In documenting our journey of living with two kids, a new dog, and a dementia ridden grandma, by far the hardest thing for me has putting it out there that my life is just hard. I like to be the life is good person. We are beyond blessed, I wake up 99% of the time and thank God for giving me a life 1000 times greater than I ever dreamed possible. Just as a tiny example, I remember sitting in a high school class one day and thinking to myself, one day I am going to be so rich I pay $250,000 for a house. Ummm, hmmm. This isn’t a blog about my lifestyle, but you couldn’t buy the smallest house in my neighborhood for $250,000. Anyway, back to the point. I have a life blessed with financial success, an AMAZING extended family, my dad and stepmom would drop everything to meet any need we had, the very best mother-in-law on planet earth, friends who just show up and bless me in ways I would never even think to ask for, two kids who are not only beautiful, but brilliant, a fantastic church family, great schools for our kids, just lots and lots of good stuff. But, the past 2.5- 3 years of life have been hard, this last 9 months have been almost impossible. When people ask me how things are going, I like to say, “Perfect, great, amazing, awesome! What can I do to make your life better?” That’s just not where we’ve been lately. Survival, and sometimes that is debatable. But, the one thing I know beyond a shadow of any doubt, is that God has got this too. Our mother/daughter devotional this week is on Deuteronomy 3:26, “That is enough the Lord said. Do not speak to me anymore about this matter.” For whatever reason, I am in a season of God saying no or not now to many of my prayers. And, just like I get frustrated with my kids and tell them enough, don’t say anything else about it. Sometimes, God has to tell me, enough, let it go, trust MY bigger plan…… that whole paragraph had absolutely nothing to do with what I intended to blog about. But, it’s my blog and it was on my heart. Maybe you needed to hear it, maybe it will be a reminder for me later….. Life isn’t always how we wrote the story in our mind, but God’s got it, good and bad….
So, back to the stories I was planning to tell in this post. My point above is, I hate to constantly “complain” and tell the bad things, but it’s just what we’ve got right now. Thursday evening after we were home from Thanksgiving festivities, Grandmother realized her wallet was missing. Actually, I think she first mentioned it Wednesday night, but I didn’t go look for it then. Thursday, she was in a tizzy about it. We had been to the hospital, Target, and Kroger that week with her wallet. Who knew where it could be. My thought was if you left it at Target or Kroger, good bye. No need trying to find it. If you left it at St. Thomas, we’ll have to wait until Monday to call because the offices are closed for the holiday. If you know anything about dementia, you know when they get onto something, they ARE ON IT. We fretted and talked about this wallet nonstop. Theories got out of control. She at first insisted she had left it at Paul and Betty’s when we went for lunch. I helped her in and out of the car, I knew she didn’t have it. But, I searched my car and asked Betty if it was there just for good measure. Then, she thought maybe some of the family took it. Ummm, no. And, honestly if they did, I don’t want to know about it. But, no. I know you didn’t have your wallet there, let it go. Her next theory became that one of Lexi’s friends stole it. No. An eight year old girl has no use for an 81 year old’s wallet. What would she want with your wallet? Well, someone just walked in the house and stole it. She really got wrapped up in this one. Someone had just come in the house and taken her wallet. A reasonable theory in that her purse sits on a little table in the kitchen all the time. But, as I told her, totally crazy. If someone was going to walk in our house and steal a purse or wallet, they would have taken my $3000 purse and wallet hanging by the back door with a couple hundred dollars cash, and no less than 5 credit cards in it. They didn’t choose your Wal-Mart wallet full of $10, old pictures, phone numbers, and a medicare card. It just doesn’t happen like that….. My theory was that most likely she laid it down in the lab when she was having blood work done. But, she of course never does crazy and irresponsible things like that…. The missing wallet occupied our weekend with all kinds of crazy theories. And, of course when I called Monday morning, it was in the hospital lab.
Sunday night we had a WWIII level blow out. It was bad. We were all crying. I don’t know why I can’t just let things go with her. It is the disease talking, it is not my beloved Grandmother. But, when I feel like my kids are being attacked, I go all kinds of crazy and just fight like a momma bear. And, momma bear always wins. It was nearing bedtime, I was at the table working, and grandmother blurts out, “I feel like y’all don’t love me and I am not welcome here.” Being a person whose love language is acts of service, and having served this woman around the clock for the last few months, I felt like I had been slapped right smack in the face. I actually responded calmly and said, “What can I do to make that better? What do we do to make you feel unwanted? How can I love you better?” Her response was I feel unloved because the kids tell me they don’t love me and they don’t want me here. I came six kinds of unglued. I will be the first to admit my kids can be little shits sometimes. And, they can have a sassy mouth, and they aren’t always the most respectful to her. But, they have never said the words “I don’t love you or I don’t want you here.” I called her on it, and she insisted they say it everyday. My response. “Grandmother, quit lying. They have never said that. They know if they even thought about saying those words to you I would knock their teeth down their throat and beat their rear until they couldn’t sit on it for weeks.” None of this was going down in preschool teacher voice. Lexi Kate is squalling. I send her to bed with Jeff while I fight this battle with flaming swords. She kept on telling me all the terrible things we say and do to her. I finally had it, I said, fine. First thing tomorrow morning, I will call the nursing home, and you can move back to Mayfield as soon as the room is ready. It was her turn to come six kinds of unglued. I got an even better glimpse of where I get my temper. She didn’t like that option one single bit. By this time, Jeff comes to to join this conversation. He gives me back up in that Grandmother complains every day about not being happy here and wanting to leave. And, that it is exhausting to me to try to do all I can for her and then her to tell me everyday it isn’t enough. And, Jeff broke it down by saying, Misty she doesn’t remember any of these episodes, she doesn’t remember anything because of the disease in her brain. She told him he had a disease in his brain, but started settling down and went to bed. I, of course didn’t sleep a wink all night. And, she had no memory of the terrible take down Monday morning.
Monday, everyone went back to school and routine. I went back to work. I went to lunch with Jeff and a couple guys he works with. As crude as it was, crude contractor humor, and laugh until you cry was good medicine. And, then I got a fun phone call. Ms. Woodford, this is Pinnacle Financial Partners, we feel like there is fraudulent activity taking place on your debit card ending in 1234. What? That is my company debit card…. what kind of fraud are we talking about? Thousands…. I don’t remember all of the conversation except, go file a police report, come to the branch, and they have tried to buy a CAR on your debit card. A what? A CAR? Who in the crap buys a car on a debit card? Thankfully, I had just used my card locally, and within 30 minutes someone was trying to buy a car in Madisonville, KY. That is one stellar fraud department. They called me within 20 minutes of the card being swiped. Yep, you read that right. It was a hard card being swiped. I had my actual card in my purse. These fools are wicked smart. If you know how to create debit cards that work on someone else’s account, get a freaking real job, where they will pay you awful amounts of money, and you won’t have to steal it to buy cheap used cars. And, that is karma. I tell Grandmother no one would steal her cheap wallet with no money, and just days later someone steals my debit card information. Check mate.
Tuesday, it has to be better, right? Well, kinda. I had a good day. Productive day at work, Christmas shopping, pick the kids up from school, take LK to dance, all is going great. And, then Jeff calls to gives me the heads up that it has gone down at the house….. Sam eats about every third day. But, when he decides it’s an eating day, the dude eats. He ate all his lunch at school, he ate a snack at 2:00, he came home and had a bowl of marshmallows, an apple, a pack of fruit snacks, and asked me to give him a lunchable as I was leaving to take LK to dance. Said, lunchable was turkey and crackers with 2 oreos. For someone unknown reason, Grandmother decided to come and take one of Sam’s oreos. Did I mention before that oreos are Sam’s VERY favorite food in the world. He lost his ever loving mind. Jeff walks into hysteria as Grandmother tried to get him to hush so she wouldn’t get in trouble. Granted, Sam is too big to lose his mind over a cookie. But, it’s his favorite, and it’s his food day…… When I walked in Grandmother gave me the low down and how I should spank Sam for acting a fool. Knowing Jeff had already handled it, I just kinda joked, well if you stole my cookie I’d cry too. It isn’t appropriate to take food off someone else’s plate. And, you aren’t in charge of discipling the kids. Well, I’ll punch you in the face. I told her that if she punched me, she would have to go to live in the nursing home. We don’t hit the kids, and you aren’ going to hit me. She, said, well, I’ll just stab you with that knife. Nope, no knife either. Gran has threatened to stab me with a knife on more than one occasion. It doesn’t really scare me that she would actually try to, or if she did she is so slow and weak I could protect myself. The kids, that scares me. Knives aren’t out generally, but this was on the table for dinner.
And then we get to Wednesday. The hits just keep on coming…. The doctor calls and tells me the latest blood work shows that Grandmother has developed diabetes. Not surprising, because her mother had diabetes and several of her sisters had/have it. But, seriously, we have enough going on does God really think we need diabetes on top of it all. They tell me the plan is to try to regulate with diet, check blood weekly for a month, then we’ll see if we need to medicate. So, then I start running the scenarios in my mind: 1)She’s 81 years old, has dementia, internal bleeding, and a failing heart, and weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet. Really, is regulating diabetes necessary? Let her eat whatever the crap she wants, is it really effecting life expectancy? 2)I don’t say anything, we don’t regulate. It increases risk of stroke. Enter mental image of grandma stroking out and dying in front of the kids. That’s a bad plan. 3)I tell her, we try to regulate with diet. She is home alone 3-8 hours a day. She can’t remember if she just went to the bathroom. Is she really going to remember she shouldn’t eat 3/4 of the food in my house. Remember there are 4 other people living here that aren’t diabetic, and 3 of them would move out if I took out all the “bad food” in my house. So, I broke down and told her she had diabetes and we needed to do what we could to regulate it. I have told her no less than 3475 times that she can’t have a coke, or ice cream, or candy, or oreos in the last 30 hours. I’m starting to think we say screw it and just see what happens. For the love of pete, after all she’s endured she might as well enjoy the last few meals she’s has.
And, on the kids front. LK had a friend ask her this week why “shit” was a bad word if it just meant cow poop. And, today, she asked me what “frit” meant? She heard it was a bad word, but didn’t know what it meant. Yeah, me either….. Google it. That’ll scare the “shit” out of you that 3rd graders are talking about it on the playground. I gotta go clean our shot gun now.
And, so there is our week in a long and random blog. We’re breathing, and I have friends texting me pretty crazy stuff right now making me laugh like crazy. Laughter is good medicine. And, yesterday I came home to a WHOLE CASE of wine from some clients. We are going to survive. I am fully aware of how blessed I am to live this life, even with the crazy hand of cards I’ve been dealt in the last little bit. If you have a few extra breaths of prayer left, pray for us. Not for patience or endurance…. I know how God provides that. Just pray that in all things we work toward glorifying Him. Even when I lose it….