Log: Day 985
10:00 am Dust office and
bedrooms. Decide against cleaning bathrooms, settling for a quick wipe-down of
counters and toilets.
10:30 am Jump on conference call with realtor, step-brother you’ve met exactly once who controls the family trust and father whose only response is “what?” approximately sixteen times during discussion of lowball—and only—offer in a month on the island cottage where your father lived and basically ran into the ground for the last thirty years. Yell, “TAKE THE OFFER!”
Text your father another reminder to get his hearing aids checked.
10:45 am Pick up dogshit on
lawn, empty catbox and wheel out trash barrel to curb. Fold the first of three
loads of laundry, thinking how much you took for granted all the chores your
husband used to do around the house.
11:00 am Check on Greta and get
the mail: a flyer from Realtor Bob who apparently has an unlimited advertising
budget and still wants you to call him today. Agree with your husband about the
molasses-like speed of Medicare claims processing. Reassure him that his
eight-day stay in the hospital will not cost a half million dollars.
Let dogs in and
out for the eighteenth time this morning, silently vowing to install a dog door
if the cat dies before you do.
a Series of 7. Read the rest here
Caregiver’s Log: Day 985
8:00 am Take your mother out for breakfast and drink a shit-ton of bitter IHOP coffee. Give her a new napkin because the one she started eating is, according to her, “broken.” Marvel at how she can power down a stack of pancakes the size of a turkey platter, scrambled eggs and a blueberry muffin and still stay skinny as a skeleton. Notice the tumor in her pancreas is now protruding from her belly like a full-term pregnancy.
9:00 am Return home to assist
husband with a shower, making sure the waterproof sleeve you finally found at
the third CVS pharmacy yesterday covers his catheter. Avoid heavy sighs when he
complains that the towel is too soft and the bar soap slips through his fingers.
Remind yourself to add shower gel to shopping list.
9:30 am Field latest batch of text rants from your 87-year-old father—who you moved two weeks ago into a senior living community three thousand miles away—about his new 65” TV being too small and impossible to hear. Order sound bar for $250, sign him up for a year of unlimited tech support and text him back: “Go to Best Buy and get whatever TV you want,” because if you get one more text about his A/V bullshit, you’ll lose it on him like you did on last week’s rant about his new place being full of with “uneducated slobs.”
3rd in a Series of 7. Read the rest here
Caregiver’s Log: Day 985
5:30 am: Run dogs before the
sunup of another sultry 92-degree September morning. Return with new story idea
on the recent demise of the neighborhood grocery store you’ve just jogged past.
Hurriedly scribble “empty parking
lot—metaphor for life purpose?” on the “Call Bob Today!” notepad recently
left at front door by overzealous neighborhood realtor.
6:30 am Walk over to feed Greta,
the neighbor’s Chihuahua you’re petsitting for a week. Attempt to meditate in
peace on neighbor’s couch. Give up after ten minutes of Greta licking your
6:45 am Walk home. Dust
living room. Drag vacuum cleaner from closet, causing immediate mass pet exodus.
Decide dog hair dust bunnies can wait until tomorrow.
7:30 am Drive to the memory
care home where you moved your mother last year after quitting your job and taking
care of her for three years in your East Coast childhood home. Park in space marked
“Future Resident Parking,” because at the rate you’re going, it’s probably true.
Unload gigantic box of Depends from your ten-year-old Ford Escape which has epically
failed to live up to its name, still annoyed that the one and only time you shipped
the Depends—which she calls “paper panties”—directly to her apartment, they mysteriously
vanished. Wonder if there’s a black market for adult diapers.
Smile and respond, “Hi, dearie,” to her “Hi, Mummy,” greeting, when all you want to do at this point is either (a) sit in a dark room, eat a jar of peanut butter and cry; or (b) drop a hit of purple microdot and blast Pink Floyd on your headphones.
Second in a series of 7. Read Part 1 here