It’s 7:12 PM.
The Offspring is with his church youth group volunteering at a local food bank… having fun while doing it, hopefully. I’ll leave to get him in a bit and probably take him to Cookout for dinner, which is our regular Sunday night gig.
My wife is still on her afternoon nap after taking some allergy medication. I’ll let her rest as long as I can. I’m debating on whether I should go ahead and feed Mom or not just so Lisa won’t have to deal with it. Dishes can be done later tonight after everyone else is asleep too.
My mother is in her room in the fairly new hospital bed listening to some Japanese preacher on a streaming station out of Charlotte. He sounds like most preachers, raising his voice while emphatically making a point. Borderline screaming like Toshiro Mifune swinging a samurai sword over his head and dodging arrows.
The dog is asleep in his favorite spot called the middle of the floor where he will surely get stepped on.
I’m here trying to be productive, but mostly ruminating on what is it that I really enjoy; the things that make me happy. It was triggered by Lisa asking if I wanted to go anywhere yesterday by myself for a little respite from the crushing emotional weight of my mother slowly dying in our home. My immediate reply was, “Nowhere without you and Con”.
It was true. Wandering around bookstores or second-hand stores isn’t a lot of fun on my own. I’m at the age where I want to get rid of stuff and not acquire more, so I don’t need to be at retail establishments buying things that I have no place to put and that bring me no joy. The gathering of things just to have them is, as they say, a chasing after the wind.
Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky.
The difficult thing about Mom being here has been the lack of ability to get out and go anywhere with each other. We’re tied here when we’re not paying someone to be here with her and that’s a majority of the time. If there isn’t a sitter, then it’s one of us and with her deteriorating condition it’s usually one of the adults unless absolutely necessary or a short run to the store. If something bad happens, I don’t want my 14-year-old dealing with it alone.
So, there’s been very few trips anywhere in the past 4 years. He’s getting older and I can feel the time slipping out of my grasp. He was ten when this all started and now he’s on the border of young man hood. In four years he’ll be gone and I’m fighting panic attacks at the thought of the lost time.
But, now it’s time to go pick him up from across town. We’ll seize the moments we have and make the best of them. Most being in the car on the way across town to school or church. We talk, we laugh a lot, we sing loudly. It’s not a trip out-of-town, but it’s what we’ve got. I hope the memories of these moments will be happy ones for him when he looks back.