When I hear people saying, "Congratulations! You made it through today!" I've thought, "It's no big deal. You just stayed home." Today, I'm congratulating myself on getting through the day.
Mom is 76, Dad just turned 85. They live ten miles away. Got a call from Mom last night. At 8:30. I hadn't checked up on them. Can you believe this - my day was so full that I forgot?! In the back of my mind I knew they were okay and didn't need anything. She's told me this for nine days straight. She tells me at 8:30pm that my sister and her twins (14 years old) are "coming over tomorrow to pick up your dad's guitar. Rosann wants to learn how to play."
Me: You think this is fine?
Mom: She says it's been four days since she's seen someone outside of the house. I told her two weeks is the time she's supposed to wait.
Me: You told her two weeks? And she's still coming over?
Mom: Yes. To visit. It'll be fine. We're all fine.
Me: But she's seen people who have seen people who have seen people... only four days ago.
Mom: We're all fine, and we'll BE fine.
I never outright told her that I hated the idea. I never outright told her I believed it was wrong. Even so, I knew she knew it was wrong, and I knew she was going to do it anyway. Mom gets what she wants. I was angry at my sister. I was angry at my sister's husband for thinking this was okay. I was frustrated with my dad because he always lets Mom get what she wants.
I got off the phone and cried and cried.
I talked with Bob about it. Sobbing.
I got back on the phone, because Bob made a good argument that I wasn't going to get to sleep if I didn't call her back. I also had a feeling that she WANTED me to tell her I thought it was wrong.
Me: (Since it had taken a couple of rings for Mom to pick up) Are you on the phone?
Mom: Yes, with your sister.
Me: Oh. Should I call back?
Mom: What's up?
Me: (Suddenly sobbing again) I've been crying since we hung up, because I'm worried.
Mom: We're going to be fine, Joy.
Me: What if you're not? What if they're carrying it? You know Dad won't tell you "no."
Mom: You want me to just hand her the guitar and have her go back home?
Mom: You want me to do that?
Me: You'd do that for me?
Mom: Sure, Joy. I'll do that. (Man, her voice was exasperated. She sounded mad or disappointed.)
Me: Thank you, Mom!
Mom: Go to sleep, Joy.
We go to sleep at 9:00. I had had a busy day, full of extra exercise, and I was extra tired. We headed to bed, me crying while brushing my teeth, even, and all I could think of was how Mom gave me one more day of not being worried about them.
The thing is, I feel as long as we all do what we're supposed to do, I'll be able to hug my parents again. There are so many unknowns about school/work, that I want one more KNOWN. I want to be SURE of SOMEthing.
This entire thing now reminds me of when my mom had cancer. I was worrying so very much about everything, and yet I had to step up to be the one to tell others what to do. I had to keep my sister and her kids away from Mom when any one of them was sick, I had to tell Dad to feed Mom - even when she wasn't hungry. I had to tell Dad to do what the doctors said, even if she didn't want to do those things. I had to be the big girl. It was not a fun job. I didn't like the responsibility.
I talked with a friend who thought meditating would help. I tried it. It sucked. I would sit there, trying to calm my brain, and my brain would go in all different directions. I told him. He said that it's not about sitting there thinking. It's about thinking about NOW. What's going on right now? "How is your mom right now?" he asked.
How is my family and how are my friends right NOW? (My Duolingo lessons remind me - how are they ahora mismo?)
Good. Healthy. Mildly happy. They all have enough food and drink. They have shelter. (They have toilet paper.) They have my help if they need it.
All is good NOW. I just need it to be good one more day... I got through today. One day at a time...
News from today:
- Bob and I cleaned the refrigerator condenser. Blog post "how-to" coming tomorrow. Because I'm on "Spring Break" and have nowhere to go. You'd think it would be obvious, but I've noticed some people are living in Dreamland.
- Texas lieutenant governor says people should go back to work to save the economy. (Really. You can't make this stuff up.)
- Summer olympics are postponed.
- There is now drive-through testing for coronavirus (somewhere - no clue where I spotted this).
- Still open: grocery stores, gas stations, car parts, take-out and delivery food, post office, mobile pet grooming services...
- I've now completed Days 1 and 2 of "P.E. with Joe." This morning I could barely sit down and get up. Now I'm just sore. It's a good hurt.
- My former students are sharing such positive things on Instagram. Today it's "See a pup, send a pup," "See a (Bible) verse, send a verse," "See a flip, send a flip" (gymnastics), and "Me doing my sport."
- Our "oops" for today... on our walk, we decided to sit in some swings and chat. Then we saw the sign on our way out of the playground... I guess the sign business is still running, too.