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The alarm goes off a bit past 6AM. I rise exhausted from yet another poor nights sleep. Soon I have meandered unsteadily into the shower.
This is my favorite time of day ... for it is mine!
After dressing I will slip off to the kitchen to make fresh coffee. I can already hear my daughter in the shower by 6:30.
The rooster crows. Not too loud shadow, please ... this is my time, and I am not quite ready to share it.
No television ... no background arguing ... every single light in the house not needing yet to be turned on ... this is my time.
Alas, it passes too quickly.
I wake my son by 7AM, and again at 7:10AM. Reluctantly he drags himself upright reminiscent of a toddler awakening from nap time. He is 9 now, but in the morning I still see that baby wanting to be dressed and carried.
Get dressed I insist, and edge the clothes up higher on the bed.
I escape to the kitchen for another cup of coffee.
Mom, comb out my hair.
Mom, I had that for lunch yesterday.
Mom, sign this.
Mom, I'll die if you don't let me go.
It's a new day, same dialogue.
By the time we finish breakfast we've already demonstrated sibling hostility and we are, as usual, running late.
After a few more mentions of whose fault our tardiness is, we are out the door to race the school bell.
Today, we made it.
Most days ... it is hit or miss.
Don't be too friendly ... don't talk to her, you know she needs a volunteer. Don't say yes to another bake sale. Keep driving through the drop off circle.
Not quick enough.
Sure... I'd love to coordinate the school feast.
UGH! Who is this person saying yes when I told her to say no!
Okay, my time again.
so to speak.
Off to the dry cleaners, market, drug store.
I must complete all my errands by 10AM, before the queen riseth.
Soon she will enter and the Kingdom will learn its creed of the day.
I hope her demeanor will be pleasant, with not too many aches and pains. Some light marketing and a doctors appointment perhaps.
But most days ... lately... Her Good Morning, it sounds more like the decree of the day... OFF WITH HER HEAD.
Thankfully the kids must be picked up near 3PM and I will escape back to my SUV.
Mom... I am starving!
Don't touch my cello!
Mom, he stuck his tongue out at me.
The kids have lap desks and library's buried somewhere under the WC in my SUV or we'd never get the H/W done!
This year I assured myself we'd have less after school activities.
Then came student council, an additional music ensemble we just had to join, and the Christmas show at Civic Theater. (At least baseball season is over!)
On a really good day, we will make it to a family restaurant and sit down for dinner between music lessons, drama, sports.
On every other Friday, I will have enough time to cook!
Most days however we will eat fast food in the car rushing from place to place.
I never realized providing all I could for my children meant spending more time in my SUV than in my bed!
Play rehearsal and orchestra behind us, we return home near 9PM.
Mom... We're starving!
After more junk food, they are ready to unwind with a book and head to bed.
This is my TV time. I am yet to see the murder occur on an episode of Law and order. Yet lately, I can't make it until they solve the crime either.
I am asleep nearly the second my head hits the pillow.
But not for very long.
By 2AM I am awake, and reviewing lists of things to do the next day.
I have so many lists... I never complete any of them.
Finally I drift off to sleep again shortly before the alarm goes off to signal the begin of the new days marathon.
I rise exhausted from yet another poor nights sleep. Soon I have meandered unsteadily into the shower. Here I am again, the favorite part of my day!

[This message has been edited by Dutiful Daughterinlaw (edited 11-19-2002).]
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My heart goes out to you...and truly I have a smile for the humor out shines it all.. you are in need of having to laugh at yourself as well..we are all so serious... sometimes when i read posts just like yours, I think i should have no worries, and yet when I see I am wearing ten different hats to two web sites, to my mom who incidentally was blown off her feet into a crash landing on the side of her head, feet, hands, knees, cheeks and 14 hrs in the emergency room on sat with no sleep..taking her home with the er doctor telling me my mother has pneumonia and that is elderly abuse, i reiterate to him that my mother had had a large dosage of lasix, a water pill and not one nurse, aid or doctor placed nor removed a bed pan from beneath my mother in 14 back one gave my mother an antibiotic as had been prescribed 13 hours earlier and no one brought the tylenol for her pain until the 11th this i call elderly abuse doctor...wanna make something of it.. I took my mother back to my place... made her comfy, put her on oxygen, antibiotics...lost a lot of sleep but nurtured her to good spirits and healing in the safety and beauty of my home... had to cancel two days of a business trip out of town for the non profit..

we all have lots to bear... and many of us dimminish it... pushing ourselves harder and one does this to one can make us do is what we choose to do in the moment..

so I wonder dutiful...why you do it for your mom if there is such huge resentment... let's get to the core of this and see if more healing can take place... I know there is some underlying dynamic that you are not approaching... it's safe to go there, move into forgive ness and to heal... you deserve it for yourself.

richest blessings
Dear Gail,
Thanks for support. I am so seep on the my own drowning it is easy to forget everyone posting is equally treading water.
Your weekend sounds dreadful.
I am sorry for her pain. I am sorry for yours. I am even sorry for the ER that is so understaffed it can not even dispence basic care.
You have been so supportive.
I know it isn't much... but you are in my thoughts.

Thank you... however, what I was trying to communicate is that while in someways your writing can be carthartic.. and humorous for others who can relate to it.. it is bittersweet and you are hurting and drowning.. as you said. I wanted you to be able to say this before discussing it. It was important for it to come from you.

You must understand that in any given moment in time you have choices. It is important for you to get in touch with more of what your own needs are and to make yourself a self less priority so you can be there for others. Balancing the sandwiched caregiving role is no easy challenge.. I am concerned that you may need some counseloring and support offline as well. We can be here for you just so much. There are a lot of family dynamics and conditioning from within yourself that need healing in order to be more balanced and whole from within.. you deserve it as we all do...

please keep us posted...richest blessings
It has been nearly a year since I posted that.
Fearing nothing in my life would ever change...
Ironicly, though we can do nothing about our sandwich, we are considering a new SUV. After the ac died yesterday when it was 102* the garage commented how many miles I had put on. Chuckling I realized I had barely left the county limits!
Anyhows, with free financing a new SUV may be more reliable a great pick me up... DH is checking into it and after the dreadful post I regret writing and posting earlier, I felt a need to post something positive.
I come to this board far more than I post. I try to support others, but realize I can barely cope myself.
My "new SUV" is a year and a half old now. It has mastered wheel chairs, oxygen, and school books!
My teens are less dependent about their ADL, and more demanding at the same time. They're both middle schoolers now with MS attitudes.

My MIL is in an acute depression rendering us both helpless. DH is finally begining to accept the fact that while nothing has physically changed in our lives, her desire to die and end the pain is making day to day coping less successful.
I was waiting for her in the foot doctors office the other day and decided to go sit in the car and listen to the radio. The song DANCE WITH MY FATHER AGAIN came on and I listened with an understanding I knew its writer shared. I would do anything for her... BUT NONE OF US HAVE THE RIGHT TO GRANT THAT WISH...
She misses the companionship, and also a time when she was HEALTHY which sadly coincides with life prior to my FIL's death.
She misses him so and wants to be with him... Not a fact she chooses to hide any longer, or that my kids are coping with well.
My 11 year old thinks BOTH grandma and I are going through the CHANGE because my face turns bright red and I turn on all the fans when a flush hits... So when she starts venting now and her face turns red he runs to turn on the fan! Poor little guy, she ofcourse yells at him it's cold and shut the fan and he shrugs off venting "WOMEN".

Are we wrong to treat and treat? I mean, ofcourse she needed the quadruple bypass, and all the physical therapy that followed. But it is barely 10 years, and she has endured colon cancer, a hot appendix, emergency gal bladder surgery, 2 failed hernia repairs, multiple wound infections, and phneumonias. I can barely control her diabetes or blood pressure at this point and she's been legally blind over 13 years. She's fed up, and I am left to wonder whether we treat our parents to make them well... or if we treat them to keep us well. Quality of life never seems to enter into those treatment decisions.
I know she never wanted to be dependent and I never wanted to deny her that independence... but still- here we are.

My kids have finally stopped asking why does Grandma want to die, so I suppose that is a plus. Still, my DH is in denial and says she is just a bit down!
My FIL will be dead for 12 years on March 10... And through tears I must admit that all she wants to do is dance with my father again.

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