Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day

In the last few days, I've thought of a few possible titles for my next blog.

"Don't Make Me Call My Mom!"

"Playing the Good Daughter Card"

"My Nana, the Pimp"

"Hold On, Let Me Slow Down for this Corner . . ."

"The World Would Be Better if More People Were Like My Parents"

Each of those, is part of this past weekend. Labor Day weekend. Where a lot of people get a three day weekend. FYI, I wasn't a part of that clique. I didn't really have plans for my weekend, except work Saturday and Sunday nights, and maybe watch the movie that came in from Netflix.

"Don't Make Me Call My Mom!"

On Saturday, Mom called me. We talked about the incident at work on Thursday (the whole donation thing), and somehow in all of that we started joking about who to call to kick some ass if people bothered me. One of them was "Don't make me call my mom", another was "Mom will verbally kick your ass and Dad will physically kick your ass". The joke behind that is I have heard Dad tell people, "Please don't make my wife come down here. She's more mad than I am." That threat usually works. And I've heard Mom say, "You really don't want my husband to deal with this. Trust me." That threat seems to hold, as well. After that, she then asked if I would drive up and visit; even offering to help me out by paying for gas. And I could go with them to Joe's birthday party (long-time family friend). But I couldn't drive up because I had to work Saturday as well as Sunday.

"Playing the Good Daughter Card"

So, Sunday night, it was just me and one other gal, and I kept thinking. Maybe I'll play the "good daughter" and surprise everyone by driving up for Monday. My parents plans had been ruined by my Granny unfortunately getting an infection post-surgery in her knee, and they spent most of Saturday in the ER, only to have her admitted back in the hospital later that evening. This meant that my Dad would have to go live with my Granddad until Granny returned. I know my mom had called on Saturday because she missed me and wanted to visit, and with Granny in the hospital, I knew both of them could use some hugs. I got off work Monday morning, went home and packed a bag, and made sure Miss Harriet had food and water for the night alone. I texted Mom and said I was coming up, and started driving.

I met my parents in the lobby of SRMC, gave and received lots of hugs. They had yet to tell my grandparents that I was coming up. They walked into the room side by side and me behind them. They said, "Surprise!" and I popped up between them. Granny was so thrilled to see me. She had her private room, as is the case any time a patient has any kind of an infection. She even had a recliner to sit in so she didn't have to spend the day in a hospital bed. We all visited for about hour or so, and then my parents had errands to run. We dropped Granddad off at his house for the day, and I went with my parents to grab a bite at In-N-Out. They were super busy, so we went through the Drive-Thru, and parked the truck in the shade of the now abandoned Circuit City. Then if was off to the super exciting store of Lowe's. I know Lowe's is heaven for those who have house or yard projects. I have none of those, and am actually slightly jealous, so Lowe's isn't my idea of a good time. However, my parents weekend got a little wonky, so instead of doing nothing like they had actually planned, they had to play catch-up. After they ordered their pavers for their project, we went back to their house to have a little of relaxing and visiting time in the living room.

"My Nana, the Pimp"

Soon it was time to head back into town to visit with Granny some more and let Granddad buy us some dinner. I said something to Mom about calling Nana to see if she and Sonny were busy on Tuesday so I could swing by and visit before heading back to Sacramento. Unfortunately, Sonny was going to be in surgery to repair the thing that they use for his dialysis. (I have no idea what it's called! Sorry!). So, once got into town and had reception, Mom called Nana to see if she could stop by for a minute. Nana said they were just sitting down to dinner but to still come by. Surprise, Nana! They were thrilled to see me. We only visited for a short while as we still had to get to the hospital. But Nana mentioned (again lol) this guy that works at the dialysis center that she would just love to have as a grandson-in-law. Yes, folks, my Nana wants to set me up on a blind date. We started joking around that Nana was trying to pimp me out. I even told her I'd title my next blog, "My Nana, the Pimp".

"Hold On, Let Me Slow Down for This Corner. . ."

After visiting with Granny during her dinner in the hospital, we (me, my parents, and Granddad) went to Perko's for dinner. Unfortunately, the few handicapped parking spaces were already taken, so my dad had to park farther from the front door than would have been preferred. Now, a smidge of background on this title. While I was visiting with my parents at the house earlier, Dad vented a little about the things that his parents say a zillion times that are no longer super-hilarious. Stories or even one-liners. One of them was "Hold on, let me slow down for this corner." My Granddad has a wooden leg, and now in his late 80's, doesn't walk super-fast. So it's his little joke that if comes around a corner, that he has to slow down so he doesn't tip over. I was holding the door open for Dad and Granddad, Dad letting Granddad lean on his shoulder to help him walk. Coming up on the corner, Granddad says, "Hold on, let me slow down for this corner". My dad shot me a look. I could barely stifle my laughter. Standing in the restaurant behind Dad and Granddad, trying my best not to laugh and my eyes watering because I'm holding in, Mom starts asking if I'm okay. I told her after dinner and we both had a good laugh.

"The World Would Be Better if More People Were Like My Parents"

If anyone were to ask who my hero's would be, two of them would be my parents. If kept going, I would be adding all of my grandparents to this list. I'm not trying to kiss anyone's asses here, it's all the truth. I hardly know more children who do as much for their parents as mine do. With the exception of my best friend. A little background: My dad's parents, Granny and Granddad, worked hard every day of their lives until they retired in the late 1980s. My Granddad used to deliver milk in the small dinky towns of Northern California. In the mid 1940s, he climbed into a truck that had a loaded gun in the cab. Back then the roads were very bumpy . . . do you see where I'm going? In the end, the gun went off and hit Granddad's left arm, rendering it not quite as useful as it once was. Granny had to change the bandages on their honeymoon. In 1949, Granddad crashed a plane he was flying for his pilots license. He broke nearly every bone in his body and was pronounced dead three times. This is proof that the ornery live forever. One leg was amputated at the knee. He has had a wooden leg since then. Doctors told him he'd never walk again. He did. He chased after three kids and delivered milk for 20 years. Fast forward to today, and my parents help them out so much. Mom often spends a portion of her weekend cooking for them so they have food throughout the week. Dad has lunch at their house nearly every day; he helps with their ironing, their grocery shopping, and any other task that needs to be done. If Granny is in the hospital for surgery or anything, Dad lives with Granddad until she's back. When Granny need help after her shoulder/arm surgery a couple years back, Mom went in during the week and helped her shower and dress and whatnot. My parents know my grandparents are grateful for everything they do, and thank my parents often. I, however, don't have one of them say to me, "I don't know what we'd do without them". These are the exact words I heard from Granddad while Dad went to get the car after visiting with Granny at dinner.

While my parents don't have to help my mom's parents anywhere near what they do for my dad's parents, they do still help them out whenever they need help. Mom helped take care of Nana when she had carpal tunnel surgery done on both wrists at the same time. They helped them move last year. Anything Nana and Sonny ask, my parents are happy to help.

To me, that is how life should work. Your parents feed you, clothe you, take care of you, and teach you life lessons. It's only natural that when your parents get older and need help, that you, their child, help them in any way that you can. Too often, children move far away from their parents. In some cases, this is on purpose. In others, it's the job or marriage or some other thing that takes them far away. For the ones that do it on purpose, shame on you. That's no way to repay the kindness your parents bestowed up on you. I know it's hard on my parents, helping take care of their parents. But they still do it. Because they love them.

And love is what should make this world go 'round.

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