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Still here and still taking one day at a time….

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Hello there.

Sorry I’ve been missing in action for the last month. How can it have been that long? Oh well, I’m here now and I guess that’s what counts….

So where are we? No sewing, no knitting, precious little housekeeping or cooking, general neglect of 16 year old son (who anyway seems to prefer it this way)….

I’ve been super busy. Trying to take one day at a time to make it all less overwhelming.

Work is well, work, busy and understaffed, but at least I like the people I work with and the work itself is interesting, even if there is too much of it. I could quite fancy a bit of boring same old, same old, but year-end is the end of March, so that is unlikely to happen….

On the life front I have been progressing. A flat has been found – in the retirement development I mentioned last time. It is lovely. Mother has – much against her better judgment – signed the contract and carpets and light fittings, fire and fireplace have been ordered. Curtains and wallpaper are still pending…. There is less refusal to move, but no enthusiasm either. More a miserable acceptance. My decision was reinforced by the fact that Audrey the neighbour who was keeping a magical eye and who would by osmosis know if mother had fallen down the stairs (which I rather doubted anyway) has herself gone to meet her maker. So the back up plan, which was dubious at best, is now gone and mother really is on her own.

I tried very hard to get some ‘buy in’ (nice technical term) from mother – but dear husband told me to please stop this as she was not capable of making a decision to move out of the house she’s been in since the 50s as she was unable to see that there was anything wrong, and that I had to man up and make the decision that needed to be made. It helped to be told that it would be downright irresponsible not to make the decision. So there we are. Decision made. No going back now. I know its for the best and think, just maybe, mum will think that too once she has settled in and made some friends.

The same (saintly) husband accompanied me on our latest visit – which was very good for his ego and very bad for mine. We are sorting through papers going back to the 70’s, stashed randomly in piles, and trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. He was praised to the heavens for being wonderfully helpful. Somewhat different to the treatment I received three weeks earlier doing the same job. Nonetheless we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Rather unfortunately, as we are planning to put the house on the market, the house deeds are nowhere to be found….I am banking on the fact that there must be a workaround to this as we can’t be the first people who have been in this situation. (Really I am just trying not to think about it and hoping the solicitor – who is a gem – will save our bacon).

So we have a moving date range, have seen the movers and are getting on for good to go.

The next task will be to clear the house. I am trying not to think about this. My (delightful – NOT) brother will be visiting from Canada during the appropriate time period. He told mother last month that he would clear the house, but has subsequently told me that his total contribution to the proceedings will be to take mother on a couple of day trips. Unless he is dying of some terrible incapacitating disease that I know nothing about I find this a good bit less than his fair share. He has now stopped replying to my emails and I have steam coming out of my ears every time I think about it.

Any solutions to this little conundrum on a postcard please. I will give the crown jewels to anyone who can solve this one for me!


11 Responses to “Still here and still taking one day at a time….”

  1. Joy O'Donnell Says:

    Hi Helen,
    No solution, just fellow feeling. Another “evil” sister told me it took her about 3 years to cool down and feel like she had a brother she wanted to talk to again. I’ve just passed year one and, meh, a bit better. I’ll be watching this space for the solution and to see who wins the jewels.

  2. Allora Says:

    OH Helen, You have my prayers, sympathy and knowledge that this time will pass. It was at this time in my own life that I discovered that being an only child was not such a bad thing. I was in charge and had no meddling from far away relatives that were clueless about daily life with my parents. We did not have the money to have one in a nursing home and one in assisted living. They moved in with us……….It was the LAST thing that my Mom wanted to do and she passed away in three months. My Dad had Alzheimer’s disease and I took care of him for seven years. I also had a ten year old and an eleven year old at the beginning of this odyssey.

    It may seem harsh but your brother needs to get with the program or go back to Canada. “Either lead, follow or get out of the way.” If there are friends, church members or those people that you can hire to clean out and prep the house for sale. Use them. I currently live in my deceased in-law’s house along with three generations of “treasures” that my children don’t want any of. I won’t go into my brother and sister-in-law. We’ve been waiting for FOUR years for them to come with a truck and take what they want from a list which was given to us a couple of weeks after my father-in-law passed. In other words, I live in an enormous storage bin.

    Thank you, Helen, I needed to expound and now you know that you are not alone. There are zillions of us out here going through or have gone through the same thing.

    Be well,


  3. Carol Wilkie Says:

    I feel for you. I was an only child and did not have your particular problem but friends have and are having this. So unfair of your brother. You will just have to do your best for your mum so you can sleep at night. You and your family are in my prayers,

  4. Leanne Says:

    I would keep the saintly and smart husband at hand while clearing house – ie. on the scene – as he seems to work the charm on your mom. If possible hire helpers, do not waste energy on deadbeat brother. Keep smiling, once this is done you are going to feel so much better.

  5. Thimbleanna Says:

    Ah, isn’t it fun? I’m going to agree with Leanne — don’t waste any energy on brother — there’s too much to do. Just carry on, get it all done, and in the end, you’ll find a way to find the balance between the two of you. I have the same problems with my sister (and she probably feels the same way about me) — all you can do is do your best. Good Luck — I hope you’ll be so busy that the time will pass quickly for you!

  6. Julie Says:

    I have brother issues too, blech. You are a good daughter, good wife and mother, and also an employee anyone would be blessed to have. I send a hug and my prayers for you and all you love today, dear Helen. xoxo

  7. Beth P Says:

    Alas, I too have no solution(s). Having been blessed to be an only child I don’t understand the whole brother sister thing except it seems I was lucky to escape it! kidding, well slightly… It is one of those things I think you just have to let go of and say to him, you want to be my brother then act like it, if not keep on being the way you are and no problem! Sorry, I am one of those cut to the chase types… life is way too short to get bogged down in someone elses issues even if they are family. We all know there is no shortage of goobers out there, including various family members. Perhaps these siblings are put into our lives to teach us how to let go?!
    Hugs my friend and keep moving forward… you will make it!!!
    Beth P

  8. Vreni Says:

    Oh dear, I feel for you. Although we are a step ahead of you I know how difficult “old parents” can be. Reading about your brother, I wonder if it’s a blessing in disguise not having any siblings. At least I know it’s only me. We are also in the process of sorting out mum’s house which is filled with 50 plus years of stuff. In a way it would be easier just to get rid of the lot! Best of luck with everything. I’m sure once your mum has made the move, she’ll love to have more people around her.

  9. Diane stanley Says:

    Oh my gosh my brother is the same way about my mom. He is completely blind to her needs. Your mom will be safe and for that you can be thankful. Sorry it is so stressful for you. Sending you a huge hug.

  10. Lush Says:

    You are doing the right thing. You should be proud that you care.
    Hang in there.
    Lush x

  11. Shelley Mason Says:

    I really sympathise, Helen. We are in a similar situation and it feels so hard but I’m sure you’re doing the right thing, difficult though it feels. Chin up, chick, and keep going. Love the rag rug, by the way! xx