Friday, December 24, 2021

So this is Christmas

Tonight, the sun was beneath the horizon and there was that unbelievably beautiful orange glow behind the distant trees. I looked up to see several planets in the night sky. They were roughly in a row. 

People sometimes don't understand how some of us are connected to the natural world. That beauty and permanence is something that takes the troubles of this world off my shoulders. I can't help but think how small we are in the history of mankind and the size of the universe. With or without us, it all will continue to exist.

I've never learned to totally let go of people. I read in the paper about a woman who wanted to stop staying in contact with her ex-husband since their only child was grown, married and a mother. My thoughts were I thought that was the idea of a divorce.

But the truth is, I'm one who holds on to people. My huge problem is my sister who had a stroke. Quite honestly, she was not an easy person before her stroke. There is a movie about Lucille Ball. Her daughter recommended that the writer Aaron Sorkin to take off the "kid gloves". Her mother was not an easy person.

Me, I am a bullshikser from the word go. I'm always persuading people to the point I need to just state the facts and let it go. This is my gift and my disadvantage and a portion of the problem in helping my sister. Humor is an oil and yet a greasy mess at times. 

In dealing with nursing homes and assisted living, it is important to know they have the upper hand. They have a product you have to have for your sanity and the welfare of your loved one. They know the brick walls to throw up and hassle you. And frankly, I know in time I may live in one the facilities. My dad was scared of living in a nursing home. I understand too well. My experiences will delay my going into assisted living as long as I can.

My sister hates where she lives. She is diabetic and is eating sweets which is just about the worst thing a diabetic can do. Her doctor has dropped her. I cannot get another doctor until the end of March. She has a pre-existing appointment with an endocrinologist on March 9th. The facility where my sister lives does not have an in house doctor. Nor can they have someone like my sister who does not have a doctor.

My short term solution was she could live with me. She came home for the holidays and immediately wanted to go back to her place at the Assisted Living which is a good thing. Rude is not the word for her abuse of me. So that solution is not going to happen. Well it may happen. My thoughts is she wants to do a bad business deal like sell her house for a small amount of money. Whenever she is going to do something like that, the first thing she does is get rid of me. 

I'm going to a lawyer and hopefully they can give me some good advice. I don't want to do guardianship for my sister in that she will take me and the rest of my family to hell in a handbasket. I do not want to be legally responsible for someone who will deliberately thwart and make it difficult providing her the care she needs. I know I am not the only person with a difficult, handicapped person. Sometimes I consider writing her off and not contacting her and telling the social worker and nursing home; I am out of here.

On another note, a writer I truly admire has had some horrible blows. Her husband who had dementia passed. There is the guilt of trying to take care of someone with dementia. That guilt is amazing in that taking care of someone with dementia is so very difficult. The other harsh part is she knows she is dying. I will say she appears to have a support system of friends. So my problem is not good. But I am not dying or grieving. 

The plight of refugees fleeing. They leave everything behind towards uncertainty and abuse. I can't imagine having to do that.

It's an older movie. I had tried to watch the movie several times. One day, everything slowed down and I actually paid attention. It was Brighton Beach Memoirs which was a semi-autobiographical story by Neil Simon. The film was followed by two more movies which are Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound. I've never watched the latter movies. But Brighton Beach Memoirs really touched me. The father made me think of my own father. They had family from Europe who were escaping the conditions in Germany. Although it was the 1930s and times were tough; the dad says they will find a way to house and feed these people. 

There is something about the Christmas season that is disappointing. To be content is something I have to remind myself all the time.

I remember as a child some pretty fun Christmas days. One of my sisters was born on December 23rd. My mom remembers coming home and finding pieces of candy throughout the house for the longest time. I remember we got skates. Dad didn't want us out on the road. So we skated in circles on the pine floors of our house. Mom said the floors were really scuffed with black marks from all our skating. But somehow, my dad had cleaned all her pots and pans so shiny like they were brand new. I was six that Christmas. So all my stories are hearsay at that time. But I remember it being fun and the skates. My dad knew how to throw a Christmas.

I have purchased a standing rib roast for Christmas. Without my sister, I felt a bit sad that she would not be with us. But the folks at home are game to eat roast beef. I've never cooked a rib roast before. I understand it is not quite as good a cut as prime rib. I've been studying how to cook the meat. I live in the South. We like food done. So our roast will be cooked a might more than other folks would cook it. We don't like red or pink meat. My family are not huge meat eaters. I looked for the smallest roast they had. It is huge. We will be eating sandwiches the next day which will be a huge disappointment to all our dogs under the table.. 

We are also making a Yorkshire pudding. We don't eat much so it will be a small one. Peas and carrots will round out the meal. I'm sure the dogs will quibble over the bits of Yorkshire pudding we share. Truth be told, we will be sneaking meat to each of them. I would invite others. With Covid, I am reluctant to invite others. I am mindful when I go into my sister's assisted living that I could be ground zero for a Covid infection. Plus, I don't know that any in my household would survive. I already know several who have died of Covid. We do have the vaccinations. Next week, we are getting our boosters.

So it will be Christmas. Some good, some bad, but a roof over our heads and a fine meal to boot. I can't complain. It will be 73 degrees and sunny. I'll be working outdoors after dinner. 


  1. Family can be a minefield at times can't it? Sometimes an uncharted minefield.
    Good luck - and I hope your Christmas dinner is marvellous. Working outside sounds good too.
    The very best of the season to you (and for all the seasons to come).

    1. Enjoy your holidays too. Don't eat too much Chinese tomorrow. In the States, many Jews eat Chinese at Christmas. Well an American version of Chinese that is.

      My dad advised me around 1998 to accept stress. It will always be with you. I felt sad that he was in his mid seventies and felt that way. I guess as long as you have your marbles, it is always something.

  2. Beware of lawyers and their advice! Perhaps you can find some good free help on online forums.
    Beautiful sunset!
    Wishing you happy holidays and a Happy New Year!

    1. So true about lawyers. I've gotten terrible advice twice. I'm talking to two different lawyers just to hear them out. The big thing is I don't like her being scammed. I don't know how long she has to live. But I like her living in a better place which takes money. Man I feel a million years old at times.

  3. You know... I always thought Yorkshire pudding was an actual type of pudding. What a surprise when we had it for a dinner on a Viking cruise. Gosh! That was a long time ago.

    I'm sorry for all you're going through. That's a lot to handle.

    1. No worries, I have been mourning my sister's stroke in that her life is so difficult for her. She has been cheated in not being able to have an active life. But all in all, she had a lot of good years. Strokes are horrible things.

      We've never made Yorkshire Pudding. But the recipe seemed simple enough. I got the idea from a Jewish man who cooks it for Christmas for his small family. He apparently is quite the cook. He pulls out Mediterranean recipes and recipes from far flung places. It is really cool when it is vegetarian. We are not big meat eaters at my house.

  4. Thats too bad about your sister. You Christmas dinner sounds yummy. Our big day is Christmas EVE - a tradition which started with my dad. Then we chill on Christmas Day.


  5. I hear you about care homes having the upper hand with a product you need. My mum was in a care home for nine months and I was very wary of saying anything critical in case they somehow took it out on my mum. My mother in law was also in a care home for a while and her son and daughter were equally nervous of being too critical.

    We're vegetarians so our Christmas meal was a mushroom and chestnut lasagne with brussel sprouts and roast potatoes. Totally delicious!

    Sorry to hear of all your problems with your sister. I hope you can find some positive way forward.

  6. Happy New Year, dear Ann!

    Having assisted four beloved elders down their sunset lanes, I became a pro at finding resources to help me help them. Not at all what I thought I'd ever be doing with my life, but as you've discovered (bless your heart) when necessity presents, we do what we must. Just try not to do it all alone. Save some care for yourself.
    A sense of humor is a good thing to have. I was called to the home one evening at the dinner hour. It seems my grandma had started a food fight at the dinner table. While I worried she'd get evicted, they were afraid I'd blame them. I looked at the food on grandma's blouse, and in her hair and said "I see you tried the cream corn. How was it?"
    Wishing you blue skies and unexpected joy.

  7. Wow, you've had a tough row to hoe with your sister. I know, and sympathize with what you've been going through. I went through something not quite as bad several years ago with an aunt who lived in another city, and who needed more care than we were able to give her here. And now we're having to help my father-in-law deal with his wife, who has COPD, an addiction problem and dementia. We finally found a nursing home that would take her (after she was kicked out of the long-term care wing of the hospital and two other assisted living facilities). She's not happy, but it's taken a lot of the pressure off. It also really helped that we've held the power of attorney in both cases, so we never had to worry about either elder being scammed.

    Your Christmas dinner sounded lovely? How did it turn out? Christmas is certainly not what it was when I was a kid, but I can pour a glass of wine and turn out the lights so only the Christmas tree is lit up, and bask in the memories.


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