Last night I watched one of those shows where they renovate a house. This lady was moving to a new state to have her dad come live with her and her husband. This state was half a country away from her original home. So, anyway, they obviously had a ton of money and were renovating a beautiful big house, putting in handrails for dad, building him his own suite….adding great decorator touches to the whole home. beautiful.
But, the lady kept going on about “I need a huge island so when the family comes to visit there will be room for us to gather around the island” She went on and on about how when the “whole” family is here it will be so relaxing and so family…..Sunday breakfasts and chats on the back porch….
I was like, whoa mom, wake up! Those young men you raised are not planning on jumping on a plane every weekend and having breakfast with the rents….All those cousins and siblings and extended family members are staying put — your’e the one leaving, setting up shop half a country away.
Cynical much? maybe. Realistic? yah. Of course I may be wrong, but I just kind of felt sorry for her, she was building this huge home with the expectation that they all would have home time like when she was living nearby…..I doubt it.
This week has been rough … ( understatement, I know ) on many levels. Nationally, the tragedy in Florida sucks the air out of me.
Personally, issues with my mom, my grandchildren…cause me to ache to be able to do more, to fix, to be present everywhere, all the time…
Physically I made it to the gym once. Not good. need to be there at least 3 times a week.
And, it is still February.
Things to NEVER do AGAIN
#1. Drive husband home, 11 days after back surgery, in a snow storm. A freakin blizzard like, ice, snow, hail snow storm.
#2. Run out of tequilla after #1.
Husband had back surgery Tuesday. Recouping at home, fairly steady improvement so far but I have had some trouble getting him to get off the chair and walk….or move….
Left him for an hour today to get him some medicine and Valentines Gifts for the grandbabies. Come home to find him hanging out the front door, in pajamas and robe no less, in the rain, holding a conversation with some kid ( ok, young man) holding an umbrella and cell phone. As I leave the car Im like “can I help you?” to which this kid starts with “yes, Ms. L Im here to schedule an appointment…” and husband starts in with ” Im gonna get him to give us a price on 5 windows. ” I’m like
“WHOA! You, get your butt in the house, its raining and you had BACK surgery 4 days ago.”
“YOU– goodbye. We are not standing in the rain with an unsolicited salesman discussing windows”.
Husband knows the look on my face and shuts the door. This simple kid makes a call to the “office” and is trying to get me to set up an appointment. Then he asks if he can help me carry my packages in. Uh NO. It took me no less than 5 minutes to get this child to head back down the sidewalk.
At which point I grab my 7 candy hearts, 5 stuffed animals and 2 lego minis and stumble up the steps. My husband had locked the door. Both locks. No way this guy was getting in. Or me.
Found the key and got in the house, soaking wet to have him announce: “you dont trust anybody. charities that call the house, people who knock on the door, you dont trust anybody.” I about fell out.
Time to cut him back on his meds I think.
at the beach. There is work to be done at the beach house — pipes burst, removation is just beginning….
But I am where I am supposed to be. Sitting on the couch watching Rio with my 4 year old grandson, home sick with a nasty cold. Worrying about my youngest who is on her way to get an ultrasound before they schedule surgery. Stressing over my husband’s upcoming surgery on his back — grateful that my doctor appt. yesterday went well. Wondering how I will supervise the reconstruction of our beach house, care for my husband after surgery and how I am going to help my daughter get two boys to school and home again and care for her after her surgery. REALLY glad I retired because 2018 would have gotten me fired !
yesterday at 7:25 am the phone rang. Daughter in law had locked her and granddaughter out of house, and car. Ran up there — slippers and all , let her in and took sweet granddaughter to her aunts house to catch the school bus. Put all 3 kids in my car and discussed mermaid pillows and the woes of Monday.
noon. The phone rings. Son asking if I can pick said granddaughter up at the bus stop at 4. Daughter in law is in a meeting until 4. Of course. did the grocery shopping, finished the bills, watched ten minutes of news….headed to the bus. Spent a few minutes with oldest daughter, discussing dinosaurs with 3 year old half dressed grandson ( this child hates shirts) and watching her dog steal socks from the laundry basket and eat duplos. walked up to the bus stop, gathered the three of them off the bus, chatted about recess antics and bus aides and let them back to the house. Grabbed a pizza left over from birthday party to take to son’s house, buckled granddaughter into car and drove her home. Son and daughter in law and youngest grandson were already there — spent a few minutes discussing “whats that” with the baby.
5:30. Meet youngest daughter and son in law for dinner ( kids eat free on Mondays!) both grandsons wired up — the older ( all of 6 years old ) celebrating his first wrestling tournament ( took second) and the younger (4) excited to be at a restaurant with macaroni and cheese AND ice cream.
8:00 pm. Hit the couch. Blessed with the realization that I saw, hugged and talked to all 7 grandchildren in one day!
7:20 am. : Standing, half asleep, in front of the coffee pot.. phone wakes me. Son asking if I can pick up granddaughter and take her to aunts to get the bus. Uh, no. I could get her and take her to school, but no way I can get dressed and get to her and get her there by bus time….”Its ok mom, we will figure it out”.
7:24 am. Phone rings. Youngest daughter. her youngest is up coughing all night…can I watch him? Can I take him to doctor? Of course, bring him to me…….
Whew. This is pretty much why I retired — to help with the kids in Winter. But, Lord, what a 24 hours!
We drive our grandkids to the boardwalk. Lights and rides and cheap stuffed animals surround us — then a young man runs out of a storefront — “Stay the F— out of my store, you hear?”
We search for normal.
We sit poolside, toucan floats and cheesy pizza at our side. I check twitter, only to learn of another shooting in our home town.
We reach for normal.
We run to the ocean edge, scooping shells and searching for sand crabs for bait. I hear an elderly couple speaking of the newest health care changes being considered.
We yearn for normal.
I can not help but worry that my grandchildren, aged 8 to 2, will never really understand this normal that I look for. They are growing up without peaches with a quarter inch of fuzz, without open doors and barbecues. They hear of shootings and presidential “tweets”. Will they be able to sit on their front step, a half hour before sunrise and smell that sweet morning nectar, see the golden rays jump up behind the neighbors house? More and more I doubt it. And more and more I search for pieces of light to share with them, pictures and memories of days gone by when the ocean was clean, the rivers and creeks safe to swim in, woods were for exploring and friends spent the night.
I cry for normal.
Gonna put this out there, call me crazy if you want, but….
two weeks ago I lost my wedding ring. Not my original wedding ring but the diamond one George gave me on our 5th. married Christmas, the one he saved a year for and he and dad went to Philly to find. Special, beyond measure.
We tore the house apart. I cried, like a baby. Went to grandson Jackson’s birthday party and the first thing Valerie said when she saw me was “Whats wrong”.
Spent the last 2 weeks sad. Looked at work, all over the house, the beach house. Its gone. My ring is gone.
Today is the 6th. anniversary of the last meal we all shared as a family before my dad passed. He and mom were staying at our house and I made brisket and all the fixings and we have pictures of all of us, kids, grandkids, all of us, eating, smiling, gathered around his hospital bed in the living room…
I mentioned that to George this morning. How much I still miss dad. How much he loved that brisket. 85 pounds, 3 weeks before his death, he ate two helpings of brisket….
And then, after putting this year’s 20 pounds of brisket in the pot I went in and started to clean up our room. I looked, one more time, on the dresser. Picked up my vanity tray, looked under it. Looked in the closet floor. No, its gone.
And then, I walked in the room an hour later, looked at the tray again, and there it was. Just laying there. It took me a few seconds to realize, but its my ring. The one diamond is slightly bigger than the others. The one prong is twisted a bit. Its my ring. I Yelled for George — and then thanked dad for bringing it back to me. And for visiting me on the anniversary of a wonderful memory. I watched as George stood at the front door, looking out, giving thanks, I think, in his own special way. I felt the ring slide into the familiar notch on the side of my finger. I prayed and thanked and tried to figure out why today was the day dad decided to bring it back to me. Did he remember that meal that day with the kids? and was he happy that we continue the tradition? Was he telling me he knew I was doing the best I can with mom…..
The Bible says not to question. I’m good with that. I’m just happy to know that dad is still here, that he can visit, that he watches over us. That he sits at the right hand of God.
I mean seriously, God is at work, isn’t he?
Why is it that my grown daughter feels it is ok to ignore my phone calls? I know cell phones are invasive, and that you dont HAVE to answer them, but its her mother for God’s sake, wouldnt you think she’d pick up just to make sure everything is ok????? When she calls me, I answer. When her dad calls, 99% of the time, she answers. When I call? its a 50/50 chance she will pick up. Seriously.