July Diary: Week Three

Saturday, July 14:  My bags are packed...I'm ready to go...Already I'm so lonesome I could cry....

True words, even if they are lyrics to one of the first songs I remember hearing on the pop stations as a child.  I am off tomorrow afternoon to Kingsland to attend to the three grandchildren there, leaving John home because he must go back to work before I return.   Leaving John home to the care of Bess and Sam and wondering how on earth he shall manage.  With me at home, it's rather easy for him to be obtuse to his surroundings and the things going on about him.  He kind of leans on me to fill him in on things he's missed in conversations and to tend to household things and such.  It's going to be a bit of a shock to his system I think, to see the difference in how the house is run with a different woman at the helm.

As for me....It's going to be difficult to be so far away from home and I don't mind telling you I'm uncertain of what I'll find.

So far, just a little anxiety.  It's a long drive but familiar.  Only the last 50 miles or so are interstate.  But it's a LONG drive.  One I don't like making alone.  And this time I can't stop at Sam and Bess' house which was halfway between and made a nice stopping place.   I'll have to drive straight through.

I rested as much as  I could today.  Rested and watched the boys only a short while on my own.  Isaac is at that stage where he thinks he's almost as big as Josh.  He watches him hard and then tries to mimic him.  He's pushing himself to hurry up and learn to do what Josh does.

I haven't told either of them that I won't be here for the next few days but they must sense it.  Josh climbed into my lap after his nap this afternoon and stayed there a good half hour.   Later Isaac came running to me and allowed me to cuddle him and rock him.  I sang to him the old church hymnal songs I sang to his daddy when he was an infant, the Hebrew songs I came to know and love when we attended the Messianic congregations.  Isaac sang with me.  It's moments like this I shall miss when they are in their own home.  It's moments like this I cherish.

But I won't miss the morning 'herd' running through the house shaking me awake.  I won't miss the meal time meltdowns or the yucky diapers.   I won't miss the wild child screams.  Some things just belong to parents alone, I think. 

My plans for Kingsland are simple enough.  Arrive.  Leave as soon as possible.  Cope as best I can while I'm there.  The children will be a bit easier.  They aren't toddlers.  They eat everything in front of them without question or fuss.  It's the state of the household  I  don't really know.  Will there be food in the house?  Will the sheets be clean on the bed meant for me?  Those are my questions.  

I mean to be the cook, if there's anything to cook...because Jd isn't much of a cook and I like to eat too well to suffer through.   He'll be home each day by 1pm...and I am hopeful of having a room to go off to for a bit and be alone.  I carefully chose reading material.  I'm leaving the computer at home.

Tomorrow will be hectic.  Getting up early enough to dress for church and finish my packing (makeup, toothbrush, coffee, canned milk).  After church we'll have lunch out and then go somewhere to buy Daniel a birthday card.  Might as well deliver it early as to mail it late.  And then I will kiss this lovely man of mine goodbye and drive off for my long journey.  

Wednesday can't come soon enough...

Friday, July 20:   Not much time to chronicle the week just past.  The boys are up.  Bess may leave here in three hours to go to a doctor's appointment.  I've seen John off to work and need to do a bit of straightening in my room.  And yet there is much I'd like to share and some things I long to say but won't because they might prove hurtful to others but suffice it to say that this week was a real mixture of blessing and hurt!

I arrived safely Sunday after a long drive and declined my son's offer to 'make a quick Walmart run'.  I felt after a five hour drive going into Walmart and purchasing a few groceries was not my idea of the way to end said long drive.  I should have taken him up on the offer as I found the house lacking in anything much beyond highly processed foods.  I decided Monday morning I'd just scrabble together meals as I might with what was on hand but by Wednesday I felt like I'd spent a week eating the worst sort of junk.  I didn't lose control over my blood sugar but it really pointed up to me how differently each family eats.  We're accustomed to salad on the table most nights.  We eat fresh foods, whole grains.   There was canned soup, sweetened cereals, canned cinnamon rolls and biscuits, frozen pizza and chicken nuggets, boxed mac n cheese with a supply of soda, powdered drink mixes and 'juice' which was just highly sweetened more expensive powdered drink mix really.  Ugh.  

Keeping the three children was no trouble at all as they all have Kindles and spent their entire day playing games together on them.  Occasionally one of the twins would come sit beside me and play but mostly the three stuck together like glue and put down Kindles grudgingly to get dressed or have a meal.  We did have some interesting dinner time conversations so there was that at least and I was a little impressed with the knowledge that the games they were playing interested them in various points of history or some other area of learning and that brought dinner conversations up a notch.  I say sincerely they are very bright children overall.

They were not phased particularly by the idea of the new baby, though Hailey expressed some grievances over having to share her closet with the baby's things and that the bulk of the baby's clothes were formerly hers, lol.  The boys were totally lacking interest but I expect the new sister will be a great shock to them as well.

I had plenty of quiet time and a place to go off and shut the door and did not have a single anxiety attack all the time I was gone.  I spent a lot of time writing in my journal, reading and only a little time clearing up behind the children.  They've been well trained to fold and put away their own clothes when they are washed and to clear the table behind themselves, etc.  I needed only to prepare meals and sweep floors and since for me, writing is thinking, I found myself starting to plan the things I would do to the house and yard, something I haven't done in months.  I also worked out that a great deal of my anxiety seems to be triggered by repressed anger at the situations I have little control over.  I found much solace in my writings and in reading and felt relaxed for the first time in many months.

John and I had talked only a little while I was gone.  He made it clear I was missed and I made it clear he was missed and we privately and quietly discussed households and agreed that we are thoroughly ready for this season in our lives to be finished.  

As I drove home on Wednesday, through stormy rains and sunny dry patches, I thought a great deal about forgiveness and seasons and I felt this season would soon be at an end.  Just as I am already seeing signs that summer is passing with golden rod standing high (not blooming yet) and leaves turning yellow and drifting from the trees, I realized that winter was not so very long this year but Spring was and there are so many days allotted to each season and that summer would have to end and fall come once more.  It is already on its way, even if it's not immediately visible to the eye.

At home I found Isaac screeching in misery with molar teething and Josh delighted that I was back home once more.  His cry of "Mama, Gramma is here!  Isn't she pretty?!"  made my heart sing.  The sight of the green salad Sam placed in front of my plate made me want to weep for the sheer beauty of it, lol.  The house was neat enough, kept about as well as it has been over the past months and maybe just slightly nicer.  But the atmosphere was heavy and stormy inside though I couldn't place my finger on why.  Bess claimed she felt unwell, Isaac crying, Sam grim, John morose due to being overtired from his shift the night before.  Josh was the only truly happy one in the house.  I felt my tiredness begin to weigh very heavily upon me.

Well all good things must come to an end right?  And so must the bad and the mixed days and seasons.  A well meant conversation went south very quickly on Thursday evening and the end result was anger, tears and an absolute declaration that the family will move into their own home by end of the month living portion of the house finished or no.  No amount of trying to speak calmly would right the situation and oddly in the end, we two women and the two men understood one another better than we any of us could understand the other point of view.

 Is it time for the family to go?  Yes, yes it is.  I felt it as surely as I knew I'd be called to Kingsland over a month ago, long before the call came.  Did I want it to end being stormy and angst filled with hurtful things said?  No.  But there you are.  There's a great deal happening over the next two weeks in the house across the field to ready it for living, Josh starting to school on Monday, Bess starting her new job that day as well, a shift in schedules, a move, and the process of resettling our own home and beginning many of those much thought of projects that have been postponed.  And in the meantime we must go on as civil as we can be to one another and do the best we can to carry on.  This too shall pass, as all things do and the world will right itself to suit the changes soon enough, but it's very telling that yesterday I had my first panic attack and that before the poorly received conversation began.

And so ends this week's diary.  Blessings to all.


Becky Gepford said...

It is much better for the kids to move into their own house while you can still maintain a good relationship. It's so hard with grown kids--they want to live the way they want to, and so do you--and both of you have the right to do so. I hope you can all grit it out, and be open in your communication so that later on, you can all look back and say, "it was hard, but we made it" and enjoy lots of good time together at family gatherings.

I'm so glad it went well with your other grandkids. I'm sure they and their parents really appreciated your time spent with them. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and I know it's harder for you to give them theirs as you live at a distance. Was the new baby sister born? Or just coming along one of these days? Either way, it sounds like you are going to have a new little grand-daughter. Congratulations!

Lana said...

I am so glad you can see the end in sight now. Really they should have thought of how to make do in their own home by now, I think. Hold them to their declaration! We have talked of downsizing to a house that needs renovation and living in one or two rooms ourselves and that is how it should be if we decide to go that route. A blow-up is unfortunate but sometimes it clears the air. I had a huge one with a DIL several years ago and our relationship improved immensely. (But in truth, her parents moved to their street a few years ago and I think they have just told her that it is time to grow up.) And I am with you on eating at the kids houses. I just feel ill by the time I leave without my daily greens. I always try to arrive with a bag of apples to snack on and that helps to at least eat some raw food every day. Hugs! You are going to make it!

Kathy said...

I'm glad that you are safely home, and I'm glad that you were able to have a little rest with the other grandchildren.
So sorry about the blowup, but perhaps it will work out for the best. I think most of us have lived in fixer upper houses at one time or another, which we improved when we have funds and time. We did the best that we could.
I hope that you still have some of your vacation fund left and I hope that John has some vacation days to use so that you can get away for a bit.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to read you got a bit of a break, even though it had its own stresses, being away from home. And... well, a few posts back you wrote about how your family wasn’t able to pay rent that month due to unforeseen things... well, welcome to the world. What would they have done if they weren’t living with you? It just struck me as unfair to you and your husband. I know you probably aren’t even giving that one another thought, but that story got me thinking. All in all I’m glad the time has come. I look forward to having the “old” Teri back- by that, I mean that I hope your anxiety is quelled and you return to whatever your “normal” is :-) all the best! Rina

Carolyn @ Our Gilded Abode said...

So happy for you that you had a change of scenery and a chance to see your other grandchildren. How refreshing that they were a little more self sufficient and you had a bit of free time to recharge. That light at the end of the tunnel is in sight!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,
I have read your last writing three times now. I have been praying for you and John and the family. I remember many years ago my husband's job closed and after sometime we moved into my parents 2 bedroom home with 2 junior high kids and a dog. We worked hard to get out as soon as possible. My parents were loving and gracious( as I believe you have been, none of us are perfect) and it worked well but you just know when you need to go and thankfully for us we saw it before mom and dad. I am believing for healing for you all and that it will work out well. I also wanted to thank you for sharing about your anxiety. I had it many years ago when my kids were babies. But within the last couple of years I have felt some anxiousness when driving and in certain situations but I did not recognize it as anxiety until after reading your post. It was coming in a different way then all those years ago so i did not see it for what it was. I recognize that it would have been a hard thing to right about I am thankful for your help. Oh and why have I read the same writing 3 times? Because I find your sharing and writing very comforting. It is thoughtful, peaceful, encouraging and challenges me in many good things. Blessings, deep blessings from our precious Elohim over you and yours. Jennifer from Ohio

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