It has been a few weeks since I wrote last and while a lot has been going on the world, I have tried to insulate myself from the majority of it.
My own life has been hectic enough.
Alex, my amazing husband has been diagnosed with Tinnitus – according to everyone’s favour psychosomatic website: webmd categorizes Tinnitus as: Tinnitus (pronounced ti-ni-tis), or ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness.
It has been a real strain on Alex. I do not know if I could handle all the crap that this man has been through in the past 5 years. Suffice to say, he has risen to the challenge and is going to overcome this, too.
He is scheduled to trial hearing aids which have been shown to alleviate Tinnitus. I am hopeful. The cost is not cheap, though. $5,900! Eeek. But, that is what credit cards, financing and lines of credit are for, right?
On the work front, things have been busy! As always. I have, however cut my number of jobs back from 5 to 4! Yay! I am no longer working 7 nights a week booking appointments and talking to people about eye health. I was able to move out of that job. My former co-worker, Elisha has transitioned into that position and I am thrilled.
But, that still leaves me with 4 jobs.
My latest gigs are the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival taking place on June 22 – 24, 2018 down at False Creek in Vancouver. This is an annual event and I am thrilled to be the Stage Manager for the World Beat Stage for the 10th year! And I get paid!!!!
This is a weekend long festival and I get to not only work with some amazing people but, I get to listen to great music.
The following weekend, I am overjoyed to be the Green Room Manager for Canada Day Celebrations on Granville Island. This is such a fun gig. I get to herd cats and nail Jell-O to the wall – not really, it just seems like it. When it comes to performers, they are a flighty breed. But, I get to work with fun people again. Plus, I get paid!!!!!
Between these two gigs, I will have enough spending money for Alex’s and my upcoming trip to The Netherlands! Did I forget to mention that? Yup, Alex and I are off to the land of my ancestors for two weeks in September.
Airfare, hotel and car rental are all booked and paid for. EEEK! So, now it is just getting our spending money together. We will be staying at a beautiful apartment hotel in Amsterdam just minutes from Schiphol Airport. We will be spending a few days just touring Amsterdam and the balance of the trip will be checking out the country.
I have been there 4 times but, I never really got to see much other than relatives’ homes. Now is the time to see Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Bolsward, Sneek, and so many other places.
I have also been in touch with a few cousins there and we will be meeting up with them. One of my second cousins – Tjalline will be acting as a local tour guide for us. I am so happy to have her join us.
Isn’t she gorgeous? I can’t wait to see her again. We met back in 2004 when I traveled to the Netherlands with my mom to inter my dad’s ashes in the family crypt. She was sweet, funny, charming and great to hang out with.
In the meantime, I am still traveling to Edmonton every 4 – 6 weeks to see my mom.
My mom’s dementia continues its inexorable descent. I am resigned to it. But, it still hurts to see her this way. She is frightened, angry, confused and so despondent.
I know that moments after I leave, she has forgotten that I was there, but, I will continue to go and see her as often as I can. Those brief moments that she stays in the here and now are truly wondrous. I bring along my tablet and bring up pictures of family members – long forgotten by me and my siblings – and something amazing happens: SHE KNOWS THEM – SHE REMEMBERS THEM! So, we talk about them – who they were, how she knew them and in those moments, my Mom is back.
She is vibrant, happy and Mom! But, those moments never last long enough.
My last visit, I experienced what my other family members experience: her sadness, her anger, her fear and it manifests itself in horrid ways. She cursed. She cried. She demanded that I take her away from where she is. She BEGGED for her life to be over and in that moment, I was crushed.
I tried to console her. I spoke to her about the family and how we wanted her to be happy. I tried changing the subject. I tried to get her to look at more pictures. Nothing worked. Her head just sank to her chest and she began to cry. The dementia had taken its hold on her and it was a death-grip. No amount of effort was going to let her go.
She then dismissed me. She told me to leave. She didn’t want to see me anymore. Those words were like little daggers in my heart. I know that she didn’t mean them and didn’t know what she was saying. Nonetheless, it hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before.
So, I left. I drove my rental back to the airport and spent the next 5 hours sitting at the terminal just feeling numb. But, I will survive. My mom raised me to be tough and so I will get over this. I will continue to see her as often as possible and I will put these circumstances away. They do no one any good.
She is my Mom.
And now for a bit of joy. Meet Annie! She is a goat that I met when I went to pick up supplies for our menagerie.
My coworker, Laura is obsessed with Goats and so I sent her these pictures. Her response: STEAL IT!
Tempting, but, no.