Friday, February 13, 2015

Where does happiness come from?

I've watched Makae these last few months from afar. She hasn't wanted much contact with us. I took her to lunch once, but that was it other than that a few facebook messages, meeting her at Wal-mart to buy her a cold-weather sleeping bag and getting her stuff from an apartment.

When I try to reach out to her she is distant. When I try to help her she takes the help... sometimes as though it is her right. But most of the time it is awkward. I think she feels we judge her. Perhaps we do. Not intentionally, but I do have a hard time believing she is happy, or that her actions will lead to happiness.

For one thing, although she swears she never wants to go back to jail, she quit meeting her probation officer and doing her drug tests, so she has a warrant out for her arrest. Her solution to that is to hide from the police, believing that if she can avoid being picked up for three years it'll go away (Shawn has done some research into that belief and is pretty certain it's untrue; there doesn't seem to be a statute of limitations on probation violations).

After the funeral she had her friend bring her to our house with all of her stuff. She was sad, but we invited her friends to stay for a while and eat with us. We had a nice dinner with them and the whole family. After dinner they left, and she got on the computer again, but when it was time for bed, she wanted stay in the house, not go to the trailer. Shawn told her that was fine, but if she was in the house she would have to sleep with me. She wanted to be alone, not with me, so he told her it had to be the trailer. She was quite angry. He tried explaining nicely that with the charges she made against her brothers and him that she couldn't sleep in the house. We had to maintain a distance that left no chances. She finally went to the trailer, but was quite angry at us.

That night Shawn came up with another solution. He would get a camera and install it in the hallway to the spare bedroom, configured to record all movement. That way she could sleep in the house because if she made any rape allegations we'd have proof that it hadn't happened (her previous allegations had been that she was raped while asleep; she is capable of defending herself while awake, so we really only had to solve the sleeping arrangement question).

The next morning, Tuesday, day before yesterday, Makae came in the house from the trailer and got on the computer first thing. The internet sometimes slows down due to the valley where we live not having good service. It made her extremely angry and she started swearing quite obscenely about it. I asked nicely for her to not swear. She said that she would cuss because it was part of who she was, something she was proud of and that if I really loved her I would accept all aspects of her, not just the ones I liked.

I disagreed and told her that swearing was a choice and not inherent to her character or personality. She said her boyfriend had loved her foul mouth, her piercings, her tattoos, her green hair, her rebelliousness and that she should never change and she was going to honor his memory by never changing. I told her that was her choice but if she was in our home the rule was no bad language and she would have to obey that. She continued to get angry and asked why we wanted her back here if we couldn't accept her the way she was, or love her. I told her we did love her and we did accept her, but that didn't mean we had to lower the standards of our home, anyway... she got more upset and finally Shawn got involved. He eventually lost his temper and told her to get out. She refused, and said that we'd always hated her, that we were so terrible to her her whole life, that we were horrible to her. He got really upset at that and said "You know what? I am done. I try and try and try, and you never meet us halfway or any way. From this point on I no longer have a daughter."

Of course that went over well. I kept telling him to calm down and go away, that I would handle it. At this point she decided she was leaving and was crying and a mess. It really hurt her feelings. And she was already upset because of her boyfriend.  Shawn immediately felt terrible and tried to apologize and tell her he said it in a moment of anger, but she wouldn't let him take it back. She said she'd been waiting for years for him to say that, and had always known that he didn't want her. She wanted all of her stuff and was leaving right then.

I finally managed to coax her back inside and settle down a bit. We talked a bit, and she decided that she can't stay with us, that it won't work because she is always so angry with us. She feels like she is never good enough. I tried to explain that we don't feel that way, but she would have none of it. She said some pretty hurtful things as well. Things like we never wanted her, never loved her. That she has no good memories of us or her childhood. She said all of the times we tired to get her help in hospitals, or rehab centers or even with medications was nothing more than abandoning her and that we had done it her whole life. She told us we were the worst parents and could never love her unless we could love and accept all of the choices she made -- choices that, frankly, she made specifically because we thought they were bad ideas.

She talked about how doctors know nothing, how meds do nothing but screw her up. She talked about how our religion had done nothing but make her feel guilty her whole life. She was finally proud of who she was, her identity defined by her body modification, profanity, promiscuity, and drugs.

As I listened I thought she really does need help. What clearer evidence than the fact that she so completely lacks any sense of identity that she has to define herself in terms of such shallow characteristics, every one of them chosen in direct opposition to our ideals. Essentially, her identity is her opposition to our beliefs. Even more, she deliberately seeks out the opposition in every interaction with us -- even when we're not opposed. As an example, she once screamed at Shawn that we're terrible people because we want to deny gay people the right to be married, and continued her tirade even after Shawn said we wanted no such thing and had plans to attend my brother's marriage to his partner (Shawn was their wedding photographer). But it didn't matter that her point of opposition was false, she wanted to make us out to be terrible. We have been careful not to criticize any of her choices, trying to get her to understand that we love her regardless of whether or not we think she's choosing well. But she consistently forces the issue, demanding that we must agree with and even like her choices, because if we don't, that means we don't like or love her.

I'm not sure if this is because she's testing, as borderline sufferers often do, to see if people will stick by her no matter how much she abuses them, as a way to prove that they care, or if she has no identity of her own so these choices really are, to her, the totality of her value as a person. I think maybe it's some of both. Either way, she's really unhealthy, but I can't force treatment because it won't work unless she wants it too. We finally got her to agree to see a psychiatrist and perhaps a therapist, though she said that she hates medications and probably won't take them.

Shawn also offered to help pay for an apartment for her since if she can't live with us we don't want to see her on the street. Homelessness is never good, and in Utah where it gets so cold, it is worse. She got on the internet and found a friend who was willing to let her move in if we paid part of the rent. Afterwards I left for a little while to help my mom.

About 30 minutes later, Shawn called and asked if I had any plain, unscented chapstick, because Makae was upset that the new tattoo she had gotten in remembrance of her boyfriend had begun to dry out and crack and she needed to put something on it. I told him I had some in my purse but that I thought that was the only unscented chapstick I had. I came back, although it turned out that she couldn't use what I had.

She then became quite agitated, insisting that she had to leave right then to get some ointment that would help. She went into a full blown panic attack, unable to control her emotions, or her thought processes, and even sort of had some tics. I agreed to drive her down to Ogden and buy her some ointment for fresh tattoos. She yelled at me the whole time I was getting in the truck to go. She yelled at me for not moving fast enough or caring about her or anyone else and just myself. She yelled at me because I didn't have any chapstick, and then for not knowing she needed the ointment when I arrived. When I told her I thought it was pretty selfish to think that I should know what she and her dad talked about when I was gone she got really angry and made some completely nonsensical comments about how it was my responsibility to know these things, and not her fault. I harrumphed at that and she went on for the whole way down the canyon about how I never listen and that only with us does she get so out of control.

I finally told her that she was the only one who wouldn't let the subject drop, and she kept yelling at me to shut up and let her calm herself down, and that I never let her. Anyway... she was just mentally out of control. Not violent physically, but mentally. We finally made it to the store and bought her ointment. Then she said she couldn't go back up and told me to drop her off at a friends house. At this point I had been yelled at and verbally attacked for most of the day so I was happy to. I dropped her off, and went home. I spent the afternoon thinking and wondering and second guessing my actions and thoughts. She contacted me later to say that we could meet the girl she wanted to move in with today and that would we please bring all of her stuff to her, and asked me to wash all of her clothes for her. I did.

I got on the computer later to see that she had posted on facebook that her parents were willing to pay someone to let her live with them if it would just get her out of our lives, that is how much we hated her. She told us how much all of her friends hated us, because of how we treated her. It hurts. I won't say it doesn't. But last night I actually felt a little peace. I felt like God would watch out for her and that, no matter what, he knew her problems and that he loved her and that he would sort through things.

The saddest realization of the day is that Makae is so unhappy because she is searching for it in all the wrong places. She wants someone to give her value, she wants things to make her happy, to feel something other than shame, and yet she makes choices that only produce more shame. It's a vicious downward cycle. The things that would give her self worth and true happiness she rejects vehemently as things we have tried to "shove" down her throat her whole life. I'm not even talking about religion, although I think God would help her if she would allow it, but just everything about having a normal, stable life.

We met her new roommate today. The place was clean and well kept. It smelled good. The girl seemed to have it together. She is going to college and has a job. She knows Makae and her issues and is very patient with her. I hope it really works for Makae, that she can find some stability. We will look into doctors, but again it is really up to Makae to make it work. She isn't willing to take medications, even though if she's having hallucinations she clearly needs them.

I wish that she could see how much love we have for her. When talking to Shawn about how terrible he felt about the things he said, I said "She may hate us all of our lives here on earth, but when we get to the other side she will realize why we did what we did. She will see the love we had/have for her and that we only wanted her happiness. She will know how much we cared, and how hard we have tried to show her that. She will not be angry or hate us; she will finally recognize us for what and who we are, and I hope for what and who she is. I wish she didn't have to go through this life with a broken mind. I wish she didn't have the issues she does, but I have to have faith that God knows why... and however unfathomable to me there is a good reason for it. I know he will not leave her abandoned, any more than we can. We just don't always see it, just as Makae doesn't always see us."

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She needs help and we are only able to do so much. She could use all the help she can get.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blessed Peace

Nov 25th - My dear sweet grandpa Merritt passed away this morning.  It is so hard and yet so wonderful.  He has wanted to go for so long.  I will miss him terrible.  I have been so blessed to have him as a grandpa for 24 years. He has been so good to me.  He is happy though.  He is with Grandma Wanda, and Merrilee and Jill and all of his brothers and parents.  What a wonderful reunion he is having.  Oh I am so grateful for that knowledge. We all saw him on Wednesday of last week, well all of the boys and I, Shawn was out of town.  He loved seeing the boys.  I saw him of Friday.  He told me that day he wasn't getting better.  I told him it would be okay if he went.  But he said he was scared of that as well.  He didn't feel good.  We should have visited on Sunday but we had tithing settlement and then... poor excuses.  I made plans to see him today.  I have loved seeing him this past few months so regularly.  We have gone multiple times per week and sometimes every night.  I will always cherish the times I had to be with him.  He blessed my life so much.

Ethan's play

Ethan's school put on Peter Pan as the musical this year.  They did a really good job.  Ethan was Mr. darling.  He did a great job as well.  He was very dedicated to his role and he worked hard.  We went twice to see it.  Well a total of three.  I went with Mom, then Shawn went with his Mom, then I went with Lill and then again with Alicyn.  They put it on 4 times.

Mr Darling feeling bad the kids are gone.
Alicyn and Ethan

Maya played the adult Wendy
Mr. Darling and two of his kids, John and Michael

Simmering Resentment

Boy do I need blessings and help to overcome my faults.  One of them is Simmering Resentment.  I know it is wrong, and I talk it through and I know with my head that this is the way it is, but then my heart hurts and all of the pent up hurt feelings come out, and I realize I haven't really cleared things up yet.  I don't know how long it will take.  I do try.  I try to see the good side of people.  I try to be nonjudgemental, I try to look through their eyes, but sometimes I'm human and I just see it so differently and "They are wrong and should fix it" comes out.

My biggest areas I struggle with are in family relationships and religion.  The person who has sinned I can allow to repent with no problem.  I give them the benefit of the doubt.  But when it is personal and I know they know better it gets to me.  I have certain standards that I think are important, and I know others peoples standards aren't the same as mine, but somehow I think they should be.  I have to admit that I was quite upset with Shawn's parents for wanting to be gone all the time instead of with family.  I know that is wrong.  I love them, and I know they love us, and I know they are truly enjoying this time of their lives together.  I want them to enjoy it.  I want them to be happy... yet because I put so much emphasis on family togetherness I find it hard not to put that on them as well.  My dad has frustrated me the past few weeks.  His way of dealing with disappointment hurts not only him, but Mom and Cole as well.  How can someone so knowledgeable about the gospel and Christ's teachings not see another's side of things.  How can he think by cutting someone off you are helping them.    Doesn't he realize only by love and example will he ever teach his son of his love?    But then I do the same thing in holding on to resentments.  I am having problems with my sister for divorcing her husband and being so unwilling to even consider him changing or trying.  I feel like the marriage covenant is so sacred you work and work at it.  That God will bless you in making it work. She doesn't feel the same and although I can see her side of it, and I can understand how hard it is for her, and I love her dearly, I get so angry about it, which is stupid because it doesn't really effect me and it isn't my decision or place.  I have family members on both sides that have left the church.  It bothers me a lot.  I feel like they are lost to me.  I look at my life and think about all the things that have happened and I think if anyone has a reason to be mad at God it is me. And I do get mad at him, but I never doubt his church.  I never doubt it is right.  I may not think things work the way some of the members think it does, but I am convinced of the truthfulness of the church, and I can't understand people leaving it.  It hurts me even though I know it is not done to hurt me.  In fact it has nothing to do with me, but I feel it.  The religion one is the hardest for me.   I love these people, I don't hate them, or even dislike them, I just get resentful.

It is one thing I am working on, I really am.  I am sure I have plenty of things for them to resent as well.  I know my side of the family says I'm great except for my epistles.  That is what they have dubbed my letters to them.  We manage to work through it.  I guess that is what really counts its managing to work through it and love them in spite of the things we don't like.  And in all reality the resentment mostly comes out when I am down and overwhelmed and I think I need people to help me and the ones I want to rely on aren't there because of choices they have made.  I guess that is what it boils down to is personalization, and expectations.  Sometimes I have to remind myself about my sessions with Cassandra and the things I learned there.  My though patterns are just as bad as some of Makae's.

Anyway.... this post is not to make anyone feel bad, it is just I know I need to work on things.  I know I have to fix these things, and I am trying, it just takes time.  Please know I don't hate you, I just have feelings I need to come to terms with.  It isn't you -- It's me.


First week of November -- Grandpa is such  a positive example for me.  We have seen him regularly and almost daily since he went to the rehab center.  He is still holding on, but not really improving.Getting slowly worse.  He stays in bed at all times and never gets up.  He is confused a lot of the time.  the other day when we went to visit him he wanted to go home to his house.  He couldn't believe that he would have sold it.  He has and infection that causes severe diarrhea that he caught from the facility and he has been in terrible pain that way for a while.  They put his back on Hospice.  Most days though he is cheery.  He has such an upbeat personality. I sure do love him.  He is in the nursing side of the facility until his infection clears up and then they will move him to a new place. He always knows who we are though and is so excited to see us.

Dad got a letter in the mail the other day from a psychiatrist in Florida congratulating him on the marriage of his son.  What a way to find out.  Cole and David's announcement was in the New York times.  This person had seen it and was writing a book about straight parents with Gay kids and wanted to know if they would be interested in being interviewed.  Needless to say, but no.  That set off a firestorm.  He thought Mom knew, and was quite upset, and when she said no, she didn't know, she confronted me.  So I told the whole thing and shared with her the whole thing and the why.  Dad was mad no one had told them.  I finally told him because we wanted to avoid exactly what was happening.  He cut off Cole for a while.  He is hurting, Mom is hurting and Cole is hurting.  Got to the point that Cole said he wasn't coming home for Christmas.  Been trying to work through all of this with them.  All I can do is hope and pray.  God has to soften hearts on both sides.

Makae broke up with James after he physically hurt her.    She found a new boyfriend but has been homeless.  I really don't like her on the streets, especially as winter is coming on.  We met her one night to give her her stuff and also bought her a warm sleeping bad and mattress and some stuff.  She was upset because she thought we would turn her in.  I don't know why she thinks that.  If we were going to turn her in, we would have already done that.  A few days after that her boyfriend was killed in a hit and run accident on his skateboard.  It really hurt Makae.  She called us and we went and got her.  We took care of her for a bit and then she wanted to go back down and be with all their "Street family" so we took her.  They put her up till the funeral.  After the funeral she wanted to come back home.  We said okay.  She also said she was willing to go into rehab, so we started finding places we could go to help her fulfill her probation requirements and also got her off the street and get her some help.  We found a place and took her down to meet them.  So we picked her up and took her down to the place and looked around.  She talked to the counselor privately and then came out and said nope, not for her.  She told him she has been having hallucinations and hearing voices, and that only marijuana keeps that at bay.  Her wants her to have a  full psychological evaluation.  That is all good, but it wont fulfill her probation requirements  or solve her housing issues or get her the help she needs. She told him even more she didn't want to be in rehab.  So why did we go through all of the work to set everything up if she was just going to say no.  It is just so sad.  She went back to her friends house to party.  I can't imagine she is happy, but there is so little I can do about that.  We saw a picture today that she drew of the demons in her life.  She explained the details, and part of it is her feat of her dad and brother.  I don't get that.  But she also drew blue around the demon because her mother always turns to God to fix her wayward daughter.  I took that as and insult but decided it is a compliment.  I do turn to God, because i know he has the ultimate power to fix her.  I am glad that she recognizes that.  even if for now she sees if as stupid or a fault of mine, it isn't and it will ring true to her sometime.  I love her so much and it kills me to see her suffer.

New Jersey

After Cole and David left, Shawn and I stuck around for a couple of days and we took time to see parts of New Jersey that we had never seen before.  It is a beautiful state.  And of course we were there at the perfect time for fall colors.   We went to see some of the historic sites first.  We went to the Princeton Battlefield, where a major victory was won during the revolutionary war.  Then we headed out to the Crossing of the Potomac state park.  There is a park on both sides of the river, one on New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania.   The one on New Jersey side is more natural and rustic with a few of the original sites being maintained, like the trail to Princeton, and the well and house that were on the site.  The other site has built up homes, and tents and is more of a reenactment of the  events.  We saw a little of both.  Then we just drove around and looked at the beautiful scenery on that side of the state. It was so pretty.  Beautiful rolling hills, and farmland, and so many woods.

A well at the crossing
The Potomac River
Part of the park
The Park on NJ side
Park on NJ side
The house and mill at the NJ site.
Sunlights filtering through the trees.

This was a little lake and forrest we passed just outside of one of the little towns.

The second day we headed along the Eastern side and drove down the coast.  And I mean most of the coast.  We could see where the last hurricane had really caused a lot of damage.  Houses were completely gone, and streets as well.  Some of the coastal towns were nice, some were pretty seedy.  We stopped in Atlantic city for lunch and it was less than stellar.  The city itself was less than stellar.  It all looked pretty run down.  I think it has fallen on hard times.  The casino's were practically empty, and no one was on the boardwalk either.  Course it was rather chilly.  We continued on down the coast till we got to Cape May.  I really wanted to see the quaint little town, but by the time we got there, we didn't have much time so we went to the state park instead.  It was beautiful and I really enjoyed it.  We thought we would walk around the town and get some supper afterwards, but apparently it is off season and not a lot of the places were open.
Cape May light house
Wet lands around Cape May
The light house.
Walking along the wetlands looking back at the lighthouse.
The beach on Cape May.  There is a sailboat on the water.
The beach at sundown

The lighthouse from the beach.
On the last day we cleaned up Cole's place really really well, got a car to rent,  and drove to an art gallery and then up to the airport.  The gallery was all sculpture gardens, and the gardens were quite nice.  Throughout it was sculptures from different people but mostly from one artist, who took people from everyday life and put them throughout the gardens.  They were very good.  There was one of a college girl laying on the grass with her earphones in, and she looked so real I had to do a double take.  There were quite a few like that.  He also did some sculptures of famous painting.  They were nice as well.  There was a little restaurant at the gardens called RATS.  It was terrific food.  And it was busy for a Tuesday.  This is the view from the patio where we ate at RATS.  It was so pretty.  Then we headed up the state to JFK, caught our flight and headed home.  It was a nice week, all in all.

This was one of the pieces he did, I real life version of Mona Lisa, so I snuck into the picture!!
I was going to mention that on the first day Shawn and I got honked at over and over, and we couldn't figure out why.  Then we remembered we were in Cole's car and it said "Just Married" on the back window.  Not only that but it had two grooms holding hands stickers.  I'm sure to motorists that passed us looked at us and thought, wow....  Funny gay couple, she looks female.  Anyway the second day we cleaned it off so we didn't get honked at the whole time.

Cole's Wedding

On October 25th, Cole got married to his long time partner David Adler.  Shawn and I went out for the wedding, and Charlene went out to see Meagan and they all drove up for the day.  Shawn and I stayed with Cole. It was a nice day.  Shawn met some people from google in New York, so I didn't feel too guilty about not telling Mom the whole truth, just that Shawn had some meeting and we were going to stay with Cole while we were there and then see some of New Jersey.  That was all true.  Cole decided a while ago not to tell Mom or Dad about his marriage.    First he didn't want to hurt them any more than they already were, and second  he couldn't see how it would help there relationship at all.  We all agreed.  We knew dad would pull into himself and become distant, and not be able to deal with Cole for awhile, and we knew Mom would be accepting and loving, but be terribly hurt and worry about it and be depressed, so we all kept it quiet. Besides that it wasn't our place to tell them.  Cole told us all to begin with that he would love to have us all there, but if we didn't feel like we could go and be happy with him to please not come because this was a happy day for him and he didn't want anything to ruin it.  He even offered to buy tickets for Alicyn and Lillie Ann.  Alicyn couldn't go given her situation and Lill decided she would stay with Mom.   I am glad I was there.  They had it at a nice place in Princeton.  They had a brief but not too long ceremony, then a luncheon and then toasts.   Cole had asked me to give a toast for his family.  I was really worried about how it would go, we don't do those at Mormon weddings, but it all went okay.  I toasted them with my own blessing and with sparkling cider.  I also wanted to be true to my beliefs.  I think being there showed Cole more love than anything I could have done.  He needed family there.  And the day was nice if sad in a way for me.  Cole paid a loverly compliment to Mom and Dad.  He said that even though his parents weren't there and couldn't agree with his choice, that everything he was that was good in his life had come from them.That they were wonderful parents and that he loved them dearly and that they loved him.  It made me cry and he was crying as well.    He remembered them and included them even though they weren't there.  Then it came my turn.  I toasted them that they would both be happy and that I loved them both and I welcomed David to the family.  I didn't say I am so happy for you.  I didn't say I hope you'll find much joy together.  I don't know if I believe that.  BUT.... I do want them both to be happy, and I do love them both, and I do hope they find joy.  It was a good day for him and I know his path to this point has not been an easy one.  I know he didn't choose any of this easily.  I know it has been heartache after heartache and that he struggled with himself and his choices.  Why God gives us different problems I will never understand, but there is a reason even if I don't get it.  Having spent many years trying to come to terms with this, I think I can sort of look through Cole's eyes and see just how difficult it is for someone in his shoes.  If I see it God does too, and who am I to judge.  It is my job to love.  God will sort it all out, not me.

We went out a few days before the wedding and spent some time with Cole and his friends.  I met David's mom and she was really a neat lady.  And Dana, Cole's friend from high school was there with her partner Madeline and we spent a lot of time with them as well.  It was a different group than I am use to, but I enjoyed it and again was glad I was there.  Cole's friends are very nice and care about him deeply.  I am glad he has a family away from home, even if it makes us jealous at times.  They get him more than us.

Charlene and David's sister signed the wedding certificate and let me tell you his sister was a hoot.  She is the living "Nanny Fran" She has the bronx accent, and dresses very to the T.  She is really outgoing and she just reminded me of so many things from the television show.  David's father and his wife were there as well.  They too were very nice. Shawn took all the pictures for the wedding and I think they turned out pretty good.
Rhone and Sylvie at Cole's house
Cole and David's Mom.
Madeline, David and Dana
Cole, David's step mom, and David
Cole and David during the ceremony with the officiator.

Charlene and her family with Cole in the gardens.
Shawn and I with Cole.
Meagan keeping Rhone entertained.
David's sister.
Cole, me, David and Shawn
Cole's family
Cole and David

Death and Divorce

Wow..... The past few weeks have been filled with Death.  First Charlene's father in law died, and then my cousins Lynn and her husband Jack Hannum died within 12 hours of each other, both battling diseases they have had for a long time, and then Lill's Father in Law has a massive Stroke and dies suddenly.  Grandpa I expect to go before the end of the year, but he is still holding on.   It's just all at once and so many and it was just shocking to me.  The Divorce part comes from Alicyn.  She has decided to Divorce Chad.  It breaks my heart.  I know she hasn't been happy for a while, and I know that Chad can be hard to deal with, but he really loves her and he hasn't changed from when she married him.  He still does the same things, acts the same way... It's not like she didn't know what she was getting into.  I think when she decided to have kids and introduce new things into her life, he just wasn't ready and couldn't handle it as a normal adult, after all he is not normal. But he agreed to it all because he loves Alicyn.  I know she feels like she is the only parents and that she has 4 kids.  I get that.  I know that he annoys her, but I also know that is isn't one sided.  She hasn't been very nice to him for years.  She hasn't treated him with respect for years.  He of course has let his mother rule his life even when married, and whatever she said went.  That wasn't good either.  The kids don't show Chad much respect either which isn't good.  I have felt so badly that I finally wrote a message to her.  I don't think she liked it.  I do think what she is doing is wrong.  I think she made an eternal vow and needs to do all she can to make it work, but she is now not even willing to try.  He is heartbroken and so upset, and she just doesn't seem to care.  It all came to a head because they haven't been paying bills again and lost the house, and she figured is she had to move, she was not moving with him.  I thought she would be pretty mad at me for expressing my opinions.  I did tell her I loved her and would support her no matter what she chose, but that I couldn't feel good unless I told her what I felt.  I sat by her at Lill's dad's funeral and we worked things out and she wan't too mad at me.  I don't want to lose a sister.  I just want what is best for anyone, and perhaps this will be better for the other.  I just don't know.

Anyway.... All of this has been hard, along with us visiting grandpa every day.  I have felt overwhelmed a bit as well.  Things will kept better, they always do.

Poor Grandpa Merritt

Grandpa fell on September 19th and broke his hip.  He rang the button and they came and got him and called Kelly, Susan's brother, not son.  Susan is up in Boise at their private campground.  Kelly took him to the hospital.  They decided there was nothing they could do for him that late, so they gave him a lot of pain medication and waited for the next day.  Kelly let us know and  Shawn and I took the morning off and went to see grandpa and spend time with him.  We visited for quite some time and finally got him to agree that he needed to have surgery to fix it.  He has been feeling down and talking about dying for so long, he sort of thought that if he didn't do anything he would die from this.  He would eventually, but it would be a long slow death, because he was bed ridden and not because his hip was broke.  After talking and talking to him we finally convinced him he needed the surgery.  His other concern was it was so expensive and it would take money away from the kids' inheritance.  What a guy.  He had the surgery Friday afternoon. Before the surgery Shawn and Kelly gave grandpa a blessing.  In it he was told that god was pleased with him and that whatever God wanted for him, to stay or to go, we would be happy with that decision too.  It was really touching and I think Grandpa really appreciated it.   Shawn and I went to get some lunch while it was happening, and we ran into Kelly and Jeff, and then Tonya and her husband.  When grandpa got out of surgery he was pretty incoherent.  He said he wasn't in much pain. So they didn't give him much pain medication, but all of Saturday he was pretty out of it.  He was mumbling and jerking.  That is what really upset me the most was he was jerking so much.  He seemed so close to death and I was sad, but not.  Sunday he wasn't much better.  They determined he had a urinary tract infection and that his kidney's were shutting down.  The put him on an antibiotic and also gave him liquids.  He didn't seem to know anyone, can't finish a sentence and isn't sure where he is or what happened, but he knew his name and birthday.  When we came in on Sunday he was trying to get out of bed.  We had to remind his he couldn't and that his hip was broke and he had to stay down till it healed, he couldn't believe it.  Shawn gave him another blessing, he was in pain and restless.  Not sure if he heard it but I think he felt it anyway because he calmed down afterwards.

Susan finally found a way to come down and we went and picked her up at the airport on Friday night.  Her dad really wanted her there and I was glad she found a way to get there.  It would be nice if grandpa could die.  We would miss him a lot but he is so ready to go and hasn't been really happy for the last year, and has felt useless.  It would be nice it he could be with his wife and daughters and parents again.  They finally decided on moving grandpa to a recovery center because he wasn't good enough to go back to Apple Tree, but the hospital didn't want to keep him.  They moved him over to Crestwood, which is good facility.  It has been remodeled since Jill was there, and it is very nice.  We visited him everyday and he seems more with it, but he still forgets he broke his hip, and sometimes doesn't know where he is, and sometimes he gets really confused as well.

Cade got a job

Cade got a job at J's.  It's the local drive-in.  He wasn't excited to be working in food, but they need people during the day as most of their employees are high school students and it works out great for him and it is close so he doesn't have to drive forever to get to work.  His boss is great and Cade has decided he actually likes it.  They have completely remodeled the place.  It was originally Jay's when I first moved to Morgan and then he left it to his daughter Stephanie Nance, and it became Steph's. Someone bought it from her and eventually Blain Smith bought it.  And they named it J's in a tip of the hat to the original owners.  I think it will work well for Cade and I am excited that he took the initiative to find a job on his own.

Ethan's homecoming

Ethan had his homecoming in September.  He volunteered for extra credit to be part of the drill team for the powder puff game.  I got some pictures but they were far away  He and all the boys did a  great job.  He is the one in the red shorts (superman shorts) and white tights.  I was pretty impressed.  Everyone was laughing and it was quite the dance.  The next night was the dance and he took a german exchange student named Tamara Prieb.  I think they had a great time.  They had a limo rented, and went to the Timber Mine to eat, and then back to the dance.  He got home late and said he really enjoyed it.  I think she did too.  So much fun to have him really enjoy his teenage years.

Ethan is in the red shorts.

The drill team and their choreographer. Tasha Romero.
Lisa made the corsage and it was gorgeous.  She really does a fantastic job.
Ethan putting the corsage on Tamara.
Tamara trying to put Ethan's boutonnière on him.
The lady is Leslie Christiansen Heywood.  I went to school with her, and when we were young, we were really good friends, not so much in high school.  Tamara is living with them.

Ethan and Tamara.

His whole group in the Limo.  You can't see him and his date real well, but if you look in the mirror on the top of the car you can!!