I think I started this blog just to find a way to get some of the things swirling around in my head out. Like everyone, I have goals and aspirations, some attainable and some not. I’ve spent many years reaching for things out of my grasp due to a lack of focus. I think it was caused by inexperience, lifestyle choices and a lack of guidance. I had no one person to look to as a young man to help me figure out what I wanted. Now that I know what I want, I am trying to put things into achievable pieces, so I can feel good about reaching some small milestones.
My focus at this time is my aging parents. They are both in their 80’s and not doing well. I have spent the last ten years helping them, first a little, then allot. Ten years ago they were building stone walls at their new home in Sebec Maine that I helped set up for them.
At that time my father could still drive and my mother could still see. Then my father got cancer. He recovered, but it knocked the stuffing out of him. Because he is a combat vet, all the medical was provided by the VA. I pushed hard to get him all the benefits he deserved, and pissed off allot of people at the VA in the process! Squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say.
Two years ago his driving reached a point I no longer felt it was safe for him to continue. He thought he was fine, but his last drive with me I had to grab the wheel before he hit another car head on. I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning stages of dementia. He was so easily distracted, even a pedestrian would cause him to forget what he was doing. I made some calls, and his doctor at the VA took the fall for me and had his license revoked. I think that hurt his pride greatly, and he would never forgive me if he knew what I did, but that’s better than dead.
My mother has diabetes, and her sight is beginning to fail. Ten years ago she was still very strong, and could manage the house quite well. I watched her slowly get weaker and weaker over time. Last year they moved in with me as they could no longer manage on their own. In march of this year, my mother had a stroke. She has recovered some, but I fear the end is near. Watching my parents die is the hardest thing I have ever done. I will see this through to the end, and bury them.
And now my best friend is showing his age. My dog Vinny also has cancer. The tumors are quite large now and all over him. He cant get into a chair without help anymore. The drugs he takes only take the edge off his discomfort, so I will have to decide when his last day will be. How do you decide such a thing? How do you decide what a living beings quality of life is if you cant talk to them? That is the decision I will have to make soon.
I know my hardships pale in comparison to some others, but that does not make it any easier. I am no quitter, and I will get through this even if life is in the way.