Saturday, October 06, 2018

Lessons Learned

It's been awhile, but I wrote this post last week when we were in Spain, and I wanted to share it with you.
It might explain why life has suddenly gone into warp speed.

In the middle of the night, I lay awake, a sheet pulled up to my neck, not to keep me warm but to protect me from voracious mosquitoes, and I tossed and turned. I kept returning to a story that Mom and Dad had shared with me as we talked on Facetime, the camera sometimes focusing on Mom, sometimes on Dad, but most of the time on the couch in between them, a fair way to divide the camera.
Our cat Tupi, who now resides with my parents, climbed up on Dad's chest, royally placing his paw on Dad's chin whenever he started to talk. Mom wanted to share what a good companion Tupi had become.
Mom and Dad with Tupi in January. A new
family photo.
While Mom was out playing golf, Dad had moved from the living room through the game room to open the sliding door for Tupi. He likes to go out to the screened-in area that surrounds the pool. He considers the pool the biggest water dish in the neighborhood, and he likes to chase down lizards or give birds the evil eye as they flit from tree to tree.
Dad's foot is still healing from a sore. Since he is diabetic, he is prone to sores that refuse to heal. So he is using a knee cart that keeps his foot off the ground.
As he scooted through the game room, the knee cart caught on something, and Dad fell, pulling down three bar stools as he went and hitting his head on a metal trash can. He lay on the floor, having skinned himself in the fall, and assessed the damage, making sure he hadn't done serious damage.
As Dad lay on the floor, Tupi joined him, attempting to lick the places where Dad had skinned himself then finally curling up next to Dad, as if the two of them were just having a nap on the floor for no reason.
What a good, caring cat Tupi is, Mom explained.
Dad eventually managed to get up, in spite of not being able to use one foot, and cleaned up his wounds, ready to greet Mom when she came home with the news of a hole-in-one on the golf course that morning.
Tupi is a good companion, even though he is the reason Dad tripped going to let him out, but I couldn't stop picturing Dad on the floor.
And I wished that I'd been there with him.
A shot of me and Earl with Mom and Dad
before we embarked on our adventure.
True I might have insisted he get up right away when maybe he needed a few minutes on the floor to assess any damage, but I wondered why I'm not there while Dad heals. Nothing is keeping me here in Europe. I can do my job from Florida.
After years of raising kids, I thought I had earned the right to be selfish, to travel and explore and put worries about others behind me. But when you love people, you never leave behind those worries.
As we returned from Spain, Mom told me Dad would have another surgery on November 1st, a stent to unclog an artery, and I knew we had to go.
So we returned to France and began making plans. We have two vacations planned in October, one to Italy and another to Ireland. We have to figure out how to renew our visa. We need to get our French driver's licenses, deal with the car we borrowed and change our flights.
Just a few hoops to jump through before we can return to the States to be with my parents as Dad heals.
Soon, I'll let you know what we've accomplished so far, cause we're leaving for Italy on Sunday.

4 comments:

Sim Carter said...

Life really is what happens while you're busy making other plans! Best wishes to your dad on healing and his upcoming operations. And to you, good daughter!

Emily Taylor said...

I hope the logistics are smooth! *and that we get to see you as well, though of course, I understand your priorities!

Unknown said...

We all trip into enlightenment of one kind or another, for one reason or another, at one time or another -- and good old Tupi inadvertently led you into this new stage of figuring out how to balance the call of adventure with the pull to be there for your folks. I am glad your dad's injuries from the fall were not substantial, and so glad you have the flexibility to travel back to be with your parents -- and Tupi -- as your dad prepares for this surgery.

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