Simultaneous emotional highs and lows for wife, and me

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HereWeGoAgain, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    wife's father is on his deathbed. He is quite elderly and over the past year has been declining rapidly. A couple of days ago he went to the hospital for bleeding after a fall - his skin is so thin and fragile that it tears for a nothing - they did CT scan and discovered advanced cancer in his abdomen, I'm not sure if prostate or colon cancer. They gave him blood but his blood pressure remains very low. He is much too frail for any treatment for the cancer. He is out of his mind now, thinks it is 30 years ago, and has bad vertigo, thinks he's falling out of bed. Hospice has been called and he will go to my sister-in-law's home to live out what time he has left. I love my father-in-law - a heroic figure to me, an airman in WWII, oil wildcatter, very tough but kind. But of course wife is grieving far more.

    At the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, our daughter-in-law is in labor as I write with easy child son 1 and her's first baby. This is our second grandbaby and first grandson, and sort of our first grandbaby since we have raised easy child 1 from birth and she is more a daughter than granddaughter to us.

    I am stuck 1200 miles away at work. I will be moving back home to start a new job in three weeks, but at the moment can't afford the time off from my current job to go home, since I just took 10 days off for our wonderful beach vacation - it is contract work, good pay but if you take time off you don't get paid. Still, we both have family that is helping out, but I wish I was there for her.

    Meanwhile, as I posted a couple of weeks ago difficult child had an opportunity to get into a long-term rehab but she walked from the Oxford House she was staying in while waiting. She was supposed to call the long-term place daily, but didn't. However, she did call them a few days later and they gave her a second chance, same deal - stay clean, and phone in every day. She did stay in touch with them this time, and called my folks last Saturday (6/4) to ask them to take her there Monday morning. On Sunday she again called in to the place, then called my folks and said she'd call again Sunday evening and tell them where to meet her. I guess she got cold feet, the second call never came and now she can't be reached again. So she has no idea that her grandfather is dying and that her nephew is being born (though easy child son has said difficult child is not to come near the baby until she's a year clean and living on her own).
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry, what an emotional rollercoaster. It's difficult enough to deal with the emotional fallout from dealing with a difficult child at their worst, but when other things happen at the same time, I know it just wears you down. I once went from one hospital where Youngest had some minor surgery, straight to another hospital where my mother was dying. Another time I visited my difficult children on two different floors of the same psychiatric hospital, on the same day. Those of us that are "blessed" with difficult children in our lives, seem to get chaos in abundance, don't we?! I'm glad that at least part of own "chaos" is something joyous, the birth of another grandchild. I know too, though, that the rubber band of joy vs. grief is a tough one to take.

    It must be incredibly frustrating to be so far away. I'm glad your wife has family to support her until you can get there.

    Hang in there..
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like me last year about this time. I've always wondered why such things come in groups instead of as single events.

    I'm riding yet another rollercoaster this year, but it's not as wild a ride as last years.

    I"m sorry to hear about wife's dad Hospice are wonderful.

    Lovely news about the new grandbaby though. I hope daughter in law has an easy time with the delivery.

    Good that wife is surrounded by family to support her.

  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry to hear about your father in law. Send your wife some major hugs from me. My dad died 6 months ago and I am still raw. He was also a WWII vet. Hospice was a godsend for him.

    On the other hand, I am so thrilled for you about the new grandbaby! Congrats on that one.
  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    congratulations on the new grandson! What a wonderful blessing. Sorry that it is countered with the failing health of your father in law. The circle of life is a bit too small sometimes. These major events should be spaced out but so often are not. As for difficult child being unaware of what is going on...well that is just a natural consequence for her behavior. Not your fault so don't give it another thought. Sending strength to you and your wife. -RM
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Please thank your father in law for me for his service to our country. Because of men like him? My family and I have a safe place to live, and be free. He is a hero to me as well, as are all veterans. I am terribly sorry for your impending loss and send my deepest gratitude and heartfelt sympathies for what your wife and family are facing.

    For the birth of your first Grandson however? How very ironic that while one hero leaves this earth, another is soon to come and take his place! I believe that will make him all the more special a person in your family. The fact that you can not be there? Well, perhaps this job will be over soon allowing you to go spend really wonderful time with him and your family. I really think this is just the distraction your wife will need at this point in her life. She's come so far in her detachment, and tough love. Kudos to you for standing by her too! I think we all know how tough it's been on both of you.

    With regards to your daughter? Sad to say that she'll miss so many life changing events that she will never be able to have that particular time back in her life to say hello, say goodbye - but sometimes? This is not such a bad thing you know? When our Steven died, Dude was supposed to be a pall bearer at his funeral and was so distraught he couldn't even attend. The depression and grief were more than he could bear. We didn't force him, and explained to him there will never be another time to have another funeral, another chance to carry your brother, another chance to have a do-over. He seemed to understand, but since has been dealing with wondering if Steven was/is upset with him not being there - which we know is a cop-out for his own emotions of not showing up. It's something he'll have to deal with and remember for the rest of his life. It's taken nearly two years for him to come to grips with his decision, and while outwardly you can't see the depression? Inwardly it's a grim reminder, and hard reminder that we only get ONE chance in life to do things that are one time occasions.

    Maybe there is a lesson in this for your daughter that is far greater than her attending either event? One can hope - eternal.

    Take care HWGA - both you and wife -
  7. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    The new guy arrived safe and sound - Mom and baby doing well and are now at home - easy child son 1 proud as can be, and now realizing what it really means to have a newborn in the house. The other grandma (first grandbaby for her) is cooking and running errands for them, so they are soon to get the second awakening (so to speak, har har) - what it really means to have a newborn in the house, after Grandma goes home.

    easy child 1 is delighted with her new cousin.

    wife is splitting much of her time between her Dad and the new parents, so easy child 1 and easy child son 2 are spending lots of time together, which is fine with easy child 1 - easy child son 2 was the guy around the house for two years after she was born (not me - I was working on contract then too), before he went into the Navy, and though she doesn't remember that time, she bonded strongly with him. For his part, he dotes on her.

    I'll be moving back and starting my new job at the end of the month. Can't wait.

    All the kind words and sentiments are truly appreciated.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    way to go grandpa!!!!!!!!!!! And grandma!!!!!!! Congrampalations!!!!!
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Congraulations on the new grandbaby!!! Sorry to hear about your father in law :( What mixed emotions you must be feeling at this time. I can't even imagine.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the baby!

    I'm sorry about your father in law. How is your wife doing with all this going on?
  11. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    father in law has stabilized somewhat. easy child son and daughter in law brought the baby to see him, and fortunately caught him when he was pretty lucid, so he knew who was who and that the baby was his great-grandson, smiled and made cooing noises to him, so that was a blessing. He has regressed a little since then but not delirious or afflicted with the serious vertigo. The hospice people are great according to wife. I am praying I make it home before he goes but if not, well then it was not God's plan for me to be there at the last. Things have settled down and wife is doing pretty good over all. She sounds strong on the phone - sad, but accepting.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Glad to hear he got to meet his great grandson. :)