June 19, 2008


I have spent the past week in Fort D watching over my mama and daddy. It is really true that the older we get the more child like we become. My daddy is a stubborn, cantakerous man at 89 but I have to feel some empathy for him. He has always been outside the house either working, gardening, hunting, driving around or just plain walking the pasture. His hearing and eyesight are VERY impaired and he is having a hard time accepting the limitations he has to face into. On the other hand, my mama has always been a homebody (mostly home by herself during the day) and it has been difficult for her to have my daddy under foot 100% of the time. She rivals Job with the patience she exhibits with my daddy......I couldn't do it. She has spoiled that man rotten over the years.

My daddy had gall bladder surgery a few weeks ago and has fought hard to regain his strength and has done a remarkable job rehabing. But while he was recuperating my mama came down with bronchitis. Combined with the strain and stress of the past few weeks she has not started feeling better. At the doctor's office yesterday her BP was 170/120. Yikes!!! The doc has prescribed complete rest for her and she and daddy are under strict orders from their kids to make sure that happens.

I hate to see my parents age. It was so hard for me to leave them today and I couldn't hold back the tears as I was thinking of them on the flights back. I could picture my daddy as he was this morning sitting in his chair with a sad look on his face. I know he is lonely and craves someone to talk with all the time. He hugged me not once but twice today before he would let me leave. I know he has to feel isolated living in a world with limited hearing and sight.

And my mama. At age 85 she deserves to have relaxation in her daily living but it is difficult with daddy and the care she feels she has to give him. I know she feels annoyance with daddy when he asks questions 2 or 3 times before he can hear the answer. Or when he hears her say something different from what she actually said. But one thing is for certain, she will never have regrets when it comes to the care she has given daddy over the years. She gave me an extra special hug today when I left.

In his own way I think daddy tries to take care of mama when she is sick. And I believe he listened to me when I told him yesterday that complete rest means no housework, no cooking, no waiting on anyone. Janet and I almost fell off our chairs last night when he picked up his dishes and took them to the kitchen sink.

As usual daddy entertained me all week with all the wonderful stories (memories) he tells. He can remember dates and names of people from years ago and I can't remember things from one day to the next. He and I took a rode trip to Gulf Shores on Tuesday to see Uncle Max. We had a nice visit and then went to Lulu's for lunch (Jimmy Buffet's sister's restaurant). It is a neat place and the food was great. Then we stopped @ Reeboks and bought a new pair of tennis shoes. Daddy came back to Fort D and slept 3 hours in his chair......one tired puppy but I know he was glad he went to see his brother so the trip was worth it.

I must give special thanks to my sisters/brothers (yeah that includes the in-laws!) for the work that has been done around the house. Tommy W and Steve finished up the ramp that was started by Max and Janet, Steve and Mr Willie cleaned up the garden so that there will be tomatoes and squash this year, took out the window A/C units and changed the security lightbulb. J and I tackled the upstairs and took a truckload of "stuff" to Goodwill and a truckload of paper over to the burn pile. Lots of tired muscles and sore backs that day.

Ellen & Tommy W, thanks for having the folks stay at your home for 2 weeks. There is no way they could have gone back to Fort D from the hospital. Laura, thanks for all the time you devote to making sure all is well. Taking everyone to doc appointments, making sure there is food to eat and basically just taking care.

Mama has an ultra sound test tomorrow. Hopefully that will rule out anything serious and she will start to feel better quickly now.