My week has been over filled with what we used to dub 'secret shit', things that must be done and that take up so much time for such little tangible reward. Sort of like dusting one's house. You get little credit for attending to endless detail, for following through, for persisting until it's done, whatever it is and it is never just one thing. Could be dozens of things all converging on the moment when one can least handle it. It's been like that all of this week and it's only Wednesday.
So, this would have been the week to talk to Mom, lay it all on her, knowing the day will be better for having told her how bad it is.
Any of you ever do this? My daughters do this to me. Tell me how bad things are from time to time and it absolutely flattens me until I remember that I did the same with my Mom. Tell the whole woeful tale and feel better at once.
I've wanted to write this post since Monday, just to document this really messy week. Mother died a month ago and instead of pondering her death and it implications or sorrow, I caught a really bad cold, got an infection that took two rounds of antibiotics to snuff out. I am finally recovering and now find myself behind in my work - or I think I am behind which is one and the same thing. I also find myself taking on duties that I've put off for months, literally. Am I keeping my feelings at bay or do these 'things' really need to be taken care of now?
Like getting the back bumper cover of my Subaru repaired after getting an estimate nearly nine months ago. The three year lease of this car is up on December 8. The bumper was damaged last January when I backed out of my driveway in the dark of night and bumped into a neighbor's car parked on the wrong side of the street. My car didn't look too bad, and I knew it would be a major undertaking to get it fixed. But now, with almost daily missives coming from Chase Auto Finance, reminding my my lease is almost up, I figured I better get the bumper fixed. Blessedly, I still had the paperwork for putting the process in motion.
Made an appointment for 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning on the South Loop. Sounds simple. Should have had the car back late Tuesday. I dropped my Subaru off and went with an Enterprise salesperson across the freeway where they gave me an enormous SUV rental - a GMC Yukon as big as a barge. I protested. It's way too big. They had nothing else and seemed surprised that I wouldn't want a vehicle commensurate with my own SUV. I tell them the Yukon is not commensurate, that my Subaru is one third the size of this barge and that I will never be able to leave home while it is in my possession as it surely will be dented or damaged in a parking lot or even in a narrow lane of traffic. I can't even park it under my car port roof. It's that big. Within a day, I call Enterprise and beg for another car, tell them I cannot stand the Yukon. When I filled the tank, it sucked in 4 gallons of gas for the fewer than 35 miles that I drove. Irritating and another reason to hate the Yukon.
For the second time in two days, I drive to Enterprise on the South Loop and exchange the Yukon for a black Jeep, sort of a smaller SUV. They think I'll love it. I ask if it is the smallest car they have. "You'll like it," they keep saying.
In the meantime, I receive a call from the body shop. They'd like the insurance adjuster out again because they think I really need a whole new bumper cover. And it could take several days for the adjuster to render an opinion. I call the adjustor and ask what could possibly be wrong with his original assessment. Today he calls back and says he will not allow a new bumper. The damage from my mishap is only on the right hand side, though, yes, he can see that there is other damage on the bumper. The body shop calls to tell me that for $300 more dollars, they can replace the whole part and it will be just like new. Is it worth spending my own money? I call my brother who of course, thinks he needs to go to Russell & Smith and take a look. Tomorrow is Thursday and my car was to have been ready on Tuesday. Will this scrape even be mended this week? My insurance apparently is paying for a rental car. The system is nuts. I knew last January that fixing this bumper would take more time and energy that I would ever be willing to give.
My brother has looked at the numbers and thinks I should keep the Subaru. He says I should get a hold of Chase again and confirm that they are sending me my lease paperwork and that I wish to purchase the car. I've already been on the phone with Chase as I lost/misplaced my lease agreement. Actually, I think I may have thrown it out because it was in a folder that looked so glossy, so sales-like that I thought nothing of value could be stored among pages of pictures of Subarus in better colors than mine. Chase, I'm calling you again tomorrow. When I called them on Monday, they said they could send it snail mail and it would take ten days. You see, I knew there were good reasons to let car stuff slide awhile.
The Subaru saga is just one thing that is unfolding this week. Farrell has a desperately low white blood cell count. The vet says that Farrell must stay inside the house because if he encounters and fights with another neighborhood cat, he'd have no immune system to save him. It would be curtains. How his white blood cell count got so low is a mystery and though the vet has explained it to me several times, I never quite follow what she is saying. I give Farrell liquid antibiotics and he got a shot that gives him another time release antibiotic. In the meantime, he paces around the house and sits on the window sills and messes with the window blinds and is driving me and himself nuts. He eats well and often. I took him back to the vet for more blood work. She advices keeping him inside and suggested that I go to a pet shop and buy him feather toys and items that might replicate his outside experience. I don't think so. Entertain my cat? Farrell is a truly great cat, but no, perhaps he needs Benedryl to make him nap more? Just kidding.
I had the arborist out last week to look at the big tree in the ravine and now I have his bid to trim it. A ton of money and the estimate sits on my desk as I contemplate. Even if it is trimmed beautifully, a wind could still blow it into my roof. Hurricane Ike was really tough on that tree and I doubt full recovery.
Now we get to my job on which I am spending most of each day. I find that unless I work on the project over the weekend, I forget where I am in the process of working with each artist, dimensions of walls, contract status, obtaining commercial liability insurance, asking for W9 forms and ascertaining when they've been delivered to HAA? There is a real opportunity here for an admin assistant. I spend an inordinate amount of time on paperwork.
It's easy to forget that I am one of the artists on this project too and I'd better get going on my part of the artful interventions SOON. I have the same deadlines as the rest.
It's been a month since Mom took her last two breaths and last evening, in tears of fatigue, I completed a stack of letters to the good people who made Mom's memorial service so lovely. The choir director, the organist, the church administrator, the pastor and those that sent flowers. It took parts of three days to write individual letters, make the cards with photos of the stained glass windows at the church, put the stamps on and at last, this morning, drop them in a mail box.
In amongst all the busyness of these few days, I managed to get allergy shots and yesterday I made a quick trip to Reliant Center where folks are setting up for the Nutcracker Holiday Market. I'd seen a tapestry coat at the International Quilt Festival last Saturday and wanted one in different size. "I'll have it for Nutcracker," the owner of the shop told me. And indeed she had one in hand right there in the parking lot at Reliant on Tuesday noon. So you can see, I am still stealth shopping.
I had supper with a good friend last evening so we could discuss our palm readings. Yes, I had my hands read last week and it was confirmed: I am very focused on work, do way too much, can be scattered, am very optimistic, yet have a deep melancholic streak. I'd say yes to all of his findings. And apparently, I have characteristics of both General Patton and Clint Eastwood. So look out. Actually, I find these characteristics to be part and parcel of who I am. But that's for another post.
There you have it. My Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. My sister and I are dealing my Mom's death differently, that's for sure.