Just sitting in front of the computer makes the last week seem like an incredible tale manufactured for the sole purpose of testing my will to live. One minute you’re reminiscing about summer days spent with your grandmother in the mountains, and the next thing you know reality is jack hammering you like a bad stretch of road. Certainly not a perfect stretch of road, but also not one that needed to be replaced quite yet.
I will be the first to admit life has been unusually hectic the last decade. I know you think I’m exaggerating. If it weren’t my actual life I wouldn’t buy it either! Let’s take a moment here to recap in chronological order, as opposed to starting with the most emotionally traumatizing to the least. Ten years ago my husband’s grandfather’s 90 year-old first cousin has a small stroke, walks into a bank, and signs over her entire life’s savings to a complete stranger.
We adore this woman who was a nurse before penicillin was discovered, and had been helping her maintain her independence for the last four years prior to the banking fiasco. So we move her into our home where she lived with us for the next three years before she passed away. Did I mention our two bedroom home which had just begun construction was already at full capacity so this required my husband, and I to sleep in our living room on a fold out couch.
My father was diagnosed with cancer. He had a stroke during a surgical procedure to remove his cancer. My mother who did not drive, or speak English fluently, and was raising my youngest brother who was still in middle school now had to completely care for our father. So we buy a house within walking distance from our home, and we pack up their lives in another state to start over in ours. For those of you who maybe counting we had added two more adults, and one teenager to our lives.
Then our cousin who is living in our home becomes completely bed ridden the last 9 months of her life. She passes then two years later my father dies. My brother is then diagnosed with mental illness, so we find our lives in need of transforming again. Things start to level out, and then my father-in-law breaks his back. He has to have surgery. He is an older man who ends up hospitalized for over four months, and suffers complications that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down.
We make sure that at least two family members visit him at his long-term care facility on a daily basis. We have managed to keep this schedule going for almost four years now. Then my mother is diagnosed with early onset dementia. So once again we are trying to face life from a new perspective. I don’t mind telling you that we are a strong bunch. There is no shortage when it comes to our love, or willingness to commit to seeing each other through life’s ups and downs.
I must also admit that we are all growing weary in our attempt to survive this unbelievable decade. Which made last weeks events almost unbearable. It started with the news that the hearing loss in my left ear will be permanent. I’m adjusting to this loss. I certainly don’t like it, but it is something I can accept. My mother is starting to change in her demeanor. This is something I find much more difficult to accept. I think the most difficult thing for me of all was learning that my husband has developed a life threatening condition.
We are lucky because his condition was caught just prior to becoming something irreversible. It will require major lifestyle changes. Something we have already begun to undertake. So in addition to finishing our construction on our own, trying to find a reasonable homeowners insurance for a state nobody wants to cover, working, running to the nursing facility to care for our loved one, we are trying to research, and make difficult life changes. All of this lead to my MFBA (Missing From Blog Action). The sad truth is that I haven’t been able to get rid of the sound of life’s jack hammer going off in my head. Ironically a relentless sound that can’t even be muffled by hearing impairment. 😉