Yeah, if you’re not in the mood for a pity party, just hit “next blog” right now. I’m worn out. Sick. Sick and tired. And sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Dave used to tell me, “You’ve gotta save your strength, Shell. All this will go away. Probably right when you really need it. You’ll be left holding the bag, Shell. And you’ve gotta find a way to do it.” As many times as I wished I could take on his battle, as many times I wished it was me. That many times he told me that I had it far worse. That he was scared for me. Not him. Me. Not our kids. Me.
Getting the picture this is a selfish post? Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever typed the word “me” so many times.
I never really believed that I got the short end of the stick. I had Dave after all. How much more could I ask for?
Today. I believe it. Short end of the stick. Holding the bag. And guess what’s in the bag? Puppy shit.
Yeah, that’s my own fault, too.
I guess it occasionally catches up to me. All the lies I tell. “Yes, we’re doing fine. Thanks for asking.” “Yes, busy, busy. We’re going to baseball tournaments, getting ready for Peach Basket, boys are learning to drive.” “Oh, yes, we find a way to keep moving.” “Oh, yes, we’re busy.” “Thank goodness for all the support we get.”
True, all of it. But only part of the truth. The rest is ugly.
I’m tired of feeling alone all the time.
I’m tired of carrying this huge weight on my shoulders.
And it doesn’t do any bit of good to complain. Someone has to fix dinner. Someone has to clean up puppy poop. Someone has to get Zach to practice, Kenny to BDAD, Kate to Peach Basket. Make appointments to get wisdom teeth out and braces on and well children checked. Someone has to get the dogs to the vet. Rent a clarinet for Kate. Fix catcher's masks and lace football gear. Go to work. Someone has to teach them to drive. Someone has to clean the bathrooms and shampoo the carpet.
Don’t get me wrong. The kids help. They do dishes and mow lawns (well, except today…today I did it. Part of why I’m pissy) and wash clothes and vacuum and dust and mop and feed animals. I really only do bathrooms and folding and cooking. Oh, and the nagging. I do that. The continual nagging. That’s my job.
People used to say, “Hang in there.” I’d smile. And then as soon as they were gone, I’d scowl, spit, swear or something else ladylike. “Hang in there?? Like I have a choice!!” Yeah, still there. That’s still me.
The bigger things are worse. The decisions that matter. The examples that must be set. Someone has to teach them how to be responsible. Someone has to teach them to recognize what’s right. Someone has to teach them that when someone says “No” they must hear it and believe it and respect it. Someone has to teach them to say that “No” themselves, even when it’s hard. Someone has to teach them to open the door for smaller, younger, older, less able people. Someone has to teach them to take a phone message. Someone has to make sure they are challenged, but not beyond their abilities. Someone has to make sure they have a chance to participate and find the things they love and still have time to do nothing. Someone has to help them learn what it means to be a friend. Someone has to teach them to value hard work. Someone has to know what to say to them when their play lost the game. Or when their supposed friend says something cruel to them. Someone has to teach them to stand up for what they believe in. Someone has to help them find what that is in the first place.
The biggies: Faith, Love, Respect, Belief, Honor, Courage, Compassion, Humility, Honesty, Commitment.
And today, I’m not up to the task. At all.
My perspective is skewed. I’m feeling taken advantage of in many different areas. People seem to forget that it’s not as easy for me as it is for them. I don’t have a husband to watch the other kids or the dogs. So I have to drag them along or pay for a kennel or whatever. Not to mention people seem to forget that I have all the same expenses they do, but only one income. Actually, no income in the summer. But whatever. It’s my fault. I’ve gotta get some backbone.
But, truthfully, I let it happen, because it keeps me from being lonely.
Because everyone that has a life to go back to….well, they did.
And here I am.
The lady at the licensing place today. She remembered me. The last time I was in, to renew the VERY overdue tabs on the van (I mean, who gives a crap about tabs when your husband is dying?), and she really talked to me. In five minutes. Might have actually been what triggered my many melt-downs tonight. I mean, sheesh. Only three people let me know they remembered Dave’s birthday last December, and one of those was his mom. So I’m getting used to going it alone. I get it. This is how it is. I’m getting used to it. And also getting used to perpetuating the myth. And all that. There are a lot of nice people in Walla Walla. This lady is one of them. Made me feel worse instead of better, but at least it was real.
Maybe it’s the withdrawal from morphine and vicodin. That’ll do it every time.
Whatever it is, it’s not fun. And I feel like screaming at everyone.
Or just screaming.
No. At everyone.
And lest you think I’m a completely selfish, ungrateful bitch, I do want to say, THANK YOU to Mindy for taking me to the hospital and staying with me and for picking up my sick dog at the vet and Bob for watching not only my kids, but Denise’s, too. And staying an extra night to be sure I was okay and the kids were okay. Thank you guys….so much. And of course, Denise, who left me her kids (and money to feed them) and then had to come right back to get them when I got sick. And Mom and Dad who came when they heard I was in the ER. Dad, thanks for fixing the plumbing quirks and hanging the curtain rod. I can’t believe I’m whining when I have you guys. I know many aren’t this lucky.
But it still sucks.
At least today it does.