Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Life Lesson

I'm good about not checking my work email when I'm at home. I only do it if I have a good reason. And usually that good reason is that I remember that I forgot to send something. It happens.

But my personal email is generally nothing but notes from my cousins, important communication with my blog friend/life adviser AM, the occasional recipe from Lucy, reminders of soccer games and dozens upon dozens of advertisements. I don't get emails that will ruffle my feathers so I don't avoid my inbox.

Except last night.

Last night, the last thing I did before I went to bed was check my email. In my inbox was an email from my Uncle Ed. My intense but well-meaning Uncle Ed. And in his email he bludgeoned me and my mother with suggestions about how to care for my grandfather. 

Basically, he wants to hire someone to come to Grandpa's house and force him to take his medication. Someone who my grandpa (and grandma) wouldn't let into the house anyway. Supposedly this will make us less of the "bad guy" when it comes to making Grandpa take his meds but, really, it just shifts the fight from being about medicine to being about the worker who administers the medicine.

Also, his refusal to take medicine is annoying, yes, (he implies that he's too good to take medicine which is extra insulting because he has two daughters who have had to take insulin shots for the majority of their lives) but not the biggest issue. It's really all just a matter of keeping him safe and relatively happy. 

I immediately forwarded the email to my sister, Meg, and to my best friend, Lucy, and then wished that I was a person who didn't check her generally innocuous email just before bedtime.

I slept horribly. 

My aunt and uncle mean well but they are so intense and so controlling. They push and push and push and push -- because they think they're pushing the right thing -- and it is exhausting. That's going to be one of the many hard parts as my grandparents continue to age: my aunt and uncle's involvement. 

The email was still bothering me this morning. (Which is something that I need to get over. Their intense brand of involvement is something that I just need to accept. I can't change them.) When I got in to work this morning, I called my mom. 

By 9:30 am, my uncle had already called my mom three times. Three times. She finally took his call on his third attempt and tried to talk him down. It sounds like she was mostly successful. She was in good spirits about it. I was already exhausted.

Just thinking about it -- what my grandpa will need, what my aunt and uncle will expect, what will be required of my mother -- it exhausts me.

Tossing and turning all night didn't help.

But now I've learned not to check my personal email at bedtime. Life lessons, my friends. Life is always full of lessons.  


ALYS said...

Sorry to hear about this. Family can be so intense, especially around Christmas; I think it makes people feel a little guilty this time of year.

I hope things improve with regards to your Grandpa's situation.

And yes, it's a life lesson. No emails at bedtime. I, now, also switch my phone off at night - no text messages, calls from drunk contacts. Mind you, it annoys my friends when I forget to turn my phone back on in the mornings, but it's nice to 'switch off' from the world sometimes.

Heather said...

Watching my mom be what your mom is, and watching my dad in a similar role, I have the deepest empathy for you right now.

Remember that "no" is a complete sentence that requires no justification, and get very good at saying, "thank you, I appreciate your input," whole doing what you know is right for your situation with gramps.

I'm sorry, lady. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but it doesn't until you're on the other side.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Ugh, that sucks... family dynamics can really wreak havoc on a person. Especially when you have overbearing family members that are pushing their opinions/agenda on you. I hope you guys have come up with a solution that appeases your uncle... that is a crappy thing to deal with!!

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