I spent most of New Year's Day 2011 at the bedside of my dying stepmother, trying to comfort my dad as best I could. My husband came to the hospital around 3:00 p.m. and we left to get food and run some errands. She died about a half hour later.
So you might say there's nowhere to go but up at this point.
Early in the week I was still trying to shake off the lingering effects of the intestinal bug from the previous week and nurse my husband through the same illness when it got him.
Once I'd mostly recovered, I started helping my dad clear out the small commercial building he and my stepmother had just sold. In the process, I discovered that my dad was going to need a lot of help with day-to-day things like learning to make coffee and run the dishwasher.
He asked me to go through their mail and figure out what bills needed to be paid, which turned out to be a two-day process that eventually involved writing more than 25 checks and dropping off property tax payments at the County Courthouse on their due date of December 31st.
My dad handled things with the funeral home, but today I'm going to go over and help him notify friends and write an obituary. There won't be a funeral, per my stepmother's wishes.
There's going to be so much to do. I know my dad wants to sell their house and move into an apartment. He still runs a small business and he'll need a lot of help with that. It's not an exaggeration to say that my stepmother was his right hand.
Today I'm just exhausted. I got a reasonable amount of sleep, but I have a tension headache that won't go away. I wish I could afford a massage because I really need one.
From here on out, I'm just going to have to keep my schedule pretty open and hope for the best. And try to get in a nap whenever I can.