Tuesday, May 8, 2007

sad news

Well, I'm online so late that it actually happened yesterday. May 7, 2007 my father died. I was lucky enough to be with him for the last day. I spent the morning alone with him so my step mom could go to church. She had been missing it since Dad was too ill to go, and I told her I'd come down to stay with Dad. I'm so glad I did. My step sister called to tell me how worried she was, and asked if I could stay and help a little more. I visited Dad a few days before and knew how bad he was getting. The hospice told us it would be about three weeks, and it was about one. Dad wasn't responding to us at all on Sunday. On Sunday night, a friend who is a nurse came by and helped us roll him over, and she got a nod when she asked if he was in pain. We had stopped giving him his medication, and he was taking some pretty heavy pain meds. We gave him some morphine and he nodded when we asked if he felt better. We rolled him back and settled him in for the night. My step mom wanted to sleep in the bed with him as she had for over thirty years. She kissed him goodnight and he kissed her back. The only real response we got from him at all. I tucked him in and told him not to steal all her covers. He gave a little nod. I told him that I loved him and would see him in the morning. He tried to say something, but it was just too much for him.

In the morning he was gone. He was still warm. The hospice nurse came, and then the funeral home. when they took him away they left a red rose on the pillow. That started us crying all over again, not that we had really stopped. We spent the day cleaning. We just wanted to stay busy. Once we got going, the rug got shampooed, the whole house dusted and vacuumed, the bathrooms cleaned and the floors mopped. We were exhausted, but the day went by quickly. My step sister drove from about 6 hours away and got here just as the work was about done. She's a bit of a weeper too, so we all started up again.

They've gone to bed hours ago, and I'm supposed to be studying for a final in a couple days. Some things can't be put off, and Dad was very proud of me working on my masters degree. He finished high school at about 30 at night school, and I'm the first to go post grad in the family. He came to my graduation from college and was just as proud as could be. I was hoping he would see me get my MA, but another year was just too much for him.

Dad was something special. he married my mom at 16. They had four kids and divorced after 21 years. Then he married my step mom, who raised me through the hell of the teen years. I miss my Dad so much, but I also feel like I'm going to be losing a mom. She's going out west to live with her youngest daughter, and where she and dad lived for so many years. I understand why she's not staying here, but I know I'll probably never see her again once she sells the house and moves. She'll be halfway across the country. They've been close enough to share holidays with for the last few years, and I've tried to drive over at lease once a month just for a visit. Dad was a bit jealous because we get along so well, a lot like mother and daughter, and we share many of the same hobbies.

These next few days are going to be very hard, but I can get through. What am I going to do- NOT get through? My brothers are pretty far apart, and my sister is fairly close geographically, but distant emotionally. This could be the end of the family. We only ever got together to see Dad. We were together last weekend just for that purpose for the first time in about 10 years.

I'm feeling massive self pity- I miss Dad. I'm going to miss having a family around. All this weeping won't make Dad feel better, and it doesn't really make me feel better either. Dad was very devout, and there's been a load of praying lately. Most of my family is as well. I'm an atheist. Dad knew it, but was kind enough to not bring it up. He never pushed me to be anything, but I think he would have killed the fatted calf if I would have been "saved." Well, I can see why people turn to religion. It's easy to say all the bad things and bad choices you make in your life are part of "God's plan" and that those soothing "He's with God" saying are easier than finding something non-cliched to say. Dad smoked for the best part of 60 years. He died of lung cancer that spread into his bones and emphysema. If he would have quit smoking or never started, he would be alive today. Simple. No "God's will" in that. Why would it be any one's will to have Dad suffer the way he did? He was only 72, and his father lived past 80. He was healthy otherwise when he found out he had cancer. He could have had 10-15 more years. Good years. Am I angry at him? Not really. I'm not really angry with anyone. I'm just sorry that he was taken too soon by an illness that he could have avoided.

I think I'll try to study some more. Maybe another 1/2 an hour, then off to bed. The family will be descending tomorrow. First my brother, then another step sister flying in. Then another brother coming later. Then we are going to go see Dad one last time before the cremation. I might go home Tuesday night to see DH and DS. I miss them right now. Then I have a test to take and come back for the memorial on thursday. Then back home and I think I'll take friday off too. I have a second final to take before Sunday.

OK- enough rambling. Dad would kick my butt if I was slacking off.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Blogging as therapy?

Well, I haven't blogged since February, and Dad was still in the hospital. He's dying now. We heard today that it will be about 3 weeks, but Dad said that he thought he was dying last night. I think that attitude is everything, and if Dad thinks this is the end, then it will be. My brother is visiting him (from Georgia) but is going home in the morning. I'm taking as many days off as I can to spend time with him. School is about over, and I have a million things to do- I need to hire two new people for summer, 2 or 3 for fall, and I just can't seem to get it done. With three labs to move this summer I'm going to be incredibly busy, and with some serious time management, I should be able to get everything done, and still take a class. DH is already grumbling that he never sees me anymore. I think DS would just as soon I was gone, because all I ever do is rag him about things. I shouldn't have to ask a 27 year old (who is still living on my dime) to pick up his dirty clothes or take out the trash. No one had to tell me at 27, but I had a nine year old to look after.

So I should be working on something, but instead I'm blogging and bitching, and feeling sorry for myself, which isn't really like me at all. Maybe this will help-
List to do before bed:
Start laundry
pick up crap
do dishes
laundry into dryer
work on TMDL

OK- I should have about an hour- It's 11:00pm now.
Let's see if I can do some of this.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Feb 10, 2007

Well it's been awhile since I had time to blog. Dad is still in Indy. He's in a different hospital now and has grown quite confused. They are stopping all his chemo treatments, just giving him pain medication and treating the pneumonia, and that's it. The "make him comfortable" decision was made. I think he was below the proper level of oxygen for several days and it has affected his brain cells. He was telling me that his pocket knife was made of plastic instead of metal. now I know he didn't have his pocket knife in the hospital. Maybe he meant his dinner knife. Anywhoo, he's in a small hospital now for physical therapy to get his strenght back. He was in bed for three weeks straight, and can't walk or even stand. They are saying that he will only be there a few weeks and then will get to go home. He called me tonight and for once didn't ask if I was staying at his house. My brother (the pain) was there. Dad wants nothing more than for us to make up, but he doesn't know why we stopped communicating. Bro was such a shit to his ex-wife and threated his daughter so badly that she eventually changed her name and moved away just to get away from him (the daughter, not the ex). Well, I took his ex's side and he knows that I know that he's been telling lies to the familyabout his daughter and his ex. I haven't told anyone, except when our mother said something about how J wasn't a very good daughter to her mother. Then I couldn't hold it back. I told Mom that she was a wonderful daughter. Her mom (the ex) was just diagnosed with MS, and J came home from college every day (over an hour away) just to drive her mother (who was having double vision from the MS) anywhere she needed to go. I told my mother that I would love to have a daughter as good as J, and that Jerkface Bro was lying. (He even told Mom that J had a drug habit because of her mother! Totally absurd!) So Dad wants nothing more than for us to makeup. He even gets teary about it. Well, it's Jerkface that threw out all my cards and gifts to the girls for birthdays and holidays (without opening them) for years, and it's Jerkface who pointedly talks to my son and not to me at family weddings, etc. He tried to uninvite me to his daughter's wedding, but I told him I was invited by the Mother of the Bride, and would be attending as her guest. I'll tell Dad that we are all made up. He won't really know the difference. He can die happy. Jerkface- well, I don't really care if I don't ever talk to him again. I have plenty of brothers. (Jerkface also told his daughters to call my husband "Uncle Zero" because he was a nothing.- Any wonder why I don't care for him?)

So Jerkface and his new(ish) wife (she's OK- but not really my kind of person. She, like Jerkface, are very concerned about keeping up with the neighbors. I've kind of decided that there are better things in life.) are visiting with Dad today. I'm driving down tomorrow, but they should be gone by then. They live about 7 hours from the hospital. It's about 2.5 hours for me. I'll drive down for the day, then come home.

Well, other adventures have been going on. Our pipes froze up and we were without water for five days. We got everything repaired and back on today. It felt so good to take a hot shower. We were making do with snow melted and heated on the stove for "camping baths," hair washing and toilet flushing.

At work, Dr. PITA has been on the warpath for two weeks. She has been raging at my workers, and finally I insisted that the higher up do something. I was pretty firm about it. Tuesday the AD will be doing some kind of "official disciplinary action" in response to her inappropriate and unprofessional behavior toward me and one of my staff. It will be a rough few days next week. When she's embarrassed she lashes out and just shreiks. Personally, I think she's mentally unbalanced. This same thing happened about two years ago. In between she was over medicating for real and non-real medical conditions. She doctor shops until she gets a prescription, then goes to another DR for another prescription and takes them both. She was having seizures and thought she had a heart attack in class. More likely a panic attack. She had to go to a clinic for two weeks in the fall to "get a new prescription regimen"- that means to get dried out. When she was overmedicating she walked around in a fog half the time. It was quite nice, actually. Now she's back to her bullying ways, and I'm just not going to stand for it. She thinks anyone without a PhD is inferior.

Well, this has been quite a bitch session, but I do feel better. I guess that's what's really important. LOL

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Back from Indy

Dad was transferred to Indiana University Hospital Friday. DS and I drove down tomgo to Indy with my step mom. She was just a little nervous about driving in a strnage city. I drove her to Indy and DS followed in my car. I'm tired, but glad that Dad seems to be better. There had been such a change in the last two months, that this could very well be the begining of th eend. They've stopped treating hime for the bone cancer until they can get his pneumonia cleared up.

I've asked DH to quit smoking, and I'm going to ask him again. I don't nag, but every time I see what smoking has done to Dad, I can't help thinking that DH will be going thru the same thing in about 10 years.

So My bbirthday was spend driving to hospitals. We didn't go out for dinner as we had planned, adn we didn't really get to celebrate it at all. Dad didn't remember at all. (Well, he remembered a few weeks ago before he got sick. He sent me the cutest kitten card.) The lack of oxygen has really affected his memory. He was much better when I left today.

Off to bed so I can get caught up on my homework and housework in the morning. Some things still have to be done.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just another day

I seem to have a case of the blahs today... Maybe it's not sleeping well, or maybe it's an upcoming birthday, maybe it's just iron poor blood... I don't know.

I'm keeping caught up on my homework, but i'm only in the second week. I think we'll be buying a new desktop computer, but I want to file taxes first. Better not spend money the government wants to "liberate" someone.

I just talked to Dad and he sounds much better. He asked me to help with his taxes (even though he couldn't remember what month it was) and he's felling a bit better and thinks maybe he can go home next weekend. He remembered me telling him I was going to come down this weekend. I think I'll take a couple hours off Thursday and go see him. Matt's off and would like to go to so I'll spend my birthday driving to Danville.

Well, this isn't getting my 20 pages read for the day......Back to water pollution....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dad's back in the hospital

Dad is back in the hospital, very grumpy and wants to go home. He's got emphysema, has been battling lung and bone cancer for 2 years, and now has pneumonia. He's not getting enough oxygen, and it makes him weak and dizzy. He hasn't eaten for the last few days (that doesn't help) and will hardly get out of bed. Two years ago he was remodelling a house. Now he has to rest to stand up.

At the hospital, the doctor asked if he had a living will. He does. He's about and hour and a half away, and I wish I could just go sit with him, even though he probably wouldn't want me to. I called him Friday to ask if he wanted me to come down for a visit. He said that he didn't want everyone to think it was time to come and say goodbye. I told him I just wanted a regular visit, like we usually have, not a big farewell scene. He laughed and said to do it next week, since he just really wasn't feeling all that great.

I'll call him tomorrow evening to see how he is.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

It's midnight and I'm online??

Ok- so one of my clueless neighbors has an unprotected network and must just leave it on all the time.... so is it MY fault that my laptop trolls for connections and makes them without telling me?

So now that book relay is no more, we are building a new home. I think most of us have found our way back, but I really miss the blogs, so if anyone is out there.... and if there's a way to do "friends" pages here, I'd love to be able to hook us up to make this all easier to find each other's blogs.
There I thinks I have to know...
What's Karen knitting?
How's Ace's curling?
How are Sand and the Stud muffin getting along?
How is Marlene? Did she get blown away in the storm?
Am I bold?
Pyan and Rosie-- are you doing ok?

so the only reading I'm doing is for classes and three grad classes are pretty rough, but somehow they are all covering the same thing right now. I love my "Just a Theory" book. It all about why theories aren't guesses- and directly debates evolution and creationism. I can't wait for some poor misinformed soul to ask "but isn't that just a theory?" **evil laugh**

So here's my big story of the week-

For the last 12 years or so I have been a part of Heartland's Environmental Club. I formed the club as a student and was the first president. Then about 7 years ago I became an advisor when I started at HCC full time. The other advisor has kind of been my mentor since I started school, and we've always worked well together. The club is the oldest and best known on campus.

So- last week, one of the other earth science faculty "declared" himself an advisor to the enviro club. I've pretty much been running things for the last few years- the other advisor was gone for a year after 9-11 (air guard) and when he came back, he just left it all to me. This other guy- we'll call "Lazy Larry" is doing a promotion portfolio. Now faculty can ask for faster promotions if they show they deserve it- in 3 years instead of 5 years (when you get one no matter what). To get a 3 year promotion you have to turn in a portfolio tha shows you have done "substantial" additions to your duties- be on committees, do faculty inservices, be club advisors, that kind of thing. Now Lazy Larry has done NOTHING since he started three years ago. Portfolios are due March 1. (Lazy Larry walks into a classroom, sits his ass down , turns off the lights and reads powerpoints to the class. Unless he's showing a video. Or having me walk them out in to the greenspace for a lecture on biodiversity.)

So when he "declared" himself advisor- he really used the word- first I was pissed- who the f**k does he think he is? Then I got even, which is much more fun. The email I sent back to him (and the other advisor, and our assistant dean, and the guy in charge of the clubs at HCC) which went something like this:
Lazy Larry,
I'm SO glad you are willing to help out with the club! I'm going to be so busy with grad school that this really helps me out- Spring is the perfect time to take over- there will be Earth Day activities to plan, Arbor Day, Springfest, and the greenspace cleanup day. The website needs updating, so you can take care of that, and you need to fill out paperwork with Joe [the guy who oversees the clubs] and send a representative to the student senate every month. Now [the other advisor] is the only one who can sign the checks, so you need to coordinate everything with him.[these two guys seldom even speak to each other- bad blood there.] And since you have never actually BEEN to an enviro club meeting, ask [the other advisor] all about it. He can fill you in.

I got back an email saying that he was going to be very busy working on his portfolio until March 1, and wouldn't be able to do anything until then. (the sound of fear and backpedalling?) And then he'll be busy developing a new class for the fall. Oh yes, and he would love to work on the webpage but doesn't have access to it.

Email 2 from me-
Lazy Larry,
Since earth day is April 22 [which I doubt he knew] you'll have PLENTY of time to gear something up after March 1. And if you find yourself in a crunch doing all the work days [this guy has never walked out to the pond to my knowlegde-he did drive out to water and over fertilize a tree until it was dead] then just ask [the other advisor] to help. I'm working with ITS to get you access to the webpage, and you have already been put on the HCC website as advisor instead of me.

in other words- you asked for it pal, and you got it. He thought he was going to get a free ride and something for his portfolio...no sirree... he thinks he can take over MY club?????

There's nothing he can do in two years that I can't fix in two weeks. And he won't get a dime of money. Not without my say so- because the other advisor (who thinks I may have lost my marbles) wants me to keep the checkbook because he'll lose it. (again.)


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A new blog for a new year

I've been blogging on another site, which has for some reason gone down, so I need a place to vent. The only nice thing about the old place is that many of my online friends were there too, so we posted to each other all the time. Well, they may find me here or not, but iether way, I need a place to vent from time to time, and this is as good as any.