Sunday, January 06, 2008

answer: bunking with the mother-in-law, and taking up permanant residency in Florida.

The question: Things I did not expect to happen in 2008.

This was supposed to be the year I finally got what I wanted. Where we finally moved back to Ohio, the place I call home. Where my oldest son travels in his dreams. Where you can build snowmen in March, and swim in a non-heated facility for about a week a year. Where the only tourists we see are the ones who visit Cedar Point during the short, yet sweet, three month summer.

We were supposed to finally make some decisions about our future. To take up permanent residency somewhere. To buy a house. To make a home. To become financially secure. To be closer to my family, my massive life-line. A lifeline I didn't realize was so important to me until I was a thousand miles away. A group of people who wouldn't think twice about being there for one another. Giving my boys the family they so desperately crave. Without strings. Without
complications. Without all the damn drama that seems to follow Tim's mother (his only family) around. Those were my resolutions for the year.

Yet, here we are, not even a week into 2008 and things are at a crossroads.

Tim's mom's life is in shambles. She loves a man who lives in California, is
married, and (to be quite honest) is quite questionable, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, she is living with, and married to, a man who, in her
opinion, may have early onset Alzheimer's.

She wants out. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her life taking care of this man, a man she says she hates, who will probably never get better. Before a
diagnosis is made. Before the guilt sets in. Before she feels obligated to stay.

She has no job. No way to support herself (she hasn't worked in almost twenty years). A house full of stuff she isn't willing to part with, a dog, and a car - complete with car payments. All of which will become our responsibility in the near future.

Tim is her only son. Her only family member that hasn't walked out on her. He
is her everything. And, regardless of anything else, she is pretty darn important to him as well.

Despite how I feel about her actions. About how she is willing to leave a man who has been there for her for the past 15+ years, taking care of her during her illnesses,
supporting her 100% of the time, without asking for anything in return. She is crying out for help. And so help me, I can't turn my back on family. I can't let her suffer. Personal feelings on the entire matter aside, the lines have been drawn, and as Debby's biological son, Tim, didn't get a say in the matter, as most children often don't in the case of a divorce.

So, plans for the year have begun to change. We probably won't make the move to Ohio, but instead move in with her, taking over all her bills and pushing Steve out. He will more than likely (depending on how the doctor visits go this week) begin treatment for his brain disorders and we will be stuck, in the middle, in Florida, and far away from any place I want to be. Walking that fine line between being supportive of Debby, yet there for Steve, the real victim, in our opinions.

She plans on leaving him with nothing. No new car. No house. No dog. He will move away, without a scrap of furniture to an apartment, by himself. The only thing he'll have going for him is his job, which he has grown to hate. That, and us. We'll be
there, offering our support at any bump in the road. Hopefully that's enough.

What a swell beginning this year is shaping out to be. Hopefully things will settle soon and fall into place, wherever that may be.