Bold and Daring Adventure?Posted: December 8, 2011
As Christmas draws near, it seems the intensity of caregiving has kicked up a notch. There are a plethora of worries to choose from.
Jerri will be alone this year. I’m going out of the country and she wasn’t invited to the family festivities. Christmas is an extra depressing time for her and I feel guilty for leaving. Telecare, her mental health provider, will check in on her while I’m gone but still I feel guilty . . . and sad. No one should be alone at Christmas.
For Christmas, Jerri asked for a bird. Until recently, her housing complex did not allow pets. But there is a new property manager, Brian, and he consented. Pets are great therapy, I know this, but what if something goes wrong? What if she can’t handle the responsibility? What if she forgets to feed and water it or exposes it to environmental dangers? What if she forgets to clip its wings or can’t afford to and it flies away? I feel like I’m her parent, not her sister. I never had kids for a reason. Having responsibility now for a 48-year old is quite daunting. I don’t want Jerri dependent on me. She needs to be able to make her own choices and deal with the consequences. But I know her history with animals. We adopted Max, her dog, when she moved here and he was quite traumatized from living with her. She lost one bird when her air conditioning went out while she was hospitalized and another when it breathed in fumes from the Endust she was spraying. And how can she even afford the food? Her finances are a mess and she’s eating at the shelter, three meals a day.
Sigh. I bought her a bird anyway. I pray it will help her recover more of who she is. I pray this is not a huge mistake. I pray the bird doesn’t keel over.
My husband and I are at odds about Jerri’s car. Her license was suspended when she failed to show up in traffic court and she owes back property taxes. She attempted to sell it to the manager of a boarding house where she once lived. He made the first payment then absconded with the vehicle. It’s now awaiting retrieval from a lot owned by the county sheriff’s department. Detective Smith relieved said gentleman of said car upon incarceration. Really. You can’t make this stuff up. My life was amazingly sheriff-free before Jerri. The car has no keys, a dead battery, and four flat tires. We agree the car must be dealt with. We just don’t agree on when or how.
And as an extra cherry on top, Jerri just received notice from Brian that her rent is past due. Housing for New Hope, who owns the property, requires residents to have a payee so Telecare pays her bills. Telecare says they submitted payment. Brian says he didn’t get it and it’s Jerri’s responsibility as the resident to see that he does. Sigh. Do you see why I’m leaving the country?
And all of this is added to the end of the year madness at work and my own melancholy linked to the holiday. Can anybody out there relate?