Is anyone still here? I have been thinking a lot lately about revamping this blog. I need....something. An outlet. A focus. A trademark? A purpose outside of normal chaotic life? To find myself? To find a friend? Sigh. I don't know. But thought I might try to start here, and see if it goes anywhere.
Anyone here who might read this probably already knows what has transpired over the past year and half. We moved back in with my In-laws into their home right about when I stopped blogging. Life just got too crazy. We were commuting 30 minutes every day in one car, so usually that meant staying in town all day at the church to be able to maintain our activities...this was the 2012-2013 school year. But in the midst of normal chaotic life and trying to work at the church....I was also taking care of Mr. Martin, helping Mrs. Martin. That meant checking his blood sugar 4 times a day and often in the middle of the night (and feeding him when it was too low in the night), making sure they had meals, making sure he took all of his many meds at the right time each day, and then refilling his pill box. Taking them to many doctor's appointments and so forth. We also lost our vehicles. One engine or two blew up basically. And another was totaled. We had no choice but to buy a new (to us) vehicle. But our credit being what it was, we could no qualify for something older...we had to get something at least a certain "age." So we got a 2011. It's great but...we had never (no, never) had a car payment in our adult lives. Ugh.
So all of the above....meant living cramped into 2 bedrooms...one for the kids (with 3 beds) and our room. Also in the house, besides the IL's were two young adult nephews. Plus the myriad of other cousins and visitors that came and went all the time. No privacy, lots of pressure. Life was chaos to the max. I think Doug and I both began experiencing physical symptoms of the stress in our lives. His eventually ended with extremely high blood pressure. He is on meds now. (or supposed to be) And mine just various other symptoms. I ended up very sick on both Christmas and Easter, missing virtually all of the Masses and associated Holy Days. I had the worst upper respiratory/cough thing I'd ever had. And the worst (and first since I was a kid) ear infection ever. Double. I caught hand, foot and mouth from Mariam and we both suffered through that.
And we went through multiple hospitalizations with Mr. Martin, as his health declined. He had home health care and hospice off and on at various times. And all of that culminated into major gallbladder surgery for him in the summer of 2013. It was then that we took the opportunity, with the help of the other siblings to convince the Martins to move to town with us, into a rental. That way we could better care for them, not be as stressed, and be in town near the doctors and hospital. Thankfully they consented, and after about a 3 week hospital stay, a few resuscitation's, and an ICU stay, they came home to the new house, which was right around the corner from the church (our second home.) This was the end of July, beginning of August.
Unfortunately, that was the beginning of the major decline in Mr. Martin's health. His breathing and heart never came back up to par. In fact he would go on to have another heart episode (which was the first time I ever saw a human turn truly BLUE in real life, something very ghostly that I will never forget) that would lead to his final demise in November. We watched him struggle more and more with his breathing. We dealt with increasingly unstable blood sugars. And retaining fluids. That final week, we debated another hospital stay. We weren't sure and he didn't want it, but he just was doing so poorly and we wanted to find a way to get comfort for him. We finally got him there on a Thursday afternoon. They were doing breathing treatments often...he could never get comfortable and he moaned a lot, as he struggled to get a good breath. Doug had stayed with him all night Friday night, and then I had a few moments alone with him that Saturday evening, before Matt and Malaena took over their shift for the night. It was shortly after midnight, into Sunday morning...November 17th, my own Daddy's birthday, ...that he simply and fairly peacefully, took his last breaths, sitting in his chair. He just seemed to go to sleep....to finally get peace. Doug took Mrs. Martin up there to see him and say goodbye. She was distraught she could not be with him and she didn't expect it quite so soon. I later got to go see him and he truly seemed finally at peace. He had struggled for 12 years really, from his first bypass surgery and subsequent chronic heart failure.
He was a fairly good man. Very few flaws. He loved his family fiercely, and he taught me literally the meaning of giving someone "the shirt off your back." He compared me to his Momma, and Doug said that was the highest compliment he could give. I'm so glad I could help care for him in his final days, and could show my children how to do so. I hope that dear MIL will let us take care of her as well. She has moved back in to her home. She is well, but we worry about her. More on that for another time.
Suffice it to say, it's been rough. It's been chaos. There was a severe and sudden denouement. Anti-climatic. And we all went through a time of depression. But the busyness and chaos of life quickly resumed. In fact, life was so busy and chaotic, that I just wasn't giving ANY one thing enough attention. I ended up resigning my kitchen position at church. Our family was just suffering too much, for not enough (monetary) reward. Maybe in years to come, I can go back to some kind of job like that again. But for now, I am looking for the right job to help us dig out of our money pit. And as in my other recent post, trying to I guess, as they say, "find myself." I am trying to get organized and do what I need to do for everything I am involved in. It's just not easy for me. I don't know why. If I sound a little down, I guess I am, but for the most part things have been looking up. I'm back on track w/ exercising and eating better. The kids have been very active in various things and seem happy. We just are trying to figure out how to make and maintain friendships.
One thing I long for is to read more and to starting really writing. I love editing and writing about things I truly believe in or love. It's just finding the time amongst the chaos. I guess time will tell. And I hope I start blogging again. For reals. :p