Friday, April 25, 2008

Are Sucky Blogs Allowed?

Yesterday DK over at One the Way to Critter Farm ( was discussing Blogger Block.  Really, she wasn't having a block, she was having a few 'sucky' days and didn't feel right about blogging it.  Do we always have to be "on" (read: cheery) when blogging?  

I started this blog with the intention of having a more uniform place to journal.  Add a picture here and there.  Originally, it was meant for me and family.  Once I push that "publish post" button though, it becomes public domain.  Honestly, that's okay.  I've enjoyed meeting new friends and finding their blogs.  The tricky part is that sometimes I feel sucky too.  I want to blog about those days too.  I don't want my kids to think that life is all gardening and snakes and birds.
By letting family know about my blog, I also fence myself in with blog subjects.  Sometimes the sucky days are about them.  Catch-22.  

I choose to break the cheery cycle this morning.  I am not feeling sucky today, but certainly have been the last few days.  I found things to write about, but not what was really getting to me. (I must preface this bit with a family primer. Mom married "L", had two kids and divorced. She married my father, "H" and had me. Divorced again. Mom recently remarried "L".  He had no contact with my sister and brother once they were divorced because my mom wouldn't let him.)---------------If you've read my first post you know my mom died in February.  It sucked in more ways than one.  In mid March her husband,"L",  got very ill (abdominal aortic aneurysm) and nearly died on a fishing trip.  My sister, Jean, had come to town to be with mom when she died. She planned all along to leave when mom died and get on with her life.  Then her father (my step-father) had the aneurysm and she stayed.  We fully expected he would die.  In fact, he came home under hospice care.  He's still plugging along thanks to Jean's care.  In fact, they're about to close their contract with hospice.  Things are looking up enough that Jean made plans to leave. Ah, then he started smoking again and then she really needed to leave.  Why should she stay around to care for him if he's just trying to kill himself?
That's where my suckiness comes in for several reasons:

1. I already did the dying father thing with my own father.
2. I did the dying thing with my mother just two months ago.
3. Three people died at my tiny little church within a month (on either side) of my mom dying.
4. What will my responsibility to "L" be once Jean leaves? He was married to my mom for only a year and a half.  I don't know him really, but he cared for my mom during her illness and loved her deeply.  He is Grandpa to my kids.  
5. Lee's parents are nearly 80.  They moved near us this year, specifically so we could help care for them as they age.  Lee will be a large participant in their care once he retires, but their health care will be mine to do if they were to fail tomorrow.

Can you see why I've been feeling sucky the last few days?  I have no active cases of caring or dying right now, but I've had my share recently.  The immediate worry is "L" when Jean leaves. What is my responsibility?  His health, because of recent choices, mainly smoking, will begin to decline.  I am the only person he knows in our town.  His son by another marriage is three hours away and he has no intention of moving again to be near that son.  He moved here to be with my mom.  

My poor sister is between a rock and a hard place.  When she leaves, it will be for good reason and I encourage it.  Her dad is choosing to buck her care, by smoking.  It's his choice, jeez, he's 70.  He's not going to quit smoking now.  She came to help my mom die. She doesn't even really know her dad, but she's come to love him deeply.  He's a good man.  She's a good woman, but she's lonely and misses her friends. She really shouldn't have stay around to watch him die by his own hand and lighter.  All good reasons for leaving.  

"L" has asked to be a part of our extended family.  He loves us and we are a part of mom.  I think he's a great man and have no problem extending a hand to him.  And so, the question remains---what is my responsibility to him?  Jean decided she isn't leaving any time soon and has assured me that my responsibility to her dad is zero.  I don't feel that way.  We talked a long time yesterday and she reiterated that point.  I will always feel some obligation to "L".  He loved my mom like crazy and is above all else, a good man.  I think he deserves to be cared for, I just don't know where I'll fit into that equation when his health fails again.  

I've decided to cross that bridge when I come to it.  Right now, I just need to get the "here and now" taken care of.  He doesn't need my care.  Lee's parents are in good health.  Breathe, CeeCee, breathe. Serenity Prayer.


  1. Crossing the boundary into personal life blogging is always hard - and there's no going back either! Just know that anything you put here is for anyone to see. And don't write anything that you wouldn't come back to haunt you (had that happen at a previous job, and boy, THAT was not pleasant at all)...

    Hm. Tough call about L. I think you'll do what's best for you and your family and what is right in your mind - in reference to your huband and children as well. It's your decision to make - and don't let anyone make you feel like a bad person for it.

    I made the choice to NOT be in regular contact with my family, and that's made a world of difference for my mental health. I chose my friends - why couldn't I do the same with my family? I don't care if people think that makes me a bad person, because it's what's best for me and my husband (MY family).

    Hope all works out and you can relax about this.


  2. I have 2 blogs, one for more personal stuff about living with chronic pain, and one for the farm. Everyone has a different idea how much of their life they want to include, but as for the "bad days"... I think it makes your blog more "real" and helps people relate to you even better. Everyone has bad days, so it's kind of strange if you read about someone who never seems to! Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth, ha!

  3. The sucky stuff unfortunately consumes a heap of our time, energies and emotions at times. How to not let it take you over?? If it helps, you write it down, bearing in mind the appropriate level of information and language for 'forever floating around in cyber world'. Is that a significant effort, and is that effort worth the outcome?

    I must say, reading your very enjoyable posts on nature, kids, pets made me wonder how long you could hold out on the difficult areas.

    I can't think what to say about L, I can't think straight about my own mother with dementia and family complications. Day at a time is all very well as a coping strategy but does nothing to lift the depressed feelings and inability to plan.

  4. You said:
    "I've decided to cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, I just need to get the "here and now" taken care of. He doesn't need my care. Lee's parents are in good health. Breathe, CeeCee, breathe. Serenity Prayer."

    Wise words, girlfriend...very wise words.

    When the time does come, you'll know just what to do, and in what capacity you are needed.

    I'm glad you shared your 'suckiness' and your dilemas. It's helped make me see you as a real person, yet again.

    Just from reading your blog, I can see what a warm, kind, generous, and joyful spirit you have.

  5. Oh, ceecee....what an amazing person you are. And what a heavy year you've had. This getting older thing is no fun, is it...we are now at that age where we must watch those who came before us grow old and have their health fail, see them needing our love and our care. I can't advise you what to do - this is a complicated, emotional situation and, as you say, you have no true obligation to him. I have no doubt, though, that you will do what is best for you and your family. Maybe a middle ground is possible at some point? Where "L" can be part of the extended family, yet there is adult care or nursing to assist with his physical needs when his health fails again? It sounds like you care for this man, despite the complicated aspects of how he fits into your family circle.
    I really appreciate how you put your feelings, concerns and confusion into your post. Very powerful. Sending you good thoughts - danni