mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Back in Baltimore, and feeling kind of bad about it...

Well, I'm back in Baltimore - I left Jersey around 9:30 this morning and after a fairly pleasant and uneventful drive through PA, got back to Casa De Mad before 2pm.

I'm kind of glad to be back in Baltimore, and I kind of feel guilty about being glad to be back in Baltimore. As I've mentioned, my dad was diagnosed with MS about a week ago. He still has a bunch of tests to get done before they decide on a course of treatment, and at this point he has trouble doing much of anything - he pretty much gets dizzy if he moves his head too much. Which means my mom - who isn't in the world's greatest shape herself, thanks to heart problems and knees that are overdue for replacement thanks to arthritis - has to do all the stuff he normally does. I was able to help them out a little - taking out the trash, grocery shopping, taking my mom to church. I can't really complain, given that my mom has to deal with doing this stuff every day, and she doesn't have the advantage of age that I do.

My older brother does live fairly close by, so he is around to help. But I don't want him to have to shoulder the burden by himself - it's not really fair that he should have to put his life on hold just because he didn't move as far away as I did.

Traditionally, I've only gone up to visit the parents on holidays - usually Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and July 4th. I usually stay in Maryland for Memorial Day because it's the weekend of a big Hamfest, and for Labor Day because it's usually move-in weekend at the college I work at. It looks like this year it's not, so I can probably make it up for labor day, but I'm thinking that I need to do more - I'll probably go up at least one weekend between now and then probably late July or early August.

Part of me figures I probably should go up every weekend, or at least every weekend I can. After all, they are my parents, and I owe them a debt I can't every repay for bringing me into this world, for taking care of me for 22 or so years, for being there, for putting me through college, for the fact that I'm educated and gainfully employed and not living in a gutter somewhere.

But part of me also thinks that Baltimore has become my home, and wants to spend time here. It's where my job is, where all my stuff is, it's where my house is, it's where my cat is. It's where my small circle of friends are, and it's where potential dates are. Am I wrong for choosing that stuff over the people who brought me into this world? I mean, besides the cat, I have no real obligations - I'm single, I don't have kids, I'm not on the brink of financial disaster - I should be more willing to sacrifice than I am.

I feel a little drained - holidays used to be the time I would relax, that my mom would cook for me, that seeing my parents would make me feel better. Now it's more like a working vacation - I mean, I spent plenty of time sitting around surfing the net and studying for my Apple certification exam, but I also spent time running errands and helping with cooking and the like. But I also feel like a jerk for complaining about this, since my parents have to deal with this every day for the rest of their lives, not just for a few days a few times a year. Considering the circumstances, the 'rents were in reasonably good spirits, but there were a few times I got a little choked up - like when I went to the basement to grab a screwdriver to take the hard drive out of my mom's old PC. My dad - an electronics enthusist - has a small workshop area down there, with multimeters and boxes of parts labeled in his trademark half-print, half-cursive writing, and I found myself wondering if he'd ever feel well enough to be able to make it back down there and use any of that stuff.

I really hope that they can get a treatment program that makes my dad at least somewhat functional, or otherwise get some help for them. I'd hate to have to split my life between NJ and MD, but at the same time I'd hate to be the horrible son who forsakes his own parents so he can sit around his house and watch TV.


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