Feeling Small

No free advice here today. Just thoughts on a terrible moment in an otherwise beautiful day. It was my day to do the grocery shopping, a task that I loathe. It is bad enough that I have to do my own family grocery shopping each week but now for the past two years, I shop for my parents every other week. Fortunately my sister shops the weeks that I do not. Too bad I cannot get her to do my shopping as well.

Sometimes it is hard to find the time to shop and deliver the groceries to Brookdale but today, I managed to do both right after church. Quick run to the store then off to Brookdale. I walk in to find dad still dressed from church and sound asleep in his chair. The apartment is actually comfortable and not 101 degrees so I am happy to sit and visit after unloading the groceries.

I sat and had a nice visit with my parents while dad drifted off to sleep but waking up to ask me to “take him home” when I leave. Normally I would try to have an excuse or at the very least a quick comeback but today I simply smiled and told him that he was home. Everything he loved and needed was right there with him. All he could do is shake his head as I let him down once again by not taking him “home.” I changed the subject and prepared to leave thinking that I might be able to redirect him by letting him walk me to the door.This had actually worked before. I had already informed Roxanne, the sitter, that he was wanting to leave so she sprang to action and thought a little fresh air was in order.

We strolled down the hall and talked about little bits of nothing to pass the time. When we got to the front lobby we stopped to admire the beautiful flower arrangement prepared by Dorothy McDaniel. I leaned in to kiss him goodbye and assure him that I would return tomorrow with his tax return and he quickly sprang to life and reminded Roxanne that he was leaving with me! Think fast! Now what?

Roxanne tried to remind him that Mom would be sad if he did not return to the apartment but he insisted that I was taking him home. As he sees my car, I tell him to go to in the other direction. I hesitated to follow him and then dashed away to climb in my car before he could see that I was gone. The look on his face as I left was heartbreaking. He would never have left me and there I was leaving him standing on the sidewalk. It broke my heart. I am sure I felt this same way when I left a crying child with a babysitter years ago.

But I am hopeful that he will not remember this when I see him tomorrow. Hopefully he will be content to have another visit, sign his tax return and let me walk out the door without asking me to take him “home.”

It is amazing how one single event in an otherwise beautiful day can make you feel so small and alone.

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