Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interview and Europe bound

I have an interview!  Hooray!  I received an email last week, and then, after several days of phone tag, I finally confirmed the time and place yesterday.  I'm hoping for at least one more, but I'm not optimistic.  I'm thrilled to have one.  Now I have to start planning the trip to the conference, which will be difficult to say the least.

Tomorrow we leave for an 11 day trip to Europe.  I'm excited, but I also think we're a bit crazy.  I've spent the day packing and organizing.  Tomorrow will be stressful, not impossible but stressful.  I still have some packing to do, so I'm off to get that finished.  I may not be able to post while we're away, so I wish everyone a wonderful holiday.  Thanks for hanging out with me in the cyber world!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


As I wrote a few days ago, I'm still processing my grandmother's death.  I'm angry about a lot of things.  Namely I'm angry that I always have to be the adult.  In my immediate family, meaning my parents and my two siblings, I'm the youngest (that's right, I'm the youngest), but in so many ways I'm the adult.  I'm the one who tells people to go to the doctor; I'm the to help my parents figure out how to hire a good contractor; and I'm the one my niece and nephew turn to when they are concerned about their mother's health. 

When everything was going down with my gram, I was the one to tell my mom to get in the car and go so she could say good-bye, and I'm the one who called my sister to say, "Look, you're the closest one out of our family.  Get your ass there now."  For once my sister listened.  My mom delayed, waiting on her sister-in-law to drive through Home State and pick her up.  Thus, my mom didn't make it to the hospital until half an hour before my gram was taken off the ventilator.  (On some level, I do get this.  My mom was hoping if she stayed away my gram would get better, as she has in the past.  On another level, I'm pissed that my mom delayed, forcing her youngest sister to make the decision to end life support without my mother's input.). 

I'm also angry at my mom's oldest sister for not stepping up and following my gram's wishes more closely.  My grandmother never wanted to be put on life support.  In fact, she had a living will--she'd had one for well over a decade.  The circumstances necessitated that she be put on life support as paramedics found her not breathing.  As soon as it became clear she has suffered major brain damage, everyone should have agreed, including my mom's oldest sister, that Gram be taken off life support once my grandfather and their four children (my mom and her three siblings) had time to say good-bye.  My aunt disagreed.  In fact, she argued with my mom's youngest sister (Aunt S), who is a nurse and had medical power-of-attorney.  She refused to return to the hospital the night we took my gram off life support until Aunt S told her she was taking her off life support with or without the oldest aunt there.  She then showed up and behaved very, very strangely (yes, even strangely for someone about to watch her mother die).  So, in the end, it became a case of the youngest being forced to be the most responsible.

Finally, I'm pissed at my dad who refused to come to the funeral.  Yes, you read that right.  Apparently, my parents didn't have anyone to watch their cats.  Yes, again, you read that right.  My dad tried to get my brother to stay, but he refused.  And frankly, damn right he did.  J wanted to say good-bye to his grandmother and attend her funeral.  My parents couldn't come up with a single other person to take care of their cats.  And because this all happened on the weekend they couldn't board them (or so they said).  When I heard this, I was speechless, literally.  And, as is my way, I tried to fix it.  I called Pita, who drives past my parent's neighborhood every day on her way to work, and asked her to take care of the cats.  She immediately agreed, so I called my dad back.  He wasn't happy I interfered, but he said that was fine.  He'd leave with my mom.  Pita called Archer a half an hour later to say she'd talked to my dad and that he told her he and my mom had discussed it.  He wouldn't be going.  I called my dad again.  He said it was settled.  I said point blank, "You will be expected to be there.  Grandpa will want you there.  Mom will want you there.  I need you there."  He didn't say anything, so I said, "You know, Dad, I don't ask you for much, but I'm asking you for this.  I need you to be there."  He said, "Ok, M, I'll be there.  Have Pita call me again."  Then he hung up on me.  Archer called Pita again, and she called my dad.  She called back about 15 minutes later.  She told Archer, "He said he didn't need me. He's not going."  I haven't spoken to my father since. 

For me, this is the ultimate refusal.  I told my father as clearly as I could that I needed him.  I get that this isn't about me.  I get that my dad has some health issues that make it difficult for him to travel.  I get that death is hard.  I get all of that.  But I also know that I've lived in Canada for 3 years, and my father still doesn't have a passport.  Bear was in the hospital when he was 4 weeks old, and my father couldn't come to help or to see him because he doesn't have a passport.  I've lived away from Home State for 12 years, and my father has been to visit me in my own home 3 times, one of which was when he helped me move when I started working on my Master's degree.  He's seen Wild Man about 6 times, and he's seen Bear twice.  And it isn't just me.  He hasn't seen my sister in over 2 years, and unless she makes it to Home State, she won't see him anytime soon. 

You see, attending my grandmother's funeral was about more than saying good-bye to my grandmother.  My entire family was together, save my sister's husband (who had only met my grandmother 2 times and didn't want to sacrifice his Thanksgiving with his daughters from his first marriage) and my dad.  This was the first time since 1990 all 10 of my grandparents' grandchildren were together.  This was the first time since 2007 my sister, brother, and I were together.  This was the first time my father would have seen all 4 of his grandchildren together.  And he stayed home to take care of my mom's cats.  He stayed home when I specifically asked him to come because I needed him.  This one is going to take a long, long time for me to get over.

Oh, and I really, really miss my grandmother.

Snow day part three

So tomorrow will be the third snow day in a row in CU Land.  This means that the last two days of class for the fall semester have been canceled.  This means that Archer and I have been home with Bear and Wild Man for the last two days, stuck in the house.  Wild Man loves the snow and has made several trips outside to play in the snow.  Bear, who is getting over a bad cold, hates the snow.  In fact, we took him outside briefly today, and he cried the entire time. 

In addition to being snow bound with two children who are getting a bit stir crazy, I have four sets of papers to grade by next Wednesday, including final papers for 2 classes (I'm still getting caught up from the week I was out of town for my grandmother's funeral). I have an exam to write, and all of my students are emailing me because they have final papers due soon and they don't know when they'll see me again!  I'm obsessively checking email in the hopes that I will receive an interview request for my field's big conference which is at the first of the year.  I'm trying to get ready for the holiday, which also means dealing with Archer's family's passive-aggressive comments about how we privilege our careers over our family, i.e. them, every year.  Oh, and we're traveling to Europe for 11 days in less than 10 days for Archer to do some research.  Yes, we will be in Europe for Christmas, which is the reason for all the passive-aggressive comments.  Archer keeps asking me why I'm so tense.  Maybe I should tell him to read this post. . .

Saturday, December 04, 2010


That's what I'm doing right now.  I am still processing my grandmother's deal, which was, all things considered, relatively unexpected.  Lots of things happened last week that I'm working through.  I'm angry--not at my grandmother--but at several family members.  I'll be writing about all of this in the near future.  But now I just wanted to say that I'm here.