Friday, September 21, 2012

The man with a plan

    I am the man with a plan, a man of action. I plan everything. I have alternates, contingency plans, back ups and fall backs. I research, do my due diligence. I even plan to have plans go sideways. Those moments when all you can do is throw your hands up and just go, F**k it, I tried. It's how I deal with the world at large. Break it into smaller, manageable pieces.
     Unfortunately, the world doesn't always co operate. Some times all you can do is nothing.

     When my other half broke the news of his diagnosis two weeks ago, of course I started to plan. What did this mean, what were our options, how much time did we have, what would help? I Googled ALS, contacted health care workers, did a tentative time line, found alternative health care methods, even tentatively planned a couple of trips. It's how I cope. Except...

     There isn't really any course of treatment. Sure there are things that help some people but it affects everyone differently, progresses at it's own rate. Doesn't care about my time line, my research or alternative health care practices.

     The other thing is, he doesn't want to talk about it. At all. It's not denial exactly, he knows. He watched his mother go through this. He knows exactly what it means, how bad it will get, how devastatingly fast it can happen.

     We've spent the time doing nothing. No planning, no talking. Just being together. I don't think I have ever felt so useless, so out of my depth. For the first time in my life, I'm afraid of what the future will bring.

     My heart knows I'm not being useless. Just by being close he's drawing support, strength and comfort from me. I'm helping to ease his fears.

     My head is telling me something completely different. We're wasting time, he's still relatively healthy, we have to cram as much life as we can into whatever time we have left together.

     Then I look into his eyes. I see the fear, the uncertainty, the sadness. I can do nothing. I can just be here. Reality will intrude regardless so if this pause is what helps, so be it. I can be the man with no plan.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Three little letters

     Things are in a much different place than last week. As you all know, I love a good tune so was looking forward to this week's musical prompt. A little escape from all the crap surrounding the sale of the house. Unfortunately, I've got no music, just a need to get these thoughts outside my head.

      As with any story, keep in mind, this is only my perspective on things.

     All summer I have been trying to sell my house. Correction, our house. I own it with a business partner. When I was in the market 8 years ago, I had money for a down payment but my other half did not. In trying to raise funds, I ended up in a business partnership. Not an ideal situation but the only one available.

     The house has doubled in value, a great investment. Time to move on, work on my own future.  I was excited about it. My business partner expressed an interest in buying my share, no problem. I don't care who buys, I just wanted to sell. And it has been a non stop battle since the end of June.

     First it was the value of the house. I told him what I thought, no I didn't know what I was talking about. It went to market to determine price. A realtor was called in. Delay to add in the buy out clause, satisfying all the legals. The house listed, 7 offers, it's all good. My business partner made an offer, I accepted. It's the 3rd of August. Just need to get the financing done. BTW this is what my half is worth. No, you've made a mistake. No you don't understand how these things work. NO, you've made a math mistake. A lawyer called in to correct that. Still waiting over a month later.

     It has taken over my entire summer. All this work, time, effort and money and it feels like I am not much further ahead today than I was when we started in June.

      I've been stressed out and furious. That impotent rage. I can't do anything alone. We have to agree. We do in fact, agree, mostly. I've tried to be fair, patient, understanding. 

      During this, I also found out my dream of a house in the 'burbs with some space was not something me and mine shared. Lots of tension, not sure how or if we could reconcile this particular difference. I admit I was angry and hurt that the idea of building a future with me was maybe not that appealing if it wasn't in downtown Toronto.

     I resigned myself to the fact that I may be going it alone. Not for a lack of anything other than a shared vision of the future. And then the other shoe dropped. Suddenly everything from this summer doesn't mean quite so much.

     My other half was diagnosed with ALS this week and it feels like the sky has fallen. Three little letters and our world has changed.

Clowning around at the Ex this year

     If you're not familiar, ALS is a disease that destroys the neurons that control your voluntary muscles. Most will recognize it as Lou Gehrigs disease. No cure, no real treatment.

     I wasn't going post this. Too soon, too raw, too personal. But it helps. Just putting the words down has brought some clarity.  A bit of light into what has been dark days. I think I would like to continue posting about our struggle with this. I know we're not alone even if it feels like that right now. As much as I hate those tired cliches, a burden shared is a burden eased.

    Rather than my music, I'll leave you with a favourite of his. Don't ask me why, but he and one of my housemates screech this at each other all the time. Then they giggle like madmen.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

If I knew then

     It has been quite a while as RoryBore pointed out to me recently so I thought a quick post to let you know I'm still alive..... barely. What a summer. Who knew selling a house would be such an incredible pain? Rather than rant on and on, although I reserve the right to do that eventually, I've decided to spin today's back to school Listicles topic, 10 things school didn't cover. That's right, a few pearls of wisdom gained from the experience of trying to sell my house.

Rorybore with two of her three
Angel Girl being a real Fisher
with Zoo Zoo suitably impressed
My Mom and uncle Gord in the back ground

1 Never assume because you have agreed to all of your business partner's wishes it will be an easy process. There will always be new and interesting points to argue over.

2 Just because no one saw you spill olive oil, soy sauce, soda and what I'm hoping was ketchup behind the fridge, it doesn't evaporate and miraculously disappear. It takes hours of scrubbing and cursing to get rid of it.

3 The best way to clean a glass dining room table top is outside with a hose and a scrub brush, at midnight.

4 Hundreds of people tramping through your house picking it apart is not a fun experience.

5 "This house has great bones" is not a compliment.

6 There is a sliding scale of "tidy". Just ask my housemates.

7 Being reasonable is over rated. A screaming tirade at your realtor can be effective. Lawyer-ing up even more so.

8 Dreams of domestic bliss and building a future in the 'burbs are not universal and apparently don't compare to a downtown gym membership and "the whole lifestyle".

9 A break is a must. Sticking around trying to constantly put out fires is incredibly draining and ultimately futile.

10 It's nothing personal usually means the person saying it has wasted months of your time, effort and money. That's very personal.

      As you can probably tell, nothing is going smoothly. I'm feeling a bit bitter and overwhelmed. This summer has been one long nightmare that isn't over just yet. Deborah, when you said selling and buying a house were the 7th and 8th circles of hell, you hit the nail on the head. Oh well, back to the lawyer on Tuesday.

How can that face not make you smile along?
My cousin Emily

     Just so you know, the summer hasn't been all bad. Two great family get togethers made the world of difference. This too shall pass, eventually.

My uncle Doug with his three little water sprite grandchildren
Lindsay, Holly and Emily

     I probably won't be posting regularly just yet, still too much going on to keep on top of everything. Don't forget to swing by Stasha's and see what everyone else had to say about school this week.