Giving care

We went to see my friend last night before her surgery and to take the first delivery of food. I made the arrangements to be at the hospital and to be at her house Thursday night or Friday when she gets home. Her son is a good and responsible boy, but he's a boy. And, even though she protests, I can see the little glimmer of happiness that there will be another adult around to help take care of her. This is how our relationship has always been. If I need anything, I turn around and there she is, without me having to ask. But, if she needs help, I have to push to get her to let me. About 20 years of that back and forth.

But, it's Way Back Wednesday and I'm going to try to repeat a story in the same words my Mama used to tell it to me. So, while this is not an exact quote, it is as close as I can get to a story I heard more than once.

When you were born, they didn't tell me what it would be like. Nobody knew about post partum depression. But, I couldn't do anything. Your Nanny (the pet name for my grandmother) came over early one morning, just after your Daddy left for work.

By 10 o'clock, she had you bathed and dressed and fed and back to bed, she'd changed my sheets, cooked lunch, all the laundry was washed, dried, and put away, the floors swept and mopped, dishes done, and supper on the stove.

"What happened after that, Mama?"

She went home to take care of your Papaw and her own chores.

Okay, so that's a lot of caregiving to live up to, but in all my life, that's been the standard.

Just shows that the little stories you tell your kids do affect the rest of their lives. Such a short story, but how many people over the years have received care that I could measure against that standard. I've tended the dying and the sick and the post surgical, all with that same level of quiet efficiency.

And, today, I'll do it again, starting with the hospital waiting room, where I'll sit for hours. Then, to the room, where I'll quietly read. I probably won't go back to the hospital because I loathe hospital time...I've done too much of it and hospital time passes like it's tied to a weight. But, when she's home, there I'll be, quiet and sewing and washing and sweeping and warming up food and washing dishes and I'll be there until I'm sure she can walk well enough to be alone. At that point, I'm sure she'll be absolutely sick of the sight of my face.

And then I'll come home and do my own chores.

So, if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, it will be because I'm busy. But, I'll be back. You know I will. So, until we meet on the web again...where are my dishwashing gloves???



Hazel said...

What a wonderful caring friend you are .I've learned in life what we give comes back and you my friend deserve to be blessed .

Becky said...

Lane, you are wonderful! I am sure the friend knows that very well! Thank you for being so special and for letting me call you friend.....even if it is cyber. I wish I could give you a great big hug for being such a thoughtful and caring person! Becky

Piece by Piece said...

Lane, you are a wonderful friend. I know, first hand how s..l..o..w.. time can pass while visiting in the hospital. I have been up to the hospital with OH five plus hours everyday for the past eleven days and no end in sight yet.

lw said...

Good for you , Lane! And thanks so the memories-- my mother did exactly what your Nanny did-- came over, bathed the baby, cleaned up the house and left a casserole baking the oven before she went home to cook and clean for Dad and the three siblings still living at home. What a blessing she was-- and you are!

Coloradolady said...

Lane, you are an amazing friend and person...you deserve all the finest this life can give....be sure to take care of yourself too.....sending good wishes for your friends speedy recovery.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

You are truly one of the most lovely people I "know". You are an amazing friend indeed.

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful way to spend your time. I hope that Karma has something really nice in store for you.

xo -E

Shirleymac said...

What a wonderful person you are Lane, but I already could tell that. Your friend is certainly blessed to know you. My mother was a caregiver also and what a wonderful example that is to grow up with. And you in turn will be an example for Sydney.

Vesuviusmama said...

You are a good person, Lane. You remind us of it in little ways nearly every time you post. I envy the people who know you in real life.