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Coping Skillz...

...I (don't) haz 'em! 

So, I spent a long weekend in AL with the family.  At the first of the year I had requested a couple of days off in anticipation of my paternal grandmother's 90th birthday which was Friday.  Unfortunately, my other grandmother - aged 84 and still working - fell last week while hauling the leaves she had raked to the street.  She broke her hip in the fall, earning a new metal one.  She's clearly in pretty good shape for her age, or for someone 20 years younger, so her recovery is going well.  My mom and my aunt are freaking out of course, and squaring away all the legalities to manage her affairs while she is out of commision (and, you know, for the future since she is 84).  My grandmother (whom we refer to as Grandmother) is a very private individual and pretty much in denial about getting older, so this is the first opportunity the family has had to iron out such messy details like a living will and power of attorney.  Legal documents have been signed, and now it's a matter of physical therapy...Grandmother decided she can maybe take a month off from work. 

My 90 year old grandmother (Mama B) had a pretty good birthday, I think.  All of her children were there ('cept one who came earlier in the week) and a few of the grandkids stopped in.  There were phone calls all day with the great-grandkids singing to her.  She had a 3-gallon tub of orange pineapple icecream with a candle stuck in it instead of a cake.  She does pretty well for 90 - living at home with home health aids to stay at night (they've pretty much adopted her as family).  In contrast to Grandmother, Mama B has had her affairs in order for years.  All my life I've heard her say that she doesn't want to live to be 100.  She's just hanging out 'til her time comes.  She's tired.

All in all, the theme of the weekend was mortality.  It was just so glaringly obvious to everyone on both sides of the family that we are all getting inexorably older and the bodies (and to some extent the minds) of our loved ones are failing.  In fact, mortality has been the theme of the month.  A friend's husband was recently diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer.  He's in his early 40s.  They have young kids.  Another friend's dad was found to have a large mass in his chest.  Preliminary tests are not reassuring.  My line of work involves disease and dying and death on a daily basis, but there are times when it hits closer to home and makes you keenly aware of the brevity of life...which makes all my worries seem a bit silly.

This month I've been suffering from insomnia, procrastinating (no amateur-crastinating around here), and generally avoiding the sources of my stress in unhealthy ways.  There are some major changes on the horizon, some scary deadlines racing toward me, and some general uncertainty about my immediate (and not-so-immediate) future... but it's become clear that one must hold on to what, and who, is important.  I'm still seeking perspective...and a good night's sleep. 

I don't think one lives without regret by fearing regret but by embracing the moment.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks so much.
Mar. 28th, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
It's not easy looking reality in the face. If I thought it would make it better I'd hide my head in the sand and not come out for some time.

Mar. 29th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
*hugs back*
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
I am silly. :-P

I so identify with your dad. When I was a little girl I couldn't go to sleep unless "I love you" was the last thing my family and I had said to each other.

*hugs tight*
Mar. 28th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
*hugs* *snickers at that crastinatng line*
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Hee! *hugs back*
Mar. 28th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
{{Big Hugs}} Hang in there, hon. It sounds like you have a lot to deal with right now, but your perspective is so wise and steady, I just know that obvious inner strength will see you through. So glad your grandmother is recovering and that your other grandmother had a nice birthday. Don't forget to take care of yourself throughout all the upcoming stress, and yes, every *breath* of life is beautiful, an opportunity, something to cherish. {{More Hugs}}
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, dear. *hugs back*
Mar. 28th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's hip, and your insomnia. I wish her a speedy recovery and you a good night's sleep.

I can completely relate to being at crossroads, and facing an uncertain future. I know how tough it can be and I wish you nothing but the best. I'm 100% positive you will prevail, you're one very smart lady. :)
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:29 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words.
Mar. 28th, 2012 07:38 am (UTC)
This business of folks in one's life getting old is really hard to handle. It seemed to me that everything was the same for so long - and now it's all clearly starting to change, and that isn't easy. Your 84 year old grandmother sounds formidable! I hope the broken hip doesn't slow her down for long.

You sound like you have a wise handle on it all - *hugs*.
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
It does seem like you wake up one day to find that things have changed all of a sudden. Thanks so much for your kind words. *hugs*
Mar. 28th, 2012 10:39 am (UTC)
Very true, all of this.

I hope you find some peace with this. It comes to everyone in different ways.
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, dear. *hugs*
Mar. 28th, 2012 11:07 am (UTC)
*hugs* one always worries about the future but I agree with you , one needs to live in the moment.
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks, bb. :-)
Mar. 28th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
Lol! You're stuck between a rock and a hard place... you need to make decisions but since they are v.v.important decisions you can't rush them but until you make them you're going to be stuck in sleepless mode...

Regret is pointless, or should that be regrets are pointless...whatever...

As long as you make the right decision to suit you now, given your circumstances and where you want to be that's all you can do and in the unlikely event that it is the wrong decision...regroup and press on but remember that at the time it was the right decision...

So don't be stressed or distressed because you are coping by being able to talk about and acknowledge what is happening!

Here ends Dee lesson for today!
Mar. 29th, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
Wise words indeed. I really appreciate it, dear. *hugs*
Mar. 31st, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
Oh the week you are having. I'm glad you got this visit in before your Grandmother died, and I hope you are continuing to benefit from the wisdom and strength you show in posts like this one while you deal with it. *hug*
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so grateful I got to see her and that she didn't suffer. *hugs*
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )