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getting no chance to talk



I went to visit my daughter and family for a few days. It was a good visit as the sun was shining for a change. I had a hard trip down as I had to stand on the train for the first 90 minutes and got a bad cramp in my left calf, ouchy! But the rest of the trip was good. I almost didn't go as looking after the other grandkids had me feeling very tired but talking to Debbie (Ethyl17) she reminded me how much I love to go visit my daughter and yes, it is always worth going down there.


I had hoped for some time alone with Shirley but that never happened. I know she is busy with all the work she does as a Salvation Army officer but there are things I wanted to say to her that I didn't want her kids to hear or her husband to comment on, just family matters, but she was either working or the family were there. As usual she had a funeral to do, a big one this time as the loved one was one of that last generation of old soldiers from WW2. He was also a sports-mad father and all his long life had been involved in a lot of community organisations and many were there to farewell a good friend.


Although Shirley and I talk on the phone that is not the way to discuss deeper issues. What is on my mind is now about moving and rehousing myself. At the moment I have room for them to come and stay and if I go into housing more suitable to my needs as a widow that will not be so. At present the littlest grandchildren get a lot of fun doing outdoor activities, especially the little boys so I value having a big backyard but as it also goes with an older house that needs a lot of maintaining that is a bit of a problem. I know in a few years time the boys will not need the space to run around in but for now they do so a villa with a patch of lawn is probably not the best accommodation for me.


I also need probably to put my end-of-life wishes on paper as she is my guardian, maybe that is the talk she is not ready to have yet? Having lost one parent I guess she doesn't really want to think about losing another? I know it is early days as we only lost Ray last September but I need to have it settled in my own mind too. I just have to hope the time will come soon when she is ready to have such a discussion.


I do wonder if you have to change the way you approach family matters as a widow? Once the families would come fairly often to see Ray and I because of the thought I suppose that he would not be with us forever but now it is just me it doesn't seem like an issue. I know that is how we felt when Ray's Step-Dad died after a long fight with cancer. Little did we know that we would lose his Mum to a heart attack eleven months later. In a sense we are all living on borrowed time and for that reason should not put off visiting family and friends. Even if that means listening to their problems and getting involved in the solutions. We owe those who nurtured us for our survival and need to remember that.


Had a bit of a laugh this morning when I was talking to Trev on the phone and he told me he had dropped in some papers at 11.30pm last night, using his key to open the back door. He said all he could hear was me snoring, so at least a burglar would know where I was sleeping and be able to avoid that room! Well I was tired from the trip home but honestly I never heard him come in.


Today was Shirley's daughter Naomi's birthday, she turned 9. While I was down on the visit I got her one of the popular bracelets with large ornate beads on it. Of course not the famous jewelled ones but a cheap imitation. She is starting to get interested in jewellery so was pleased with it. The bracelets became part of the market stall I looked after at the Market Day they have in their hall every two months. A Market Day is a good way of getting the community interested in what you are all about as an organisation so they use it for PR as well as as a fundraiser. I can still sell just about anything so those years in Tuppwerware fitted me out with valuable skills I still use.


Now I am home I need to chase up the old tradesman who was to put a new screen door on the back door for me and find out when that is going to happen. It seems as if the maintenance is never ending here but I think that is the same for all owners of older houses. When we were young we took it for granted that some weekends had to be set aside for house maintenance and those jobs like digging over the garden and making constructive changes to the backyard. Now it is just me that seems a good deal harder but eventually I will settle to doing the jobs I am capable of doing and getting tradesmen in to do the rest. I guess that is a part of the acceptance journey.


And so life goes on for me. I am hoping there will be signs I am getting stronger and more able to cope. I accept good and bad days will still happen and I will have to find a way to cope with that. I just want to find it easier to surf the waves of grief that are a part of my life now and find a new balance.


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Did you actually tell her these 2 times you have visisted that you HAD to talk to her alone about things that were very important to you, or was she clueless that your visits were just visits? People have to know there is an agenda before they can schedule it?

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Sue :


I know feelings of taking care of some projects where stakes are higher if you mess up. I think I will blog about that too. Just wanted to let you know I understand just keep faith & do your best & then go with flow


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I too think it's obvious you will actually have to schedule some time with your daughter, and tell her it's important and she can't cancel once she commits. Maybe go out for a long lunch somewhere, and make it a special mother/daughter occasion.


We are having a giant neighborhood garage sale this weekend; the big house and yard now is a little much for me too. Even though Ray is here, he really can't help, except to butt in and sometimes criticize my womanly ways of doing things. I want to stay here a few more years but I see an "over 55" condo in our future someday. I am dumping all our old "treasures" but neither of us really care anymore, after all we've been through. It feels sort of good, actually. I too was in sales so this kind of event comes naturally to me. Plus several of the neighbors that don't want to be bothered have given me their stuff too and we will split the profits. Since I am also in charge of publicizing it, I have my work cut out for me. You may not hear from me for a few days....but the weather will be gorgeous, and I am putting out a hot dog and chili cart for the neighborhood kids, so it should be fun (and hopefully profitable too).

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Sandy, I did tell her both times I needed to sit down and discuss some things with her but her "job" is people in crisis and her prioritiy is to do the job. Maybe I just need to wait until she is ready, whenever that will be.

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Sue: I am so glad you decided to go. I do so wish you could reserve a seat on the train ahead of time, would make it so less stressful for that 5 hour trip. It is one thing to be able to sit with your books and knitting, a thermos of tea. Also makes it a bit more disappointing to make the long trip and then not have your time with Shirley. For that I am sorry.


Mary Beth put her head in the sand right after we lost our Mom. Said she could not do advance planning with me as she could not even considering losing me too. So Bruce and I went ahead and made our plans with people we could trust (thank God we did Sue. We were not married when Bruce stroked and if I did not have POA, both of us would have been left out in the cold - especially Bruce, to a 2nd cousin he hadn't seen in years). Of course, now Missy has many opinions and I did it all wrong and have to change it - LOL.


Do your living will and will. Have Trev and Edie witness it and just send Shirley a copy. At least Trev and Edie will know what you want.


As far as your own recovery and acceptance of Mum's and Ray's passings, I know you need her and yes, I agree, it is personal time. It will probably have to be at your house, although I know she gets a lot of interruptions even when she is away. I would suggest meeting maybe half way for a mother-daughter overnight at a small inn. Ask her to please leave the cell phone off or have someone cover for her for 24 hours. That may be possible. Hubby could call you if there were a family emergency.


After seeing that brand new handicap Condo last weekend has made me more comfortable in considering relocating. When Mary Beth's birds leave the nest, she will definitely be relocating and I can't foresee where that will take her, but I do know, come some time in the near future, I too will have to down size. Start looking around. Map out areas that are of interest to you. Maybe triangulate with the three children. Right now, I know you are enjoying helping out and spending time with the grandkids and you want to get some things done in the house to help the resale. So do that and on bad days, take a drive or a virtual tour of some areas that are of interest to you. Consider checking out some homes, condos. Not only the distraction factor, but by touring you will get some ideas of what will and won't work for you.


We did miss you, of course, at Chat. Had a fun time. But I think it was important for you to get away. I know what you mean about backing off after the crisis has passed, but I do know, while she is having trouble facing these important issues, Shirley does need to see and feel you. Debbie

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There will never be a time for you. There is no day that dawns when there is not a crisis for someone. It is the same as any workaholic who must see their own family as worthy of their time, or it is too late by the time they realize it.

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Cindy and Sandy, Shirley devoted a lot of time to Ray and I in the years prior to his death so I am not going to put up a reminder to her now that she has a duty to me etc. Hopefully we have many good years ahead when the talking can be done. It is my fault for getting the timing wrong.


Forgive my foolishness in even thinking she should put herself out for me, it is the mother's place to give the daughter her freedom to be whoever it is she needs to be. And right now she needs to put others first. It is the same attiude I taught her was right for me...so like mother, like daughter.

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