Over the last week I’ve been fortunate enough to be working from Coffs while Mum had her knee replacement. With the way I have been feeling lately, I knew it was going to be a real struggle and it was but I think the entire week has been stuffed with blessings all the same.
Mum’s operation went really well and although she reacted badly to the morphine, it served as a timely reminder that I also have that same reaction, something my holey memory had wholly forgotten.
I got to spend a lot of time with my Dad. He doesn’t say much, hasn’t ever said a lot but I guess that is just in the wake of Mum’s flowing dialogues. He actually had quite a bit to say. Probably the best story was one about him having to work at W E Smiths a while before I was on the scene. He had become a fully qualified electrician and even fitted out the entire factory when employed by a local electrician. He knew every part of it electrically and for the most part mechanically too. Bad times for self-employed electricians meant he had to take a job there and he was given the task of drilling holes into steel plates. Repetitive. Monotonous. Dirty. Boring and insulting. He did it, as men do, to make ends meet but after a few weeks he had to give it up.
“Being happy in what you do all day, every day, is what is important. It took a very long time to build our own business, but every day I was happy to start and work at it some more”.
That’s what he has done his entire life. Now semi-retired, it has been a blessing to watch him start and work hard every day at being a better carer for my Mum. He has carefully taken her in and out of her bed or chair or the car with gentleness most uncommon for a tradies hands. And while he hasn’t gotten right every time, every time he has tried harder so that her recovery is as smooth and painless as possible. Love.
Another blessing has been listening to my Mum talk about her childhood and Dad’s. Many stories I’ve heard before, but I never get tired of them and with age the barriers seem to crumble away. You get a better glimpse of what things must’ve been like. I value this time, because I know one day the wall might come crashing down but behind it might only be the fancy and fiction of fragmented memories, sewn up with colour and dreams.
My last blessing has been David, getting through this time away without too many dramas. He admitted that I had done it for him several times a year, so I wasn’t to stress, but I did anyway. With each phone call report card from the kids, my stress lessened, my blessings increased. I’ve been able to devote time to my Mum when she has needed it in the same way she has done for me so many times in my life.
I feel very calm as I watch Dad settling Mum to bed.. and very blessed.