I’ve sat down many times to blog this week but inevitably something or, more accurately, somebody needs my attention. This week that particular set of somebodies happen to be my Granny and Grandpa. Also known as the boys’ Gigi and Papa.
It’s a REALLY long story but the short story is this. My 84 year old Grandpa had chest pains. Two weeks and two ambulance rides later, he is now home from open heart surgery. Thankfully, triple bypass surgery ain’t got nothing on that old man.
Unfortunately, the short story is much more complicated and I have dealt with the burden of making arrangements for them both. My Grandpa is the primary caregiver for my Granny. She is bound to her wheelchair, requires 24 hour care, and while her mind is able, her body is not. She struggles with fine motor control and balance, among other things. Until recently, I had NO idea that her condition was that bad. My Grandpa did a wonderful job of protecting her.
Now that he is currently recovering, Grandpa is unable to care for her. So the biggest question remains: who will take care of her in the mean time? Their children (my Mom and aunts) are refusing. To be fair, every one of the children are still working and none of them have wheelchair accessible homes. Nor do any of them live close to Lawrence. More importantly, my Granny isn’t exactly a ray of sunshine. One too many outbursts on her part have led to relationships that are severely burned and broken.
(For the record, she has never treated me the way she treats her children. She doesn’t yell at me or abuse me in any way. And she loves my children dearly. A fact that has been thrown in my face MANY times this week. I have NO CONTROL over this. We are the only family that visits her on a regular basis. I’m sorry that she only talks about my children. I understand that YOUR children and grandchildren are special snowflakes too.)
(Can you tell that I’m on edge?)
And so, I have been the negotiator between the parties. I have called to set up 24 hour nursing care. I have talked to the social worker. I refilled the prescriptions. I pass on all the details. I’m stressing about nursing homes and their finances.
It’s all sad, really. They don’t have any money and so it’s unavoidable that they are headed to a nursing home. Probably much sooner rather than later. It’s sad that I’m forced to communicate between the two camps. It’s also sad that some members of this family find me as the easy target. All I’m trying to do is make everybody happy, which clearly never works.
I’m looking forward to all this drama being put behind me. His daughter (from another marriage) is currently staying at their home. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or next week. I do know that I’m done for awhile. I’m done negotiating. I’m done making calls. I’m done being in the middle.
I think you reap what you sow in life. You get what you give. You make your bed and then you lie in it.
Now I’m off to put my babies in the bathtub and to read their bedtime stories and hope that some day, when my story is almost over, my children will remember. My children will believe that love always wins.