Off-color comments about dead babies don’t make new friends

Evidently, fate decided that I didn’t have enough bullshit going on in my life that it dropped a steaming pile of drama at my doorstep tonight. My besty’s boyfriend went through the entire length of our messages together and took umbrage with an off color joke I made nearly two years ago. Do I remember this comment? Fuck no. But it does track that my mouth would get me into trouble. That has been the theme of my life so far. Granted, it wasn’t my best joke and, most likely, probably my worst, because it had to do with his son who died shortly after birth.

Before you demand my head on a pike, let me explain. First off I have no memory of this conversation. Even now it’s a faint whisp of smoke and I can only recount it to you now via the way she did for me. How it went was when she was explaining everything she liked about this dude (after meeting him, because he went that far back) she had stated he “wanted to have more kids” and I replied “well… not more.” It was unwarranted, cruel and said in the privacy of my friends and my text conversation. Never in a million years would I have thought he would read it, and never EVER would I say such a thing to him, but here we are. Now this young man wants to fight me. He wanted me to drive an hour out of town, to their apartment, so I could apologize to him face to face.

When my friend texted this scenario to me, my immediate response was “yeah I’m not doing that.” I didn’t say that to her. Instead I gave her a ring so she could further explain the whole sordid affair. I was/am furious that I had/have to deal with this. Why did it have to be me? I understand that in reality I don’t have to do shit. I could just say, “this is not my problem, I have enough crazy right now, please sell yours somewhere else,” But in the end I will eat crow and do it because I love her. She loves him. And I hear how this dumbass statement has completely upset her life. He’s furious with her for not defending his dead child, as if I said “good I’m glad his kid is dead,” Or “the kid knew he got a dud, he died to get away,” or “he couldn’t even keep the one, what’s the luck he’s going to keep any others?” See? It could get way worse. Yet I said none of those things in the moment.

What I really want to say to him is that I’m really sorry that your life is either going too well or not bad enough that you LITERALLY went searching for a problem. I’m sorry that you are so hung up on the past that you fail to realize if your son hadn’t died you wouldn’t have the daughter you have now. I would say, I’m sorry that you feel so threatened by my presence that, even though I haven’t seen her in 8 months, you felt compelled to scour through the entire length of our messages together to find this one comment to get furious about. I’m sorry your son was taken from you, but do you know what it’s like to have to be the one to pull your father off of life support because your mother is dying of Alzheimer’s and can’t make that decision? Do you know what it’s fucking like to watch your mother slowly forget how to make a phone call, how to bathe, how to dress herself, how to fucking use the bathroom? Or watch your mother struggle to string together a coherent sentence? Do you know what it’s like to watch your spouse, who used to throw you over his shoulder, struggle to barely hold a fucking cellphone?! Do you know what it’s like to hear your lover talk about how he just wants to die because he doesn’t want to be a burden to you? And do you know what it’s like to deal with it all at the same fucking time? I would never, ever, EVER wish the death of a child on anyone. But just be fucking glad that you can make kid after kid to watch you and care for you in your old age, when I’ll be lucky if my niece and nephew in-laws remember me when their uncle has gone. I’m sorry you haven’t gotten over the trauma of losing a child, but instead of picking a literal fight with someone who isn’t even present in your life, who you have met and spoken to TWICE, maybe get some therapy. Deal with your grief. Stop projecting. But most of all, learn to take a fucking joke.

Will I say any of this to him? No. Not a word. I will talk to him, on the phone, and apologize. There are things I have no control over and instead of fighting I’d rather just say “I’m sorry” and move the fuck on. I have bigger things to deal with than the fallout of some dumb comment I have absolutely no memory of making. And that apology will be more than enough because, in the end, this drama is not my problem.

Reading-Road Trip

The anxiety I get posting about travelling is real. I love my twitter peeps but they will turn on your in a second if you do something irresponsible. Travelling in a pandemic is definitely one of them, yes. I do not disagree. However, when someone is literally dying, with only so much time left, all they want to do is travel. What then? It’s a conundrum. I want to share these journeys with these friends but at the same time… Some person will inevitably pop up on a comment thread commenting on how “selfish” I am by not following the stay at home order.

I have just come to the conclusion that I am going to travel with my husband. If someone decides to add their two-cents I will provide the reason. Whether they want to agree or not is on them, but I won’t feel sorry for trying to enjoy what moments remain. Nor of making the most of them during a fucking pandemic.

If I had to choose when my husband would get such a deadly disease it wouldn’t have been now. I would have chosen a time when we could go on cruises or travel abroad. He’s seen so much, yet so little. When one is faced with the inevitability of being human, all the other petty bullshit falls away. You’re left with what is important and that is LIVING.

I have heard that sentiment so many times, but (I believe) for most it doesn’t really hit the mark until you live it. The understanding of this particular human flaw wasn’t made aware to me until I did this thing called the “landmark forum.” What I learned there was that we are constantly given the same advice but until we are ready to hear and accept it, we don’t pay it any mind. Even though we may have been told it over and over again. That’s how landmark was. They told us the same bullshit repeatedly, until they told us, “we’ve told you the same thing all weekend.” If you’re interested, I highly recommend the experience. It’s pricey AF and TOTES a cult. But if you keep that in mind you can gather what you need for the experience to matter.

This weekend I got a wild hair up my ass to go to Salt Lake City. My husband (who is the one that is dying) wanted to take a trip somewhere, he just didn’t care where. The last time we had done one, we had stopped in Salt Lake just to sleep and move onto the next stop early in the morning. (This was during out journey to get a second opinion on his ALS diagnosis at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.)

We packed up a bag for the weekend, the boyfriends, and headed out on the road. I had an ulterior motive of forcing the boys to listen to my novel. The hubs joked that I was torturing them, but at the conclusion he told me he thought it was good. “Just be done with it!”

The boys seemed to enjoy it too. My BF told me that I could get it finished in a month. (How overly optimistic of him.) My husband’s boyfriend opined to him (when I was out of the room) that he was excited to read the next one.

The one opinion that really mattered, and took me by surprise, was my own. I genuinely loved my book, by a lot. It was odd. I couldn’t wait to hear the next chapter or see where I took the narrative. I was surprised at the little clues I left that seemed innocuous to the boys, but meant so much to me. I felt proud.

Overall our little jaunt was fun. We got to see more of Salt Lake, the parts that weren’t obstructed by snow clouds that is, and got out of town. Most importantly I got feedback on my novel, from three people at once. Sure they were trapped in a confined space for almost 20 hours, with nowhere to go, but we’re only going to focus on the fact that I liked my story.

A storms rolling in

Grief, for those living in a household with a terminal diagnosis, comes in waves. One moment everything seems just fine and then the next the floor falls out from beneath you and you plummet into the black abyss of depression. Your thoughts are consumed with the inevitable even though you are no where near where you fear. It sucks. Tonight was one of those nights.

For all things considered my husband is a rock. How he is handling his diagnosis is astounding. You wouldn’t guess that he even was going to die with the way he jokes about it. “I have the Als,” he says it like a name. Most of the time he’s comforting me, when it should be the other way around. He is hardly ever sent into bouts of depression. If his skies start to cloud, and comes into contact with my own storm front it creates this twister of depression. In the beginning it was horrible storms. Since then we’ve learned how to cope. At least I’ve learned when I need to take some time or just change the subject.

I can’t imagine how he is doing so well. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just denial masquerading as calm resolve. But then there are moments where he loops back around and we revisit the other stages of grief. But, like I said, for the most part he is taking it well. If this were me I’d be devastated. I’d be angry. Not him. He is so strong.

More than anything, I want to be the rock when he’s weak. He’s the one who is dying, yet he’s the one comforting those around him. It should be the opposite.

Inside I am a devastated. I feel a storm moving in, but I can’t let it build. Staying strong is the only way for us both to get back to our blue skies. However momentary they may be.

Housing Crisis

If my world wasn’t already in enough chaos, it has been decided that it is time to sell our house and move to something bigger. The husband is still able to walk at this point but it’s only a matter of time until he’s in a wheelchair. When that happens our current house just doesn’t accommodate the space requirements. It’s a single narrow hallway and hard right angles. Our living room barely allows for enough walkway with the furniture we have. I don’t think it’s going to get easier with a bulky motorized chair.

This house holds a special place in my heart. It was my and my husbands first home purchase. It was also designed to my specifications. I picked out everything. My husbands construction business paid for and did the renovations. This house is us. Letting it go is letting go of the past. And it makes sense to do it, everything is drastically different. I just don’t want to. I’m quite the sentimental bitch. But a house isn’t really us or our marriage so clinging to it is just ridiculous.

The idea of putting the house up for sale causes me so much anxiety. The preparation. The people coming to view it. The back and forth. Then the ultimate move. Every thought twists my stomach into a ball and pulls my lungs into the knot. Even as overwhelmed as I feel, I know that just taking a step back and doing one thing at a time will make it much easier. It’s just hard to do that. On my own I could (I think), but my husbands constant back and forth is what makes it difficult. One minute we need to get a new house immediately, then the next it’s just selling the house, or it’s “we could just rent.” I know that it’s just mental vomit, but I hate holding the metaphorical bucket.

The plan (as of right now) is to replace this with new construction. I want to trick out the new place and make it a smart house, so that when the hubs can’t use his hands anymore he can do things with his voice. Maybe that would give him a sense of control in a situation he has none. Plus it’s cool to turn shit on and off at your command. It’s like you’re a king. “Alexa, suckle my balls.”

I’m just overwhelmed. It’s going to throw a wrench into most plans. His mom and sister know about our situation (his and my boyfriends) but how does it work while we have to stay with his mom while our home is being constructed? Or will things get so bad that she’ll just say that we need to stay with her, so she can help care for him? I love my mother in law like my own mother, but I do not want to live with her. I don’t even want to share a home with the woman who gave me life.

That’s another reason we’re moving. My mother currently has the capacity to somewhat care for herself. But little by little her ability is diminishing. It’s only a matter of time until she has to move in with me. At least, that’s what Charlie is pushing for. I would prefer putting her into a care facility with professionals who can bathe her, feed her, and watch her. Doing those things for her would just be their job and not cause them constant emotional and mental anguish. Whenever I do them I have to spend a whole night recovering.

All of it is unknown and uncertain. I just have to remember that for most of these things “we’re not there yet.” Right now, the only task is to get the house listed. Just that is going to be a fucking endeavor. We have to paint and put in new carpet. Then we have the added burden of rearranging furniture to give the illusion that the home has space.

One step at a time.