A reflection on helping my parent in 2020
You know me better than I know myself. This separation has taken out a part of my heart, a part of me. Thank goodness for the phone and Internet so we can still hear each other’s voice.
The first time I tried to walk you through Zoom, you said that this was why you didn’t trust the Internet and its complicated ways.
It took a long time to convince you to accept my help. When they were telling us to air out our mail, you told me that you could get your own groceries, thank you very much. But you ended up letting me.
I was so happy that I could be there for you.
When I first had to grocery shop for you and found almost nothing that you wanted, I cried right then and there next to the empty stand of bananas you asked for.
The vast abundance of our country was gone in a matter of days after the pandemic began. I thought I had already failed you even before I could start to help.
We made shopping lists over the phone. Each time it ended in frustration or laughter because now I know where I get my stubbornness from. You only like a certain type of English muffin that there is no substitution for.
I remember the first time we came together after it all started. You told me to drop all the shopping bags by the door and you will sanitize them later. We gave air hugs instead of real ones.
A few months later you welcomed me back into your home and I wore a mask. I might have washed my hands a million times that day. Part of me was so scared to be there, but you had asked me to come.
The isolation had taken its toll on both of us.
Through it all, we prayed. We prayed for strength and for the courage to continue on through it all.
I want you to know that I am here for you. You don’t always need to be the helper and the doer. I know it is automatic for you after caring for me all these years.
Maybe someday you can pass the torch to me so you can have more time to do what fills you. You can fill your arms with grandbabies and enjoy more quiet moments in your garden.
Maybe this year will be about hope and appreciating all that we have. For I certainly appreciate you and all you have done for me.