Sister Trip

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. ~Earl Wilson, American journalist

The pressures had been building for some time.

An aging parent. A fur-kid with arthritic hips. A new laptop that I didn’t have time to set up properly. A work-in-progress that was going nowhere, thanks to some web design projects demanding my full attention.

In short, an overburdened psyche.

So I did what any rational person would do — called my sis and persuaded her to take a vacation with me.

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Coping in Difficulty

People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins they wonder whether they are not taking cold. ~John Jay Chapman, American author

My mother is a worrier.

And by that, I mean she worries over everything.

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Don’t Forget Your Passengers

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. ~Mary Oliver, American poet

[wait, don’t leave]

Gotta unload these groceries. Start dinner. Get Sissy to her friend’s house and Bubba to the ball game.

[wait, it’s hot]

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Sharing the Sorrow

A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries, American editor and novelist

We’ve got to find a better way of teaching our kids how to drive.

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Ministering Angel

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. ~Khalil Gibran, artist, poet, writer

I’ve watched you from afar
Leading your mother into church,
Folding her walker, setting it aside,
Then making sure she has a hymnal.

I’ve watched you from afar
And marveled at your inner strength,
And admired your patience and kindness
To the one who gave you of herself first.

I’ve watched you from afar
And wondered whether you ever get tired
Or bored or angry or sad or frustrated
At caring for an elderly woman with health issues.

I’ve watched you from afar,
Contemplating whether you still laugh and enjoy life.
Get together with friends, hoist a tall cold one,
Or merely exist, dreading each new day.

I’ve watched you from afar
And pondered how the caregiving role fell to you.
Whether you’re the only one or the best one
And whether you chose it or were selected.

I’ve watched you from afar
And asked myself if I could one day do what you do.
Or if it’s easier to shuttle our elderly off to facilities
Where professionals can provide “better” care for them.

I’ve watched you from afar
And whispered a prayer for your blessing.
God surely must have something special in mind
For someone who gives so much of themselves!

Note: This is basically a true account. In a church I used to attend, there was one “ministering angel” who regularly assisted her elderly parent, causing me to do a lot of wondering!