We started packing my father in law out of his house on Tuesday. Today is Friday and we are mostly done. He has lived in his house for more than 25 years - and he's a bit of a hoarder, so it's been a challenging, difficult experience. My husband - who should be up for canonization right now - took a week's vacation. Not to hang out with his kids, visit the beach, or take naps. He took the vacay to clean out an attic, 2 sheds and a house that filled the largest rental dumpster possible.
I did not take vacay. So I worked my full schedule, in addition to moving him and cleaning out his house. And did I forget to say that one of my kids has an ear infection, which has been somewhat, shall we say, slow to heal, and she's woken me multiple times every night for more than a week? And two of my kids started college, and we had meet the teacher for the three youngest, music lessons, voice lessons, dentist check ups, doctor check ups, therapy appointments, weight checks, haircuts, medications to fill for school, forms to fill out and drop off for said medications, and I also needed to pay the bills, buy groceries and take care of 293539 minute little details that could not wait?
Excuse me. Last night's temper tantrum hasn't finished yet, apparently.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.
Moving an older person is a challenge under the best of circumstances. This week was not the best of circumstances. Everyone's nerves are on edge. Everyone is exhausted. We have fallen into bed each night too tired to think, but not too tired to be annoyed and short tempered. I've been working really super very hard to be understanding - I've pulled out my best Mary Poppins each and every day. I've bit my tongue and bit my lip and walked away and
Despite this, last night, it all came crashing down on my head.
I had arranged a special trip to go to our minor league baseball team, as a "Hooray! We made it!" kind of thing. My father in law is 92, and loves baseball. LOVES it. He saw Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle play! He knows the national level team stats and players and watches game after game after game. I contacted the team, who gave me five entrances, special parking and allowed my son to be a bat boy - and yesterday, after four very stress filled days, proved too much for my father in law's fragile health and he wasn't able to make it.
I do not fault him for that. Not at all. Getting old sucks under the best of circumstances and he's not facing the best of circumstances. If I was in his shoes, I wonder if I'd handle it half as well. I have to remind myself over and over that he's not feeling well, hasn't for a long time, and his daughter, who was also very ill, did pass on last week. But when he told me he wasn't going to the game - a game that took me multiple emails and phone calls to coordinate, and my more timid son to cajole that, yes, you will be a bat boy and it will be FUN! and you will try it even though you are nervous and unsure and no, there is no way I'm letting you out of it -
and then my husband was irritated that I'd planned this and he said that there was too much work to do and HE wasn't going to go, and then my boy said HE wasn't going to go - and I just completely and totally flipped out. I was so upset - I feel like I've done nothing fun with my kids, I feel terrible for them that they've had a pretty crappy summer, and I really really was excited about being able to do SOMETHING fun. Also, I'd worked to get the baseball dealing going, and everyone had been super excited - and then, it just wasn't. The more I asked - and I asked really, really politely and tried to encourage and talk about how FUN it would be, and that if people wanted to leave early they totally could and wouldn't it be great to see just a bit of a real game? - the more aggravated and upset everyone got with me. And I understood the reasoning, in my mind, but I was still unhappy. It kept on and kept on and I came home and someone was napping and someone was eating dinner and I had to unload a truck with very little help
And I lost my damned mind. I flipped right straight out. I was SICK of being yelled at, tired of trying to be nice and keep everyone from killing each other, trying to keep it all straight in my head, tired of trying to get everything done on time and not miss one thing, tired of trying to remember to contact utilities and doctors and change addresses, pack shoes, order a dumpster, argue when the dumpster driver came 24 hours EARLY, arrange for furniture to go in 46 different places, find a thrift store who would do a pick up from the front room of the house and not require everything to be on the curb, remember the medical forms and don't forget to stop and buy the extra book covers and notebooks that were left off the school supplies list, pacify everyone, keep everyone's best interest at heart while still trying to get everything done, tip toe around all the feelings that are inherent in this chaos and make sure that no one got their feelings hurt and keep everyone happy and realize that I'm still mourning my sister in law and I haven't even really processed her passing
And I just - popped.
I made an executive decision to take my little girls and my son and just - go. My husband and his brother could meet me there - or not. I didn't care. I told everyone about 25 times that I just didn't care who ate what for dinner, who slept where, who got what special picture/dish/painting/book/dresser, and we went to the game. My brother in law came - he told me that he'd planned on bailing out of the game, and took one look at my face and decided that it was in his best interest to go to the game - and my husband came to the game and we just watched our son do this.
These pictures are, for the most part, blurry - but he absolutely loves these pictures and requested that I post them. We both really like the fact that, for the most part, his feet are off the ground - that's how fast he was running. He told me that, at first, he was so scared that his stomach was aching, and he really wanted to be anywhere else but on the field. He said as soon as he did it once, the fear was gone and he loved it more than anything ever - he called it the best day of his life.
Much of baseball, this is the view. BORING. I mean, I like guy butts as much as the next gal (and maybe more than some) but it's pretty boring after a while.
But seeing this - man, it was so amazing.
I'd wanted to do something nice for my father in law, but it ended up being something nice for me.
And something amazing for my son - and as far as I'm concerned, it was a WIN in my mind. Even though I cried during the game when I thought about everything, and then when the Star Spangled Banner made me think of my sister in law - I'm still happy I went.