One of my best friends, Jill, moved into her sister Sisi’s house so they could both take care of their 85 year old mother this year. Their mother had lived in Puerto Rico for the last 25 years and it was time she moved back to the states to be cared for by her daughters. On my most recent visit I noticed that their living situation is reminding me of the situations I have described in previous blogs with regard to my daughters possibly taking care of me…..let me explain.
Jill had invited me to come for a visit since her sister, Sisi, was away on vacation. Jill and I had planned to add shelving to the laundry room because Sisi has a mess of a laundry room! Can’t hardly even get to the washer or dryer. The laundry room had become a catch all for everything that needed to go in the garage. The rest of the house is very tidy though and I already know Sisi is particular with her things. We empty the room and add the shelves anyway. Who wouldn’t appreciate new shelves and a clean room when you get home from vacation?
I noticed her elderly mother, Fay, who had been in her room and was now looking into the laundry room where we were working says, “Hey, when Sisi comes home I am not going to say anything! Nothing!” Fay comes out again after a while and says, “Hey, when Sisi comes home I am not gonna say anything! I am not gonna say you were here fixing shelves! I am gonna say we were just visiting and talking all day.” OK then, might Sisi decide to have a fit about the new shelves? Fay comes out a bit later and asks, “Hey, when Sisi comes home what are you going to say to her? Surprise!” Jill says yes, she will say ‘surprise’. Fay comes out one last time apparently having really thought this through now and says, “Hey, when Sisi comes home, you are going to be at work. Only I will be here at home. What I am going to say, “surpriseieieiee?”
At that moment I was able to see myself in her situation with 2 grown daughters. There is the second when you say to yourself, “hold on, wait a minute, maybe this isn’t such a good idea”. I was reminded of the time I remodeled the master bathroom in my own house. I only had the new shower doors to install and the room would have been finished. Right then I realized that now there will be another room in the house for me to clean?? – sooo I just shut the door and use the bathroom in the hall instead. Never hung the shower door.
This was Fay’s “hold on wait a minute” moment. I was now guilty of participating in the very scenario I have envisioned where I am made to go along with my well-meaning children’s plans. Before I left I gave her my phone number and let her know I would come pick her up should she ever need a break. (Also known as a ride to the casino!)