The first part is easy. I often write posts for myself. I just don't post them. The thing is that eventually there is a point that I end up deleting the stuff that I don't post. I didn't want these words to disappear. I
I guess the second part is easy as well. I wanted to say what I felt I had to say without interruption. That's what happens with my family. I go in thinking to myself, "Here are the things that I want to say." Sometimes I get to say them and then they are glossed over.
I understand this though. I am the caretaker, the one who tells everyone else that it's going to be OK. And some days I ask myself how I ended up here? How am I taking care of these people who are 20 to 30 years my senior? I mean, I knew it would happen one day. Thing is I've been doing it since my teens. What made me seem like the rational, take-charge person? Of course, this is what has usually allowed me to do well at work. Funny, huh?
I am also the keeper of secrets. But they're not really secrets. Each just thinks that it is. And since enough folks already know them, let me enumerate the ones I have heard over the last few weeks.
Before my stepmother got sick, she went around telling her friends that she was thinking of divorcing my dad. I know she thought that he was having an affair. He was -- with a bottle of vodka. Before my stepmother got sick, my dad went around telling his friends that maybe he wanted to divorce my stepmother. Her family was driving him nuts. Then my stepmother got sick and everything changed.
This past week my stepmother started hallucinating. She also did not want to try to walk anymore. The hospice folks told my dad's older sister -- she visits my stepmother every day -- that the hallucinations will get worse. They also think that the cancer is now everywhere including in her bones. That's why she doesn't want to walk; it's too painful. So the end is probably near. And I think of silly things like how I still haven't used that gift certificate for a pedicure that she gave me last Christmas. We were going to go together but then she got too sick to go. My aunt has a return ticket home for October 3. My dad's cousin thinks that my stepmother will be gone before then. We'll see.
Marin says that we're alike in that we're both stuffers. We take the emotions and stuff them away in some dark closet in our minds. One day the closet reaches capacity and it all comes spilling out. Monday through Friday I go to work and field calls from family members. On weekends my family allows me to fall off the face of the earth, so to speak. And that's when I usually let the closet door open.
The multiple layers of grief? I'm lucky if I can remember what day it is. I wake up Monday morning counting the hours to Friday evening. And as I told my boss last month, I just take each day as it comes and do the best that I can. But mostly I keep telling myself that this -- and the world around me -- will get better. And it's kind of hard when something comes along that shakes your belief. But I'll get through this as well. I have to. Who will my family have if I don't?