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    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2017
     
    It's April, and I phoned two people this morning for April fools. I told my sister in a Hindu accent that she had won a trip to Disneyland. She wasn't fooled. I phoned my other friend and yelled into the phone "Your house is on fire! Run! Run!" I didn't fool him either. People are so jaded.

    I know about walking zombies and hearing the ocean roar and walking through the valley of death; but I don't know jaded. Maybe if I'd been rich or powerful or famous but none of those things happened to me. I never fell out of a plane or got shot at either, so some things even out I guess.

    It reminds me of a dream I had recently where I should have been born in the Hamptons but I got thrown into a real fixer upper. I dreamt I landed in an old man who had been burnt out and used up and it was my job to make him a project. I shuddered so hard I woke up and guess what? No Hamptons.

    That's all right. I get that I'm on a ridiculous rock. For example I'm not having trouble with erectile dysfunction. My erectile is dysfunctioning just fine. Ask your doctor about Viagra they say because there's nothing like a four hour boner as a hood ornament. "The women run away screaming", said Joan Rivers the comedian, "because they don't want to be set on fire".

    My friend recently encouraged me to get a doctor. He'd just had a colonoscopy which is a long tube they stick a camera on so they can look. I imagined doctors a hundred years from now horrified by that in the same way as lobotomies to calm people down or electro shock therapy. So what happens when the polyp removed is cancerous? Do I win because I know earlier?

    I resisted taking in that we had Alzheimer's. We spent a few years there where things were clearly off by a distance and we didn't know why. That wasn't a great period but it was a million miles better than when we did find out we had no hope.

    That turned out to be half wrong too. One of us did have hope which was completely undreamed of at the time but is here nevertheless. Recovery from bad things doesn't become happiness. Those are two different things it turns out. I've said that before but I'm still taking it in.

    I'm a very lonely and quite lost and nowhere near happy man. But I'm also on even ground and I feel like me every day. That's quite something from where I was and hearing that would have been good for me back then. Maybe that's just me.

    I've realized more fully that humans sometimes split their sides because something is really funny. It's clear that either rocks or God have a delicious sense of humor because life is full of it's own satire and slapstick and wit and laughter. I find that fascinating.

    I saw a video of some penquins once. As one penguin waddled by another clearly stuck it's foot out and tripped the passer by sending him tumbling into the water. Imagine if scripture didn't just focus on the serious and ignore the mountain of humor in life:

    "Joseph and Mary arrived at the inn only to be told there was no room" read the pastor in the front of the church, "I want a second opinion said Joseph. All right, you're ugly too answered the innkeeper", he read from the book.

    Not so much. Anyway, April is here.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2017
     
    Welcome April. today almost made it to 70 even though it was cloudy all day. Got rid of a folding table we have been hauling around (have/had 3). Took it down to a lady in the park who had rheumatoid arthritis for her to put her planters with strawberries on so she won't have to bend clear down to the ground. Then took the back of her skirting off so she will be ready for when she needs her heat pump. She almost burned it out last year cause she forgot she needed to open up under for ventilation. All the bulbs I planted last fall are up and blooming or getting close to it. Planted a bunch of summer bulbs last week. I left them in a tub outside so they froze so not sure how many are good. I will wait and see. If not will buy something else to plant in the pots.
  1.  
    It was nice of you to help.
  2.  
    It would be fun to interject some much needed humor in the ultra-serious of the world. I should do it but 1) I don't want to be burned as a heretic, and 2) I detest it when people scowl at me.

    The commercials aimed at folks our age are deplorable. Couples riding around in convertibles and winking about their ED drugs or the ultra-serious white coat wagging warning fingers at us about the seriousness diseases and how their drugs can help. I want to grab the dapper doctor impostor speaker by the throat and hiss, "I know all about serious, fatal disease, buddy, and what I really know is that we all die. Now tell bleeping joke." Then there are the athletic elders who quaff their nutritional drinks. They are sissies. I want to see Winston Churchill belt a whiskey down and deliver a scathing one-liner.

    Speaking of ultra-serious, I went to an art show today and overdosed on all of the "angst." Beauty seems to be out of favor. So many things like phony commercials and angsty art make me feel edgy and mortal when all I want to do is laugh long and often and be queen. It would be fun for about a week to have a matchy-matchy outfit for every day of the year and a minion to feed the dogs and change the ironed sheets daily. What I really want is the sweetness of a future and not having to work so hard to stave off loneliness. Everything requires so much effort now. . . even getting out of bed. Things are not necessarily easier "after."
  3.  
    I really love these April stories and am trying to think of something I can contribute.
    When Wolf mentioned erectile dysfunction. I was reminded of this.

    Hillary was the only bachelor in our Lion's Club a few years ago, and we were having a great discussion about the Viagra adds we were seeing on television. In particular, the line about "If your erection lasts longer than four hours, call your doctor right away". Hillary, who is usually kind of quiet, jumps up and shouts out............"What a bunch of baloney that is.........If I had an erection that lasted four hours, I would never, ever, call a doctor......I would call every girl friend that I ever knew"
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2017
     
    Wolf, The Alzheimer's experience puts a huge amount of stress on our bodies. I would not be surprised if we Alz spouses have a higher than normal rate of high BP, heart disease, etc.Your friend is right. You should get a doctor and have a check-up. It only takes about 15 minutes. BP, heart rate, and standard blood tests will at least rule out a lot of issues and if a result comes back outside of normal range, you might be able to nip in the bud whatever the condition is that is causing it. You don't have to agree to any additional tests or diagnostic procedures that are recommended.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
     
    My bluets survived the snow/ice storm we had this weekend. Snow has melted,and there they are smiling at me again. The birds that have come up from the south showed their gratefulness for our bird feeder by giving us wonderful entertainment this weekend. So glad its spring today. Its lifting my spirits.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
     
    My crocus and blue scillas have been blooming - first daffodil opened today. these are bulbs I planted last fall and happy to see they survived the winter to thrive
    • CommentAuthorBev*
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
     
    My fence is falling down from the wind and rain, my microwave shorted out because of the storm and my utility room flooded. Welcome, April!

    I spent half the afternoon trying to get someone out to fix the fence. Can't get ahold of anyone to do it. It's still raining. But my tulips are coming out and there are buds on the trees. We've begun planning Easter brunch and my daughter is taking me to see the musical Aladdin next month. Life is still good.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2017
     
    Stop Using These 20 Medications Because They Cause Memory Loss

    https://www.storiesoftheday.net/dP2GgY2R
  4.  
    DD suggested I take my granddaughter for five weeks this summer to alleviate some of the astronomical child care fees she has to pay while school is out. NOT HAPPENING.
    • CommentAuthorMoon*
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2017
     
    Elizabeth

    Unbelievable.
    • CommentAuthorMoon*
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2017
     
    Bev, So sorry to hear about all your ordeals. How nice that you have something pleasant to look forward to with your daughter. Enjoy.
    • CommentAuthorFiona68
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2017
     
    Elizabeth, for a long time I believed that my kids benefited the most from having caller ID on their phones - as they screened my calls. Now I sometimes use that plan in reverse; I don't respond to THEM. Kids; sheesh!
  5.  
    I found this heart-warming little video and am
    thinking maybe I can join them.

    https://dementiafriendsusa.org/become-a-dementia-friend
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2017
     
    My kids thank me all the time for not having them. Actually, they don't even do that.

    There was an article in the paper this week about a woman in Calgary who brought a bouquet of flowers for the public transit employee who turned in her lost purse. She was Chinese and didn't speak English. She was coming home from her 75 birthday and there was $1300 in her purse in birthday money. A Chinese speaking person helped her report the loss. The thing was the transit employee picked the purse up at the end of the line on a walk through. No one had taken it.

    In other local news a truck full of lettuce was stolen from an indoor grow company (it's winter up here). The police issued a public statement to Romaine calm while they investigate. All righty then.

    And finally, our Prime Minister recently took time out from his handsome lessons to say that Canada would be legalizing pot by Canada day. I wonder what their thinking is there. Most of them will already be drinking. At any rate we're scheduled to be reclassified from 'way up the map' to 'high up the map'. I think that may be why President Trump isn't considering a wall with Canuckland. I can see the big sign on the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit "SEND CHOCOLATE".
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2017
     
    "Romaine calm" - that made me laugh!
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2017
     
    Are you "romaining calm" Myrtle? I think of you often and hope that each day is easier than the one before.
    And Elizabeth good on you for sticking up for yourself, you gave so much to that family without much thanks.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2017
     
    For a variety of reasons some people have less access to emotional intelligence than others. The average person can tell that someone else doesn't want to do what you want them to do without too much display.

    Emotional retardation can be willful or obstinate but it's also true that willful or obstinate behaviour can be caused by an absence of emotional access.

    Selective memory is the key to spotting those that are willful. They never remember the bits that weaken their cause while they always remember the bits that support their cause.

    Reasoning with them or offering compromises is a complete waste of time. People with little emotion aren't kidding. They don't feel their way through much. What they see is I want this while you want that. Being hurt by them is also a waste of time. They're not hurting you. You're hurting them by fighting against what they want you to do. That's how they see life and they're not pretending.

    It's us that pretend. We know what they're like but we keep pretending they're not. We're having normal feelings about what they're saying and they don't speak that language.

    What we need is clarity without any openings. "I can't do this right now" has two openings. "I gave you a lot so you could handle things like this. The answer is no." has no openings.

    Never explain to the deaf. It's dumb and disrespectful. Help them solve for an ending to the topic. "No" is that clarity.

    Instead we go on about our feelings and how hurtful and that's true. But it's talking to the deaf about what you hear.

    Here's a sentence:

    "I'm not going to keep repeating myself. If you're going to keep having tantrums when you don't get your way, have them somewhere else".

    What happens instead is mutual misery. One party keeps trying to reach their goal because what they're hearing is confusing, while the other party is having a lot of feelings about the conversation and is speaking to that instead of the topic.

    Finally a word about tactics. I might think I'm compromising by offering a week. What I'm doing is offering an opening. If I were to offer a week out of five weeks for example, I would have to be certain it was the last week and that nothing could mysteriously come up to extend that. She knows you won't return the child once you have her and use the child as a pawn because you have emotions about that. But she will because she doesn't.
  6.  
    Thanks to everyone who commented on the child care situation. Of course something like a weekend or long weekend "vacation" at Grandma's would be fine, but I am not in a position anymore to get into full-time child care just to alleviate someone else's finances. I'm living my own life and just doing "me"...the Family Commune plan did not work out as hoped, and I am done. I've been reflecting that this is all part and parcel of the long swathe that Alzheimers has cast over my life...the lingering after effects of the plan that necessitated the out-of-state move and provided for close and loving family care for both DH and my mother down here in the Heartland. Now that my stepdad has also died, as you know, there really is nobody left for me down here except wedding and funeral family. I'm on perfectly good terms...but certainly would not live here just to be geographically close to them. I've been noticing how much happier I am in NY, and how people seem to care about me so much more up there. It's not just wishful thinking or seeing what I want to see--there's no question that I have friends who care about me much more than my own family does. It's just so nice to see people's eyes light up when they see me, and give me smiles and hugs--I simply had not realized how much I had missed that, or how much I was just being used by my own family--people that I expected to hook up with and spend the rest of my life with. Well, live and learn. But it's all--All--the result of Alzheimers. Boy do I hate Alzheimers.

    Again, for those still on the journey--there are definitely good things waiting for you later on. But it takes a while, and there will be a lot of soul-searching and trying out new roles and new identities. Maybe "discernment" is the right word. (Like when people are trying to figure out if they have a religious vocation.) There will be a period of "discernment" while you figure things out and get going again in your own good new direction.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2017 edited
     
    Very interesting comments, Wolf and helpful to me, too. It makes me think about something I saw about my son, Jim, when he was here. Where I would get caught up in the details of difficult situation, the rights and the wrongs of it and what I was feeling, he zeroed in on "What is the problem here?" Once I tried that approach, I found it much easier to deal with the actual reality. It sure simplified things.
    Elizabeth, I've been thinking about you and your trip back to the Heartland and am glad you can "discern '" more clearly since you moved to New York and regained a sense of yourself. Thanks for all the details - it makes it all the more readable. I once had a small house on the Sunshine Coast and would escape there for a few days when things got too bewildering. Just to meet with friends I'd gone to school with and walk the old trails and sit on the beach helped the dust settle.
    Cassie, I've forgotten, or maybe never knew, where you live in Australia. We who live in Vancouver feel part of the Pacific rim and have a special liking for Australian. I once rented a basement suite to three Australian girls in their early twenties who had come to work in B.C. for a year and really like them. They never complained or wanted things better and were good sports, I still keep in touch with them twenty years later. One of them is coming to Canada soon. She has found a surrogate mother here and so begins a new adventure.
    Charlotte, I always enjoy your posts. They are interesting and bright. I feel as if I were there with you.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2017
     
    Mary, how do you feel you're recovering?
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2017 edited
     
    Thanks for asking. I'm much, much better than I was pre-op. I see the surgeon tomorrow and hope to hear that even more improvement can be expected as tissues continue to heal. The hardest thing for me was to be incapacitated by pain and unable to go out. It helped to read the posts here - at least I felt I still part of a community. The problems I referred to in my previous post had more to do with getting food and medications in, keeping the house clean, and seeing to the laundry. I did hire care aides. They varied from poor to excellent and didn't always turn up. I cancelled them as soon as I could. No kitchen is being enough for two women.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2017
     
    Glad to read your update, Mary and that you are feeling somewhat better. What your son said is so apt, I am really going to try to apply that to my life, no more, dramas or analysing just, "what is the problem here!'' I am in country Australia, about 4 hours from Sydney so any time you need a bed...........
    Elizabeth, I was a bit worried that we may have said too much about your family situation and that you would be annoyed but we have been down the road with you for a long while now and feel that we have a right to speak out! None of our business of course but your welfare is our only concern so hope that you understand that. And it is really good to read that you love NY so much and that you are happy there.
  7.  
    One of my friend's sons said a similar concise thing, "I hear what you are saying but I don't understand why it is so important to you."

    So, yes, Mary75*, your son spoke a pearl of wisdom when he condensed it all to "What is the problem here?" I hope you have told him how golden his simplistic wisdom is.

    I, too, am glad to hear that you are doing much better. You are a trooper and definitely a problem solver which probably contributed to your relatively rapid recovery.
    • CommentAuthorMim
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2017
     
    Elizabeth, if you still have my email address, contact me. I am presuming you are here in the heartland, as you call it. Is this really it? Hmmmm.... By the way, supposed to have snow on Friday - aarrgghh!
    I do think DD was being a bit presumptuous. Mom does have a life of her own to live!

    Marche, I'm with you!

    I haven't posted much (or at all)...too much hanging over me to concentrate. Of course, Dan's situation is ALWAYS on my mind....what to do, what to do. I'm even dreaming about him, the most bizarre dreams. Of course, most dreams are rather bizarre, I guess. I've also had interior painting done & that was a nerve-wracking deal for me, getting everything taken down & emptied. How & why do we have so much crap??? Some things are not being put away or put back on the walls...time to donate or sell. I like the nice, fresh, clean look, but it looks a little naked to me yet. I plan on adjusting to it!

    I also need to look for a car - something I have never done on my own. Scares the heck out of me...well, mainly the expense. Fortunately, I have a couple of Dan's friends & my son to help me out while looking. What I really want is a brand new car, no mileage & free, but it must be dropped from Heaven right into my driveway. Think that's asking too much? :)
  8.  
    Of course it's going to snow on Friday...Murphy's Law. It's my fault...because I just had Goodyear take off my snow tires and put the regular tires back on. Sigh.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2017 edited
     
    Cassie, I'm still doing OK. Not pushing myself to do much. But yesterday my sister and her husband came out here from the other end of the state and when they finished​ their errand, we went out to lunch. Tomorrow I'm going out to dinner with my sister-in-law, who is also a widow. My strongest feeling now is release from stress. It's as though the stress is slowly leaking out of me. I'm still not relaxed but I am tired.

    On another thread, someone said I must have a lot of friends. I started thinking about this and realized that what I have is a network of old friends from different parts of my life. I met most of them when I was single and have known them for a very long time. I have a good friend in California who was my apartment roommate in the early 1970s, 4 friends in different parts of New England who I met at the university in the later '70s, 2 nearby friends who I met at work in the 1980s, and 2 who I know from local garden projects. I'm also quite friendly with my nextdoor neighbor, whose late husband and my husband hung around together. Looking at this list, I realize that none of these people were ever just "social friends'" - they are all people with whom I shared common experiences. I also have family - 1 sister nearby and 2 at the other end of the state and 2 sisters-in-law nearby (a fluke because my husband's family does not come from this area). Even with all these people, I'm often alone.

    Elizabeth, one thing I'm learning from your experience is that if I ever move to another area, it will be to a warmer climate!
  9.  
    Hello again,
    Why, oh why did I ever leave? Actually, I didn't leave...just overwhelmed by this long journey. No doubt, you all know what I mean! Our beloved golden, Gracie, died on
    March 16th. She was my husband's saving Grace and I believe they must have unfinish business. For some reason , it was the death of my beloved girl for me to feel anything! Perhaps it is the snowball becoming far too large for me to roll?

    I see so many new faces, and some old (not in age)! I had always found help here... Thank you! I hope to check in often!

    Ann

    Scott
    5/16/1947-11/10/2016

    dxd EOAD mid/late stage 2007
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2017
     
    Hello again Ann, sorry to read that you have lost your husband, it will take a long while to recover, from the trauma of dementia and the loss,so go forward at your own pace and treat yourself kindly. Gracie sounds like a lovely dog, I am so sorry that you have lost her too, our animals are such a meaningful part of our lives and she will leave a large gap in yours. Take care Ann, I wish you strength and peace.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2017 edited
     
    Wolf, I just re-read your post about those with low emotional intelligence, willful or for other unexplained reasons, and appreciated it once again.
    I think I posted that I had a married couple, both students, living in the basement apartment that my son usually stays in when he comes into Vancouver. They pay $250.00 month. My son asked the young man (about 30 years old and that my son helped raise) to “go up and visit my mother once a week and check that she is okay." Son said that if I had any problems to refer them to him.
    I’ve had several problems. I’ve seen the young man twice since they moved in in September. (Both times, in 5 minutes the wife called him back downstairs again.) They are consistently late with the rent. “I was busy with school.” ”I knew you weren’t feeling well, and I didn’t want to bother you.”
    The latest problem is that they leave all drapes pulled all day, so that no light or movement of air is happening in this basement apartment, which already has a tendency to be damp. I told son that there would be a problem with mold if the drapes weren’t left open in the daytime, that I already had had lung infections in December,and I wanted the drapes left open in the daytime. He said he’d speak to them. No problem for a week.
    Yesterday, one window left draped all day. Today, three windows left draped. Spoke to the woman myself. (She's majoring in Science and should know about mold.) Big problem. Said I was not being very friendly. Said I should ask her nicely. Said she forgot. I said I'm not letting you put my health in jeopardy, if it happens again, you’re out.
    Not well received. Argued. “You’re not very friendly” etc. etc. Repeat of earlier conversation.
    I told her you’re out at the end of the month. Went upstairs and wrote her a letter, giving her a month’s notice.
    My son phoned. Said he was driving down immediately. I said no, I've had enough aggravation from downstairs to last me a month. I don't want to talk about it. I just want to be quiet and rest.
    Not feeling good about it all day. Read your posting. Feel better. Thanks.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2017
     
    Mary, that post was as generic as it was specific. It applies to a situation I'm in right now just as well as it might to anyone else here. When I read it later it was clear I was trying to reach myself as well.

    As for those young people who sound a lot like young people, this is a valuable lesson that giving a little in what you say, how you say it, and how you manage yourself, can be the difference between feeling smug about yourself or having the experience of finding another place to rent in the GVA, moving all your stuff, and then starting over with the same lesson.

    What happens when you don't listen to your parents? They get annoyed but you get away with it. What happens when you don't listen to your boss? You're looking for a job. What happens when you ignore what you specifically agreed to and then act like you own the place? You're looking for another place and are moving.

    ...

    I put that up on this site because interpersonal dynamics change so much with this experience where society's stupidity in willfully not seeing how much more we can get out of our citizens and how much more their own lives can be managed, makes me want to throw up.

    There's an even more valuable lesson for ourselves than basic guidelines for seeing the rights and fairness of viewpoints in the room. I'm talking about the resolution mechanisms we develop post internal or external conflict.

    If we could accurately do a thought experiment comparing how various things washed off the duck's back when we were feeling our average, normal selves - and how various similar things wash of the duck's back now, we might likely have a more useful insight into what has changed within us - clinical damage from caregiving or not.

    When it was all happening, the bizarre behaviors of my friends and family I had long accepted as not worth bothering with and part of the landscape - morphed into hurtful behaviors and then into purposefully hateful behaviors and on into unforgivable things.

    If I sound off-hand, I felt such hurt I can do it no justice in words. The thing is I'm serious about all this and so I've also noticed that as the years are passing, much of that is morphing back to bizarre behaviors I've long known about and can accept again. I won't pretend I'm a long way down that road, but enough to be very clear about this.

    What was unforgivable in many cases has become unimportant where with some distance afterwards, I am beginning to see for the first time from the outside that force six hurricane that ripped through my trailer park, tore my life to shreds, and killed my Dianne. Until recently I didn't even know I had only ever seen it from inside it.

    The fact is that ninety percent of everything since her death is me and has nothing to do with the externalities of anyone or anything else. The direct experience feels like the opposite because space/time is so engrossing. The most constant experience in healing was pulling myself back from leaning too far over the railing shouting at something or peeling myself off the closet floor where I was trying to become a puddle. But the real work this whole time has been to change from the victim of hard things I truly was where nothing changed how it saw me - in every case I change and with that change how I see. Most every topic in that large bouquet takes months and years. The disease was the hardest but afterwards has been the most work. Maybe effort is a better word.

    To bring it back, in your case I do three things. I think about what it would be like if I let them behave like this around me longer given that these things have already happened. Next I remind myself that I own this and I have the right to be me, and I don't need endless reasons or justifications to make my own decisions. Last, I give myself the freedom to have the doubts and reactions for a while that come with conflicts knowing that's part of being a human being.

    I can also give you a duration. This is going to be upsetting until they're gone. Then quite rapidly that will go away with them. Don't engage their reactions. This is strictly that the renters feel they can do what they want including ignoring what they agreed to. And they can. Somewhere else.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2017
     
    Thanks, Wolf, as always. You're right in all you say. "That's all part of being a human being." I can do that.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2017
     
    Sorry that you are having these problems. Wolf has good advice. When the woman argued with you and called you rude she stepped out of a business relationship and approached it as a personal relationship. They should not have argued, and you should avoid any argument.

    Mary, are you charging enough for the basement apartment? When I lived in Vancouver in the early 1980s I am sure I paid $200/month just for a room in a shared house.

    For you next tenant I suggest having a lawyer draw up the rental agreement and include all the little things like leaving the drapes open. This can help in case they fight against eviction. You might need a lawyer if they don't show signs of moving. I am glad that your son is supportive of you.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2017 edited
     
    Paul, I don't plan to have any more tenants. These two weren't planned, but I was asked by my son to let them use the space he used when he came into Vancouver. It had originally been a granny suite for the first owner's mother and while spacious, it isn't fancy. My son said he would feel better if someone were in the house who could keep an eye on me. He said I must be lonely. I told him I liked living alone, and I wasn't lonely. He said it would be good for the student couple to be so close to the university. He suggested $250.00 as a real break for them, and it would help me pay for the utilities. He said he thought of them as family. I know he loves this young man (and his brother whom he also had helped raise). In retrospect, my big mistake was saying okay. He said he would take care of any problems with them. I think it was Myrtle who wrote once that mothers often try to please their children, and that's what I did, all right. When my son came here at Christmas, and stayed upstairs, I told him about the rent problem and the non-visitation. I said that if they moved out, I wouldn't miss them. Then I got sick and was out of commission from Christmas Day until about 10 days ago. That's when I discovered what was going on downstairs. I phoned my son about the mold problem, and I know he spoke to them about it. The rest you know.
    Rentals are scarce here in Vancouver and expensive. The couple will be probably looking at about $1500.00 a month for similar space and location - about 6 mins. from UBC - and would be lucky to find one. Now that I've written this all down, I see that I probably acted as fast as I could given the circumstances and feel little better about that. It would have been wiser if at the beginning to have trusted my instincts that I was better off on my own, and if I'd realized I'd already shot my bolt of energy and good-will fighting the Alzheimer's battle and if I'd said a loud firm "no" to my son.
    To forestall any problem with them re. eviction, I put in my letter of one month's notice of eviction that I would be now be making the apartment available exclusively to my own family. It's also the end of the university's school term when they would be leaving for the summer anyway. I would have held the apartment for them for their return if it had worked out better for me, but it didn't, and I won't.
    I think Wolf put it well when he said, "As for those young people who sound a lot like young people, this is a valuable lesson that giving a little in what you say, how you say it, and how you manage yourself, can be the difference between feeling smug about yourself or having the experience of finding another place to rent in the GVA, moving all your stuff, and then starting over with the same lesson."
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2017
     
    It's quiet yet some might be seeking. Here are some quotes from famous books:

    “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

    “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” – Jack Kerouac, On The Road

    “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”- Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
    ― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

    “’Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’” E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

    “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    “And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned to a pillar of salt. So it goes. People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

    “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” – J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

    “When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from a chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” – Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”- George Orwell, Animal Farm
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2017
     
    Thanks, Wolf.
    • CommentAuthorSass
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2017
     
    Wolf,
    I was/am having an especially hard day today. Got a call from the ALF that my husband, Doug, is not doing well and they are not sure why. His blood sugars are not way off, however, they are watching him closely and the dr will be having labs taken if he is not better tomorrow. They are trying to keep from sending him to the hospital since they know how traumatic that is for him. My 55th birthday is around the corner and I am just so unsure of where my life is going, is it going, or am I in limbo, which is where I feel I am stuck. I visited my DH and saw for myself how listless and unresponsive he was. I don't think he knows me anymore which makes me sad and heartbroken... as much as my logical self knew it was inevitable. So, I came here for some comfort, and I read your quotes. So many of them... and I was touched by the relevance on this particular day. Some favorites:
    "The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart"
    "Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living"
    “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
    “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
    "...Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2017
     
    Mary,

    Yes, no tenants if you don't want them. They didn't appreciate the great deal that you were giving them, especially this this was set up as an apartment and not simply as a room. When I moved to Vancouver in 1981 I saw the most ridiculous rooms, some weren't truly rooms at all, that were for rent for $200 and more because of the housing shortage. Since your son was motivated in helping out a friend, it is a good thing he is willing to help out now that the situation has gone south. I occasionally think of renting out my son's room room, but I really don't want anyone else in the house (plus my son moves back for the summer and holidays).

    Are you in walking distance of the beach (my first two homes in Vancouver were and I loved it)?
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2017 edited
     
    No, I'm not in walking distance, and it's about a 15-minute drive to Jericho Beach. The city has built some social housing at Lacarno Beach, just west of Jericho, and those renters are able to enjoy the beach just outside their homes. I live In Dunbar on the south slope of the Fraser River. From my husband's upstair's study window, you can see the Fraser River and the Gulf of Georgia and some of the Gulf Islands. He used to turn his desk chair away from the view to be able to concentrate on his writing.
    It's not fancy accommodation downstairs, but it is quiet and clean. It's about 1200 square feet in area: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen, living-dining room, utility room and garage. No, they didn't appreciate it. They took, but didn't give. I will be glad to be able to enjoy my home again when they're gone. I'm sorry for my son's sake, and all I can do is not talk to him about it, other than it's my decision. It would come across as criticism, and I know he has feelings for them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2017
     
    1200 sq ft is a lot of room. I think our largest house was about 1400. The motor home we have lived in the last 12+ years is 300.
  10.  
    What utter, clueless fools those young folks were, Mary. Your son may be feeling very disappointed in them and himself that this seemingly win/win situation did not work out.

    IT is worth remembering, too, that somewhere out there in Vancouver are young couples who are the complete antithesis of this one. Luck is in the draw of the cards and I am sorry for you and your son that this was a bum draw.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2017 edited
     
    The man is fine. It's the young woman. My son refers to as the "friendly dictator." She is attractive and winsome and used to getting her own way. I also feel sorry for the young man.
    Charlotte, it is a roomy space. I've had Jim's male friends stay there when they've been in town and never had a problem. In fact, it was always a pleasure to have them. They were respectful, interesting, fun to have around and helpful if anything needed to be done, and I didn't even have to ask.
    Marche, I'm not willing to take a chance again. Having tenants is difficult (I've rented in the past with two different properties). I've sometimes wondered if it's a tenant's normal reaction to a landlord. I know there are exceptions - I did have 3 Australians girls who were just great. Once they asked me if a friend, Lucus, could stay and use a spare bed I had in another part of that basement, and I said yes. No charge, but he turned out to be a slob, which disgusted them, and he was gone in a month. Maybe its' the freebie part of the deal (on Lucus's part) that makes him think it was okay, but I think he was just a natural slob. Just as I think that this young woman uses people. I remember a warning bell went off when she moved in and said to me, "And I can use your laundry [washer and dryer]." I said no. (It's upstairs on the main level, and there are laundry tubs in the basement and drying lines, or they could use the laundromat.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
     
    The last week has been interesting to say the least. Last Wednesday I had my yearly mammogram. It showed a spot in my right breast. Today had more pictures and ultrasound done. Biopsy scheduled for Friday. It will be sometime towards the end of next week before I find the results. Coming home it hit me- can't sleep on left side yet cause shoulder still hurts when doing it. Probably won't be able to sleep on right side after biopsy for a few days depending on how sore it is. I don't sleep on my back and sleeping on stomach would probably hurt to. Friday night I will find out how to best sleep.

    Had my 6 month shoulder post op checkup. Dr happy with how well I am doing. He does think the pain I have in the front of the shoulder is either tendinitis or a torn bicep. He said to layoff the behind the back stretching for a while to give it a rest. It cramps up when holding my kindle or even when I type here. He re-confirmed what I knew that it can take another 6 to 12 months for the pain/soreness to go away. Well, if the biopsy comes back positive then I will have more soreness to consider!

    I have not said anything to hb or anyone else. Wish I did have someone. I did say something to the lady that use to live here, the one that we take each other to doctor appointments. Was kind of bummed cause she didn't seem to care. Oh well. I will deal with it when I find out the biopsy results. If it is benign then nothing to be concerned about. With my luck though it probably will come back positive or questionable which would mean a surgery consult.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017 edited
     
    Charlotte, it's any comfort to you, I had the same thing. It turned out to be a benign cyst. I don't remember any pain or discomfort sleeping after the biopsy. I also have rotator cuffs injury, plus a tear in the right shoulder bursa (from the car accident a few years ago). Yes, it is challenge getting a good night's sleep. I'm sure you've tried all the usual remedies, so I won't repeat them. As per your doctor's advice to lay off the back-stretching for awhile to give it a rest, it is a good idea. The pain in front of the shoulder can be stubborn. The physio is working on opening up the chest and getting my shoulders back. She uses pressure on trigger points and massage to loosen up the tight muscles in the back. I have to limit my time on the computer and get up often. I've found the Australian physios to be the very best. Arms around.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
     
    Oh, Charlotte! You need this like a hole in the head. I am hoping that the biopsy comes back negative. I'll be thinking of you.
    • CommentAuthorMoon*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
     
    Charlotte,

    I was so sorry to read about your test results. You have been through so much, and certainly deserve some good news for a change.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope that all turns out well.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
     
    My thoughts are with you too, Charlotte. And I wish for you, the very best outcome.
    You are one of the "good ones" and it is time that things turned back your way.
    • CommentAuthorMim
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
     
    Charlotte, I hear you. Had my 3 month blood work & was called to go back for another draw. The "numbers" (the cancer marker, I guess) are beginning to elevate, which means now I get to have another CT scan. Lord, how much more....
    Dan has a PET scan coming up next week, to see if his bladder cancer has gone anywhere else. I don't think they are going to be able to do it, though as he cannot lie still, must be moving all the time, won't be able to understand instructions very well if at all. If it doesn't work out, it just doesn't work out. They will have been warned!!! I just can't see radiation treatments in his future...

    Now, I also seem to have termites!! Well, not me personally, but the house :). Have never, ever had pest problems, why now? Oh Lord, please no more, no more for a while.....I am not a sobbing type, but I've really, really cried in the last few days. Maybe it's good - cleansing, but it's ugly on me. NOT a pretty crier. Happy Spring?????
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2017
     
    Mim, good that the termites aren't on you! I send you the very best wishes, for stength to cope with all your health issues and peace to ease your troubled heart. A glass of wine would be good about now (as long as it isn't morning there!) And good luck with the termites.....