I was late changing out of what my son calls my retirement uniform today. (My pajamas.)
Anyway, I had a reason. First, I talk with mom around 8:30 in the morning. Then I try to get my morning blog written. After that I prepare a late breakfast, then afterwards change. Only today I saw where I could watch a movie I had seen previews for on Youtube. What I had seen, made me curious and had me thinking it would be good. It is more than good. I am Gabriel, really worth the time.
As I was watching mom calls. That’s one good thing about watching it that way, I could stop it and not miss anything. Mom had mentioned to me a couple of times how she wanted me to ‘when I had time and felt like it’ mow an area of grass around their septic tank. Dad didn’t want their great grandson to mow it with the riding mower out of some fear or other. There is still a low spot where it had been dug up so maybe he feared the boy getting injured somehow. She asked if I had checked on whether I had gas for the mower, if I needed gas she would pay for it. She would pay me to do the mowing. Mom, was sounding desperate. Dad must be bugging her. I told her just let me watch my movie and I’d check and let her know. The movie is not quite an hour and a half and I had just started watching.
Moments before the movie ends I happen to see the mail jeep go up the dirt road. They don’t stop at my box so I turn my attention back to the movie. My phone rings, mom. Had I seen the mail carrier? Yeah, they went up a few minutes ago but they didn’t stop at my box so, I wasn’t too worried. Turns out she had just checked her mailbox, found nothing and was wondering, oh, is your movie over? Not yet mom.
When the movie ends, I change and prepare my late breakfast. After eating I go to put my contacts in, when the phone rings. Mom. Just wondering if my show had ended yet. Yes mom, its over and I’m getting ready to go check. I had a little over half a tank in the mower and just enough in the gas can to finish filling the tank. I grab my gloves and safety glasses and start pushing the mower toward mom’s. Firing it up I begin mowing. I cleaned up around a large hole in the ground, then near their fuel oil tank for their furnace then move toward the area she wanted mowed. I see her out of the corner of my eye picking up sticks or something to mow over closer to the porch. A porch that she finally gets back up on and sits down while I do what she had asked.
As I finish and let the mower come to a stop she starts talking about slabs of wood that were on the back of my dad’s truck that they couldn’t get off. Wondering if I would ask my son when he came in if he would unload what was left. I walked around the house to where the truck was backed up. The wood didn’t look all that large or heavy so I climb up on the back of the truck and start tossing the remaining wood onto the pile they had already made. It didn’t take long before I had the truck emptied.
I do have to say, that for all her lack of patience, she is not lacking in appreciation. She is frustrated in that she can’t do all the things she once did. Mom, you’re 86, dad is 92, there is no way you can do what you once did.
I was then able to push the mower that can up to my house to mow the stretch of yard between the fence and the road. I first have to move all the big rocks that I have along the edge to keep the cars going by from driving up into my yard. They aren’t big enough to do any damage, merely big enough to be seen and show the boundary line. Mom of course is standing at the edge of her yard yelling at me not to get too hot. I won’t mom. I don’t do the best job, because I was wearing shorts and I have cactus planted along that stretch. The hope was that the cactus would grown and spread, which they are, but they make mowing a challenge. Especially when you don’t want to end up trying to pull cactus needles from your legs.
I finish, I return the rocks to their spots and I push the mower back to the carport. I then come back inside to try to cool down and rest up a bit. All the while thinking back over not only today, but other days. I know that it isn’t mom so much that is the impatient one but dad. If something isn’t done quickly, he worries that it isn’t going to get done at all and drives mom up the wall. I can hear it in her voice when he’s had a bad day of worrying giving her the gift of a bad day. One that is impossible to exchange unless we can do what is needed.
I will be the very first to say, with all sincerity, that even when I get annoyed that they can’t wait for something, I am still so very glad they are still with us to annoy us. I am still so very thankful for their presence in our lives. My son loves to pick at his grandfather, knowing it gives his grandmother a short break. Even if it is only for a moment or two. I am thankful, every time I see their number showing on my phone, knowing I will hear their voice. That I still am able to hear their voices.
It doesn’t bother me that they walk slower. That there are times when they don’t remember things as well as they once did. It doesn’t bother me that I have to help lift and carry what they no longer can. Mom made the comment today that it seemed as if so much was falling on me now because I was so close. I didn’t tell her that was why I haven’t tried to find another job. So I can be here when I am needed. So what if I can’t afford to do or buy the things I would like? (My son paid for almost one hundred percent of our trips this summer. He had saved up for those as a gift to me, as a way to get me out and away for a while. To give me a break and a reset.) It does bother me when I can’t participate in some things, but in the grand scheme of things, what I am doing is much more important, more special, more of a gift, simply because I still can. They are here, and I am blessed in that.
I will admit, I was annoyed, though I didn’t say it, that she had called so often. I also admit that I just as silently, chastised myself over my annoyance. My mind went to this: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Philippians-2-14/
And my heart loudly reminded me of the gift and blessing of their presence. When mom calls, I have and will happily listen and allow her to tell me what ever is on her mind, even if she tells me the same thing multiple times. I will be gardener, chauffeur, delivery, what ever she needs, when she or dad, needs. And I will be thankful.
Oh, and that mail carrier that didn’t stop at my mailbox? Turns out they left my mail and mom’s mail in another person’s mailbox. Thankfully it was my sister in law. And really wasn’t all that important. My thoughts though are wondering how often has this happened when I or mom, or anyone else, didn’t get their mail because it was placed in someone else’s mailbox and they kept it or simply tossed it in the trash? And they wonder why so many don’t trust the carriers any more.