Wednesday, December 03, 2008

La Isla Bonita and Temper-Temper

La Isla Bonita and Temper-Temper
Well folks I’m back from seven days on my home turf of Puerto Rico. Unlike most of my other trips, this one had little to do with pleasure and more to do with taking care of my dad post surgery. I’m happy to report that the surgery was a success and he’s recovering well. In the same vein, I’m recovering well too – since I worked like a country mule. Sitting in my office today is my true vacation and my appreciation for not working in a capacity that requires me to perform manual labor daily. I love my parents and would truly do it again – a million times over – but I’m afraid for them. After working seven days straight – everything from cleaning, painting, gardening, cooking and caring for their dog and cat – I realized that I (not yet 40-years old) was exhausted. I couldn’t imagine retirees doing this. Having a home at their age is physically taxing and I suspect it’s a responsibility they won’t be able to maintain for long. I pray the Lord I’m wrong. All this said, I was the parent and as such I was attacked by mom and dad at every turn. The role reversal of saying we were not going out on a given day was odd at best and disconcerting at worst. As has become the norm, BD was my constant anchor in the storm. I can’t thank him enough for being my back bone. I suffered terrible separation anxiety since I haven’t been away from him for any real time for over a year. Let’s keep it real, this man is my 24-7 tireless ying to my yang. One thing is certain; my temper is not what it once was. Maybe it was the added stress of running a house, having two geriden (geriatric children) and stressing about the well being of my dad, but my fuse was virtually nonexistent. I was blunt, coarse and at times terrifying in my delivery. I finally took a deep breath a few days before returning to NYC and said, “Cocoa you’re scaring folks so stop it.” I may have to return at the beginning of the year to check on the folks again. BD made my return to NYC extra special. He surprised me with Chinese food, while I showered and we made love until every last knot of stress was worked away. His thoughtful card, intuitive kindness and calm make me the person I want to be. Thank you happy boi! I now miss mom and dad, but with my sister at the helm for the next week, I’m sure they’ll be okay. To all who prayed for my family a HUGE thank-you!

On Blast
My parents have officially reached the stage where I am anxious about their well being while they live alone. What would you do to minimize the pressure of elderly family members when they live so far away?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

8 comments:

bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

Glad your dad made it thru surgery successfully baby boy. Welcome back!

~Damnit!

Joey Bahamas said...

Glad yo hear you're back safely Unc and everything is okay on the home turf.

You know, when I get older I want to be able to hire help for my folks in their autumn years. And, I will visit often to make sure things are held to a certain standard. I know they are both very independent, but they took care of me so I should do the same...

JB

fuzzy said...

you could always make arrangements with near family, or maybe even close neighbors, to check in on them from time to time! elderly seem to love chatting and that nonsense! lol so that might work. if it gets to the point where they cant care for themselves at all then there are live in nurses, home aids, etc... last resort nursing home!

~Kahlua~ said...

Your post spoke to my heart Cocoa...and spared me the need to blog about the same situation myself. I too, have been working tirelessly since late October taking care of my grandparents in Maryland during the week--forcing myself to come home on weekends to recharge and see my daughter and husband. Your description of working like a country mule is dead-on and I truly understand and applaud your efforts to care for your folks, run their household and play hall-monitor to the geriatric children you spoke of. I had actually dubbed my grandparents as "The Geriatric Rugrats" after the popular cartoon on Nickelodeon. One or both of them were constantly getting into things they had no business with while respectively recovering from a surgery and back-to-back hospital stays for pneumonia. It's draining, exhausting and can quickly take a toll on your body and emotions but as soon as I get home from a week with them, I'm missing them and dying to check on them almost hourly. I am trying to get everyone on-board to hire an assistant to help with things---something that I know they can afford thank goodness...cause I refuse to allow either of them to be put in a nursing home. I will exhaust every resource I have--even if it means moving in w/them to care for them full-time myself if it ever came to that. You're a good son Cocoa...and I'm really proud to call you my friend. I love you and I'm so glad your folks are doing well and that you're home safe w/BD and the Minnie...

Ty said...

I know how it is when family needs help. That was the reason for me moving to Savannah. I took care of my great-grandparents up until 5 years ago. So hopefully something will work out where you don't have to worry and/or move, unless that is what you want to do. Glad that you and your dad are well and that you have your Boo to help you through this.

kennyking78 said...

My parents are still in their prime, but I know some who have parents in their 80s. For them, having siblings in the area has been a tremendous help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cocoa,

It's me Freakin Rican. I just read your blog about your parents. I myself just came back from Puerto Rico this week. I was down there two weeks ago taking care of my father who became extremly ill a month ago and he finally went home to heaven last week. To tell you the truth Boo I would say visit them as much as possible and tell them you love them everyday. I am thankful and grateful that my GOD allowed my dad's body to wait for me to reach him and spend a week with him. We laughed, we cried and I found out things about myself I didn't even know. Just being around him was the best thing that could have happened to the both of us. I came home for only 4 days to return back to PR for his funeral. What I would have changed was visiting him as often as I possible. I wish I could have done more for him. That is what I would offer you. Call them everyday, tell them you love them and when you can visit do so. Not just once or twice a year but more. I know we tend to get caught up in life issues but family is so important especially when they are getting older. God bless you Cocoa I am happy that your dad is doing well.

Cocoa Rican said...

Hey everyone...thanks for your prayers and support!

BNM - Thank you...feels great to be back!

Joey - sorry I keep missing you when you're in NYC...really hope to see you in Chi-town for the blogger reunion!

Fuz - great suggestions

Kahlua - thanks for being my baby sis in DC...you know what I'm going thru and I'm encouraged and pushed forward by your strength!

Ty/Kenny - true, true and thanks!

Freakin - Great to see you online again!! So sorry to hear about your dad. I've always shared the idea that spending quality time with my parents often helps a lot! Hope to see you soon!