September 17, 2017

Know

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Now usually, thinking turns into over-thinking, which turns into obsessing, followed by the burn-out. Isn't it so lovely that I have finally begun to understand myself? Naturally, this "Ah-Ha" moment will trigger more reflection and THUS THE CYCLE BEGINS. Or ends. Not really sure when something like that starts, and now I have THAT thought thrown into the mix. I tell you what...

Anyhow, I have been doing a lot of thinking about myself and how my life is going to affect my children in the future. I think that this sort of personal reflection always follows the death of a loved one. You remember them, and you can almost reach out and touch those few critical interactions that tied and bound your relationship together. As I've thought about Kathy, I've been remembering her physical limitations, especially these last few years. And it's made me wonder, what kind of grandmother will I get to be?

Most of the time, I don't pay much attention to my disease. But then, there is a today.

Today was Saturday. (Or I guess it's technically Sunday now, but I haven't been to bed, so it doesn't count.) Today was Install Shower Wall Tile Day. Fifteen years ago, Troy and I could tile anything. He worked as an apprentice tiler, and I was his trusty sidekick. I have laid thousands and thousands of square feet of tile. Troy's laid even more. Now, wall tile is tricky. Wall tile is even more tricky when the bathroom wall is in the wrong place, and there is now an inch and three quarters shelf on the back end of the tub. However, we found a solution, everything is ship shape, we are READY TO BEGIN.

Now, Troy and I are a pretty good team. I install ground zero, make sure that first row of tile is nice and level. I mark the tiles, Troy cuts the tiles, I install the first row or two, and then we switch. Why the switch? Troy is better with the trowel, whereas I am better with a tile saw. Unfortunately, we are working on the basement bathroom. Which means there is a lot of up and down the stairs. And yes, I have four kids who should be helping. But you know what? They hooked up a wagon to the back of the riding mower, and were cruising the streets, giving kids rides. So I tromped up and down the stairs until my tromp done broke. So we had to switch jobs again. And Troy is a trooper. He just WORKS. Guys, if there is ONE THING I want my kids to learn from their dad, it is persistence. Persistence and hard work pay off eventually; even if it's just for yourself! Knowing that you put forth your best effort is all that matters. Anyways.

We have again switched jobs. I am now marking and installing tiles, Troy is running up and down stairs to cut and deliver. Children are still MIA. Guys, today KILLED ME DEAD. My vision started to go wonky, accompanied by the glorious metallic tang in my mouth. My spasms are freaking crazy, and I am losing my words.

And because I have lost my words, and because I can't explain how I need a tile cut, and I'm trying to show you, but you're not understanding, because I make NO SENSE. And Troy is patiently waiting for me. And he's trying to help me find the words to explain. And he's telling me, "Honey, it's okay. We'll figure it out." And it's a goddamn piece of tile.

And I hate it.

And I hate that when we were helping to go thru Kathy's things, that there were boxes and boxes of medical supplies and equipment. There were dozens of bottles of pills and tonics. And I knew what they all were. And I was grateful that I could take them home with me, because I'm an expensive person, with expensive habits. And I hate that I know what she felt like before she died; that I know exactly where she was hurting, and how much.

And as I was staring into my husband's face, and he was looking up at me with his signature wry grin, just happy that I was helping, I just... I don't know. It's like, I have a rush of images and I'm just following along life's little thread, and I get flashes of what life might be. At what point do I stop having "relapses" and just have lapses?

I mean, even this house, this wonderful, glorious, house, was picked out specifically because it's disabillity friendly, and there's enough room for me to put in a ramp. I mean, who the hell goes house shopping thinking, Gosh! this door is super wide! It is definitely ADA compliant. And Whoa Over There! That front walkway is PERFECT for converting stairs to ramps!

So yeah, that's me. Tiling a bathroom, pushing way past my limits, knowing full well that I'm already spiraling down into the black abyss that is Caroline's basic functionality as a human being. And then I think, when my kids grow up, and they get married, and have babies, will I be able to tell them I love them? Because I'm losing my words. And if I tell them a million times between now and then, will it be enough? Will they remember? Will they KNOW that even though I'm lost inside, and that I'm trapped in my body, that I will always be there to anchor them? I just need them to know.

September 15, 2017

Fare Thee Well

Troy's mom passed away on September 4th. We went to Arizona for the funeral, and my kids were devastated. All of the grand kids sang at the funeral service, and about mid-way through the song, Thaddeus just started to sob. The service was really nice. Matt (Troy's older brother) and his wife Jessica gave the life story of Kathy. There were a few funny ones from when she was growing up. When Kathy started getting more sick, she had a book made about her life. We got a copy, and it's full of pictures from her childhood. She also wrote a message to each of her grand kids, so that was really neat.

After the funeral service (held in Chandler, AZ),  we hopped in the car to travel to the cemetery (in Safford, AZ) where she would be buried. Troy dedicated the grave, and the kids each placed a flower on the casket. Then we got back in the car to begin the long trip home. We basically drove, cried, drove, cried, drove, cried.

Her obituary:

Bingham, Kathryn Harris
Kathryn Harris Bingham, born June 18, 1947, was called home Monday, September 4, 2017. Kathy led a very happy, active life filled with family, church, and service to others. Known for her love of her Savior and kindness to others, she will be missed by all.
She is survived by her husband, Justin and her three kids, Matthew, Troy, and Marie. Her legacy will be carried on through her 12 grandchildren.
Funeral services are Monday, September 11, 2017 at 10 am, preceded by a visitation at 9 am, at the LDS church at 1950 W. Galveston St. in Chandler. Burial will follow that evening at the Safford, Arizona Cemetery.

We did get a chance to see my parents new homestead. They bought 40 acres in northern Arizona, and are building their house. They pretty much live in the middle of nowhere, and they love it. Crazy kids. ;)

In other Bingham Family News: school started. Kids love it. They're basically on vacation when compared to the school system we just came from. Plus, both of the schools work in an hour of homework/tutoring DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. So my kids aren't overloaded with homework. It's pretty sweet.

Troy's job is going well. He's super busy, and he likes that. I've been getting the house set up and decorated and unpacked. I am almost done. Actually, I just finished sanding down a table THAT I BUILT ALL BY MYSELF from leftover scrap wood and mouldings. Now I need to prime and paint that sucker. I'm debating adding an extra shelf on the bottom, but as of now, I am undecided. THE END.

August 29, 2017

Recapped

Well hello. It's been awhile. I think a recap is in order. ;)

Recap 1: We have a house. We have moved in. We have unpacked. I am now organizing all of the things and putting them in their proper places. Naturally, this means that the house is a disaster, and it looks like I haven't done anything, when I've actually been working a WHOLE, WHOLE LOT.

For example: today, I assembled 2 heavy duty utility shelves for use in our storage room. I was not planning on this, but when I was at Lowe's I noticed that the shelving units that I wanted were on sale. BIG TIME. You see, when we were putting in our humongous order for all the odds and ends we needed to finish the house, we got ONE of the shelving units, and we were excited because it was on sale for $99... Well TODAY they were SUPER on sale for $64, so I bought TWO.

Then I had to put them together, which allowed me to put all the Christmas/Winter stuff  IN ONE PLACE. THEN, on the OTHER shelves, I was able to put a bunch of camping gear and Halloween stuff, and toys and such. And it is so totally a bunch of work, but it looks like a disaster in the meantime. Blergh. <<< That's the sound I make on the daily.

Recap 2: The kids are in school. School transportation is super dumb, because even though we live on the very edge of the boundaries, THERE IS NO BUS. How is this possible? I don't know. What I DO know is that there is no bus to the junior high, and there is no bus to the elementary school. We live more than a mile from both of the schools, and two major streets must be crossed to get to our schools. But there is no bus.  Also, our bell schedules are just enough off to make life miserable.

Junior high begins at 8:10. Elementary begins at 8:45. They are practically next door to each other. So, do I save gas and just do one trip and chill with my elementary kids for 30 minutes? Do I leave them at home and do 2 separate morning runs? Especially because it takes all of 5 minutes to go back home?

In the afternoon, I have the junior high kids walk over to the elementary school so that I only have to do one pick up. so that's nice. But it would be REALLY nice to have a bus.

Recap 3: The job hunt has been put on hold for awhile. Mostly because if I started working right now, our house would never be ready, and it would drive me crazy, which would make everyone crazy, because CRAZY is contagious.

Recap 4: Meredith and her cute kiddos came to visit/help me unpack. We would have been a lot more productive if people had been in school, but she was here right before school started, when we were registering and getting supplies, and all that stuff. She did help to make sure I didn't fall off my DIY ladder scaffolding while I was hanging pictures up the stairs. Meredith said I was doing acrobatics, when REALLY, if I were to fall A) I have lots of padding and B) I can't feel hardly anything anyways. (Seriously though, I have the weirdest bruises from WHO KNOWS WHAT!) Back to Meredith. Her babies are cute. And busy. And our Lucky dog was super jealous of Delaney, because HE is my best friend, not her. Because of this jealous nonsense:

Recap 5: Lucky gets trained. Our cute dog has turned into a barking, sniveling, crybaby poopy pants. (Not real poop. Gross. He's trained in THAT, thank goodness.) His behavior of late has been on the naughty side, and he is so danged LOUD. Our backyard is all fenced, but part of it is chain link, and our backyard neighbors have dogs and chickens.  So Lucky has to go yell/bark at them approximately 1 million times a day. We looked in to bark collars, but have decided to go the route of clicker training. Because it's WAY less expensive. And I'm looking in to making our chain link fence a little more private, because I might want to sunbathe in the nude, and can't have neighbors looking at my glorious flesh.

Recap 6: I don't think these are actually recaps anymore. But I'm too tired to care.

Recap 7: Fence. I hate the chain link fence. The fence is what I went to Lowe's for in the first place. I wanted to SEE my options for making it more private, and I wanted to know the price point for my options. GUYS. They have hedge inserts, and ivy inserts for chain link. It's like branches of a Christmas tree, but 6 ft long. I can't decide if I think it's gross, or brilliant. I CAN'T DECIDE!