About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm Exhausted

I am so tired, I don't know if I'll even be able to sleep. Does that make sense?

Two weeks ago, I took my car in for repairs and maintenance and $1,500.00 later, I drove home with one problem left. Today I took the car back so they could fix the oil leak. My friend, who is here from the East Coast, picked me up at 9:30 am where I took the car. From there, we went to see her mother who has been in a care home for several years.

I would never have recognized her Mom and I've known her since I was 17 years old. She's suffering from Alzheimers, has an infection in her lungs which caused her whole chest to rattle, and is down to about 55 kgs (about 120 pounds). I think it upset me more than I knew at the time because I saw my own mother die from Alzheimers and I heard my Dad's lungs rattle just before he died last September. I don't think my friend knows just how close to death her mother is and she's pretending her mother knows what is going on around her and will get better. I had to leave and wait in the hall.

Then we continued on to my friend's Mom's condo where she's doing what I had to do when my parents died - you know, the sorting, keeping, throwing out, charity, garage sale stuff, gifts to the kids and grandkids, etc. I wrapped china and crystal for her and her son dragged down some stuff to her car so I could take them home for me and my kids and grandkids.

In the midst of all this, the guy from the auto place phoned to say that they didn't take the key lock system thingy and they'd locked themselves out of my car. So I had to go all the way back to give that to them. And all the way back to the condo.

We carried on with packing, labeling boxes, sorting things out, deciding what to give, take, etc. Then the auto place phoned again and said that my car wouldn't be ready today! AND it was going to cost me $1,200.00 more to fix what was wrong!!! AAAGGGHHH! So I "suggested" they throw in a rental car seeing as how I'd already spent $1,500.00 two weeks ago, too. No problem.

I had to be there before 4:00 pm so about 3:00 I started nudging my friend saying we'd have to leave soon. (I know her so well that I knew I had to give her at least 20 minutes to get going.) So about a half hour later, we left and I got there just before my "man" was off work. They gave me a Nissan Rogue, a small SUV that I'd never heard of before. To be honest, I didn't enjoy driving it. I can hardly wait to get my own car back.

I was supposed to go out to dinner tonight, but I cancelled. I'm just so tired I can hardly move. It's emotionally draining to (a) see your best friend's mother so close to death; (b) have to fork out thousands of dollars to get your car fixed; (c) work hard packing stuff all day knowing it's the end of someone's life.

On the bright side, I finished painting all the cabinets in my ensuite and it looks great. Now to rip out that hideous carpeting and get a new floor installed. Whew!


nancygrayce said...

Oh, Leslie, I know how hard that is! It's just as hard for me to watch the loved ones be in such denial. I have always been a realist, I think my children have forced that one on me. My mother in law is in such denial about the fact that my fil is dying. God bless your friend and you! And good grief, you could almost have gotten a new car. j/k but it seems that way huh?

leslie said...

Nancy, I did look into buying a new/used car, but I'm so spoiled with the car I have and to get such luxury again would be just too expensive. It's still cheaper to keep it maintained.

And my friends and I (and I guess you, too) are all in that generation where we're losing our parents now. My good friend here just lost her Dad on Monday evening after losing her Mom a bit over a year ago. So I know what both of these good friends are going through. I could have cried today watching my friend talk to her mother as though her mother really knew her and understood what she was saying. My friend was talking about getting her up and taking her for a drive one day soon and was even going to put more pictures up on the walls of her Mom's room. *sigh* I hope my friend will be okay when the time comes.

leslie said...

Reading this back to myself, I think I might have confused you. I'm referring to 2 different women. One friend who lives here and the other one who's visiting from back East.

Sienna said...

That is tough Leslie, take and pamper yourself, I have something for you, (Psycho sent it to me)..she knows just the best poetry:

Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Look, how tiny down
look: the last village of words and, higher,
(but how tiny) still one last
farmhouse of feeling. Can you see it?
Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Stoneground
under your hands. Even here, though,
something can bloom; on a silent cliff-edge
an unknowing plant blooms, singing, into the air.
But the one who knows? Ah, he began to know
and is quiet now, exposed on the cliffs of the heart.
While, with their full awareness,
many sure-footed mountain animals pass
or linger. And the great sheltered birds flies, slowly
circling, around the peak's pure denial.- But
without a shelter, here on the cliffs of the heart...

---Rainer Maria Rilke

Bless you and your friend and her Mum...but stuff the car!!!

(Buggar). :)

Take care


Anonymous said...

You may want to look into a different mechanic. From what you told me about the problem, I can't understand how that could cost $2700, even if you're paying $75 per hour in labour! I used to take my vehicle to the dealership to get fixed, until one time they charged me $65 because of a "brake issue" -- the e-brake light kept coming on. I thought "wow, that was cheap!" until I got home and was shown by my mechanic neighbour that brake fluid costs $3 a bottle and to put it in, you unscrew a cap, pour, then rescrew the cap. $65 wasn't so cheap after all!

I know this isn't important what with the other issues in your post, but when you pile stress on top of stress, you can get overwhelmed.


Momma said...

On days like that, dinner for me is a bowl of cereal. I hope you are rested and reunited with your car soon!

Peace - D

Daryl E said...

Oh Leslie, I feel your pain all of it! I lost my parents within months of each other almost 7 years ago but it still feels like yesterday so I know how hard it must have been to be there for your friend.


Josie said...

Leslie, you need a couple of days where you can just rest, read, rejuvenate. You have been doing waaaaaay too much.

Your very wise daughter Jamie is right. "When you pile stress on top of stress, you can get overwhelmed."

Take some time off and do absolutely nothing for a few days!

leslie said...

Thanks for the advice, Josie. However, I'm just waiting for them to call me to say my car is ready and I have to whip in to get it. Then home for 2 students and after that I can crash. Then tomorrow I have massage therapy and have to go to my daughter's to pick up the turkey I'm going to cook on Saturday for the family dinner on Sunday! Whew, just writing about it makes me tired. Then Monday I will do nothing! I hope....

Ellee Seymour said...

I know the feeling only too well and it's a sign thar you should be slowing down and relaxing. Now be a good girl and put your feet up, make a nice cup of tea and read a book for at least two hours, ignoring the phone and temptation to blog. Then do the same later in the day.
You will soon be refreshed.
Dr Seymour.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I do sympathise, Leslie. It's so hard when a situation brings all your own grief back and Alzheimer's is the cruellest disease - and also so hard to accept.

jmb said...

That visit must have brought back some very tough memories for you Leslie.

The car business is pretty ugly. It's amazingly expensive but I guess it's worth it to you.

Take care of yourself for a bit.

Liz said...

What a sad time. I bet you made it cheerful though with your lovely happy disposition. Now it's time to take care of yourself!

Paulie said...

It sounds like you had a very busy day! Sorry for the "grief" in friend's Mom and problems with car. It can only get better huh? It's now a new month so hope things go great for you now.

Nancy said...

Your friend is very fortunate to have you along side her through this journey. I hope you can get some rest and get rid of the car problems for good. That would be a blessing indeed!

Ruth D~ said...

This, too, shall pass. That's way too trite, isn't it? Leslie, you're a strong lady, but take time for yourself. Go slow. And this, too, shall pass. My sympathy and understanding.

heiresschild said...

hi Leslie, i'm sorry to hear about your friend's mom, plus the car woes. i'm glad you had the $$$ to get your car repairs done though.

i've been helping to take care of one of my friends since february who's battling leukemia. it's very draining, but i know it's even more so for her since she's actually going thru it. only God knows each person's exact timing for leaving here. in the meantime, i think people just want to keep their loved ones encouraged and try to be as normal as possible, whatever that may mean.

take care of yourself, and make sure you get rest.

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