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Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas with Rich's Mom

Good morning. This is me… We’re getting a late start because its already 8 am. I wasn’t too with it the last couple days, we find ourselves writing Linda and then in the playing around stage afterward, we’ve been falling asleep. This time though after nodding off for a few moments we met up with Linda in an IM and now Rich is up so we chatted for a few moments. He’s in-between and we’re in-between each other and each of us on our own computers. It’s that stage where if someone says something you wait and hear the other out. Right now he is talking to his brother and letting him know that he appreciated all the work that Mark went through in cooking yesterday. That was a nice thing.

We did go to Rich’s mother’s … it was sort of the same in that there was a fair amount of screaming. Rich’s Mom is in the middle of it and particularly it’s thick between her and Bud and her and Mark. I know this is a form of communication that is a norm for them, but it is still difficult to hear. I was a comfortable size in that there were Mom and Bud, Rich and me, Jill and Jon, and then Mark and one of the folks very good neighbors Jeff. Bob and Marcia were supposed to go, but they stayed home and created an apartment party instead and then Mark’s two daughter’s and Crystal’s son was supposed to be there, but Crystal had to work until late and Brandy wasn’t up to it.

We came in a little earlier in that Rich thought dinner was going to be at noon when we were expected, and so when the kids were late – after 1 pm, Rich asked the dinner be pushed back, but Mark had thought the dinner was at 2 pm so it was pushed back to 3 … so in-between 1-3 there was more preparation for the party things going on. It worked out ok.

Mom was in a cranky mood when we got there. I walked in while Rich was still getting things out of the car. She was at the table in her Pjs and Mark was there rolling out the orduerves, Jeff was new to me, but was at the back end and Bud was sitting in the main rocker. They were all testy and there were comments made as to bringing things in and I said we were just helping Rich and then there were comments negative on him and it was noooo it’s not like that … he just had a lot to be bringing in … and it went on from there. I walked out of round one kind of stunned. When I got my next handful from Rich I said those people in there are being mean. He seemed to have expected it, but they were still doing it the next time so I slowed down. I went as far as the door and I got something for Rich, but I went out to the outdoor room instead of going into the party.

I made sure Rich knew his mom wasn’t dressed yet even if it was after 1 pm.

So Rich and us finished bringing in stuff and then we both sat outside in the sunroom. It felt like it was tiring all ready. When Bud came by to ask why we weren’t coming in I explained that Mom was in a very slow process of getting up and since she had a walker and the space was small we were waiting to go in until after she passed through the hallway. That got interpreted from Bud back to Mom that Rich and Ann were refusing to come in because she wasn’t dressed. *Yeeks!*

I think it took Mom about an hour to get dressed and there was some more arguing back in that area. It did give me a chance to talk with Jeff and get to know him. He was a real nice guy. After a while Jill and Jon came in so it was Jill that helped her grandma finish up. Jill and Jon seemed positive. Especially Jill called her grandma when the granma was pushing boundaries. Jill seemed to hold her Grandma to proper boundaries though it seemed that Mom was drinking. Mark complained later she was up and down all night.

I think the situation got better though in that after Mom was comfortable and had happier people around her she started to brighten up and become more talkative. I didn't like that Mom was riding over a conversation Jillian was having, but Jillian knew how to handle that too. It would have been much better if Mom were a better listener, but her grandaughter understands her.

I’ve been talking to Rich again about the experiences of yesterday. I think he was feeling more nostalgic, so we mostly just listened. But, there was one other thing I wanted to note about yesterday and that was the situation with Jon.

When I had come in I took the chair in the back of the dining room closest to the window, but then when Rich’s Mom got out of the bedroom she was seated next to me, which is generally the situation in that I usually listen to mom and fill her in on things that she is missing. I don’t think about it normally, but that’s been an accepted role. But, then when I got up to use the bathroom, I had noticed that Jon had taken my seat so I sat down a couple chairs away. I changed chairs twice at the dining table and four different chairs in the living room until I found myself sitting with Rich's brother Mark. That was different, but I had felt bad that I hadn't recognized that I might be invading John's opportunity to sit with his Granma. Naturally he didn't say anything, but there was a lesson learned there in ettiquete.

It was the right thing to do, but on the side of feeling so much less important it was still hard. But, then if that’s the way I felt maybe the kids were feeling it too … Basically the farthest from Granma IS the farthest from the center of the room. This should be a lesson learned. I am glad that I got a few moments in-between things to spend some time with Mark and before Jeff … Just it was different. It was hard to feel heard so far away from the action.

I think its natural when we are there normally in that Mark’s kids sit in the corner with him and when Buds kids are there they are liable to spend more time away from Mom, so I make it my part to always give her someone like me who will listen to her. It think now something positive could be said in that Jon if not for his own opportunity to be with his granma, but also for his granma that he be her wingman … well it was just a real nice thing for him to do. I took that gesture earnestly. Again I didn’t like the feeling of being out of the loop,” but in respecting their space, I’m glad it happened without much adieu. They deserve every second with her they can get, and she the same.

So that was pretty much it of it. Gifts were exchanged and everyone got nice things. I think even though there was yelling particularly at the beginning it got better and people will remember more of the good stuff than the bad. There was one part in that Mark tried so hard to get his girls their in time to spend some moments with their cousins, but there was really enough going on that that would be something better put off until there was a better time frame for all. The kids wanted to get on with the evening and they would had to commit to a much longer time frame to get the other visit in. They really were there to see their granma more than anyone else. And, that has to be honored, just like Mark’s girls got time with their granma the night before.

We managed to stay up with Rich the whole time back to the place, but the trip didn’t seem so long. Rich was in the forward car to get Jon and Jill somewhere they needed to be, so I could tell for that period of time he stayed in a quiet tense mode. He was worrying about Jillian – not that she was a bad driver hehhe although she DID go through a red light! Poor Rich wasn’t having such a good time with that though, maybe not Jon either. I can see though how it happened. Anyway … after Rich could step back a bit … he seemed to relax and talk more. It seemed a good conversation. I think it’s normal for people to sorta de-brief after events such as this. I’m sure Rich’s Mom and hers, and Jill and Jon were doing the same thing.

When we got home, Rich needed some chill time. I think we talked a little to finish our conversation, but then I remember Bob calling and maybe Doug?

I don’t know I had taken medicine as soon as I got back and I got very tired and fell asleep on the couch. I don’t know what time it was when Rich woke us up to go to bed. I don’t think we gave him any trouble. I’m pretty sure before Rich got back into bed we were sound asleep. And that brings us up full circle as to the day.

There was one extra exciting bit of information … well maybe two things. We connected to Linda via the phone on the way back and she had communicated that Tony had gotten her a computer for Christmas. Man-o-man I couldn’t be more excited. We wrote a note to her after getting up and then we talked to her in an IM before Rich woke up. She’s really starting new so we’ll be very patient in helping her out. I’m so excited that she got the computer, I think she’s going to learn yards and yards of stuff. This morning we gave her the link to get to the Quilting Bloggers. There is a group of like 4700 quilters that all blog. I told her she should blog and join the group and she’d never spend a lonely day!

This was prefaced of course by her statement, now that she had a computer, she really didn’t know what to do with it other than Facebook. You can tell she’s at the very beginning, but I think her own natural curiosity is going to pull her up to the game! So excited.

The other part of excitement was that she agree that we could come to her house tomorrow. I had written to her before the party about coming on Tuesday and hoping that she’d help me with the zippers in Joe’s tabard. I’m soooo happy about that. I’m sure there will be enough Christmas chat for all along with us both getting something done on the sewing machines. Now that I know where she lives … 1 ½ hours seems like nothing. I’m thinking we’ll plan on leaving here at 6:30 A.M. and leaving her place before dinner at 4 P.M. Rich is planning on bringing Jon back so he’s going to get home about 7 P.M so then maybe we can have him bring up the sewing machine. It’s easier to take downstairs than up. That also means that I have to be getting along pretty soon here if I’m going to finish or get mostly the way through with Isa’s wall hanging. I did ask Linda if we could get one more thread catcher for Cari. I was looking for something special and I think she’ll like it because she can use it with her yarn trimmings. WooHOO!

Then all Christmas shopping will be done. Still waiting on Thom … don’t know if I will have anything left, but I’ll find another hundred if he’d like anything while he was in. Rich is going to owe me his $600 soon, so that should cover if Thom will accept a gift. I had asked Rich to pay early rent and my car from my money so I wouldn’t pre-spend it. I would be brave to look in my checking account, but we’re not ready to do that much quite yet.

Rich is back in the room and he’s turned on some Christmas music. It’s been so long since we used the sewing room we’re sorta looking forward to getting back there. I can imagine we might even turn on CNN … it’s been a long time since we did that too. It’s hard though in that we’d gotten the piano keyboard and the computer keyboard and we have to leave the living room to get past all that, but if we’re not here … those things just sit begging for us to come back. So much to do … BUT! It’s Christmas and first come first … lets finish those gifts, right?!


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