Everybody get up and do a happy dance, tomorrow is Mom's last chemo!!! WoOoOo HoOoOooO!! I'm so happy for her!
When all this started, it felt like this process was going to take forever, because it all just seemed so huge... but my gosh it seems to have gone by fast. I can't believe that Mom has already been through her first cycle of chemo, had surgery, and is now finishing her last chemo tomorrow. And it's been 6+ months. Thank goodness that in these types of situations the time seems to go by quickly. That's also from MY viewpoint. All I've had to do is be a cheerleader on the sidelines. But Mom seems to agree that it's gone by quickly too, for the most part. Thank goodness for that.
So, the funeral on Saturday was really nice (as nice as funerals go, you know). Mom gave the eulogy, and did a great job. There was chuckling at the "Ger" story, and some crying from somewhere towards the front (I sat in the back - I'm not good with the whole death situation). The flowers and tractors around the funeral home were really nice, and the pictures. Wow. I hadn't seen Ted much in the last...15 years maybe? And every time I did see him, he was just arriving at Mom and Dad's house as I was leaving, or I was arriving as he was leaving. But seeing all of those pictures affected me. There were lots of Grandma, and even though I have pictures of her, seeing that many of her and Ted, and old family photos from Christmases or get-togethers that I remembered watching those very pictures be taken at or that I remembered attending, affected me. And just seeing how everyone had changed...wowza. Pictures are great things, and I think I need to take more as I've sort of slacked off.
I'm hoping with the majority of the chaos over that Mom will be able to slow down a little and relax. She's been on the go nonstop since trying to get things arranged for Ted to enter the "Club," getting him in the Club, the breakout from the Club, visiting Ted in the Club and taking him out and about, and then arranging the funeral. And the woman just hasn't stopped! Time to slow down a bit Madre... :) Breeeeaaaathe. Ohhhmmmmm - haha just kidding.
I've talked about this over the years with many people, and with Ted's passing, I feel it is appropriate to bring it up again. When I first started working in a law firm, I worked in all aspects of law. Divorces, custody, child support issues, small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, real estate, business, contracts, estate planning (and if you don't have a Will or Powers of Attorney, GET THEM. Please!), and yes, probate. And boy did my eyes get an opening with probate matters. That's a true education, folks. I remember telling Mom and Dad to please get their estate planning in place and to have Grandma get hers in order too (they did, and so did I :) ). What I was seeing in these families, between family members after the death of a loved one, was pretty darn hard to stomach. I just couldn't believe that people would act like this. Over money. Possessions. Real Estate. Over THINGS. And totally ruining their relationships with their surviving loved ones in the process. So sad.
Bickering over insignificant possessions for months; fighting over the fact that one person received more than the others (and I'm talking like $100 here, not a significant amount); dirty laundry about family secrets, ongoing loans that were never paid back; "gifts" that had been made, sometimes repeatedly, to some family members when others received nothing; seeing the financial aspect of an elderly parent/sibling being taken advantage of by the people who were supposed to be protecting them and their interests; some parties trying to leverage themselves to receive more than the others because they "helped" toward the end. Seriously? You need to be paid to help your loved one? Who may already be leaving you a pretty hefty lump of cash (and even if they didn't - really?)? You need MORE? Is it really worth it?? You really get to see a person's true self in matters like these. And many times, it ain't purty. Greed is an ugly, ugly thing and a true measure of character...or lack thereof.
Seeing all that in other families made me swear that that would never happen in my family if I could help it. Hence my urging to everyone to get things in order, now, while you know what you want. It's never too early, and you never know when it might be too late...because you'll be gone, of course. Don't put that burden on your family if you can help it - there will be more than enough on their plate. And if they find themselves in the situation I described above, no documentation of your wishes or intentions only makes that situation harder to resolve. Even Powers of Attorney are a huge step in the right direction. At the very least have a conversation with your loved ones about what you want and what you don't want, if you can't afford to put it on paper with an attorney. Or write it down on your own and give a copy to those who will be making decisions for you in the event that you can't for yourself. Something is better than nothing.
Okay, off my soapbox about that. Sorry. That's the "legal beagle" in me coming out :)
Anywho, I'm hoping that since Ted was a wise man and seemed to have his affairs in order, that wrapping the paperwork side of things up will go easily for the family. That way, Mom can have more time to focus on the things she enjoys, like mowing, or the new "crop" she's going to be trying to cultivate...on her head. (hey, her words, not mine). Or that she will find time to grow her sunflowers (I'm trying at my house, and not sure how they are coming along yet...where's Little Ma's green thumb when I need it???)
If Mom has her last chemo tomorrow, then hopefully by June-ish she will start to feel the chemo effects starting to dissipate, even if just a little. It might be her sense of tasting comes back a little bit, or the vertigo stopping, or that her eyes aren't so blurry. Or that she is just a littttttttle less tired than she has been. I know it's going to take quite some time for her to start feeling close to the level she was at before starting chemo, but even just a little sign of things returning to normal would be welcome, at least from this cheerleader's point of view. :)
So, I really didn't have a direction for this post. Just sat down and started rambling. Sorry that it's not as fluid as Mom's usual writing, but trying to offer her a break. She feels the need to write every day, and asked me to help as she's so busy lately. No problemo, Madre. I've got this. Might be boring as <BLEEP!>, but I've got this :)
Remember to do a happy dance tomorrow for Mom's last chemo. I don't dance, but even I will be doing a little happy dance of my own in celebration tomorrow. (and get your estate planning in place!)
Have a great week y'all! And THANK YOU for supporting my mom!