All Alone

by Aleece
(Mississippi)

I am caring for my father-in-law. A man that is not my dad. He was never really a dad to my husband because he was never around. He has never attended a wedding or graduation or even my son's ballgames.


My father-in-law moved onto our property about 2 years ago. I firmly believe that he moved there with the intention of dying. He is a chain smoker and an alcoholic (case of beer a day).

We found out a few months ago that he has terminal esophageal cancer that has spread to his lungs - doctors said he would be dead in 6 months.

Before this diagnosis, I was already cooking for him and doing his laundry. And I mean cooking full meals and having to rush home to do it and get it to him because he went to bed really early. Let me also say, I work an hour from my home.

After the diagnosis, he got a feeding tube but did not use it. He drank the "formula" while he could still swallow. He can no longer swallow and I have begun - just last week - feeding him through the tube.

I have to get up early and go give him his medications before I leave for work, then rush home to give him more medications, make his bed, wash his clothes, clean his house and whatever else needs to be done.

We have not been to church in 6 months. I haven't been to adult choir practice in over a year. My 12 year old son plays city ball and travel baseball. He has only played 3 tournaments this year.

My life is completely on hold and now my son's life has been put on hold. Since he is out of school, he is sitting with him during the day because he can no longer be by himself.

My husband works out of town and is only home 2-3 nights per week. He has 3 brothers. Two of those brothers have wives that do not work.

They have not asked how they can help. They have not called to see if I need anything - or my son or their dad. If they want to know how he is doing, they call my husband - which I somehow feel is an insult to me. I'm the caregiver - call me - get it straight from the person that is there everyday - day in and day out.

I have wanted to vent my frustrations to my husband's brothers, but I can't. Several years ago, my husband and one of his brothers had a falling out and didn't speak for years. He was heart broken by that and doesn't want a repeat. So I've kept my mouth shut.

My husband loves me and appreciates me. He tells me and does his best to show me as much as possible. But he doesn't (in my opinion) always have my back in respect to his brothers. He doesn't want to cause a fight. He handles them with kid gloves.

Not only is my son having to miss out on things he loves....but his grandpa asked him to put beer into his feeding tube today. In my house, children don't handle beer. If an adult wants a beer, they are more than able to go get it themselves.

Thankfully, my father-in-law has agreed to go to a nursing home. He understands that I can no longer give him the kind of care that he needs. This will take SO much pressure off me. However, that will be in a few days and I am feeling SO overwhelmed today! - More than ever before. And I just don't know how to handle it!!!!!!

Thanks for letting me vent....

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