Ya’ll, I’m exhausted. Now, I know I’ve been saying this alot lately because, well, growing a human being is exhausting. I wish my exhaustion were that simple. I wish that it would just go away if I sat quiet, put my feet up, or took a nice long soak in the tub.
My Daddy, my sweet, sweet, Daddy is trying to send me over the edge and I’m at a complete and utter loss.
Many of ya’ll here who are regulars know of the many obstacles and challenges my Daddy has faced over the last several months. Late October of last year, he suffered multiple strokes that rendered him incapable of independent living. In the course of 3 days and over Thanksgiving, my sister and took responsibility for his finances, his estate, and his well being. We moved him into a wonderful assisted living facility that is somehow entirely staffed with the nicest people on earth. Since then, he’s been in and out of the hospital several times, suffered more strokes, had open heart surgery, suffered even more strokes, etc. In fact, once he finally made it out of the hospital the last time, he was as close to death as he’s ever known. He couldn’t swallow, he couldn’t walk, and he could barely breathe on his own. Yet, he persevered somehow and is walking on his own, eating meals regularly (and snacking regularly too), going on excursions, and tending to his garden plot. It has been a true blessing to see him come back from something so horrible.
However, with this newly developed strength has come this defiance, rebelliousness, and an anger that hasn’t been there before and it’s tearing this girl way down. See, Daddy never planned for this time in his life. He owned his home, made plenty of money off of social security and his pension. He stockpiled everything that he could ever possibly need and want. Hell, before he had his strokes, he had just purchased another property (the house I grew up in as a child, actually) so he was stockpiling real estate as well. But I digress.
Since he’s been in assisted living, and because of all the remaining debts, money is hard to come by. His income just isn’t enough to cover his expenses until we sell the second property, his car, etc., we are stuck dipping into his savings constantly. We have explained this to him. The folks at the assisted living facility have explained this to him. Unfortunately, the man insists on spending his money haphazardly (we’re talking $700 in two weeks on things that are not necessities haphazardly). Each time he apologizes. But after several conversations where he promised he would stop, he spends another $200 overnight.
So my sister and I agreed to deactivate his debit card and have a discussion with him about the “new norm”. Let’s just say he. is. pissed. I understand, I’d be pissed too. But I’d be pissed at myself, not at the people trying to help me. Guess it’s clear I didn’t get my humility from him! He’s clearly upset that I’m not going to play good cop/bad cop with my sister as I have been more than forward with him about his actions. If we exhaust his savings covering his 32 oz bottles of gorilla glue, or his $400+ bill at Eddie Bauer buying more of what I just sent him for Father’s Day, my sister and I will be the ones responsible for paying his mortgage, his rent, his medical bills, etc.
Neither of us can afford that! My sister has two kids to support, and Kevin and I are preparing to eat nothing but peanut butter toast so this kid can have a shot at a good life. Regardless, Dad doesn’t seem to feel like he owes anyone any kind of cooperation. He’s mad and that’s it. I’ve received two very aggressive emails from him within the last 12 hours. What’s more is that he’s not just getting aggressive with my sister and me, he’s yelling at the staff –the people who basically brought him back to life.
I’m at a complete and utter loss of what to do. If I didn’t love him so much, and if I didn’t have a son on the way that I would like for him to know, I would totally toss in the towel on this. After all, I have a son on the way and plenty of other things going on in my life to occupy my energy and love. Argh.