Monday, March 20, 2006

No progress

I have no progress to show for the weekend. I did try the new pattern for my sockpal/cirque du socks socks, and I like how it looked, but I got panicky that they wouldn't fit my sockpal and I ripped back again. I based this on the fact that I had difficulty pulling them on. I forgot my sockpal has a smaller foot than me. Doh!

The weekend was really emotionally stressful. My grandmother has been having a hard time ever since she broke her ankle last fall. It really crushed her spirit and even though the ankle is fine now, she is still down. Now, her arthritis is really hurting her in her back and hips and that's limiting her mobility and everything has made her emotional problems rise to the surface. I definitely inherited my problems with anxiety and depression from her.

This weekend, we had to deal with the two most pressing issues: my aunt who believes the world centers around her, and getting my grandmother to go to church on Sunday. My aunt is a nice person for the most part, but she has her problems and stress and she tends to take them out on my grandmother, primarily by guilt-tripping her if things aren't going her way. This weekend, my aunt decided to visit for the day and this threw my grandmother into a tizzy because having too many people at her house at once is upsetting to her and my aunt was bringing her 4 year-old son and her dog. The other members of the family have nicknamed this dog the devildog. Last fall, he walked right up to my mother and peed on her leg. He is now banned from my mother's house. My biggest fear was that he was going to knock my grandmother over. Anyway, despite the fact that we had already planned that I would bring my grandmother to my mother's house that day, Grandma stayed at home so that Jean (who had thrown a little temper tantrum) could visit her and I went to Mom's so I could see my siblings.

That was Saturday. Then, Sunday morning, I had to convince my grandmother to go to Mass. Normally, this isn't a problem because she's a devout Catholic. However, she has problems with social anxiety and due to the closing of several churches in her area her church is now full to the rafters and it totally freaks her out. And she's afraid she'll trip and fall in front of everyone.

We didn't even really get into the fact that she needs to move out of her house because you can only do so much in a weekend.

All of this falls to me because, as I said, my aunt is too self-centered, my other aunt lives in Colorado, my uncle doesn't want to get involved and my mother has a hard time pushing her mother to do things she doesn't want to do. And it has long been known that my grandmother can refuse me nothing. And I don't take no for an answer anyway.

So, that combined with driving 5 hours Friday to get to Grandma's, 1.5 hours each way back and forth to Mom's on Sat., and then another 5 hours to get back to Chicago on Sunday (by the way, I visit more often than my aunt who lives 3 hours away, can you tell I'm not real happy with her right now?), I'm beat. I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

I know many of you can understand--you have aging parents to take care of. I just thought I would have a lot longer before I had to deal with this kind of stuff. And I would if my mom and her siblings weren't dropping the ball.


  1. Oh boy do I know what you mean. I spent the weekend at my Aunt's house and got to see my dad and sister (I'm at college right now), and since my mom died two years ago things have been crazy.. talk about draining.

  2. Yep...definitely understand. My grandparents are starting to have serious health problems, and because my parents are the most stable kids of each of their families, a lot of the heartbreak of taking care of their parents is falling to them. It's so hard - I'm very close with my father's parents, and I worry about them, and I worry about my parents and how stressful it is for them.

    You definitely have my empathy, and my ear any time you need to talk.