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Vent: I'm scared


Melinda

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Dear all,

I know I’ve been hanging on to my “hall pass” as a safety net so I wouldn’t feel so guilty for not posting or even lurking, but here it is—3:30am, and I find myself, selfishly, asking for your thoughts and prayers tonight.

Some of you know about my stoic mother. (The woman who would not even tell the doctors that she had any post-surgery pain when they asked her what her pain level was on a scale from 0 to 10--even though she was white knuckling the sheets. I had to train everyone to ask her if she was experiencing some "mild discomfort" to get her to even acknowledge the topic. The woman who did not tell anyone--even her husband, my stepfather, when she was dx'd with cancer the first time over a decade ago because "she didn't want to be a burden or be pitied".)

You may recall that she moved from NYC "back home" to North Carolina in the middle of her recent battle with breast cancer last year (her plans were already set and she wasn't going to let a "little" thing--like the fact that she was just dx'd with cancer again and/or then nearly died after a double mastectomy as a result of an anti-biotic resistant staph infection--upset them).

With everything else going on in my life (and Geoff's) recently--I haven't seen her in a couple of months (almost 3, now). [i'm used to having her 5 blocks away.] I’d been feeling guilty that I was the one who still HAD a mom. :( And guilty that so much of my energy was NOT spent on her, but on Geoff’s family. What else was I to do? Geoff’s mom was dying. I knew she understood. I couldn’t leave Geoff (or his mom and his family) these last few months. I couldn’t be in two states at one time.

Well, tonight, she called and started *crying* (?!?!?) and telling me that she was " sorry, but she needed me". :shock: My mother does not do this. Ever. It goes against the Steel Magnolia code.

She would not elaborate.

This on top of the fact that I learned last night that my great-aunt (who is like a grandmother to me… She never had children of her own. She taught me to read. She is also really close to Geoff, as he never knew his grandparents--and he has known her for 9 years as he usually comes to visit her with me. She thinks the sun rises and sets with him; really.) has stopped eating and is dying. I wasn’t told about this development because people “didn’t want me to worry” given everything else that has been going on. She is sick and ALL ALONE—and I haven’t found a way to be there because I didn’t know! :shock::oops::cry: Her birthday is December 12th, and apparently she is not expected to make it. (?????!)

I found an affordable flight out of NYC on Thanksgiving Day—and my dad and stepmother agreed to tend to my sick cat--but I am overwhelmed. I feel like I will be giving both my mom and Auntie Mae short-shrift, having to split my time between them. What else am I to do?

Can't life kick you while you are still completely prostrate on the ground? Why does it have to wait until you have somehow summoned energy you did not know you even had in your empty reserves to try and get up a little--and let you think that you are actually on the road to progress--before it smacks you on the head with another brick?

Sorry for the melodrama (I am obviously not my mother's daughter)--I am just exhausted and scared out of my wits. The last year has just been relentless.

I am just REALLY not ready for Auntie Mae’s death (nor is Geoff). Or anyone’s, for that matter. I'm over at his dad's right now still trying to get another batch of the sympathy acknowledgement notes out to his mom’s friends. Not to mention being worried about Geoff and his dad facing the holidays without her. And feeling stupid trying to plan a wedding that I had assumed until recently was going to be canceled/postponed due to the circumstances. It’s kind of hard to care about invitations, florists, and photographers right now.

I don't even know what to think about my mom... I have told myself all night that in my mom's case, I do not have any facts yet, so not to let my imagination run wild. That it is not only unproductive, but potentially harmful. Hard, though.

Sorry to vent; I’m just overwhelmed and frightened.

Thanks for listening.

Melinda

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Melinda,

Oy :( You have too much going on. First I have to say how lucky Geoff and his family is to have you. Your mom has to be sooo proud how you stepped up to the plate, acted as "wife" before being married and took care of things. You are a very special person.

I can't say don't worry about your mom b/c that would be pot calling kettle black. Can you maybe talk to your stepdad and see if he knows anything? Was your mom close to Geoff's mom? I know that my mom's diagnosis deeply effected my mother in law, so maybe your mom is feeling the loss and wants to see her daugther?

As for the wedding issue, you can PM me anytime about that if you want to talk---we were engaged in August, wedding planned for Feb, diagnosis in between in Nov and had a "quick" wedding in Nov and still went ahead with the Feb wedding since it was mostly paid for, but it was REALLY hard to be a normal bride and care about normal wedding things. It ended up being a good day, but it was hard.

Please please keep us posted and let us know what is going on with your mom.

And I am also really sorry about your aunt :(

Take care of yourself!

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Geesh Melinda, are we related?? I have a lot going on right now also. I'm so sorry that all of this is happening. Bless your heart. I wish I had some words of wisdom that would make everything better..........All I can say is hang in there. You have done a great job so far. Keep on keeping on!!

In my thoughts and prayers~~~

Angie

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Melinda

Hang in there. This to will pass. Words from my grandmother that used to drive me up the wall, but now i truly have to believe them. "God never gives us more than we can handle". Go see your Mom, she could just be feeling lonely with the holidays and such and wants you near. You and your families are in my prayers.

Keep us posted

Kim

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I have my hall pass, too, but for you I had to chime in. Do the best you can. You can not be everything to everybody. Spend as much time as you can with each of them, and keep going forward. And when you are with your mother, be totally with her and not worrying about your great-aunt. And vice versa.

Your karma balance has to be going through the roof. So when the good times finally get here for you, they will be long and really good. That's what I think.

You have to be struggling to get up before life will kick you. It's then that you provide the cutest target to kick. :roll::wink:

You just be you and this will all take care of itself. You have such a nurturing personality. You have been given the strength you need to handle all of this; it is there inside of you. Someone like your mom who can't express herself couldn't do this. But you can. And you will. And you will look back and wonder what was so tough about it, after all, because instead of hoping for the strength you will have discovered that it has always been there.

Curtis

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Melinda,

I am so sorry that you have all of this going on. You must be exhausted emotionally and physically. Just remember take it one day at a time. There is only one of you...you can't be everything to everyone all the time. I know that being in your situation, I would be feeling the same things. You want to be there for everyone. If you don't take care of yourself once in a while, you aren't going to be healthy enough to give to others. If I were you, I'd ask your mom what you should do...be with your great aunt, or her? How she thinks you should balance your schedule in this situation. Mom's know best, right? Do you have any siblings? If so, ask them what you should do. I'm on the flip end of things ...as you probably remember, my mom passed this year and now my mother in law has been diagnosed with breast cancer...so I can somewhat relate. What I've realized it that with my mother in law being out of state it makes it that much more difficult to make sure she has the support she needs. I love her tremendously, I couldn't ask for a better MIL. I feel comfort knowing that she has people there taking care of her and we are calling her constantly...realistically, we can't be there all the time and the next time we see her will be in March. If things progress with her cancer, we will have to let her make the decision...come here and live with us or his sister or she can stay there and we will have to discuss making sure she has the appropriate care. I'm just going to take it one day at a time, but the decision is ultimately hers. It definitely helps that my husband has siblings because we can balance things more... I hope you have a sibling to help you balance this out. As you know this is a rollercoaster ride, so please remember to take it one day at a time...things can change from one day to the next and you can't predict what's going to happen. You already are a great daughter and wonderful great niece. They both know that you do what you can. If you only had super powers, right? You've got Geoff's mom watching over your family. It's really wierd, but I feel comfort knowing that my mom's there in heaven to be an angel for my MIL.

I will have you in my prayers. Keep us posted okay?

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Melinda,

Wow, you poor thing! What a bunch of yucky stuff to have to deal with, especially during the holidays.

Don't worry about who to spend time with. Your heart will tell you where you are most needed. Ginny (ginnyde) had to choose between her sister and husband. I bet if you drop her a PM she would be happy to share with you how she coped.

All my love and prayers coming your way!

Love,

Peggy

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Melinda, I just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you, too, and saying a prayer. Is Aunt Mae your mom's aunt, and if so are they very close? I'm hoping your mom needs you because she's losing someone dear to her, and not because of health problems of her own. (One can hope!) I know you must be very frightened, and my thoughts are with you. "Happy Thanksgiving" doesn't seem to be an appropriate signature here, but I do hope your trip brings you and your mom and your great aunt some happiness, and that you can make some good memories for whatever lies ahead.

BeckyCW

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Me too...I'm sending lots of prayers for some comfort and peace to enter your life. You have gone thru so much. I know some of what this feels like, first with my dad's illness, then his death, then my uncle died, and now my brother is sick and battling for his life--please know that I am here for you- anytime.

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Dear all,

Thank you for coming to my big ol' holiday pity party.

Your words of wisdom and support (and Curtis' generous presumption that I have a nice posterior :wink: ) mean more to me than I can express.

I was pretty down last night and today--but am in the process of pulling myself up by those ol' bootstraps.

I will have to log off to soon in order to pack, get to bed, and brave fighting through the NYC parade traffic to get to the airport.

Please keep Geoff and his family in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow, as I will not be able to be with them.

I hope that y'all get a respite from all that is weighing you down and have a day filled with "Friends, family, food, and football" tomorrow, as one of my dear friends (and sports fans) decribes it.

Love to you all. Thank you again, for everything.

Melinda

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