19 August 2009


The biggest struggle I have with my dad dying is that my mom lives in a whole other world that anyone else. We've begun to refer to her as "Pollyanna" because she ignores reality at all possible costs.

She refers to Dad's dying process as a "slippery slope" and I tell you if I hear that statement one more time, there is going to be gunplay. Seriously.
She also seems to think that if Dad would just eat & walk, his cancer would miraculously be cured. That and if he would just try harder, as if he has a choice.

This behavior would make sense if she seemed to *like* my dad but their marriage has been contentious, only worsening as they aged. So, to experience this sudden personality change is frustrating and confusing. And while Kevin ever so patiently points out, she's losing her husband, my response is: "Well, you know what? we also need her to be a mom."

I try to reflect on my life to see if she's always been this way or if it's a new development. I believe it's the former. We're just noticing it more now. Her job description has always been making excuse/explanations for my dad or the state of the family. The very definition of co-dependency.

As I told BFF K, there's nothing like this to shine a bright light on family dynamics.

We each have differently coping skills. Brother Dear & I, fortunately, cope the same way: dark humor and barreling forward. To give you the absolute perfect example of my Little Brother: I sent a text today stating that Hospice is sending Dad home on Saturday, he replied with a thanks and a picture of one of the bunnies that lives in his yard.

Yes, that is as random as it seems. And yes, I swear I did not just make that up.

As Brother Dear's girlfriend says "You all put the 'fun' in dysfunctional."


Not Your Aunt B said...

You gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane right? I think I would react more like you and your brother. It would probably be seen as very inappropriate being the nurse and all, but I think it is fun.

Swistle said...

I laughed at the gunplay thing. And I'm not going to stand next to your mom when she's talking. And I think a picture of a bunny is just about the best response I have EVER HEARD OF, and wouldn't it be awesome if that CAUGHT ON?