Where do I start….. I didn’t get out of Des Moines until about 10:00 on Thursday ………..By the time I got everything loaded, made breakfast and woke up Dale to say bye I then filled up with gas and hit I-5. The passes were both clear. Snow on the ground but not the highway. I got to Yreka and stayed at the Super 8. I was actually checked into the room by 6:30 pm or so and played word feud and watched TV.
Friday I drove to Concord to see my Aunt Miki. She wanted me to stay a few days, I agreed to stay overnight. I got there about noon so after our visit when I bailed on spending the night and drove away at 7pm I was exhausted.
I couldn’t take the dysfunction of my family for an overnight visit. After just a few hours, mostly listening to my aunt vent, Emma got home from school. (Emma is the eight year old granddaughter she takes care of) The three of us drove over to my cousin Suzies, she wanted to see me and for me to see her new approved housing (She is on disability due to chronic pain and depression.)
We got back to Miki’s house and woke up Julie (her youngest daughter and mother of Emma) Julie is also on disability due to depression, fibermyalgia and mental issues. She has spent the last few years sleeping. She suffers from anxiety and when she is awake it’s mostly in the middle of the night and she can get fixated on some tragedy or perceived tragedy and can’t let it go.
There is a lot of mental disorders on her dad’s side of the family. My uncle Tom suffered from psychosis as did him mom and I think both sisters.
I listened as much as I could, but the desire to help or offer advise took hold. I tried to shut up, telling her that if she is suffering from anxiety then perhaps watching shows about starving children wasn’t the best idea. I also heard myself telling her to get more exercise, eat better, regulate her sleep, not drink coffee at 6pm in hopes that she could sleep that night.
I am not an expert on depression and I understand that it is/can be debilitating. I also know my broken record regarding processed food and exercise wasn’t going to fix everything or anything for her in a snap. She is on such a drug cocktail and has been for many years.
This conversation was in fits and starts as she kept going back to her room because being social was just too much. Even though we were sitting in the darkened living room and it was actually hard to see each other. Then the “homeless” woman who sometimes stays with my aunt stopped by to shower and do some laundry. It was clear she was staying the night and so I wondered which one of us would have the couch that smelled of dog pee. (There were three dogs and three cats, two of the dogs staying “a couple of weeks” since last August)
So I took my leave of my dear aunt, one who still does everything for everyone and except for being a lot less patient is the same as the last time I saw her. I drove to a Starbucks to use the bathroom, got tea and down the highway to the very first motel sign I saw and spent the night.
The drive into LA today took another 5 hours. So I arrived mid day. Lori had flowers, cards, a welcome home banner and a bottle of champagne and a lovely lunch ready once I unloaded and took a shower. I didn’t get anything unpacked yet but I did get here safe and it was a wonderful welcoming.