(I rarely post personal stuff on this blog because it's my fun, safe, happy place. But I feel like I need to write about today. So feel free to skip this whole post, cuz it's got nothin' to do with running.)
Some of you know that my 83-year-old mother is now in a nursing home in Charlottesville, 2 1/2 hours away, where she's been since New Year's, (well, after three weeks in the hospital), trying to recover from a fall, along with a lot of other things.
Last Friday her husband (I never call him my stepfather, I guess because they got married long after I was grown, and they lived in California, and I lived in Virginia then, and I never knew him because they never visited, and I didn't have the money to visit them) ... they moved from sunny California to the backwoods of West Virginia two years ago for no particular reason other than they are both insane.
Anyway ... he went into UVA last Friday for removal of a polyp from his intestine, which he was supposed to have had removed FIVE years ago, but didn't, and (oh this is gross) just let grow. He refused a heart stress test before the surgery, and the hospital made him sign a release acknowledging his refusal and outlining the possible outcomes. Day four after surgery, like clockwork, the doctor said, he had a heart attack. He is now non-responsive, with an ostomy bag, 'cuz the surgery didn't go so well either.
I went first to the nursing home today, bundled up mother and her oxygen tank, and got her on the bus for handicapped people to get her to the hospital so that she would have a chance to see him, because things ain't looking so good. She's still in tremendous pain from shingles, can't walk, and has congestive heart failure, but I kind of forced her to go see her husband, because she doesn't understand that he is near death. And I thought she might really regret not seeing him.
I don't really know what to say, except it's all very overwhelming. I'm the only sibling on my side of the family (of the three kids that are still living) who can deal with any of this (the visiting, the banking, the mail, the doctors, the wills, the million and one decisions). My mother's husband has four kids: they all flew/drove in today from the four corners of the country. Today was the first time I have ever met them (mum has been married to this guy for 23 years; I guess you could say we're not exactly the Waltons.
Before I drove down this morning, I went to week two of my 10k running group. That sounds selfish, huh. But people keep telling me—and I believe them—that I need to take care of myself and do what makes me happy as much as possible, so that's what I'm doing.
And I drove back tonight, because tomorrow is my big debut as a bell ringer. And I don't want to miss it, or let my group down.
Today was a hard, very hard day. And there's absolutely nothing I can do about anything, except show up and listen. So that's what I'm trying to do.
Back to our usual programming tomorrow.