Turning my attention to mom!!
One of the struggles I have always had – and have written about this – is how to make my mom feel special. My dad loves it that I come every three months. He loves sitting with us in the balcony and chatting with us. But when it comes to my mom – she never says anything. Nor asks for anything. If I tell my dad that I am going to miss a trip one quarter, he will get upset about it (till I tell him that I can make a lot of money if I stay back – he will totally agree with me then – go figure!! ) but my mom will just say nothing.
I have that picture of her walking a step behind dad with that chair lest he fall down as he walked around with his walker seared in my mind. I had talked about how we think about the patient but not much about the care giver.
The challenge is if I ask my mom “What would you like?”, the answer would inevitably be “Nothing”. It is like asking a high school student “What happened in school today?”
The only clue I have about what gives her delight is she had once told me how she always liked to go out to different places before marriage and had kids. I know after that, she has barely stepped out of home – she has been so engrossed in her responsibilities of the family. Even today, she refuses to leave dad’s side. The only time I had gotten her out to come out and stay in a resort with us was when I had convinced my dad to do so (about a year or so back).
My best bet this time was to take her out for a day trip – and let the helper take care of dad. Without giving her much of a choice, I packed her into a car and took her to her favorite sister (she has four sisters and a brother) who lives in a village a couple of hours drive away. She had not seen her for some time (actually the last time was also the time I took her there; like I said – this is her favorite sister).
As expected, she did not complain much!!
And there we were!! My mom, her sister, her brother in law and the little grandson they have.
At the end of the day, I know my mom wanted to spend more time with her sister. But I had to draw the line (yeah! yeah! yeah! Rajib was the time nazi!! So, what else is new? 🙂 ) before it became too late for dad’s help at home to leave.
I was glad to catch up with my cousins and nephew too! The best part? A norwester ensued and it started raining hard when we were there. And I was able to take my nephew out in the rains to get drenched with me. I was too much of a guest for anybody to complain (although their heart beats were skyrocketing).
The nephew and me? Pardon the pun in the metaphor – we threw caution to the winds!!