Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To Be...Or Not To Be...?

That is always the question when it comes to Pal.

Pal has been a Cub Scout since First Grade, starting out in one Pack and then transferring at the end of 2nd grade to a bigger, better Pack with his best buddy. We had just moved here when Pal started Cub Scouts so we didn't really know that many people. This group of people - from the Cubmaster to the parents that are involved, have become some of our closest friends in this town.

So, when Pal was crossing over (or "graduating") from Cub Scouts as a Webelos II Scout on January 25th, the natural progression of scouting is for them to join Boy Scouts. There is a terrific Boy Scout Troop that is a continuation of our Cub Scout Pack, and it is all the same families that are involved. There were 6 Webelos II Scouts that would be crossing over. Except that Pal decided he doesn't want to be a Boy Scout. Figure in that Hubby is an Eagle Scout and credits his involvement with Scouts with keeping him out of trouble as a teen, (or most trouble, I should say!!) you can imagine that we were heartbroken. When your child doesn't want to do something that you've always dreamed you would do with them, a little part of you dies inside. I saw the utter disappointment in Hubby's eyes, but he had promised Pal that we wouldn't force him to do Boy Scouts.

Last week, things changed. Pal and Hubby were home (it was school vacation) and they decided to go shopping with all of Pal's gift cards that he got at Christmas. Pal had his heart set on a new video game system that cost more than the gift cards, so Hubby made a deal with him: I will front the rest of the money if you will TRY Boy Scouts. My initial reaction was "You just made a deal with the devil!". But, I could see how much Hubby wanted Pal to at least try it, with the hope that he will love it and stick with it. Unfortunately, this is NOT Pal's strength!

Last night was their first meeting and it seemed to go pretty well. I can only hope that the deal lasts and Pal doesn't try to back out of it. My sincere hope is that one day we will be at Pal's Eagle Scout Court of Honor and we will be telling everyone how he didn't even want to TRY Boy Scouts!

Wish us luck!

This is the Crossing Over Ceremony for the Webelos II Scouts (Pal on far left)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One Month

Today marks one month since my Mom passed away. It has been a month filled with emotions of all kinds. Those of you who have lost someone know what I am talking about. My brother's boss sent him a card that said "Nobody knows what it's like to lose your Mother unless they've been through it." Boy is that the truth. I never thought I would feel the range of emotions I have felt since her death. It's overwhelming sometimes.

My niece was having a hard time grieving and was being criticized by those close to her for the way she was choosing to handle it. NO ONE has that right. We all grieve differently, and the way we choose to do it is nobody's business but our own. Watching the death of someone you love is TRAUMATIC, and what we went through with my Mom was traumatic. Not just her dying, but her life before Alzheimer's, her life during Alzheimer's and now her death after Alzheimer's.

About 2 weeks after she passed, I got into bed and Hubby was already asleep. I cuddled up next to him and LOST IT. He, in bewilderment, was awake in a flash and asked me what was wrong. I couldn't even explain it properly. I felt guilty for feeling. Feeling mad at my Mom for handling life the way she did long before Alzheimer's crept in. Feeling ashamed for being mad at her. Feeling bad that I didn't cry so hard on the day of her funeral. Feeling devastated that my Mother was never going to call me on my birthday again, or hug my son again, or make horrible, inedible lasagna, or anything ever again. It's a harsh realization.

It's grief, plain and simple. I still don't feel like life will ever be "normal" again. And just when I think I am back to normal, something else happens or somebody says something that brings me right back to that moment in time. I guess I will just become a new normal now.

Thanks for listening.

p.s. I love you and miss you, Mom. Rest in peace.