Sunday, July 12, 2015
Good News, Bad News
In June of 2013 one of my granddaughters graduated from high school. I was happy to attend the ceremony. Because my son and his family live an hour and a half from where I live, it is quite a drive. The day was beautiful. I enjoyed driving my little standard-shift convertible to the graduation.
I had one of my best days in a very long time a few days ago. I was invited to a picnic at my son’s father-in-law’s house. He has a beautiful home that he pretty much built himself, on a mountain, in the middle of the woods. It is a beautiful, peaceful place. He feeds the wildlife, as I do.
My three granddaughters sat with me on the porch as we ate. I am so blessed to know that they have a small part of me in each of them. All three are young women now, and the oldest will be leaving soon to go to college.
As we sat talking, I was remembering moments from the past about them. They make me proud. I pray that each one of them takes the right path in life and finds love and happiness.
After we had been talking awhile, my son sat down with us. We kept on talking for a long time. What a perfect day it was, one I will always remember!
A recent incident has me very upset.
A family member who is 90 years old had a very bad argument with the farmer who lives across the road. This elderly family member’s son and our previous farm manager both witnessed the dispute. The son stepped in to stop it. This family member plants a garden every year and has a table out by our road to give his vegetables away. He also mows a very dangerous hill for that same farmer. In the winter he goes from driveway to driveway plowing people out. He never takes money for any of this.
The argument with the farmer ended up putting the 90-year-old into the hospital. Recently, I went to the hospital to visit our elderly family member, and as I sat there, I got more and more upset. To think anyone would yell at a 90-year-old!
I, too, had a bad encounter with this same farmer last year.
This time, when I got home, I decided to go across the road to try to make sure that this never happened again. I wanted his family to talk to this person so that he would think twice before starting another such argument. What I encountered was yet another angry person, who was just as disrespectful to me as his cousin had been with the 90-year-old. What terrible people!
The farmer who yelled at our elderly relative uses his diabetes as an excuse for why he frequently yells at people. I have diabetes, too; however, I do not go around disrespecting other people.
DEATH OF MY BROTHER-IN-LAW
The call came from my sister last week that her husband had died at home. Marlene lives approximately two hours away, up in the Catskill region. It was a challenge for me to get all my medicines together and all the supplies that I use daily in order to be able to take the trip. As it turned out, I was on my way quickly, as I did not want to be driving in the dark. About halfway there I realized I had forgotten my clothes. The only clothes I had with me were the clothes I was wearing.
My sister was in bad shape! A neighbor had stayed with her until I got there. Both my sister and her husband had been off work for two years, Don because of his heart condition and lung cancer, Marlene because of stress. She is going through a terrible time.
I’m going to try to go back up there as soon as possible. She is afraid to be alone, which is a real problem. I have so much work to keep up with at my house this time of year that I don’t know what to do right now, but I have to come up with some sort of plan to travel up there as much as possible.
My sister tells me she had a rough day today. She had to pick up Don’s ashes. She brought them home and put them in a special place in her house to honor his life. After it was all done, she felt more at peace. He had chosen a place on their property where he wanted his ashes to be spread. When my sister is ready to follow his wishes, she will. But not now! My heart is with her, as she goes through this very sad time in her life.
As the days and weeks go by, I feel more and more useless trying to help my sister. She is afraid to live alone. Her husband never taught her to do the things she will have to do now. He also did not like to socialize, so most of their friends were lost through the years. She has good neighbors who are doing the mowing and keeping an eye on her, but she thinks she needs a friend living with her. I do not think the friend she tells me about is going to move in. I am so worried about her! This seems the first time in my life that I cannot fix the problem.
Even if I could move in there, that would not fix everything. Our father’s drinking and her mother’s emotional and physical abuse have affected my sister deeply. Yes, we talked about our lives, but I still can’t fix them.
I am not at a crossroads. I’m at a dead-end street. I can’t fix this! I never considered doing the things in my life that I had to do as showing strength, but I guess it did. I don’t know how, but I survived it much better than did my sister.
UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2013
Many weeks have gone by, and I still have not been able to get back up to see my sister.
Between medical appointments and tests, farm work, animal care, etc., I cannot seem to reach a condition allowing me to escape for a couple of days. The days are getting shorter, which has put me into a panic mode. I do not want to drive upstate in the dark.
There have been some very bad things happening with Alan’s daughter lately. He has asked me not to write about them. I will make that decision after I have the time and space to give it more thought.
I had dinner with my old police friend and his wife. I really love both of them, and we had a wonderful time. How nice to sit and talk to them! We need to get together more often.
We are serializing the memoir Kidnapped Twice, by Mary E. Seaman and myself. It tells of her abuse in childhood and her slow recovery from it. You can get it in paperback or ebook format from amazon.com or its publisher, Outskirts Press.