Reconciling One Outta Three Ain’t Bad
Posted on March 26, 2012
Do you ever feel that, despite adversity, you’ve found something resembling a balance within the imbalance? And for some reason you can’t quite put your finger on, which is probably for the best, it works or at least exists at the moment? I didn’t realize until last week just how much I was in that exact situation and how quickly it can change. Mother + son = taking care of father. Now, what happens when mum comes down with a kidney stone and, for any length of time, is unable to take care of dad when the son is at work? This is something we hadn’t really talked about or thought through and hoped wouldn’t rear its ugly head. So, do you see how tenuous the situation actually is?
I’d just gotten out of the shower last Wednesday morning when the phone rang. Nobody ever calls me that early (before 6 a.m.) unless it’s the hubby, so I was half tempted to answer with something playfully flippant. Good thing I didn’t because it was mum. She was in excruciating pain from what she thought was a kidney stone–all three of us have had these–and asked me to drive over and take her to the hospital. Needless to say, I hauled ass!
It was a number of hours before things returned to a semi-normal state and mom was feeling better. Unfortunately, having one of these stupid stones really takes it out of you and dad, in his current state, doesn’t understand why he can’t go for a walk when he wants, why we can’t drop what we’re doing and take him for a drive or that mom was in pain. And even when you explain it to him, it doesn’t stick and he’s asking the same questions a few minutes later. This is just part of the disease, but it’s something we didn’t consider or really prepare for in the event something like this happened.
Because I’m already only working three days a week, taking an additional day off is problematic at best. Obviously, my family comes first and if someone in it asks me to take them to the hospital, I’m on my way. I was fortunately able to make up the time by going in on Friday and while my boss is understanding, he still has a business to run. So that’s one part of the complication. I took my dad for the rest of the day on Wednesday so mom could recuperate. The rest of the complication comes in when looking after dad includes needing help looking after mom. I have time-management skills, but I haven’t learned how to be in two places at once.
This lead to an interesting development.
I’ve mentioned in the past about not having spoken to my grandmother–my mother’s mother–in sixteen years. We had a brief written exchange after Christmas when I took time off work to watch dad while mom was there for grandma when her (grandma’s) husband passed away. In light of last Wednesday, I felt it was time to nudge things a forward, especially since grandma lives close by. I wrote a letter to her and basically stated that I could have done things different all those years back, that I was sorry, and that while I accept responsibility for my part in how things ended, I was not the only party involved. She and I both contributed to it. We could easily go on never speaking again and it wouldn’t change our lives now. However, if we both chose to get to know each other again, then we’d have more to gain than not.
We spoke on the phone Friday for the first time and the letter was taken very well. I came away from it feeling very good about the direction and knowing I can call her if something like with mom happens again and need her help. It won’t be awkward. This is something very positive since my last efforts trying to reconcile with two former friends ended in silent defeat. Two for two isn’t a particularly stunning average, but I’ll take one in three.
It’s a start.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.