Sunday, September 11, 2005

the inescapable

pearl has a hard time sleeping past 8am and today was no exception. she's fidgeting in her kennel, so fine, i get up and take her out. of course, she has no interest in going to the bathroom once we're outside, but details.

we come inside so i can have my little frosted mini wheats (and she can have baby nibbles i break off for her. and no, she's not spoiled one iota.) while i watch a little bit of the x-files bonus disc that came last night. ah, sweet gillian.

min gets up about 9 and so about 930, after we watch another featurette, i take pearl for a walk up into the hills off alum rock. she's pretty skittish in major traffic areas, so i keep to the side streets, which quickly gets so rural i feel like i'm out in the country. except that the higher into the hills i go, the landscaping and detail on each house borders on opulence. welcome to california. :-)

anyway we do a couple good, leisurely miles because it was just so lovely, sunny but a nice breeze. we get back home around 1030. i shower, lounge a bit more, eat some lunch and head off to get min some algae-eating catfish for her aquarium. since it's a petstore trip and nothing else, little pearl gets to come again. i love traveling with her so much. she either wants to fall asleep on us, or on a seat.

a little while after we get home, i decide to get on the internets. and for that i am blessed with a whopper of an email from my mom, an email that later makes me cry harder and longer than i have in years. here is my attempt at the short version of why:

my parents, who have extremely bad health, have been living with my sister katie & husband jake for about a year. my dad is on permanent disability and my mom is applying for it. she hasn't worked for about 3 years so they've just been living off my dad's $700/month plus food stamps. they moved in with my sister under the grand plan that my sister would pay at least half if not more of the shared living expenses, including rent. at that time i think both katie and jake were working, plus attending trucking school.

that plan never really worked quite right, but for the sake of brevity, let's fast forward to now. katie and jake are on the road with werner trucking and want to move up to portland, OR, closer to one of werner's main offices. there was talk of my parents moving up with them, presumably with my sister's support since they couldn't afford to move by themselves. but for reasons that i still don't get, despite a 2,965 word email, that doesn't appear to be an option anymore.

a new option offered to them is an apartment in salem, OR, on the grounds of a house that my uncle richard owns and lives in along with my mom's parents. and let's just say that this apartment, and the situation in richard's house, sounds so completely and utterly undoable (for physical and psychlogical reasons) for my parents that it breaks my heart that they're even considering it.

why do they need to get out of arizona? they don't. they do need to get out of the apartment that they're in (hello scorpions!), but since they have no money, shit credit, can't even get onto the 4-year waiting list for section 8 housing, and it sounds like my sister may be moving no matter what (leaving them with nowhere), my parents are running out of options.

let me add: my mom did not 'ask me for help'. they don't do that anymore because they used to do it ALL the time and my dad spent that money on stamps instead of rent or food. yeah. both my parents have been in therapy for a few years (government $ doing some good work) and as far as i can tell, shit like that isn't going down anymore.

so my mom didn't ask for help, but she did tell me all about their drama and conclude with comments about how she knows they're paying for their earlier mistakes, and all of this has left her so depressed she cries several times a day, and her antidepressants aren't working any more according to her pain specialist, and she doesn’t know what to do but she's trying to work on it and she begs my forgiveness for any stress this whole thing might cause me.

if this is not a cry for help, i don't know what is. how do i respond and still be a good daughter? as frustrating and annoying as they can be, my parents can also be an incredible amount of fun. i love them and don't want them to have to struggle so damn hard for their existence.

sorting through all this... that's why i spent most of yesterday afternoon crying. min and i are considering everything from committing to sending them some $ each month all the way to having them move in with us. and i have to tell you, i NEVER thought that day would come, for so many reasons that i won't get into because this post is long enough already.

i'm trying to get a hold of my sister, objectively hear what's going on from her POV and then decide what i want to do. i can't solve all their problems and i shouldn't. but i have to do something. i just wish i knew what the fuck that was.

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