Awakening Through Love

Awakening Through Love

At Peace

Mom passed away last night around 10pm.  I feel peaceful and relieved that she is free.  I created a video to show at the memorial service and if you'd like to watch on the photo above.  Thanks for all of your thoughts, prayers and support!

Sending peace, love and joy!

Self-inflicted punishment

Since I last posted on Friday, Mom has gone downhill quickly.  She sleeps most of the time, can barely swallow or talk and has been in pain.  The Nurse gave me liquid morphine to administer and that has helped.  When the Nurse came yesterday (Monday), she said that it's amazing how much she has deteriorated since Thursday.  She thinks she may only have days left and asked if I wanted her to die here or at hospice.  I told her I didn't care.  Later I asked Mom and she said she wasn't sure.  I've made the decision today (Tuesday) to have her transferred.

On Sunday, my younger brother came over and took care of her all day while my husband, son and one of his friends and I went boating.  It was nice to get away.  I gave him a lot of instructions before leaving for her care.  When we returned, before going inside I went on the back deck where she likes to be and found her with a look of helplessness on her face.  She had the fan blowing directly on her and it had cooled off outside.  She was freezing.  I put socks on her and covered her up.  My brother said she had complained about being in pain quite a bit, so without calling me, he cut a time released morphine pill in half, gave that to her at 1:30pm with two percocets and then gave her the same amounts at 7pm just before we arrived home.  You're not supposed to cut time released medicines in half because the medicine is not time released.  After he left I asked my Mom if he took pretty good care of her and she said yes, but he kept making her eat and that upset her.  She can't eat much because of the tumor in her wonder she was in pain.

Anyway, yesterday her sister came over and cried a few times.  She said Mom looks horrible.  Much worse than her mother before she went into the hospital 10 days before she passed from cancer.  After she left, I got a chocolate bar and asked Mom if she'd like some and it's the most animated I've seen her in a while.  So she ate half a bar.

Mom said she has asked God for forgiveness of her sins, particularly for having slept with a man while she was married.  To give a little father told me when I was 16 years old that he didn't think my older brother (the alcoholic) was his son.  I've asked my mother a few times through the years if he was (assuring her that I wouldn't pass judgment if she'd made a mistake) and she always said that he was.  I believe, due to her guilt, that she has allowed him to control her entire life and felt that she deserved whatever happened.  I told her that if that was the worst mistake/sin that she has made, then she's a saint.  It's just very sad!

Finding Humor While Patience is Tested

The last few days have been very difficult.  Because of the trauma of being neglected and abused, my mother has needed constant attention.  Every 10 minutes during the day she needs something…her feet down, more ice chips, a mirror, something to eat, a different pillow, to go to the bathroom (which entails me lifting her, holding her with one arm while pulling down her pants, shifting her body over the porta potty and lowering her),  etc. etc.   My husband and son help when they can, but my husband wrenched his back the first day.

I bought a medical chair/bed that is a godsend.  She slept in it the 2nd night since it fully reclines and is on rollers, with side tables.  Because she is on morphine and her body is very weak,  most of the time she smokes a cigarette, she is unsafe with it, nodding off, but very insistent and stubborn about smoking it.  The third night, she wanted a nicotine patch on, since I told her she can’t smoke while I’m sleeping.  Big Mistake!!  It wired her and she didn’t sleep at all.  My son stayed up with her until 2:30, when my husband woke me and said he heard them on the deck.  I went out and took over.  After getting her to bed, she used the call button three more times.  Once, because she was freezing, once to go to the bathroom and then so that I would put her in the roller chair.  The nurse and case manager came over yesterday and gave me some Ativan to help her sleep.  She is sleeping now…12 hours so far.

I now have her in diapers because she was soiling her clothes.  Her bed sores are getting better and since her feet have been elevated, the swelling in her legs/feet is gone.

My patience was severely tested the last couple of days because of the lack of sleep, her buzzing me constantly (once just to ask me what I was doing! urggg), and the manipulation she employs.  My son asked me if having a baby is this difficult, because if it is, he doesn’t want any kids.  I told him that it wasn’t this difficult!

Yesterday, after my mother used the porta potty on the deck, my dog got a hold of one of her feces and was making a meal out of it, while I’m trying to get her back on the chair.  My mother was totally grossed out and I just laughed!  Then an hour later, I come outside and mom is starting to vomit, so I put a plate under her to get sick on.  She drops her false teeth on it and I get to clean it all up!

I called my brother to see if he could help out some, perhaps one day this weekend and he said he and his wife had plans to clean out her mother’s garage as a late Mother’s Day gift, but he’d see what he could do.  I told him I really need some help, that he needs to step up to the plate, and that all of my plans have gone out the window.  He said if I’m going to get crappy about it…I said calmly that I’m not getting crappy….I just need a little help desperately!

I know that everything changes and that things will get better!

God Intersedes

I had decided to kidnap my mother from her abusive situation and had a plan in place, but God interseded.  I called Hospice and told them what I was going to do...the on-call nurse was very supportive and confident with my plan.  She said she'd say a prayer for us.  I called my mother a couple of times yesterday (Monday) and she finally answered about 1:15pm and said she had just called 911 because she was wedged between the dresser and her bed trying to get out of bed to use the bedside potty.  She had been calling my brother on her phone and screaming for him, but he didn't respond.  I told her she was coming to live with me and that R (my husband) and I would be coming to pick her up.  I called the police and they met us there.  It took about 20 minutes to gather up some of her things while the police were there.  In the car on the way home she said that before the paramedics could get there my brother woke up...came in...picked her up and threw her on the bed, saying..."You woke me up, you fucking bitch".  Then proceeded to shake her repeatedly and pinch her.

Since she's been home, I've been attending to her all day and night.  Fixing food, getting her ice chips to suck on, setting up a movie on my I-pad for her to watch outside on the deck, giving her a shower, dispensing her medicine, doing laundry, bandaging her leg that is oozing liquid and other wounds, lifting and carrying her from wheelchair to toilet to shower to bed to toilet, etc.  She's still awake now at 3:30.  We provided her with a walkie talkie to hit a call button when she needs to and she's woken me three times since midnight.  I'm going to go lay down with her until she goes to sleep.  She keeps apologizing for the hardship and I tell her that I love her and want her to be as comfortable as possible and that knowing she was being abused was torture for me.  My husband and son have been helping also.

Death Will Set Her Free

The situation that my mother is in right now is nothing short of appalling!  I feel like I'm living a nightmare right now...but somehow I'm accepting it.  She has deteriorated in the past five days to not being able to walk on her own.  I went over to her apartment on Tuesday to give her a shower and my alcoholic brother started an argument with me.  He kept running up to me with his fist raised and screaming at me to get out of his apartment.  He was within inches of my face and one of his eyes was completely bloodshot...I felt like I was looking into the face of the devil!  I called 911 and the police came.  They couldn't do anything since he didn't hit me.

I called my mother that day at noon to make sure she was awake so I could come and asked her if she'd been out of bed yet.  She said no...that J (the alcoholic brother) was still asleep in the living room.  I asked if she needed to go to the bathroom...she said yes, but that she could wait until I got there.  She called me on the way and said that he had gone out to get them something to eat but she didn't want to ask him to take her to the restroom because he was in a foul mood, cursing and yelling about having to take care of her.   The day before he had taken the phone from Mom when I was speaking with her and was complaining that when he lifts her to place her on the toilet she clings to the wall and that bothers him.  I said, "Why don't you have her go to hospice for five days to give you a break or she can come stay with me."  He said, "I don't need a break and she doesn't want to live with you or go to hospice".

Anyway, when I arrived my brother said, "You know Mom doesn't want to live with you or go to hospice."  I said, "I know...but that could change soon".  He got upset and said he wouldn't allow her to and I said, "Are you her boss?"  He said, "Yes, I am" and that's when he became enraged.  I left right after the police did and my brother said, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass".

I spoke with her Nurse yesterday and filled her in...she said Mom has been telling her some things and that she thought I would be calling.  She set up an aide to come in 3 times a week and yesterday I had my cousin go over.  I found out the social worker, the nurse and my cousin were all there at the same time.  While they were there, my brother stayed in my mom's bedroom and they had to call his cell phone (that my mom pays for) to speak with bizarre is that?  Everyone knows she's being abused...but because she wants it that way...nothing is being done to change it.

They discovered a bedsore on her and told him he needs to make sure she lays on her side some of the time.  He said he can't watch her 24/7.  Mom said she fell out of bed trying to get to the bathroom while he was sleeping yesterday and they had to bandage a sore on her leg.

Now I can't safely go over to see my dying mother and she rarely calls me because he gets upset when she does.  My mother is so co-dependent and worried about being able to smoke when she wants that she's willing to continue the last month of her life in this horrible situation.  This makes me repulsed with both of them and very sad.

I am praying for her quick death!  I know I can't control this...perhaps that is why I'm dealing with it as well as I am.

The Butterfly Effect

 When you feel powerless or insignificant...just remember that every thing you say, do, and think has an effect upon the world!  Each time you have kind words to say, a smile for someone, or a positive thought about yourself or someone've changed the course of the world!  How powerful is that?

I took these photos at a Butterfly Exhibition yesterday and decided to research the history of butterflies.

 According to Wikipedia, The Butterfly Effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions; where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. For example, the presence or absence of a butterfly flapping its wings could lead to creation or absence of a hurricane.

Rather than feeling helpless during difficult situations in our lives and of those we love, we need to remember that we have more control/power than we've ever imagined.  Realizing that we can't and shouldn't control others...only ourselves is the key!

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."

 Sending thoughts of peace, love, and joy!

Peace in the Face of Death

(Photo courtesy of Nat'l Geographic)

As each day goes by, my mother approaches her impending death from Stage IV cancer…with acceptance.  We talk about death and what both of us envision after life will be like.  Although she has rarely gone to Church, she believes in God and Jesus and hopes that she will be with relatives that have already departed.  Her life has been difficult, having grown up very poor, one of eleven children, and having gone through most of life’s greatest stresses…divorce, the chronic illness and death of her second husband and most of her siblings and parents, and many more of life’s disappointments.

I think about what it will be like once she’s gone, when I forget and want to call her on the telephone and realize…she won’t answer.  Grinning, she says, “Once I’m gone, if you feel fingertips brushing your arm, it will be me”.  You see, she’s been the type of mother that would do anything in her power to protect her children, blurring the line between motherly nurturing and co dependence.

She tells me the same story every week of when I was little and looked up from my stroller and said, “Me push Mommy, let me push”, and of how independent I was, even then.

I am proud of the grace that she is showing during this process and realize I am my mother’s daughter.

Travel Therapy

The following is an article I'm going to submit for a contest and would like constructive criticism.  The following questions should be answered:

Have you been particularly enlightened, surprised or changed by a travel experience? Why do you travel?

Travel Therapy

My anticipation and excitement mounted as the plane landed in Cairo, Egypt.  Although I had traveled quite extensively in comparison to many Americans and lived in Germany while in the military, this 18-day trip to Egypt and Jordan would be my first encounter with a foreign and exotic culture.  Having left my career earlier that year to take care of my ill mother and with the knowledge that my 21-year-old beautiful, talented and intelligent son was battling the demon of drug addiction, I was eager to lose myself exploring far away lands.  This would be the first of three journeys that I embarked upon in 2009. 

It was easy to forget while squinting my eyes against the bright, penetrating eastern sun to gaze at the immense Pyramids; walking in the footsteps of Moses to the top of Mt. Sinai to witness the sunset; or floating weightless in the Dead Sea.  It was easy to forget as I danced with the Bedouin people of the Wadi Rum desert, in the swirling smoke filled tent, my blood pulsing with the rhythmic beat of their instruments; having my skin rubbed raw in a steam filled Turkish bath house, or losing myself amidst the towering rose colored, carved monuments of the lost city of Petra.

A few weeks later, it was easy to forget while hiking the ancient Inca Trail to the mysterious and sacred city of Machu Picchu, where the spirits dwell among the stone buildings; playing soccer with local Peruvians on an island of the brilliant deep blue Lake Titicaca; and feasting on sweet, moist pancakes prepared over an open fire, as a guest in a local family’s home.

My son was in a court ordered outpatient rehab program, but it wasn’t enough.  Later that year, I found him passed out on the floor of his bedroom and called a crisis hotline.  He spent three months in jail and six months in a lock down rehab and I read everything I could concerning addiction, co-dependence, and enabling.  I started a blog and reached out to other hurting parents and became one of many that received and gave comfort and support.  I prayed for myself, my son, and the other tormented parents and their children.  I wondered how could this happen to us?  How does a straight A, star athlete become a drug addict?  

My final trip was to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in December.  The elaborate temples, invigorating Thai massages, and an overnight stay on a boat off the shores of Vietnam, within the spectacular seascapes of Halong Bay, were salves for my anguished heart.

I arrived back home on Christmas Eve, having taken the opportunity to “Let go and Let God”, and thereby relinquished any preconceived notion of control over the fate of my precious son.  We weathered the storm and my son is now on the Deans List at a local community college.

Travel provided an escape from the soul wrenching spectacle of addiction, time to heal, the opportunity to see amazing sites, meet new friends, learn about different cultures, and best of all…to empower myself. 

Never give up hope and never stop traveling!


Final Roadtrip

I'm glad to be home from the trip!  My mother didn't seem to derive much enjoyment from it, other than the warm weather.  She complained about most everything...which is her nature anyway...but I understand that she is depressed and doesn't feel well.  When you're around someone like that for an extended period of time, it seems to suck the life right out of you. 

My younger brother came for a few days and the three of us went to Ft. Myers beach one day, Sanibel Island beach another day, out to eat a couple of times, saw the movie Red Riding Hood, and my brother took her to TJ Maxx to look around.  The nerve neuropathy in her feet was particularly painful and her stomach was starting to hurt periodically, so I was going to take her to an Urgent Care, but they were closed, so we went to the emergency room.  I asked my brother to research where the closest pharmacies were, in case her doctor at home could call something in, but he couldn't across state lines.  My brother stayed at the condo watching basketball.  We were there almost four hours and the doctor prescribed an opiate for her. 

We were driving home about 12 midnight and I called my brother, who was still up to see if he would mind driving to the pharmacy once we returned, to fill the prescription.  He said, "You're driving right by one, why can't you?"  I explained that the hospital told me that there were two 24 hr. pharmacies open, but they were on a different road than where I would be.  He finally agreed to, but we ended up taking a wrong turn and passed by one, so I stopped to fill it.  When we arrived at the condo, I asked my brother if he had started the dishwasher, so we'd have clean dishes for breakfast and he said, "No, but we can start it now, can't we?"  I said, "Yes, you could start it now" and he then went off on me saying that I have an attitude problem, that he didn't appreciate it and couldn't understand what was wrong.  I told him why I seemed to have an attitude problem...that after spending four hours at the emergency room, I didn't think it was too much to ask for him to go to the pharmacy, that was 5 minutes away, so that Mom didn't have to wait in the car for another 10-15 minutes at midnight.  He didn't understand my thinking and said that "I can act like such a bitch" and began opening/closing all of the cupboards in the kitchen looking for the dishwashing detergent, while ranting/raving...saying over and over, "where is the dishwashing detergent" in between telling me how obnoxious I am!  He recently went back to school to get a Masters in counseling and is a licensed therapist....a little scary!  He apologized the next day.

I also have a greater understanding of codependency and the cycle of domestic violence from my week with mom.  She agreed to keep her phone turned off, so that my alcoholic brother couldn't harass her, but she did speak with him twice on the trip.  She has options so that she doesn't need to return to that situation, but she insists on doing so.  Her father abused her mother, her husband abused her and now her son abuses her.  I believe that she needs IT in her life.  By the end, she was quite hateful to me at times and I brought it to her attention.  I asked if I'm the only one she treats like that (other than my alcoholic brother) and she said yes.  I made the point that if she can control it with others, then she can choose to control it with me.  It seems she was going through withdrawals from being treated nicely instead of poorly.  She also apologized to me.

While driving home, she made the comment that she is bitter and resentful that she never had a home and I made the point that many people don't own their homes, the banks do.  And compared to some of the world, she lives like a queen.  She disagrees.  Whenever I talk about being grateful for what we do have, she doesn't like to hear it!

I am so grateful that I have the ability to be grateful!

What son beats his dying mother??

My brother beat my mother today.  She was lying in bed and he hit her on both arms.

She's been waiting for the title of her car to arrive in the mail since she paid it off, so that she could put it in his name before she dies.  She's been calling them because it's been a week since they mailed it.  I called them today and found out they sent it to the wrong address.  I knew my brother would be upset, so I suggested to Mom that while he was sleeping today (since he usually stays up all night), that I could come pick her up so she could spend the night here before we left for Florida tomorrow.  I told her she could smoke in the office,  so she wouldn't get cold outside, but she said she'd wait until tomorrow.  Later in the day, she said when she was trying to tell him that if the title came while we were gone, my younger brother could sign for her since he has a Power of Attorney.  He became enraged and told her she wasn't going anywhere and hit her.

I called my husband and he left work to meet me at her place.  I called the Police, so there wouldn't be any trouble.  They went in with us and one spoke to my Mom and the other to my brother.  My brother said my mother was trying to hit him, so her wounds were from him trying to stop her.  One of the officers asked what she wanted to do.  She said nothing.  I thought they were supposed to arrest someone if they assault another person.  It's unbelievable!  Later, my husband told me that one of the officers told him that he thought my mother took bandages off of her two wounds to make it look like they were fresh!

I feel alone in this!  My younger brother (who is a counselor) doesn't step up to the plate.  When my son heard about it (he was at school), he called the police department and one of the officers said that mom admitted to hitting my brother, that's why they didn't take him in.  I heard her say she was kicking at him to get him to stop.

Picture this....a 105 lb. woman dying from cancer (who can barely stand up) hurting a 200 lb. man!!

She's here now.  I am trying not to think about it...I'm too angry!


My mother would like to go somewhere warm before she dies, so we'll be leaving in a couple of days to drive down to Ft. Myers, Florida.  A friend has a 2 bed/bath condo that she has graciously offered to us.  We'll split the drive into two days and stop south of Atlanta the first evening.  Mom sleeps a lot, so hopefully she'll sleep for most of the drive.  She's supposed to start a pill form of Chemo that has the least amount of side effects, but she's scared to start it and at best it would prolong her life by perhaps 6-9 months.  My younger brother will probably fly down on Friday and stay until Monday.

My older brother has stopped harassing her, mainly because she paid off her car and will be putting it into his name as soon as the title arrives in the mail.  I'm grateful for many things: that I have time to spend with her before she dies; that we have the opportunity to take her to the beach; and that she's not in pain (other than the nerve neuropathy in her feet)!

I have peace knowing that she is in God's hands and will be free from all things physical...soon!

Trying to retain Peace in the face of Chaos

My mother has been diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer.  She's been losing weight...down to 107 lbs. from 130 a year ago.  A Cat Scan revealed a mass in her esophagus and 5 lumps on/in her liver.  Today she underwent an endoscopy and they took a sample from the mass.  The doctor seemed nervous as he approached to give us the results.  He said he knows its cancer even though they won't have the test results back for a week.  I spoke with the nurse after my mother left with my brother.  She said that I seemed to be taking it well.  I told her that I had already began grieving because I didn't think she would be alive much longer.  She also didn't think mom had much longer to live...perhaps 6 weeks.  Tomorrow she'll get a Pet Scan to see where else the cancer has spread.  She's had a giant aneurysm in her head for a couple of years that hasn't burst yet and 9 months ago she broke both arms in a fall.

The chaos lies within the codependent relationship she has with my brother who is 55 years old and living with her.  He is an alcoholic.  She recently moved from the senior citizen apartment that I found for her, where she allowed my brother to live with her...which was against their rules.  He would come and go from the side entrance to stay hidden.  Some of the residents were complaining that they thought he was living there, so the Manager called me and asked if he was.  Initially, I stayed out of it, but during the time she was in a nursing home for a month after she broke her arm, I called the Manager and told him the truth.  To keep it anonymous, he used the excuse of checking on their cat to enter the apartment and told my brother he had to leave.  My brother stayed with his only friend for a couple of nights, then my mother gave him money to stay in a cheap hotel for a couple of weeks.  During this time, he found a job through a temp agency and he kept the job until they let people go right after Christmas.

 The good that came from this was that he now knows he can get a job on his own!  Mom found a way to get him back in her apartment.  She had her doctor send a form to the Apt. Manager stating that she needed around the clock care and it would come from him.  Unfortunately, he reverted back to his old ways after the job ended and began sleeping most of the day and staying up at night.  This meant my mother had to creep around quietly during the day, so that he wouldn't yell at her.  After her arms healed sufficiently, the Manager gave my brother one day to move out again.  So, my mother made the decision to find an apartment, that she can't afford, so that he could live with her.  He wouldn't let my other brother or me help her move, so she did most of the work (packing/unpacking) herself.

He continues to emotionally/mentally abuse her, mostly by yelling/complaining about me to her.  He is resentful that when my father passed away in 2006, he only received a small monetary amount compared to myself and my brother.  Why he blames me for this...who knows.  He'll call her names, "whore", "cunt", etc.  Even now that she is dying...he continues to harrass her.  Filling out forms at the doctor's office, one of the questions was, "Are you experiencing depression".  She said, "Oh, Yes".  I picked her up to spend the weekend with me, took her out for lunch, gave her a jacuzzi bath, a massage and tried to get her to eat/drink healthy foods.  I bought her two new pairs of pants and a shirt, since she's lost weight.  I asked her if she was afraid of dying.  She said kind of, but also not really.  She believes in God and our spirits living.

I arranged for a family reunion at my house on Saturday.  We had about 30 people come.  My husband taught people to shoot his new bow/arrow, gave people a ride on his tractor and everyone enjoyed spending time with Mom.  My thoughts were, why wait until someone dies to get together at the funeral!

My brother called my Mom Sat. morning drunk.  He woke her up and started in on her.  He'll say things like, "Once you die, I know Sherry will take your car."  She has a Will leaving him everything (which has dwindled to nothing but her car).  It made me feel depressed and saddened that there can be such dysfunction in the world.  It brought back memories of the year she lived with me in 2009, when the two of them would constantly be on the phone yelling at each other.  I feel guilty for hoping that she dies soon, so that IT will go away!

During one of the three phone conversations they had in one hour on Saturday, I asked her to hand me the phone, so that I could talk to him.  I asked him why he hates me so much.  We talked for about 10 minutes and I remained calm.  I said, "Do you really want to make her miserable for the remaining months that she'll be alive".  We talked about a lot of issues and I hope it will keep him from abusing her as much.  I realize my mother perpetuates some of this insanity.  She told me on Sunday that when she got home, she was going to tell him what a good time she had and how she was treated like a queen.  She has a hate/love relationship with my brother.  I asked her to not do that, because it would just antagonize him and make him more jealous of me and my attentions towards her.

p.s.  My son has around 19 months clean now (from drugs...he still drinks occasionally) and is doing well in college...he has finals this week.  He just got his full driver's license back and will be released from the program he's been in for over a year very soon.

The Root of Hope - Ibogaine

I stumbled across a video about Ibogaine...a plant found in Africa and legally used in a variety of countries to treat addiction to heroin (and other opiates), alcoholism, and cocaine. There are quite a few You Tube videos to view related to it. The video has Greg Douglas, formerly with the Steve Miller Band, who after battling a 30 year addiction to heroin, was cured after taking Ibogaine.

Henry...lost his life due to addiction

This video is about Henry, the son of Katie Granju, who lost his life due to his addiction to opiates.  It is very moving!  It's becoming clear to me that one of the main problems we face in trying to get the message out to other parents of at risk teens (before it is too in the case of Henry) is the tendency to remain silent.  Usually, we remain silent or anonymous to protect our child's identity.  I believe if more recovering addicts would join with their parent(s) to educate others, then more parents would be better prepared to deal with all of the issues that accompany drug use.

A New Project

Hi is good here!  I've been busy with a multitude of activities...jogging (until I hurt my back...I can still do everything else though), hiking, trying lots of new recipes (my husband and J are loving that), finished training our puppy Jake on the invisible fence and he's thriving, get togethers with family and friends, and online Christmas shopping (I's a bit early for that).

I bought a new Mac computer and love it.  I downloaded the footage I shot while on my trip to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam back in December, and used the iMovie feature on the Mac to make some movies.  I've attached one...hope you enjoy.  (You'll need to go to my playlists for songs on the bottom right and shut that you can hear the music I attached to the video)

 My OCD tendencies have kicked into high gear and I've been making lots of movies.  I'd love to share one that I made of J when he was a baby...but my ex-husband is in it...I'd be afraid he would sue me or something if he ever found it somehow.  Not that it depicts him in a bad light...other than being the father of someone who grew up to have an addiction most people in the world, in some form or fashion.  Does anyone have any advice in this department?

J is doing great...except he lost his job...but he decided to go back to school in January!  He's looking for another job to hold him over until then.  His father said he would pay his living expenses if J could get loans for school.  We're not sure yet how much he qualifies I'll help him if he doesn't get aid.

I'm still interviewing for a few positions.  At times I feel that I should be looking more diligently, but then these projects come up...and well I'm enjoying life.  I'm very blessed that I have money in the bank to draw from to get me through...but then I feel a bit guilty for continuing to use it...oh well...I believe I'm where I'm supposed to be right now.

Sending peace, love & joy to all of you!

Bundle of Joy!

We have a new bundle of joy…Jake! He’s a Brittany Spaniel and three months old. The previous owners had him for a month. The husband is in the military and is being deployed to Iraq on Monday. He got him for his wife so she wouldn’t miss him so much while he’s gone for a year…but they have three children and another dog and it’s a bit too much for her.

I’ve had dogs most of my life and have missed having one for the past few years in some ways and have enjoyed the freedom of not having one also. I have been jogging him two miles each day for the past three days that we’ve had him. I read that this breed of dog can become destructive if not exercised enough…so this is the perfect place for him. We have an invisible fence that encompasses an acre of the five acres of land, but I need to research how and when to train him. His favorite games are me chasing him and playing tug of war. He’s already a mama’s boy - following me everywhere. He was living in an apartment…so he’s almost on sensory overload out in the country…with the new sights, sounds and smells. He’s a hunting dog and has already pointed a grasshopper. He loves to drink out of the KOI pond and it’s fun to watch the goldfish swim over to where he’s lapping up water and for some reason congregate there. He’s fallen in a couple of times.!

The neighbor’s cat…who was here all of the time…has been scarce lately. I’ll miss the presents the cat was leaving for me at the back door almost every day…dead mice and a half-eaten squirrel (yuck)!

This is a photo of the lane that leads to our house…we’re the last one down the quarter-mile road…

This is our neighbor’s barn…he has sheep, alpacas, dogs and cats!

He says, I'm pooped!

P.S.  I've been seeing my mother every 2-3 days and have established better boundaries!  I quit smoking 5-6 days ago...with the help of the patch...and feel much better!

Smoke Another One!

You're probably wondering what this post will be about.  It's about me having a revelation today concerning my relationship with my mother.  I had a meeting with the staff at her nursing home today - and my mother was part of it.  Basically, everyone is fed up with her...they didn't tell her, but after that meeting I spoke with the Director and the Social Worker and talked a while longer.  The Director said she almost turned my mother away the day she came in because she is so difficult to deal with.  She's uncooperative with physical constantly walking outside to smoke and complains she's too tired for therapy.  She complains constantly...about everything!

I have brought her home to give her a shower once and gave her a shower at the nursing home once because she doesn't want them to.  The entire time I'm with her...which has been every day for 1-4 hours a day...she complains.  She's manipulative and disrespectful.  She'll turn on the charm...when necessary though.  I've always known these things about her...but was in denial about how disruptive she really is and about how abusive she's been to me.  Through the years I've made excuses for her behavior...but I'm running out!

It's time for me to set boundaries!  It's difficult though when you feel guilty because you feel like you're not being a good daughter if you don't jump and especially now that she's got two broken arms.  But she sure can walk outside to smoke...lots!

After speaking with the Director and Social Worker they opened my eyes to how she works me.  They think she has a mental problem.  I asked them if it would be wrong to go 3 days before I saw her...they said, "You don't have to see her at all while she's here...if you don't want to."  WOW.  It would take me too long to try to give enough examples to paint the full I don't expect anyone to really understand.

By the way...the "Smoke Another One" pertains really to me - because I struggle with stopping my cigarette habit and think that this is one more piece of the picture that will help me to heal from my past and STOP smoking!

P.S.  Relating to my last brother spent two nights with a friend and then my mother gave him $100 yesterday for a hotel for a few nights...even though he has been contacted by my cousin to help him find housing.

Does this have my name on it?

As I mentioned in my last post my mother broke both of her arms and is in a nursing home for the next 3 to 4 weeks.  She lives in a subsidized retirement apartment and my older brother who is an alcoholic has been living with her there for the past six months.  She sneaks him in and out the side door but other residents have complained to the Manager that they think he is living there.  The Manager called me over a month ago and asked me if he was and I said that I'm not in contact with him and didn't want to get involved.

My mother enables him and is co-dependent.  She helps him financially, although he receives unemployment...even though she is accumulating a lot of credit card debt, lives on a fixed income and has no means to pay it off.  He is abusive to her...mentally, emotionally, verbally and sometimes physically.  I have called the police once when he locked her out of her previous apartment (when he was drunk) and she admitted to me for the first time that he was grabbing her arms and twisting her skin to the point of bruising her.  The police spoke to him and said if there were any more problems they would take him to jail.

Since he's been living with her he keeps the air conditioner very cold which suits him but freezes my mother who has circulation problems.  Since she has been in the Nursing home for the past few days he won't agree to let anyone come to her apartment to get the things that she needs.  He'll bring a few things at a time for her...but doesn't know what type of clothes she needs that will fit over her splint.  He'll call her and cuss her out on the phone and has control of her car, her purse and her jewelry.  He told her he lost her jewelry and then the next day said he found it.  She is intimidated of him but when my other brother, my cousin or myself talk to her about finding him a shelter to live in...a place that can help him find employment...she says now is not the right time...that it would send him into a nervous breakdown.

He is very jealous of me and my brother mostly because when my father passed away in 2006 he was given much less in the Will.  My father and he hadn't spoken in over 20 years.  He is filled with hatred and anger.

I've talked with a few people about me calling the Manager and reporting him and then my cousin and her husband could help him with a list of the places he could go.  My cousin said she would call the Manager, because she feels someone needs to get involved.  I know my brother would immediately call my mother and upset her to the extreme.

I grapple with this decision because she is an adult and makes her own decisions.  At the same time, I know that if I was walking by someone who was being physically abused, I would get involved to help.  My husband and son think I should call or let my Cousin call.  Initially, my Mother was going to refuse to go to the Nursing home and just return back home and let him take care of her...although he sleeps most of the day.  In one breath she complains about him and in the next, she protects him.

I would appreciate any and all comments/thoughts!


I've been reading everyone's blogs...just not commenting...sorry!  Some of you are doing better - in spite of what's going on with your loved one's addiction; some of you are doing worse - health problems and/or emotional issues and some are status quo.  I've been praying for you (except for about 8 days while I was working 12-15 hr. days moving, painting, removing wallpaper, etc.)

To catch you up with my life...we closed on the other house at the end of July and officially moved out on Wednesday.  We closed on the new house 10 days ago and since that time with the help one day of 8 friends/family and my son J and his girlfriend, were able to paint three bedrooms and move the boxes and smaller stuff.  Since then Randy and I have finished painting the remainder of the interior of the house, had new carpet installed, a new refrigerator delivered and the movers moved the heavy stuff on Wednesday.

I am known for being able to move and have everything put away (including pictures put on the wall within 2 days).  My husband thinks I'm a bit obsessive compulsive.  Even if it is...I get a lot done!

The visit with my friend from England went well.  We stayed busy...went to an amusement park and rode all of the intense thrill rides.  I was proud of myself for riding the biggest and badest (is that a word?)!  We went to a wine tasting, a party, went boating/skiing twice, out to eat a few times, spent two days in Chicago...which was amazing and shopped a lot!  Since she can get $1.50 to every pound, she took advantage of it. 

I've had two interviews with one company and one interview with another.  I have a third interview with the first company on Wednesday.  Tuesday I have to get a crown at the dentist and Thursday I have a routine over 50 colonoscopy.  My girlfriend said you're getting it at both ends!!

Anyway, I love this house.  So does my husband and son.  My son is still doing well.  He celebrated his one year abstinence from drugs on Saturday.  He has chosen to drink a few beers once a week and now questions whether he ever was an addict.  He tends to push the envelope in many ways...we'll save that for another post.

He continues going to his court ordered classes four mornings a week (which should be reduced to two any day now) and working 40-45 hours a week.  He is getting frustrated because he only makes $9.50 an hour at a machine shop and the other men make quite a bit more and don't do as much work.  He's going to ask for a raise and then look for another job if it's not granted.  I explained that life is like's not always fair, but you have a choice sometimes to do something about it.  He talks about going back to college part time in a few months...which would be great!

He and I don't see each other much during the week, but he'll open up occasionally and talk about how he feels about issues.  His girlfriend is doing well.  She apologized to me over the weekend for the past and is in a voluntary program through a hospital that is covered by her insurance.  Her mother attends a class once a week there and she goes twice a week.  She has random drug/alcohol screens and she and my son attend 1 or 2 NA meetings per weekend.

She was so sweet for his one year abstinence...she took cupcakes to the NA meeting to share with everyone.

I got a phone call about an hour ago from my mother that she fell in her apartment and is waiting with my brother at the emergency room to be seen.  She told me not to come...that she would call me as soon as she knew something.  She thinks her arm is broken.  My older brother is living there with her because he can't find a job (or should I say he doesn't look) and he's the one that has been abusive to her in the past.  So needless to say I'm concerned that perhaps she didn't "trip over a cord", but was pushed.

She lives in a retirement complex and has to sneak my brother in and out.  The apartment complex manager called me a couple of weeks ago and said he's been getting complaints that people think he's living there and asked me if he was.  I said that I'm not in contact with him and don't want to get involved.

She is in jeopardy of being evicted, but she is the "enabler"!  I'm waiting for another call and am worried.

There's more to talk about...but it's getting I'll stop by your blogs this week and say hello!

Break Time

I'm going to take a break from blogging...well a bigger break than lately.  There is so much going on...closing on my house this week...found another house and will be closing on it later in August.  Interviewing for a job next week.  Packing.  Going to Chicago next Friday for the weekend to pick up a friend from England who has never been to America and is staying with us for 10-12 days.

The new house is on 5 acres...wooded lot...3 bedroom/2 bath ranch...vaulted ceilings and skylights...which I love...and less expensive.  I feel very grateful that my house sold so quickly...having only lived here for 2 years and that we found a house that suits us.

J is very busy.  He reports to two probation officers.  He's enjoying driving again.  He will have been clean from drugs for 1 year next month!

I may paint a picture of "everything's rosy"...but all of son, myself and husband go through our moments of sadness, agitation, irritation, anger, etc., but I'm not one to dwell on the attitude is one personality characteristic that I'm most grateful for!

Something I've realized through all of this...I thought I was co-dependent and discovered I'm not.  It's difficult to separate normal parent feelings and being a nice person feelings from some of the symptoms of this.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures from Europe...

Flower Peddler in Cannes, France




I'll continue to pray for everyone and read your posts. Thank you to those of you who keep us in your prayers and/or thoughts!