Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Sunday, September 30, 2012


It seems likely that I have a UTI brewing. It's common after a hysterectomy. It also could be bladder spasms. Those can be caused by the surgery or by the pain meds. Which is where I get scared. It hurts without pain meds. One of my cousins made it onto my LIST and I've spent the past 4 hours trying to figure out why. I have always know that he is an exaggerator. He also lies. And he has done some things that we'll never prove but there is little other explanation: he stole things that had been my grandmas and more chillingly quite probably things that were ours, from the house where I grew up and which my father stuck in some storage area years ago. This cousin used to check in on my father sometimes and was there when the stuff was stored. It's entirely possible for him to have had access. I'm sure I've written before about my father refusing to give us almost anything when we wouldn't live with him and while I figure it is mostly likely he'll someday die, nobody will know and the possessions will be auctioned it is hard to totally lose hope that someday we'll get some things back. I don't know what I'd even want, but it's weird. Anyway, this cousin lived with my grandma for maybe 2-3 years not too long after my grandfather died. It was a good thing as it offered her more community mobility and social life, but it was also convenient for him. Which is a sticking point for me. Eventually, as I recall, he got caught in enough lies that he left. (It's a trend in men in my family I think). I really can't remember why but think it was that. A few years later my grandma because terminally ill. At first we were told weeks would be the most we should expect. Thanks to chemo intended to reduce pain but which actually treated the tumors we had 2.5 years with her. During most of that time she has a daytime companion, then my mom and I shared the rest. One of the things I did when she was first home from the hospital and then we continued for months was that I read to her. I read books she'd read to us all as children so much she could recite much of them (and I'm talking all 4 of the original Winnie the Pooh books). I also read her diaries to her, in order with many missing years. She never said much about those years but I wonder if this cousin took them. The diaries that existed and papers that went with them, her Bible, her autograph book from high school, and some other things were with the diaries. There was jealous from several areas over my getting these. But it was because we read them, for months, after school, before bed, on weekends. And then for the remainder of her life she re-read her favorite, the one of me at 2 years old. She didn't know she was re-reading it over and over and sharing the same stories, but it made her happy. I also truly believe I was left those diaries to give me the answers that I would want to know as an adult about the sexual abuse in her home. The diaries don't give it a name but they do let me know it happened, how she felt about it, and simply that she loved me and couldn't prevent what happened. That's not blatant but it is there and I think it was a gift to me, that recording of the pain in her life and mine during that time. In other words, she probably wrote some of those diaries for me 33 years ago. Among the most jealous is this cousin who thinks he is the family historian and expert on everything in that area. Another book that is in the pile is one of those 'tell the story of your life' gift books. My mom had given it to her and she never really got into it, which was shocking as she was a story-teller. I had never looked through it really until maybe a year ago. I knew her mother had abandonded her after her father died, and I know that she loved her father greatly. I knew she had found her mother difficult. She wrote a page about her relationship with her very abusive mother than made me sob in sadness for what she went through. Another thing I have with the diaries is a way to see her feelings about things she'd never have said. For example, her sister died with 24 hours of my birth. They'd kept in touch with letters for many years but weren't close. She was sad and she expressed that as well as appreciation for flowers from the church and some meals. Mostly though it was about my birth. There wasn't any consideration of traveling to the funeral. Someone sent a picture of the memorial stone; I found it in a diary. So the last few days my cousin has been posting pictures of my great-grandmother. I did finally find out where my curls come from. Even then he was condesending about my grandmother's great love and desire for curls. EVERYONE who knew her knew this story. And I heard it even more because she loved my hair. I look like my grandma but in some ways I look even more like her mother which is weird. He kept making her sound great. I've been more and more annoyed with this. When a post that was gay porn passed through my facebook (I now have different settings) from him I'd had it. So I pointed out, politely, that she had not been a grandmother or great-grandmother on our side, that she has abandoned our grandmother. He posted quite a lecture, much of which is wrong and which I have in writing. The thing is that I did not want to share that with him. He's working on geneology for that side of the family. I could tell her where to find a great deal of it as I did it from the papers I have last year, but there is something I don't want him to grasp into. In the time before she died my grandma told me of her daughter Elizabeth who died soon after birth. She said she'd never spoken of her and that she was telling me so someone would remember Elizabeth when she was gone. When I did the geneology I put Elizabeth on there and if he starts telling me about her I will drive the 10 hours needed to clobber him (once I can drive of course). Because I am about 99% sure he'd be lying about a very tender subject. Elizabeth is, I realized tonight, why I feel so called to make the baby hats for babies who won't live. There wasn't such a thing then and I honestly don't know if my grandma ever saw her. I spent a lot of time tonight trying to figure out what I am so angry. And it's pretty simple. He acts like he knew everything about my grandma. He frequently has lectured me about whatever I've said about her. And I'm sure they were close enough while he lived with her (although when she'd died I found gay porn hidden in HER bathroom (he had another upstairs) and a used needle stuffed in a kitchen drawer. That part may or may not have been his, but there was some reason to think it was. He worked in the hospital as an orderly (which lets him dispense medical expertise) and that may be connected to his abrupt departure. I can't remember. But. And it's a big but. She was dying for 2 1/2 years. For 2 years my mom and i kept her at home byspending nights. I comforted her when she was afraid someone was breaking in, reassured her when she tried to talk out to check the locks each night, picked her up off the floor when she fell, remembered with her over and over, found things to tempt her appetite during chemo, checked every morning to be sure she was breathing, and spent a horrible weekend with her when she had pneumonia and there was a snowstorm so that I couldn't get her to the hospital. I bathed her during that time and learned something that followed me through my career: care from other can be humiliating. Always cover as much as you can. My patients loved that I could change hospital gowns without any nudity and did so every time unless something made it impossible. I cried with her when she needed me to. I dressed her, got to to the bathroom when needed, and did many things 16-17 year old girls rarely do. I'm so glad that I did; that time with her was sacred. But for 2.5 years she was dying, he was about 6 hours away and he never visited. I don't know if her called; I don't remember it. He didn't come for the funeral, just sent roses. They were beautiful but they weren't presence. They were not the trip I think every other cousin made to hug her once more. We had about 4 months that we knew the end was very near but not upon us. That was wonderful time for her to see family and friends and say good-byes. We were honest, the goodbyes were final and everyone knew it. In the beginning of the 3rd month she began having vag**inal bleeding from her cancer and tumors became visible through her clothes and grew very rapidly. The day the bleeding started she was afraid and even though she knew what it was she wanted to be checked. It was the first time I did something truly adult with my newly earned 18 year old status; I told the nurse that she wanted to be sent, I would be the responnsible party, that she and I both knew but she needed reassurance by her request. The nurses discussed it in medical code and I learned that it is easier to understand than they may have thought. I insisted until she went to the ER. No, it didn't change her life except it told her the end was there. We alerted everyone that the time was coming. That cousin did nothing. When she had to be on morphine the last few days of her life and was unconscious the word again went out that it was days at most. We were so aware of this and calm about it that I remember several days before she died having to leave because it had hit me that she couldn't be buried in her clothing with 3 enormous (volleyball to basketball sized) tumors on her abdomen. (Thankfully they do have a solution for this in case you ever encounter it. She wore a thing the mortuary provided that looked like a dress but fit like a hospital gown and then when they covered her abdomen to keep it smooth and tucked the gown in just right the tumors were hidden, as she would have wanted. In all the patients I treated I never saw tumors like that). When I went in about the 4th afternoon of her unconsciouness she woke and talked to me, telling me beautiful stories about how death was coming. She took away the fear of death for me that day and led to my career. She told me many things about how much she loved me and we said the most profound good-bye I could have imagined. THAT was a relationship with my grandma. Cousin I'm an expert didn't bother to come for one day of this and I apparently have been angry for years (I probably knew how hurt she was as I'm sure she was although I don't remember a specific discussion). As far as I'm concerned the combination of known lying, the porn last night (and aat my grandma's) and the correcting me as if he knew her better than I is not something I can swallow. I'm sure pain and meds and fatigue all mix into this. But I am so angry because in 2.5 years a trip was possible. I feel he didn't care enough to give her a last hug and so he can shut up. I'm sure there's a lot wrong there in my thinking but right now it infuriates me. Hopefully talking will make me calm down. Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

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