Daddy is doing much better, so we'll gear up for stage 2-Mom's stress reaction. She is out walking today-so hopefully that routine will help her through this. My task is pretty simple at this point-check in often enough to make sure they are both ok and stay the heck away.
I don't even have the energy or the inclination to contemplate if something is wrong with my brother. I know he's been working 12 hour days, and I know what that's like. Been there done that. What I'm doing is harder, but no one would believe that who hasn't done it and it's pointless to discuss.
The fmmily opinion at this point is I am shamelessly squandering the gifts I have (education that I earned and paid for-no gift there people) by playing with my animals and watching my family. What is ironic is that very few of them have any understanding about the professional accomplishments I have achieved and if I mention it it is always dismissed with a "well you were always smart and good at book stuff."
The hardest thing to take over the past week was watching a news program about saving for college. Mom blurted out "I guess Bill didn't want to go to college-we would have paid for BILL to go to college-he finished high school." Now, we were all tired, we had ALL been sitting in the hospital for several days-except for Bill who was busy working. Me, the ne'er do well, put myself through college and did quite well at it, during and after.
Really, college isn't the point. The hurtful part was that I was there, I had been there all week and I'll be there next week too-but it's that painful comparison thing they do where I always come up short and lacking, and in some versions, responsible for most of the ills that have befallen our family.
I know it's old age and stress and a lifetime of blame. I know my parents limitations and I love them anyway. I know they did the best they could and that they are STILL doing the best they can with what they have. And I know that Bill was in no way responsible for what was said that day-he wasn't even there.
What I don't know is how to not be hurt by statements like that. I know the next best thing, which is how to shrug it off and move on, but I do still wish for that bullet proof vest.