There are going to be days that will drain you more than others, leaving you spent sleeping on the floor at 7:20 pm in front of "That 70s Show" reruns. There are going to be days that will vault you into euphoria, spinning ecstatic, jabbering non-stop unable to sleep. It is just the way it is. Most days you do not get an overload of one or the other. It is softly rolling hills and valleys. Once in a while you will hit one that will take your breath away, in either direction. You either roll with it or you roll under it. It's up to you.

I didn't sleep very well last night. It happens. Tick, tick, tick. I hear every turn my kids make in their slumber. I hear every vagrant walking by sifting through our garbage cans. I see the headlights of every plane flying past my window. My thoughts go spinning out of control, racing with no place to go. I can not fight it.

Today is my grandmother's birthday and I miss her. Memories jostle each other for attention. I think it is good that the ones mostly filling the screen are from days long ago, when she was strong and vibrant. I have watched her regress the last few years under the ravages of Alzheimer's. The turn around is hard. Standing helpless as she reverts back to toddler status. When I say hard, what I really mean is staggering. She came to the point where my family couldn't take care of her anymore. She was sent to a nursing home. Within three months she was dead. This is not to say that the home was to blame. This is not to say anyone is to blame at all. The choices were running out, dwindling to one. I think, perhaps, on some level she was ready to go. She never wanted to be in such a place.

Years ago, while she was still she, she told me what she wanted. She asked me to take her in, so she could be around her great-grandchildren. She wanted to tell stories to my daycare children, bake cookies and make art. She didn't want to go to my parents, because she was certain she would be put into a home near the end. She said she didn't want to be around strangers when she died. We had long talks about this, her greatest fear. She foresaw it and wanted reassurance. That was before my life as I knew it crumbled at my ankles. I became barely able to take care of myself, so in the end, we both moved in with my parents. It is important to have a rock, a home base. Sometimes I wish I could have been hers. When I was ready to go out on my own again with my daughter, I did not have the means to take my grandmother also. I could not take care of us all. I think about this often. Sometimes all we can do is the best we can do and then we have to let that which we have no contol over go. We have to forgive ourselves.

My grandmother was very important to me, just as my grandfather was. I choose to believe she is laughing next to him as glad to have her mind back as he is to have his body back. Together again. She is where she wants to be. I still do miss her though.

I have worries about another today also. I have no knowledge and no facts, I am not likely to be able to get them, but I have concern nonetheless. I will probably scan obituaries for days and pray that I do not see a name that I recognize. All that I can do is sit and wait. There are things we have no control over. Do you understand this? You will feel powerless, it is not your fault. Sometimes there IS nothing you can do. You will pace the floor anyway, because that is your nature. You will be angry and concerned and angry again. You have to let it out then let it go.

I have a family member who called to chew me out for something I did not do. It did not matter. He was angry. I was the dumping ground. He does not have to worry that I will leave him. He will always be my family. Still, I do not like being the point of refuse release. When we are both less angry, I will tell him this. At a time when I can choose my words carefully, instead of spilling them in heat. I would like to have control over every ripple riding out away from me. I do not. A friend of a friend of a beau of my child and miscommunication and misunderstanding caused the explosion. If this were destined to occur, I would have preferred it occur on another day. Some things are out of your control. You can not control timing. You can not control others, you can only control your own actions/reactions.

I wore brown shoes today with black pants. BROWN with black. Can you imagine? It is like mixing silver with gold. I just don't do it. How did this happen? My mind is too full, racing. Alzheimer's, childhood memories, old friends, and new acquaintances. Parents and children and rollercoasters, yes rollercoasters. It has crowded out my routine.

I forgot my lunch today. I left my wallet at home. I am falling further and further behind at work. I wore BROWN SHOES WITH BLACK PANTS. My day is spinning out of control. I am losing focus. It happens to all of us sometimes. It will happen to you.

And then my boss sends out a reminder to the staff. Don't forget lunch is on us today. Put down your work and come join us on the third floor. Come get your holiday meal! And just like that, one problem melts away. Put it down, take a break. And then a friend phones, and just like that it all slides back more securely onto the track.

There are some days when all you can do is lock the bar down tight across your lap, throw your hands up and scream as you go barrelling down the track. You will be jolted. You will be dropped. You will have your very breath stolen from your lips. You will come out at the end of the ride. And you will, of course, be caught with that humiliating face expression picture when you reach the bottom. It's OK. It's proof that you made it when you didn't think you would. Go home and fall asleep on the floor. Tomorrow is a new day.

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