Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The dog park has turned into a stunning display of fall colours.  September is my favourite month, with it's warm days, cool nights and beautiful leaves.  Charlie is fairly reliable now, with regards to recall.  I have noticed though that he reminded me of Lucy, our beagle.  When Lucy put her head down and started sniffing, her ears turned off.  When Charlie starts running full out, his ears turn off too.  We think he has some greyhound in him, judging from his body type and how he runs.  Apparently greyhounds don't have the greatest recall when they're running, so that's probably it.  I've noticed now though, when we walk in the woods, he runs ahead and then comes back to check on me, and then runs ahead again.  When we're out on the field though, he just goes and ignores me.  

My daughter also suggested a harness when he's walking on leash and that's been helpful as well.  He's a lovely, sweet dog but he came close to being kicked to the curb.  I'm thankful I persevered, and thankful to my husband and my daughter for their input as well.

I'm off to court again this morning, but things will be put off to the end of October.  Today is the birthday of Jack's maternal grandpa and October 17th is the anniversary of his suicide.  Things can wait and I don't want to add to their misery.  On the upside, Jack hasn't seen much of his mom and has only spent one night with his aunt and uncle, so he's thriving on the predictability of his life right now.  He's happy and eating well.  

I'm feeling good mentally but physically the cold from hell lingers on.  I didn't visit Katie on Sunday because I needed the rest before going back to work.  Turned out for the best, last night I got a text message from Katie's caregiver and Katie has covid.  Poor girl, she caught it from her roommate.  

My brother from BC will be visiting this week, so I'll get to see him.  He's an odd duck, like me, suffers from depression, and pushes people away from him.  Men in general don't like feeling vulnerable, I don't think.  Women have a lifetime of experience feeling vulnerable.  It changes us, but so does menopause.  I've noticed some of my coworkers have been going through menopause and they are changing, less willing to put up with the usual shit.  

While I was away, sometime this summer, a patient from Jasper told the CT tech's, that I had been hiking on a trail, near Maligne Lake, when a storm came up and I had to be evacuated by helicopter to safety.  News to me.  The techs asked me about it yesterday and I assured them that I had not been hiking.  This particular hike involves four nights of camping.  I am not a camper, nor is my husband.  But it does beg the question, who was the patient?  And who did he think I was?  He had the right name but camping is not my jam.  A mystery.

Otherwise, life goes on.  My husband has a retirement party to go to this week, for a man he worked with for over forty years.  I have to make a casserole for a going away party tomorrow.  One of our temp nurses is going back to her regular unit.  I'll miss her.  She sings and dances which I love.

Jack learned what a shart is this week.  The learning never ends:)

 a staff member

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Whenever I think about writing these days, it seems I have nothing to say.  I had a frustrated, angry patient on Thursday that I helped, I hope.  Jack is with his aunt tonight.  I was sick all last week and I also turned sixty-one.  We hired a lawyer to help us with our application for day to day parenting of Jack.  The new dog, Charlie is much better and so am I.  That last bout of depression snuck up on me and really messed with my mind.  I had a dream last night that nobody appreciated anything I was doing and when I woke up, I was grumpy as hell.  I stayed grumpy for most of the day until finally it dissipated amongst the trees, while walking the dogs.  I had to apologize to Jack more than once.  It was the kind of grumpy you feel when you have your period and you just want to rip someone's head off and shit down their neck.  Expect I'm post menopausal now.  It's finally worn off, thank goodness.  I've done laundry and put it all away.  Baked banana bread and cleaned up the kitchen.  Played far too many games of bubble shooter on my phone.  Read my book a little.  Picked up the pears that have fallen off the tree and now lay rotting on the grass.  

Maybe it's just this time of year.  Or maybe it's stress.  Jack is safe.  I was very specific with his aunt when I asked her what she was doing with Jack today and tonight.  He would visit his mom, he would be supervised by his aunt while visiting his mom.  She fucked up.  She got played by her sister.  None of us want that to happen again, including Jack's aunt.

It feels like something should happen.  But I don't know what.  

I want to yell at Jack's other family and point out that I'm willling to give up my retirement, to raise my grandson, while they party and play and travel.  I want some credit for that, some acknowledgement of what we're giving up to care for Jack.  I think I figured out what my dream was about last night.  And this is why I like to write.

Monday, September 18, 2023

 My middle daughter came for a short visit this past weekend.  It was wonderful.  She's an adult and we talked like adults.  She sees me as a woman and a mother now which I appreciate.  What I didn't know was that my ex husband has been trash talking about me for the past ten twelve years.  Oh well, that's a him problem.  I do feel sorry for him.  He's alone, angry and still drinking.  I think part of getting older is dealing with our issues because we all have issues, baggage that we brought with us as we grew up in our families.  He doesn't seem to want to deal with his issues and misses being a pilot, which was his whole persona.  Not my problem anymore.

My daughter got to visit with Jack and Miss Katie and did mention that those two are the best birth control ever.  We took the two of them to the mall and both Jack and Katie want all of your attention, they don't want to share.  It was a dog and pony show but we all survived and it reinforced my feeling that taking Katie out by myself is the way to go.

Charlie is getting better with recall.  My husband bought him a shock collar, which sounds awful, but we don't use the shock part, only the vibration.  It gets his attention and he does come when needed.  I have to be able to have recall with him.  He's a big dog and runs full tilt at other people and dogs, people and dogs who don't know that he's just happy and won't harm them.  The vibration catches his attention and I can get him back.  Makes walking much more enjoyable, and he's happy.

We saw the child psychologist on Friday and Jack starts with him in two weeks.  The main takeaway for me was that Jack needs a stable, secure home, something that Gracie cannot give him.  He did say he would provide us with letter for the court as well, stating this.

Tomorrow we meet with a lawyer who specializes in family law, so I guess that will help us.  What started out as a quick application to the court (in my mind anyway), looks like it will turn into a lengthy process.  As long as it protects Jack, I'm ok with that.  I've been going through text messages and dates from the past two years, writing it all down for the lawyer, a lot of shit has happened and as I reread everything, it brings up a lot of bad memories.

Today, Gracie gets out of rehab and will have a visit, supervised by her mother, with Jack.  Jack always gets worse when he spends time with his mom, so I have that to look forward to this evening.  Poor guy.  He's been through so much shit in his short life.  

So life continues on.  I have been reading some blogs, but not leaving many comments.  I'm kinda maxed out right now.  Thank you for your support.  It actually does make a difference and I appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

 One of my favorite photos of Jack.  

We went to court yesterday, things have been put off for two weeks because Gracie hasn't responded to our application yet.  She has an appointment today with a family court counsellor.  We sat and listened in court yesterday to other grandmas mostly, and one young aunt and uncle, asking to be allowed to keep children safe from their parents.  We are not alone.

I also talked to Gracie's mom and she still supports our application, although she thinks it should be for six months instead of a year.  I don't think six months is long enough.  You can fake it for six months, a year shows if you're serious or not.  I reassured her that I have no desire to take Jack away from his mom, I just want him in a safe, stable home.  We will not block Gracie from seeing Jack.  Jack loves his mom and she loves him.  Gracie's mom also worries that Jack will feel responsible for taking care of Gracie as he gets older.  I told her that's going to happen anyway I think.  She will always be a burden to her family, including her son.

The big guy finally opened up to me and told me about his grief and anger over his father's death.  His family can never be what he wants it to be, just as my family isn't.  My siblings don't have the ability to have a close relationship with each other, except for my twin sisters.  I've finally come to accept that and I'm not angry anymore.  They are who they are and I can decide when I will and won't let them be a part of my life.  I would prefer to have close relationships with them, but that's not going to happen.

My husband is remembering and grieving all the things his father said and did.  My father in law was like my father in some ways.  At that time, a good father made sure his family was provided for.  That was a father's only real job.  Boys were raised to be "men".  Don't show emotion.  Don't cry.  That's not good enough.  Do better.  You're not enough.  The irony is that my father in law left Holland because of the very same issues with his own father.

Added to that was an angry mother who just cut people, who disagreed with her, out of her life.  My mum wasn't like that, thank goodness.  My mum could be slightly manipulative, but I never doubted that she loved me.  My husband has been hurt over and over by his family, and especially by his mother, but hanging onto that anger and sadness can only hurt him now.  I hope he can let go of that anger eventually.  It's so painful for him to carry that anger inside of him.

My depression is slowly lifting.  I no longer feel dead inside.  It's an awful feeling.  I go through the motions of life but feel dead inside as I do everything.  Nothing good can ever happen again when I am depressed and I am always so thankful when it dissipates.  I don't know if most people understand how hard it is to pretend to be "not dead inside".  It takes an enormous amount of energy to just get out of bed, shower, go to work to care for others, come home to care for my family, all while feeling dead inside.  It's hard to smile, to make small talk, to look people in the eye, to pretend I'm okay.  There is only darkness and death when depression comes to stay.  The black dog is well named.

I've cried a lot this past month but I no longer feel fragile.  I can do hard things and I have done many hard things.  I can also still laugh, which I am deeply thankful for.  

I watched a video of an English comedian, thanks to Steve.  I had a very good laugh this morning.  Here's Russell Howard.

Laughter is the best medicine.  Me and a coworker having fun almost ten years ago.  

Update:  My husband spoke with a family court counsellor about Jack and Gracie.  The family court counsellor had just finished talking to Gracie about the case.  The court counsellor recommended we find a lawyer who specializes in family law to help us deal with this, to ensure we don't have procedural errors which could come back to bite us in the ass, going forward.  She also said that Gracie assured her that Gracie has the full support of her sister and mother (the two other guardians).  There was other stuff too but I can't be bothered typing it all out. Sigh.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

We drove out to Elk Island National Park this afternoon, in the hopes that Jack would fall asleep and have a nap because he and poppa are going to some car races this evening.  Jack did fall asleep for awhile.  The weather was perfect and the sky was so blue.  There was a large flock of coots feeding in the water and while we sat and watched them, sandhill cranes flew overhead, calling out as they flew.  It was quiet and peaceful.  A boon for the soul.

Jack enjoyed it too, something which always surprises me, because usually he likes action and noise.

 This summer has been one of the hardest of my life.  I'm feeling depressed but functional.  There's lots of stuff going on but that's not for right now.  Next week we have court, we see the child pyschologist and my daughter from Vancouver is coming to visit for a couple of nights.  Life continues on.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Hospital pillows are not comfortable, but they still go missing, so we write on our pillows, in the hopes that they will be returned to our department.  Some nurses have taken it a step further and given us something to laugh about, which I so appreciate it.