Lenten Reflections Day #31
My parents are 81 and 84 and they keep busy. So when the “shelter in place” rule hit, my sisters had to do a lot of parental redirecting.
I think at one point they hid the car keys, which isn’t a bad thing as Dad has Macular Degeneration. Simply put, this sight loss condition makes driving quite challenging for him–unless Mom sits in the passenger seat and “directs” him. It’s kind of like being in a new Subaru with the fancy bells and whistles that alert you when you’re too close to a car or a pedestrian. Instead, it’s just Mom yelling “Dad! Car!” in a used Honda.
In an effort to keep Mom and Dad home and bring all of us together virtually, we reviewed the options. We had heard of families using House Party to visit with their grandparents who “loved it!” Instead, we opted to start small and less bold by setting up a Google Hangouts call.
Inevitably, the sound didn’t work, Dad could “almost” see us and Mom lost interest about 6 minutes in. When we realized she had definitely moved onto her crossword puzzle, we told her we could try a different day, to which she quickly said, “No, let’s just get it over with now”. One thing my parents can always do is make me laugh.
We’re still working on virtual calls with Mom and Dad, maybe a Zoom will be easier. In the meantime, Mom is sewing masks for doctors and nurses, reading and doing puzzles while Dad is spending a lot of time outside fixing and building things.
The picture above is a rare sighting. Dad painting. Not sure how this transpired, but it is just one example of how all of us are stepping out of our comfort zones and trying new things. Not always because we want to, but that’s where we are so why not embrace it or rather give it one of those weird elbow bumps.
I think I’ll stick to regular phone calls for now. I like it when Mom and I are chatting and she says, “Hold on a minute, I’ll go get Dad, he’s outside and I’m not on the ‘walk-around phone’, I’m attached to the wall.”
Behaviors may change, but deep down, Mom and Dad are going to stay who they are, picking up the phone when it rings, hanging laundry on the line and taking care of each other.
Try something new, be safe and take care.