What a day! My ordinary Tuesday morning started with a pounding headache that managed to out live four extra strength Excedrin and three ibuprofen tablets. I should have known my day was going to be a roller coaster.
My sister and I have learned that my parents have their own clock and they really think everyone should be on “their time-table.” You can tell them they have an appointment at two and they will interpret that as any time after two but before three. The appointment time is more like a first offer rather than a real-time set aside for them. We NEVER schedule anything before 10 in the morning. Never! There are so many things that can happen to totally throw off their schedule.
For example, my dad has a totally new sleep schedule now. He seldom sleeps though the night. A few nights ago he woke up at four in the morning to direct a funeral in the living room. Before that, he woke my mom up to tell her she had to get out of bed or she would freeze to death. And then there was the night he woke up insisting that the building was on fire. Obviously all of these spontaneous activities interrupt my mom’s sleep as well. Sleepless nights mean naps during the day!
The sun is up and now it is time to Rise and Shine . . . all with a little help from the sitters! Dad used to get up early all the time! He woke up and was ready to start his day. On the weekends we were often roused from our sleep by the head light of the Hoover vacuum cleaner. On school days dad would pretend to play a bugle in the hall. Time to get up and greet the day! Now dad would rather pull the covers up and stay in bed. The sitters help my mom get up and get dressed all while encouraging dad to get up and get moving! Some days he is willing to cooperate and other days the sitters will gang up on him and two of them will drag him out of bed. Rise and shine whether you want to or not!
Another activity that can throw off the early morning appointments is breakfast. Every day starts with a good breakfast. As a child mom would make a full breakfast and we would all sit at the table in the den and eat together. Now my parents still enjoy a nice breakfast but sometimes it is closer to lunch than the standard breakfast time.
Today, I was determined to get my parents up and downstairs to listen to the Junior League choral group. I told them they had to be downstairs by 10:30! This allowed time for them to be late and still be in the gazebo room by 10:45. Believe it or not, it worked and they even saved me a seat.
I quickly realized that dad was not on the top of his game today. I mentioned that he did not have his hearing aids on and he told me that it was ok because it was hard to hear with his helmet on anyway. Hmmmmm. Wonder what kind of helmet he thought he was wearing. I am going to go with football because there were several other football related comments made during the day.
The choir was great! They sang so many great songs from Big Band era. There was a lot of toe tapping and head nodding going on in the gazebo room. So I mentioned a roller coaster… This was not music from my era but it was music that spoke to me. I found my eyes tearing up as they sang about younger men and the way life used to be. I looked at my dad out of the corner of my eye and I could tell he was not really tuned into the music. I wanted to see my dad as that younger man engaged in the world around him. I tried pointing out the ladies in the choir that I knew he might be familiar with. I was trying to help him make some type of connection. Trying to help him find himself.
Don’t get me wrong. I think he enjoyed the choir and the music but it was like someone took the sparkle out of his eyes. As we were leaving the gazebo room I felt like he had something to say to me. I asked him if something was wrong and he hesitated but then told me there was nothing wrong. It was time to go. After all the choir was going to sing at the football game next!??
It breaks my heart when the sparkle goes out of his eyes. I am not sure he is sad although I know he is frustrated with himself and US from time to time. I hurt for my mother because she gets frustrated with him even when she knows he cannot help himself. This is definitely the part about loving your soul mate through sickness and through health.
And I love both of them even with a headache that stays with me on this roller coaster.
But man am I tired . . .