This thing called life has so many stages and changes.
Everyone thought it would snow yesterday.
Anticipating Bad Weather:
People rushed out for groceries and quickly ran errands and then gathered at home awaiting a snow storm that never arrived.
Kind of like a date you’re not sure you want to go out on that never materializes anyway.
Probably all of us have had at least one of those.
I stayed in. Steve went to get groceries and bought us both a Cobb Salad to have later.
We tend to eat our main meal at different times these days. So he took his salad to his own apartment.
I ate probably a third of my Cobb Salad around 6:30. I’ll have more to munch on today.
The Comfort Of Routines:
We all have our routines in this thing called life.
His is to eat his main meal mid-afternoon. Then he likes to watch the news from five until seven.
My routine is to eat supper from around five till six or so. But I usually find myself in the middle of something or other and have trouble stopping long enough to eat.
Yesterday my hips were hurting so much I wanted to immerse myself in water.
The grab bars above my bathtub are not in the right place. Last week I got halfway out of the tub and then fell back down about five times before I managed to get out.
So this time I tied a thick rope around the grab bar facing me. After soaking awhile, I pulled myself out of the tub with the rope.
It will work until I can get something else figured out. I’ll have to check to see if I can change where the grab bars are.
As We Age:
The older we get, the more these routines tend to mean to us.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my daughters’ father.
He may be leaving rehab today for the assisted living facility they picked out for him. It’s only a mile’s drive from Kasi’s house out near Bixby.
Last week I sent him a grand Edible Arrangement gift. It had fruit, a box of candy, and caramel popcorn.
I’m glad I did that. I knew I was doing it for myself as much as for him. But I wasn’t sure why.
I suppose for the emotions swelling up in me for this man who might now not live very long. The man who helped me raise two sweet and successful girls.
When Adult Children Take On The Parental Role:
And now, in this thing called life, Kendra and Kasi are taking on the parental role.
I told them how very proud I was of them both.
Then I also sent their dad a pack of Snickers through Amazon so the girls wouldn’t have to go to the store for him.
He kept asking for Snickers, Kendra said. And it was perfectly easy for me to order it via Amazon from the comfort of my recliner.
And then Kendra said he was curious about whether they were going to have happy hour where he was going to be living. Apparently he likes his evening wine.
I told Kendra she might think about setting up a small wine bar in his new apartment to make him feel more at home. But luckily they have happy hour there with wine.
It’s sad to see a once strong man be reduced to this state.
Their dad taught college classes of psychology and sociology for years. He worked out and went to yoga classes. For years he mentored a young boy who didn’t have a father.
Though we divorced, I knew from the girls what he was doing in his life.
In some ways, though I haven’t seen him in decades, I wish I could comfort him.
He won’t be driving anymore, so he will be losing his independence. It occurred to me that I might offer to drive him around.
Sad For Both Of Us:
It took me a moment to realize that getting to the parking lot in a walking boot is about all I can manage. In some ways it looks like we’ve both lost our independence.
Then I felt sad for both of us.
We were only married 8 years, and they were fairly tumultuous years.
But like I’ve mentioned before, once you have children with someone, the two of you are bound together for life.
And I think as you get older, you mellow.
In this thing called life, I know that could just as easily be me in his position right now.
So many changes are happening so quickly for him. And next week he sees the oncologist Kasi found, and they will learn more about the cancer.
Years ago, I remember telling his mother that I would never allow her to “be put away somewhere.” That I would take care of her myself.
She’s been gone since 2006. And it seems that now it’s her son’s time to face his mortality.
This Thing Called Life Has Many Stages:
This is what Kendra wrote on Facebook last week.
Today’s conversations with my dad:
“Kendra, can you find out what time they have happy hour at the assisted living place and what kind of wine they serve? Wonder if they call it unhappy hour at a nursing home?
“Next time nurse Mel comes back will you ask if she’s a boy or girl? I’m confused by the bun.
“Why is everyone here so overweight?”
“He also can’t get over me telling him we aren’t renewing his Sam’s card…been hearing about it for days, haha!!“
What Kendra Wrote The Week Before:
“Tomo is going to be hard. Touring assisted living homes for my dad. I’ve been preparing myself for 6 months as his memory has declined, but this is not how I expected it to go.
“I guess I thought we would move him here so he could attend the kids games, go to the park and have dinners with us and live out a happy life.
“We got a call last week that he broke his hip and would need surgery. We went to Norman to be with him only to discover it was cancer that ate thru his bone.
“He’s actually taken the cancer part pretty well, sometimes I wonder if he just doesn’t remember.
“My sister is a super hero and got him transferred to Tulsa for rehab and has been trying to figure out all the oncology stuff. I just bring snacks and tell jokes.
“As someone who is so independent, I am having a really hard time taking away his freedom…
“I know it’s best but it’s so hard telling the man you always thought was so big and strong that he can’t go home. That this is how you’ll be wrapping up this thing called life. I guess it’s better than the alternative…or maybe it’s not.
“When I left him this evening he said “don’t forget about me in here.” Funny coming from someone I just had the same conversation with every 5 minutes for hours.
I laughed and then I just cried and cried and cried…I wasn’t ready.”
I need to remember to tell her that we are never ready. That in this thing called life, we are never given that choice.