How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

This Christmas vacation I did things I never thought I’d do, had conversations I never thought I’d have, and went places I thought I’d never go; all without leaving town!  I spent my time caring for my folks.  My dad received a much needed shoulder replacement on December 20th so I stayed with mom while he was in the hospital, and remained at their home once he was released.  Spending this time with them has been invaluable.

Among other things I prepared meals (I use the term ‘prepare’ loosely as it was mostly warming up food other people brought for us), did dishes, took out the trash, all things I’d done growing up.  The adventures came trying to make sure they got all of their medications throughout the day, that my mom got in her necessary exercise, and taking care of my dad.  I think I did fairly well with the meds, my dad had prepped them in pill boxes with enough for the two weeks, and taking my mom for walks was, um, interesting.

Walking with my mom first required that I get her motivated to go.  There was a lot of, “Oh, I don’t really want to do that, but I know I have to.”  Once we got out on the walk I had to get used to the following  skipping record:

“I sure am glad you were not in school these two weeks and could help us; we really needed it.”

“Your dad has needed that shoulder operation for a long time; he was having a lot of trouble with that shoulder; I’m glad he got the operation.”

“This guy never sweeps up his acorns, they’re all over the place, my gosh, you’d think he’d sweep once in a while.”

“I guess the city is taking its sweet time picking up these leaves.”

“I sure am glad you were not in school these two weeks and could help us; we really needed it.”

I added a “Yup”, and “Um-hm”, or “I kinda like crunching the acorns”,  now and then to keep the “conversation” going.  Never thought I’d be walking my mom around the block having repetitive conversation.

My dad did not require a lot of help, just assistance in and out of bed, help with changing the dressing on his wound and some assistance with personal hygiene; it’s the latter that prompted the other conversations I never expected to have.  I’ll spare the details, suffice to say I never thought I’d have a conversation with my dad that involved the words crotch, anus, and enema outside the context of a tasteless joke.

I honestly did not know what to expect when I agreed to help my parents following my dad’s surgery.  I felt I had the time, they needed help, so I’d do it.  I woke them up everyday, fed them, cleaned up after them, and tucked them in at night.  I started to think about all the times they had done that for me.  One morning I was helping my dad take a shower.  He was sitting on a stool in the tub I was washing his back, he may have said crotch or anus, and as I was working I felt a wave of gratitude wash over me.  I felt serene; content.  Not sure why, I just accepted the gift and kept washing.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s