Back to the modern day for the moment

As I write this my mother is at home after an almost week stay in the hospital. She had an episode right in front of me where she “passed out”. As far as I’m concerned she was still conscious, however, as she tried to get into her car for her regular appointment I noticed that her head wasn’t steady and then she fell. Had a gash on her head for her trouble which was stapled by the E.R. and spend one night in the hospital.

Fast forward to when she returned to the E.R. to get the staples out and a few days after that she gets a call from the hospital. They gave her a heart monitor due to her episodes with “passing out”. They found something that likely occurred while she was asleep and told her to come to the E.R. as soon as possible and that turned into seven days. Seven days I was home alone taking the car to work as I had been for a while a lot of my schedule lately were early mornings. Most of the days she had been away I was working and my next off day was when I could take her home from the hospital.

Aside from talking about work or even my “situationship” what have I often discussed – financial independence. This episode causes me to further work to get my affairs in order and who knows when the inevitable will happen. I want her to see me get my affairs in order before she goes. Sadly dad isn’t here to see how my life turned out and while my mother was in the hospital she noted his recent birthday.

This is one reason why I have been saving the money I have been. I was asking questions about paying property taxes here in Chicago they’re due twice a year and the county won’t allow you to pay in advance. In fact my mother was upset that she just let the deadline to pay the property taxes slip by and I was able to share a link to paying those bills online so she got them done. At least the house is paid for and my mother isn’t prone to putting a home equity loan just to have some extra cash thankfully.

Right now the house isn’t so lonely, however, I need to stop being so hesitant or cautious as far as moving forward with my life. I think I’ve stuck around at home long enough. I can still help her when I can and she does have another son who lives with his own family halfway across America who has the “perfect life”.

I’m just sorry that these ongoing health issues and even the loss of her job at a neighborhood bank earlier that year had somewhat derailed the plans that I started to lay once I left The Show. It’s not her fault it’s just the situation and of course I’ve ran into some other setbacks as well in addition to the more pressing setbacks.

Perhaps I’m coming off as selfish but I recognize how I hadn’t really progressed the way I would’ve liked to. Perhaps I should’ve been in my own place or certainly have been able to secure a much better job by now. The issue now is to just get started.

Also I dreamed about my dad one night. Probably as a result of a convo I had with my mother the night before. Over the summer an uncle – one of my dad’s brothers – had passed away. I saw an unrecognizable name amongst the brothers and sisters and she talked about how dad actually talked to this then unknown to me half-brother and also got a cousin from his mother’s side of his family tree to come to our home to visit. One good thing about dad was that he was willing to talk with his mother’s side of the family.

In any case the dream was that my dad was driving mom’s current car. Part of me wanted to ask him how was it driving the car. One weird thing about my dad is that he really didn’t want my mom to own a car, he wanted to be the only one with a vehicle. Anyway to even think of asking a question is just recognizing that he had been away for a while. I seem to have a tendency to dream about him as if the events of over 20 years ago never happened.

Another strange thing about these dreams is that with him around I’m still at home. On the ride with my dad I was sitting in the back seat with mom riding shotgun. I have been convinced that if he was still around more than likely I wouldn’t still be at home. Perhaps I’d be in the military as it’s very likely he’d have been an influence in that decision.

Regardless I was in teenager mode in the dream which was certainly the last time he had seen me when he was living. Sometimes I like having those types of dreams.

Outbreak

I never thought I would work somewhere that would get heavily affected by a “pandemic”. I never thought I would see a run on toilet tissues, paper towels, sanitizer, etc and see empty shelves. People panic and things you take for granted in abundance now you see on empty shelves.

Basically I work with food anyway and lately I’ve been more fastidious about keeping my counters sanitized and my hands washed. Now what I think about more is my elderly mother who’s hardly out there in the world getting sick with a virus that now she’s far more vulnerable for. Though she’s not suffering some of the conditions that makes one more vulnerable to the debilitating effects of this disease.

What I’m somewhat OK with is that for those who aren’t vulnerable it’s only contagious. It’s spreadable and thus you won’t get very sick though that’s not to say you’re won’t feel some effects. It just means you have to maintain social distance from others to keep them from falling ill.

Thankfully the many measures to really combat this are mostly common sense such as washing your hands or covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Since I wasn’t prescient enough to buy more hand sanitizer I have to make do with what I still have in short supply at home. It’s too bad about the panic buying once it became clear that this virus is spreading.

Either way I’m looking forward to when we finally reach the peak of the bell curve and when we do reach that point society can get back to some sense of normal. I thought 9/11 was something, but as it turned out we haven’t seen anything yet.

Be well…

Odds & Ends

ground group growth hands

First off I finally found out what my mother has and once she finally called out the name I just forgot about it. It just doesn’t have a simple name that proved to be very memorable. Her condition has to do with the condition of her bones.

Over three years ago she got diagnosed with a compound fracture in her hip. She never fell or anything it’s just that her bones had started to weaken to that extent. Thus she had to do surgery to correct the fracture undergo physical therapy before she came back home. Then had to go back into the hospital for further treatment which was a tad scary because what they had to do meant that we really had to clean the house for her by the time she returned.

So even she admits for this condition she will be under continuous doctor’s care. There was another scare because earlier this year she did actually slip and injured herself getting into her car one morning. She left the car on the streets during a blizzard and thus the running board she needed to step on proved to be icy. Her shoulder remained in pain for months after this and they had to treat that.

The treatment kept her in bed and she realized they needed to fix something because it got her out of whack. This was somewhat scary and I sometimes forget that she’s a senior citizen now she’s getting older and she is going to ail.

* I hate to keep being the bearer of more bad news, but last month I learned that one of my second cousins died. He was one of my first cousin Mandy’s brood and he didn’t get to attend his mother’s services in the winter of 2018. His people couldn’t find him or get into touch with him because among other issues he’s homeless.

Also I understand that he was suffering from a mental illness and his grandmother who likes to take control of situations was even scared of him. So scared that on New Years Eve a few years ago she wanted to spend the night at our house bringing a baby (from one of her foster children) has no business with her and effectively ruined my evening. On that day I would’ve been in front of the TV bringing in the new year with New York and then Chicago.

Alas I hadn’t the best relationship with him other than being a jack@$$ in the many times that I had seen him when he was living his grandmother, my aunt. I was about as warm to him as I had been to his mother I’m sorry to say especially in recent years. So with this in mind when my mother told me I just looked back as if this caught me entirely off guard. At least I knew cousin Mandy was ill for many years and it caught up to her, but her younger son’s demise was so sudden.

I understand that due to his condition he was undergoing some major infections which I also hear cost him some toes and he had to be quarantined. He wasn’t taking care of himself and if he was out on the streets he probably had a difficult time doing so. Sadly I even heard that my aunt was about to ask another relative if her grandson could sleep in an abandoned car for shelter. Not a good situation for sure.

Worse still I presume that at the time he passed away he wasn’t that far away from us. Or at least he lived in a shelter not far from us. I don’t relish meeting up with mentally ill family members, however, if that could’ve made a difference. Even I had to walk up to his older brother who’s also suffering from some mental illness as the end of Mandy’s memorial service even with my own sense of unease at knowing his condition also.

There’s also Mandy’s daughter in the picture but eavesdropping on my mother when she’s on the phone it sounds like she’s not doing great either. Perhaps not in as bad a shape as her brothers but I do think that the nature of Mandy’s relationship to her mother, my aunt seems to be the result of a fractured family. Sadly in spite of her best intentions I get the idea that my aunt might be in part responsible for it.

The second cousin who died was very young which only heightened the surprised expression I present to my mother at the time when she told me.

* Finally When I first wrote this post it was for a different reason. I wanted to talk about some of my family. Primarily one of the cousins I first noted on here cousin Natalie. I may have more to say about some members of my family as I wrote about them over the summer. Some of these are old stories that I have little issue putting to paper as it were.

All the same I don’t know how much I want to tell but in light of my revelations after visiting my reunion this past summer some of my relationships with the folks on my mother’s side especially are worth some form of re-evaluation. Part of this is knowing who’s in my corner and who’s only trying to keep up their own appearances.

I will admit that sometimes I’ve caused some friction and when they quickly address it they move on and I’m not always so willing. Perhaps what I might expect from my folks aren’t always when I get. Often my thought process with them as of late has often been of asserting their role and mine in the hierarchy. And some of the friction has been that I often don’t really care about this and act accordingly. Also bear in mind that for the most part I only meet with them on a yearly basis though lately during this decade I’ve not seen them often.

I don’t often call them and very rarely have they reached out to me. And yes I’ve been lousy at reaching back also. Either way change and growth is always about re-evaluation. However, I have to decide who’s worth the effort and who’s really not. Another thing to bear in mind is don’t make an already strained situation worse.

Matchmaker

At this point what I’m writing happened a little over two years ago.

man and woman holding heart boards

At a nearby Starbucks I met with a matchmaker whom I matched with on Tinder (you may call this my first online date but technically it wasn’t). It came out that she was a matchmaker as I chatted with her on Tinder and didn’t immediately recognize that she wasn’t that interested in yours truly. So I didn’t talk to her for a time and then decided, hey perhaps I should give this a chance.

We talked on the phone and then arranged to meet at a Starbucks later. Well this was an ordeal, the more we talked the more disappointed she seemed to get. Whatever images of me she got in her head well she threw those out of the window. I had no car and had little issue with public transit. I was educated, however, wasn’t living up to my full potential. She didn’t really like my job at a grocery store which she thought of as mostly young people working there – although there are quite a few older people working at a grocery store. So truth be told this was going to be a huge fail!

One of her questions was whether or not I was comfortable dealing with “professionals”. The reason I met with her was trying something new, however, it seems from her eyes it wasn’t working for the matchmaker. I suppose what I realize from my own ego is how yours truly doesn’t want to be seen as a “mistake”. I don’t want to be seen as an embarrassment, however, what didn’t help matters was she noticed my glasses were held up by putty because I couldn’t fix them and wasn’t ready to get a new Rx pair.

picard-facepalmNeedless to say, this matchmaker decided from what she heard (I never told her I never had sex, but I did admit it’s been years since I’ve dated a blatant lie – her reply “That’s not normal“) I wasn’t ready. She offered coaching free of charge because it was unlikely that I could afford her rates. However, I had decided that I was at the point where I could actually afford to make some changes to my personal life.

The way I saw it I had a good job even if it was a grocery store – couldn’t say this while I working at “The Show” the matchmaker would definitely say “OH HELL NO!” I thought at the time and this was months before running into that guy (whom we’ll note later this month) at “The Hole” that my prospects for future growth would be good. I believed and still do that things could get better for yours truly financially and professionally with “Fresh Foods”. But to the matchmaker it wasn’t good enough and I needed further refinement.

This was during the time that my mother had gotten out of the hospital for her condition which had developed during the previous year. She was at home and not ready to return to work and she had no idea what I was doing that day other than wanting me to go to the store for her. Unfortunately my willingness to work with this matchmaker ended once this unforeseen event happened…

My mother’s job got effectively eliminated once her bank had been taken over by regulators. Her bank had failed and thus was turned over to new ownership. Listening to my mother talk there had been some turmoil, but I never expected this to happen. In the long term what this means is that she’ll be home more and effectively she’s retired. She was already suffering some health challenges that forced her to go under the knife the previous year and now her job went bust.

That’s what helped me change my mind on working with the matchmaker. If I was truly living on my own, I think I’d have tried to work with her. Some of the things I did while my mother was at work, aren’t so easy to do anymore now that she’s retired. Especially if she’s worried about how long I’ll be out.

As far as the matchmaker I’m sure she wiped me from her memory once I ghosted. Even ran into her on Bumble recently, but I swiped left and kept it moving. And strangely I found her on facebook as one of Anthony’s many friends so who knows about the nature of that relationship if at all – and why hasn’t he found that special someone through her?

I don’t think I’ll ever seek out a matchmaker ever again, however, I still need some new options as far as dating. Obviously it remains up to me as far as meeting that special woman. Better yet I need to become that special man.

life cycle

well this post was prompted by news that my first cousin – mandy – wasn’t doing very well. she was waiting for a kidney transplant – she’s had kidney failure for years and always resisted getting a transplant – and she had a serious cardiac arrest while going for a treatment. then i heard over the course of a week she remained on life support.

now i feel quite sh*tty, i don’t really remember the last time i saw her it has been a few years. we weren’t close, however, i knew mandy mostly while she remained with her mother. her mother whom i discussed briefly here has a bit of a controlling streak which as my cuz got older wanted to get away from.

she would try at least in the years she had been apart from her mother – they weren’t estranged as i knew it, but she wanted to go – to be touchy feely with me. unfortunately i’m rarely cooperative with that. me and her had no real issues though i knew that she could have a very bad temper which could come out unpredictably.

all the same i couldn’t describe our relationship as warm. alas she had a health condition that for many years i may have erroneously blamed on her own mother because she wasn’t the relaxing type. i could say she had the same tendencies as anthony who on occasion came in at the right time, but sometimes will just go rogue  and can never predict what they’ll do next.

which brings to mind, while writing this post i evoked the memory of my dad. my cousin had some serious kidney issues that required dialysis. my dad on the other hand just couldn’t quite settle his alcoholism and even worse had severe high blood pressure he needed to treat. unfortunately my dad chose alcohol instead of really treating his high blood pressure. the comparison is that my dad could’ve controlled his condition on the other hand my cousin had controlled her condition and lasted quite a while.

unfortunately after a week on life support mandy passed away. so as far as i know she’s the first cousin of my generation from my mother’s side to die. quite a blow i’ll say. it’s hard to believe that after living with her condition for no more than two decades and on her way to a kidney transplant she’s gone.

i won’t write anymore about the potential drama that could involve my aunt. as for the brief write-up about her a few years ago, she was involved with drama then. this time imagine the drama when her only child dies before she does. very sad…

btw, i wanted to really talk about the life cycle. the life cycle is really something. now i don’t remember what else i would’ve written after that. i just know that i’d have talked about some of the deaths in my relatively large family. regardless i wish you all good health for as long as we have it.