Friday, October 21, 2011

Doing My Best . . .

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. That expression "A mother is only as happy as her least happy child" is quite true, and I'm hurting for one of mine at the moment. Enough said, as privacy must be respected, but some things were so much easier when they were small.

And my mother is recovering at home from a surgery to remove some malignancies that cropped up since her surgery two or three years ago. While that earlier surgery was much more extensive, it was done by a robot through a very small incision, and she bounced back very quickly. This surgery involved a 6-inch incision through abdominal muscle, and she was sent home the same day, lowering the risk of infection, but challenging family resources. My siblings have been great, but I'm feeling guilty at not being able to do more. Living several hours away, with little flexibility during term to take time off, other than cancelling classes, I can only manage weekend visits, but those always carry a big marking load. As well, we try to visit our kids (and Nola!) when we're over and it's easy to get stretched far too thin, re-entering the work week exhausted. Not sustainable, and I've got a persistent facial twitch right now that's warning me to slow down.

But we're going to Vancouver today and I'll try to do a shift or two at mom's. I'm hoping I'll be able to do some marking while I'm there, 'cause that pile is not going to mark itself before Monday, sadly. If I weren't feeling so stressed, I'd tell you some good things about how well my poetry class has been going. And I'd tell you that we're heading to the Vancouver Opera's season opener, West Side Story, which I know doesn't qualify as everyone's idea of opera but will probably put plenty of "bums in seats" thus keeping the VOA's financial books healthy enough to stage the rest of the season. Having caught the occasional episode of Glee recently, I'm quite keen to hear Bernstein's music sung, excited to see what the set looks like, and ready to savour the costume details and be caught up in the drama. A welcome distraction.

The apples in the tree above caught my eye on the way to work last week. As far as I can tell, the tree is a heritage tree that's been absorbed into the waterfront park landscaping. I imagine that deer and raccoons are happy to scoop up the windfall apples when they get a chance. In the fall sunshine, they gleam brightly . . .  premature Christmas ornaments. Grab happiness when you find it, even if it's in these small but joyful pulses, right?


  1. There's a lot of beauty in the Fall colour surrounding us...perhaps a little bit of joy will spring out of nowhere and give you a much deserved moment of respite from your troubles.

  2. I'm sorry one of your children has you worrying, that's always hard, and your Mom's recovery situation sounds like a difficult one for all concerned. What a loving family you have!

    Take care of yourself Mater. I hope you have time to rest and catch up this weekend.

  3. You really are being stretched in many directions. I hope that your mum is at least comfortable. Please take care of yourself too - enjoy your night out at the opera.

  4. Oh, dear. I wish your mother a very swift recovery, and I hope that the worries for your child and you dissipate soon. Do take care of yourself and enjoy the opera.

  5. Sorry about the troubles in the family. It's funny about elderly parents. My mom has had a hip replacement and cataract surgery and she's just fine. But what's giving her the worst time is her arthritic shoulder, and of course they can't do anything about that.

    I love West Side Story. It's marvelous music and SHOULD be part of every opera company's repertory.

  6. I think all of us who have kids have gone through what you are... It was so easy to soothe away hurts and take care of them when little... Not so much now..I also sympathize with the stress of being drawn between the generations! Elderly parents can be exhausting too not of their own accord, but that's just how it works out..
    Hope you get to rest and recover! I find my grand baby cheers me up so much... Best to you:) coco

  7. That's a lot of stuff to manage - I hope that everyone is well and happy again soon. And take care as best you can. Your body is telling you you need to do your best to slow down (even while everything around you conspires otherwises). xo

  8. Just what everyone says. You have a lot on your proverbial plate. Please take care. I hope the other siblings jump in, if there's anything they can do.

  9. Like everyone else, I hope the worries and troubles dissipate and that you find some time for yourself.

  10. I know you have demonstrated so long and lovingly. So hope that things go uphill steadily for your mother, and for your child.

  11. Sorry, the first part of the sentence was cut off and it's the most important: "Family first,..."

  12. Hostess: Yes, Nola and I were observing the "splendid" (her new word) fall colours. Worth smiling!
    Susan T: I am very lucky in my loving family, you're so right.
    Patricia: Thanks, mom's recovering well, altho' she needs to walk less, rest more!
    Raquelita: thanks so much -- the opera was a great escape.
    Aunt Snow: I'll admit to some skepticism about WSS as opera production but it lived up to billing v. well. We had a great night!
    Coco: Exactly right -- and those tugs in different generational directions are v. nicely balanced by the charming chatter of our little granddaughter.

  13. Kristin: I've learned that I ignore my persistent little twitches at my peril. Can't do the superwoman thing for any time at all. Must. Nap! Happily, the weekend has given me that chance and has balanced stresses with joys. Thanks for your encouragement.
    Lisa: See above to K -- and my siblings are fabulous. They do so much more than I do, week in and week in, while I'm only able to pop in periodically.
    Tiffany: Thanks so much. All this blog support means so much.
    Duchesse: She's rallying well -- of course, part of the stress/pain in this round is knowing that the trajectory inevitably will wander downhill. . . But then again, that does help focus on the Family First.

  14. Oh, I'm so sorry this is hitting you all at once. Life seems to have a penchant for doing that to us...


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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