Tag Archives: Family

I Embarrassed Myself with a Knife

hysterical womanTwo days ago Mr. Husband probably had one of the worse days of his life. He spent most of his day with his Mom who is FREAKING OUT about a diagnosis of a stage one pre-cancerous lump in her breast. According to all medical professionals involved it is not even close to death sentence. She should be fine and live a normal life (whatever that means) and still go to a wedding in December in Key West, Florida.

We’re driving to North Texas to Key West because Mom-in-Law won’t fly. So we get to experience 4 days in a mobile insane asylum that is Hubman, mother-in-law, and me cowering in the back floorboard with my iPod cranked up loud enough to damage my hearing.

At this point I don’t care. If I go deaf it may be a blessing in disguise. I suggesting renting an RV to make things easier, but she nixed that idea immediately by announcing that she did not intend to go to the bathroom whilst flying down the road. I snapped “well who asked you to anyway?” That took her aback so there was temporary silence for a small bit. Jeebus, you would think I was expecting her to squat over a tomato juice can in the back seat like the rum runners used to do on their runs between Chicago and Kansas City.

Mother in Law has been in doom and gloom mode for 3 weeks now. In her mind she’s already gone down to Sparkman’s and picked out her coffin and tombstone. We’re hoping that this is a passing stage and she will come to terms with the fact that this is probably not her swan song after all.  She’s also angry with her husband who left her in death 3 years ago. Now she feels she’s facing this alone. I hear that it is common for the remaining spouse to be angry with the spouse who left them behind alone to cope with whatever comes along. But, we love her and she’s not alone. I hope she can find comfort in that eventually.

She had to get an MRI on Thursday. She declared herself claustrophobic and had already decided that she would lose her mind and die right there in the MRI machine. She didn’t of course. They doped her up so good that she had to use a cane when she got home that evening because she was too woozy to walk straight. Hey, I would have been yelling “Yee haw, I have a fantastic and totally legal major buzz on.” If one can not at least enjoy some part of unpleasant medical goings on – that’s just sad.

Anyway, Hubman got home from dealing with his Mom all day and walks in to me chopping broccoli with unusual animosity, even for broccoli. I seasoned them with lemon juice, olive oil and tears. I turned on him and began the story of how, since this is my third marriage, that this is my 5th rodeo with sick parents and the death of parents. I then told him that I was firmly in the camp that believes that elderly people have the right to make their own decisions and even die with dignity if that is their choice. Usually the worst enemy of the elderly parents in this scenario is their children, because they can’t let go. Also they have switched roles and think that they are the parent and the actual parent is now an uncooperative child.

I started screaming about how I think that the medical profession is ghoulish for keeping people alive when they don’t want to be and are supported by the children of the patient. I then went on to express my view that a medical power of attorney only comes into effect if or when the patient is not able to make decisions and that state of mind kicks in at a much later time than most family members chose to think so.

I finished my speech at the top of my lungs and in tears. It occurred to me later that I was waving a formidable 15 inch kitchen knife around like some mad conductor in the orchestra from hell. It happened to be in my hand when I started the tirade.

Mr. Husband managed to remain calm in this explosion of emotional catharsis. And I have to give him credit for that. I went to him later and apologized for waving a knife around like a mad woman and we cried on each other’s shoulder. We are both each other’s best friend and when we do not agree it’s a very lonely place to be.

So life goes on. Mom-in-law seems to have calmed down a bit. Or maybe it’s the Xanax, but we’re happy about it no matter what the reason. Hubman got her to talk to her friends who have had breast cancer and are now living happy lives and been in remission for decades. That seemed to help her a lot.

Life goes on. It’s all a learning process. Who knows how I would handle the situation if I were her. Maybe I’d be at the top of a tall building drinking from a whiskey bottle and throwing tomatoes at passersby.

A Slightly Different Father’s Day Perspective

fathers dayI salute all the great fathers out there today. If you are active in your children’s lives my hat is off to you. You Da Man!

Father’s day has always given me a bit of a heavy heart. I’m green with envy for those of you who have one. With all his flaws and quirks, you have a father. I didn’t have one growing up. Of course someone helped my mom create me, but they broke up before I was born. They were both 16 and marriage was not an option. I happened anyway. God has a funny way of bringing life into the world no matter what.

I met him once when I was 24 years old. His only comment to me was “you look a lot like my oldest daughter.”  My response was “well that would be because I AM your oldest daughter!”  Jackass.  All my life I’ve pondered the questions. Did he not love me, or was he just too young to realize what he did? Why has he never shown any interest in being a part of my life? Did he not want his “family” to know about me? I have sisters and brothers I’ve never met.  He lives or lived in the same town as me. I don’t know if he’s dead or alive.

It’s a thorn in my heart every day. When I get to the great beyond I intend the walk up to him and yell “HEY! What the hell was your problem anyway?” Are we allowed to yell in heaven?  Maybe that’s what purgatory is for – a place to get rid of any leftover post-mortem dirty laundry.

Did not having a dad skew my relationships with men? You betcha.  It took me decades to accept the fact that a man could be a permanent fixture in my life, not just some passing episode, or ship in the night, better not thought about often.

A dad’s input into choosing a man is important for young women, or so I’ve heard. Mine was strictly trial and error. Pretty much 47 years of errors until I found Mr. Right. Mr. Right is Mr. Husband of course. What attracted him to me other than his obvious fine self, evil sense of humor, intelligence, wit, sense of honor and integrity, was the fact that he had a mom and a DAD. One of those mythical creatures those other kids had living in their homes. Hubman’s parents lived together in the holy and hellish state of matrimony for over 50 years and raised 2 fine sons. One of which I am proud to call my mate.

To my mind this told me that at least Hubman had a role model for a stable, long-term relationship and valuable guidance from a man’s point of view. His dad became my father figure, and I loved every minute of it. He was always gentle and never yelled at me. And he did a lot of yelling. Mr. Husband can testify to that. The preceding 47 years of no father gave me a unique perspective. I knew that every minute was precious because he was up there in years and time was running out.

Sometimes I would get annoyed when he would comment on every little thing I thought or planned to do, but at the same time I loved it. It was a feeling of security and that an older wiser man had my back, and loved me no matter what stupid jam I got myself into because I thought I knew it all. A feeling I never had throughout my life.

I’m not dissing the importance of mothers and grandmothers at all here. But there really were no men in my family. Ours was strictly matriarchal. I know how to do and enjoy all kinds of girl stuff, but I know squat about football, team players, “working as a team” and all the other euphemisms that men and women know from growing up with men in their lives.

Mr. Husband’s father passed away 2 years ago between Christmas and New Year. We brought him home from the hospital in an ambulance so he could spend Christmas Eve with family and friends. A few days later he went to his reward peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family. The nurse commented that she had never seen a room so crammed full of family and that he knew he was loved. Of course he was. And he loved every one of us and worked hard his entire life to take care of his family.

Now he’s gone.  I grieved his passing not only for his loss, but for the fact that I lived almost my entire life without a father. Not a day passes that I don’t think of him, or wish I could ask him a question or get his advice. I ask him anyway. I know he’s listening.

The Thot Plickens

A camping we will go. A camping we go. Hi ho! My mom arrives here tonight from New Orleans. I’ve decided to take her with me on the great camping trip of 2011. The more the merrier I say! It may be a bit of a tight squeeze in the car, but if it gets too bad I will lash grandson to the roof.

We need another sleeping bag now. The 2 I bought last week were supposed to be oversized, but 6’2” Mr. Grandson is too long for them. Surely there are sleeping bags for tall guys?!?

After coffee Mr. Husband and I are heading to the army navy surplus to see if anything there catches my fancy. I would like something to sit on this time. In the past it was whatever was available; the ground, a newspaper, rock, milk crate, ant hill. OK I have never personally sat on an anthill, but I do have the ability to quick strip a kid and knock fire ants off them in 60 seconds or less. Should I put that on my resume?

I am also experienced in water rescue. My mom can’t swim so it’s a handy skill to have. We got in over our heads literally and figuratively in a swollen creek in the Texas hill country once upon a time. I gave her a push towards a tree branch and went back to get my daughter, who CAN swim. However she was doing an academy awards performance of the noisiest drowning ever to occur in the history of drowning human kind. I’m sure they heard her screaming in El Paso. I ended up dragging her by her hair to the shore. She was struggling and scratching so hard that it was the only way.

Back at the fire I gave them a stern lecture about clear water in creeks and how it can appear to be shallow while being extremely deep. They agreed sheepishly that I would test the water before they got in instead of after, requiring me to go into full life guard mode when all I wanted to do was peacefully commune with nature. It’s a good thing my mom had me take swimming lessons when I was 4 years old. I don’t fear the water, but I respect it. What I do fear is the nasty little critters IN the water that want to taste you or attach themselves to you. How rude!

Grandson Adventurer – Day 1

Grandson's Shoes

Grandson's Shoes

Well my beautiful grandson arrived last night from Maine. I can tell by looking at him that he has made some questionable life choices the past few years. He 30 pounds lighter than the last time I saw him, has a huge tattoo on his arm. This sounds like a job for super-grandma. Where’s my apron – I mean cape?

I woke up this morning feeling like it was Christmas morning. Went tip toeing into the den to take a peek at him to make sure he was OK. He looks so innocent asleep, like all kids do. I was with his mom when he was born and now 24 years later here he is on my sofa. What a trip.

What will the next few months bring? I have such high hopes for him. He’s a good-hearted kid, intelligent, full of himself and gullible, as all young guys are. He’s also polar opposite on sports teams than my husband. Hub-man roots for the Cowboys, grandson is a Patriots fan. That will make for some interesting adventures come fall. I will probably lock myself in the bedroom then.

A friend laughed at me last night and said “you know that balance has shifted now, you will be living in a house with 2 GUYS.” EEK. I’ll have to talk to my sister who lives with her husband and 2 sons for guidance. I’ve never been gender outnumbered before. I had 2 brothers but 3 sisters, so the boys in our house were always out voted 2 to 1.

Last night I tried to feed him and he said “I don’t want to eat you out of house and home.” When he wakes up I’ll have a talk with him. Rule #1 here is that you’re not allowed to be hungry at Grandmother’s house. It’s just not done. I’ll stuff him so full of food he will run when he’s sees me coming.

We’ll get to the other rules later today, time enough for that.

Who Made You King of Anything?

Henry the 8thDon’t get me wrong. I love Mr. Husband. I don’t plan to leave, regardless of anything I may say to the contrary. (this is the standard  disclaimer for rants) However, sometimes I feel like a giant amoeba is tying to absorb me.  To explain we need to take a quick trip on the way back machine. His dear old dad was an intelligent and good-hearted man.  Unfortunately he was also a bit self centered and a self appointed king of his universe and therefore of everyone, everything, what they said and what they thought.

Ok, dear old dad passed away one year ago today. In addition, during this year darling husband has been filling dad’s shoes in the family business which is an extremely difficult task no matter how much planning went into this. Unfortunately, he also thinks that he has inherited his dad’s throne and gone from prince to the new king of everyone and everything.

This does not work for me, to put it mildly. I grew up in a mainly matriarchal family. Never in my 50+ years of existence did I have a man “trying” to tell me what to do, what to not do, who to be, what to think. Now that I’m married later in life to DH, it’s like a daily bucket of cold water in the face. I’ve spent the last few years sputtering and wondering what the hell happened. Hubby comments on every freakin’ thing I do, which flips me right out.

He is also 7 years younger than me which doesn’t help in the bossing’ around department. He asks me questions like “are you going to take bath?” For a while I tried humor, responding with “why no I’m not, not now or ever again. I have decided that, in the interest of ecology, I’m going to conserve water, so baths and showers are just right out ”  He responds with a “huh” and a deer in the headlights stare. Does he actually believe me?

Someday continued scientific research will prove that males and females are related in the same mammal tree somewhere, but not actually the same species. These are my thoughts and I’m sticking to them!

My Favorite Song for this Week. Sara Bareilles – King Of Anything

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