Backyard Feeder

Backyard Feeder
photo taken through porch screen

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Just When You Think You've Got It All Figured Out..

It's been a rough couple of weeks. We can't make the car payment and I'm seriously considering going back to having a day job to make ends meet. But I'm not sure I can get away for any sort of regular job. I guess here is where I'll figure it out...or not.

A week ago Thursday, my husband, Troy called his father to wish him a happy birthday and learned that his father's cancer is back with a vengeance and the doctors don't expect him to live more than a couple months. They have a complicated relationship and have just recently started talking and now this. I'm sure it's worse for his father than it is for Troy, but....Friday he called from work and said that he was feeling depressed and thinking about suicide. No real plans, just thinking about not wanting to be alive. I'm not supposed to tell anyone or do anything, but here I am, wondering how serious it really is, wondering if a plan was coming.

When they originally talked, his father didn't feel like having visitors and said not to come. On Tuesday, he called and had changed his mind. We didn't have time to find a dog sitter, so I just stayed home holding down the fort. It was a nine hour trip each way so Troy left in the evening to be there by morning. He was hoping for a nice quiet visit at the house and a chance to relax before the trip home. Not so much. When he got into town he called and learned that the pain had been too much last night and his father was in the Emergency Room waiting to learn if he was being released or admitted. The man was in so much pain that he couldn't stand to be touched in any way. Troy said that he looked a lot like his father (Troy's grandfather) looked when he was near death.  It was very hard to see his own father in that condition. When I mentioned that we'd had a storm, he used that as an excuse not to spend the night but to come home that evening. I was relieved when he arrived home safe, but he was noticeably shaken.

We hoped that Troy would get in a day of work before we traveled to visit our sons, their significant others, and two of our grandchildren across the state. His dispatcher didn't have anything for him, so we knew it would be a bad week financially--one day of work just covers his health benefits.

One of our sons had come for a visit a few weeks earlier and had left some things that he wanted us to bring to him. I assumed that wouldn't be a problem, but Troy had decided that we needed to take the motorcycle and there wasn't enough storage on the bike for everything. He had gone out and arranged to buy a trailer, so we thought we had it figured out. On Friday as we were getting ready, we discovered that at highway speeds the trailer swung wildly behind the motorcycle. This wasn't going to work.

With his absolute determination not to take the car meeting with the absolute fact that we couldn't take everything we wanted any other way, we hit an impasse. I have no idea why it was such a big deal, and just kept suggesting we take the car. That just made him angry. Angry with me for even suggesting such a thing. Angry with our son for not taking everything he brought home with him the first time, Angry with himself for not being able to make the trailer work. Manic anger is anger like no other. Imagine a full grown man throwing a temper tantrum like a toddler and you start to get a picture. But of course it's much worse than that....

When we finally got going, in the Prius, he was still ranting and raving. Fortunately he started winding down before we arrived and was able to hand off the stuff to our son without making a huge deal of it.Oh, he mentioned his frustration at not being able to ride the motorcycle, but at least it was civil. That son's wife chose not to join us for a cookout at the other son's home because she wasn't sure how calm it would be.

We got to spend time with three of our four sons and their families as well as Troy's mother and it was about as calm as a day with family and a bipolar husband gets. We even stayed for brunch the next day and  had a good visit with all of them together.

On the way home, Troy started complaining that the car seat was uncomfortable and that it was bothering his back. As a truck-driver he was used to driving less than ideal vehicles for long trips, but he gave in and allowed me to drive most of the way home. He was still complaining when he went to work on Monday. By the time he got home we had decided to visit the walk-in clinic.

Shots, pills, a note from the doctor for two days off work and we were home together for his recovery. He went back to work on Thursday and was in so much pain that he couldn't concentrate and had to come home around noon. Not wanting to have to find someone else on short notice for Friday, the dispatcher didn't have work and told Troy to recover and be ready to work over the week-end or Monday. He didn't get a call for Saturday or Sunday and is sure he's going to be fired, so I ask him to call and find out about Monday. He's told to call in Monday morning and the dispatcher should have something for him. It's not uncommon, but he's nervous and we really need this paycheck.

So here I am, wondering what I could possibly do to earn enough to keep us afloat while he figures out what's going on. I'm praying that God will work this out for us--we've seen a lot of that in the past and have no reason to doubt things will work out again. I'm never sure what my responsibility is in all this. I know that my availability at home is vital to have my husband working--he still has to call me several times a day to talk and if I'm working outside the house that can't happen and he'll end up quitting his job for one reason or another. Of course, he may lose his job anyway. God help me.

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