Sisters Aren’t Perfect Either
I don’t know why I have to be a perfectionist. There is no such thing as one, but I have always…
Sisters Aren’t Perfect Either
I don’t know why I have to be a perfectionist. There is no such thing as one, but I have always…
I don’t know why I have to be a perfectionist. There is no such thing as one, but I have always tried ever since I can think back to around eleven years of age. I think it stemmed in the beginning from always trying to please my parents.
If I cleaned house good enough they would acknowledge me. If I got good grades they would say something. If and if and if. It doesn’t work. It didn’t work in my younger ages, it didn’t work in my marriage and it doesn’t work with Al.
But yet I keep trying. I still have my house as clean as possible. Don’t get me wrong. I still don’t do outside windows. I only clean walls and closets in the Spring and Fall, so I am not terribly bad, just bad enough.
It took me all morning to get over the incident with Al and the shower. I even had to lay down and take a nap because the whole incident wiped me out of energy. Finally I got it together as good as I do, and I read all the comments and sucked in my sponge brain what they said.
I guess with Al the real issue is losing him. Not losing him to death, but losing him to the system. Those words from the hospital saying they were going to have to report his falls, even though they knew why he was falling still haunt me.
What if I make a mistake.What if I speak too loudly. What if I accidentally hurt him or let him fall or anything? Abuse is a big deal into day’s world. Everyone has to prove they are innocent. I don’t want to ever have to go through that because deep down inside I know I am the best sister ever to Al. I love him with all my heart.
I need to learn that I am alright. I am doing a good job with him. I need to realize I can never make him truly happy and I can’t do everything he wishes. He is a sick man living or trying to live as if he is not ill.
I worried about what the bath aide thought as she observed the scene, but then I thought to myself, nothing happened. She just made me feel as if I didn’t do things right. Her telling me I should have sat him back down and explained was her thoughts. I didn’t do anything wrong, I just didn’t think of her idea.
After I woke up I went to the store and bought one more safety guard for the bathroom and a bath mat. There is nothing else I can do as far as the bathroom goes. I have done all that I can think of. There are now three bars in that little room, a bath mat, new lighting so we can all see better, a good bath aide and a loving sister. Anything else that is needed is up to God and Al.
I feel like such a failure, I know I shouldn’t. Failure is a terrible downgrading word for a human being. I am actually sitting here with tears kicking myself emotionally hoping I can learn quicker, be more gentle, and more understanding.
I try so hard to be the perfect sister and yet I fail more and more as he gets worse. This morning I greeted him with a smile and got one back. I fixed him eggs and french toast for breakfast.
He told me how the cat jumped up on his bed last night and wanted to be petted. Conversation was pretty nice. Then it happened, the shower girl came for his bathing.
Al had finished breakfast a few minutes before she arrived, so I helped him brush his teeth and shaved him. I was helping him to stand and grab the shower bar in order to sit on the shower chair.
It is unfortunate that either bathroom in our house is not wheelchair accessible. They are both tight fits. I have a grab bar in the shower and one on the wall for him to hang on to. He did pretty good until he got to the end of the bar and had to hang on to me for the three more steps.
Suddenly he started talking about how he was going to fall. I was telling him, “It’s alright, I am right here with you, holding you.” He continued on with his fear and I knew in an instant that he was going to give up his concentration on standing and walking those few more steps by arguing.
The crying started and then I was getting the look from him which I have seen many years. I tried to calm him down as the shower girl was standing behind us watching the scene play out. Nothing I said helped, he just kept saying he could have fallen.
Since he was sitting and safe now I turned the show over to the bath aide. As I turned to walk out of the bathroom I heard those old familiar words asking me, “What did you say to me?”
This is a signal I remember instantly. Anger, frustration and whatever else he could get out of his mouth. In past times he would try to hurt me. I am not afraid of that part now as he is too slow and weak.
I automatically went and got him one of his medications that I can use for him at these times so that he won’t explode and will calm down instead of carrying it on for hours. The shower girl was beginning her job and I asked her to stop just a moment so I could give him his pill.
After he swallowed it in applesauce he asked, “What did you give me?” I told him something to help him calm down. He said some choice words and I left the bathroom and came out in the living room and smoked a cigarette, frustrated.
After the shower was over and she was dressing him I walked to the door and calmly explained the urgency in not speaking while he is walking. I told him he could tell me anything once he was safely seated.
Dressed and ready for the bus I walked the shower lady outside. She told me, “He was afraid he was going to fall on the towel you keep on the floor for his bath. Maybe you need more bar grips placed in there. Maybe you should have just sat him back in his wheelchair and explained to him why he needs to concentrate on walking and then talk later.”
I felt like an ass, a total ass. I was embarrassed and humiliated. I had shown no patience with Al. I jumped on the issue of arguing because of memories gone by. I am always aware of what Al can do, although no one that knows him now is.
I freak out. I get scared in a way of what used to be. Why can’t I be better? Why didn’t I see that it was the towel he was afraid of and not me? I was thinking he just didn’t trust me enough to get to the chair. It took the shower girl to point out the real problem, the towel.
I know I am beating myself up. I know the fear that rises inside of me from past experiences with him. I can remember the hospital saying,”Although we know he is falling from his illness if you bring him in one more time for a fall we will have to call Adult Protective Services, APS. It is the law.”
I know that I am a good sister. I know that I would never hurt him or hit him or nothing. In fact it would be the other way around, he would hurt me. But knowing I didn’t catch what he was really saying because I was concentrating so hard on him not falling, and the shower girl observed it all, I am a wreck right now.
Lord, I need help in the mornings. Is this a cop-out? Am I saying I can’t really deal with him? Did I make an error in bringing him home? I swear I love him and I know it breaks my heart when he cries, but I caused this, and the way I coped with it was to think, I need to calm him down so he doesn’t let this ruin his day.
So I gave him a relaxing pill instead of actually listening and hearing. I did apologize to him before he left on the misunderstanding of the towel. I also expressed once again that when he has to walk a few steps we need to be very quiet and get to the seat so he doesn’t fall.
I am screwing it up and I need to stop and listen. He is the one who is sick, not me.
What do you display on the walls of your home — photos, posters,
artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? What mood are you
trying to create?
I have no special talent in home interior but yet I have heard several comments through the years telling me, You have a knack, you have a talent in making a home homey.
That always makes me feel good to know that once people are inside my home, they feel relaxed. My home is crowded on the walls. You will see 95% antique frames with Victorian Era ladies and children. I have a picture hanging that I inherited from my Dad. It is a farm scene. Old wooden slat house and matching barn and outhouse. It is not a brilliant photo full of wonderful colors. It is priceless to me because Dad loved it.
In my kitchen hangs more children and country stars. Not singer country stars, the real stars like stars in the sky shape. Above my kitchen cupboards sit several old crocks and antique vases. Also black memorabilia.
In Al‘s bedroom and his bathroom it is completely filled with coca cola items. He collects clocks so when you walk into his bathroom you can hear train whistles going off and conductors talking. Kind of scary to visitors who are going tinkle and then a man says, All aboard, time to go. Now I always get a kick out of this when visitors exit the bathroom telling me of their adventure with the man in the clock.
His bedroom has so many clocks hanging I don’t even know the count. You hear chimes, and ticking and chatting when you enter the room with no live humans in it.
In my bedroom it is filled with vinery and flowers and more Victorian children framed photos. I have one of my favorites over my bed. You may recognize, The Lady in the Swing. My bathroom holds a library table and wooden crates and an antique barber cabinet.
So I guess my house is simply old. Filled with old things that others may never want in their homes. When you walk into my front door you are welcomed by two small Christmas Trees decorated in white lights and gold ornaments and laces. You will see various sizes of crocks that old-timers kept their brew in and old cookie jars where they stashed their money.
Don’t worry, there is no money in my jars, just plenty of old stuff lying around and maybe a spider here or there. Don’t forget the magic password when coming up to ring the doorbell. Or the ghosts will be there to scare you off.
Don’t you ever do this to me again, do you hear me? Today was something else. A day out of my routine. I had to get up at the crack of dawn and drive in the 16 degree temps and light snow flurries. I had to have my three-month blood draw.
I stopped at Al‘s and my favorite restaurant and sat quietly and had breakfast. I was having an impromptu conversation with God while I was eating my two scrambled eggs, bacon and two slices of whole-wheat toast.
I was telling him I should not have come here. It is just a reminder of what a loner I am. I want friends around when I am out, but I like solitude when I am home. Does this make any sense? I was telling God, this is ridiculous, I need to get up and go home.
Then suddenly someone said my name. I turned around and I was greeted with a big hug by a dear friend. She worked for years at my bank, but I don’t see her much anymore since she retired. We sat and talked for about an hour while she ordered and ate. I sipped my coffee and found myself just smiling and yakking a way. God is good. Once again he listened and answered my prayer.
I came home to my warm house and went to get on the internet and nothing. I ran my virus cleaners twice. I unplugged the wireless router three times. I turned off my PC twice and restarted it twice also. Finally I got a light bulb idea. Call the internet company.
You know the routine, automated answer people, never anyone real. The robot named off my phone number and I pushed the correct buttons in responses. It then said to me in monotone, We are having a problem with the internet connections in your area. The technicians are aware of it and are working on as we speak. It will be on sometime before 8am on Friday.
Oh brother, what in the world am I going to do without my internet? What about my WP friends? My games on Facebook, my yahoo mail? I thought I was going to have a major meltdown.
I looked at the clock and it was almost time for the mid-day news and my only soap opera I watch. I have watched it since the day it started. The Young and the Restless. Guess what? It wasn’t on either. Some dumb basketball game was on and will continue for several hours. I know there are sports fans out there, and that is fine, but I am not one of them. No soap opera either? No internet? Oh my gosh!
I knew I had to do something. It was too cold to go anywhere, and I had no money to waste. For six months I have gazed at the shelves above my kitchen cupboards. This is where a lot of my antiques sit. I have colored indoor outdoor lights that light the entire shelves. I also knew that dust and grease from the stove were piling up. I figured any day the grease bunnies would pop their heads out and start laughing at me.
I tried one more time to get the internet and it was a no go. Darn, darn. I got up and got the vinegar water with a touch of dish soap and took each piece down and wiped them shiny again and cleaned the wrap-a-round shelves. I cleaned off the top of the refrigerator and cleaned my antique bowls and miniature antique animal collections.
I couldn’t stop there. I was on a roll by now. I did sit to rest a minute and checked the internet again, nope nothing. Darn I have to keep on trucking. I stripped my bed and washed the sheets and re-made the bed. I took my bedroom curtains down along with all the living room curtains and washed them. I washed my bedroom window and when the laundry was done I rehung them. I totally changed the curtains in my bedroom.
Since it used to be my brother’s bedroom there were blue checked curtains hanging. Now they are clean, folded and placed in a closet. I now have white blinds with white shears and a pretty pink print valance. Looks much more feminem now.
I steam-mopped the tiles in my kitchen and hallway and bathrooms. I ended up sweeping the entire house. Darn, I was pooped. My feet were burning. I had no feelings left in my toes. It was time to sit and rub my feet trying to gain some feeling and burn relief.
I sat down at the computer naturally. Ya I know, no internet, but I had to try. It has now been eight hours and I feel like I am having with draws. I take my shoes and socks off and rub my feet back to some feeling. I put my shoes and socks back on and try one more time.
Yippee, I have internet. You would have thought I won the lottery. I yelled in joy. I started to play one game and I received a text from my son. They were inviting me, their mom to supper. Oh yeah, I sure will go. To be with people and better yet family, hot dog!!!
We ate at Golden Coral. I had a super sized salad and a small dish of ice-cream for dessert. Then we went to Wal-Mart. I bought a new shower curtain for my now new bathroom. It is very colorful. I am not quite sure what colors they are as I am color-blind, but my daughter-in-law said it was a thumbs up color.
The best came at the end as it usually does. Since the grandkids went to the toy section I thought I would check out the cars Al loves. He had been telling me about this one car he saw on an outing. It was like the owner of Pawn Stars had. It was green. My son said, No Mom, it isn’t green. It is aqua blue. Whatever, it was green to me. LOL. I bought it for him and got two more cars that are the coolest unique antique police cars. I am saving those for his birthday in May. The aqua blue one? I am definitely taking it to him tomorrow. Oh wow, I can’t wait. He is going to smile so big, I hope.
So a big day of work work work. Internet don’t ever do that to me again. Cleaning upper shelves and antiques should be saved for some other type of day!
Getting up in the morning is a pain in the butt. Reach over and nearly tip forward tripping over myself to pick up the darn old house robe that fell off the bed through the night. Standing up trying to put house robe on but have an itch I have to scratch first. Why is it the first thing in the morning a body has to pass gas and scratch?
Looking at myself in the full length mirror is enough to make me want to lean over the ship as I fill light-headed from seeing the uneven wrinkles. As quickly as I can I put my covering on and leaning one hand on the bed and the other on the dresser I do the circus balancing act getting those darn old stretched out slippers on.
I waddle into the bathroom and my eyes bug out of my head as I flip the light on and see how my eye lids have drooped half way over the color of my eyes. I raise my house coat and sit down. I have to make sure I do this each and every morning as I learned the hard lesson once before.
I had gotten up from the pot and thought someone had pasted ice-cubes to my naked butt. I jumped without my feet leaving the ground and reached my arm behind me to see what in the world had a hold of me. You would not believe it! It was the end of my house coat. It had taken a dip in the water as I was doing my thing. I sharpened up real quick after this.
I got one of my better wash rags that only had three holes in it and I wet it with the coldest water I could. After my fingers turned bright red I knew the temperature was ready. I slapped it onto my face where it freeze-dried all my wrinkles and made my eye lids fly up like an old-fashioned window blind.
I left it there while I counted to sixty. One, two, five, ten, fifteen, 60. I toss it in the stool water by accident. I seriously meant to hit the target of the tub, but dang it, I missed. I reached down in there and pulled it out by my two fingers and whooshed it like a basket ball shot straight in the trash can. There wasn’t any way I was ever gonna use that rag on my face. Never going to wash my face with pee water.
I wet my tooth-brush and then dipped it in some alcohol. You know it’s the quickest way to get the body moving in the mornings. I tried pushing that darn blue stuff out of the tube, but I guess I haven’t got my groove on yet. I had to set it down on the bathroom sink and use my fingers on one hand while holding the brush with my other. Oops, I think I surprised myself at the strength I still have at my age. Toothpaste came squirting out and went all over the mirror.
If you ask me I think I could sell this for quite a few dollars as it would be known as modern art. I took my finger and wiped some off the mirror and then rubbed it on to the bristles. Now down to business. Brush brush brush. Up and down in and out. Wow, I better be careful with what I am saying. Sounds kind of perverted to me.
Done with the brush I rinse it off and stick it back in the tiny hole it goes in and fill my glass half way with water. Rinse gargle, oh yuck, I just swallowed a bunch of water and I wasn’t ready. Gag, choke, eyes watering. Beating myself on the chest I get my choking under control.
I pull out my hair brush. Now you have to be real careful how you use this special brush. It belonged to my grandma and it is missing a few bristles. One time I was brushing my hair and sort of wiggling back and forth to the radio and didn’t realize that I was forming Edward Scissorhand marks on my forehead. Don’t ever say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I am here to tell you that you can. Don’t push too hard, and don’t get too close to the hair-line.
Now I am all done in the bathroom. I tie my belt around my house coat a little tighter. You have to do this because there are a bunch of perverts creeping around our neighborhood all the time. They are just dying to get a chance to take a quick peek at us cougar women.
The sun is shining, and I can see the boy mowing the neighbor’s yard. Everyone uses this kid for mowing. We pay him a couple of bucks and he grins as he leaves with his money. I swear one time I saw him flip me off when he turned around to leave. Do you think I should maybe up his pay to three dollars?
I flip the television on and turn the sound up to the number eight out of ten. I turn it on to the local news so I can get a good look at that sexy weather man. I make my way out to the kitchen and start my percolator..
A few scratches to the head and a few more to the other spots and then I look out my window and sigh. I have made it another morning. I tinkled and wiped. I brushed my hair and my teeth. The coffee is perking. Now on to the breakfast meal.
My eye was puffed up like blown-up balloons. I did the hot water pack. This is when you wet the wash cloth with as hot of water as you can stand. Then you place it over the plugged tear gland, and then repeat as the water cools. You do this for about five minutes. Next you put the gooey gel in your eye lid.
Did you know that those tiny ducts are right beneath your eye lashes. I took a mirror and looked at my eye lid. I could see many tear duct holes. Yep, and I could see the one that was plugged too. Darn little bugger.
I thought,today is the day for my reading. What am I going to do. I can’t see well out of both eyes with the gel in them. I am going to have to go to the doctor to get an antibiotic.
One other time when I got this infection the gel didn’t work good enough so I had to have some Amoxicillin to help it along. This seemed to be another time. I was ready to dial the doctor and then remembered it is Thursday. This is the day he is not in. Isn’t that the way it always works out?
I went to the Med-clinic, and I knew I was pushing it with time, as I had forty-five minutes until the book reading clinic. Thank goodness the office was empty. I got right in, but what I didn’t know was that each of the little rooms were filled, so I had to wait.
I let the noise of the screaming baby in the next room to me entertain me and then I glanced through a magazine that promises to make you beautiful. I should have read that one first. I didn’t get to finish it before Mr. Dr. came in.
I got my prescription I needed and thanked them quickly as I raced out of the office over to the restaurant. Great food but little parking. I drove around and around. Wait, let me off of this Merry-Go-Round! Someone get out here and get in your car so I can have your space! Hurry up and eat will you! LOL
Finally someone came out and I raced in. I was 12 minutes late, but others were just being seated also. I just sat down and had not even ordered, when I got an important call and had to leave.
I haven’t spoken about this yet and will not yet until I know more final details, but as usual it had to do with my brother. So no reading and no lunch. I went to see Al and he is having some stability issues. One thing is for sure at this place. Al and the staff’s words are complete opposites. There is supposed to be someone in the bathroom watching and assisting so Al can get washed up in the mornings. Al says there wasn’t and the staff says there was. Al said I almost fell. Staff says they knew nothing about it. Gees, get the stories straight somebody!
I did some talking to the office and visited with Al. His forehead is full of bloody scabs where he sits and digs. He was in bed as usual. The Parkinson’s was doing its shaky things. I stayed about an hour and told him I would see him at the hospital tomorrow morning around 9:15. He has the swallow test then.
Now I am home and my eye is sore but I have popped one antibiotic and will take another at bed time. Hopefully tomorrow it will feel better and not look like a Puffer fish. Here is a photo of the little doctor’s room I waited in and if you look closely at me waving you can see my one eye is puffy.
The next morning brought a rush to the bathroom, seeing a girl bent over the toilet throwing up. She finished and got up and looked in the mirror and looking at her reflection, she knew that she was pregnant.
How was she going to tell her mom and dad? How was she going to tell Henry? She washed her face off and went back to her bedroom and laid down on her bed. She didn’t want to live, she just wanted to lay here and die. What had she done to herself?
Fear took over and she began to weep. She buried her head in her hands and cried until there were no more tears to come. She rolled over on her side and reached down with her hand and touched her belly. Nothing felt different, she didn’t feel anything, but inside she knew.
She didn’t know what to do, where to go. Were her parents going to kick her out of the house? Where would she live? Maybe she could get rid of this baby. The first thing she needed to do was find out if indeed, she was really pregnant.
She got up off the bed and got dressed, and went to the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee. Maybe she would drink two cups, maybe that would make this thing growing inside of her, go away. She sat at the table thinking what she should do next, and then decided to walk over to her friend’s house to seek some advice.
Finishing her one cup she headed over to her friends and knocked on the back door. Laurie’s mother answered the door with a big smile, letting her in, and telling her that Laurie was in her room, cleaning. Jane thanked her and walked towards her friend’s bedroom door and knocked. She heard a voice saying come in, so she opened the door and shutting it behind her, she went over and sat on the bed.
Laurie turned her radio down, and went over and plopped herself on the bed beside her and said,” What’s up? What have you been doing with yourself? I didn’t see you too much yesterday.”
With hearing these words, Jane broke down in tears again, and Laurie put her arms around her and said,” Hey, no matter what’s happening, it can’t be that bad. Tell me what’s going on? Did you and your mom have a fight?”
Jane looked up at her friend and quieted her sobbing long enough to tell Laurie, she just knew she had blown it. She knew that she was in big trouble, she was pretty sure she was pregnant.
Laurie dropped her arms from around her friend, and stood up, walking over to her vanity and sitting down, looking at herself in the mirror, and asking Jane, “Are you sure? Have you gone to the doctor?” Jane shook her head saying no she had not seen a doctor. How could she go to a doctor? Wouldn’t the doctor call her mom and tell her?
Laurie stated as if she was an expert on the topic, ” No, doctors can’t say a word to anyone. They have some code or something that makes them keep their mouths quiet. Your mom and dad will never know. What you need to do girl, is get an appointment, and find out for sure. Here you are falling apart, and you don’t even know for sure!”
She walked over to her bed again and sat down with Jane, and opened up her bedside table drawer, and pulled out the phone book. She looked at Jane and asked, Who is your doctor? Do you want to go to the doctor that your parents go to, or do you want to go to someone who don’t know you?”
Jane thought it over for a second, and then said, ” What do you think the doctor will do to me? Is he going to make me get undressed? Do you think he will look down there?” Laurie laughed and said, ” No silly, you will go into the doctor’s office, and just pee in a cup. Then they do some kind of test with it, using a bunny, and if the bunny dies, you are pregnant, and if the bunny lives, this is a false alarm!”
Jane thought for a quick second, and then said, ” Well, if that is all that is going to happen, then let’s go to that clinic over on West Main Street. No one will know me there, and I can pee in a cup just as easy there as I could in front of my own doctor.”
Laurie thought that was a cool idea and said, “Hey, they are open today, and I don’t think you need an appointment. Go back to your house and put some clothes on that make you look older, then come back here. While you are gone, I will change my clothes too. We want to go in there looking like we know what we are doing, right?” Jane nodded and stood up and Laurie walked her to the door. Jane turned to Laurie and gave her a big hug and told her thanks for being her friend, and to please not say anything to her mom about this, and Laurie, crossed her two fingers and promised, she would not say a word.
With this Jane ran back over to her house, and the two girls were busy now trying to make themselves look a few years older. After Laurie felt confident she looked her best, she went and found her mom, and said that Jane had to run some errands for her mom, and was it alright if she went with her.
Her mom said it was fine, and to have a good time, and to stay out of trouble. Laurie promised and went back to her room to wait for her friend. It took a while, but soon Jane was knocking on the door, and when Laurie opened the door, she stood there staring at Jane, and said,” Wow, girl, you look so cool! No one would know that you were only 16!”