I try my best.
You know, it’s not like I don’t deserve to have a two week vacation. I took these two weeks off because my (wonderful) little family of amazing people who have helped take care of Colt since he was five (sitter stayed home for two years after having her last mat leave with last baby and then, after two summers of screaming kids in her house daily she did the smart thing and went back to her work as a lawyer….yeah, I know right?) took these two weeks off for their family vac. Since we have no one else alive who can watch Colt, it’s either me or Dayne who takes the time and, since he works for company who sucks ass and won’t even allow him his well earned vacation without berating him and making him feel like he’s going to get fired for being ‘unavailable’….it’s usually me. That said, I do have almost 9 weeks saved in my vac bank at work because I CAN NEVER FUCKING TAKE A LUNCH BREAK let alone a day off (sorry, little bitter these days). Aaanyway. Ignoring the 15 hours of overtime I worked but cannot get paid for because my OT bank is also maxed, I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like someone had surreptitiously came into my office while I was having a moment of narcoleptic haze and injected me with the plague. I have a cold that I cannot even describe. I have been at work through the entire flu season with every employee around me sick, coughing, feverish, barfing and having (sorry) violent diarrhea (I get to know all the details because we have a policy on GI symptoms and a clearance time before you can return to work, which is smart since I work in a hospital) and I have not been sick once. I mean, I’ve had a few issues here and there but nothing to call in sick over. One day into my vacation….actually no…..the first weekend day my vacation weeks start and BAM! Hit with a virus that is making me want to curl into a ball under my bed (once someone sweeps under there) and stay there until I feel better. I sound like Patty and Selma from the Simpsons when I manage to make any sound at all, other than vicious rattling coughs and constant nose blowing.
Oh…and the bonus from mother nature? I got my period on Sunday morning. Fucking yay for me! Now, every time I cough I have to worry I’m about to have a mini explosion necessitating a change of underwear. I’m damn glad I started using a cup rather than the old pads and such. At least it keeps it mostly contained in my body….lol. Okay, I’m sorry. I know my male readers are not wanting to read this.
I went into work on Saturday because I’m a sucker who love to endure punishment and I made sure payroll was good for next week and I sent out email redirecting questions to the right folks. I printed out staff lists and instructions for the casuals covering my colleague who works up from (I don’t get coverage so I cannot wait for that 2000 email return to work Monday…) and then I went home, sat down, and slept for 10 hours. I woke up at 3 am and despite my meds (tripled them to nearly lethal dosages) and a shot or two of whisky, I did not fall back to sleep and was still blankly staring at the ceiling at 830 when I had to wake Dayne and Colt up so we could go visit the mother in law that never liked us (and we never go on with) because she just lost her husband (Dayne’s dad) her mother and her father all in a three month period. Dayne is a good man….couldn’t let her suffer alone, so he’s been there for her in a way that is likely going to buy his pass into heaven. His dad is raining down pride from above….I can almost see it, it’s so intense. All George ever wanted was for his family to like each other and none of them do. Mind you, things have changed since his death. I still can’t stand the sisters or their little children who are mini versions of their mothers, only doubled somehow by genetics and youth, I suppose, but the mother in law…well, she is finding herself alone, depressed and needing someone. She’s quickly realized that Dayne is the only one who ever calls her just to see how she is….not wanting something in return.
When her mom was admitted, I sent her a text….Dayne was hurting for her so I wanted to help. She responded with a cold something I don’t want to look back to find so I let it go. She was her dismissive but not cruel self at the thing we went to that was supposed to be about George but ended up being for the youngest daughter (sorry, always was for) and that was that. Then her dad went into palliative care shortly after her mom. They were both in their late 90’s and had been married for nearly 70 years. (That blew my mind there for a moment) – and he just didn’t see much point in going on without her. It was kind of romantic, in a way. He just gave up on life, stopped eating and drinking, went to the hospital, signed a DNR and slipped away within days, family by his side. No funeral again (this family is strange, no funerals…ever…but whatever….glad not to have to go and get overwhelmed by empathy and loss of control, not being able to help or change or fix….my personal kryptonite, even when I don’t particularly like the people who are suffering). Getting ahead of myself here….sorry. So when her dad was admitted and then died, Dayne called in tears telling me he had never, ever seen his mom like this…so sad she couldn’t stop wailing long enough to choke out words. She was so alone, so scared and so lost. I texted her immediately and told her that even though we didn’t speak or visit often that she was NOT alone and that we loved her. I told her Dayne was in tears, worried about her and that Colt had asked immediately what we could do for Grandma *he used that word on his own* when the call came in as he was sitting in the car being dropped off by his dad to the sitter on Dayne’s way to work. I asked if she’d like to be distracted a bit…go out for brunch on Sunday, we’d come to her, just for a visit, which is something we have never done before. EVER. Her return text?
“Thank you for being there.”
For her, that is the most emotionally connective and real genuine felt response she’s ever sent anyone.
So….after working for free on Saturday, dying of the plague, I woke up at 3 am on Sunday, didn’t get back to sleep, took the meds to wake me up to try to combat the ones I took to ineffectively make me sleep, plus pain meds, naproxen (thank you again mother nature), a stomach med to make sure it all didn’t burn a hole in my stomach as I’d not eaten in a few days and off we went to meet for brunch. She showed us photos on her phone, smiled a lot, poured over the picture we nearly had to threaten grounding out of Colt to make and gave hugs all around, twice, as we said goodbye. I made mention of making brunch out a regular thing….once every month or so, five times before she accepted it and we have plans to see her again next month. She whispered (and texted) ‘thank you’ in my ear as I felt George burning a sun ray of happiness into my back from wherever he is now and felt good about things in every way possible.
We got home, I managed to watch a YouTube video and passed out dead around 5 pm, not waking until noon today. Thank god Colt is able to take care of himself now. He won’t wander off…won’t leave the house (haha…wouldn’t even do so if I was standing on the lawn with a $20 in my hand begging him to come get an ice cream with me five minutes down the road. I have created a child in my own likeness…a true hermit who would rather be home than anywhere else in the world, doing absolutely nothing). He won’t touch the kitchen stuff that might burn the house down….not out of safety really, but more out of laziness. He ate three chocolate cupcakes for breakfast I see now that I look around. When I got up he said he loved me and RAN for his room. He doesn’t want to touch me because he doesn’t want my cold and I don’t blame him. lol. He’s a great kid though. He is absolutely nothing to take care of. He would rather not interact, except in short bursts of sunny company where he will not only show you his newest minecraft creation or YouTube video but will also pause to ask about your day. I mean, he isn’t really interested in what you’re doing but he has mastered the fake ‘Wow that his very interesting” face that most adults have trouble pulling off just for the sake of being polite. He did just come by to see if he could get me a glass of orange juice and some toast, noting I seemed rather pale. I thanked him (sounded more like a whispering frog croaking), shook my head no and someone mimed that he was free to go do his thing and enjoy his afternoon.
So, it’s Monday and I’m not at work, which is a great thing. I’m home with the human who I am most proud of and inspired by; I went out of my way to ensure my colleagues were taken care of in my absence, without pay; I visited a woman who used to cause me anger and to want to protect Dayne from….and it made her (and me!) happy and feel a bit better in a time she really needed it. I also got a call from our local paper, thanks to my (wonderful) pushy friends at work who insist I should be selling my photography work somehow, turning it into extra cash. One of them called the paper and told them I had captured a lot of amazing shots of our Canada 150 year parade that happened to be going on directly down my street so I sat on the front porch and snapped away. It was mostly a ploy to get Colt out there and it worked…he watched the entire thing and it was hilarious how many people shouted out to him. More people in this town know him than us. His best teacher ever was part of the parade with the marching band and she came flying up our lawn to squash all three of us with hugs – that woman. She’s so amazing. Anyway, the paper emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in sending some photos for her to review with the editor and, if they liked any, they would publish them with my copyright and a reference to my website. Good exposure if nothing else. I’ve always thought it would be fun to freelance a bit and take photos for local events.
In other photography news, I actually got ‘hired’ to do a shoot for a local band who is trying to get some promotional posters together. They’re small-time and have not much in their budget so I told them I’d do it for free if they included my info in the photos they used. One is to be a CD cover (which is pretty much all digital these days anyway) and they promised to list me in the credits. Another person approached me to take photos at their wedding but that one I bailed on. They were willing to pay a grand for my services and said I could offer whatever terms I wanted. My deal is that once I take the pics, they’re yours as long as you reference me somewhere in them for public use, otherwise, a referral to friends is good enough for now. I’m just a woman with a good eye and a worthy camera so it’s more of a friendly favour thing….but if I get picked up by the paper, that might change things a bit. Weddings I’m not into yet. They are too special and the people involved generally want something very specific and magical. I’m not sure I have the skill to read that ‘want’ yet and to produce exactly that. I think I might offer to be their ‘second’. Have them hire a professional wedding photographer, spend their money there, pretend to be a guest and then stalk the real professional to pick up lighting tips and such. lol. I’ll just give them my shots and, of course, won’t take the same as the pro. I just don’t want to mess up wedding photos.
So that’s the dirt for now. I’ll be posting more these two weeks as I have nothing but time on my hands. I’m cleaning one room, top to bottom each day (starting tomorrow), working with photos, taking more photos and writing. That’s it. Oh and, if I can get Colt to come out for ice cream, I’m doing it. I’m back down to my healthy goal weight (lost the 20 I put on a few years back completely) so I’m allowed treats now and then. 🙂
Talk soon my friends. Wish me well so I can kick this cold and truly enjoy my time off. Dayne just texted that we were going to sneak into the office tonight so I could lick everything but then quickly realized how much of that building I wouldn’t even touch with bare hands, let alone tongue. lol!
Tags: attachment disorder, attachment issues, being a hermit...sorta, empathy, family relationships, finding bad in good, finding good in bad, loving other just because I can, my time to recover, photo fun, relationship, two weeks off and sick, working too hard for too little but doing it anyway