This past weekend I was in Texas. I had two things on the agenda. 1) coordinate a ride to take my Dad to colonoscopy. (No small feat for someone who can hardly see walk and has Lewy body dementia. Oh did I mention I had to secure insurance approval appointment coordination, work coverage and flight cost) I know, I know I am milking it so you guys can get my occurring world.
2) Celebrate my Dad’s bday. I secretly invited my family to a byol (bring your own lunch) at my Dad’s assisted living facility. To create a day where we all come together.
So I call my Aunt to tell her about the party. Then the thought occurs but why me? Why doesn’t she go see him on her own? The lens I see her through is that she is not doing enough on her end. I am the only one doing anything. Instead of help she ask me the dumbest questions and is so out of touch that she dosn’t even hear how ridiculous she sounds. She lives closer than me and has WAY more $$ than me.
I take it so personal. It triggers me. Or let’s say up until now I used to take it personal and used to be a trigger.
After inviting her she says, “Well that is bad timing taking him to a colonoscopy and trying to celebrate his birthday. What if he doesn’t feel well tomorrow?” My thoughts, “Well if you took him to Drs appointments or helped paid for his care or my flights maybe you could get to say that….” then I respond, “Well when you fly in from NY to take him and coordinate a ride to colonoscopy yes it gets batched with a birthday visit. He is not feeling well today. I don’t care how he is feeling tomorrow really this is the day we are celebrating because I fly out on Sunday.”
After that smart ass response she then ask if my Dad is ok to go to a restaurant. Did she not hear what I said about him a) getting a colonoscopy 2) anything I ever said this year about how he can hardly move or see? My response, “He is not well and will likely not ever be well to go out to a restaurant.”
The best was when she asked me if my Dad had a phone book with the family’s numbers in it. She called my Dad on his birthday and asked my Dad about knowing her number. I told her no that Juanita (care provider)had the numbers listed in his file. Her response, “Well your Dad doesn’t know that. He said that he doesn’t have anyone’s number.”
Me: “He has this thing called dementia”
Her: “Well I was thinking to write down all the numbers of the family for him to put in a phonebook in his room.”
Me: Well he can’t really see or read anything written also he does not know how to use the phone.”
Her: I have a lot of extra phone books. Do you think it would be a good gift for me to make for him?
Me: Well if you want to give a phonebook to someone who can’t see and likely won’t remember sure but, Can you bring a cake?”
Meanwhile on the inside I am raging I am trying to rub my peace beads to calm me down. How can she be so out of touch with reality to even be suggesting this?
Fastforward to after my Dad’s surprise party. I texted everyone thank you for coming. Her response: “Thank you for taking such good care of my little brother”
It melted a bit of my hardness just a bit or broke a piece of the glass I am looking through. I didn’t even take a second to think how emotional she may be taking this or that she is seeing him maybe even scared as her little brother. I didn’t know I needed this recognition and I wonder why I did? I mean as being transformed are we not supposed to do things for ourselves regardless of how others respond??
I am enough. The end.