My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Balancing Act

It's a rainy Sunday and I'm here alone with four dogs and three cats.

I have a new pain (yay, me!) in my left hip. 
I hate new pain. 
I mean, honestly, I hate all of it but the ones that I have grown accustomed to are ... well, bearable.
New pains make me scream out to the universe, "haven't I suffered ENOUGH?"
And the universe silently responds with "apparently not".
Which has me a slight bit short tempered today and has made me really unhappy with having to scream myself hoarse at an old dog who is determined to eat cat poop. 
I frankly don't care if she eats cat poop but when she accidentally drops some of it in the middle of the bedroom floor for me to step on in the dark (as happened this morning) then I'm unhappy.
I have unassisted doggie duty (teehee... makes me think "doggie doodie") because my parents are at the hospital with my Uncle Charles who is going home tomorrow after so many weeks in the hospital...
But it's not a happy homecoming.
There is more cancer and this is inoperable and he is going home on hospice for the rest of his life, which is measured in weeks likely, months at most.
And I just don't quite know how to process it.
It seems that all of my life there has been Uncle Charles.
Although it hasn't, he met my Aunt Linda when I was a few years old.
He lived next door to us in Oxford House apartments. 
Oxford House was located where the newest runway of the Atlanta Airport is now. 
Long since gone but where so much of my family history began.
Linda was pregnant with Cousin Kevin and Kevin's dad had pretty much abandoned them.
So Linda lived with us and met Charles who had Andy (who now goes by Andrew and I always forget).
And they got married and had Cousin Russell and lived happily ever after.
In Augusta for awhile, where I spent one miserable week (no offense to them, they had three boys plus my brother and me and I was the only girl and it was just no kind of fun).
In Drake's Landing in a house across from the lake that froze up too thin to walk on.
We know because we tested it.
And finally to Ola, just south of McDonough, in a place that used to be nothing but cow pastures and now is nothing but subdivisions.
He was a plumber. And then they owned a daycare together. And now he's retired.
And ... this is it.
Linda is the youngest in mama's family of seven siblings.
No way were we prepared for the husband of the youngest Pennington to be the first to go.
Our family isn't great about getting together. 
There are about a hundred descendants of C.B. and Flossie Pennington and we're mostly all in the Southeast but not as close as we should be.
Yesterday we needed to call Uncle David to let him know of Charles condition and I had to look David up on
It's surreal to only have the number of your mother's brother by stalking him on the internet.
Uncle Bill and Uncle John are on Facebook and we communicate occasionally. 
Uncle Al doesn't do the internet thing but his wife, Aunt Edna does and his daughters, Melissa and Sheila do.
And I'm Facebook friends with a couple of Al's grandchildren so I could find him if I need to.
And I'm in close contact with Aunt Ginger and Uncle Carl and one of their daughters.
My Cousin Kevin is the only one who has editorial access to my account (which is a huge, huge thing for me). 
Kevin's son Devin who has always been Austin's "best cousin", (even though they are really second cousins), will go down and stay with Linda and Charles for now.
Kevin and his wife Tobie live in Cleveland so we crossed paths more often in the past few years than I did with Charles' other sons, AndREW and Russell. 
As I said, it's hard to process.
He's not part of my every day life but he is my Uncle and he has always been around. 
I don't quite know how to say goodbye. 
And for me.... this pain thing has so greatly hampered where I go and who I see that the normal guilt about not seeing people as often as you should doesn't really apply.
I can't really hold any vigil for anyone, I can't sit in hard hospital visitor chairs and I can't walk down long corridors and all of that.
I can dog sit though. 
So that's what I'm doing. 
While a storm rages outside and Lady tries to eat poop and Oscar is glued to my right hip and I feel sleepy/dizzy/nauseated from the meds I took to take the edge off of the new pain and to wage battle with the old pains.
Grieving in the only way I really can. 
While still being grateful for a childhood that included so many relatives... 
And an adulthood that includes so many more thanks to social media. 
Yesterday I went to the thrift store and bought two new skirts, a new dress, three new pairs of pants, a tank top, a brand new (tags still attached) warm Winter turtleneck, two really girly lovely blouses... all for $40.
This was instead of buying three pieces on for the same amount.
I know it's a total change of topic but that's how I deal with it.
I'm sad therefore I shop.
Actually, the shopping came before the sadness but the telling of the shopping is to balance the telling of the sadness. 
That's how my life works... it's always a complaint balanced with gratitude. 
And rain to set the mood.
Love and hugs, y'all.