If you haven't read part one yet, click here.
So, we had spoken about the move to Pittsburgh after The Boy received his relapse diagnosis last November. We decided to stay because of my family, because of the Valerie Fund, and because of my job.
The Valerie Fund has now, for all intents and purposes, been taken away from us. It is an amazing hardship to find caretakers with similar ideas about sterilization and germ avoidance as we have. This means that, two to three times per week, we are exposing the kids to new, strange germs. I know that we can't keep them in a bubble, but The Boy's care requires us to keep him kind of isolated for two and a half weeks out of every three weeks. It's not fair, it's not easy, but it is life and living for him. Beats the alternative.
I won't get into professional discussions here. I'll just say that The Boy's care needs have over-ridden my ability to stay in this particular job.
So, all of the major reasons for me coming back to, and staying in, New Jersey have dried up. The Boy's care has been difficult on my work performance, my family isn't in a position to help us (my father has been amazing, to recap), and the Valerie Fund has become difficult because of a lack of suitably-trained (in sterilization) adults to care for the two boys and my job. The Wife's job situation wasn't much better than mine, unfortunately, and it wasn't likely to improve soon. Damn economy. Factor in the immediate difficulties of taking The Boy for his checkups, and we have five more days to pack up all of our belongings and get them the hell out the door.
We'll move The Wife and the boys with Grandma. I'll go back to Jersey, and clean up the house: throw away all the trash, donate / give away / circular file anything we don't need in the next year or three, paint the inside, touch up the outside, fix anything that needs to be fixed, and put the house on the market on January 1. One of The Wife or myself will get a new job (I hope it's the wife), and the other will stay home with the boys. Grandma will be able to be more of a part of The Boy's care, and they'll be in a better financial place - Grandma will miss less work and not have to travel 350 miles for each chemo treatment. When one of us finds a job that we like, we'll buy a house and move close to work.
I'm disappointed in the way things have worked out, believe me. But, my life has really and truly hit rock bottom, in pretty much every aspect. (The words of a friend of mine, "Every time I see you, I remember that my life isn't so bad," echo through my head here.) Something has to change, or I'm not going to make it through the end of The Boy's treatments intact. My professional life, my musical life, my vocal mechanism, my general health, my incredible lack of sleep (operating on two nights of more-than-7 hours of sleep since August), my personal life, my relationship with my family since Younger Bro's birth... it all sucks, to be honest. Right now, I'm broken. It's time to drop back five yards and punt the football before irreparable harm to my body and to my spirit happen. I need to go somewhere where, every once in a while, I don't have to be strong; where I can rest, every once in a while; where I can see my wife more than one night per week; where I can see my second son for more than fifteen minutes per day; where I can re-establish some sanity in my professional life and development.
Is Pittsburgh that place? I don't know. All that I know is, it cannot be any worse than it is for me here. Something has to change, something has to improve. In baseball parlance, the worm must turn, and we're hoping that this is the impetus.
So, if you don't get many blog entries from us for the next several days, you understand why. Every moment of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday has been spent packing and organizing and straightening: one pile of stuff to go into storage, one pile of stuff we'll need at Grandma's House, and one pile of stuff to go to the Salvation Army.
Wish us luck and G-dspeed, please. We need it.