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Reply by oldbat
07 Nov 2014, 12:36 AM

Hi Jimmie,

Thank you so much for you eloquent and empathetic post.  I am getting the care and concern that have been missing from my life for the past three years here.  Everyone has been incredibly kind and supportive and I believe I will soon be ready to move on - hopefully to a new life of my own!  Have FINALLY managed to officially divorce the Ugly Sisters (what took me so long!).  They have, of course, ignored the email I sent, but the one who has been looking after Karl's Wheel Trans bookings while i'm in here promptlycancelled his Wednesday ride to the Aphasia Institute.  You can imagine the heartbreak for him.  She then compounded her error by texting me asking what I had done and telling me that "Dad is so upset"!  I made short work of that piece of ***!

Yeay!!!!!! Empowerment.  Now I no longer have to sit through interminable family "parties", where nothing of interest is ever spoken about, and receive gushing gift cards that make lies of their previous behaviour.  Definitely in bitch mode here - and it feels so-o-o good.

Don't know when they're springing me - but I still see Karl as often as I can, and am waiting for some sign of hope about moving into an affordable retirement home, or getting the in-home supports I ned to survive.  I am SO done with isolation and despair.

Major hugs to everyone, and specially to Jimmie and Xenia, my stalwart buddies in bad times.  It is so wonderful to be back!!!!

Joyous oldbat!!!!

P.S.  And a GREAT BIG hug to both Colleen and Katherine who have worked so hard to get me back on the site.  
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Reply by Xenia
07 Nov 2014, 2:28 PM

Good Morning Old Bat aka Old Bag"

Glad to see you back on line and fistey as ever.  You remind me of Ma Murray one of B.C.s prolic newspaper owners who lived in Northern B.C. and took on the Premier of B.C. and all concerned.  She would always say it is damn sure and got on with raking the politicians over the coals.

Jimmie has been most supportive to all on this email.  I enjoy reading all the messages and missed yours.  Have been quite busy with John as he has been having very many bad days and as such have been away from the computer.

Re:  Your ugly sisters aka daughters, best they are away and as I once read that if you continue to dislike someone they win as you are carrying them on your back, best you drop them off your back and let them be the nasty people they are.

We had some great winds yesterday, wind and rain and very warm so had to prepare for lights going out.  Spent a lot of time reading and getting ready just in case.

It is early morning here in B.C. 6:30 and I have been up since 4:00 a.m.  John had a very bad night and once I had a few hours of sleep I heard him again so up and at ;em.

Will continue later on in the daylight hours.  Off for now.

To all Take care and be good to yourselves.

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Reply by oldbat
12 Nov 2014, 2:20 AM

Hi all,

Well the divorce from the ugly sisters didn't go as well as planned!  The two of them totally ignored my declaration of intent e-mail!  But U.S.#1 first called Karl and let him know how furious she was (is). Way to go to upset an 84-year-old, brain-damaged man.  Next she jack-booted into his room at the LTC home and let him know, chapter and verse, just how she was feeling about me - his wife.  This infuriated me to the point where I fired off an e-mail asking her what the **** she thought she was doing.  All issues on the topic should have been directed at/to me.  And the battle was joined.  Several toxic e-mails later, she announced that she wanted nothing more to do with me.  Power play because I had said it first.  Nah, na nah, na nah nah!  U.S. @2 has simply carried on doing what she does best - nothing!  It's now been close to three months since she either phoned or visited her Dad.

In the meantime Karl has, on two separate occasions told me he wishes he wants to die.  The first was on Sunday when he cried pitifully and begged me to reconsider, at least to the point where we could have a family Christmas.  I couldn't do it.  Three years of contempt, ignoring and patronizing have left such a wound in my heartl that I can't take any more.  Eventually he calmed down, but not before I stopped him from calling them both and expressing his rage.  Gave him hugs, kisses, candy and hours of loving attention, and told him that now he'd have three Christmasses:  actual day with lovely Italian family whose mother is on his floor - and me, of course, another private celebration with me, and a third with the family-from-hell, probably some time in January.  When I left, he seemed much better.

This afternoon when I called him, I got the death wish again.  Tried to calm him down over the 'phone, but he said he just wanted to be alone.  I asked him if he wanted me to come up, but no, he was seeking isolation.  Not a good sign.  Hopped a cab, and spent a few hours with him.  Again, we had a good talk, and he seemed to understand.  Trouble is, because of his brain damage, I can never tell which Karl I'm going to be with:  relatively cognizant husband, or inconsolable six year old.  

I still believe I did the right thing - for me anyway.  And I couldn't go on the way things were.  This has been my second hospitalization since his stroke, and I want to avoid another one, at all costs.  I really believe it could kill me.  

Sorry, once again, for the long wail.  I'm being sprung on Thursday, and the hospital has found me a peer support group, which will hopefully end the interminable isolation.  Once I feel more suppported myself, I can be a better care-giver for him, and together we'll soldier on.  Laughter, tears, cuddles, kisses and much, much candy!

Hugs all around,


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Reply by NatR
12 Nov 2014, 3:16 AM

Dear Oldbat!

you get the wife of the year award and I think it's great that you told off the irritating and controlling  (and ugly ) sisters!

thats a lot to deal with. Frankly I think it's the sisters will do you in first!
its really hard to wrangle with toxic family while trying to care for your hubby and yoirsekf
 I admire your gumption;) (a word I remember my parents using) not a word you hear nowadays because few people have gumption anymore;(

so Rock on!!

today has been very stormy and snowy  - as well as freezing rain - it's northern Ontario for sure!! We are a tough breed to live in this country 

in in fact at the remembrance day service today as we talked about the wind and cold - someone said  -" at least there aren't any mosquitoes!"
now you know only Canadians can say stuff like that! 

Take care Oldbat 
You are indeed a special lady
i am sending you my thoughts tonight - keep writing and chin up;)  
hugs natr ;)  
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Reply by jorola
12 Nov 2014, 3:49 AM

Hello Oldbat.

I have read your story and admire your strength and resilence and of course your humour. You have made a tough decision but one you had to do for you. I am glad you got the help you need but sure you look forward to being "sprung."

When the time comes you will be able to look back at what you did for Karl and how you loved him. Those other two may not be able to look back out of shame.

I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and wish you a good night's rest.

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Reply by AdoptedSon
12 Nov 2014, 4:46 AM

Just out of admiration for you Oldbat, I am dedicating this entire box of chocolate covered cherries to your courage and strength.  I may even include the box of brandy filled bon bons.
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Reply by Jimmie
12 Nov 2014, 1:51 PM

Good Morning:

Unusual morning here.  The house is quiet - Sarah very unchracteristically still asleep.  There is a mature mountain ash outside my window wracked by yesterday's winds but now calm in the stillness of the morning air, leaves still glowing yellow-orange-brown.  In its own aristocratic way it seems to be mocking the advance of winter - determined to retain its poise and grace in the face of the inevitable. 

I have been reading the last few pages of posts within this morning's stillness. I am constantly in awe at the strength of your spirits given the complex and exhausting circumstances each one of you confronts each day. How far can you bend even a willow branch before it breaks.  I do not know from where you draw such resiliency. I do know that such energy is not limitless, and that it seems the fates contrive at times to wring the  last ounce of it from our exhausted bodies.  And yet you continue though everything around you suggests you should not. What is the source of that elemental resistance each one of you brings into your worlds? How do you manage to do that given the magnetic attractions of giving up which I know too well exists. I wonder if amid all the trauma, all the loneliness and despair, all the exhaustion and destruction - I wonder if you understand how remarkable you are.  I wonder if you can hear my voice through the clamour of your days whsipering that to you. Isn't that what it comes down to finally, after all the answers have been tried and found wanting, the mutual acknowledgement of the nobility of each other in the face of such dire circumstances, the nobility of your spirits and of your lives, not necessarily in terms of the chaotic practical details of each day, but in terms of the hope you have all retained - in spite of the frailities of human nature - to do justice to the dignity of those in your care.

You are a remarkable group of individuals.  I honour you.  If the tree outside my window could speak, it would acknowledge you as kin and be proud to do so.


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Reply by Nouce
12 Nov 2014, 2:22 PM

Thanks to you all! Jim, your posts remind us of the beauty around us and within us. You are a poet! As I watch our trees lose their last leaves, and look forward to this weekend, when your storm may even reach as far as south of the Mason Dixon Line, I read with hope and awe your linking of our lives as caregivers with trees.

Here is a poem from Mary Oliver

When I Am Among the Trees 

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
   but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

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Reply by oldbat
13 Nov 2014, 12:14 AM

What a truly wonderful group you are.  I take strength and courage from your responses and your posts.  If you were all bottled for your spirit(s!), you'd be an exquisite French champagne.  
Jimmie and Nouce, you poets manque - your command of, and appreciation for, the language leave me breathless.  o.K. so my asthma is acting up, but that is definitely not the reason!  As a writer, and wannabe poet, I take as much pleasure in the cadence of words as I do in the rhythm of music.  Both are intertwined in my soul.  So, in writing as you do, you fill my soul and my heart 
And dear Adopted Son, I'll take the cherries AND the bon-bons - with a very happy smileCool!

Also dear Jodie and NatR, your words of understanding and sympathy brought me almost to tears.  And I'm giving those up for Advent!  But, but, but I hope that I can, in my turn, reciprocate all your good wishes.  Of course, I also hope the occasion won't arise, but just in case ... I'll be there.

And now for something completely different: I was informed today that I probably won't be attending the support group the hospital found for me.  The reason:  my counsellor here, who facilitates it, believes I would be bored.  First time I've been rejected for being too smart!!!!:)  Fortunately I don't have to worry about that with all of you.  Smart is just the beginning for you. The good news is they have a very intensive program they'd like me to sign up  - trouble is I'd have to be an in-patient again.  I've agreed to an assessment next week, and we'll take it from there.  I have heard, though, from reliable sources, that it is an excellent program - it even includes medititaion techniques -  and I would be smart to take them up on their offer.  To be continued!

Good night to you all, you kind, generous people.  Tomorrow is, indeed, another day.  May it bring you nothing but "fair winds and prosperous voyage.  May the wind be always in your sails" and may the gods of good fortune smile kindly upon you.


P.S.  If I misquoted - please set me straight!

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Reply by frustrated
13 Nov 2014, 2:44 AM

You are all have such an amazing gift. It helps me get through the real hard time. Right now.

I don't even think I can put into words were I am at right now.
Just thanks for your wrods
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