Visiting with the Crow and Big Al yesterday, I once again found myself swirling in a pool of confusion. A humorous pool of confusion, which kind of makes it bearable.
Let’s start with Big Al’s prescription filling service. I find it easiest if I drop my father’s empty prescription bottles off at the pharmacy and then go pick them up next time I’m by there, usually the next day, or if urgent, I’ll go back in an hour and get them.
My father would rather call them in himself, which is fine, but he assumes that when he calls them in I am alerted somehow to the time they will be ready, which he does not indicate to the Pharmacist, by the way, and that I will automatically pick them up when he needs them, which he also does not indicate until I’m getting ready to leave for home.
This gets really fun when he looks at me with sad puppy eyes when I’m on my way out the door and asks “What about my pills?” And then the Crow pipes in –
“She can’t get those now, you don’t need them – do you?”
“What pills Dad?” I ask innocently.
“The ones that start with a P,” he replies. Well that narrows it down.
“Did you call those in?” Crow asks. “You need those tonight.” Of course a moment ago she said he didn’t need them.
“Oh, I don’t know if I’m coming or going.”
“Then just be quiet and let me talk.”
“I always have to be quiet. I just have to do all the work, while you mix everything up.”
It doesn’t matter which one says what in the above dialogue. They both take turns saying these things so often that all I hear is one big voice repeating the same routine. I used to try to interrupt them, but that only causes the whole routine to start over. When the volume dies down, I interject:
“Do you want me to pick these up today?”
“No don’t bother.”
I don’t even object. I just quietly leave and come back with the pills. It’s only up the street, but it does get frustrating when I run all the other necessary errands only to find that I could have fit this in easily had I only known. But it is confusing for them, truly, and so I try to bite my tongue.
Yesterday my daughter and I just went and got the pills- I pulled into the driveway and asked Julia to go in and give them to the old folks.
“Boy they had some things to say about you,” she says as she gets back in the car.
“Like what?” I’m thinking they are singing my praises; I would like my daughter to repeat these compliments to me so I can bask in the glow of parental acceptance.
“Like- what did she do? Oh she had to go and get those pills. That’s what Mimi said. And Papa said, that sonofa… but then he stopped and looked at me.”
So I am cursed for doing what they want. I laugh, knowing they will thank me when I talk to them later.
Pools of confusion.
And now, just a little bit of OCD for you all out there. I suffer from this to a degree, so I feel justified in joking about it. I’m headed down the same path, you might say.
We are all enjoying a visit with my parents – me, Julia, my niece Ali and her little almost-one-year-old Lincoln, nicknamed Jumping Jack, by my parents (read the book if you want to know more about nicknames and my family).
There are about 40 or so tissues left in the box on Mimi’s coffee table. This is just an estimate on my part; let’s say about an inch of tissue. Enough to think, gee we’ll be out of tissue sometime soon.
My mother comes out with a new box of tissue, proudly opens it and places it next to the other box.
Now no one’s nose is running, no one has even used a tissue. But my mother is convinced somehow that we have a tissue shortage and another box is urgently needed. She’s got it covered.
We all look at each other, me, Julia, Ali, even little Lincoln is wondering in his little baby mind what the heck the story is with the multiple tissue boxes.
“Just in case we run out,” my mother announces proudly.
In the car on the way home, my daughter and I are bickering. She is trying to get her iPod to work in the car. When I tell her to press AUX on my car dashboard while she is pressing it and she snaps “I know!” I get dejected and stop talking.
“What?” Julia asks defiantly. “You do the same thing to Mimi all the time. And then you get mad when she gets mad at you.”
She’s right. “It’s part of our heritage,” I tell her. “Someday you will have a daughter and she will snap at you and you will get all miserable too. Just you wait.”
Just you wait.
- Confusion is nothing new (conversationswithmyself222.wordpress.com)
- We All Need Space, Especially Al. (blurtblog.net)
10 thoughts on “A Saturday in the Life”
My mother died last August on my daughter’s birthday. I snapped at her (my mother) that day saying, “Oh that’s so like you to ruin her birthday!” Of course, assumedly she had little choice in the matter of when her heart would cease to beat. As Mother’s Day comes this year, it turns out to also be my mother’s birthday (May 12). The first holidays, I’ve learned over the course of a lifetime of experiencing many deaths of loved-ones, are the hardest reminders. We, my mother and I, did not see eye-to-eye on most things. Whether astrological or just plain stubbornness (on only her part I assure you ~) ;~) wink, wink… we simply went for years at a time without contact. It all seems so harsh now. Snapping is not something that I excuse these days. And when I catch myself, or those around me, it softens me immediately to the fact that another holiday is always right around the corner. Love then hard.
Oh Jan such meaningful words- as Laura stated – love them hard or love then hard – there really is meaning in both! I always say to Julia it’s not what you say it’s how you say it, but it is what you say too—
I have been so blessed to have my mother for all of my nearly 49 years, and my dad too. I am grateful every day. Unfortunately or fortunately, when I don’t feel my best, I let that little bit of nastiness show to those I love – and trust – the most. Happily we had a beautiful 67th anniversary celebration with them both today- and there was no snappiness 🙂
It is one of those Freudian slips of the keyboard no doubt that caused that double meaning.
As for that trust thing, it’s so perfect. We all tend to be our worst around family. Those moments are measured in a scale of love, and it appears that 67 years is a rare yardstick. Something’s gone right!
Thanks for sharing! Love yer stuff. xox
That was supposed to say, “Love them hard.” Damn fat fingers….
Ah, patience and a sense of humor (which you clearly have, Patty) serve us well in this world.
More humor than patience Jovina 🙂
But I could not agree more
Ahhh, FAMILY and all the lovely things that keep us captive in that tangled web. I like Jan’s comment “Love them hard.” But her typo is also something that we face every day… “Love then hard.” So, keep the love flowing and keep your sense of humor intact, and know that when they’re gone you’ll want some of this back. One little hint for dealing with aging parents when you’re a caregiver on any level–in my practice as a Geriatric Case Manager I have found it very useful to always leave extra time for that errand they forget to tell me about or the story that is too fascinating for me to pass up hearing. This makes for less productive days for me, but much more satisfying in the long run because I have met their needs and haven’t had to rush off to my next appointment. I love your stories of family, faith in each other, and love! Keep sharing.
Laura thank you for sharing too- I think that I will definitely take you up on that bit of advice. What I like to do best with my parents sometimes is just nothing. Sitting in the living room with them quietly after a long day and just being with them helps me feel like I’m still their kid, and I think it helps them feel a little less lonely too. When life gets too hectic for that kind of silence I have to make more of an effort to find the time.
It really is almost a game of “whatever works.” You’re doing a great job and so brave to open up your thoughts on the subject.
Thanks Laura. High praise coming from you:)