Saturday, February 28, 2009

Taking My Time

I haven't gone running over to the hospital today. I'm not going to reward this behavior. I spoke to Daughter briefly this morning, and she just called. She's sounding very chipper today. She got what she wanted: into the hospital and lots of attention. That attention is not going to come from me. Once she is transferred to the psych unit, I will go over and see her and take her clothes. It will not be a long visit.
I talked to Therapist, who agrees with my plans. She was surprised, as she had specifically asked Daughter about voices and hurting herself on Tuesday, and Daughter had been very convincing in her assurances. We're thinking we're looking at Borderline Personality Disorder now. Birth mom had it.
My life has become so much more complicated. I'm going to need to lock all insulin and medication up. She lies with such ease, and so convincingly. For now, though, I need to focus on one day at a time. Tomorrow I have worship and I'll meet with the family about the funeral on Tuesday. The youth group is doing the Lenten supper on Wednesday, so I'm going to need to get to City and buy the lasagna and garlic bread. Hopefully Dad will hang in there another week.

A Matter of Perspective

Sister called this morning. She'd had a call from the live-in. Dad isn't feeling well and one hand isn't working. His speech is clear. Brother was headed to the apartment and Sister had a call in to the doctor. I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself as I considered the logistics of having Dad and Daughter hospitalized in different states.
Then I began to think about the man who died yesterday evening. He died of a genetic disorder, and his son is currently very ill with the same condition. He also has a daughter with the disease. There have been times when he was in ICU in one city and his son was in ICU in another. His poor wife has been coping with this stress for almost a year. Their pastor left, so she has been doing it without the support of a pastor. When I asked how her son was last night, she burst into tears. His condition is deteriorating. Today she is making funeral arrangements and buying cemetery plots.
The dead man's father has been in a nursing home, knowing his son and grandson were critically ill, and getting only sporadic updates. His father has been laying there, wondering why he is still alive (when he doesn't want to be) and his son and grandson are dying.
I'm not going to complain.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Loaded Gun

I packed up my computer and went to town for lunch at Taco Bell today. I finished my sermon (early for me), and then headed over to the nursing home. When I stopped in to see to of our men, DJ was sleeping. I sat down to speak to L, who told me that DJ had received bad news about his son that day. His son was not doing well following brain surgery.
I went over and talked to DJ, and I expressed my concern for him and his son. As we were talking, my cell phone rang. It was Daughter. Her blood sugar was low, and I was going to have to come get her. I told her I'd be there as soon as I finished at the nursing home. I started to pray with DJ, and the phone rang again. It was Sister, so I ignored the call. As I headed to visit the married couple we have there, I called Sister. She was at the doctor's office with Dad. He's dehydrated and his potassium is sky high. The doctor told her that the good news is that the pacemaker will keep his heart from stopping. Since he has a live-in, he decided not to admit him to the hospital.
I picked up Daughter, who was continuing to drop, even after much treatment. I asked her if she had taken extra insulin. She told me she hadn't. I told her I wanted to believe her. I asked to see her insulin pen. She started it Tuesday night, and she should have used about 50 units since then. Over 150 units were gone. She finally admitted she had taken a massive amount of insulin at 12:50. I called the diabetes doctor, and then the psychiatrist's office. I ended up taking her over to Big City to be admitted. She's in the medical hospital tonight, and tomorrow will be transferred (I hope) to the psych hospital. They gave her sugar by IV. Even with that she wasn't going high. She told me she did it because she was stressed, and she wanted to die. I told her all she had done was create more stress.
When we got her up to her room, they had someone to sit with her tonight so she doesn't try anything else. Unfortunately, the sitter is a young black man. I explained her PTSD, and told him that if she woke up agitated or disturbed, to step out and get a woman to step in. I told him it wasn't anything personal, but he needed to be aware of her history.
When Daughter was diagnosed with diabetes in July of 2000, I expressed the concern that a self-destructive child had just been handed a loaded gun. Today, she used the gun. Fortunately, she is going to survive this one. Next time she might not be so lucky.
When I got home, there were five messages on my machine. Never a good sign. DJ's son died at 5:15 this evening. They have asked me to do the funeral, which will be Tuesday morning. He was not a member of the church, but his church is currently between pastors. I knew him. I called his wife and told her it would be an honor to do the service for them. I'm going to meet with the family Sunday afternoon.
I'm grateful my sermon for Sunday is already done. I'm grateful that I have friends who are supporting me with prayer. I'm grateful I figured out what Daughter had done before it was too late.

"I Need Help"

Daughter came into the den shortly after she had gone to bed last night, sobbing. "I need help."
"What's wrong?"
"It's the voices, they're back."
"What are they saying?"
"They're not saying anything. They're showing me terrible pictures of the whole family dying."
I gently explained that when you have one family member who is dying, it naturally raises fears that other family members may die, too. I talked about how sometimes when I'm dealing with lots of people in the hospital, I will come home afraid there will be a message that one of our family members is in the hospital. She wants this to be over. I told her everyday that Granddad is still with us is a gift, but to her, it feels like a stress, as she waits for the inevitable. I explained that this could go on for weeks or months.
She told me we should be up there with him. I pointed out that when we're there, she wants to be home in her routine. I told her that is also natural, no matter where we are right now, we feel like we should be someplace else.
I've walked with so many families through this over the years. I've explained these dynamics to so many people. It's different, though, when it's my own family, and it's my daughter and father who are suffering. I remember a woman who was dying of cancer. Her daughters took turns coming to stay with her. The last week of her life was long and painful. I remember them asking me why she didn't die. What was she waiting for? I shared their frustration, and told them we can't predict life and death, and God's time is not our time. A friend who had been out of town came to visit her. The woman tried to respond to her friend's voice after several days of being unresponsive. Her friend left her with the words, "Good bye, R, you've been a good friend." The woman was dead shortly after her friend left.
Mom was discharged yesterday. I've wondered if maybe Dad was wanting to see her one more time. I don't know. He goes to the doctor today. He told Sister he'd lost 2 lbs. Sister said he's also more confused, and is frustrated that he can't remember what day it is.
Daughter went off to the workshop today. I hope they have things to keep her busy. If they don't provide her with structure and activity, she'll sit and worry and it will be a very long day for every one involved. I expect to hear from her today. Tonight I think we'll go to City. She needs blood work and we have some shopping we need to do. The best help I can give her right now is to assure her that what she's experiencing is normal and to give her other things on which to focus. For now, focusing on her grief diverts me from my own. I'll have to face it at some point, too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Today has been a gray, foggy day. Schools were closed because of the fog. The fog is reflective of my mood. Last night as I stood up to give the announcements at the Ash Wednesday service, I said, "Someone told me I need to announce something tonight, and I said I would. I don't remember what it was. Does anyone here know?"
Daughter had decided to stay home today even before the workshop closed due to the fog. Midway through her morning sitting in the church office, she announced she would be going to the workshop tomorrow. She helped get the newsletter out today, which was good. It really should have been out last week, but I was preoccupied with other things, and besides, I was supposed to be on vacation.
Mom is being discharged from the hospital today. Sister was freaking out a bit about it, concerned that everything be in place and the memory care unit have all the information they need to take care of her. Dad's live-in will take him over to see her this evening. Things are going well with the live-in. Sister says she's never seen the apartment that clean.
I'm finding that the stress and grief is impacting me in two ways: I'm tired, and I'm not as patient as I normally am. Daughter, of course, is more demanding, which is not a good mix. I reached into a cupboard to get something out when I was fixing supper, and discovered that once again she had been putting the plastic containers away by opening the door and throwing them in. I suggested that it would be easier to fix it now than when it became an even bigger mess. So she did, quite dramatically. There were lots of sighs and she threw things out and made sure she was in my way. It took all my self control to ignore the display.
On a more positive note, Sunday's service is coming together nicely. This is going to be another powerful Lenten season for me. I will be considering all the Lenten themes in the light of my parents' failing health. I'm sure there are times it will be painful, but growth usually is. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coping with Grief

Daughter is struggling with all that is going on in the family. Her blood sugars have been high for the past couple of days. She started out high this morning, in part because she was up eating through the night. She stayed home today to help with the senior luncheon. She was dragging most of the day.
At the Ash Wednesday service this evening, she was to lead a responsive prayer. She couldn't get through it. When I went up to help her, she was shaking all over. I put my arm around her and finished the prayer for her. She sat down and checked her blood sugar. I saw her write the number in her book, and then she disappeared into the restroom. I assumed her blood sugar wasn't low, as she didn't immediately grab a snack.
As soon as the service was over, I followed her into the restroom. She was sitting there sobbing. She says the voices are back and she can't sleep. I know she's stressed. I understand the feeling. I'm continuously tired. She wants to stay home with me the rest of the week. I don't think that's the best option for her, but I told her we'd talk about it tomorrow.
I spent part of this morning on the phone trying to figure out how we'll get Dad to his doctor's appointment on Friday. Sister was going to ask Sister-in-law if she could do it. I haven't heard how that went. When I talked to Dad today, he sounded a bit better. As I regularly tell my people, none of us can predict life and death, and every so often God has to remind me of that. Dad's ups and downs are certainly serving as a reminder of that reality.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This is the first picture I've posted that has the possibility of revealing identity. It was the one part of the wedding festivities that made me cry: the mother-son dance. Brother is the youngest, and the only son. Mom was clinging to him, even after the music stopped. They danced to Red River Valley because Brother remembers Mom singing that song a lot. He decided it was preferable to "the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..." which was another of her favorites.

Daughter is frustrated because she doesn't think the rest of us are upset enough about Dad's declining health and Mom's hospitalization. We went out for supper tonight because we were in town for an appointment and errands. I explained to her that we are sad about those things, but we are choosing to focus on the positive. Sister said Mom was the clearest and most alert she's seen her in about a year today. We are chuckling, because yesterday evening Sister-in-law was with her at supper time, and told her she couldn't eat her chocolate dessert until she'd eaten the rest of the meal. Mom told her to go to hell.

We're celebrating because Dad agreed to have live-in help, which means that we know he's safe. We're pleased that he was able to enjoy time with his niece and nephew this past weekend.

I'm delighted that I got to know my niece and nephew a bit better. Nephew is going to be the opening illustration in Sunday's sermon. He burst into the apartment holding his forehead and in pain yesterday, and with Far Away Sister rushed to the sink. He reappeared with wet hair and a look of relief. He had been holding a wet wrapper from Big Red gum to his forehead, which apparently causes pain. He did it not once, but twice, and as a result was in pain.

I'm grieving as my father's life slips away. But that's not the focus of my life right now. There are good things going on, and I can see God at work in my life. In the midst of the stress, I will celebrate God's presence and rejoice in the little things.

Back to Work

So I headed over to the office this morning to face a mountain of mail and begin to dig into the various other items that needed attention. This is a busy time in the office, with Lent beginning tomorrow. We also need to get a newsletter out by Sunday, and we have the senior luncheon tomorrow.
Mom's EEG showed seizure activity, so they started her on depakote. Dad is sounding congested and down today. I think he will slowly slip away now.
On the home front, Daughter is have blood sugars well over 300. I suspect that her insulin was subjected to one too many temperature extremes during our travels. We'll start her on fresh insulin tonight. The doctor wanted to know if her blood sugar was over 300, so the workshop will be calling him. We see him on Monday. I need to call and get new orders for Daughter's lab work. Somewhere in the midst of all the craziness in our lives, I have misplaced the orders he gave us in December.
I'm still tired, but it's good to be back home and back into the routine. It's good to be busy with church work instead of trying to juggle Dad's and Daughter's needs full time. Those needs are still out there, but I am getting a welcome break as I shift my focus to other things.

Monday, February 23, 2009


We are home. We were much later getting away than I had planned, and I decided not to take the time to stop by the hospital and see Mom. I knew she was having lots of company today, so I decided we'd just head home. It was hard leaving Dad in the care of a stranger. I kept thinking of things I needed to tell her, things she had to know in order to care for Dad properly.
Dad was definitely weaker last night and today. I think yesterday wore him out, but I also think he has seen the people he wants to see, so he doesn't have any thing to look forward to. He wasn't interested in any of the movies that normally interest him. He was also showing more confusion yesterday evening and today. He asked my sister where Mom was.
Daughter is exhausted. She slept most of the way home in the car. I must admit to being tired, as well. I ordered a diet Pepsi when we drove through for supper. Normally I don't drink caffeine after 1:00, but I knew I needed it if I was going to stay awake for the rest of our journey, especially with Daughter snoozing beside me. It will be good to sleep in my own bed in my cool house tonight.
I'm looking forward to getting busy in the office tomorrow. I expect that Mom will be home tomorrow or Wednesday. I'll be very surprised if they find anything. I suspect it will always be a mystery what led to the seizure. If she continues to have seizures, we'll have to decide if we want to medicate her or not.
For tonight, I'm not going to think of all the things I'm going to have to do this week. I'm going to go upstairs, turn on the TV, get in the recliner, and relax, hopefully with a cat or two on my lap.

Daughter and the Chaos

Daughter is doing amazingly well amid all the chaos and uncertainty. She's had a few bouts of tears, but has come to me for comfort and gone on. At the wedding reception, we were seated at different tables. She walked by me with her plate of food so I could count carbs and tell her how much insulin to take. She brought me a piece of cake (and herself one, as well), and I didn't see her again until after 11:00 when she came up to bed. She spent most of the night dancing. She was I was given the honor of leaving the reception early to go up and stay with 4 year old niece.
She will be helpful today as we get ready to leave. Yesterday she did something for Dad, and he said, "Thank you. What would I do without you?" She said, "That's why we need to move closer to you Granddad."
Once Dad finally moved out of his recliner and into bed (after midnight), he slept through the night. He's in the kitchen now, sleeping in his chair. His confusion is increasing. I suspect it's from the diminished oxygen flow with his congestive heart failure. He's asked about Mom several times. She did well last night and is down for tests this morning. They gave her a busy board to keep her occupied, and the nurse told Sister she thought she'd have to pry it out of her hands. We'll take her baby doll to her today and Far Away Sister will deliver the book to her. (If you follow the link, the book is mentioned in the last paragraph). Brother is at the hospital now, and will be arranging for volunteers to stay with her through the day so they don't have to restrain her. Mom is down for testing. Hopefully they will be able to complete the testing quickly and get her back over to the cottage.
None of us are moving very quickly this morning. I need to get dressed and get moving, and hopefully that will get daughter moving, as well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weighing Needs

Well, when I wrote my last post the plan was I would stay here a few more days. I've now decided I will head home tomorrow, as planned. Mom is okay for now. I know I'm going to have to come back at some point, and I need to go home and work while I can. Lent starts Wednesday, and that is always a busy time. I'm excited by plans we've made, and want to be there for that.
I also need to get Daughter back into her routine. Dad is having a rough night. He's having leg cramps, and is a little confused. He hasn't gone to bed, but is sitting forward in his recliner. I told him he needed to either get into bed or sit back in the chair before he fell and hurt himself. He's sitting forward, head on his hand, sleeping and moaning. Poor Daughter. She's right behind him on the couch, and I'm sure his moans are disturbing to her. I put a heating pad on his cramping muscles, but it fell off when he sat up.
I've tried bribing him with the promise of a reheated heating pad (it's one that heats up in the microwave, but so far that isn't working.) I'm glad we have live in help for him beginning tomorrow.

You Never Know....

Dad skipped the wedding festivities, but Mom went and enjoyed them all. She recognized old friends and was excited to see them This morning Sister, Niece, Mom, Daughter, and I woke up in our adjoining motel rooms. Mom was all smiles. The plan was that we would pick up Dad and meet his nephew for brunch. We kept trying to call Dad, but his home phone was busy and he wasn't picking up on his cell phone. Far Away Sister and I both headed to the apartment while Sister headed to the brunch with Mom and Niece.
We were somewhat concerned about why Dad wasn't picking up the phone, and hoped nothing had happened. As I was approaching the apartment, Sister called. "Mom just had a grand mal seizure in my car. I'm on my way to the hospital with her and the medics will meet me at the door." They lifted our unconscious mother onto a stretcher and rolled her into the ER.
Far Away Sister and I conferred in Dad's kitchen, and decided that I would take Dad to the brunch, and they would head to the ER. She planned to relieve Sister and send her onto the brunch with her family. We called the restaurant and asked them to explain to cousins what was going on and tell them we'd be there.
Mom is now alert and frustrated. She doesn't like staying on the stretcher or the oxygen. Dad enjoyed the brunch and we stopped by the hospital so he could see Mom. He's exhausted now, of course. They are admitting Mom for testing. Her CT scan didn't show any obvious problems. I'm staying for a few more days.
Amazing, Dad is doing much better. He's gone from falling asleep mid-sentence to staying awake for hours at a time. We suspect he was dehydrated (which doesn't make much sense since he's still retaining about 40 lbs of fluid) and that he's improved because the doctor reduced the diuretic. We were expecting health crisis from him, and he's improving. We certainly weren't expecting any problems from Mom.
The joys of aging parents....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Major Decisions

The private duty homemaker started today. The nurse supervisor came as well. We left and the nurse talked to Dad. Sister and I were amazed-- Dad agreed to a live in caregiver starting on Monday, and has said he doesn't want to go to any part of the wedding-- rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding or reception. I was really surprised by that. He'd like to try for the brunch on Sunday, but may not make that.
I know Brother is disappointed, but Dad is just so weak right now that he'd have a difficult time managing any of it. I am very relieved he agreed to live in help. I was really concerned about leaving on Monday and him being here alone. Of course, there's no guarantee he'll even make it to Monday. Sister thought he perked up after he made the decisions. We think this has been weighing heavily on him. Far Away Sister and her family are headed back in this direction. She needs to gather more paper work and get the information she needs to do his taxes. Last year I did them, and I am very glad I won't have to deal with them this year. She met with his investment counselor today, and he's no longer carrying a huge amount in his bank accounts, which is good.
I'm sorry he won't be able to be at the wedding. I hope Brother at least comes to see him before he dies. I fear Brother is really going to struggle with guilt following Dad's death. We have warned him, but we can't force him to attend to Dad. Far Away Sister offered to call him and hang up on him again-- that's what got him to get a wheelchair for Dad and come see him this week.

Can't Win

So last night, for the first time, I wasn't awakened by Dad coming out to the kitchen in the middle of the night. I awoke at about 4:30 because I was thirsty, and realized that I hadn't heard him all night. I drank some water from the water bottle I keep next to me at night, and tried to go back to sleep. I closed my eyes and pondered the possibility Dad had died in his sleep. I finally got up and went to the bathroom and checked to make sure he was still breathing. He was. But I was done sleeping for the night.
The rehearsal dinner is at a Chinese restaurant, and all their food is high in sodium. Dad is supposed to pick something from a restaurant across the street, and Brother will pick it up for him. I read him the menu last night, but nothing sounded good to him. This morning he asked me if he had picked anything out yet. I'm going to have to go over the menu with him again. He got up at 5:00, and has been demanding lots of attention this morning.
I have lots to do today, and am already feeling tired. Maybe I can go back to sleep for a few minutes, at least.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Fish

As a kid, I had goldfish. I remember watching them, and how they were constantly opening and closing their mouths. I was reminded of that yesterday evening as I watched Dad, who was constantly opening and closing his mouth. He still has all of his own teeth, and they were clicking each time he closed his mouth. He got up a little after 3:00, and I could hear him sitting in the kitchen opening and closing his mouth. He was up about 2 hours, which made for a very short night for me.

He has slept most of the day. The occupational therapist got him to walk to the bathroom. The physical therapist did well to get him to the door of the apartment and back to his chair. He is very weak. His appetite has gotten really bad, too. He can fall asleep in the middle of a sentence.

Far Away Sister and her family arrived today. Dad was pleased to see them, and Mom clung to Far Away Sister and sobbed. She kept pointing to Niece and Nephew, who have grown tremendously since we saw them. I met with Brother and Future Sister-in-law to finalize plans for the wedding.

We're supposed to get 5-8" of snow on Saturday, which should make the wedding even more fun. I really don't know if Dad will be here for the wedding.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Delightful Evening

Until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't have text messaging on my cell. Then I got a call that I was going to have a huge bill because of all the texting when Dad was last in the hospital. They suggested I sign up for text messaging and they'd make it retroactive to cover all those texts. So tonight my teenage niece and nephew (Far Away Sister's 2 kids) started texting me about Dad and this weekend. This text messaging rookie was carrying on 2 conversations at once.
We were plotting our escape from the wedding reception (how sad is it that Niece and Nephew are not looking forward to their uncle's wedding?). We were considering what games to bring for entertainment. Far Away Sister (who was driving, and therefore not texting) suggested we move the place cards around on the out-law family tables. I suggested she was devious, Nephew agreed. It was just fun. I needed fun. I thanked them for teaching a rookie how to text.
Dad finally woke up after sleeping for over 3 hours. He came out to his recliner and fell back to sleep. He woke up occasionally, but slept most of the time. When he was awake he tried to tell me that he was feeling great, just tired. He thinks anyone would have been tired after getting his hair cut, visiting his wife, picking up his tux, and eating lunch, using a wheelchair for most of the movement. Tonight he told me he's looking forward to getting his own wheelchair and the aide coming to help him shower tomorrow. A month ago he insisted he didn't need help with his showers and wouldn't have considered getting a wheelchair.
So the text conversations with Niece and Nephew were a wonderful escape. I'm grateful. It will be great to see them tomorrow.

Predicting the Unpredictable

After my second night in the recliner, I find myself pondering again my Dad's health. He is very alert and with it mentally, and very weak physically. He won't go out without a wheelchair. He's taking a nap after doing just about anything. He eats breakfast and takes a nap. He sits at the table helping me sort through mail and then needs a nap. Yesterday afternoon I had him out for a couple of hours. I took him to the doctor, then he waited in the car while I got groceries and prescriptions and we stopped by to see Mom. She was very pleased to see him.
It took over an hour for me to wake him up (he was sleeping sitting up in his desk chair) and convince him to go to bed. My sisters are convinced he helped me with mail because he's putting his affairs in order before he dies. They are more pessimistic, I'm slightly more optimistic. Brother is just avoiding the whole situation, and I'm the only sister who is still speaking to him. Far Away Sister actually hung up on him yesterday. Because they were on cell phones, it lost some of its impact. He thought the call might have been dropped. He sent her a series of text messages justifying himself, and she wasn't in any hurry to respond or even acknowledge them.
Sister has a college friend visiting from Europe and various other things going on in her personal life that make her less available to help. Brother is still trying to figure out seating arrangements for the reception. It's a real challenge as his family is so unreasonable that we want to sit together. I guess it's easier to separate the bride's feuding family than to put his loving family together. Of course, two of his sisters are not speaking to him at the moment, so I guess maybe we can become a feuding family at some point. I'm still speaking to him, so the other sisters are demanding updates from me.
I've arranged in home care 3 days a week for 3 hours a day for Dad. He even signed the check to pay for the first month. That will start on Friday. I think he's somewhat depressed, but that's not too surprising, all things considered.
Coming back to finish this post many hours later.... Dad's visiting nurse saw him today. She agrees that he is much weaker than he was before the last hospitalization. We had him out for longer today-- hair cut, visit mom, lunch, pick up tux. He couldn't keep his eyes open by the time he got home. He's been sleeping since right after the nurse came.
The doctor has ordered a wheelchair for him and stopped one of the diuretics. The blood work done yesterday showed he was close to dehydration (even with 40 lbs of extra fluid).
Apparently it got Brother's attention when Far Away Sister hung up on him and both she and Sister didn't respond to his calls and text messages. He brought over a wheelchair for Dad that he borrowed from the church and took Dad to get his tux and lunch. They also got Dad a new winter jacket.
Daughter and I went to lunch and then to Target. We had a good conversation over lunch. Daughter was beginning to act out because she is feeling neglected. We talked about how hard the situation is, and I explained that I need her to be responsible right now. I assured her I'm still paying attention to her needs and that she's still important, and asked for her help managing my stress. She was very cooperative when we got back to the apartment, immediately doing the things I had asked her to do in the kitchen. Brother and Dad were back, and Brother stayed long enough to put together the stool I bought for Dad to sit on when he's shaving. Dad is delighted with the stool. He told me today he doesn't need it because he's weak, but because his balance is off when he stands in one place. If he wants to believe that, I'll let him.
I have a sore eye, and haven't decided yet if it's pink eye or not. I'm considering going to an urgent care center. This week is emotionally exhausting. The highlight of the day came when we showed Mom a book of family pictures that Far Away Sister and Niece created on Mom has a very short attention span, but when she saw the book, it was amazing. She just stood there, staring at the pictures. She spent a lot of time looking at each page, and was careful to make sure she wasn't missing any. Brother finally got her to sit down on a love seat. When Daughter and I said our good byes, she was holding on to the book with her finger stuck in to mark where she had left off. I called Far Away Sister and sent her a picture of Mom staring at the pictures. She forwarded it to Niece. They were delighted. Far Away Sister said she cried when she heard Mom's reaction to the book. Dad was amazed, and delighted by Mom's reaction.
This post rambles all over the place, but that makes it a pretty accurate reflection of my life right now....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dad's Apartment

We're now in Dad's apartment. Dad has gone to bed, Daughter has gone to Sister's, and I'm alone with Dad's new flat screen TV. He's in a little bit better shape than I anticipated, but he's definitely weak. He wanted a wheel chair to get from his room to the car, and a wheel chair to get to his apartment.

The Sisters have been amused today by the bridal couple's attempts to figure out seating for the wedding reception. They are making it very complicated. All of the suggestions we have offered are rejected, of course. Future Sister-in-law has been consulting with 15 year old Niece about the situation. We think FS is intimidated by the Sisters. Of course, her mother is my age. We don't think she's comfortable with having a sister her mother's age.

What FS doesn't realize is that Niece is aware of everything that is going on the whole time she is playing innocent in her text message conversation with FS. I have to say, Far Away Sister is doing a wonderful job of training her daughter. I've been entertaining Dad with stories of some of the goings on. We've decided the best way to survive this weekend is to find the humor in the whole situation.
Tomorrow will be a busy day for Dad. We'll see how he tolerates it. Today I think he may live to see the wedding. We'll see what his doctor says tomorrow.

I Told You So!

When we were at Dad's last time his TV in the living room stopped working. I tried what I knew, but it wouldn't work. Since the TV Daughter watches in the bedroom was still working and I was busy gathering various papers, I didn't worry about it too much. We knew, though, that we needed to have it fixed or a new one in place for Dad when he got home.
Yesterday Brother finally went over to check on the TV. He had informed me (and Sister, who also tried to get it to work) that the TV was fine and we just didn't know how to turn it on. He told us Dad had this problem all the time, and it was just that he had it on the wrong channel and thus the cable didn't work. He finally went over yesterday to fix what I had obviously screwed up while I was there last time.
So he calls me. "Dad's TV is dead." Yes, I said I told you so. He proceeded to defend himself and his belief that I didn't know how to turn it on properly. Yes, he actually told me the problem was that I wasn't turning it on the correct way.
So now we're scrambling, trying to figure out where and how to get him a good buy on a flat screen TV. Hopefully we'll have something for him by this evening. Daughter and I will be heading out as soon as I get dressed and packed. The biggest challenge will be getting Cat into his crate before he figures out what's happening and goes into hiding. Kitten is too curious to hide. She's object, of course, but will be too interested in why Cat is complaining to be difficult to catch.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Avoiding Pain

The sisters are convinced that Dad is dying. He was confused when Far Away Sister called this morning. While Sister thought he was in good spirits when she talked to him, she also thought it sounded like his chest is congested. Brother is ignoring Dad. The sisters don't like that. Far Away Sister called and left him a voice mail this morning. He didn't return her call. We want to make sure he is aware of what is going on. We don't want him to come back later and blame us because he was too tied up in the wedding preparations to notice and we should have told him. I wrote him an email from the sisters explaining what we saw and telling him we were taking care of everything, but that he needed to be aware of what was going on and suggesting he call Dad daily.
I don't think he's going to respond to that one, either. He may be avoiding pain right now by not facing this, but in the future I fear he will be overwhelmed by guilt and pain. Dad is bothered that his only son is ignoring him. He's made a number of comments about Brother rejecting our family. I feel bad for Dad, that he has this emotional pain in his life as he faces his death. I'm not sure I'll feel as sorry for Brother when he has to face his guilt in the future. At least I hope he'll wake up enough some day to face what he is doing right now. I hope he is capable of feeling guilt.
I have provided pastoral care to too many families after a death to not be aware of all the potential issues. It's different, though, when it's my own family.

Coping with Pain

Daughter came home with a note from the workshop yesterday. She had been treated for a sore ankle. I looked at her ankle and probed it. She never gave any indication of pain, and she isn't limping.

Her ankle is fine. Her heart is hurting. She knows Granddad is dying. She can't express those feelings verbally at the workshop, so she complains of a sore ankle. It gets her attention and sympathy, without the risk of her sadness giving way to tears.

She hasn't complained of her to me. She knows that I share her heart pain and understand it. She knows that I will give her a hug and listen to her fears. She also knows that I won't buy the ankle pain, I'll make her face the heart pain.

I cooked breakfast today. I made French toast. Every Saturday Dad got up and made us a big breakfast. We never knew what it would be, but we knew that when it was almost ready he'd go through the house taunting us. "There's nothing I hate more than to fix breakfast and have nobody here to eat it." "If I'm up, everyone should be up!" We'd drag ourselves out of bed and feast on pancakes, or waffles, or scrambled eggs with the works, sausage gravy and biscuits, chipped beef on cornbread, or who knows what else. It was the one morning a week that we set aside the cereal for a big breakfast. We will celebrate Dad's life when we eat on breakfast on Saturday morning.

I'm going to have to make some sausage gravy when we get back home after the wedding. That was Daughter's favorite, and Dad always made it for her when we came to visit. It was very unhealthy, and it totally messed up her blood sugar, and we didn't care. It was Granddad's way of telling Daughter he loved her.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Don't Mess with the Sisters

Brother made the mistake of telling Sister not to get anything black for Mom to wear to his wedding. He informed her that black was the color of mourning and thus for funerals, not weddings. He should know better than to try to instruct his most fashion conscious Sister. Not only did Brother tell Sister that black was inappropriate for weddings, he also did some other things that caused him to fall from favor with the sisters.

He should know better than to mess with us. He really should. After all, he has 39 years experience with his sisters. All three of us have purchased black dresses for the wedding. Even Daughter has a black dress. At first it wasn't intentional, but when I realized I was the only one who wasn't wearing black, I went out tonight and purchased a black dress. Far Away Sister said that years from now we'll look at pictures of us in black and won't know if they are from Dad's memorial service or Brother's wedding. We expect the two will be very close together. We might wear different dresses for the memorial service. It depends on how hard Brother works at getting back into our good graces.

On a Brighter Note

Dad continues to decline. Today he didn't go down to physical therapy. We're now wondering if he will live until Far Away Sister and her family arrive on Thursday. But enough of the grim stuff.
Last Sunday Daughter gave me a letter she had written for my birthday. I'm going to correct her spelling errors and share with you what she wrote. I'm not going to correct her grammar. Oh, and just because I've moved away from the grim stuff doesn't mean this won't make you cry! My story of how she came to live with me can be found here.
Dear Mama Bear,
When I came home from the hospital of being born I was glad to get home. As soon as I got home everything went wrong. So I wonder if there was an angel, it would send someone to come and save me. When you came to my house, I was scared at first because I did not know you right then. You took me in because I was fragile and a child of God. I had been your foster child for a long time. When April 17, 1985 came, I end up getting adopted by someone that was sent to me from God.
You had taught me so much that I am grateful. I am glad that you had save me from harm's way. You had given me a family that knew the meaning of love, care, happiness, knowledge, hope, faith, forgiveness, courage, and believing. I can keep going living in faith and living my life the way it should be lived. I love you mom and I could not have ask for a better mom than you.
When I am down, you help me up and you comfort me. When I am scared, you know what to say at the right time. I love you so much mom that I do not want bad things to happen to you because we work together as a good team.
Love Always,

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Far Away Sister and I have both decided that we need to take appropriate clothes for a funeral when we pack for Brother's wedding on the 21st. Dad was in to see the doctor today. Even with the increase in diuretic he has gained 2 pounds. We don't think that is a good sign. The doctor added another drug to boost the diuretic, and wants to see him again on Tuesday. I'll get to take him to that appointment. Far Away Sister thinks Dad will be alive when she arrives in a week, but has decided they will go straight to Dad's apartment from the airport. I think she's right, because he's going to want to see her two kids. We aren't sure he'll live to see the wedding.
It's going to be hard on Brother, for a variety of reasons. Daughter is also struggling big time right now. I find that I'm on edge, and not as patient as I normally am. When I opened the phone bills for the church and the parsonage on Tuesday, I discovered that each one had a $30 charge on it for an internet service we hadn't authorized. It was provided by a separate company, so I called, and they quickly agreed to block the service and issue a credit, but said it could take 30-90 days for the credit to appear. I was given a confirmation number, and told we'd need to talk to the phone company and give them the confirmation number if we didn't want to pay the bill. I carefully wrote all this down and called the treasurer and left her a message. So today the financial secretary comes storming into the office with the bills and my note in hand and demands to know who authorized these additional services. Secretary and I both assured her that no one had authorized them.
She then went out and made lots of phone calls and called me back. She told me that they had a recording of someone authorizing the services. I again assured her that when we get those calls, I say, "We don't want any changes to our phone service," and hang up. I don't like being accused, and don't appreciate having to explain something twice after I've already explained it in a long note. Normally that wouldn't bother me, but today it did. I just don't have the patience for this stuff right now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Naming the Fear

So today I picked up Daughter and took her to see Therapist. I briefed Therapist, and then we brought Daughter in. She wanted me to stay. We talked about about J and the situation at the workshop. She seemed to think all of that was resolved to her satisfaction. She wasn't able to give a reason for her repeated phone calls to me during the day. So, I made a suggestion. I suggested the real issue was her fear about Granddad's death, and it was just easier to say she was afraid because of J or whatever else that to talk about her fears regarding Granddad. She grinned, and and announced that I had caught her red handed. We were able to talk about how unfair it was that she was telling J she was afraid of him when that wasn't the case.
We also talked about the only family death she has experienced, that of my Grandmother about 10 years ago. I think she's in a better place right now. At least I hope she is. She didn't call me after I dropped her back off at the workshop this afternoon. That is progress, as she's been calling quite frequently the last several days.
I'm trying to get things ready so that things will be covered if I have to leave suddenly for Dad's funeral. I hate being away from my congregation during Lent, which begins February 25, but it looks like I will be away from them for at least awhile. I don't see Dad making it until Easter. But, as I always remind people, we can't predict life and death. Only God knows how much time Dad has left.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Picture and a New Stress

My blackberry and computer still aren't on speaking terms, but here's a picture Daughter took with the digital camera of my redone bedroom. You will notice the new comforter and if you look closely, you can see a beaded ribbon on the lampshades.

Sister called the social worker at the nursing home Dad is at about discharge planning. She said he could benefit from additional therapy, but was always pushing to get home quickly. So, his daughters decided we should try to convince him to stay a few more days, thinking that then he would be stronger and better able to cope with the wedding. He didn't like that idea. At all. Far Away Sister just called, and Dad had told her he doesn't need to be strong when he goes home, because I'll be there to take care of him. She thought I should be warned. She thinks he recognizes he's dying and isn't going to get any stronger. He's asked for a wheelchair for the wedding. I think she's right.

The plan right now is that I will drive up Monday and pick him up and take him back to his apartment. Daughter and I will stay with him and I will sort through paperwork and gather the things Far Away Sister needs for the trust and such. We'll get home care set up for him, and take him over to see Mom every day. Friday the cousins arrive and we hope we'll get to see them at the rehearsal dinner. Saturday is Brother's wedding, and Sunday we hope to all go out to brunch. Hopefully Daughter and I will be able to come home Sunday afternoon. All of that is assuming Dad is still alive. We don't think he will last long after the wedding, if he makes it to the wedding.

Naming the Stress

I talked to Daughter's case manager this morning. I think Daughter's stress and conflict over family situations are coming out at the workshop. It turns out that she was teasing J, trying to take a picture of him when he didn't want his picture taken. She wanted him to chase her, and then when he chased her to get the cell phone away from her, she complained that he was touching her. They talk about the importance of not touching, and on the way out of the meeting, she asks him for a high five.
I've made an appointment with Therapist tomorrow morning. Maybe we can get Daughter to deal with her conflicted feelings about J and with all of her feelings regarding all that is going on in the family right now. I just got off the phone with my sisters. We are trying to get things set up for Dad to go home from rehab next Monday. Sister visited him today. He's still retaining lots of fluid and is using lots of cough drops for his "cold." His congestion is coming from the fluid in his lungs.
I suspect her reaction to J is also a reaction to the knowledge that her Grandad is dying. We just need to help her name the stress and deal with it appropriately. Did I say just? I wish it could be that easy. I suspect it's going to be a challenge.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Far Away Sister is working on a snapfish photo album for our parents. She has asked each of us to upload pictures for the album. I've been procrastinating, but today I sat down and scanned a bunch of old photos. It brought back lots of memories.
Daughter and I have had a number of interesting vacations. We've been to the Rocky Mountains, the Smoky Mountains, and various spots in the upper Great Lakes region.
Daughter has a beautiful smile.
She really was little once.
She isn't little any more. In fact, she's at least 4 inches taller than I am.
There have been many happy times. There have been challenges, and her mental illness continues to create challenges, but there is also much joy in our lives together.
I'm very grateful to have her in my life.
Today was one of those days when she was dealing with less happy memories. I had four phone calls from her between the time the bus picked her up at 8:15 and I picked her up to go see the psychiatrist at 1:45. She was stressing big time about J, who has gone back to inappropriate touching at the workshop. She reported it right away, but she just doesn't feel safe there. She doesn't think they are taking her concerns seriously. I tend to agree with her on that. They just don't get it. Psychiatrist asked today if there is another workshop she could attend. No. This is the only option in our county. I spent some time over supper at Arby's helping her see the differences between the situation with J and her birth family. I'm going to have another conversation with her case manager tomorrow. While the situation is made more critical for Daughter because of her PTSD, it is not appropriate for J to be touching any women at the workshop. I don't understand why the staff at the workshop doesn't get that and doesn't enforce that. What he is doing is contrary to their rules. Am I expecting too much?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Reveal

I think Daughter watches too much HGTV. Today she showed me my new room. She had purchased a new comforter, put a ribbon with beads on it around the bottom of the lampshades, and put a variety of family pictures is a frame she put on the nightstand. It was very nice. Unfortunately, our local store didn't have the comforter she picked out on line, and from her description, I probably would have liked that one better, but she did a very nice job and was very proud of her work. I'll upload pictures later. Right now my computer and cell phone are not on speaking terms. I'll mediate between them later.
I've had birthday calls from all of my siblings today, and also from my Dad, who had forgotten my birthday until Brother reminded him. Dad also was adding a couple of years on to my age. Brother was asking me how old I am. Men just aren't good at that kind of thing, I guess.
Dad is looking forward to getting home a week from tomorrow. He wanted to go home earlier, but I convinced him to wait until I get there. We're going to have to get in home services set up for him. I also get to go see a nurse evaluate Mom for the long term care insurance company. I guess they are hoping she will miraculously have regained the ability to live independently. Sister was there the last time they did an evaluation. She said it was very brief, as Mom couldn't answer any of her questions when she tried to evaluate her mental status. That certainly hasn't improved. I don't think I got a single word out of her last time I was there.
Tonight I have youth group. We have some planning to do. They are also going to help me celebrate my birthday. I think I may try to recruit them to be readers for our Ash Wednesday service.
This has been a rough week for me. While it's been hard dealing with Dad's deteriorating health, it has been even harder dealing with Unauthorized Borrower. The pain and sense of betrayal continues. Healing the relationships will take time, and until then, contact and family gatherings will be difficult. With Brother's wedding coming up, that just increases the stress and the pain.
My hope and prayer is that Unauthorized Borrower will be able to make peace with Dad before Dad's death. I don't think Dad has much time left, and there is much healing to be done in that relationship.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Should I Be Worried?

I called Sister last night and asked her if I should be worried. Daughter had talked to Sister about her latest project, which involved kicking me out of my bedroom for a couple of nights. Tomorrow is my birthday, and Daughter is doing something in my bedroom for me. She moved my alarm clock, cpap machine, pillow, and clothes for today and tomorrow into the guest room, and informed me I could sleep there. I rejected the idea of sleeping in a recliner or on the couch.
We went to Walmart last night, and while I got groceries, she did some shopping. She came out with a bag and some kind of linen in a zipped bag. It was dark, and I didn't look too closely, so I'm not sure what it was or what it looked like. She spent hours in my room last night. It's unusual for her to stick to something that long, and she has been back in there today. Now she is on the computer, emailing Sister and working on another part of her project. I'm not allowed to look, of course.
I woke up cold a couple of times last night. The comforter in the guest room is satin, and it kept sliding off the bed-- maybe helped by Cat or Kitten. I'm very curious, a little amused, and slightly frustrated. Daughter has never kept a secret for this long, and has never stuck with a project this well. Sister assured me it didn't involve paint or wallpaper, but beyond that, I'm clueless.
I keep trying to convince Daughter that she should let me sleep in my own bed tonight so that I wake up on my birthday in my own room. So far it's not working, in fact, now she's saying I may not be able to go in until tomorrow afternoon. I think she is getting a perverse pleasure out of this, and I confess to enjoying it a bit myself! I've really been dragging, and this has been a nice boost. The only problem is, she's going to expect something equally elaborate for her birthday next month!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Latest Get Rich Scheme

Yesterday Daughter informed me she was going to go clean the guest/storage room. I'm certainly not going to object to that endeavor, though I suspected there was more to it than a sudden desire to see a room with a door that is always closed cleaned. I continued what I was doing. In time, she came back to ask for help. I told her I would do that, but not right at that moment.
Then she announced she had big plans for the room. Again I didn't bite.
She informed me that she wanted to start making things with fabric and using the sewing machine. I didn't take the bait.
She informed me she was going to turn the guest room into a store. I told her that wasn't going to happen. She was welcome to clean it and make use of the sewing machine, but she wasn't going to open a store in our home. She wandered off, all interest gone.
I am willing to help her sew, but past experience has been that she doesn't have the patience to follow directions or do it correctly. For Christmas of 2007, she was going to make pillows out of fabric for everybody in the family. I bought the supplies she needed and told her how to do it. She couldn't/wouldn't sew a straight line with the machine. I sewed them up for her and showed her how to turn them right side out, stuff them, and sew up the opening. She used 5 stitches to sew up a 4 inch hole, and informed me I was too picky when I told her that was unacceptable. In the end. She stuffed the pillows. I did everything else. She gave them to people for Christmas, boasting about how she had made them.
She has lots of big plans, but never seems to be able to follow through on them. I've learned over the years to set preconditions on any scheme that is going to cost me money. If she does so and so, I will negotiate with her regarding her plans. She seldom even attempts to do whatever it is I have asked.
I keep hoping. At least this time she was asking for the equipment to make a DVD of her singing (off key) and dancing so she could sell it and become famous. She also hasn't told me lately that her career goal is to be on Dancing with the Stars. I guess that is progress. Maybe someday she will make something with fabric. I will keep hoping.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A New Day

Yesterday the power of attorney, will, and trust documents all were signed. Dad was very pleased with them. Far Away Sister and I had gone over the provisions very carefully, and assured that Mom would be taken care of. It was a stressful day, as we waited for reports on how the legal paperwork was going. Our kids have felt neglected, because we have been so focused on this that we've not had as much time for them.
I can't begin to describe the relief we felt once we knew that all the paperwork had been signed, and Mom and Dad's assets were safe from UB. UB showed up during the signing, so Dad had the attorney explain the seriousness of what had been done (felony, 10+ years in prison). The sad thing is, we're still not sure UB gets it.
I didn't talk to Dad yesterday. I called, but he didn't answer the phone. I'm sure he had to be relieved and exhausted. I'm sure I'll talk to him some time today. We think he is sounding better, and we are wondering if part of his decline was related to the stress of the problems with UB. He now knows that UB can't pressure him for more loans, and we've assured him he has enough money to provide for Mom's care. I think those two issues were really weighing on him. He has lost a great deal in the stock market, but he still has plenty to meet their needs. The other day I told him he should be proud of the way he had managed his money over the years and what he had to show for it. Far Away Sister and I have been telling him the same thing, and I think he's hearing us.
Today I'm going to dig in to the church stuff. I'm terribly behind, and have several letters to write and quite a bit of work to do on Lenten worship plans. I think I will be more productive and less grouchy now that we have the safeguards we need to keep Mom and Dad safe.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And the Pain Continues

I spent quite a bit of time on the phone today with Far Away Sister. We were consulting on the documents the attorney has drawn up for Dad to sign tomorrow, and making sure that the language in the will and trust documents accurately reflected Dad's wishes. We also spent some time talking about UB. UB still has not had the conversations with other family members owning responsibility for what happened. We don't think UB understands that what UB did was a crime. Dad told me today as I was explaining what the attorney would be bringing him to sign that he thought UB was a little mad at him for telling Far Away Sister and me about what had happened. I got angry at that. Dad didn't tell us. I went online to check out calls from his bank about possible fraud on his credit card. I discovered the massive payments on credit card bills that did not belong to Dad. I found the one we were fairly certain had not be authorized, and that Dad confirmed he hadn't known about. We told Dad, Dad didn't tell us. Dad had loaned UB a very large amount of money, and then helped himself to more.
UB should be sucking up big time to the entire family, not blaming others for the problems. I fear that UB has yet to hit bottom, and I wonder how far down bottom will be. It concerns me, because I love UB, and don't want to see UB suffer (too much).
As soon as the paperwork is signed tomorrow, it will be taken to the bank. Far Away Sister will then go into the branch of that bank near her and make all necessary changes to assure that UB has no access to any of the accounts. Far Away Sister has already talked to her local bank about the situation, so they will be waiting for her. I hope that tomorrow will bring some peace and I will no longer be this exhausted. I hope that once I know that Dad's money is safe and that everything has been done that is necessary to preserve the assets to provide for Mom's continuing care, I will be able to let go of this worry.
But somehow, I think I may be being overly optimistic. This kind of betrayal leaves scars. Far Away Sister and I were speculating on how Dad must feel right now. We know how much pain this has caused us, what must it be like for Dad. When I talked to him today, he sounded pretty chipper. I think he has been suffering with this much longer than Far Away Sister and I have, and I think he is relieved that we are taking care of it. I just hope we are doing it in a way that respects his right to have control of his future and his money. I hope he sees us as supporting him, and not taking away his rights. The balancing act continues.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Monday is my day off, but I decided that I was going to get a jump start on the week, and address some of the things that were most stressing me. Daughter and I both saw Therapist this morning, and I spent some time at McDonald's working on worship planning. Then I went to the nursing home. I currently have 7 people there. 2 have moved in since I was last there, and 1 is currently in the hospital in Big City. I enjoyed my time with them. It was great to catch up on them. I'd asked someone else to visit them and extend my apologies last week. They all wanted to know about Dad, and all assured me they understood why I hadn't been there in a while. Interestingly, one woman said, "I know this is your day off, but I figured we'd see you today." I told her she knew me too well.
Several of the folks I visited are struggling with their adult children taking over their decision making for them. One man, who is almost 90, remarried several years ago. Their adult children decided their finances should be kept separate. Now their adult children are deciding, separately, where they should live. I guess the fact that they're married doesn't carry much weight with them.
There was the woman who is packing because she wants to go home. She wants to get home health care and is willing to have someone stay with her at night. Will she get to go home? That will be up to her kids. They may or may not go along with her plans. There's the couple whose children have hired someone to check up on them (in the nursing home) every week while the kids are on vacation. Talking on the phone isn't good enough.
It got me to wondering, are we making decisions for Dad? Are we allowing him to control his own life? I'm going to have to watch and make sure that we give Dad the dignity of making his own decisions. We need to make sure we respect him and his ability to determine his own future. Brother called this evening. He's wondering if we should force Dad to face how sick he is. I assured him Dad is dealing with it in his own way, and facing it to the degree he wants to. There is nothing to be gained by forcing to talk about something he doesn't want to talk about.
It is so hard, trying to protect aging parents while giving them the respect they deserve. I hope I will be able to maintain the proper balance.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I had big plans for my week with family. I was going to read a book in preparation for today's sermon. I was going to plan Sunday morning worship themes for Lent. I was going to work on Wednesday evening worship for Lent. Instead, I went through financial records, searched for insurance policies and consulted with siblings.
Thanks to a friend who sent me a summary of the first few chapters of the book, I was able to put together a sermon for this morning. I asked for prayers that Dad would be able to be at the wedding, and for Brother, as he deals with his Dad's impending death and his upcoming wedding.
The rest of the day I'm going to be lazy. I'm getting in my recliner and watching the Super Bowl. Tomorrow I'll jump into all the work that didn't get done last week. But for today, I'm putting my feet up. I probably won't make it until the end of the game, and that's fine.