Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Superwoman Burns Out - Part 2

We sold our home, bought the new house, found a residence for my mom in law, drove 6 days across the country, painted some rooms when we got here, and were fully unpacked, up and running and ready to receive our first overnight guests (When you live on the west coast people visit you) ALL within 3 months!!

   Throw in my work which took me back to Toronto 6 times and then 6 mini tours to the USA speaking and singing, including a high profile TEDx Conference talk in Utah ( see video below) to write and prepare for and 8 visits from overnight guests here at the new hacienda. (Don’t get me wrong I love having guests!)

   Add to that my newly required position and responsibility of personal caregiver to Miss Kitty, my mother in law, even though we had moved her into a senior’s residence. Then the daze, weeks and months of persuading, cajoling and nearly begging, her to; allow the staff to administer her medication, take up the walker and forgive us for moving her across the country, taking away her car, and insisting she rid her self of some extraneous too- hard- to- get- rid -of memorabilia. (Does my husband’s baby teeth and potty trainer seat give you any idea?) YES he IS an only child.

   This didn't however make her give up her four closets, 2 dressers, and one cedar chest worth of clothes and shoes! Oh did I tell you she likes to go shopping? Then came her five day hospital stay as she was treated for a bad to very bad UTI (urinary tract infection) that she probably had for months, thus all the signs and symptoms of full blown dementia. The learning curve was fast and furious. Who knew the bladder and brain were so closely connected!
 One day I came home and told my husband I thought I might be turning into an alcoholic, as I poured myself a glass of red wine to ease the stress. Slowly I came face to face with the reality that my new BFF was my 88 year old mother in law!

   And while we’re on the subject, didn't we go and adopt a cute little shiatsu named Penny from an 85 year old man who couldn't care for her any longer. And didn't this sweet little poochie need love and care and teeth surgery and understanding new owners because she had never been properly house trained. AHHHH!!!

The little culprits we love - Penny and Lily!
   For weeks, for months I was (and still am) stepping onto short little brown sausages camouflaged on my carpet and trying to guess which area rug she was now urinating on, marking as her territory. One bonus was that our 11 year old poodle Lily, has coprophagia ( A penchant for eating her own - dare I say feces...YUCK!) and so we were relieved from much of the clean up. Whew!

   Then throw in my husband Gord’s bout with jaundice, pancreatitis and gallbladder surgery. This time, two hospitals, ambulances, more tests and waiting, waiting and finally waiting! He is doing great by the way.

Lake Cowachin Vancouver Island, BC
   But what really sent me over the edge was the unexpected tragic drowning of my oldest brother Billy, which took place on my other brother Frank's waterfront property on Vancouver Island. It left our family waiting for 6 weeks until my brother's body was recovered in order that we might have closure. A great sadness for all of us, especially for his two young adult children.

   All the left over pain, the residue of such great loss starting as a young child, including my parents,  2 brothers and my only sister, came crashing down like a severe hail storm pulverizing a lone prairie wheat field in the heat of July. Once there were 7 and now just 2.

   The word "assault" was branded on my mind. Our family had felt this deep pain so many times. More children, left without parents. History continually repeating itself. The ache is old but it truly never goes away…never.

Singing  - still a way to cope and heal.
   To say the year was anything less than jammed packed with changes and challenges would be an understatement.

To be continued....


  1. Can't imagine the continuing assault on your family and how your heart must ache. Hugging you in my heart. ~ Linda

  2. Thanks Linda. It's a battle unto itself. I am not alone though and that is what keeps me sane and pressing on.xxoo