Thursday, March 19, 2009

Of Fact and Fiction

Last night -or more correctly, about 2:30 in the morning Wednesday morning -the phone rang. Anytime the phone rings after midnight here, it sets me very much on edge as I figure it is either the damned obscene phone caller we had that used to call here about that hour of the morning from time to time -always asking for my daughter, Mandy too, he did -or it is an alarming incoming call announcing all kinds of possible things, all of which would be not good news at all. My biggest fear is that it would be something pertaining to my son or my older daughter -some terrible thing that might have just befallen them.

So last night, when I answered the phone, the female voice asked if Mandy was there and I said no, she'd already retired for the night. The caller then said that she just wanted to ask Mandy if she would go up to my son's house and make sure he was alright.

Now, this raised the hackles on my back -why did someone from here need to go check on him? What had he done, gotten himself into, etc., etc. Had he been out drinking and wrecked and were the police gonna come cart him away or some such.

Turns out the caller and her mother are both friends of my son's. They'd been with him last evening at home, at his house -listening to music, watching some tv and yes, he had been drinking but had been primarily doing his indulging at home. So what was the problem?

That turned out to be that my nephew had come calling with a cousin of his in tow. Several years ago, that would not have bothered me at all -cousins do often socialize with cousins, don't they? But that was before my nephew got in way over his head with not just alcohol but drugs too and he's been on a horrible downhill spiral for several years now. I dread hearing that he is visiting anyone in these parts at any time these days and have felt that way about him for about the past 2-3 years now.

Last night, it seems he turned up, unannounced, univited, made himself at home for a while and then, out of the blue, unprovoked, he punched my son in the mouth. THe caller said yes that my son had a good bit to drink and when they all had left, Sonny boy was sick then but they were concerned that perhaps my nephew had perhaps returned to Son's house for maybe another bit at the apple.

I debated about this but finally called upstairs to Mandy and had her come down so I could tell her what had happened. Because Kurtis had been pretty restless last night I didn't want to go up there, leaving him alone here downstairs in case he woke up fully as he would have then roused the entire house and if Mandy were to be awakened by that and had come down here and not found me here, she'd have gone into a bit of a panic then too. So, she sat up then while I drove up the hill to my son's house to make sure he was really ok and that nephew was not there nor was prowling around any place nearby either.

Clate was semi-conscious -not because of being smacked in the mouth but rather from indulging in too much of the liquid refreshments. But what bothered me even more than that was when I got to his house, his front door was hanging open and I do mean WIDE OPEN! Every light on the first floor was on, as well as the tv blaring and every light in his bedroom was also on too! Plus, I found a lit votive type candle, sitting in a little sauce dish on his bar.

I did rouse him enough -finally -for him to say that he was ok, that he just feels sorry for his cousin, etc. Hell boy, I feel sorry for him and the sorry state he has put himself in too BUT enough is enough! I told my son that first thing today he needed to go get new locks for both doors on his house, as well as for his garage and get t he damned things all installed too -PRONTO -before he leaves for work again early this morning. (My nephew has been in and out of rehab several times as well as having spent some "Quality" time in jail too in the not too distant past. He's also stolen money, used his stepfather's credit cards, bank cards, and absconded with other items as well from his mother, stepfather and his sister and her husband too over the past 3-4 years. Clate doesn't have all that much in his house of value but he does have a few things of his and some that belong to his roommate who is currently out, working on the road for several months at a clip and I would not put it past my nephew to have no qualms about lifting anything he thought he could slide out the doors at my son's house!

And I hate feeling this way, being this distrustful of my nephew, but facts are facts and if he did that to his Mom, his sister, his stepfather, what would stop him from doing the same to his cousin?

Came home and read some more of the book Mandy bought about 2-3 weeks ago -the newest book by Jodi Picoult, "Handle With Care." I didn't want to put it down, it is that kind of book -as I've found all of Ms. Picoult's works to be.

Throughout the day, every chance I got, I was reading more of this book and finally -about 5:30 in the afternoon, I closed it. Finished it! And as I told Mandy I had completed reading it, she could see the tears in my eyes, hear the voice quivering too as I said that.

"One of those kind of books, huh, Mom?" Oh my, yes!

I won't go into major details about the content except to say that it is about a couple whose young daughter is born with a terrible disease - "Osteogenesis Imperfecta" or "Brittle bone" disease and a terrible struggle the family goes through. There were, for me, many parallels I could draw from the main characters in the story to what thoughts and feelings go through the families of children with autism -things that you think about but don't want to think about either when you have a child affected by any serious illness or disorder -but at times, those thoughts do have a way of creeping in, from time to time.

As Ms. Picoult does in almost every book I've ever read of hers, she takes you along one path, thinking one way and then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, twists you around so you do a 360 and head in another equally difficult direction. The conclusion in most of her books often is about the last thing in the world you would expect to read and this one is no different in that respect.

I won't say any more about the story just that it was an excellent read and one, that all her other books, had me totally riveted to the very end.

But it also left me with a very sick, sinking feeling in my stomach too. Between that and the crap last night with my son and nephew, just had me rather down by this evening.

Tonight though, Mandy had rented a copy of "Autism -The Musical" which we watched -including my son. Hearing a lot of the dialogue and such was made a bit difficult at times by Kurtis, who was not in the mood to retire any time soon, it seemed.

Earlier though -Maya had wanted to go to bed -wanted to sleep in Gram's room as she does quite frequently -so I told her I would go out and lay down with her. If you can believe this, that was early -like about shortly after 8 p.m. when we headed out to my room, to my bed. Lucky for me -for Maya too -when I turned the tv on there, an episode of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" was on and that just happens to be Maya's favorite tv program. It's also one that frequently relaxes her very nicely and helps her fall asleep quickly too! Tonight, it apparently was working its magic on both of us as I dozed off too.

About 9 p.m. though, I was rudely awakened by Kurtis -who had opened the door to my room and come in. He was standing by my bed, jabbering away at me and when I looked up and saw him there, I made the mistake of speaking to him. That move, he immediately interpreted as an invitation to climb up into bed with Maya and me.

He squished himself in between us and lay there, watching the images on the tv screen, still talking, then shimmying around from time to time, with his hand moving down along his sides, then doing a little "hand flap" with his hand under the covers, while shaking is little butt around there at the same time. Too comical really! It woke Maya up and although she didn't have a hissy fit or anything, eventually, she determined that she wanted to be in the middle and moved him over to the other edge of the bed. That lasted about five minutes or so and I couldn't relax for fear he was going to roll off then and bonk his head on the radiator by that side of the bed, so I reached over, plucked him up and put him out of the bed completely. He really must have had his heart set on reposing there with Grammy and Maya though because he immediately climbed back up on the bed and squished himself between my lower legs -on top of the covers this time though -and settled in there for a short time.

It was about that time, just after he had re-climbed up on the bed that my son showed up, to have some coffee, ice cream, cake and watch the video with Mandy so I got up, herded Kurtis out of the room and closed the door to leave Maya there to fall asleep.

Now, here it is about the time that is pretty much come near to my "normal" bedtime and tonight, I think I might actually get to bed by 3 a.m.! That's what I am aiming for right now anyway.

And to those of you who have commented about my crazy sleep patterns, I guess I need to explain something here. First and foremost, I have been a "night owl" as long as I can remember -even dating back to when I was a small child, prior to starting school. My Mom and Grandparents rarely went to bed before midnight and I never had any set bedtime schedule as long as I can remember. That, plus the fact that about 20 years of my work life I either worked the midnight shift of the late afternnon/evening shifts and one gets accustomed to the hours between midnight and 3-4 a.m. as kind of the norm, the "unwinding time" per se. For the past six years too now, I rarely am able to sleep more than 3-4 hours at a clip. Normally, after sleeping four hours or so, I will wake up because I have to make a bathroom call. Sometimes, if I didn't know better, I might be inclined to think I have symptoms akin to men with a bad prostate, ya know. And if I do manage on a rare occasion to sleep for 5-6 hours straight, when I do get up then, my back and legs are ultra stiff and it takes me a longer than usual time to get those kinks to kind of smooth out so I can stand upright and actually walk then too! Therefore, I do have a tendency to catnap from time to time -whenever I can -throughout the day or early evening time. Just wanted to explain that although there are also some days and nights when things just don't work that way and I end up getting the short end totally in the sleep department. But that's the why and what for stuff that is pretty much behind a lot of my crazy sleep patterns here.

'Nuff said. Tonight I am going to try to get to bed -very soon too!


HalfCrazy said...

Now that is sad about Mr. Clate, I hope he gets some sort of treatment or awakening, maybe it's not too late to patch things up. Everybody can change.

Looks like i'll be keeping my eye on that author you mentioned. I always see her books whenever I go to the Bookstore, might as well pick up on of her works. I'm always looking for new authors who can satisfy my taste.

Ooh, so that's the deal with your weird sleeping time! Hahaha. I'm sort of a night owl too, a nocturnal person! But I think you really should get some more sleep!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Glad your son is okay, but that cousin needs to stay away. Those types are nothing but trouble. I so know.

Have a terrific day honey. :)

Smalltown RN said...

OH my have had quite the time...I am glad to hear you son made out know many of us have the what we call "black sheep" in the family...mine is my older just learn to deal with their behaviours the best you can...and in a lot of cases it's come down to tough love..

I hope you got some much needed rest...and that you are having a much better day...

Suldog said...

Couple of things.

I had a cousin like that, in some ways. Note I said "had". He is now deceased. He was as sweet as pie when sober, but could be nasty when indulging. Good kid underneath it all, though, and I wish he were still around. We don't get to pick our relatives, but we get to make things as good as possible for them, if we choose to (and they let us, of course.) Sounds like you have a bit more to handle with him than is really good, for anyone involved.

I also have a second cousin with that bone disease. She is currently attending college, which is a wonderful thing. Many doctors were of the opinion that she would not live this long.

I hear things like these - and live them, sometimes - and I am reminded of the myriad of blessings I have been given. I am as lucky as anyone on Earth, Jeni. And I'm very glad to know you and receive reminders of that fact from such a nice person as yourself. Thank you!

terri said...

It's a good thing Clate has you nearby. It sounds like he still needs some mothering now and then.

I didn't know Jodi Picoult had a new book out. I can't get enough of her books. I'll definitely put that on my "must have" list.

Linda said...

Glad to hear that things were more or less okay over at Clate's though with a burning candle and everything left wide open like that, it's a darned good thing you went by to check on him.

I've read a couple of Jodi Picoult's books but darned if I can remember what they were! I do remember thinking that she was a good author, though. I may have to see if this one is available at the local library!

Morgan Mandel said...

Too bad he's making everyone distrustful of him and too bad he's making his own life miserable.

Morgan Mandel

Hammer said...

sorry to hear about your son and nephew. I'm glad to hear he's alright.

I had to get my druggie thief relatives away from me. they were always looking to beg borrow or steal to support their habit.

I just had to cut them out of my life. I had given them too many chances.