Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

now what?

It's been a week or so since my last post. This is all due to my not using the mesozoic Internet at the farm. Sorry, sorry, very sorry.

So since Dan and I made the decision about just getting me to North Carolina, we'll sort out immigration and employment details later, I have been a much happier camper. And indeed, I am a camper. As my 'desk' in my sister's basement, I have been using my camping chair and a folding card table. My bed is the mattress I hauled from Vancouver Island, on the floor, on a tarp. Most of my worldly possessions are upstairs by the back door, waiting another day of repacking into Rubbermaid bins. One more day should do it, I think, but as the sun room has been an oven during this past week and a half, it's hard to breathe in that room, let alone sort, wrap, and pack one's possessions.

Tomorrow I will get the tires on my truck rotated. On Monday I will get my first salon hair cut in two and a half years (I have been going at it myself but I realize that 'trimming' it every day is maybe not the best use of my time). Today, I bought a funeral outfit.

Well, I don't know if I'll be going to a funeral. We all seem to think so but I wanted to be proactive.

See, if you know me or have been reading me for a while, you might recall that it was this very week a year ago that I flew to Kelowna from Vancouver Island to attend the funeral of my mother's uncle, Unc. He left behind his wife, Mid, to whom he had been married for 63 years. Sixty. Three. Years.

Mid was the person in the family who kept tabs on everyone, sent birthday cards to everyone, knew what was happening and was the collector and bringer of news. After Unc died last September at the end of a rough battle with diabetes-inflicted-gangrene, Mid was never the same. She did not remember birthdays. She did not send out Christmas cards. She kept on referring to Unc as if he was still there, with her (and who knows? Maybe he was). "He's just in the other room" or "he's just out for a walk" or "he'll be here in minute". This is a clear example of dementia, not uncommon for people in her circumstance.

Apparently my dad has been calling Mid every week or two (which is way more often than he calls either of his daughters!) (and not that Mid was at all pleased to receive these belaboring phonecalls) ever since my parents were divorced twenty years ago. In a conversation with my dad last week, he mentioned he hadn't been able to get a hold of Mid for a few weeks now. The family knows Mid has call display and perhaps she just chose not to take his call. But just the same, she is 85 and living alone, so I told Mum, Mum called her cousin, more phone calls to cousins were made.

Turns out Mid had a fall in her home. She fell in her bedroom, and was probably there for 24 hours before she was found. The cousin of my mother's who has been the primary caregiver to Mid for this last year and a bit had a key to the house but could not open the locked screen door. Another cousin was calling to Mid, when the police were called in to break down the door and retrieve her, and Mid made no indication that she was in any distress. She was just angry at Unc for not answering the door!

Mid has been in the hospital for two weeks. She has a staph infection in her legs. I don't know much about staph infections, but one form it takes is osteomyelitis. The word osteomyelitis doesn't normally roll off one's tongue as easy as it does mine, but when my sister broke her leg just before she started kindergarten (I was eight), I committed the name of her affliction to my memory. Osteomyelitis. An infection of the bone. I am assuming this is what Mid has. When my sister had this -itis, the doctor we had back then, in the early 80s, was greatly worried he might have to amputate my sister's leg.

A year ago, when Unc was in his final stages before dying, he had gangrene in one of his legs. There was apparently no discussion of amputation, because it was very clear he was too close to dying to make the effort help at all. I don't know Mid's situation. My family is not as familiar with medical jargon as I am and therefore don't know what details to collect, what kinds of questions to ask. I will probably never know.

Thus, I expect that if Mid passes away in the next two weeks, I will be taking a trip to Kelowna with my mum & sister (about a 10-hour drive). I no longer have the outfit I wore to Unc's funeral; I have lost 33 pounds and have shrunk right out of it. So I bought something to wear today, justifying the cost since I will also likely be having interviews for employment and subsequent work in offices.

I am oddly at peace with the whole thing. Really, for me, the end of this era happened a year ago, since Mid hasn't been herself. I have been through the deaths of many other people in my life, and I don't feel the same sense of sadness I used to. I don't intend to wax philosophical about my feelings about death here, just now (but might in the future, you never know). And it is this reason that, if there is a funeral that lands in the week of my scheduled departure for the United States, I won't be changing my travel plans. I will still go to North Carolina as planned.

Meanwhile, today Auntie Stacey has to pick her nephew up from preschool. This morning Auntie spent half an hour with the curling iron preparing her niece for Grade one picture day. Tonight, I'll make my pizza for the family, as requested by my sister. Days go by, stuff gets done. I actually had a phone conversation with Dan last night, as it was our three year wedding anniversary (though we still declare "we were married when we met"). It's so good to hear his voice. I haven't seen a photo of him since he has dropped two pant sizes. Gosh, we will be totally different people by the time we see each other in two weeks! TWO WEEKS!

O, one more thing. My former supervisor at my last place of employment was in the company of some VIPs from a very important organization in the industry I went to school for, and passed along a name for me to contact about employment. I have since done so, fingers crossed it will bear fruit. Then I can give more detail! 

1 comment:

  1. Happy wedding anniversary! Beautiful memories...can't believe it's only been 3 years! And big congrats to Dan for his weight loss too--hope it's not just missing you that's caused it. Glad to hear things are moving and that the countdown is on, and here's hoping Mid has a peaceful passing...whenever it happens. xxT

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