Fast forward to Aug. 20, 2010

Phew. Today’s been busy, since I volunteered for 5 hours at the local hospital in the Surgical Waiting Room, and headed from there to visit my parents in their assisted living facility. Probably it’s too much to do both, but since my husband and I are often gone to visit family–especially in the summer–my Guilt-O-Meter won’t let me take much time off when I am home. Wednesday and Thursday we were gone to Stratford to see a couple of plays, and then got home Thursday in time for me to go out and see them. See? I was therefore only gone ONE day instead of TWO days, at least as far as they are concerned. I do a lot of this bargaining; I can be gone if I’m diligent at home. I’ll be going to the cottage with my son’s family next week, so I’m building up evidence that, yes, I am taking good care of them because I will have seen them pretty much every day since I’ve been home. I call Mom every day even when I’m gone (Dad can’t hear on the phone too well). I don’t know who I’m proving that I’m a Good Girl to–probably just me–but if I don’t go I worry that they are wondering why no one has been to see them, and that they feel bad. Today Mom went “Wah” when I said it was time for me to leave, so it still matters to her. Someday it won’t, but then she won’t know who I am, and that will bring its own grief.

I’ve had to learn the hard way (which means I have an I-can’t-get-out-of-my-chair depression day), that sometimes I have to stay home and do what is fun for me. Yes, FUN! So on that sort of day, the best remedy for me is to watch a movie–or even two!. Thank goodness for Netflix streaming. Somehow movies relax and distract me from the grind, and the next day I feel like myself again. Let me recommend to anyone reading this who gets depressed to TAKE A DAY OFF and do something fun–whatever that is for you–and likely your energy will return. I’d like to think I can be Superwoman and do everything, but I’m not, and neither is anyone else.

I couldn’t find Mom when I first arrived today, which worried me a bit, but she did reappear. Her dog, Coco, was in the room, and she generally doesn’t leave her there unless she is going out with someone. She wasn’t in the courtyard, or the living room, or the dining room, or the bathroom, or the sitting areas in two hallways. I reported my concern to staff, and then saw Dad in the dining room, getting what he calls a hot chocolate, but which is a sweetened cappuccino from a machine that mixes powder and hot water on demand. He treats himself to this each way, which delights me. Anyway, I chatted with him as I worried that Mom had somehow exited the building. But no, she suddenly appeared in the courtyard with Coco, so who knows where she was.

I treated myself to an iced coffee with cream on the way home, and am writing this on our beautiful new porch. The kitty, Java, is grooming, and I’m feeling peaceful for the moment. Hope you are, too. I’ll write What Happened Before, pt. III soon.

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