Goodbye 2022, Hello 2023
For most of the year I’ve been writing 2020+2. There were a few months of 2022, instead. Those were nice. Will next year be 2020+3? Or 2023? Or some of both again?
I’m really, really hoping for 2023. That would be another welcome respite from the past six years. Afterall, a good chunk of 2019 was pretty close to a dream. The nice feels are hard to recall nowadays, unfortunately.
This year started with dad surviving three heart attacks between Thanksgiving 2020+1 and Valentine’s Day 2020+2. Then spending much of his time in hospitals and long-term care facilities, with a few days here at the house, all of which ended with a 911 call and a trip back to the hospital.
One of the 911 visits ended with the First Responders letting me know that he could no longer live upstairs. Why? Because they barely stabilized him to get to the hospital. If I recall correctly, the exact phrase was pretty close to, “if we have to come back again, he’s just gonna hafta die up there.”
Yep. That was in early February. A week or so later, dad’s dog died. While dad was in the hospital. Meaning he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to his little buddy.
I knew something was going on because dad conflated Zoose with our prior little dog, Jr, who passed in the summer of 2019. Then again, dad was at the other house when he died, meaning he never got to say goodbye to him, either.
After Zoose’s passing, I spent a lot of time (and money) moving everything out of the front room, measuring it to the inch including the doors & windows & heat registers, designing a floor plan, and getting all his stuff from the upstairs to the front room and setup in a way that he could use his scooter to get throughout the room to use the tiny kitchenette area, guitar chair, the little potty chair, and his bed.
Yeah. That was one sentence. That’s how jumbled it all feels in my head.
After the February hospital stay, dad had a couple more heart attacks and mini-strokes, then a miracle heart surgery in April, almost immediately followed up by a bout of COVID. And finally, back home in early May.
By then he was so weak, it didn’t matter how well the room was setup for his use. He just couldn’t physically do it. Meaning, well, I’d have to do even more than before. And let’s face it, it was tough for me to help him before. And while it helped that he was no longer on a different floor, it was still way past too much for me.
Thankfully he had several services from MediCare, at least at first. The first to go, as usual, was the bather. Seriously, it would help if these folks could stick around longer. I mean, I get it. The underlying assumption is that old folks will stay with their families, and patients could get assistance from loved ones.
Except I’m dad’s only surviving blood relative, and am disabled. But of course the system doesn’t care about any of that.
He started having various troubles shortly after the bathing services stopped. Then a troublesome poop that resulted in another 911 call, and another trip to the hospital.
His last trip to the hospital.
That first night, he laid in the emergency room for hours, begging to die because the pain was so bad. They finally gave him some powerful pain meds, and we had, ahem, The Talk. Ya know. What did he want? Did he want heroic treatment to extent his life? Or to peacefully pass, on really good meds until he left us.
Thankfully, we’d discussed this several times over the prior months.
All of his other blood relatives are dead. His high school sweetheart (mom) is dead. His best friend since grade school is dead. His bestest metroDetroit guitar buddy is dead.
The good news is that I said goodbye to dad while he was still alive. He finally acknowledged he was merely waiting to die when he returned home in May. Yes, even after his miracle heart surgery.
Dad passed away on August 1st (five years and 51 weeks after mom on August 7th, 2016). Less than a week after agreeing to update the main kitchen.
Both parental memorials occurred on August 12th of their respective years. We moved into this house on August 12th a several decades earlier.
Let’s just say this date is a mess for me now. It was a bad joke before. Because move-in day was also the first of my first period ever. And we moved ourselves, so it didn’t matter how much I hurt or how confusing the swirling hormones felt.
Speaking of confusion …
Again, there will likely be separate posts about these topics. Several of them are in the long list of Drafts, actually.
Short version, the:
- porch still isn’t done
- addition still isn’t done
- kitchen is torn apart, along with the dining room and living room
- flooring in dad’s upstairs bedroom has been ripped out because he’d left effluences behind, requiring a hazmat cleanup
- middle room upstairs is completely filled with boxes and utterly unusable
- electricals are still half-off
- solar still isn’t connected
- splotched permaculture landscaping has more completed splotches, and a few that took themselves back to #%^# lawn, or worse, a mass of weeds
Dealing With It All
In case it’s not clear to you, let’s be blunt. I Am Not Dealing Well With This.
As you can imagine, this is rather stressful. On top of the stress of being, well, of being me.
Mainly I’m hiding in audiobooks while snuggling with dogs and drinking. No, not that kind of drinking. Mainly all the Cherry 7-Up I can make cuz stores don’t carry enough so I gotta buy regular 7-Up and add cherry flavoring. And while I’m there, maybe a lotta cherry daVinci syrup. It’s quite yummy.
Ok, maybe there’s a smidgen of Irish Cream in the Instant Breakfasts. Sometimes. Or usually. Maybe.
Whenever I try to actually get things done, everything’s so torn up that it’s nigh impossible even without the emotional issues of grief. On top of living with chronic pain.
Trying to handle all of this without a safe space or foundation is totally not working for me. Oh, well. Too bad, so sad, sucks to be me.
People cling to dates as if one day was somehow different from another, like tomorrow is important because of the arbitrary demarcation of a new year.
As if all the undesirable events of the past year just suddenly go away, and the next year is all fresh and new. As if we’ll magically turn a corner because some digits change from 12 to 1, and 31 to 1, and 22 to 23. As if it all matters somehow.
It sure would be nice if suddenly my life turned into something amazing. If all of these projects wrapped up quickly, and that the house fully became the home I’d envisioned back in 2019 when so much of this started.
Yeah, I’d really, really love that. I’d love it if it worked out this year. Preferably the first quarter, ya know? I kinda feel like this is all taking too long. But real movement would be a good plus.
Yeah, I’d really like that.