Man oh Man

Sorry for the lack of posting--things have been busy here in Gerdesland. Busy and sick. Fuzzy had the flu for about a week, and on top of that, we have been blessed with...(drumroll)...a Staph Infection! Oh boy! Fun fun! It is painful and long lasting, and we've been fighting it now since we were in MS, which was the beginning of September. Lots of doctors visits. Lots of poking in parts where it isn't pleasant to be poked. Lots of pain. Hoo boy, Fuzzy and I are nothing if not sexy. But we've been through a lot together--this is nothing, and it only brings us closer. What's mine is yours, right?

Speaking of that trip down to MS, I wanted to write about how that all went, so here we go. We got a LOT of work done. Fuzzy tackled cleaning Memaw's nasty kitchen (bless his heart--he is really incredible) and I took care of cleaning out her bedroom. Memaw has been in the nursing home for months now, and her house was just left as-is. Linda had done some cleaning, but there was still a ways to go. When we first got there, we realized that the house was infested with fleas. Thousands. We were in the house for all of 3 minutes before both of our legs were coated in a painful biting film of black fleas. Therefore, we had to spray ourselves down with Cutter (it keeps fleas away!) every single time we stepped foot into the house. Uff. Later in the week, we set off 5 flea bombs and it did almost no good. Nasty.

I knew that I was going to be sorting through all sorts of old memories--of mine, of Mom's, of Memaw's--since this is the house Mom grew up in, and I did as well. Christopher and I spent the night at Memaw and Papaw's all the time, so all our old toys were there as well as our lifetimes worth of newspaper clippings, dance programs, photos, etc. It was intense. However, the very first thing I found in the house was a letter from a young David Reid to Memaw and Papaw Bane, back when Mom and Dad were first dating and Dad was working on the sinking unit. It was the sweetest letter; the perfect example of the man that Dad was--very caring, sweet, compassionate. It ripped my heart out. I started sobbing, but was interrupted by the fleas biting my ankles. I later gave the letter to my mom. It was good that I started out with that, I suppose, because everything else was cake.

We found a lot of amazing things--boxes upon boxes of photos, Memaw's engagement ring, and the most surprising find--a short autobiography of my Papaw's war days, handwritten about 19 years ago. At the start of the story, he said that he was writing everything down so he could remember. Papaw had Alzheimer's, and I wonder if he did it knowing full well that he would forget these memories. My favorite part of it (and as I type it up, I might post it here on my website) was at the end when he said he met a "good lookin' brunette." Adorable. My Memaw was a hottie for sure. Papaw passed away 14 years ago this week. The manuscript was in Memaw's nightstand. I bet she read it a lot before bed.

I have a hard time dealing with how I am supposed to handle these relationships, now. So much has changed. So much of my family life has become a "taking care of" relationship, whether it be of people or of things, and I find that it is easier for me to keep these two worlds separate. If I remove myself from the emotion of what I am doing, it is easier. As in, "We cleaned out a nasty old house" instead of "We cleaned out my grandmother's nasty old house because she is old and can't take care of herself and is now in a home." "We visited Memaw Reid" instead of "We visited Memaw Reid in the hospital because right now she cannot walk." And "We went to visit Mom" and not "We went to visit Mom and take care of things for her because Dad isn't there anymore." It is a HUGE struggle, because I don't want to forget those things. I love my family, and I would do anything for them. But if I analyzed the gravity of what I was truly doing and why I was there while down there, I might be too overwhelmed and completely unfunctional.

I left MS feeling like I had a sort of Baptism. That is the best way I can explain it. It felt different. I felt in charge. I felt older. I felt responsible. It felt weird. It just felt different. I hope that one day Vicksburg can be a place of solice and calm again, but to me right now, it just feels like work and pain.

But look at these Super Fly Ladies!
(Mom, Me, Memaw Bane, and Linda. Photo by Fuzzy. I also am super impressed by Linda's rocking the Smown.)

I have lots more to say, but this is a long enough entry. I will write more soon on Neutrino, DADA, and Impress These Apes! Come see them!