If I could be doing anything right now….anything, what would it be? I do think about this in those quiet moments. I would love to sleep but for some reason my brain is not hard-wired to sleep. I’ve always been this way….. I’m not a sleeper. I need to write. Like, I really need to write- the words are swirling around in my head. And they are getting louder and louder. Unfortunately the voices and sounds outside my head are even louder still. Sitting in a beautiful garden reading a book would be pure heaven. I’m sure there are so many cool finds at the thrift stores that I could wander their aisles for hours. I have a kid (okay, he might be 23 years old but he’s still my baby) who I desperately want to visit at his new school. And my little guys aren’t so little anymore. CJ is creeping up on me in height and Beej is creeping up on me in vocabulary skills. I miss my hours, my day-to day- ness with them. I just want to sit at a table with my best friends and talk and talk and talk and then laugh about something completely silly and then talk some more.
I’m bone-weary. It takes every ounce of effort I can muster to make myself move each morning. But something funny happens when I step inside the doors of the facility where my loved one is regaining her strength. I am able to tap into a super secret supply of stored energy and I get through the day. Those other things- those things that I took for granted two months ago…. they just fade away.
And my loved one and I catch up on what’s been going on since I left (sometimes less than 12 hours ago). She tells me the night time happenings and I fill her in on my walk to her room, who I saw, what they were doing. We discuss the day ahead. And we dream about the near future when she’s back home where she belongs and desperately wants to be.
At meal time we arrive early to get prime seating in the dining room. It might be the highlight of our day- seeing what happens next. Since the facility is both assisted living and post-acute care, the residents are an interesting blend. And one of our favorite things to do has always been to people-watch.
When we aren’t hanging out in the dining room, we engage in another of our favorite past-times. I recently dug up past magazine anniversary issues of our favorite long time running television show. We pour over them, asking each other, “Do you remember…?” This activity keeps us entertained for hours. “How old was X-character then?” she might ask. I reach for my phone or iPad and look it up. One question might lead us on an endless number of further questions. And we laugh at how little we remember or just the opposite- how we can recall what a character was wearing when they said something memorable.
Some days others come and visit and/or help out, and I squeeze in other responsibilities. Free time is a distant memory. But those times when we are at lunch or dinner, angling for the best view overlooking the entire dining room, enjoying the antics of our fellow diners or when we are huddled up in my loved one’s room desperately trying to remember when a character who is now in their possible mid 30’s was actually born and shaking our heads at how much times has flown, I don’t need anything more to affirm that I’m right where I should be.
Have a great weekend!