I'm going to get a little more personal here.
I've had a lot of things happen to me the past three years. Some really good things and some not so pleasant. Getting out of an abusive marriage: was hard to do but the moment I did it, I never looked back. Getting fired from my job at Home Depot: totally unexpected but I knew and understood what I did wrong. Dad's bypass surgery: caught everyone (and my Dad) off guard. Being the strong female that I am, I was able to get through everything with a smile on my face.
There is one thing that I've been (for the lack of a bettter word) "dealing with" that has sent me through a wave of emotions and has made me sacrifice a lot of things. My Grandma.
After my Grandpa died in 2006 (6/6/06 to be exact.... creepy), my Grandma's health has gone down a steady decline. I had thought that being the couple that they were (get the image of Allie and Noah from The Notebook in your head) that when one of them died, then the other would be gone within a year. Yea, that didn't happen. But, two years ago her health took a pretty deep dive. She was told by her physician that she couldn't live alone anymore.
Sacrifice #1: Summer 2008
Since I had just been fired from Home Depot, I was conveniently available to stay over at my Grandma's about 3-4 times a week, with Truman in tow. It wasn't bad then. I just had to help her do some stuff around the house, help make meals and keep an eye on her in case she would have a possible fall. I was collecting unemployment at the time so I was able to have somewhat of a life at that time (but I was also going through my divorce and that was taking some of my time too).
Around Halloween 2008, I got hired at Cargo Largo. Some changes had to be made since I wasn't going to be as available to help out Grandma. It worked itself out, for a moment.
Sacrifice #2: 2009
The chain of events leading to my Grandma moving in with my Aunt and Uncle are fuzzy to me (so many back and forth from hospital to rehab to house messed with my head). I understand it was hard for my Grandma to leave her home. Hell, I might be that way too in 50-60 years. Grandma needed a lot of care. She could no longer cook, do most chores, and sometimes had trouble walking to the bathroom and back. I know it was a struggle for her to become completely dependent on others for everything (again that could be me in the future). At this time, I had no idea what I was in for. I was taking care of her most Fridays, every Sunday, and random days during the week. Most of the time, Truman was with me. After a while, I noticed that I was putting in a lot of hours there while also balancing a 40 hour a week job. Between the two commitments, I had no time for anything else. Goodbye social life. Try dating... how?
That summer was where I hit a low point.
My emotional stresses over taking care of my Grandma was reaching a boiling point. I was getting aggrivated at things I shouldn't have. Truman was getting tired of not being home. I had quit my job at Cargo Largo (between my Grandma and my Dad post-heart surgery I couldn't give them any availability to work). I knew my Grandma was having issues with her memory. One day, she was getting argumentative with me about something like how long it had been since her sheets were changed or about one of my family member's supposed attitude toward her. She was trying to say I was wrong, and for some reason, I snapped. After yelling at her, I grabbed Truman and walked out the door. My uncle was pulling in at that moment and I think I said a short sentence to him before getting in my Jeep and leaving.
I turned around 1/2 a block later.
I vowed to never do that to my Grandma again, no matter how stressed I was over the situation.
Sacrifice #3: 2010
After my Grandma was in and out of the hospital and a couple nursing homes, she returned to live with my Aunt around Valentine's Day. My Mom and Aunt had a very nice, sitdown conversation with me about taking care of Grandma this time around. I came into this ordeal with a brand new attitude. I didn't want to make the same mistakes as last time. My Mom worked with me to get the opportunity to have a night out with my girlfriends every so often (even one time to go to a Twilight movie party with a good guy friend--- yea I know. Twilight). I was more attentive to my Grandma. I pushed her to do things, eat a better variety of food. It didn't bother me as much that I couldn't look for a job or hang out with my friends as often as I wanted.
Since late-May, my Grandma has been staying at an assisted living facility that's only five minutes from my house. I visit her 3-4 times a week and do her laundry when she runs out of clothes. About a month ago, my social life picked up significantly. Not only was I finding time to hang out with my girlfriends, but I found new friends as well (and, dare I say it? A possible new man). It makes me wonder that giving up some of my freedom the past couple years is paying off for me. Yes, that does sound selfish, but I have a life too. And I need to be starting it.