Friday, July 25, 2014

Distance doesn't mean distant

When my father fell ill, I wanted him to come to Kentucky for recovery.

I knew that with our flexible work schedule and healthy eating habits, we could have him back on his feet in no time.

But he said, ''No''.

My dad adored my babygirl, she's his only granddaughter. He really liked my husband, you know he loved me but his answer was still ''No.''

Selfishly and dramatically I thought, ''Dang, he'd rather live in this nursing home than be with me.''

But realistically and lovingly, I recognized that my dad had a LIFE. He was 76 and had friends who came to visit him in the hospital, a fiance' who came nightly and a desire to return to his year old condo.

Before his brain surgery, he golfed, played pinochle, traveled the world to shop, loved to cook, read Westerns and watched sports.

Once my dad told me that he'd be back to normal in 12-18 months. He also said he knew he wasn't going back to his part time job at Wal-Mart, but he wasn't telling the rehab people that. He had a plan and moving in with his children was not part of it.

In the end, I made the sacrifices necessary to be with him and it worked out.  It would have been more convenient and comfortable for him in Kentucky, but it was 300 miles away from his home.

I invite my 74 year old mother regularly to come to Kentucky, but her answer is the same. She's not ready to leave her life. She drives, lives alone, visits her brother in the nursing home 4-5 days a week, exercises and volunteers at her church. She is the resident ''Googler'' in her apartment community and drives friends to appointments and has a great social life of Red Hatting, movies and dining out.

You'd think I'm worried because I'm the only who cares about them. I'm actually not an only child, my sister, her husband, two sons and grandson are in state with my parents too. I just want them with ME.

I'm the one who left and I am not regretting my location or my life.

My dad didn't regret his life and location, mother doesn't regret hers.

My life is not theirs and theirs is not mine. We are all just a piece of each other's happiness and not the totality of it, and I'm good with that now.

Our distance in miles does not make us a ''distant'' family.

I'm ''here'' for my family and when necessary, I'm ''there'' for them too.


Itiel McVay said...

'My life is not theirs and theirs is not mine. We are all just a piece of each other's happiness and not the totality of it, and I'm good with that now.'


Love that.

Sister P said...

Thanks for stopping by Smells Good Lady :o) You always look so happy, hope you are!

Itiel McVay said...

I want to reply before time gets away from me. So...pausing to comment. I appreciate you for that. I am mostly always happy. That is a choice I made, because everyday isn't always a good one, but I am always willing to find the joy - Even after I am over my fuming (LOL).