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Midnight Run(s)

Posted by Ursa Major, 17 December 2006 · 62 views

I was hoping so much that this night I could just make it through the night, it sure felt like it was possible when I went to bed. But no such luck. I woke up at 4:00 AM, and just made it to the bathroom, where I stayed for an hour (sigh). Now it is 5:00 AM, and I don't feel like it's safe to go back to bed yet.

Seriously, how will I make it through the day on so little sleep? I haven't had a decent, uninterrupted night's sleep in a week! I am supposed to go to church, and to my daughter's recital today. I am not sure if I actually should eat anything for breakfast or lunch, because I don't want to interrupt the recital by suddenly rushing out to the bathroom. Not to mention potentially missing my daughter's performance.

Last night my husband and I went to the Christmas dinner of our local youth drop-in center, run by Highland Youth for Christ. My husband volunteers there. Yes, he has time for other kids, but not his own. This place is really 'home' for a lot of those kids, and they treat the director like she is their mom. After school (if they haven't skipped) they come by to just check in and give her a hug. Their own moms wouldn't care if they are coming or going. Those kids are all abused kids, with parents that are criminals, drug addicts, alcohol addicts, and who couldn't care less about them.

A lot of those kids use drugs, and are in and out of jail for various, usually minor, offenses. But with the help of the director, who will counsel them, and has set up something like a homeschool upstairs which is approved by the ministry of education, where they can get one high school credit at a time, even if they totally fail in school, a lot of them are straightening out. Quite a few have become Christians and regularly attend church. Hopefully they'll make it, and not end up like their parents.

We were supposed to be at the dinner by 5:45 PM. We didn't get there until 6:15 PM. Just as I was going to have my shower, the D hit me again. That took half an hour to get out of my system. Then I rushed through my shower and got ready. When at 6:00 I was about to put on my coat to go out the door, into the bathroom I zoomed again.

I assumed that they'd just go ahead and start supper without us, and we could just sneak in and join them. No such luck. They all sat around WAITING for us! It was very embarrassing to me. Sure enough, they told us to go upstairs where everything was set up, and came up after us. And of course, everybody would just assume we were late for no particular reason, and there is no way for me to explain. :unsure: ...................

........Where were we, when I took the amazing opportunity 45 minutes ago to look through all the specials flyers that came with our weekend paper (I put them into the bathroom for a purpose)? (it is now 5:45 AM). Oh yes, embarrassing moments. Those are the memories that haunt me.

It was a good celebration. I ate some turkey (they cooked the stuffing separately, just for me), plain carrots and peas, and some mashed potatoes (taking my chances there, but the director helped cook, and is very aware of my problems). I waited out the salad, as it was served with croutons already on it, and obviously passed on the dinner rolls being handed around.

Then we sang carols and winter songs, led by our pastor (who became a Christian only about 12 years ago, and used to perform in bars with his 4 brothers), who is a cool guy, and those teenagers love him. After that, all the volunteers got a gift, and then the kids got their stockings. They try to put in some neat stuff, but also some basics like socks, gloves, hats, as those are often the only items of that kind those kids get all year. Those gifts are for many also the only Christmas presents they are likely to get. So, they wouldn't miss the Christmas dinner for anything, they want those presents! Every present given out is greeted with hooting and hollering and cheering. There is a volunteer group in town that buys and donates those gifts each year.

Without that youth center, those kids would be hanging out in the street getting into trouble. It is a life saver (for many literally) for them. Here they are loved and treated well, counseled, educated, they can have fun in a loving, non-threatening environment. They play pool and ping-pong with the volunteers, and build relationships.

The director will fight for them in court, with the government agencies, with the schools. She is their only advocate, without her for many they'd just be thrown into jail, and left there to rot without a chance of a decent life. Here lives are turned around. Not all can be saved, some are too hardened already, and it always breaks her heart. These are 'her' kids, and she loves them passionately.

She has to raise her own salary, and often, if donations for her don't come in (and they have to specifically state that the money is for her salary), she goes without. There is no government funding for this place, since it's 'religious'. In their shortsightedness they don't see that those kids would cost the government a lot of money in the end, without this center's work.

I just wished I'd have money to give to her. Last Christmas I asked my husband to give me money for Christmas, to give to her. It helped her with her trip down to the States to visit her daughter. But this year I don't get a present, because I needed new glasses in the fall, and the only way he let me have them was, if they're my Christmas present. The reason is, that my old glasses (due to my ultra-sensitive skin) gave me open sores on my nose, even though they were very light already. My only chance for that to stop was titanium frames (if you want to call them that, as it's only arms and a nose bridge directly attached to the lenses). They are very expensive.

My husband wanted me to just get new lenses for my old frames. That simply was not a viable option. I did pay part of it with money I had saved. But because my right eye had changed a lot, and my left one didn't, I also needed new reading lenses, and office lenses (for computer work). I don't do bi-focals. I've tried that a few years ago, and hated them, they disorient me. And yes, I gave them a good try, as I had them for a year. So, the total bill was about $700.00, of which I paid $200.00 myself. Which is expensive, and hence no Christmas present.

I really like my new ultra-light glasses. They are so weight-less, that you don't even feel like you have anything on your nose. The only drawback is, that they need adjusting more often, as somehow they get bent out of shape more easily.

Three weeks ago I had them adjusted, as they were slightly crooked. Three days later I went to visit my daughter and her family, to take her and baby Zoey out for lunch and Christmas shopping (I ate the lunch I brought with me in the car and let my daughter drive to the mall, and then she ate her lunch there, while I held the baby).

When I arrived, my daughter handed me Zoey (she is six months old), who was delighted to see me. She reached out with her little hand to touch my face (she likes to stroke people's faces, it's so sweet), but instead of just touching my cheek, she grabbed my glasses and ripped them off my face! Needless to say, I had to go back the next day to have them adjusted again. Little rascal.

On Thursday our oldest daughter with her husband and five children will arrive to stay with us for four days, and then they'll move on to his family, who lives a 45 minute's drive from here. And on Friday the other daughter with baby Zoey will come, but they will sleep at our son's house (who may or may not have a baby by then, his wife went into false labour a week ago, and the doctor didn't think she'd make it to her due date, which is January 3rd).

Because I've been so sick, and still am, I haven't done any cleaning, baking, hardly any decorating. I am NOT ready for this invasion at all. My husband tells me not to worry, it's no problem. But his mother and her husband are coming for lunch on Saturday, too, and she is awfully critical of me (she's never liked or accepted me). I wished I could just hide.

And having all those people here, and the little kids making messes, and noise, and constantly wanting attention will stress me to the limit. In principle I love Christmas. But it's the most stressful time of the year for me, even if the kids do all the cooking. Actually, partly precisely because the kids do all the cooking. They don't understand about cross contamination, they laugh at me when I suggest I could get sick from something like somebody not washing their hands before they touch my food. They think I am paranoid and ridiculous. I get treated like a joke when I tell them that they can't use my cutting board for bread, and that just washing may not get it clean enough for me. My concerns get dismissed and poo-poohd regularly in this family. In order to be safe I'd have to move out.

I weighed myself yesterday. You'd think I would have lost weight this past week, with constant watery D, and hardly eating a thing. But, as usual, the less I eat the more I gain. I gained six pounds! My pants were tight tonight. It's crazy and upsetting.

I bought five tickets for our daughter's recital. I was hoping that her grandmother (who is one of the most selfish people on this earth, by the way) would come to see her perform. Also, she said that one of her friends wanted to come, and her older sister said she'd be there.

As it turns out now, only our son is coming (two tickets will be wasted). His wife is going to her parent's house, as it's her older brother's birthday. Our other daughter isn't coming, because she helped our second daughter move yesterday (her fiance borrowed a large trailer from his boss, which he towed with his big pickup truck), and now they're a 4 1/2 hour drive away. And because the recital was changed from 5:00 PM to 3:00 PM, she can't make it. Her friend has to work. And her grandmother decided not to come (she went to her other son's children's recitals, of course, as he is her favourite son, and they are her favourite grandchildren). Oh well, nothing I can do about it.

Last night on my way to bed it suddenly hit me, that I forgot about buying her teacher a gift! Of course, I meant to get one last week. But I was too sick to go out to stores, and so it slipped my mind. After church I will have to rush out and find something, like a nice ornament. I'll have about half an hour. Darn, not what I needed at all.

Well, I think I'll go and try to sleep for another couple of hours. I could sure use the sleep, I look like death warmed over. I'll have to try and hide the dark circles under my eyes with cover-up today. No need for people asking me if I am sick, I don't want to explain what's going on to anybody.

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