With only one week left until school starts, I spent my weekend cooking. I'm always happiest when my freezer is full. It was a perfect, rainy weekend for my cookathon, and everybody pitched in. PS pretty much hates cooking, but the twins like helping out. Especially when they get to use a big knife. I Tom Sawyered them into chopping up 5 pounds of cooked chicken breast.
Meanwhile, things are not going well with the extended family. My mother has been admitted to the hospital twice in the last week for infection. DH's grandmother broke her hip Friday and had surgery on Saturday. My brother, who is going through an ugly divorce, called to tell me that my grandparents' (on my dad's side) dementia was getting really bad. And my grandfather (on my mother's side) just found out that his cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and spleen and he is in kidney failure.
My poor aunt has been keeping me updated with the grandfather issues, in part because there have been legal issues that go along with it. A few months ago she discovered that my grandfather was engaging in behavior that was putting himself and my (step) grandmother in danger. There had been a couple of mysterious break-ins at their house and my grandfather had been beaten in the last one.
My grandmother's kids (who all live in other towns) came down, evaluated the situation, and decided to take her back home with them. Her dementia was becoming more advanced, and my grandfather wasn't able to take care of her. And the house was full of bedbugs.
Thankfully, I had them both execute powers of attorney a couple of years ago.* It was time to start using them. My grandfather was moved into a nursing home, but has been kicked out of two of them already for inappropriate behavior. Hopefully, number 3 will stick. My aunt was left to deal with him and close out the house--which has been no easy task. It all seemed to happen really fast, and now it appears that my grandfather has only a few months left.
I feel like I should be more upset, but I was never particularly close to this grandfather. These were not warm, fuzzy grandparents who ever cared much about hanging out with their grandchildren. The most quality time I ever spent with him was when he was in a halfway house in my college town after being released from federal prison. I was the only person he knew in that town, and I diligently went to visit every Thursday evening during the 3 month period that he was required to stay there.
After I graduated college and became a SAHM (before I went to law school), he informed me that I had wasted my education (not that he or anybody else on that side of the family had ever graduated from college). And he didn't have much use for lawyers, either, since his didn't manage to keep him out of the pen. I was pretentious for getting a graduate degree, when I hadn't even made use of my undergrad degree.
I actually haven't spoken to him at all since my MIL died and he tried to hit me up for money while we were camped out at hospice--that's been 2.5 years. My uncle wants to have a birthday party for him next month. I suppose we will go. There seem to be lots of things pulling us toward a trip to Hometown, but I will admit that I am not looking forward to it. My messed up family is why I moved so far away. I like my boring, quiet life in the suburbs.
*Please make sure you have general and medical powers of attorney. I just did a pro bono guardianship of an elderly woman, and it is expensive and involves a lot of ongoing paperwork. It could have been avoided if a power of attorney had been signed while she still had full capacity. You do not want to do that to your children! (Yes, I know I'm preaching to the choir!)