“… And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – Lennon & McCartney.
Around midnight last night I woke abruptly and couldn’t sleep until nearly 4am.
Today I learnt that my friend died about then. She had fought off that damned inoperable brain tumour for nearly 8 years. She laughed and smiled almost all the way through it too. I’m sure in the silence of deep dark nights she cried and bargained and denied the diagnosis. She was an excellent person; all the lovely things you say about those gone and even more- much more.
Here’s to you beautiful, wonderful lady. You were amazing. x
Much to my mother’s frustration, I have always been a night owl. From 6 months I refused to sleep during the day and then would only sleep soundly from late in the night. I have been nocturnal for as long as I can remember.
University was the best. I could churn out assignments last minute and hand them in first thing without breaking a sweat or failing. In fact, some of my best work has been done at the last minute and in the wee hours of the night and early morning.
Until August last year. Now, with 2 babies and being halfway through my thirties I find, even if I have a quiet day I tend to fall asleep by 8:30, usually straight after tucking my little bunnies into their beds. I wake up tired.
I’ve had all the blood tests. I’m fit, apart from carrying some extra weight from bearing 2 wee bairns and the usual spread that occurs after marriage. I make no excuses for the extra weight. I just couldn’t be arsed getting off my arse with the mental gymnastics and running around I do after the family. I’m just knackered after 13 years of multiple redundancies, financial ruin and family members demanding more than their good share of holistic energy.
Last Thursday I had the urge to shave most of my head, a drastic change from the 1930’s pin-curled black bob I had been embracing for the previous 6 months. That was the goal of two years growing out a pixie cut- a vintage bob that Dita Von Teese would be envious of.
(The hair was cut before the accident. It wasn’t a completely unplanned action)
I nearly chickened out, but my five year old daughter gave me the same rhetoric I often serve her: if you say you’re going to do something, then do it. So I did.
I love the cut, and I even liked the short dark ash blonde sides with the long black bangs. Then, as I do when things get out of control, I start tinkering…
I no longer own a sewing a machine to run up some Pretty in Pink op shop finds, so instead, I’ve bleached the life out of and currently have a mix of conditioning treatment and hot pink dye sloshed all of my remains tresses.
I guess it’s a bit of a mundane thing to blog about, but for the moment I’m in dire need of catharsis after the shock of last week’s still unresolved events.
Thursday night, my husband was hit head on by a drunk and high driver who had just overtaken a semi-trailer despite the double white lines clearly indicating it was unsafe to do so. My husband didn’t have time to react and as the airbags expelled from their casings and the cabin of the car filled with smoke, he struggled to open the door to escape…
Thursday night was, the eve of a year since my husband was made rendundant. It signalled a long year of job searching and ended in a new life forming and a job in a completely different town. Our incubating baby is thriving according to all the scans. The job is disappointing (understatement). We’ve been unsure if it’s worth moving for such an uninspiring role in such a negative and disorganised company in a town I couldn’t wait to escape from 16 years ago. Thursday night’s event has begun to unravel all of the determination to make the best of things, and the situation is feeling even more frustrating than it did this time last year.
The reality of Thursday night is beginning to sink in today… and we have to take him back up there tomorrow. What was meant to be four days of normal family life in a long distance family existence, has turned into a mix of complete gratitude and utter frustration.
The police and ambulance officers are amazed that he walked away, let alone without a bump or bruise. Witnesses equally amazed that he’s okay. The car is a write off. Our future plans and financial success yet again messed up. What was already a tricky situation is now feeling desperate. All because one asshole’s common sense is deceased.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Goes the NBN emergency battery box.
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! Went my heart and I sat up straight in bed.
Restlessness set in and within hours I discovered why. It wasn’t the loss of electricity that kept me awake. It was a sense a surprise pregnancy and an undesired move would not be the only unfolding events in our lives these summer holidays.
The phone rang at 9:30am to break the tension.
My grandfather had finally had enough trying to hide from us this past month or so. Nan had called the ambulance at 2:50am as Pa struggled with extreme abdominal pain and breathing difficulties. Like the bullheaded man he is, he fought the entire time, eventually giving into the emergency care.
The old bull trudged through two days of precarious treatment. Doctors wanting to avoid surgery due to his chronically bad circulation. Finally, upon council between his two sons and specialists, they decided it was the only potential help. A Do Not Resuscitate order was signed. The medical staff relieved that at least this one time, a patient’s family wasn’t trying to prolong the life of someone in such ill health and advanced years.
Stubbornness won again with him surviving the removal of part of his intestines. No bag either, but completely delusional. Regularly muttering about the bakery he sold 35 years ago and repeated attempts to remove the various attachments form his saggy skinned body ensured the hospital’s rostering a special for him. These special assistants in nursing, brave persons ensure he doesn’t escape or terrorise the rest of the patients in his petulant state.
I was volunteered for a few days to stay with Nan. Her agility is definitely compromised. She seems to be on her arse more than her feet these days. We enjoyed ourselves as best we could under the circumstances; binging on documentaries about Scotland, the land of her mother and father, a land she never got to see because of my Pa’s firmly planted feet.
I’ve since shipped her to her younger sister’s place. They are having plenty fun watching old British sitcoms like One Foot in the Grave. Though, a sadness sits behind her eyes. She says she just misses her chair at home. I know it’s because she knows she’ll have to leave her home forever, sooner than later.
Unsurprisingly, Pa’s recovery is still ridiculously slow. Two weeks have passed and we are impatiently waiting for the news that we either find him a nursing home or send him home making him eating Meals on Wheels. Either way it may send him off to the great beyond.
As I sit here, sipping peppermint tea to ease the agitation in my own stomach, I wonder what will actually transpire in the next few months. I’m not sure 2017 is going to any less intense than its predecessor. It feels like the opposite of flux, anti flux and it was confirmed by a little premonition.
How to start this post without sounding like a hyperbolic banana?
There’s no way really, so here goes:
My husband has been without work since April when the company he worked for went for round three of redundancies.
I still am secure in my job though have had three principals in 8 months which meant adjusting to all kind of managerial approaches, not to mention assisting the teachers implement some significant changes. It’s also only part time.
I started university this year, as you know, and with an exuberant preschooler, it’s been a challenge.
My grandparents have aged dramatically this year and I’m over there several times a week some times.
… And as for the mother-in-law, I finally got strong enough to stop enabling her and see the terrifying reality of her manipulation for what it is- toxic and unabating. I’ve had limited contact for 8 months.
I think I’d be ok for the first half of 2017, with healthy boundaries instated with afore mentioned family member, and a decent rhythm to our days.
It started with Husband taking a job in a town 6 hours away, beginning January, leaving me to be a ‘single mother’ as it were while he sees out the probation period and our daughter begins her first year of schooling. It’s got long hours on a rotating roster, weekend and on call work. Not ideal, but after 7 months searching, we took it.
We took it, hoping something else would come up in the meantime. It feels really dirty to do, but one part time income is not the easiest to live on, even with our minimalist expenses. Time is running out though…
The concerns about eventually leaving my Grandparents with less support has made me realise that I need to start backing away and encouraging them to access the in-home care they need (which is fine because they are still adults and need to make adult choices). It’s not easy though watching my Nan fade from the brilliant blue hue she used to be. It feels even worse wondering if us moving will send her off this mortal coil.
I’ve deferred university this semester so I can concentrate on moving the husband and making sure we get as much family fun in as possible over the holidays.
HOWEVER, the biggest surprise is still making its reality known… pending confirmation with next Thursday’s ultrasound- I’m Up the Duff; 6 weeks tomorrow. Due, get this, one month after my husband’s probation is complete, and the month my daughter and I were going to move!
It’s a been a grounding thumping experience. I’ve been telling myself I can do the 6 months on my own with all our current commitments. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m not upset about being pregnant after the initial surprise. It has simply been 4 and half years (same time as our first) and pretty much a given we were done with the nappies. We were moving on to our next chapter.
We’ll keep it secret squirrel from the Mother-in-law for as long as possible, last time she turned it around and made it about her a bit too much (I’m also hoping she hasn’t found my new blog).
If you happen to know me in real life it would be great for secret squirrels there too.
But excuse me, husband has just opened his Talisker whisky, a gift from his dad, and now I need to boak…