Friday, October 14, 2011

“TGIF”

         Friday. Friday! Friiiiiiiii-dayyyyyy!
         Now, many would wonder why I cheer because it’s the end of the work week since I’m “retired.”  But Fridays still hold a special place for me. I may not leave the house every day to go to work; but in caring for my mother, I pull ten hour days. By the time Fridays arrive, relief washes over me for several reasons.
         First, even if we do nothing all weekend but take care of Mom and watch television with her, there’s someone else around to stir up the pot of conversation. My mother tends to watch different things, too, when David suggests them. Women of her generation learned to defer to men on even the littlest things like selecting television viewing. With David around, my muscles get a break from the lifting that Mom requires as we move through the day.   
            I also love Fridays because they mean I’ll get to spend a little time outside over the weekend. This weekend, because we finally had rain, we’ll mow the yard. In our previous life, David always trimmed hedges while I piled branches, and we both bundled. David would weed-eat, and I would mow. Once David finished weed-eating, he’d take over the mowing, so I could start all the sweeping. We’d finish simultaneously. Now, we stagger yard work. David will go out and do part of the work while I stay with Mom. Then we switch off. He’ll come inside to stay with Mom while I finish the yards.
            Twice a month, Fridays herald the arrival of one of my siblings. Tonight my brother, Charles, will pull into the driveway. With an extra pair of hands available, it becomes easier to take Mom out to a restaurant or to a store. I don’t have to handle the stress of getting her into or out of the car if she goes rigid, which is a terrifying experience. Their stronger arms and backs can lift her into the car if she stiffens into a life-sized doll. The luxury of having someone else lift the wheelchair into and out of the station wagon can’t be under appreciated.
            When my brother or sister comes to visit, David and I have the opportunity to run errands together. It amazes me that I miss doing little activities with him. Even a run to HEB together has become a special treat. Sometimes when my siblings visit, David and I will meet up with our son; and the three of us will run up to Gruene to have lunch at The Grist Mill. A few months ago, my mother could handle an outing like eating out coupled with a little shopping, but leaving the house becomes more and more difficult for her.
            So when I wake up on Fridays, I do a little singing and jigging in celebration because I spot The Weekend ahead.

  
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman
        

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