Dear Family and Friends,
Hello again! We are back on the East coast, trying to pull our lives back together. It’s surprising how much can fall apart in two weeks. Did I really leave my room in this state of disrepair? (Answer: Yes, Emma. You always do.)
After a follow-up appointment on Monday afternoon, we spent one last wonderful night with Mike and Noor before heading to SeaTac the next morning. That was an adventure for me (I lost my ID and had to undergo a full pat-down--what fun), but otherwise everything went smoothly. Delta fed us really good sandwiches on the flight again.
Our flight left Seattle before 10am and airtime is something like 5 hours, but because of the time change, we didn’t walk through our front door until after 7pm. Thanks to Judy for driving us home, and for leaving all kinds of food in our house! She is relentlessly generous.
Here, we’re finally all together as a family: four humans and three cats. It’s a strange unity. By a happy accident of timing, all four of us are unemployed for the month of May and possibly even June. What fun!
Think of the last time you had nothing to do. Now think of a time when you had a ton to do, but it was all housework, and you had no legitimate reason to leave the house for any extended length of time. Now imagine that there are four people who are in either or both of these situations. For an indefinite period of time. Oh dear.
Mom is inclined to clean, and we didn’t exactly leave the house in tip-top shape when we left (sorry Mom), so she’s on a mission. But it’s a small house, so we’re all in the way. I need to clean too, and recycle about 4,000 papers from my students this year. Grace has an apartment to take care of, but she can’t get to it. Dad is still tech-less and it’s seriously frustrating.
But we will get into our flow! We visited Verizon and made some progress on the Phone Debacle, which should be almost fixed in 3-5 business days (long story). Tomorrow, we’re going to drive to Dad’s workplace in Burlington and try to deal with his computer there.
Grace and I had a lovely time grocery shopping today. Food is something we can control and manage, and cooking is a pleasure I don’t often enjoy since Dad is usually head chef. And since I’m not under any work obligations until late June, I have all kinds of time! This is my stress relief.
Speaking of stress, I think that’s what our biggest challenge will be in the coming weeks. Our current stressor is the fact that we have some serious housekeeping to do, literally and figuratively. All of our energies in the coming days will be focused on:
Getting Dad the doctors and therapies he needs;
Dealing with all the locked-out passwords etc;
Dad finding something to do that he likes but that isn’t work or hard exercise;
I’m telling all y’all this because it also means that we will be turning inwards. We need this time to set ourselves to rights as individuals and as a family unit. It means that we’ll be bad at answering texts and emails, which are so kind, but which responses require energy that we are currently directing at other things.
I will keep this blog updated, and I DO appreciate when questions are sent my way, so that I can address them here! These past few days of radio silence have been my sabbatical; now Mom needs one.
Dad, however, does need contact with the outside world. I’m not sure how to balance this, frankly. We cannot keep him entertained, and every time he tries to do something useful or interesting, we all freak out because he’s not supposed to lift things or raise his left arm or basically do anything he would naturally do.
If you’ve ever felt useless, you know that it’s just one more step before you’re teetering on the edge of depression. I know how that feels and I wouldn’t wish it for anyone, let alone my father. Besides, he’s the most useful person in our home! We desperately need him to get well and be happy, because without him we’re all a disaster.
So, if you’d like to help out, let us know if you want to visit. Maybe not today or tomorrow (we want to clean), but yes! Now that we’re back on our side of the country, we are desperate for your friendship.
We definitely don’t need any casseroles, though. :)
With love and a touch of cabin fever,