Monday, September 2, 2013

2 September 2013
Monday - Labor Day
5 PM

I survived the weekend and holiday. No calls or visits from my family, what else is new (!?) Throughout the day I have been able to hear friends and family visiting other residents, their voices carrying down the hall. The CENAs were talking about the holiday yesterday, asking if they were going to go to so and so's potluck today? I hear various resident's televisions chattering on about how this holiday means getting together with friends and family to celebrate the ability to labor and that we honor it in this country. Bull Shit! You couldn't tell by me. I had one friend call earlier this afternoon when I was out, she at least left a message. I have no calls or visits even from family members. Two of whom live here in town. The celebration, the gathering together the cook outs and friendly get togethers are only a distant memory now. If I use the present surroundings as a guide, those memories are quickly fading into a memory that could easily be confused with a fantasy, what I wouldn't like to happen.

Matter of fact when it looked like I was going to have to go from hospital to nursing care I received a lot of pressure from one of my parents to consider a nursing home facility that they have had experience with in Jackson. I didn't really want have to go to Jackson, having grown up there, it was nice place to be from. But I capitulated of concern for my father having to drive roughly an hour from his residence to where I lived in the East Lansing area. As far as making it easy for him to visit, that really hasn't worked out so well. I get a few visits, minimal at best, it may be because of his illness or age. I am not sure if I had chosen to participate with nursing care where I was living if his visits would be any different. But I sure would have had more visits from my friends who live in the East Lansing Okemos area. As there's a few of them who have managed to come down here, over an hour away, and their time is equally valuable to them.

So I let family connections trump my friendships. That hasn't turned out very well for me. My friends make an extreme effort to come see me on a semi regular basis. My youngest brother, who lives about 10 min. from where I am now has not been here to see me since the beginning of May. Even then he was in tow of my father. In 4 months that is the only time he has managed to visit. It may be because he's embarrassed and feels no real connection to me.

This could come from the fact that he really goofed up closing up and selling my house. Although he agreed on what we were going to do in the process of going through my possessions, he reversed himself and without getting my permission proceeded to throw out or give away things that he thought were his privilege to do so and all the rest he turned over to an auctioneer to dispose of. I told him in “No” in no uncertain terms that that is not what I wanted to have happen, he insisted on talking right over my complaints and then told me that if I did not shut up and do as he wanted he would take me to court and have me declared incompetent. Then he could do whatever he wanted. I indicated that that is not going to happen. He was made power of attorney just for the purpose of selling my house, not to run my life. He of course insisted that things are as they are now because I signed a power of attorney he can do anything he wants with me. I would imagine that that gross misunderstanding combined with the absolute disgusting way he handled himself and my affairs might possibly make him a little embarrassed to show his face around me.

And my father? I have no idea what is going on. It used to be that on holidays like this I would get a phone call and a request to drive down enjoy a day at the lake, and have a little something from the grill out on the deck. I would stay until about dusk as we chatted about stuff and things, then I would drive home. Once I became unable to drive myself and walk, necessitating my being in a nursing care facility, all that stopped. No discussion about it, no reminiscing about just a few years ago how we used to do this. Just stopped. Finis. No mention that we ever used do such things. No current discussions about some of things that we used to talk about in this relaxed moments. Now everything seems to be only about the present, and we aren't saying anything about that anyway.

And my new proximal family? Here at the facility? Oh it's just peachy. Some of the CENAs are delightful people and try their best to make their actions with me asdelightful as possible. But there is no family tradition. And they have to do things within the parameter of what is allowed in order to keep their jobs. But even some of the simple things that one recalls from holidays like today, when visiting friends and family and enjoying the meal together, are not available, not within the parameters of what the facility thinks is good for us, or within their budget, or I ever hear we just can't do that.
Now this is how a burger should look

I miss sitting around taking the easy, having great discussions while feasting on some burgers and brats cooked on the grill, eating potato chips in sipping some cold soda pop - an A&W root beer sounds nice, or even a Canada dry Ginger ale.
Mmmm, homemade too

Not quite by the gallon like the old days
We seldom get chips here, and those are usually the little teeny tiny lunch pail size packages. There used to be soda pop but it was only the artificially sweetened kind. I suppose the reason for that is they wanted to make sure that none of us hidden diabetics were going to be challenged at all, or they were killjoys and just against anyone to have any fun. As for a little something cooked out, well they did host a cookout last Friday but it was not anything like you would recall from home. The choice was hotdogs our hamburgers, limit one per customer. The hamburgers were those uniformly made types that are about a quarter of an inch thick and 4 inches across. You know the standard machine made hamburger. In like the hand made burger molded by hand and about half a pound each that when cooked just right are crunchy on the outside and medium rare on the inside. (I'll probably never see one of those kind of burgers again. Possibly served with some sauteed mushrooms and onions, two different kinds of cheese melted on top and a slice of tomato.

One of the things I really miss here is my ability to make choices and then follow them through. This being taken care of at the level that stretches the point of credibility and/or competency of others is stooping pretty low and getting old fast.

Oh well, the holiday is nearly over. I have expounded on how it seems like every other day around here. Maybe these days serve to remind me how special those days were. Actually there is something special to every day, but there is a very good job of hiding that around here. Usually the day is winding down, the wind on the water is letting up. The sun is nearing the point of kissing the horizon, the puffy clouds that scudded across the blue sky overhead have disappeared, while near the horizon a layer darker tha the surrounding sky gathers in counterpoint to the sun headed for the horizon. These evening hold the relaxed joy of the day and the promise of an evening fit for planning of the future. Somehow the future promises do not look to much different from the regular sameness of the recent past.

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