Sunday, June 28, 2015

This weekend was the 80th birthday of the lady who lived up the street from us. Her daughter asked me to write a note to her to share at her birthday and this is what I came up with but really it does not even really touch my feelings:
Dear Mrs. Read,

You have always been in my life. I really do not have a memory from my childhood that was before you were there. You were always Fread (Michael's name for you). I always love to hear that story where you were babysitting and he kept saying "Fread, go home! Fread, go home!" then "Fread, you still there?!".

Mrs. Read, you were there when I hit Michael with a belt (the buckle end) and sliced his head open. You were there the time I came home from school and the doors were wide open and the house was cold and no one answered when I called out. I ran up the street to your house and you braved our house to find Marc asleep (passed out!) downstairs. You were there every day when I went to your house for lunch while I was at G.B. Little. Sandra and I would race each other home to be the first so we could arrange for the largest pieces of dessert (brownies or date squares).

And of course there are the wonderful memories of vacations at the twin cottages, the picnics in Morningside Park with our families.  I am certain I do not have an actual memory of Sandra and I fighting over the water pump and throwing sand in each other’s eyes but hearing that story told time and time again over the years, I have imagined it and have made up a memory. It is indeed Faubert/Read lore.

There are so many other memories. Mrs. Read.  You were always one with a quick smile, quicker wit,  loads of empathy and a big heart. I remember once you told me you were worried sick and stayed up all night wondering how my drive home from Windsor (after taking the train home from visiting Stephen in Minnesota) was because you had heard that the fog on the 401 was so bad that night.

Mrs. Read, I really feel as though your family is my family. I love hearing about everyone and how they are doing and what they (or their children) are up to. It is wonderful that even though they are spread far and wide, you visit them often and they clearly adore you. It warms my heart when I see photos of your family on Facebook.

I have a friend who once, when I was explaining about “The Reads” who lived up the street, said she also had a family like that who lived on her street. But I know that her “that family” was nothing like our “The Reads” because they did not have a “Mrs. Read”.

Mostly, Mrs. Read, I remember you as my mom’s friend. You were her closest friend and her confident. I used to envy the times you would come over and sit in the Mrs. Read chair and talk to my mom. I always wanted a friend like that when I grew up. As the years passed, you were always a constant in our family’s lives and in my mom’s life. And now, when she is failing and frail, blind and confused, you are still there and I cannot be more grateful or thank you enough. And it is not just your shared history that makes you be there for my mom. It is because you are such an exceptional and generous person. And a wonderful friend. Thank you.

So, on your 80th birthday, I would like to wish you the happiest of days to a remarkable lady.

You will always be my Mrs. Read.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nothing much is new. The boys are out of school. My mom is having problems remembering names (she hasn't forgotten mine so far and she always recognizes my voice) but she has forgotten Wally's wife's name and called my other SIL "Marie". At least she got the first three letters right.

It is heartbreaking how sad and bleak my mom feels. I am at a loss about what to do. My brother is growing more and more stressed and less and less detached towards my mom and her situation. He is counting the days to when she is accepted into a nursing home so he can quit worrying about her not just day-to-day but hour to hour. Gah, there is so much more to it and it is hard to write. My poor mom.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I have barely been able to speak to my mom since I have returned from Toronto. She cannot answer the phone unless she has someone there to help her so when someone is there and she answers, she always needs to go because someone is there (like my aunt, my mom's friends or my brother).

I am coping with this by eating. I am supposed to be taking a "Summer Shape Up" program at the gym. Well, I go to all of the classes but I am stress eating so my summer shape has become rotund. Next week is the last week and I am so mortified thinking about weighing in and taking measurements when I have gone UP on everything. I think I will email the trainer in charge and tell him I would like to skip that bit and just go for the workout. I am even a bit too chicken to do that. I suck.

The kids are out of school in a week. Dex starts driver's ed the week after that so our summer days will be spent driving him to/from his classes. DH is super busy at work and cannot take any vacation until August so we won't be headed to Oregon this year. That makes me really sad because I will miss vacationing with Spy and her family.

Jax wrote the SAT on the weekend and there was a misprint in the packet for the time on one section so College Boards are going to throw out the results of that one section (the kids had 5 minutes extra time to complete) so it will be interesting to see what his final score will be. If he does not score as good as or better than he has on the practice tests I am going to be pissed. I am sure a lot of other parents will also be pissed (something like 500,000 kids wrote the test on June 6 in the USA). I guess we just wait and see what his results will be...

Cars is continuing to not do well in school. Math tutoring is in his future.