Monday, August 8, 2016

Odd Man Out

it is 12:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  I feel like I got hit by a truck.  I did a lot yesterday and I'm emotionally and physically spent.  I helped a friend yesterday get her medical papers in order to get her on the way for cancer care.  I spent hours with her at the clinic and then at the national insurance office to try to file a disability claim.  I spent over six hours with her.  there were so many details to go over that I knew my friend was overwhelmed.

when you are told that you have cancer, your brain begins to melt.  I felt that I had a lot of information to impart but I don't think this person is ready for the process.  I don't know how much I should push her.  she has my number and I guess I should wait for her to call me but I am afraid she will let important things slide by.  I don't want to come off as aggressive.  hopefully, she will keep her appointment with the social worker and get the push she needs to deal with the bureaucracy here.

I just gave her a call to remind her to fast before the pet scan and make sure that she has her blood test for the creatinine levels with her.  she knew she forgot something and thought she only had to fast for 4 hours.  what is my responsibility here?  she navigates through the world differently than I do.  do I stay on top of her or let her fail?

I guess there is that fine line between encouraging and enabling someone.  we all know that I tend to be codependent and that I have enabled my son for years.  I am going through a life change right now.  I'm a little old to be going through the empty nest syndrome but that's exactly how I feel.  after watching after my grandkids exclusively, for the last two years, I find myself in a situation of being totally alone.  after caring for them on an average of 7 hours a day for 3-4 days a week; I probably see them for less than a minute at a time now.

I did spend an hour outside with them last Friday night.  my granddaughter fell asleep in my arms.  this is how it is.  I complained about being the live-in-babysitter so I don't get to see my grandkids now.  I blogged that I don't care if I ever see them again so I don't.  and it's all because I do not set limits.  I do not know how to say no and when I do I'm always considered to be a witch.  I did manage to say no to the small kids and yet I was blamed for spoiling them.

I couldn't have much of a life the past 7 years because I chose to care for my infant grandson.  I didn't want him to go into daycare.  the next child went onto daycare and blossomed.  she learned to feed herself, went to bed on schedule and was more independent than the boy.  I guess that was because she didn't have me caring for her.  when she was still a baby they moved out.

I had a job and I was regrouping.  it was actually the first time in 10 years that I went back to work.  both my parents had passed, the grandson was in kindergarten and the baby was in daycare.  I worked so hard and got paid so little but I was very appreciated and beloved.  I felt that I was beginning to breathe again and then I got cancer.  I never returned to work and resumed being a caregiver for both children.  for the past two years I barely left my house except to pick up the kids from school.

now I am once again, on my own and will soon be living in this enormous house alone with my 2 dogs.  the kids are moving to another neighborhood.  it is not in walking distance of my home.  I have been told that I should call when I'd like to see the kids.  last Friday I knocked on the door downstairs and asked if I could visit my grandchildren.  I must have complained about the lack of privacy last month so the children are not allowed to visit me in my home.  I am allowed to see them downstairs.

a lot of grandparents would say that I had it made in the shade.  after all, they aren't moving to India.  in my movie fantasy the son calls the mom every erev Shabbat to wish here a Shabbat shalom.  he puts the kids on the phone to say hello.  he comes to her in synagogue and kisses her on the cheek.  he comes upstairs once a week to ask her what's new.  I said it's a fantasy, didn't I?

no, they are fleeing their 4 bedroom apartment prison cell where they have spent nearly 4 years.  they have freed their kids from the overbearing clutches of the American grandmother who fed and bathed them almost every night and put them to sleep with fairy tales for the last 3 years.  mom, get a life and stop blogging about us!  in my fantasy movie, the son hugs the mother and says thanks for all your help and sacrifice on our behalf.  you were always there for us.  you gave us everything and kept hardly anything for yourself.  we will miss you but we'll come and visit you with the kids.  mom, it's your time to blossom!  I said it was my fantasy, remember.

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