|music||:||Sarasate - Introduction & Tarentelle, Op. 43 (Perlman)|
I was beginning to wonder if I could accompany Grandpa back to Taiwan for a week or two at a time, once or twice a year. I won't be able to do it right away. That's way too short notice and there are things I'd need if I'm going to work from Taiwan. There's no way I can quit my job entirely (I'm the breadwinner of the family) or take that much vacation time in a year. If I had reliable highspeed access from Taiwan, I might be able to swing it.
But, I realize it's no picnic. Especially if Grandpa wants to take day trip bus rides to different places. Productivity would be shot again, if jetlag doesn't do me in. And my Chinese sucks. I could probably do it if MIL-Woman draws me maps, leaves me instructions, local contacts if I need to ask for help and points out different restaurants, delis, take-out places or places that Grandpa likes to go. Hey, new immigrants from other countries come to North America with very limited English all the time and they can make it. I think I'd be able to as well...
Taking care of Grandpa can get to be a fulltime job. MIL-Woman did it fulltime. Right now, it's not so bad, he still knows his way around in Taiwan and is pretty independent - frighteningly so, sometimes. Several times, he took an hour-long bus ride to a neighbouring city, buggered around, had coffee/lunch and came home by himself... made the 2's shit their pants because he didn't tell them. All he needs is someone to be around.
However, Grandpa Care is only going to get harder and harder as the years go on. As much as I feel a duty to help, I still have my own issues to deal with. And it angers me that Husband Guy's immediate family are the only ones who have stepped up to take care of the elders. The others have either had to be de-facto'ed into it or have flat-out refused. MIL-Woman was the only one to actually offer way back when.
And they had the gall to question why Husband Guy's immediate family gets to live in a nice house. Umm, it's Grandpa/Grandma's house, if we're taking care of them, of-fucking-course we're going to get to live here. Or why we get to drive nice cars, by which they meant the brand new SUV. It's for taking Grandpa/Grandma out; Grandpa has problems with his legs, SUVs are higher up and it's easier for him to get in and out of. Fucking people! >KO
*sigh* I'm also afraid of setting a precedent. If I do this once, I'll be expected to do it again. Then if I say I'm not doing it anymore, it would feel (to me) like I offered something and then took it back. I'd feel like an Indian Giver. Even if I didn't feel that, I'm sure there were grumblings about something similar when MIL-Woman took on her business venture. I could say that Work was willing to let me try it once, but they didn't like how it worked out, so they don't want me doing it again... blaming The Royal Work would be fine, but I'd still feel bad.
I'd have to ask Work about getting a good laptop and secure access. Then we'd have to talk about telecommuting issues - ie. how would I do meetings? are they willing to accept the pain-in-the-ass-ness of a remote team member? And any other issues that I haven't thought of... Just on this alone, they probably wouldn't go for it.
It's all pointing at a No Go, but I gave it some thought. I think I'll just stick to the evenings and weekends that Grandpa's here. I've been trying to look into what activities he might like to go see.
Oh yeah, BTW, it's taboo in Chinese culture to put the elderly in Senior's Homes or Nursing Homes, in case anyone's wondering why we don't just do that. Aside from the cultural taboo, Nursing Homes in Asia are not like Nursing Homes in North America, conditions are worse. They do not employ skilled Social Workers. I already don't think very highly of some of the Social Workers in North America, but they're worse in Asia.
I also wouldn't be comfortable with Grandpa around strangers. If he's so willing to confide in me things that I don't think I should be hearing, then he could start telling strangers the same thing. He wants someone to talk to and anyone who lends an ear, gets it back with compounding interest. And these are things that definitely should not be going to strangers.