Monday, August 6, 2012

Where Were You When the Rover Landed on Mars?

And what were you wearing?

Was wearing a lovely polka dotted one piece bathing suit (at 11 pm) and was sitting outside on my patio, watching it on my laptop. 

I think today may have been the hottest day of the year. Possibly not. But it felt like it. 

What did you do today?
Wait. Don't tell me. I can't bear to hear happy reports of people doing fun things with their families. That is the only thing I get jealous over. I'm not envious of houses, vacations, jewellery, cars, clothes, hair... (wait, that's not true. I covet natural curly hair. And skin. I adore pock-mark-free skin. How did some people get through puberty with no acne?) 

Anyway - it's a hot Sunday. In the middle of the summer. And, here in BC, this is a long weekend. I spent the morning with my dad, who was doing fabulously. When I got to his room, he was hanging on to the remote device that controls the overhead crane. He wasn't letting go. Up and down. Back and forth. He was the man operating that machinery. 

Belinda, his care aide, was glad when I arrived, "Maybe you can get him to let go of the control? We've tried all morning, but he is very strong. He won't let us take it from him."

Laura, the nurse on shift, mentioned that in addition to operating the crane all morning, he had managed to take the back off his chair, while seatbelted in it. She'd never seen anyone do that before. "We have to get him busy with some projects," she suggested. 

Anyway, he was happy to see me. And happy to cruise through the building with me. And happy to see me go :) When my mom is there, he mostly only has eyes for her. 

I got home at 2, and felt sorry for myself. 
(Yes, I'm still PMSing, so my emotions are heightened.)

I really wanted to be sitting in a body of water, on my lawnchair, enjoying the breeze, the sunshine and maybe a good book, with my kids close by. 

I wasn't getting any of that, so I improvised. 

Do you have the Tupperware Cake Taker?

I do. 
I turned the big plastic lid upside down and filled it with water. 
Then I filled a hand sprayer with cold water,

Brought my fan outside and plugged it into the outlet at the back of my house,

set myself down onto my plastic Canadian Tire Adirondack chair

and pretended I was at the lake. I put my feet in the cake taker, sprayed my face/body every few minutes with the spritzer, like an ocean wave might, and sighed everytime the fan oscillated in my direction.

My reading glasses/sunglasses are in my Escape which is still in the shop, so I wore BOTH my reading glasses and my regular sunglasses while reading these books:

 which I was happy to finish because it was unexpectedly the memoir of a 50-something-year-old's wife's experiences when her 75 year old husband experienced a massive stroke. And seriously? It was all hitting a little too close to home. 

She talks of sundowning, of choking, of swallowing challenges, of lack of mobility ... well, actually she was totally describing my dad. 

And my mom can identify with her statement: "I began noticing with surprise how caregiving can reduce one to a role rather than a relationship."

"Coming to terms with being responsible for someone else's life, having to live with such decisions, took a long while, and I didn't like the struggle. At times it felt like I might be breaking down...."

"A caregiver is changed by the culture of the illness...."

"I am in a phase of life with responsibilities I could not have imagined during my boy-crazy hight school days. Be fully awake for it, I tell myself, pay attention to all of its feelings and sensations, because this is simply another facet of being alive, of life on earth ... and then there will be another era when Paul will be gone and you won't have the responsibilities and worries."

"I will look back on these days as some of the happiest of my life, despite all the worries, frights and impediments, because I've loved heartily and felt equally loved in return."


So I finished that book and wanting desperately to read something light and sunshine worthy, I started (and finished) The Monk Downstairs:

which fit the bill perfectly. 
He was a former monk, escaping the order where he lived/prayed for twenty years (making him 43) and she was his landlord, a 38 year old divorced woman with a cute daughter. 

Yes, it ends exactly like a romantic comedy should EXCEPT the crisis that inevitably must happen at the 2/3 mark? "The" incident that moves the plot along? WAS HER MOM HAVING A MASSIVE STROKE.

So yes, my day has had a theme. 
1. Visiting my dad who's had a massive stroke.
2. Reading a memoir written by a woman my age, who's husband (is my dad's age) had a massive stroke.
3. Reading a novel where the heroine's mom has a massive stroke. 

Is this another example of a holy echo? 
Or coincidence?


The rover landed on Mars tonight. 
Kinda exciting. I love technology.

Two of the guys in the control room, have twitter accounts: 


Three FIVE things I'm thankful for:

1. I still have a stack of good (I hope) books to read. 
2. My dad has had 2.25 good days in a row.
3. I now have TWO fans in my bedroom pointed directly at my bed.
4. I'm thankful for days when I start out sad and end up not sad.
5. My backyard is sunny and PRIVATE. No one saw me in my bathing suit. Reading a book. With my feet in a cake taker. 



Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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