Grain-Fed Midwesterners Are Good Eating
So instead of just burying their bodies, we're gonna slice off some steak-y bits first and then dispose of the remains.
Now, before I begin my diatribe, let me first acknowledge my family for all they have done in the past 9 days. They dropped all plans they had and offered to come out post-surgery when they heard the news. They paid for airfare and hotel for three (my mom, her husband, and my grandmother,) as well as rented a car. They have paid for numerous meals, and have picked up groceries as well. During my hospital stay, they took care of Mags so that Husband could concentrate on me and not have to dash about to take care of said daughter. If asked to specifically do something, an errand or such, they would do it. In short, they have done nothing but try to be helpful when I really needed it.
I truly, truly appreciate all that they have done. There is no way we would have made it through the past week without them. None. I 've gone out of my way to express my sincerest appreciation to all parties involved more than once this week. And I have consciously tried to remind myself at times that doing things differently than one is used to doing does not mean the other person is doing them wrong.
But I still return to the words of Vim: "Jesus fuck!"
Words cannot describe my eagerness to drop them off at the airport tomorrow. Truly. For all the ways in which they were helpful, they were equally as much work. At least to someone who is recovering from surgery. Blah Blah, herding cats, blah blah. But in this case, autistic cats.
My Grandmother: I love this woman dearly. She is no frills, salt of the earth, has a great no-nonsense personality, but at the same time, at 33 years old I can still put my head in her lap and have her stroke my hair while I cry. She (and my grandfather, passed) were responsible for a huge portion of my upbringing, filling in huge gaps when my mother had to work. It was important to her to come out and help because she would have worried too much at home. She loves me fiercely, and makes sure I know it. I love her just as much.
Grandma is in her mid 80's. Like many others, she's had a hip replaced, so getting around is a struggle. She also needs to nap a lot. And, for some reason unknown to me, she left both of her hearing aides at home.
I love her dearly. But not so helpy post-surgery.
My mother: We still struggle to maintain some sort of good relationship. Before she came out, we even had a heart to heart conversation about ways in which we struggle with each other. Talked about feelings, even. A true milestone. I do love her, and I know she loves me, although it may be in a less than traditional way. And because things have been extremely rocky between us in the past, I know that Mom was extra careful to try and not step on any toes while she was here.
This translated roughly into Not. Making. Any. Decisions. Or. Taking. Initiative. While. Here. Ever. Past supper time? Oh, would you like me to start dinner? What kind of restaurant would you like to eat at? Oh, I don't know; honey where would you like to eat? I'm gonna go upstairs and rest for a bit. Umm, yeah, see, Mom, could you watch Mags downstairs so I can rest?
That sort of thing.
The Husband: Rodney is a good man with a heart of gold. He dotes on my mother, spoils her to no end (which she is more than overdo for,) and in general just makes her happy. He is terrified of flying, yet allowed himself to be doped up to come all the way to Cali via airplane. He was an uncomplaining chauffer for the entire visit.
Husband and I truly believe that he is undiagnosed autistic or something along those lines. There are times when it seems like the man can barely function. He only has about 3 topics he can talk about, one of which is his obsession with all things aviation related. This is what he talks to me about. Endlessly. He seems to believe I have my ear to the pulse of the industry, and asks me questions about why airlines do this, or that, or why aiports do this or that, or why the TSA does this or that.
He also is incapapble of making decisions, and it would be probably more correct to say he flat out needs to be told what to do. While my mom requires prompting, Rodney requires, well... a leash. If he is not gven an explicit set of instructions (which he will question you at least 3 times about before accepting,) he kind of falls apart.
Luckily, he likes to read. A lot.
I've struggled with and lost to the feeling that I had to entertain them (to a certain degree) while they've been here. And I feel real guilty admitting any of this. Unappreciative, too. But I've gotten reality checks from a few folks (most of whom I don't have sex with on a regular basis,) and the concensus seems to be that, yes, my family is bat-shit nuts.
I do also realize that at some point in the future, Mags will be rolling her eyes and instant-telepathy-messaging her friends and ranting about how her family is driving her crazy with all their "20th century notions" about how things should be done.
I'll start making my tin-foil hat right now.