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13 December 2016 @ 06:26 pm
My Poor Little Man.  
I don’t care how old The Nephew gets, he will always be my ‘little man’. Anyways, he’s having a rough 2016. I mean, he’s only ten, the ails of 2016 shouldn’t be affecting him - that’s how cursed this year is.

So, they have a Neighborhood Mom. You know the type - always does crafts with everyone, invites you to go fun places, makes sure everyone has a sled. She had two boys close to TN’s age and he loved spending time over there. Better than being at home with his own stinky parents, right? (as all kids think). But she was always having a lot of sick days. TN is used to chronically ill people though - he has them on both sides of his family. But then this summer he was like, “She’s really sick, Dad. She doesn’t get out of bed now.” And then she was in the hospital. And then she died. And her two boys went to live with their dad. So he didn’t just lose Neighborhood Mom, but his two best friends as well.


Then less then two months later, he lost Gigi, his great-grandma - (my grandma). He was closer to her than most kids would be to a great-grandparent. He’d write her letters, especially after Papa died, because he knew she was sad and alone. He would take Uno when he went to visit and they would play together. And she would call to ask him how school was and he’d get so proud when she’d praise his grades and such. When she passed, he told his dad, “It’s so sad,” and his dad said, “It’s a big loss for you, buddy,” and TN said, “Yeah, but, I mean, that was Grandpa’s mom. His mom died. I feel so sad for Grandpa.” While Gigi was old, her death came suddenly, not with any hospital stay or warning.

Then last week, his teacher - in her 40s - didn’t show up for school on Friday. Without calling in. The school couldn’t get in touch with her, so eventually they sent someone to her home. She was dead in her house. No foul play - my brother said she’d just had shoulder reconstruction a few month ago for a military injury, but again, she was young and it was unexpected. While school was set to go on Monday, they weren’t having class, just a memorial and crisis counseling all day. That didn’t happen, because of a snow day, so I expect it happened today.

But Idek if TN went to school today, because last night his maternal grandfather passed away. He’d been sick for a while - had a few strokes years back and then a year ago was pronounced to have terminal cancer. Last year we didn’t think he’d make it to Christmas, but as my dad put it, ‘he dug his claws in on this one.’ Still, he’d been basically leveled out at the same place for so many months now, that it was a bit unexpected. He’d been under the weather for a week and finally yesterday one of his kids convinced him to go to the ER to get looked at. He died just few hours later. (I wonder if he thought, “Shit, I’m not getting out of the hospital this time,” and just let go). My sis-in-law was at work and planning to go up to the hospital after, thinking they might keep him, but not that he would be gone before she got there. While TN didn’t have the best relationship with his grandpa, he did live with him for a few years, so knew him pretty well and again, his upset will be for his mother and his grandmother to have that loss.

TN has refused to talk to his parents or me about Neighborhood Mom or his teacher, though he did open up about Gigi, cried his eyes out all morning the babysitter said, but I encouraged him to make use of the counselors at school this week. And ofc, my thoughts are with my sis-in-law and her mother.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on December 14th, 2016 04:34 am (UTC)
You're the bestest aunt, ever, you really are. ♥
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on February 28th, 2017 11:39 pm (UTC)
You're the bestest aunt, ever, you really are. ♥

/beams/ Thank you very much!

It seems The Nephew's grades have been slipping, odd for someone who tests out way above his grade level. I think between all of the family losses, his mother switching jobs (yet again, though this time for good as she got in with the state and state jobs are really well incentivized here), and the mid-winter blues, I think the kid is just tired I am having him in this weekend for movie-n-game night though!
Kate: Hiding Catceitfianna on December 14th, 2016 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh poor guy, that's a lot of death from so many unexpected angles.
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on February 28th, 2017 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oh poor guy, that's a lot of death from so many unexpected angles.

It really was. His anxiety has been up, his grades down and overall I think the kid is just done with winter and being cooped up when his whole family is on edge from everything that has happened. Having him in this weekend to spend some time with me and then J is taking both the kids to Chicago over their spring break in April (the first time The Niece has gotten to go on the coveted Chicago-trip!), so hopefully those things will help him relax a bit. Everyone need a vacation now and then!
lindahoylandlindahoyland on December 15th, 2016 12:36 am (UTC)
That is so much loss for a child to bear.
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on February 28th, 2017 11:44 pm (UTC)
That is so much loss for a child to bear.

It is, indeed. The Nephew hasn't been handling it well, but has been refusing a counselor, so I make it a point to touch base with him on how things are going whenever I can. It certainly doesn't help that he is on the cusp of being a teenager - that makes all emotions seem so much worse!
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on December 16th, 2016 05:14 am (UTC)
Man. Hugs to you and TN both, lady.
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on February 28th, 2017 11:46 pm (UTC)
Man. Hugs to you and TN both, lady.

Thanks, babe. It was a rough 6 months for everybody, but it seemed The Nephew took more losses than anyone. Don't know what to tell his parents about his anxiety issues, but I do hope he goes back to his horse-riding training this summer (a free program for kids with anxiety that he qualified for) because it really seemed to help last year. <3
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on March 1st, 2017 03:16 am (UTC)
That would be awesome - if a kid can control and care for a big damned horse, he's going to feel more in control of his world in general, I would guess, which might translate to lower anxiety.
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on March 9th, 2017 11:44 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome - if a kid can control and care for a big damned horse, he's going to feel more in control of his world in general, I would guess, which might translate to lower anxiety.

Okay so here's what is so great about his horse riding classes: They teach them calming techniques. Horses can tell when your anxiety is up and or you are on edge. And it will in turn affect the horses. So before they even start, they make them do a calming exercise, sorta centering themselves, make them zen, so they can approach their horses without making them nervous. Then they teach them how to calmly approach the horses, how to talk to them to keep them calm. Then while riding, if you start to let your mind wander to other stuff, they learn techniques to let go of that and clear their minds so as not to upset the horses. So they learn techniques to help their own anxiety through this. Plus it builds confidence. Plus they see other kids there with anxiety issues and know they are not alone. It's such a great program!

The Nephew loved his horse, told me all about it. It's name was Shy. <3
Jo Ann: Cmas: Santa sleigh in skyyeuxdebleu on December 19th, 2016 02:08 am (UTC)
How terrible for a child to lose so many he was close to in such quick succession. I hope he isn't left with the fear that everyone he cares about is going to die and leave him. I hope Christmas will cheer him up.
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on February 28th, 2017 11:49 pm (UTC)
How terrible for a child to lose so many he was close to in such quick succession. I hope he isn't left with the fear that everyone he cares about is going to die and leave him.

He lost Papa (my grandpa, his great-grandpa) when he was eight, which I think was The Nephew's first moment of like, "Oh, this is death," kind of thing. So at least he had some experience to go on before he lost so many in a row like this. His behavior has not been well lately, but it's hard to tell if it's due to this or just mid-winter cabin-fever type thing. At any rate, he'll be here to hang out with me this weekend, so that'll put him in a better mood, I hope!

Jo Ann: Fingers crossed for luckyeuxdebleu on February 28th, 2017 11:53 pm (UTC)
...he'll be here to hang out with me this weekend, so that'll put him in a better mood, I hope!

I hope so, too. It's very hard sometimes to tell what a child is thinking about a loss.
Trigger Warning: Life: ottersmatchboximpala on January 7th, 2017 03:00 am (UTC)
That is a lot of sorrow for one little boy. I'm glad you are encouraging him to talk with someone. I wish him well.

Edited at 2017-01-07 03:00 am (UTC)
dodger_sister: wee!deandodger_sister on March 1st, 2017 12:03 am (UTC)
That is a lot of sorrow for one little boy. I'm glad you are encouraging him to talk with someone. I wish him well.

I am still working on getting The Nephew to go to anxiety counseling. His parents want him too, but he refuses and since I go to my own, they were kind of hoping I could sell it to him, but no-go so far. In general he has a lot of anxiety issues (the kind that come with being an over-achieving little genius) I just want him to find some coping techniques, you know. At any rate, he knows he is always welcome to talk to me about things and every once in awhile he does. <3