Chapter 12

The new lady in our Dad’s life seemed so pretty and nice. But she was a snake with a poison tongue disguised in fine linens. Dad was guilty of sharing with her issues he had most of his life as they became closer.

The one thing he did share with her, and…

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Chapter 12

The new lady in our Dad’s life seemed so pretty and nice. But she was a snake with a poison tongue disguised in fine linens. Dad was guilty of sharing with her issues he had most of his life as they became closer.

The one thing he did share with her, and for name’s sake, let’s call her B. Dad told her many of his frustrations with Al. He never took the blame for his feelings. It was easier to place it on others.

Dad would tell her how Al fought to trim the yard, but he omitted to explain Al’s mentality and slowness. He told her that Al would not mow the yard, but again he never said Al had never mowed because he was incapable.

It wasn’t long before B decided Al was a piece of crap, disappointing his Dad, defying what his Dad needed from him. She took it upon herself to lecture Al any chance she could get. The catch was she always did it behind Dad’s back.

She could smile oh so pretty, but a way from Dad? She was a venomous snake ready to pounce. I have to be honest here. I think even if she would have said something in front of Dad, he wouldn’t have done a thing.

Dad was always afraid of what others thought of him. He was always ashamed of us kids. It is so hard to explain to you because I don’t understand why myself today. I know he loved us, well I am pretty sure.

Al learned to hate this woman B. He would run and hide if he found out Dad and B were coming over. I say coming over because by now she had invited him into her home to live. This left Al once again on his own. Dad and B would come over to mow or check the mail. While Dad mowed, this is when B would go into the house.

I can still remember once when I was there to see Dad I walked in on B yelling at Al. She was saying,” You are such a disappointment to your father. Why do you fight him so bad? Don’t you think you are old enough to be out there mowing instead of making your sick Dad do it? No wonder he moved in with me. He needed to get a way.”

I stepped up to the plate and threw her ass out. I told her, “Don’t you ever talk to my brother that way again, or I swear you will regret it the rest of your life. Now get the hell out of our house.”

She and I never told Dad of this conversation. You see Dad was sick. He had Bone Cancer. I didn’t want him to have the added stress in his life. Another thing I should add here is there was five acres to mow with a riding lawn mower. Al could never have done it, even if he had tried his best. His coordination just wasn’t capable of doing this chore.

B treated me different at first; nice is the word I would say. She was the pretty one. She lived on a beautiful piece of property on a channel. She had a cute little dog and kept an immaculate house. She was not going to be taking care of a sick man. She would cook for him but that was it, and he could sleep in her bed. Other than that, it was all up to me.

I took Dad to all of his doctor appointments. I took care of insurance companies. I had a job where I went to work at 6pm on Friday nights. I lived at this house taking care of an elderly married couple. I would leave Monday morning at 8 and return that same day at 6pm. I stayed all night then left Tuesday morning at 8. Then I was off the rest of the week.

In between this job I took care of Dad. I would be invited to Thanksgiving but Al wasn’t. This was just eating me alive. I was actually invited to the dinner because I was his caregiver and she was his lover, cook and housekeeper. I had to be there in case he needed something.

I was there quite a bit. I took care of Dad from March 2007 until he passed a way in December of the same year. B would take him on leisure one-day trips and of course I had to go along. Al would go to our Aunt’s  home for holidays and I would be with Dad and B.

I guess at one time B and our step-sister had met and got along fine and once again Dad had confided in his disappointment in her and B sent her a way too. So I was the only one allowed in her home and even then I knew the only reason was because she needed me.

As Dad became more ill I was there more and more. I was asked by Dad to come over more often than not. I think from his and my conversations he knew that he had made an error with picking her but was too afraid at this point. He didn’t want to go back to his home and die alone.

Dad was a big part of the blame for B not getting along with Al and the other sister, because he never cleared up the truth. He let her go on and believe what she wanted. As I was at her home almost constantly to care for Dad she would say hateful things to me.

I felt so torn. Dad didn’t want to go home and live. I had begged him to go back to his own house and I would care for him there. I told him I would get coverage for part of my hours but he insisted I stick with my job since I was almost divorced from the now ex.

We Are Going To Be Elderly One Day

icon of elderly people

icon of elderly people

Is there something about elderly people that scares us younger ones? Is it the frail statue, or maybe the wrinkles. Could it be that they talk to much about the past and we don’t get it? Maybe they move too slow.

We are all going to get old. It is inevitable, it is going to happen. I live on what is known as Senior Lane. A short row of homes that on my side elderly live.

I know each person well enough to know their concerns in life. My one neighbor her children feel that she is not able to manage her money well enough. This may have some truth in it, but I think the adult kids have overstepped some. I know, Terry, mind your own business.

Don’t worry, I have not voiced my thoughts to these two sweethearts that live on either side of me. The one that I am speaking of gets outside with her electric lawn mower and mows her own yard. She plays in her flower garden. She is involved with her church activities. Her kids give her an allowance for spending money and pay her bills with her funds. Maybe it works out for everyone, but I think the elderly lady feels a bit abused.

If her church activities include some outing she has to go to her kids and explain why she wants some extra money. I only have heard the one side of this story, hers. Maybe hearing both sides would make more sense to me.

I know it reminds me of Al at the nursing home. He has most of his mind and hates it when the facility tells him what they think he should be able to have in his own room. They come to me and tell me to remove this or that. I thought Al was an adult and he pays a heap of money to have half that room.

Should we as the younger generation make their decisions for them? Is there  a line that should not be crossed as long as the elderly are behaving with an alert mind?

My other neighbor, now I feel real sorry for her. She has Parkinson’s like Al does, but the only thing I notice is some slight shaking. I don’t believe she is as advanced as Al is. She has many more medical issues than my other neighbor. She goes to the doctor quite frequently. She is able to walk but tires easily. She lives alone also and fixes her own meals.

There are many times she may nibble on a bite here or there for a meal. She claims she just isn’t that hungry. Now her family is involved in a different way. If there is a vacation they insist that Mom goes along.

I have heard the neighbor tell her family she really doesn’t want to go on these trips. They tire her and she would rather rest in her own bed at night. They take no for an answer. When it comes to things around the house they aren’t there for her.

She tells me constantly that her grandkids don’t have time for her. They never come to see her. No one in her family mows her tiny yard. My son mows it and I wonder if it would be knee-high if he didn’t do this for her.

She weeps when my son finishes because she says she is ashamed that her family won’t help. So this family insists that if there are reunions, birthdays or vacations, Mom has to go. No ifs ands or buts.

I know how I feel when I am stressed out about Al. It takes everything I have inside to sometimes go visit. Not that I don’t want to see him, but I hate how I allow his emotions to suck me in. Pity takes over and a sadness looms over me.

When I don’t feel well, I sure wouldn’t mind a phone call or a knock at the door knowing someone cares enough to check on me. I don’t want to go out and socialize when I am under the weather.

We are all going to get old some day. Have you thought about what you want to have happen or not to happen? Do you want your finances taken over by your children? Who is going to take care of yard maintenance if you can’t do it?

Will you want to lean on your grandkids because they are family? Or will you and I look at them as they have their own lives to live and don’t want to bother with the old people. It is something to think about.

I know I do. I wonder how it will work out if I have to go live with my daughter one day. Will it be a problem with it being long-term? Will I interrupt their marriage? Will I try to run their lives like I did my own? Will I be able to adjust? Will they, when it is longer than a vacation?

I know that I don’t have the funds to live in an assisted living facility. I didn’t  plan when I was younger. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mommy, and therefore I do not have this nice retirement today. I live month to month and hope for God to take care of what I can not.

I wish I would have thought things out when I was younger, but I don’t think many young people, newly married people, actually think about getting old. There are no retirements today like our parents had. 401’s are not secure, and stocks are like roller coaster. Maybe I should have done like our fore fathers did and hid my money under my old mattress. Keep a shot-gun beside my bed, and a guard dog outside my front door.

I don’t know what the answers are today. I  just see what my neighbors go through and they are only two of millions. I wonder what their stories are……………