Joblessness aside, my frustrations are still many. Bear with me, I'm going to vent a little (or maybe a lot, we'll just have to see how it goes as I begin writing). Back in June right after I interviewed for the job I wanted, my mom asked me if I could drive her and my father to Chicago the weekend of August 10. And she asked again a few weeks later. And she asked again a few weeks later. And she asked again a few weeks later. My standard answer each time was, "It all depends on if I get the job or not." This fact apparently didn't sink in, thus the continual asking. Finally this past week she asked yet again, for the final time. Silly me, I had just figured that since I clearly did not get the job, the answer was obvious... yes I'll take you. I didn't want to do this. But it's a family event and something that is extremely important to her. And as usual, there is no one else who could do it. Why? I have no idea. Lots of family from Cleveland are going. Why they couldn't help out this once and take my parents is a mystery. But that's besides the point. I am now taking them. You may or may not know that my father is handicapped and this makes everything much more difficult. We can argue that this is why no one else wanted to take them (and frankly there would be no argument, that's the reason, mystery solved).
Two days after we establish that yes, I'm taking them, mom says to me (very casually I might add), "you do know your father's not going right?" Um, how would I know this unless you told me? And she hadn't. Apparently dad threw a fit, screamed and ranted and said he was not going and she couldn't make him go. Suddenly this trip takes on a whole different dynamic. I'm not trying to sound cold or unfeeling but if you've ever been a caregiver (and I have), you know how difficult it can be. My mom is his main caregiver now and giving her a weekend away from that life, that stress, sounded good. It sounded good to her too. That is until I asked what Dad will be doing for the weekend we're away and she said, "he wants to stay home alone." Oh no... oh no no no that is so not going to happen! At this point my mom just kind of shrugged and said, "if that's what he wants to do, then he can do it." She said he was going to call his brother (my uncle duh) and ask him to come by a few times and check on him and that was that. No. This is not enough. Granted my father can do a lot more for himself than he does, but I don't think 3 days alone is the time to test those waters. And mom was just so focused on being away, seeing her extended family and just basking in the time to herself she wasn't really thinking clearly. And she's 80.
When I went home that day I called my brother and we talked about the fact that dad should not be alone all that time and were trying to think of solutions. All was calm, no drama. Although I will say that I was a tad bit annoyed that my brother (and his nurse wife, hello!) did not offer to go check on dad at all the weekend we'll be away. Remember that no help I was talking about? A day goes by and all is quiet. And then, it's Friday morning and at 8 am my sister calls from Alabama in a tizzy. She's in an uproar because dad is going to be alone that weekend. I'm just waking up and I'm confused. Everything was being worked out as far as I knew. But as it turns out my uncle was busy and could not come by to check on him (not at all, all weekend. Remember that no help I was talking about?). This is the story of my life. Everyone is too busy to help out. I don't get that luxury. So as I listen to her rant and rave and try to bark out orders on what has to be done, my cell phone rings and it's my brother in Florida. I hang up with sis to talk to him and he too is in a tizzy, although his tizzies are calmer and more level headed.
Apparently all hell broke loose on Thursday and I had no idea. Mom got in a fight with Cleveland bro, who seems to think mom is being selfish for wanting something for herself and basically told her so. Aunt told mom "I cannot believe you would leave him alone a whole weekend," thus piling the guilt trip on her more (even though she and my uncle couldn't be bothered to check on him). Mom in turn tries to force dad to go to Chicago and the screaming escalates to fever pitch. Florida bro just happened to call mom after all this happened and she was upset and crying. No one bothered to tell me any of this at the time. Instead, Florida bro and Alabama sis spoke to each other and decided they needed to step in. This may sound counter to what I've said previously about no one stepping up to help out but if they are going to panic every time something happens, then they need to butt the fuck out. They do not live here. They don't know how things are on a day to day basis. They always end up making things worse. Help is only good if it's actually helpful. If they had just called me when all this shit was going down (drama drama drama!!!) things might not have escalated. But the sad fact is, no matter how much I do for how long (I have been basically in charge of my mom and dad for 6 years now) I am still the youngest (even though I'm 46) and I am still looked upon as not being able to handle anything. Newsflash, I handle EVERYTHING.
So as Florida bro is telling me about a call he put in to a friend who has an ill father and wondering what she does when she needs help (a good idea), I tell him that our cousin is a paid companion for the elderly and, even though he's going to Chicago as well, maybe he knows someone. He likes this idea so I hang up with him, call my sister back and tell her. She's down with it, and then I call mom and, although I don't yell at her I do make it very clear that I'm very unhappy that she did not call me and inform me about all the angst. And that I had to find out from my out of state brother and sister what is going on with her and my father, whom I see every week and talk to almost every day. Then I tell her what I'm going to do and she too likes the idea. I call my cousin, we talk, he gives me the number of the place he works for. I call, they are incredibly helpful and understanding. This is what they do. They are hired. We have someone coming in each day from 1 pm to 7 pm. They will make him lunch, hang out with him for the day, make him dinner, clean up and go. Lalia to the rescue yet again. Wouldn't it just be easier if everyone could realize that I know what the fuck I'm doing. I know how to handle stress situations with our parents. And if they can't just fucking chill and come up with a solution without all the drama and screaming, they should all just shut the fuck up.
And PS we're all pissed off at Cleveland bro for offering NO help whatsoever.
And now that that is settled, I hope to actually enjoy the weekend in Chicago with my mom.