Don't want to be Debbie Downer so I warn you all that July's Currently is not an upbeat teaching post. You may not want to read it, and I understand if you choose not to.
Listening: We just returned from my Mom's house. She lives two doors down. Long story short, I moved here when my Mom was on her own after Dad died, but she had not been diagnosed with Alzheimer's yet. That was 10 years ago. A LOT has changed since then. Mom has been sick with Alzheimer's a LONG time. She probably had it years and years before I moved back, but she hid it well. Now she is in the latter stages, and we discovered 3 weeks ago that she has very advanced, terminal cancer. She continues to refuse palliative care in a hospital. My hubby and I share the job of caring for her, and for my brother (who also has brain cancer and lives with her.) The house needs to be dealt with and the lawn in the backyard literally looks like a jungle. Trying to get my family to let someone on the property to deal with the mess has been trying!
Loving: I won't lie, I 'm NOT loving being on holiday, but I am loving being done with school. I found the stress this year to be overwhelming. I am the alternate union steward for our school, and the steward and I weathered the storms of political unrest here in Ontario the best we could. It was a tough year in all aspects. I had a large class, we had a lot of stress at school, and there were a lot of changes and challenges. I'm going to need the next two months to sort it all out in my head.
Thinking: Thinking is my downfall, has always been so. Are you like me and you think too much? I think a lot of teachers do! I run all the possible scenarios through my head for EVERYTHING. Sometimes this is good because it helps me be better prepared in the classroom, other times it is horrible because I imagine all the bad things that can happen in my personal life. I know that there is no good ending to the situation with my mother and brother. It all came crashing down on me during our annual awards ceremony at school the other day. I suffered what I have been told was a "panic/anxiety" attack. I could not breathe, I thought I was having a heart attack, my face felt like there were a million bugs crawling on it, and I just FREAKED! Took me quite awhile to calm down. Ended up going to the doctor just in case. She gave me something to take in case it happens again. I really just have to find a way to stop THINKING! Any suggestions? (Please don't say yoga or meditation, I just can't go there right now).
Wanting: I don't want anything for myself right now. I do want my Mom to die with dignity. I don't know HOW to facilitate that. She gave POA (power of attorney) to one of her sisters a few years ago, so there is nothing I can do to help without my aunt's permission. She had not visited for YEAR until I called and told her Mom has cancer and is going to die soon. My aunt is trying the best she can, but really, I need to have some say, and I don't seem to be allowed to have it. I feel powerless watching things unfold in a way that I would not choose and I am certain my Mother would not want.
Needing: It is hard to understand what this feels like if you haven't been through it yourself. I never imagined that life would end up like this. I wish that the neighbours, and doctors and social workers could understand how it feels to be the family member of someone like my mother (or my brother) but how can they? I am lucky that my hubby gets it, he lives it each and every day with me, perhaps even more than me, as he has been there while I was at work. God bless him, he is my angel.
Tips,Tricks or Hints: If you have a family member, friend or loved one who is a caregiver for an elderly parent or a sick family member, just try to support them and love them. They need it, because they may be like me, and not know what to do. The may feel that what they are doing isn't right or isn't enough. I have never asked for prayers in my life before EVER, but I think I could use them now. For my mother and brother. I would like to think there are some good thoughts in the universe being directed their way.