55 Years

Today is my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary. On this day in the summer of love, 1967, those two crazy kids got hitched. They are not currently living in the same facility. Dad is in an assisted living place in Billerica and Mom is in a nursing facility in Andover. It’s devastating. Any time I visit Mom I try to call Dad so they can connect a little, but my Mother mostly doesn’t get what’s going on and it fails. Dad was insistent that he see her today, rightly so, and my brother is taking him. My brother saw Mom yesterday and it sounds like it was a pretty rough day for her. The fear is that the same thing will happen today and it will some how make things worse for both parents. When I try to pretend I am an optimist, I try to envision something in Mom’s head snapping into focus when she sees Dad. Fingers crossed. Really hoping something like that happens. Seriously.

Anyway, 55 years is a huge number. Do me a favor and take a second to wish my folks a happy anniversary. Maybe some happy vibes from the electronic universe will help them connect today. Wouldn’t that be great?

I’m Pretty Sore Today

Yesterday was a tough one physically mostly, but also mentally.

I am not going into a lot of detail here, but the back story is this. Last September my parents moved from their house in Tewksbury to an assisted living space in Billerica. Over the course of the next eight months my mother’s dementia grew steadily worse to the point where she was getting up in the middle of the night and falling down. On May 9th she had a fall and was taken to Lowell General Hospital. The assisted living space said they could no longer handle assisting her living so the hospital started working toward finding a new place for her. She was moved into a nursing facility in Andover and she’s living there now. That means that my parents, who are days away from their 55th wedding anniversary, are no longer able to live together. It’s crushing to say the least. My father was still in the same room at the assisted living place, but that room was in the memory care unit, which he does not require. So yesterday we moved him to a new room, one that is not in the locked down memory unit.

We had movers pick up a piece of furniture at the house in Tewksbury and take it to Billerica. They then moved everything from the memory wing in the basement to Dad’s new room on the first floor, then they took some of mom’s things back to Tewksbury. I bounced from place to place with them and helped out a little. Mostly just by punching in the door lock codes getting in and out of the memory wing.

After the movers were done (huge, huge thanks to them) I went back to Dad’s new room and helped unpack. My sister and my two nephews were there too. We had everything wrapped up by about 2:00 with one glaring exception. Dad sleeps on a rented hospital bed. The company that rents the bed handles moving it from place to place. They initially said they would be there to move the bed at 2:09. Then 2:48. Then 3:30. I had to leave before they got there. I’ll tell you why right now.

We had broken for lunch at around noon. Dad went to the cafe, My sister and the kids went to Wendy’s, and I stayed in the room waiting for maintenance to fix something in the bathroom and switch on the Cable TV. I started eating my little four ounce of chicken lunch but kept getting interrupted. In the end it took me about two hours to get through it and I spent a lot of time taking a bite, then unpacking something for a few minutes, then going back for another bite. I don’t know if my bites were too big, or if it was something to do with being active mid-meal, but I found myself getting pretty nauseous. I pushed through it, but I was feeling pretty bad.

Later, during the time we were done with everything but the waiting for the bed I started feeling sicker. I think it was due to lack of protein? Maybe? Lack of food? Something? I only had a protein shake for breakfast so I hadn’t eaten much. I was just feeling sick to my stomach again and weak and I was getting on toward being nervous about driving. I had to leave and go get something to eat. Once I was home with food in me I felt better. I feel bad about bailing, but at least now I have another couple of food experiences to keep an eye on.

So stomach wise, things are good today. Thankfully. Dad wise, he’s in his new place. He’s miserable about being separated from Mom, but otherwise he seemed okay yesterday. It’s possible he was just putting on a brave face for two of his kids and two of his grandkids, but he did seem okay. Here’s hoping he still feels okay today.

The hang up for me, personally, at this point is pain. I more or less was on my feet yesterday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. It was rough for Mr. Out of Shape here. Sure, I have a lot more energy and stuff since losing 100 pounds in the last seven months (WOOHOO!), but I am still really fat and out of shape and that was a lot of work yesterday.

Then to make things work, I still did my 30 minutes of walking. It was after dinner when I was all settled and feeling better. Jen and I were in the living room watching the tube and I got up and started walking. My Activity App credited me for 18 minutes of exercise during the day, but I have a streak of doing 30 minute walks going (I don’t actually remember when the streak started so I can’t tell you how long it’s lasted) and I didn’t want to ruin it. So I started walking. 30 minutes later I was a mess, but happy. Today I got up as usual and did another 30 minutes before work and now my legs are going to fall off. Poof, no legs. Figuratively at least.

Here’s hoping the pain lessens as the day goes on, but we will have to see.

Ouch, babie. Ouch.

Another Request for Happy Thoughts

I think this is the third time in two weeks that I have had to ask for this, but if you’re finding you have some cosmic positivity lying around that you can spare, could you send some my mother’s way today? She’s in the hospital right now. This one isn’t directly related to the last two trips, but maybe it is. I don’t know.

I’m a little late to the happy thoughts request this time. She got to the hospital while I was on the road to work and it sounds like they are already prepping her for discharge. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong this time, which is great, but it’s still really scary. Every little bit helps, right?

Thanks, internet people. It’s appreciated.

Looking Ahead

It’s the end of my lunch break on Friday. I’m looking ahead to the weekend. What’s going on?

We have a problem in our kitchen and someone is coming over to take a look and maybe give an estimate. We will all be masked and distanced and I really hate having people invade our Covid bubble but what can you do. After that I am going to bring some groceries over to my parents. Again, masks and distance. Outside of that?

One song needs rhythm guitars. 11 songs need lead guitars. One song is ready for vocals. At least six songs do not exist and need to start existing.

Other than that? I heard snow could be a thing this weekend. I choose to ignore that as even the slightest possibility. No thank you. The yard was covered with snow when I left the house yesterday morning. By the time I got home it was all gone. All of it. This morning I saw the temperature reach 60 degrees. It’s now 37 and dropping like a stone. Cold in February sucks, but it’s better than cold and snow. No snow. Pretty please with sugar on top.

Oh yeah, one other insignificant thing. The Walking Dead comes back on Sunday night. To paraphrase Adam Sandler (actually, more like steal a lyric from Adam Sandler), Zombies for me. Zombies for you. Like to kill zombies in an old brown shoe.

I am so ready for some weekend right now. So ready.

To Do List Complete After All

I had three things I wanted to accomplish today and a couple that would be nice to do. I thought I was going to be left with just one of the main three finished, but here we are with all three effectively done.

I wanted to go to my doctor’s not-appointment this morning. I did that. I wanted to get my haircut, and I wanted make a short visit to my parents. I wussed on the haircut and never even called to make an appointment. Jen came to the rescue and did it! I think this is the third or fourth time since the pandemic started and I am always left feeling incredibly thankful that she would take on such a horrifying job. Thank you, my love! It looks great! As for my parents, the excuse for the visit was grocery shopping. Just a thing or two that I could bring them. Well, the stuff they asked for wasn’t available anywhere we could find so I was shit out of luck. I talked to them this afternoon and they said to come over anyway. I told them I could only stay for a few covid-safe minutes and they said that was fine. So I got to make a short visit anyway, even without an excuse!

The other things on the would be nice list were car music, which was a big no (tomorrow though?), bringing in the Poland Springs water delivery, which hasn’t been done yet because they delivered just before I left for my parents, and after I got back it was hair cut time. The bottles are outside, I’ll get them shortly. The only other thing left is to cook dinner, which I am going to do right now.


Almost Cut My Hair

I didn’t wuss out on the weight loss thing today, but I am going to wuss out on the hair cut. I am beyond desperate for one but the Covid question has me freaking on an irrational level. You know how it is. Jen is going to cut it for me. She’s already cut her own today and it looks great.

The other task for today is crumbling before my eyes as well. We are trying to get ice cream sandwiches to bring over to my parents. We can’t find any. We’ll keep trying, but the pickings are slim. Shit. Its a little thing and I wanted to come through. Shit.

Anyway, here is the song of the day…

To Do Tomorrow

  • Car music before work!
  • Put out the trash barrels (probably before the car music)
  • Empty the wetvac and clean up whatever the dehumidifier doesn’t get tonight
  • Empty the dehumidifier
  • Go to work
  • Meetings most of the day but still need to work on the huge division-wide nightmare of an issue (that we totally have in hand at the moment… barring any unforeseen problems)
  • Show the plumber where I think the source of Lake Asshole is
  • Make dinner with my love
  • Have dinner with my love
  • Maybe pay a quick visit to my parents’ new place (I still need to post that huge thing I wrote back on September 3rd, explaining all that went on, but posting that is not on this to do list)
  • Maybe, if time allows, track a few guitar parts or maybe mix another song. I mixed two songs tonight. I shared the one that sucked least.
  • Try to decide if entries in a bulleted list should end in a period or not. What do the grammar nazis say? I think it should be punctuated, but when I do it just feels wrong.
    • See what I mean?
  • Go to sleep and then do it all again on Wednesday


We were originally thinking of keeping me isolated until tomorrow night. I was going to take another Covid-19 test, both rapid and PCR, and when the rapid came back negative I would be in the clear. Today, after a little consultation with the CDC, we decided to stretch that to Friday. I cancelled my test appointment and rescheduled for Friday morning. It’s just another day and a half, and while we all agree it is likely a massive overreaction, it just feels a little safer and a little smarter. I just wish it didn’t feel like such a crushing blow. Come on, Robert. It’s only about 36 hours more.

On top of all of the other shit though, it just adds to all the guilt. I should be able to do more for my parents. I should be able to do more for Jen. I should be able to do more to keep everyone safe while still helping with everything that needs help. Shit, man. I shouldn’t really feel this guilty, but I do. It’s weighing me down and making me tired all the time.

I feel like I need a good, solid win. Followed by a good, solid, long (permanent?) vacation to someplace where it never gets too cold and snow is a fairy tale told to kids to scare them into being good… or something like that.

Ah, hell. I think I’m just tired. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the morning. I did get my 30 minutes of exercise in today, so hopefully that will lead to a really good night’s sleep.

Wish me luck.

Step Taken

Just heard from my brother. The thing that was supposed to happen today that represents another step toward the end of our long familial struggle happened today. He said it seemed to go well. He mentioned a couple of times that everyone is on the same page. Us… Them… Those other folks too… all on the same page.

Good news.

Back at it Tonight

I am going to be back at my parents house tonight. I’m trying to be optimistic and keep my head together but there are a couple of things going on at work that are seriously getting under my skin. I’m trying to be helpful but it’s just not working. I don’t know why or how, I just know that I’m about to take a nutty off the deep end of life.

I’m trying to eat my lunch but the universe just won’t let me. To make matters worse, I just dropped a pretzel on the floor. What a sad waste of a delicious snack food.

Oh, and the Red Sox are playing the Yankees right now and the Yankees are up 2-0 after two innings. Yippee.

On the up side, another small step toward a solution to the parent health care problem is scheduled to happen later today. It’ll be wrapped up before I get there so I will be sending red head vibes and crossed fingers from home.

I don’t want to be in a perpetual state of freak out, or an endless state of annoyed. I just want things to be manageable, you know?

Okay, I am going to finish my lunch now. Wish me luck.