struggled the last few days – The contrast between him and Steve is so harsh. Used to be I could say Steve was the only man I ever felt really drawn to. Today, I feel so sad and overwhelmed to be stuck in a place emotionally where no need is ever met. I say it and there is no response. I am not lusting after the handyman even though he is eye candy. I am missing the relationship part of my marriage. It’s got me teary this morning… no intimacy and sexless at this age – at any age, is something I can’t dwell on. I have to push wanting it out of my mind. I could use a little prayer for me if you can spare it. 

Steve’s gone back to bed today for the 3rd time. He’s not even trying to do anything for himself. I’ve let the cat out of her bedroom, and he won’t keep her off his food. He won’t put his fork down and push her off his lap. I got onto him about helping with her manners and he got upset and went back to bed. I feel like a witch. I have things to do and besides him and our son and his video game, I want to shake something. Time to turn on some music and shake ME! xx

I got up at 6 to the lovely sound of screaming and carrying on in the bathroom. An hour later, he did it again. I got up, made me coffee. At 8, he made his way into the living room with his blanket. He sat himself down and covered up – and ignored everything I tried to say. Silent treatment in force. I made his coffee, sat it next to him and left for the Lowe’s.

I got my paint! I love the colors. It was so expensive! It’s going to feel so good to have this house painted and in shape. I got home, checked my own oil. I came inside and told Steve I know he’s mad at me, but I’m mad too. He sits in that chair with a blanket constantly and has stopped doing everything but throwing fits. He hasn’t eaten since yesterday. I’m not cooking for him until he asks or the food that’s already made is eaten.

I know it sounds harsh, but I am not going to throw my life away waiting for him to do something he isn’t going to do. I’ve decided to volunteer at a local nursing home if they will have me. And I’m also going to join a pinochle group at the senior center. Something for me, and something to help others.

Yesterday he screamed that he hated me and wanted me dead. He won’t act on that, but he hurt me. This relationship is crumbling because he’s lazy and blames everyone but himself.

The last thing I’m going to do is get my teeth pulled and fixed. Then it will be a fixed income forever I guess. But our home will be good and I’ll be ok, and our son will be ok. I think I’m going to let go and see what happens.  I’ve been stuck to his every breath for almost 2 yrs now, and he was gone from July before that. Everything I’ve focused on for 24 yrs, has been HIM. It’s got to change because it’s overwhelmed me. I can’t take things like they are anymore.

My Steve is fixated on an online trivia game and he’s so upset. He’s getting ready to cry and loose his words and he will be so embarrassed for our friend to see him like that. I told him he has control of this right now, stop pushing to that uncontrollable point, and he won’t. I swear I want to pull the plug on his computer – but I also feel consequences are important. How can we decide these things? I get upset instead of acting out of love, you know? I need to let go of the personal part I think and go sit with him and talk about it. Sorting out loud…. and with LOVE.

 

I’m not sure what’s happening this morning. Our Pastor came over to watch Football and give Steve some company last night. Steve talked at his loudest, highest pitched voice, grandiose, opinionated, and non-stop for 5 hours. It continued after Pastor left and has been going on since 6 this morning. I don’t prefer the silence, but the anger and intensity and the bragging – it’s hard. I just don’t know what to do besides to go forward with my “plan” for me, regardless. I’m not leaving the man, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t know what to do to manage myself during this stage – Everything is PROVE IT – TELL ME, Repeat things 3 times in perfect description – now he’s screaming at me again. I have to agree with him verbally or he pounds me with his words to make me say he’s right. Everything is prefaced with 3 examples and ‘I’m not wrong in thinking this.’

I understand that the belligerence is an aspect of the brain damage, but how do I, as a wife, give him context for how I react? I can’t. How can I explain to him that I am so alone and reacting so badly because I caved and used my ‘assistance device’ to be able to even face him another day? I have a girlfriend facing putting her post stroke, cancer ridden, seizing, dying husband with dementia into a SNF, who also has a boyfriend and is 10 yrs older than me. She keeps telling me how we can’t give up our own needs – and I try to give her support and keep that approach out of my mind. I believe he and I are ONE. That’s why we feel this so intensely because it is happening to US as a unit. WE are damaged and WE are in pain.

He’s practically out of control right this minute, with shaking his fist at the world – he’ll do EVERYTHING for HIMSELF and ___ the rest of the world. I don’t want his silence, I want his healing. Like Linda keeps reminding me, his brain is damaged. How are we gonna make it through this? One day at a time, one moment at a time…

“In the Garden” ~Randy Travis

A good ole hymn, sung by a good ole boy!

YOUTUBE.COM

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Another Day in the Life of a Caregiving Spouse

I had a small burger patty and some blueberries with sour cream and a pinch of sweetener for lunch. That’s one of my favorite things 🙂 Plus, the doctor noticed I’d lost some weight. YAY! I decided the 55 lbs I put on since Steve’s stroke, has to go.
 
His blood work came back excellent. His PSA has stayed the same (prostate is enlarged) b/p and cholesterol are great. Diabetes is still controlled with diet. Steve’s fine except he decided to be a whiner and carry on about hating Rocky Mount again. How can he hate it? He never goes outside. He got all ticky and made me drop him off instead of coming with me on errands. Fine. I took my time.
 
It’s hard to always do everything alone. I love him but it’s not enough for either of us. I sure wish he’d decide to still LIVE. We are both too young to go on like this. I’m not going to stop doing what I can because he won’t join in. Unless he’s tired and strained, his mind is good. He has what I think of as EPISODES of difficulty now, which is so much better than before. Praise god for that improvement. His taking Prozac has help ME more than I can say. I feel guilty for wanting MORE and I feel like he’s released our relationship except for the part of me that feeds him and cleans up.
 
99% of the time I manage by putting on my smile and thanking God and putting everything out of my mind. I can ‘busy work’ with the best. Still… sometimes I find myself kinda wishing I didn’t remember how we were. The dogs were all on his bed the other morning and I slid over so he could get in my bed, with me. Out of habit, he raised his arm and I moved against him and we laid like that for a couple of minutes then he rolled over saying his shoulder hurt. I got up and cried.
 
This message sat for several hours during which time I let myself get angry. He was complaining about our home and where it is, loudly, and I let him have it. I told him how I felt about US and ME and his own body not being enough to inspire him to walk and work on himself. I’m paying a lady to come in tomorrow and clean for me. She will add the shine to things I can’t manage; mostly dusting and floors.
 
Steve has and could, fold clothes for me and with me – He was getting his own coffee and putting his dishes into the sink and picking up his own trash, and he fed the dogs and washed their bowels. Now nothing. He won’t even put his peanut butter on bread. I feel eating out of the jar is gross. I know he’s weaker – he is back on his cane because he said his ankle was going to snap in two. He won’t take a Tylenol. Now he can’t walk well again. He moves only to the bathroom or between chairs – 8ft. I called BS on his not being able. He doesn’t want to be able. He just wants it to go away and be over. I get that, oh God how I get that. He finished his trivia game online and hung his head for a bit then went off to bed at 5:30. I wish I’d of bit my tongue.
 
I so seldom get angry. I rarely verbalize it. Today I did and then I felt instantly bad. He didn’t do this on purpose. He didn’t have a stroke because he wanted to. I want to raise my voice to the sky and scream. Why did this happen? We were nice people trying to build our lives and finish raising our kids. We were lovers and friends and confidants – and now WHAT???? I am so tired of being alone. Some days I do it better than others… today wasn’t one of those days.
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Tapped by the “it’s not fair” fairy’s wand – but she missed!

Last December, out of the blue, I got a text from a friend I’ve had since my oldest daughter was 3 months old. It shocked the heck out of me. My best friend in the world said this to me – she loved a man who had multiple strokes and didn’t marry him because he took too much effort. And then she said this to me without any conversation passing between us for 6 months! —————– Maybe it isn’t so bad, but here I am 9 months later and I have nothing to say to her. We loose things and relationships and our partners and then we have to figure out how to rebuild our lives, too. I’m struck by the “it’s not fair” fairy’s wand, way too often. I am not hateful or mean or uncaring. I have a blog. Most days it feels like I’ve lost everyone from my life.
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If he’s fully aware of the day and knows the ____ day he should be grateful and shut up. Are you sure he doesn’t have PBA? It’s totally common after strokes….what isn’t common is all this drama! Sorry, I know 3 other people that have had back to back strokes -2 that live alone even and after a year 1 of them is back to work. the other gets disability but is recovering and even volunteers at his kids school, the third is still battling other health issues including a brain tumor. I would get him to the doctor to see if there isn’t some underlying issue and get him on an antidepressant! I personally wouldn’t want to be that miserable and be alive either. Don’t enable him Amber its really NOT better than being dead.

where did this come from? After talking to Kaiha?
I was told it’s not PBA.
it’s grief and depression.

We all made a “pact” not to talk about you. Actually been concerned about you for several months.. look PBA up online (uncontrollable crying laughing) it just seems like there is no desire to be any different.

you’re right – he has no desire to be any different except BETTER. He’s not even close to better and it is awful for him. He didn’t ask for this. I am far from enabling. If he had a place to go back in Atlanta, I’m sure he would go there but he’s stuck. I may put my feelings out too often, but except for a few people online, I feel pretty forgotten on my end. My kids don’t call and maybe it’s the stroke there too, but Steve’s not the monster they act like he is. You realize the hospital records say his temp was 84 degrees when they found him. There was no reason for him to even be alive and yet here he is. I try to tell him to be thankful for his life and people pop up with that opinion that no, this is not better than being dead. How dare you? It is better. He’s healthier now than he’s ever been but he has damage and it’s not the kind that is going to kill him, it just limits him. sometimes he’s clear and present in his mind, and sometimes especially when he’s upset, he’s not right. The mind directs it’s energy to the part that is hurting and it takes away from the other abilities. He also has to use and exercise every part of himself or he has to start over. His stroke was hemorrhagic and is the least common kind. I can’t explain it all, but add the depression which I couldn’t get the drs appt moved up to address – and it’s miserable all around.
We are in a new place, no friends except online, no support except online and I’m sorry you have to see it. But we aren’t going away.

I guess I just hear lots of justifications for inappropriate behaviors don’t want you to go away just want him to move forward so many MORE in worse shape than he is. Your right he IS alive and he shouldn’t be.

That’s me – justifying how people are so I can talk myself into keeping on in relationships that most would cut off.
I do it for everyone who treats me bad or ignores me when I love them. Kaiha’s been no peach this last year. And I’d even let Kayla and Kansas back in to abuse me if they asked. I’ve reached out to my mom and to Steve’s brother – all people who most would turn their back on. But not me… I justify so there is always a door to open. I am not trying to be negative, but it’s pretty lonely on my end except for a blurb or two on FB. I’m sorry to rant. It’s just a time where I’m trying my best to keep my head up and make it through another empty Christmas.

I hear your words they just are just the same ones every year. Your kids treat you bad, close the door! Drop Steve off on the doorstep of the old house and go back home, close the door! Choose life and happiness don’t put that family junk out there. Move forward alone because alone is not bad company! I need to stop for a bit I’m sorry I’m snapping at the girls and it’s not their thing.

it’s fine – enjoy your day.

And amber Christmas is just another day… don’t make it something it isn’t. You know I love you even though it doesn’t sound like it. I’m sorry I want you to feel the love and I’m attacking please forgive me. Sometimes silence from others simply means they have jobs and bigger local family obligations and expectations. Sweetie I think of you several times a day.

I know it is another day. There is no way to be alone and it be ok. You get that right? It’s the anniversary of Steve’s stroke and 7 yrs of unemployment. That didn’t touch you except through me. People are real good at the hit and run advice and then they disappear for months. And yes, you do it too. Things like long term care giving affect the whole circle of life. If people would check in sometimes so there was contact regularly, those of us stuck in situations would be able to shake off the aloneness . I can’t even see to read this right now. I’m crying and can’t read. No, I don’t know I’m thought of several times a day. What I get is that people are uncomfortable because I talk about the daily struggle. I guess you can click unfollow and not see it. I also don’t mean to attack – but man. FB is all I have for support. I fight feeling like I should deactivate it every day because it’s too hard for those looking in.

Start a blog Amber ppl can go read when they are mentally prepared Facebook throws it in our face! I don’t open it everyday to see your struggle sometimes I need the strength to move on!

Do you know how that sounds?

No

I know you don’t read my stuff – just click the unfollow button.

I won’t be doing that.

then understand I am doing the best I can and you are gonna see my guts spill from time to time. I don’t get to mentally prepare either.

Well that sounds vindictive I’m suffering so somebody else needs to suffer.

really? Go have your Holiday Lisa. I’m not being vindictive because you are uncomfortable. You can choose to see what I say or not see it. How is that vindictive? You can pop in when you feel like it. Unfollowing doesn’t mean we aren’t friends. Do what you are comfortable with. I have to live this daily and FB is where my support is. Why would you even think of taking that from me?

Think about how hateful you are becoming, I wouldn’t take anything from you Amber.

I think you should read today’s exchange Lisa. Surely you don’t mean how this has come across either.

Probably not but I don’t feel like I know who you are anymore, it seems you “like” being a victim I thought you were getting past all that.

this conversation is done. I don’t owe you justification for anything. Just unfollow me. That’s your simple answer.
I won’t love you any less – and I do love you.

Never said you did. I thought it was honesty and concern for you, sorry for upsetting you more.

I have all these words inside about this and mostly I hold them back. You see so little of them because I don’t say them.No one wants to hear them. I just over reacted to love and concern stated in a way that hit my raw nerves.
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Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever survived a stroke gracefully? 2 yrs, 3 yrs, 5 yrs, 7, 10….do all friends think we are selfish and dramatic and hateful and vindictive? Is it our plight to suffer in silence so we don’t inflict our lives on others? I guess I was kind of missing having a friend this morning and ran across THIS just as I was almost going to reach out.

And then my neighbor called me. She wanted to check on us. I think it’s important to keep our perspective straight even after being broadsided. Which happens a lot.

Giving, loving, serving, staying thankful and praising our God. Or sending out love to our fellow man if we aren’t Christian in whatever way we do – I really think it’s the only way we will be ok in the end. Plus, if I ever have to deal with the loss of my own mind, I want kindness and joy to be what’s left of me. 

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yesterday’s encouragement for the care giving wife

I decided to take this off of the reply thread I was responding to because it became too long. Before the stroke, we worked, we watched tv, we grocery shopped together – we played trivia, we hung out. I knitted while he watched sports. What did you do that you still do?

I get the nightmare part about this whole thing. From the time I was a kid though, life has been hard. I’ve always had to look for ways to cope.

My gramma used to tell me life is about balance. I clung to that all the years my kids were growing up. 1 was depressed. 2 were ADHD/bipolar, one had anxiety disorder, one has Asperger’s. I have 6 kids… It was my job to hold balance. — and now they are grown.

Kids growing up happens faster than you can believe. It’s the same with every day of our lives, isn’t it? We can’t change what has happened, only how we react to it. I used to tell my kids there may be bad moments, but never bad days. My husband would get so mad at me for being positive. He said he was gonna put “Pollyanna” on my headstone. I used to laugh and say go ahead. I still feel that way. “I am and always will be the optimist – the hoper of far-flung hopes – the dreamer of improbable dreams.”

Find a method to the madness. (It’s why I like Doctor Who so much. He is a hero with a screw driver, two hearts, older than our universe, able to be male or female, a time lord. lol he’s a madman with a box!)

Don’t beat yourself up!!!!!

Start every day saying thank you. Allow yourself permission to say no, to not do a chore, to let some dust settle. Delegate as much as you can. Make eye contact with your husband. Keep a blessing jar. Write down the good stuff. Don’t take phone calls; screen them so you only talk to who you choose. Stop apologizing. There are things we can see one day that we can’t see during another so change your plans when necessary. Pace yourself. Use pie plates to serve dinner in (they hold paper plates, collect crumbs and sit on laps well). Simplify everything. Play music. Collect mantras. Keep index cards with inspiration on them – from songs, to sayings, to scriptures, to recipes, Make notes about things that work. Share ideas. Keep a book in the bathroom. OR tape an inspirational poster to the back of the bathroom door so you can read it when you sit.

Find something for your hands to do when you are sitting. I knit. Tarsha colored and did her school work. Someone else might do a different craft. If you can’t craft, set up a card table with a jigsaw puzzle on it. It will make a difference. Carry a worry stone – whatever it turns into, stress releases through our fingers.

If something seems too hard, break it down into parts and see what you can change.

Always begin when you remember. 

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for worse? Is that where we are? I don’t think so.

I sat today and made myself look at Steve. I’d forgotten he has freckles on his head. We had doctor appointments this morning and she is going to try Steve on Prozac. After we left, I told him I wanted to take him for a $5 Bag lunch at Hardies. I really hi-jacked him. He didn’t say much as today’s been hard on him. His hip has started to hurt. We just sat there and experienced the moment. It’s the first time he’s left the house in a month. I reached my hand across the table and didn’t say a word. He put his hand on top of mine and we sat and looked out the window. A few minutes later, he turned sideways and tried to use his right arm and hand to grasp the cane. He gave it a very concentrated effort, twice. He couldn’t do it. He HAD a grip and could squeeze this time last year and now he can’t. He won’t go to church now and I’m sure he doesn’t pray. He’s angry that he’s not getting better. He started this day stomping and babbling and crying and I just told him he was GOING to the doctor and he was GOING to try an anti-depressant and he might as well not let his mood escalate. He understands me when he looses his words he just has no control while it lasts. It’s like telling a kid to stop only he’s not a kid and he won’t. I know, he argues “can’t”.
 
I’ve been thinking about the for better, for worse part of our vows lately. I’m not going anywhere. If he chooses to, it’s not going to be because I didn’t uphold my end. It was hard for me to get past the picture of food falling from his mouth and the foot long drool hanging and the snot. and the pee all down the front of the commode soaking into my vinyl flooring. Blah. I’ve put on 50 lbs and my back is getting worse from the sitting all day keeping him company. I have got to use this treadmill. My front teeth have crumbled and broken off – I look like a meth addict. He has a bit of worse to contend with too.
 
He woke up and asked me if I made fried chicken. I was baking chicken…but I don’t fry it. He misses being able to make decisions. I just do things most of the time. I don’t ask him because he cries and it ends up being “whatever you think” after a 2 hr argument.
 
Since we sold the house and got the check from it, I’ve put back money for big repairs and have gone about getting the things we’ve needed for the household. Honestly, we needed double the money we got. I got an estimate from people who care about us, and it came to more than we even received. So I have shut out the wants like fixing up the pantry and having someone paint inside and out. Instead, I’ have replaced stuff we lost in the move – a lawn mower, the treadmill, a chainsaw, sheets, blankets – 2 quilts and a comforter per bed… I paid off my love seat and bought both of us refurbished computers. I’ve gotten some clothes and a small set of hot rollers. I got 3$ a panel sheer curtains off of E bay and I got a yarn swift and a grill. Things are still sitting in boxes because HE always put stuff together. I have to do it when the time is perfect. I tithed on that money and I gifted a bit of it and paid some people back who really helped us during all this tribulation. So things are what they are. I’m not so upset about them. We will be more comfortable going forward.
 
So back to the vows – Is it the worse time? The time I swore to be faithful through? I don’t know. It seems pretty awful sometimes. On the other hand, I still have an amazing list of thank you’s to say each morning. The coffee is good. My knitting sells when I put it out there. I have friends and a paid off house. And my dogs and son make me laugh. I have enough to share and GIVE. So even though we get hung up in the better or worse aspect of things – my vows said exactly “I Amber take you Steve to be my lawful husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health as long as we both shall live.” Think about what you said too – For me, I realize tonight that there are 6 parts to that promise. I’m sure the vows or promises we made are different yet similar, for each of us. It came to me what a disservice we do both our mates and ourselves when we don’t face each day as a NEW day and let it become the best day it can be – even if it’s awful, there is something to draw from it that God can use to make us better people.
 
I remember back when I was care giving for Steve’s mom. She had ALS. She and Geoffrey, my son, both got the flu. I’d made a Thanksgiving meal from boxes and frozen items because it was the best I could do. Mom was puking into a trash can and my 7 yr old boy was fighting diarrhea and vomiting and crying. He was on the toilet, holding a bowl to puke in and he lifted his little tear stained face and said Mommy, puking and pooping at the same time is really unfair. All I could do was offer him a cool rag and say “Yeah Geoffie, it really is.”
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musings

It’s a good morning. Steve’s up, we watched recordings of Jeopardy and Hollywood Game Night and he’s having cereal. I’ve got 4 more rows before starting my sock gusset. G’s gonna vacuum. Kitty is doing super – she pounced my foot this morning. Brave girl lol. She also interacted with Rory and Salt and they all did well.

I’ve finished Job again this week. I think the only time I’ve ever considered God’s glory in that much detail was/is when I am totally silent and uninterrupted. The BIGNESS of all of Creation and the manifestation in nature and Spirit – of all that POWER transcends all religion. How can anyone not be lost in the AWE of the ALL? The Universe, the I AM? We exist down here with such pettiness; imagining that right and wrong registers on the same scale. Such vanity.  As Christ died for us, the preordained perfect sacrifice, his words take on even greater meaning “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” But God knows and (THEY) work the plan designed before the foundations of the world.
What if we all prayed “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” What if we all stopped fighting each other in the name of Left and Right, and Right and Wrong, and Good and Bad? What if we trusted – our Greatest God/Goddess – I AM – Creator/Comforter/Word, the ALL, to get it right? What if our colors and where we are from don’t matter at all? We are planned to be the family (wife, sons/daughters) with the same inheritance TOGETHER. It’s all going to become what it was always meant to be. A way of LOVE.
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