So maybe you do or maybe you don't know?
My Pop lives in a nursing home and has Parkinson's disease and it's progressive and he's doing pretty bad. He can't find his words anymore due to dementia associated with Parkinson's so he can't speak and the last time my sister visited him, he was incontinent and wet himself out in public.
I know - total buzz kill for my funny little blog right? Well - just wait a minute.
It IS really hard to drive 3 hrs to go see him in Bayard NE. And I feel awful every time I do because I am the one that put him there. I know, I know - he needed to be in a nursing home but every time I see him, I think I'M the one that did this to him.
He lives in 1/2 of a room, has only a handful of belongings and he is dependant on Medicaid. He shares his room with a comatose patient and I think, "I am the one that did this to my Dad. " My sister didn't help to move him so it really was me and me alone.
Everyone who knows the situation assures me it's the right thing and I keep telling myself that this is one of those instances in life when the right thing doesn't feel very good. I have to focus on the fact that he is fed, he is clean and he is safe. But still, I get riddled by guilt even with all the positive speeches I give myself. Must be the growing up Catholic thing and going to a school attached to a convent of nuns. I don't know.
K - so stay with me here. I'm setting this up. I'm not sad or anything - really - I'm fine!
I have a younger sister who is cute and smart and funny and thin. We don't get along. At all. Like oil and water we are. (oops, I'm slipping into Yoda speak) We are like day and night. If you met us, you would never guess we are sisters. Once we tell people and they get over their shock, they will squint and say, "ohhhhh - yeah, NOW I can see it - I can see some resemblance"
I wish it were different and I wish I had this really great sisterly bond with her but I don't and probably never will. At the same time, I don't have a crystal ball and who am I to say how life will play out?
Anyhoo, she had a baby last July. And I guess with new life, along came my sister trying to get along better, mending fences and all that ballyhoo so her child will know family. My sister is making an effort.
I get an e-mail from her every month or two and I reply and so the doors of communication are open. That is probably a good thing.
Everyone still with me? Here comes the funny part!
My sister sent me an e-mail saying she is gonna go visit Dad with her daughter, my niece. And as I described before, that is a really icky emotional thing right? At least it is for me and I can only assume on some level for her as well.
Then she says, after she sees him, on her way back to Denver, could she stop by and visit me?
After my eyebrows lowered from the shock of her coming to see me, THAT question right there is what just about brings me to my knees with laughter.
Because a visit to me is on par with a visit to my deteriorating father in Bayard NE who can't talk anymore, falls over regularly and pees himself! (you just have to develop a sick sense of humor because if you can't laugh, you will cry and laughing is just so much more FUN!)
Oh, I know. She is trying. I will be good, I won't discuss anything she would find distasteful and I won't share anything of large importance to my life. She will do the same. Things will be "pleasant". A bit odd and a bit stiff, but pleasant enough for everyone's sake. I will have a small window to play with my neice and get to know her.
If you only knew my sister and how she thinks... I know she's killing two birds with one stone and while she is probably confident I won't piss myself while she's visiting, I know a visit to me with dogs and cats and horses and goats in the country is NOT at all a fun thing for her to do.
And that my friends just makes me laugh so hard in my head that I'm snorting like a pig....
Lucky for me, I have a fun graduation party to attend after my sister leaves. My cute as a bug friend, Meg, is done with college! HOORAY for her! A bunch of friendly faces and people I love will be there so if there is any residual stiffness left in my bones, the graduation party will bring me back round to my fun-loving, loosey-goosey self.
It's all about balance isn't it?