This really sucks

For more than five years, I watched my best friend care for her disabled mother.  She worked full-time while bathing, cooking and cleaning.  She essentially had the responsibilities of a single-mother to a toddler.  Now, her mother has returned to her native home, where she has comprehensive care.  In her 40 years here, she never made enough to afford medical or disability insurance.

Three years ago, my mother spent 14 days in the hospital.  At the time, I could have counted the number of times I'd been to a hospital on one a hand with significantly fewer fingers than my own.  I honestly thought I might lose her and made one of the hardest decision I have ever made up until this point: to admit her against her will to the hospital.  She did, however, get a lot better, and things have been good.

Until this fall.  My mother has been requiring more and more help.  Things seemed better for awhile, but now they seem to be backsliding.  The honest truth is, I wish my mother would go to the hospital.  For reasons I won't get into here, this is not a thing said in my family.  Not to mention, my parent's just finished paying off the hospital bill from three years ago.  Both being self-employed and 60+, they just got health insurance through the ACA.  However, in order for the insurance to be at all affordable, the deductables are still sky-high.

I love my parents.  I am an only child, so I'm extremely close with them.  Despite working full-time, being married, having a full social calendar and being active at my church, I routinely spend three days a week with my parents.  I help out however I can, running errands or housework, mostly.  But I must admit, I reached the last straw.

It's the finish line of the Friday before Christmas.  I'm at the mall with my husband, trying to wrap up some loose ends, then get home to watch a movie together before he has to go to bed before he gets up at an ungodly hour in the morning.  I get a call from my mother stating she needed me to pick up two things.  Things she needs now.  I agree, but state that it will likely be awhile.  Seeing as she doesn't say much else and the store is loud and I'm next in line for the cashier, I tell her I'll call her back.  I now have to tell my husband that we have to rearrange our plans to accommodate my mother. Again.  Seeing as this is a regular occurrence, he is less than thrilled.

It's true, I didn't call my mother back.  Mostly because I didn't want more guilt.  When I finally get to my parents house to deliver the goods, I don't even cross the threshold of my parents home before my mother, unshowered for days and in her bathrobe, starts yelling about how I only brought two of the five things she asked for.  I reply loudly that she only called me two hours previously and that she only asked for two things.  She replies back even louder that I was supposed to call her back.  My dad interjects and says it's fine, he'll take care of the rest.

I turn around and run back to the car.  I'm so angry I can't even speak.  This last minute errand running has become rather normal.  It's also become rather normal, upon my usual Monday night arrival, for my mother to say, "oh good, you're here.  Here's a list for tonight." Like I'm the cleaning service, not her daughter.  No hello, how are you, I'm glad to see you, just here's the list.

I realize my mother needs some help right now.  But I object to the assumption that it must always be me.  My father is willing and able-bodied.  He just doesn't do it they way she wants it.

My mother called my five times the following day.  They were mostly about when I would be bringing the rest of the things she had asked for.

We then had our regular Christmas with my dad's side of the family, which of course my parent's attended.  My cousin has a 16 month old.  My mom broke down into sobs while she read him a book, perched on her lap.

I hate feeling like this.  I think this is the exact opposite of Christmas spirit. But I also think that it's wrong to place such a burden on your loved ones.  Especially when you could go to the hospital and be fixed.

I did tell my mother that I am still very angry.  That I am sorry she is having so much trouble, but that it's hard for me too.  That I'm happy to help out, but that doesn't give her the right to ride roughshod all over my own plans and agenda.  I have just enough time to finish Christmas for me.  I don't have time to finish her's too.  I am sorry.  I am doing the very best that I can.  But there is a limit and I have reached it.  I told her that if what I am doing isn't good enough, she should find someone else.  I have no idea who that would be.  Since then, it's been total radio silence.

The mother of my best friend also happens to be my mother's best-friend.  She saw first hand how hard it was on everyone around her.  She agreed when I told her that as I much as I love her, I would never be able to care for her like my friend cared for her mother.  My mother agreed, and said she would never expect me to.

Day by day, she is slowly turning into her best-friend.  But this is her home country.  There's nowhere for her to go.

I think it's likely that my husband and I will spend Christmas alone.  And I will likely cry a lot if that happens. As an only-child, I always new that it would be extremely hard when I lost my parents.  I just never expected it to happen like this.

The one big take away, however, that I am using to propel forward;  I want to finally learn how to manage my weight.  Even if we ever resolve this, I think it's very likely my eventual kids may never really know their grandparents.  For many reasons, I don't plan on having kids soon, maybe ever.  But if I do, I want them to have me for as long as possible.  I also want to stop hating pictures of myself.  I literally do not have a single picture I like of myself in the five years since I got married.  How much longer am I going to wait?  The days are long, but the years are short.  It's not about the number on the tag in my clothes, or about what people from high school think when I run into them.  It's about being comfortable every day, fitting comfortably in roller coaster seats, and not sitting on the beach fully dressed while my kids swim.

Sometimes too I think that the circle of life is backwards.  We don't ever really know what it's like to be a parent, if ever, until it's too late to make it easier on our parents.  What they go through, what they give up.  I've never been one to feel that kids "owe" it to their parents.  I do believe that they should respect their parents, and care about them, but that the burden mustn't necessarily fall to the kids by default.  I thought my mother thought that too.  I would've bet money.

I hate this feeling.  I hate it.  I hate it.  And the worst is, no matter how this story ends, the conversation we had will ensure that this feeling never, ever goes away.


For the first time ever, I decided to order postage stamps online because $1.25 shipping seemed like a good deal compared to waiting in line at the post office. Now, my Christmas cards are written, addressed and sealed. Now I'm just waiting for the stamps to come by mail, so that the cards can be mailed. The irony is not lost on me.



You know things can’t be too bad when you have people in your life who love you and miss you when you’re busy.


An open letter

Dear Sprinkless-Donut Eater,

Whomever you are; a co-worker, an employee from another floor, a civilain coming in off the street,

This happens at least once a week: multi-colored jimmys all over the floor of the middle stall in the second floor bathroom.

Why do you leave a mess of sprinkles on the floor? I mean, I guess I understand always picking the same stall. You are clearly a creature of habit. But if you're going into the stall to remove the sprinkles, why not do it over the toilet? Or in the sink, or over the garbage? Or somewhere else entirely?

Actually no, I really only have two questions:

Why on earth are you taking food I presume you are eating into a bathroom?
Are you so afraid/ashamed of someone *seeing* you remove the sprinkles?

Ok, I have one more:

Have you considered getting the donut *without* sprinkles?

Maybe I have this all wrong, assuming you are eating the donut or whatever it is. But if you're not, than why remove the sprinkles? Which again then, see question above.

I'm not admonishing. I'm merely curious. Care to enlighten me?


Your friendly bathroom-neighbor



Today, I just paid off one of my credit cards in full.  My goal was to complete this by the end of the year, and I beat it by three months.  And the weirdest thing, I didn't even realize I had the money at first.  Here's hoping this is the beginning of even better things to come.

Glory be to God.



Today, my resting heart rate was determined to be 52 bpm. Actually, the first number they came up with was 48, and they found that shockingly low so they checked again.

I find this particularly interesting because my super-fit friend said something similar about a week ago. Her rating rate is 58. My husband's is 80.

September 1st will be one year since I ran my first 5k. Since then, I've run 2 more plus a 7k, a 50 mile bike tour and a 20 mile bike tour. I also weigh more than I did a year ago and it's not muscle. So I'm taking my victories where I can find them, in resting heart rates and personal bests.


Things to be grateful for

Yesterday, or maybe the day before, my DH paid me a tremendous compliment. He told me how impressed he was that I juggle all my obligations, and that he recognizes that I work hard at my 2+ jobs. I was so stunned I hardly had words. My first thought was that I worked much harder when I worked full time plus the paper route, and made far less. I didn't feel any of that acknowledgement then. But instead of dwellling on that, I accepted the compliment and thanked him.

I also had a break through today. I went to a 5k run prep meeting sponsored by the city. I've always been rather modest about my running, but sitting in this room with a bunch of people where I was 18 months ago, it hit me again. I am a runner. I have completed 3 5k's and a 7k. I have bought running shoes. I have stayed injury free. And I still enjoy it, even if I don't rub every week or even every month. That's definitely something to be proud of!

Running ( late publish, 5/28)

Yesterday, I ran longer and farther than I ever have before: 7k / 4.35 miles / 68 minutes.  I had signed up for an event, but couldn't make it, so I decided to rub the course on my own, despite not really having trained for it. To add insult to injury, I decided the best way to get to the route was to bike there. It's only 5 miles round trip, but still.

I survived. I'm not even that sore today.

On my way home, I passed through my old neighborhood and the block I started running around. When I started, just being able to run long enough to circle that block was a huge deal.

What I've learned? I'm capable of much more than I realize or give myself credit for. I'm stronger than I imagined.

I may be slow, but I'm lapping everyone on the couch.


Slightly obsessed

Lately I've been obsessed with books about heaven and near death experiences (NDE). What occurs to me, however, is that no one reports having NDE and going to he'll. Is that because by luck or fate everyone who's had an NDE has been virtuous enough to go to heaven, not hell? Or that those who have a NDE in hell never report it? Or that, contrary to popular belief, hell dies not exist, or at least isn't real/physical like heaven is? Something to ponder.

Also, I'm reflecting on a statement my MIL told me once. She says when she was younger, my age, she needed to know the answer to everything. The Why. She says that I would have enjoyed her younger self because I'm like that too. But as the years waged on, she realized all the nagging Why's didn't matter, and she relaxed. Is this the death of intellectual curiosity? And with the internet, it's so easy to find at least best guesses about almost anything. Technology is a boon for the intellectually curious.



Just made a payment for over $500 to one of my credit cards. It's almost half way paid off now. This makes me feel indescribably good. This progress has been hard won.


Playing with picsart

Crab tree on the cusp off blooming outside my office building.


Weather just before Run or Dye

This just in from The Weather Channel for Android. For more information visit weather.com.


Feet don't fail me now

5k tomorrow. Forecast: 35, 10mph wind, 50% chance of rain. Dye will be involved. This will either be amazing or the craziest, stupidest thing I've ever done. But if I ran a 5k on sub zero temps on January 1st, I can handle this, right?!


How is it possible that the longer you know people, weird people become normal and normal people become weird?


gratitude 2012

I am grateful to have all ten toes.

I am grateful to clean and cook all day because it means I have family who want to spend the holidays together.

I am grateful to have a living grandparent even though I still grieve for the ones who have passed.

I am grateful for a year that was better than the previous ones and hope for an even better one to come.

I am grateful fo rfriends who cheered me on and supported me through my darkest times as well as truly celebrated with me on my new job in January.

I am graeftul for days off because it means I am working.

I am so very grateful and find more each day to be grateful for.