My day today.
My middle daughter comes to me and reminds me she wants to host a Christmas tea party at church. It’s 12:30 a.m. in the morning. Her mind is alive with possibilities, mine, on the other hand, has shut down for the night. I am just thankful to have made it through another day.
I try to explain that this isn’t the right time to talk about a tea parties. She says it’s not a big deal. I say it is a big deal. She says it doesn’t have to be a big deal. I say there has to be decorations. She says there doesn’t have to be decorations. Now I am overwhelmed. She is over simplifying it and I am over complicating it.
I can’t talk about it anymore. It’s not the right time of day because it’s really the end of a long day and I fell asleep on the couch, but then I woke up again, and now she’s asking about a Christmas tea party. I love her enthusiasm, but I know I hurt her feelings because I couldn’t focus. I will have to discuss it with her later today, but not too late (she’s going to help host a great tea party).
My older daughter asks if we’re going to Aunt Joan’s as usual. I think we are, but Aunt Joan is moving to another state in a month or two – maybe. She was supposed to stop by and cut Grandpa’s hair, but she hasn’t showed for the last two weeks. Grandpa is beginning to look like a derelict. It’s time to make a trip to Charlie, the barber. Grandpa doesn’t like Charlie.
She says we can come to her house for Thanksgiving, but she says her kids really want to interact with my kids. This statement is in reference to that fact that the last couple of holidays we have spent there, the kids have all gone down stairs after the meal to play We Bowl and other games on their big screen TV. Not my choice, but I was too tired from taking Grandpa out of the nursing home last year to get up off the couch and tell the kids to come back upstairs to play parlor games. After a year of taking care of Grandpa, I don’t think I have the energy to plan a non-electronic game day. I think somebody else needs to plan the activities this year. Maybe, Martha Stewart?
I get a call from the physical therapist. He needs to come over three times next week to make up for one visit he missed (I don’t get it). Anyway, he asks if we’ll be home on Thanksgiving Day. No, I say, we’ll be at my sister’s. He asks me again if he can come in the mornings. I tell him again that the mornings are not a good time for Grandpa. I think he would know by now that mornings aren’t the best time for physical therapy for most Parkinson’s patients.
I am reminded by the younger kids that the older kids have been saying they don’t want to do Christmas this year. “What?” say the younger kids, “No Christmas?” No 19 and 24 year old could even think that way unless they were BURNT OUT from taking care of a 90-year-old man with limited mobility from Parkinson’s.” I will make Christmas happen,” I console the younger kids, “Don’t worry,” I say. What Christmas is supposed to even look like this year, I’m not really sure. Grandpa and Uncle Jay have already asked if we were going to have a Christmas tree. Somebody’s got to be in charge of that, and it’s usually me. I bought a small feather tree a month ago from Hobby Lobby to put in our house so we can put up our bigger tree at Grandpa’s. That was met with groans from middle daughter.
My brother emails me and says he needs to use “his” garage (the one at grandpa’s house) to store his stuff in because finances are getting too tight, and he needs to sell his other house. Says he feels bad asking me. Well, he really doesn’t ask, he just tells. We pay a hefty rent every month out of Grandpa’s income and now we don’t rent the garage? Hmmn. I tell him Claire’s car will be parked in that garage for the winter (plus there’s Eric’s motorcycle), but he can store his stuff to the side and in the basement.
Everybody keeps telling me what they’re going to do, and I just keep adjusting my life to their whims and demands. Round and round I go.
That’s why I can’t think about a church tea party. I am overwhelmed. I don’t know anyone at church, anyway. I hardly get to go. Sunday is my day to watch Grandpa. I feel so disconnected. I’ve worn my pajamas over to his house for the last week. I don’t even want to get dressed. I just want to be comfortable, but then I start to sweat while I prepare his meals and take care of Grandpa because the house is kept at an even 72 degrees which doesn’t mix well with flannel.
In the meantime, Grandpa is happy as a lark, thankful to be so blessed as to have escaped his prison sentence in the nursing home. I’m glad he is happy, but now we are all his prisoners. Yes, prisoners of love and devotion and duty. And I know that the Lord put me in charge of his care because I really do care for him and won’t take advantage of him in his old age.
I’m writing this too late at night – too early in the morning. All of my emotions are pouring out, especially the exhausted ones.
I read this post to my husband who gets up very early in the morning to go to work. I said, “Honey, you’re the only one who didn’t tell me what you needed today.” He says, “That’s good, but you better be off that computer this afternoon. I need to fill out the social security prescription form for your dad, check up on our taxes with Turbo Tax, and fill out the health insurance enrollment form from work!”
Maybe, I’m not the only one.