Saturday, June 27, 2015

Time, Chores and Perspective

Today has been a very  low key day. We have had had storms rolling through for last 4 days or so. The hubbs and I had our "date day" today at Red Robin's. We then went half price books, the Hallmark store -well I did, while he waited outside, ha- we stopped off at Lowe's and went to spend some time with the hubbs mom (who we will refer to as Mammaw H) for her 79th birthday today. 

Mammaw H has a very strong faith, so we gave her book by Billy Graham (who has always been her favorite Evangelist), a bookmark with one of her favorite Bible verses Psalms 118:24  "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."   I found a book of 350 word searches-which she loves word searches and said it will certainly keep her busy-we gifted her a lovely fuchsia bromeliad and I tucked in a tube of Naked Bee Orange Blossom and Honey lotion. Overall she seemed quite happy with the gifts but was more pleased with our company and to spend time with us. 

During our visits we always find little chores to- do whether it is washing a few dishes, fixing something or moving something. Today the hubbs had the unpleasant task of tracking down Miss Kitty and applying her flea preventative. Haha, glad it was the hubbs on the receiving end of all that hissing and spitting! Then we moved the hummingbird feeder by the front porch railing where Mammaw H can maneuver her walker on the porch and reach the feeder. I threw away the very bad red tinted nectar (why do they still sell this stuff!) and explained why it was bad for the birds to Mammaw H. She was glad we threw it away. I made a batch of sugar/ water nectar put a little in the feeder and I put the rest in a Mason jar in her fridge. Mammaw H said she would be able to change it out every 3 days now .

Mammaw H. was so excited over the the bromeliad and bird feeder, it nearly broke my heart to realize how isolated she feels. So the hubbs and I discussed it and have decided to stop by within a week and surprise her with a railing mounted flower box. When she was more active, she loved to garden--especially flowers. It was the topic that ultimately allowed us to build an amicable relationship (long, long story). I also plan on planting some cardinal climber around the bird feeder to draw the  hummingbirds to the feeder. I think these little touches will make her happy.

Upon saying our goodbyes, the hubbs and I were feeling contemplative. We have such mixed emotions when we return to his childhood home, especially now that his Daddy has been gone since 2009. We stopped at the local Whippy Dip, took the long, scenic route home, driving through old neighborhoods and telling each other stories of our misspent youth, heh!

When we came home, we tended to our animals and I spent some time pulling weeds. I didn't  mind that it is overcast or  that it is a little drizzly. I was mindful that I actually had time to perform such a chore. I was mindful that Mammaw H has nothing but empty time stretching throughout her days and nights, most likely  wishes she could perform such chores. 

We go about lives, always in a rush. Hurying from one task to the next. Life is filled with so many obligations. Do chores, pay the bills, work, make time for family and friends. I think many of us are so focused on being busy we lose track of our most precious commodity...time. We lose track of the most important thing in our lives aren't things at all but flesh and blood connections. 

I am sorry, if the post seems morose, as that was not my intent.  Maybe it the overcast day that has sent my thought down this path. Maybe it is witnessing the emotions play across my husbands face and feeling him withdraw as we drive away from his childhood home. Maybe it seeing Mammaw H, a new spiderweb of lines and wrinkles on her face, seeing how the skin has thinned on her hands and picturing her sitting in that house alone with only the ticking of a clock for company. Maybe it is picturing her  sitting in that room  by a window, looking out at as lives go on, as time passes and she waits for ringing of the phone or sees a familiar car that bring her family home- if only for a few hours. Maybe it is knowing SOMEDAY that could be me-old, infirm and alone. Nothing like a little reality to play upon one's deepest, darkest vulnerabilities. Or is all these things... 

The truth be told Mammaw H is lucky in the sense, that she has a housekeeper that comes on a weekly basis, there is a home health nurse who visits at least monthly, 2 neighbors check on her, she has 3 sons (their wives included) and some grandkids. While there isn't someone there everyday, she does have visitors several times a week.  But given that she is housebound, it is a terribly lonely existence...

So my advice to all my bloggies, is hug your pets, your kids, and your partner. Pick up the phone and CALL someone, not text, not IM, not Facebook. A good old fashioned voice to voice communication. Better yet, make the extra effort and go visit someone. You never know how much that visit could mean to someone--even yourself.  Because time is fleeting...

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