Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A TRUE Story about Elder-dumping

His first day at the CalVet Home

Yesterday was my father-in-law's 91st birthday. We took him out for an early lunch. I asked him, how he felt about being 91 - Granted, he uses a wheelchair, and has skin cancer patches all over his face and arms, is diabetic, has a pacemaker, and he's got some other health issues that come with that age. After he thought about it, he narrowed it down to an age - he said he feels like he is 45 on most days. WOW - that was sure encouraging to hear. I believe his good attitude helps and he is constantly grateful. A few years ago, he was married to his 6th and last wife. Living in Wisconsin surrounded by her family. She was a nice lady but her married children did not approve of my FIL when they married. After their father passed, they did not ever expect their mom to remarry at age 80.

It was a hard time for both of them - with the adult children trying their best to break them up, constantly pitting them against one another. My FIL is a stubborn man and used to have some anger issues and they started flaring up again. One of the grandsons hacked his Facebook, and put some naughty posts up. Unfortunately, when my FIL (in his 80's) he still had a roving eye for the ladies and we believe now, the adult children used that to their advantage. He was an easy target to set up.

It was about 3 or 4 years ago, we get a phone call from one of the daughters, who said, he hit someone with his cane and in doing so, tapped one of the children. He did not hurt the child, nevertheless, he lost control. They boarded him on a plane with just the clothes on him, and sent him out to us, in California. We get a call, that he will be landing in a couple of hours. We live in a rural part of northern California - takes us 3 hours to get down to the Sacramento Airport. It was also in the middle of the night. We had no way, to get him. His phone was turned off.

Apparently, when he arrived, he took a bus up - and had nowhere to go - no phone. We believe he was mugged. So he was lost in our town for about 2 weeks. We were frantically looking for him. He finally showed up at the mission. He had suffered a few mini strokes during that time of homelessness. Adult Services called us, and we just told them the truth - that the family back in Wisconsin elder-dumped him on us. They didn't prearrange anything.  When taking an elderly person in, or planning to, you need at least a month. Heck, a couple of days would have even helped. So the police or whoever contacted the family in Wisconsin. and I frankly don't remember what their consequences were after that. Just know, there was bad blood from then on.

He wasn't doing too good health wise and we could not take him in at our place because of his medical needs, so they placed him in a nursing home and my husband who works at CalVet, got him on the waiting list for the Veteran Home. 9 months later, he moved into the brand new facility and has improved beyond anything we could imagine. They take great care of him and he has an awesome life. He gets to see his son every day my husband works, and his granddaughter used to volunteer - he would see her and my son also works there. Just today, when we went in to see him, my son, Navy was in his room!

He lives in the skilled nursing wing. They also have a memory care wing, so if and when his memory becomes an issue, he can be there.

He always says, during our care meetings with the staff, that he feels like they spoil him. His every need is taken care of. Now I said, just about...he still likes the ladies, which can be irritating to my husband. He's an old goat, who is not politically correct and at times, he flirts with the nurses. They are kind and trained enough to realize, that you can't teach old dog new tricks, so they ignore him. He also likes the old gals, too. All in all, he has been a good boy while being there.

2 weeks ago, I got a message on Facebook, from the facebook hacking Grandson in Wisconsin - informing me that my FIL's wife passed away last year! Wow, they didn't even tell us.  We haven't told him yet. He's outlived 4 wives now and the other 2 divorced him.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

grumbling and mumbling

Do you talk to yourself?  I tend to grumble and mumble, which is a form of talking to yourself. I don't carry on conversations with me, but when I am bugged at something, I catch myself, grumbling...

Now I have caught myself, at the grocery store a few times - I guess I was loud enough for some to turn around and look at me. OH, MY GOD, I'm an old lady that mumbles to herself. It's official. (See: a wrinkled hag with age double, picking up dry sticks and mumbling to herself)

I think it is a bad habit more than anything or maybe I am delusional and am just showing the early signs of "losing it."

The husband mumbles...I hear him and it's when I have said something he doesn't want to do - he grumbles that he has to do it. I've caught him a few times, referring to me as a "nag." He forgets that I hear very well. I'm smart. If he tells me something, that I don't want to hear, I usually just say, "Okay, dear." And that's all it takes, to make him happy. I don't like to argue.

I mumble when I drive. I grumble when I hear the news. (Ok I am a whiner) I also hum in the shower and sometimes I sing really dorky songs that just come out of nowhere!

So, I was wondering, do Mummers mumble? and what exactly are the differences between mumbling and grumbling? See above.

I admit, I DO talk to my 2 cats and 1 dog, in the evening when my husband is at work. But that's perfectly normal! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cousins - who needs them?

Yesterday I mentioned about family - and then there are my cousins by the dozens, that won't give me the time of day. What is that all about?

I've lived my whole life, estranged from cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents - even my half-brother! Oh we would go back, every 2-3 years for a visit but you can't set a foundation or forge a decent relationship with only a few days of visiting. I was the cousin from California. I pen palled with 2 cousins for awhile. Then we all grew up and went our separate ways. When everyone was alive, there were 35 cousins just from my dad's side of the family. Nearly 55-2nd cousins. My dad was the youngest son and so some of his nieces and nephews were as old as he was, and they all grew up together in Eastern Tennessee. One BIG happy family.

Many did eventually move to California - so we have a big branch of the family now, all over California - yet no one wants to get together for a reunion. I see on Facebook, they "reunion" with everyone else - it used to hurt my sister a lot. Now my sister is gone and I'm starting to get bothered by it, because I really am orphaned. My parents and my sister are gone. The only family, that does seem to genuinely want to claim me, is my brother and his family - only they are in Alabama - and we are different as night and day. They are good people - just from Alabama. I have invited them, out to California several times, but they seem to be afraid to come out here, from all that they have heard. I've been back there, once and had a really nice time. My husband wants to go back this October. So we are thinking about it. It just bugs me, that no one ever wants to come out here to visit me - I'm the one who has to make the effort or it won't be done.

I don't think, they dislike me - they just don't know me or want to know me because I have never been a part of their lives. There is no bond.  They are cordial; treat me no different than you would a passing neighbor or friend. I wonder though, as we all are getting older, and we start dropping off, if ever, they will reach out and want to covet that family relationship we do have? I mean, if I live a long life, someone might get stuck with me - then they will have to get to know me.

So yesterday, I get an email from Ancestry - A 4th cousin is contacting me because we are in the same DNA circle - she tells me, no one will return her emails. Of course I did - and while I am not thinking, we are going to be best friends or anything, we can share with each other, family stories, fill in those missing pieces in our family trees.

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