Difficult Thankfuls

I have two friends with the same name. One is a bit older than me and is one of the wisest, kindest, get her done kind of souls. The other is younger than me by a bit, also kind, will do things, but is definitely different! They were both here on the same day at different times this week. The first one has helped in this house from early 2017. The other worked in the hospital when we were there in fall of ’16. The former Jewel took photos of a couple of pieces of furniture (ones mom bought in late ’15 and barely used.). One is a lift top coffee table that is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and if my sister saw it, she’d want it in a second. Mom kept things on it, but thankfully, never used the lift part or the inside drawers. She paid 695$ for it. It has worn edges and a mark on the top from something. The other item is a 1900$ queen hide a bed that is heather in color and pristine. It has been used probably 5 weeks as a bed. Maybe a bit more. Her dad is moving to a new house and he wanted newer furniture. I might be able to get a quarter of the cost, maybe. It will be tons more than if my sister took it, though!

The second Jewel came and talked to me for over an hour about ‘what are you going to do with this?’ “I can’t believe how much stuff your mom had.’ ‘Have you checked with the bookstores in town to get rid of these books?’ ‘Have you asked K if she can help you get rid of these?’ ‘What will you do with this stuff?’ And on and on, almost cyclic. We went out for dinner, got back to the house, and proceeded to move some stuff around. (“You know, your sister really needs to come and get the things she wants. If she does that and other people get things, you will start to see how much more room there is.”) Jewel 1 also said my sister needs to get her stuff, she also told me I need to stand up to her and stop being so giving. I laughed. Jewel 2 made me laugh, too. She kept looking in cupboards to see what was left, opening up containers of food on the counter (I need to put those in the fridge!), and suggesting how I could offload things.  Not many boundaries on Jewel 2.

Anyway, Jewel 2 is supposed to be here this afternoon to help me and I stayed awake quite a while last night tossing around. I think I have a better plan. We’ll see how it pans out. I want to do a lot of outside stuff and the sky right now is clear..on the left! Jewel 2 drove over 180 miles to help me, she has her own agenda, and is constantly telling me how she can help.

She was here. Her help was phenomenal. I did offer her usage of the shower -she’s staying in a dry cabin. No water at all, except it is on a lake. I did remind her it had to be a short shower, she thinks she’ll be ok. (she’ll be glad to get back to her condo!) We moved a ton of boxes to the shed where I can have people look through them. (I had a low glucose and had to stop, she muttered to herself the entire time she was working. I laughed. She seems like the kind who needs someone to talk to, even if it is herself!) We moved the free standing closet from my room and accidentally marked the beautiful linoleum when it slipped from our hands. We drove to town and back to deliver some stuff to donate. We packed up some dishes for her to get rid of in a larger city where more people might find a use for them. All in all, it was nice. Difficult, but nice. I finally had to start saying to her questions, ‘I don’t know.’ She kept telling me she did trash runs every day cuz there was so much she needed to get rid of in her dad’s house after he died. I do have a great deal of empty boxes and such, once I get those gone, it will make a lot more space.

It is a stunning evening and I’ll make dinner and work in the basement. I sort of want to visit the beach, too. I probably should do the Inlet. Tomorrow is Friday and if it is nice, the shore will be packed! Some people are messy and I prefer not being around those sorts. (I did head to the water, no photos, though, these are from during the week.)

In other news, my cell phone has been very wonky, the internet is odd. I need to buy more sunflower seed. The rain earlier this week looked like glitter on the lake, but it didn’t photograph well! And the clouds tonight look like giant lavender scraps of cotton balls stretched out on the blue and pale pink sky.

Ribbons

pinkribbon1

I’m tired today. Tonight. Whatever. It is 4 am and I just woke mum to empty her waste bag. I stared at the lake while she was in the bathroom.

The lake was a calm mirror. Mist was on the surface where ducks were swimming. Pink ribbons from the sky were flung across the still dark top. I wanted to go outside and follow them. I wanted to get in the kayak and slide along the strands til I reached a different tomorrow. A place where I couldn’t hear mum whimpering in pain. A place where mum wasn’t being too stubborn to ask for help. A place where mum wasn’t pushing herself to be perfectly well and going too far. A place where mum wasn’t. But, our lake is small and the infinity I want doesn’t exist. Resigned, I watch the ribbons float away. I’m left tied to reality by taut cords of responsibility.

I arrange mum’s pillows in her bed. She wants a pain pill, I can do that for her. I tuck her in and put the oxygen tubes back around her ears. She says she hurts from all the exercise she had yesterday and tells me this is good. I smile at her and turn off her light.  I stumble at the end of her bed  in the predawn darkness. The tethers around her grip me tight and I don’t fall. I’m not allowed to. The next alarm will go off in a couple of hours. I need to be ready.

What time does-

18833_1210201975522_1043602_n 1972. We were with our 3rd dad. I remember this because of the stuffed toy I am holding (I’m the older one!). We had gone to a big city to get Easter presents (probably Kenai!!). We got to choose our stuffed animals. My sister wanted the big bright bunny. I chose the little lamb, because it was missing a tail. My step dad was really surprised I wanted it, but I prevailed. Eventually, Lamby was mine and I loved it well!

The craziest thing about this photo is today. I went to church with mum this morning. It was not easy to listen to her tell people how well she is and people who told me how well she looked. They really need to stay all day with her. Mum has attended Methodist churches off and on and then finally on since we moved to Alaska. Before that we were Lutherans. I think. At any rate, when this photo was taken, we had not been attending anywhere, but the bulk of our background was Methodist. Today, my sister has recently joined the Jewish faith and I attend a Christian church (background from The Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement in the 1800’s-Long story.). My personal faith is eclectic and allows for other thoughts, ideas, and grows as I do. My mum’s. Well, she is set in her ways and is incredibly irritated with the fact her youngest daughter has tossed out anything to do with ‘traditional’ holidays and beliefs. Literally, in many cases. Although my sister has not gotten rid of her Hallmark Star Trek ornaments, she has unloaded all the other collections mum tediously purchased for my sister and her spouse and mum’s youngest grandchild. I find it unusual, but it isn’t my faith. Mum, she has gotten very upset.

My sister had thought about coming to visit mum today and asked if it would be ok. Mum asked her why she’d come over (remember: my sister has not been to visit mum since the start of March, when she brought the dog back. They live about 30 min from mum and my sister works less than 10 min away.). Sister replied it was Easter. Mum snippily responded, ‘You don’t believe in Easter anymore. What would you do here?’ In the end, she didn’t come over with the family.  Which was good in the long run. Mum was super tired. But, I was frustrated at dinner. Mum seemed almost gleeful that we were eating ham for dinner and my sister couldn’t. I asked her not to be mean and she said she wasn’t being mean, she was just saying we could eat it and they couldn’t. 

I felt sad for my sister. I look at the tiny grinning face in the photo and wish my mum could show some tolerance and empathy towards the woman she’s become. Granted, my little sister drives me bonkers in less than a parsecond, but I’m not going to constantly tear down her faith, her clothing style, her hair, her looks, or how she raises her family. It is very different, but it is really none of my business. (it does provide a bit of fodder for good stories, though!)