2. Visiting my mother and father and bringing them basil and tomatoes and zucchini from our garden. They are always so appreciative. I appreciate them. My father says I have a green thumb like his father but I always appreciated the tomatoes he grew and the lettuce and basil he brought us when he tended a garden.
3. My father’s memory is no longer so good. I know it frustrates him, not being able to recall the names of people, places, and things, sometimes. You’ll experience it one day too, he told me. It’s humbling to hear this.
4. My mother is quite cheerful and I know it’s hard for her to manage my dad as well as things for herself. His stubbornness, which I think served him well at different times in life, makes it hard. Only occasionally have I tried to imagine myself in his shoes or in her shoes.
5. I try to cherish each visit and give them my full attention and as much time as I can. My mother offers me lemonade and then ice cream. She shouldn’t wait on me. Maybe it pleases her. It’s her house. She’s working tomorrow at the library, which she does one Saturday a month. It seems to please her also but often tires her. Otherwise, she manages their doctors’ appointments, calls in people to fix things, and keeps the house running. They don’t ask much from me even though I would implore them to. My mother asks me to look at the computer and I try what I can to fix it, and she’s pretty savvy about that too, except I think she has trouble seeing the little icons and “x”s and such.
6. I don’t know how many more visits I will have with them. Each one matters, but I cannot ask for perfection from any of us. They are in their eighties and healthy and strong. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to me either.
7. As I approached the house along the sharp incline from the drive way, spread before me was the vast green lawn (which I used to tear up playing baseball with my friends,) the surrounding pine trees, the flowers my father planted which I had sent to him monthly, and those parts of the yard with the sunlight on them. I could enjoy this, I thought, sitting out here, even once.