Today is a Sad Day
Saturday, June 05, 2010
I am not really sad but the news today has been sad and more sad.
First my uncle died this morning. He was 92 and has had heart failure for years. It recently had gotten much worse and we all knew he wasn't expected to be with us for more than a few more months. He went sooner than we expected but he was ready to go and his girls understood and he is in a better place now.
My best friend for 30 years come September is like a sister to me. And I am talking about the very best kind of sister. We were always good for one another and we both accomplished a lot more for having the other for support than we would ever had accomplished alone. I haven't talked to her much for the past few years and I actually though she was angry with me. I moved away from Virginia to Florida. We visited Virginia and saw her a couple of times and she came to visit us once in Florida. But other than Christmas and Birthday cards were were rarely in touch. I would call occasionally and leave messages but she didn't return my calls. I started sending her cards thanking her for all she did for me. She doesn't use e-mail, the calls were very infrequent. I though she felt I had "left her" and was not completely happy with me.
Then two-three years ago she called me quite a few times. Each time she wanted my nephew's phone number. She couldn't find it and she needed him to do work for her. More than a couple of times she needed him to get her car out of her garage so she could get to an important engagement. The garage door opener was not working. Each time we would talk only a few minutes, I would give her the number, ask her to call when she had time, and then let her go so she could call my nephew. Then her father had a long, difficult last illness and she was going back and forth between Virginia and Ohio helping to care for him. Now that I think about everything for the past 5 years or so, the only time she called me was to get my nephew's number or she was with a mutual friend of ours who suggested they call me.
Last year she was forced to retire at age 57 because she could no longer do her job. Her mother came to Virginia, got her medical help, and stayed about 6 months. Then the two of them went to Ohio to her mother's home. I talked to her the first week she was in Ohio, I encouraged her to call me anytime, I sent cards, I called and left messages but she didn't call back, I got a Christmas card but no birthday card. Today I called again and she answered. She sounds good but she has a lot of trouble carrying on a conversation. She told me a few months before her forced retirement that she thought she had had a stroke.
She put her mother on the phone and finally I found out what is wrong. She has frontotemporal dementia. There is little that can be done to help her. The prognosis is awful and the entire situation is sad beyond sad. It is very hard on her mother caring for her (mother is 75) and they are getting no help from family or friends. Now I understand that this has been gradually getting worse over the years and not hearing from her was a result of her illness.
I feel so bad that I didn't try harder to be helpful. Fortunately for me there are some things I can do to help out. They need help with state income tax returns and payments and I am an accountant so I can get it straightened out. My friend needs to sell her home in Virginia as she is never going to be able to live alone again and my nephew and I can help them with that. I have a great realtor in Virginia and my nephew is experienced with getting houses ready for sale (including removing all the contents).
If I can get to the funeral in Ohio for my uncle I am going to go and visit my friend and her mother. I can at least take my friend to lunch and a movie and give her mother an afternoon off.
I have been slighted bummed lately about my scale but boy, of boy, does this day put things in perspective. I am blessed beyond belief and my weight on a scale is not really so important.
God bless everyone who is caregiving. It is never an easy job. I pray that God will bless you and give you the desires of your heart.