103 thoughts on “The Heavy Lift”

  1. At least they’re lifting with their knees.
    We likewise have a few. Nothing to share. None of them funny, at least not until we can look back at them from a distance. The makings of a really boring movie.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am with you wessew! Accepting that we now live in Trumpistan is a heavy emotional lift for me. To make it funny I am watching Seth Myers, Samantha Bee and Steven Colbert. I think the comedy potential for this is much higher than Obama provided.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. At the gym on stationary bike. I looked up to see on the tv screen Donald Trump at the prayer service, trying to look pious. The cognitive dissonance is killing me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I watched that. His body language was screaming, “Get me outta here!”
        It was rather comical to also see him attempt to stretch out his legs to the padded kneeling rail in front of him. He did get a foot on it but quickly removed it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pathos, can we go for pathos and not humor, or at least bathos?
    Some of you may remember that my brother divorced himself from his family eight years ago. Yesterday I received a letter from him, first communication in those eight years. He has moved to be near his daughter and wanted us to have his new address. Then he added that his son divorced himself from his father and from his sister. His son has spoken to neither of them in four years and refuses contact.
    Trying to decide how to decode this: apology, pure irony, more of a sneer at Cleo and I? Does he see the irony and if so what is the subtext to me? Do I have the energy to try to build the bridge? He is a heavy load to lift.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clyde, are you asking for comments about what you could say to your brother? From what you say it seems that relations between the two of you are somewhat ambiguous and unpleasant. Yet he reached out to you, it seems. Wouldn’t you want to encourage what could have been a positive gesture? Maybe a short note from you thanking him would keep open the possibility that he wants to fix something that is broken.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Pathos is acceptable. Having binge-watched the entire Nashville series (TV show) while in AZ, I have had a belly full of pathos and I am ready for a hearty laugh at life at this point.

      Nashville has great musicians and music on the show. T-Bone Burnett produces it and curates the music. Best music I have found since I stumbled upon PHC those many years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. i vote reply… thank him for reaching out and offer condolences that his son has bailed. remind him he is a bit of a heavy load but that you are ready to try when and if he is.
      thanks for including us clyde.
      i have a sister and now a brother who have bailed. i hear form my brother only when and if he needs something from me and i ask that my sisters name not be mentioned in my presence. it only sours the moment. i believe i have 3 sets of family i ask not to be brought up at family gatherings. my sister, my x and my mothers family. other than that family is a wonderful thing. my own children make up for my disfunctional bloodlien further up. my children all are best friends with each other. my sibs and i never were.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You and Steve are correct. I should reply. But if I said any of the things you suggest, he would go around the bend on me again. He suffers from true paranoia. I wonder if his daughter can get him to accept help.

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        1. The more touchy he is about these things, the shorter your letter should be. If you say too much he will find fault. But you want to reciprocate the gesture.

          That’s just what I’d do. I don’t pretend to know what will work.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    The heavy lift in my life right now is seeing my mom failing so rapidly. She is 88 now, and hardly the person she was in the earlier stages of her life when she was energetic and active. Now she alternately sit, sleeps, and plays Uno or Rummicub with us when we visit. She does not even talk much.

    In the past it was Scrabble, at which she never lost. Our first clue 10 years ago that something might be wrong was the day she lost a Scrabble game to my son’s girlfriend. This had not happened before!

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    1. My mother never lost her skill at Scrabble. She just quit playing, seemed confused we thought she would want to. First big sign was when she quit following the Twins. But until the very end she was at peace for the first time in her life.

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      1. Yeah, the day I sat across the table from my sainted aunt at Perkins and she said, “you have a brother, don’t you?” Was the day I called my cousin in Seattle and told her something needed to change (my aunt was living in her own senior’s apt, no services provided).

        For the record, I answered her question. I have two brothers and told her their names. Then I said, “you have brothers too, don’t you?” She got 2 out of 3 names.

        It’s hard.

        I seem to have run out of old ladies to keep an eye on. It’s a strange feeling.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The funny part about my mother, is actually not her, but visiting her in Memory Care. The dynamics on this unit are entertaining. The best day was after an aging, demented floozie moved on to the unit. Mom has yet to recover.

      The Floozie is between 75-80 yo, missing teeth, and is supposed to use a walker which she regularly abandons to chase the object of her passion, Gerald. The staff had to take her high-heeled F***me pumps away from her because she kept falling off of them. They replaced the high heels with flat slides with some rhinestones glued on.

      Gerald’s wife died last May, leaving him confused and grief-stricken. Floozie was on the hunt shortly after his widowhood. She moons, she holds his hands until staff tells her to leave him alone, she bats her eyelashes (or what is left of them) while beaming her toothless smile into his face. She gets up to follow him when he goes to his room, leaving her walker behind until an Aide yells, “Harriet, come get your walker!” That gives Gerald time to get to his room and barricade the door.

      Mom sits there, hrmphing in disapproval saying, “I can’t believe her. Look at that. Cheap.” That’s what she used say about Dolly Parton, too.

      Watching this play out is superior to watching another guy pour water from one glass to another, then back again.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hard places to visit. My mother was loved by the staff in her last home, there for 6 years, after she gave up on the Twins. Loving my mother had been a challenge until then. She was oblivious to the dementia around her.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. my senior year of high scool i hired on as a janitor in the old folks home a hippy with lng hair who would come into work high on a semi regular basis. they thought about firing me i found out later because it was too obvious how high i was but the cleaning was always done sufficiently and i was the roaming therapist who would sit and talk with people while cleaning their rooms. others wanted people out of their rooms but i wanted to wait until they could bring them back in. i loved those people and their stories. 15 or 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a week was enough to build a great relationship on. the hard part was watching someone slip into a state where the meds took them away. if it was them on their own i could adjust , it never happened all at once but when the meds got introduced to fix something they could be gone in an afternoon not to return because one symptom led to another. i went from that job to construction and joining the afl cio. quite a shift

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Amazing to me how often the discussion falls upon a story I have written. tim, I have a story about a teen age girl who is a cleaner at a nursing home.

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        1. my dad was so ernest in his inquiries about my son devin and how he was doing. every 10 minutes or so. it was funny but heartbreaking.
          it was hard becuase he knew he was losing it and he hated not being able to get a handle on getting a handle on it.

          Liked by 2 people

    3. When my mother in law died, my daughter was the only one in the family who wasn’t surprised. The two of them played Scrabble two days before my mother in law had the stroke that ended her life. My daughter said, “I cheated on her in Scrabble over and over and she never caught on. So I knew she was losing it.”

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  4. In the year and a half my mother was in memory care, I had ample opportunity to observe. The aides, in this facility primarily West African, were wonderful, very patient and kind in what is a physically demanding and poorly compensated occupation. Many had extended family back in Africa and this was during the Ebola outbreak, so they carried that additional burden of worry.
    It was interesting to observe how varied were the responses to dementia among the residents, many of whom I got to know by name and by habits. The facility was set up to provide transition from independent living to assisted living to memory care and some of the residents had come through all stages so senior staff knew something of their back story. I remember one woman, now entirely uncommunicative, had in her heyday been a pilot and a jeweller, red haired and flamboyantly dressed. It’s easy to forget, when you only know people from that setting, that they once had rich lives.
    Some of the residents, like Clyde’s mother, were seemingly serene. Others were perpetually agitated. The agitated ones generally didn’t last long.
    No Floozies at that time, but there was one would-be lothario who would cozy up to female residents, put his arm around them, give them his dessert, hug them. He was quickly transferred to an all-male facility.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was once a very young, cute nurses aide left to dodge the attentions of an aged lothario who had lost his social filters. Female staff was always on guard and watching where his hands were. Flashing us was his particular joy. It was a sight.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Heavy lifting in our household at the moment revolves around husband’s middle (and favorite) brother. He announced a couple of days ago, in an email, that the time is drawing near for him and his significant other to take their final exit.

    We have known for years that Jens and Ilse intended to commit suicide together when the time came. She is in her early eighties (seven years older than him), nearly blind, and her health is failing. Like most of us, they have had friends who ended up in nursing homes after strokes or other debilitating health issues, and they just don’t want to go there. Jens’ late wife had a stroke on New Year’s Eve about twelve years ago, and never recovered, but lived another five years. Most of that time she lived at home and had around the clock, live-in help. I think the prospect of having to deal with that again weighs heavily on Jens’ mind.

    Husband is understandably distraught, and circles through the early stages of grief. I listen as best I can, and offer my two cents worth. He thinks the suicide is imminent; I say let’s wait and see. We both agree that they have every right to make this decision for themselves, especially since it’s made with a sound mind and not in a moment’s despair. They have prepared for this, and have talked openly about it for years. They live in Germany, so Skype is the best we can do for face to face conversation with them. We have a Skype session scheduled for tomorrow.

    I find it fascinating that though we have known about this plan for years, it’s only now that the execution of it is at hand – no pun intended – that it gives us pause. I suppose it’s the finality of it that is so jarring. Brings to mind Harold and Maude; that’s the best I can do for finding the humor in the situation.

    OT – Maggie Roche passed away a few hours ago after a long struggle with cancer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry to hear this difficult story, PJ. Your husband’s dismay is understandable. Accepting that people have the right to make this choice is one thing, but that doesn’t take away the sting of the loss (if it happens). Good luck to you both.

      And I’m sorry to hear about Maggie Roche. Their concerts were wonderful. A friend went with us when the Roches performed at the old Guthrie. This friend had been a singer all her life. She loved the concert, noting that Maggie did most of the heavy lifting because she was the sister who had to sing below her natural vocal range in order to make the harmonies work.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It is, indeed, the sting of the loss that weighs so heavy on husband’s mind. I share your “if it happens” attitude, although I think it’s more likely to than not. But between now and when and if it happens, I don’t feel compelled to grieve.

        As you may recall, a little less than a year ago, an old friend of ours shot himself. That loss was very difficult because there was no warning, no suicide note, and all kinds of unanswered questions. Was this a result of a deep depression or a moments despair? Did he know something we didn’t? Could anyone have prevented this? These unanswered questions still fill me with anxiety, and though his wife and daughter are moving forward with their lives, I know that these questions weigh heavily on their minds.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Pardon me for repeating an anecdote from my book about my parents. After her seizures my mother lost a lot of mental function. Specifically she lost the ability to understand irony, jokes or imagistic language. She struggled to understand what people said, and her only way to comprehension was to accept everything said as literal truth.

    I figured out that she knew she was incapacitated, and it embarrassed her. So she pretended to understand things that actually confused her. Some of my mom’s statements like that were funny, although Jacque said it best: “If you don’t laugh, you will cry.”

    I once visited my mother at a time I was trying to write my book about wolves. After a nice visit I stood up to put on my jacket. “I loved talking with you, Mom. Now I gotta go back to my wolves.”

    My mother processed that for a moment. Then she said, “I had almost forgotten that you live with wolves. That must be very interesting.”

    Liked by 6 people

  7. A few months ago the heavy lifting was Finding Friends and Things to Do in Winona. We seem to have come out on the other side of that, and I’ll do a blog post soon.

    Like so many others, my heavy lifting now is my mom – I feel partly responsible for her increased confusion, having moved her yet again last summer. Between her and my desires, she has moved four times since Dad died in 2006, and again now with this latest fall and broken arm. I have been trying to visit her every day till she seems less confused about her new floor (with some of the delights described by others above). Every day is really wearing me down, and I somehow need to convince myself that she will survive if I drop down to 4 or 5 times a week.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You shouldn’t feel guilty about your Mom’s confusion. As I’m sure you’ve discovered, that level of confusion can change weekly regardless of circumstances. Unfortunately, the change only goes in one direction.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And it is our future.

        Early on in the Trail, we planned our own retirement community. Maybe we should get on that soon and execute the plan. I do want baboons caring for me.

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        1. Thankfully, that is becoming current practice more and more. The bus pulls up, you get on and go where it takes you, and you don’t argue with the driver.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. One of the most heartbreaking parts of visiting the memory care unit is learning that all the patients who can still express it want more than anything else to go back home. For some that meant the home of their childhood. Heartbreaking knowing that, except metaphorically, none of them ever would.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. OT: I just got home from the Mpls Women’s March. They expected about 20,000 and got 65,000. 300,000 in NYC. 200,000 in DC. Every major city across the nation in all 50 states. Berlin, London, Paris, Spain and many other countries around the world held huge anti-Trump rallies as well. Trump had all Twitter accounts shut down earlier today in the Dept of Interior.

    I froze my ass off, stood for two hours even before marching at all. It was chilly, but mostly because of a constant drizzle at 34 degrees. I’ve been home sitting in front of two space heaters to thaw out. There are far, far more people today protesting his presidency than attended his inauguration and, according to CNN, the single largest worldwide rallies in history. The last two large ones were after Nixon’s election and the Viet Nam protests. But, nothing like this in American history. Not even close.

    I can’t help but wonder if this massive show of repulsion is letting some of the air out of Trump’s ramped up balloon from yesterday. It’s an amazing movement, Baboons. The loudest chant booming from the marchers; “THIS IS DEMOCRACY”. Take heart.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. my youngest daughter and my sister went today
      my middle daughter had a performance at 2 and at 330 that made the youngest get there for the second and she reported it was a great day and the crowd was inspirational.
      good for you cb. you will get warm again but you will never forget the day.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m disappointed that our march was too small to get national attention. Why didn’t someone have a drone to record it? The news just reported that there were 697 protests around the world including ours. The only other event which brought the whole world together was 9/11

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  10. my lifting is the job of keeping the family up while the financial downturn is taking longer than anticipated to right. wife is a trooper but a negative nellie by nature who grew up in n blue collar home and enjoyed the heck out of entrepreneural benefits but doesnt understand the flip side at all. kids are pretty good but the opposite of disney vacation points and the good life is not simply no disney vacation points it goes a bit deeper and they dont bitch but they know and my lifting has to do with being the responsible party. keeping the positive mojo for an extended especially with a person who chooses the opposite of positive outlook to use as a guide.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. That’s a great bench; I don’t remember it from when we were in Fountain Hills but I’ll ask Kelly; she remembers stuff I forget.

    The Minnesota bus #1 is on the way back. Just crossed from Maryland into PA.
    Kelly told me a story last night about stopping at a Pilot Gas (not sure where anymore) and they were about the 4th bus to come through in a short span of time with another right behind them. The clerk had made hand-written signs indicating the mens showers and bathrooms were now temporary women’s bathrooms. She said he was pretty proud of it. Haha–

    And I saw something on FB about all the Dons Johns locked after the inauguration but people broke into them.
    You think a pissed off woman is bad. Wait till you see one that needs a potty break too!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. its an interesting challange isnt it?
      looking forward to it
      are you typing or doing the verbal dictation stuff?
      my experience with the voice activated stuff is prwetty funny. the mis spelled words and the words the computer chooses instead of what i meant to say are almost as time consuming to go back and fix ass it would have been to type it ian the first place.
      and it uses upper case letters

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  12. Funny moment today, to lighten our loads. Ordered a sesame seed Einstein bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese. Got home to find it had strawberry cream cheese on it. Now that’s a big miss.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I realized once it posted it was ambiguous.
          I will drive all that way over there tomorrow, all those three blocks. They will willingly make it right.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Our kitten has figured out how to jump to the top of our media cabinet. It is quite high, and it is where my tomte and straw goats live. It is with a heavy heart that I put them all away in a closet, as kitten is knocking them on the floor and eating the goat beards.

    Liked by 1 person

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