OT: Put off dull sloth

Entrance hymn this morning at church.


43: Hats knitted for the hatless children of Afghanistan since July 2

18: novels my mother has read, most of them by Diane Mott Davidson

4: number of crossword puzzle books filled up and recycled

23: number of feature-length films watched

3: number of feature length films watched but discarded before completion as morally unacceptable

20/20: Visual acuity to which my father’s left eye has corrected

60-70: Rough estimate of percentage of prescribed eyedrops that have actually been administered

15: minimum number of chemo visits my mother will have to do without me

5: minimum number of meals someone will come in to cook for them, weekly

4: number of months till end of semester

75: number of guests too many for the facilities and luncheon planned for at the last funeral held at my parents’ church

3: number of pages of detailed funeral instructions dictated to me by my mother this week, to prevent such perpetual embarrassment from coming upon us at the eventual event in her honor

4: number of hymns she wants sung at her funeral

100: Percent likelihood that I found that an extremely upsetting conversation


One of her requests.


7: number of times my mother’s manager at work has been to visit since July 2

4: number of times I managed to mop in advance of those visits

18: number of meals cooked for us by church ladies since July 2

29: number of empty dishes left from meals cooked for us by church ladies since July 2

36: number of dozen cookies I have baked in the same period to fill empty dishes left from meals cooked for us by church ladies since July 2 since my mother strongly believes it’s rude and perhaps unlucky to return an empty dish if it came to you full

12: minimum number of hours spent playing Bejeweled, in the dark, in my bedroom, since getting a used Kindle Fire

4, 24: number of empty wine and beer bottles, respectively, collecting out of sight in my bedroom since July 2 and brought to recycling yesterday morning

47 jazillion: number of times I’ve watched the exact same scene from Strike Back 1.2 since July 2

64 jazillion: number of times I’ve watched the exact same scene from Sparkhouse since July 2

8: number of loads of my neglected dirty laundry done yesterday and today

2: number of loads of same left to do tomorrow

3: number of new bras needed to buy for work

100: percent likelihood that guilt and relief are the two emotions I am mostly likely to be feeling for approximately the next week

~ by Servetus on August 13, 2012.

22 Responses to “OT: Put off dull sloth”

  1. Oh, Servetus. I know it’s been a hard summer. And I totally understand the feeling of both guilt and relief. And the fact that conversation with your mom was very uncomfortable. But belief it or not, you’ll be glad you had it one day. When my mom first started talking about such matters, I shied away. Finally, I realized that it was important to her to know that things would arranged a certain way. I gave her a certain piece of mind–and in the end, the rest of us, too.

    I guess I am going to have to check out this Bejeweled on the Kindle Fire I inherited from Benny. It was a freebie from work and he decided it just wasn’t going to do what he wanted.

    And hurray for the church ladies. 😀


    • yeah, she wanted to have the conversation. Who was I to stop her? We’ve had many conversations this summer with less rational fears at their base.

      I like my Fire a lot — but I’m mostly using it to watch Netflix and play videogames, not read.


      • Yeah, you just have to go with the flow sometimes. I put some music on my Fire today via the Amazon Cloud that I had stored on my laptop. I wish streaming video would work out here but alas, it seems as if our connection is getting slower rather than faster. *sigh*

        I want to put some fanvids on there, but haven’t figured that out yet. I read the directions for putting my audiobooks on it I have stored in my Audible library but as I mentioned in my last blog post my brain isn’t working at its optimum tonight. If all else fails—call on the in-house computer tech, bless his heart. Some of those unabridged audiobooks are big files and I have run out of space on my other Kindle for audiofiles.


  2. I used to be addicted to Bejeweled for a while too… I played online. Then I moved on to a game called “Bookworm”. I found these games were good to dull my mind.
    I never really had a proper “funeral conversation” with my mum, she just mentioned in passing one day towards the end that she wanted to have her ashes scattered. Then we never discussed any further details- mainly due to my extreme reluctance. She was a lapsed Catholic who occasionally attended church service at the Reformed Church (Calvinist), so I engaged a pastor from that church to speak at her funeral. I wrote an obituary on which he based his speech. I selected the music to be played before and after the service- I picked piano pieces that I knew she would have liked (Schubert’s Impromptus some of which she used to play herself and Adagio from Beethoven’s piano concerto #5). It was as beautiful as a funeral can be. 😦
    I’m glad the church ladies were so helpful, and that you’ve found somebody to cook for your parents when you’re gone. I think the 60-70 % of eyedrops administered is not bad considering the circumstances.
    My thougths are with you… Stay strong!


  3. I’m so sorry this summer has been so hard for you, but it’s good RA has managed to give you a little relief. I know sometimes the feeling of guilt can be overwhelming, but you also have a responsibility to yourself, your life, work etc. At the end of the day, we can only play the hand that we’ve been dealt!


    • yeah. My mantra is “it is what it is.” One thing I’ve been saying to myself is that they *can* still manage on their own with some help — I need to keep working until they really can’t manage without me. The end of this looks like it will be long and drawn out. I have to tank up — and not go crazy during the first third of the race.


      • As you probably know, I’m not religious, so I’m not going to write that g*d only gives as much as you can take, but I believe in the human spirit, and I know that we are capable of much more than we ever though possible. Maybe this summer was a way for you to develop coping mechanisms, a lesson in accepting that not everything can be perfect, even if we wish it to be, or if we bend over backwards to make it so. Sometimes settling for things to be OK is enough. Perfection is overrated most of the time, and it just takes so much energy. It’s hard to achieve because the outcome doesn’t depend only on us. Sometimes I think we just have to let things go, and let them merely be OK!


        • That “G-d only gives you as much as you can take” or the other variation “G-d won’t give you more than you can take” is not actually in the Bible. Which is helpful for me to know. Yeah, definitely had to give up on perfectionism this summer.


      • It’s true, you’re going to need your stamina — physical, mental, and emotional — for the whole journey. At this point, it would be a good idea to (1) collect the movable valuables in the house and move them to a safe deposit box or other secure location; (2) write out instructions for doing laundry, including how much and what type of detergent to use; (3) find brands and types of frozen lunches that that they can tolerate/will eat.; and (4) maintain a 3X5 card of critical phone numbers posted by their landline. When the need to bring in help comes, it may come suddenly, so it’s a good idea to be ready. Unfortunately, I found that even among the church ladies, there were some who could not be trusted. Money and jewellery were taken, presumably by someone who thought, “Oh, she’s dying, she won’t miss it.”


        • Thanks for the tips. They’re all useful with the exception of the jewelry thing — if my mother has any other than her wedding band I am unaware of it (think: Mrs. Thornton). They’ll be going to the county nutrition site for lunch, I am pretty sure. And I have a first responder next door on call 24 hours and another one close by. I did my best and I now have to let go of it for four months.


  4. Bejeweled and Scrabble have kept me sane through many a tough day. Whatever it takes.



    • I found a Bejeweled game that you can never lose — it is so tranquil and meditative (aside from the exploding noises). Thanks for the comment.


  5. Hi Serv,

    I’m not sure if this is the SB 1 epi 2 scene that you’re referring to, but you have given yourself so generously to your mother and to your family this Summer that Porter’s words to Katie stick in my mind as if he is saying them to you:

    “Brave girl, brave girl.”

    Love and Hugs, Grati ;->


  6. Hi Servetus,
    I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. Been there myself and no matter how much support you get, it’s still a burden you ultimately bear and deal with in your own way. The one word of advice that I, in retrospect, wish I had listened to more was to take care of yourself during this process as you can only lend strength to others when you have strength yourself. Yes, there will be tons of awkward and uncomfortable conversations and difficult decisions ahead –not to mention very complex emotions to sort through–but if you keep your head clear and heart loving (which I doubt you will have a problem with), you’ll find your way through whatever lies ahead. While I know you may have some conflicted emotions relating to how those close to you may be dealing –or not dealing–with what is happening, don’t let that drain your energy. I’m glad to hear the church ladies have been so thoughtful. As for making sure the floor is mopped or the trays are returned full–you are doing that for your mom and that sense of order is important to keeping her spirits up. I’m sure your mom appreciates your hard work. As for yourself–rewatch whatever you need as often as you want and forget whether they are practical for work–treat yourself to really GREAT bras!
    Hang in there.


    • yeah — I would never bake anything voluntarily, so that was definitely for mom! I got some good bras. thanks for the advice and support.


  7. Dear Servetus,
    I haven’t been online much these last few days but you’ve been on my mind. I can relate to the mixture of guilt and relief you’re feeling about your return to university. As I said a couple of weeks ago: it’s the right decision but that doesn’t make it any easier. Try to treat yourself to something nice – bras, chocolate, movies whatever… You’ve earned it.!!
    Sending lots of hugs your way xxx 🙂


    • I think this really brings it down to the point — I had to leave, but that doesn’t make it easier. The first 36 hours were great — what relief — but now I am sturggling again.


  8. […] should, they think, and save my energies for when it has to be a family member and no one else. A sickening combination of relief and guilt churn their ways forward along with a certain amount of fear that I try not to discuss with anyone. My spatial perspective […]


  9. […] been fiddling on her obit since last summer — when she drafted it on a day when she was really depressed — and (at his request and the urging of the funeral guy) we wrote my dad’s on Friday. […]


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