- State of the Union
- June 28th, 2011
It seems that our lives have been in such disarray lately. It's tempting to say it has been since David broke his leg but in reality it started before that, when he began to work the swing shift at the hospital. I had never lived with a zombie before. I didn't like it. Our lives had no structure. There was no time that was sleep time, wake time or work time, it was all smeared together. There were no week-ends and I went two years without knowing what day of the week it was. I made sure he got up when he was supposed to and fed him because he really couldn't be trusted to get up on his own. Left to his own devices he would have slept for 24 hours, alarm blaring in his ear. He was so fatigued that when he broke his leg I was actually kind of relieved. At least he was going to get some rest. Of course they laid him off just when he was getting ready to go back on light duty and his job became getting another job. Not so easy in this economy. Our smart, well educated and very capable friend is still unemployed two years after her job was cut, or at least underemployed, making due with a week-end job and the occasional temp positions and is looking down the barrel of bankruptcy. David fared better. He was let go in January and is employed again by June although at a wage that is like he climbed into the TARDIS and went back in time 15 years. It is, however, a normal Mon-Fri, daytime job and I figured it would be a good time to go back into a paying job myself. I really don't care what I'm doing for work, just something that will take up the slack of his lower wage. During the time when we were both free David's brother called and asked if we would be agreeable to help care for his wife's elderly step-mother who had come to live with them. We said yes because you do for family and they have been very helpful to us over the years. It would be good to be able to return the favor. We made arrangements to go there and get training basically, but in the mean time David was hired and I begain to look for a job in earnest. We went , but with the idea that we were going to have to tell them we weren't going to be as available as we originally thought. After talking to my sister-in-law though I realized she really needed help. SHE needed help. She REALLY needed help. The whole situation was fraught with emotional landmines since this elderly lady, Bess, is the wicked step-mother and was (and is) hated by the children of her husband's first marriage. My sister-in -law is caring for her because she feels it is the right thing to do, because she is attempting to put her faith into action and to help herself find some sort of closure to the anger she still has. I realized that I needed to do this thing. In a lot of ways I would just as soon be flipping burgers at McDonald's but I don't really care if someone gets a good Big Mac. I do however care if my sister-in-law loses her mind or has a nervous break-down. It's better for Bess too. I have no emotional baggage with her. She is just a peppery 96 year old who deserves to be cared for to the best of my ability. That includes kindness and compassion and tact, things that my sister -in -law is struggling to provide. So I have a job now. It's irregular and the wage is less than I would be making if I were doing it for a respite care organization, but it's acceptable and I'm helping my family so it's all good.