• Lisa

finally, a holiday

It’s been a good while since I actually had a holiday. As in, a day off, spent in enjoyable activities with family and/or friends. For the past two years, of course, I haven’t really been able to leave the house much, with mom or without.

The last time I tried to do a family holiday, we drove to my cousins in Hendersonville for Thanksgiving. It was in 2016, I think. By the time we got there (it’s about an hour’s drive, all told) mom was tired and cranky. I rushed into the house, said hi to everybody, and asked if they could make us up a couple of plates. Mom started trying to get out of the car by herself, because she had to go to the bathroom, so with the help of my cousin Barb and her friend I got mom inside and then back out. Then, another hour’s drive home. Needless to say, other than not having to cook supper, that was NOT by any stretch of anybody’s imagination a holiday. Since then, I haven’t even been in a position to try.

Now, it’s different. Place K always has a huge cookout for the Fourth of July, for residents and staff alike, so I knew mom would be well fed and happy. I rode with her on Tuesday for her mammogram, and she was a trooper. She even knew who I was. Moreover, I was actually able to show her pictures of my cousin Jess’ engagement ring, and she not only processed the conversation, understood it and approved of the ring, then she wanted pictures of the boy (LOL) so she could approve or disapprove. (spoiler alert: she approved, said he was cute.)

Sometimes, and I hate so much to admit it, it’s almost harder when she has good days. A part of me starts going ‘oh c’mon, you could take her back home and make her happy’. I know, in my gut, in my heart, that I couldn’t. She’s much better off with peers and visitors and staff who have decades of experience and medical equipment at their fingertips. But that feeling, whether it’s guilt or what, still rears up.

Anyhow, the mammogram went off fine, and the radiologist even came out after reading the films and examined mom herself, and said she couldn’t see or feel anything wrong. Yay! I’m still glad Dr. L ordered the test, because you can’t be too careful, and like I said mom hasn’t had one in too long.

Okay, so, my point is, that worry was laid to rest, and I was ready for an actual holiday on Wednesday. Aunt Peggy stayed over at my house, which she’s going to be doing a couple of days a week for a while until she gets settled in her new apartment. It felt strange, but nice, to have somebody else in the house again. We just hang out and talk, she reads and I write or craft, put on some relaxing music and chill.

So Wednesday morning, she went to unpack some things, and I did some stuff around the house, then cleaned up and met her there. Helped her organize her apartment (it’s actually the basement of my cousin Rudy’s house, which he and his wife have fixed up super cute). We went to get some lunch while Rudy started smoking ribs for supper. I wanted to take her to the Cajun place I love but it wasn’t open, so settled for Chinese. Then we went shoe shopping! She wanted some sandals for work, and they had a sale on: buy one, get one half off. Once she found what she wanted, she insisted I look for something. Well, if I’m being honest, I did need some sandals myself, because I only have one good pair, plus a couple about to fall apart (my favorite ones came from Walgreens and they are at least six years old, so, yeah, I really needed some.)

What does it mean exactly when you put on a pair of shoes and somebody starts to yell ‘oh those are you!’ I asked my aunt ‘what constitutes them being me? Are they weird? Cause I’m weird and proud of it’. She insisted what she meant was, they are colorful and unique. Which kind of says weird to me, I guess, but ain’t no shame in my game there. hehe

They are great though, and comfy, and twenty bucks with the discount! For Steve Maddens? How can you beat that? I liked them so well, I stuck the old shoes I was wearing in the bag and wore the new ones out of the store!

We headed back to Rudy’s and stuffed ourselves with ribs and homemade potato salad and garlic bread and brownies, and talked and laughed. I’ve laughed more the past few weeks than I have the past few years, seriously. It’s like the singing I mentioned last post. I’m relearning how to live, for lack of a better description.

Oh, and somewhere right in the middle of all that, my phone rang and a nurse from Place K said they were sending mom to the hospital for chest pain. It took everything in me not to roll my eyes. No, nobody would have seen me, but still, it doesn’t seem right. However, my first response actually was ‘did she get mad about something?’ because that’s her MO, you know. I reassured the nurse, who was one I didn’t know, that mom does this a lot, I’m not concerned, but I was glad they were sending her out and not taking that for granted.

Yesterday morning the hospital called. Mom had gotten agitated and her blood pressure shot up again, so they kept her overnight to get her stable, which I appreciated. I probably won’t ever be able to do anything without something related to her popping up, although I hope someday I can. In spite of that, the Fourth was definitely one of the best days I’ve had in a good long while.

#holiday #selfcare #family #caregiver

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