Friday, April 9, 2010

Saturday April 3 - Carpe Diem

The local homecare coordinator came to visit and meet you. She tells us what the homecare workers will do for you. We talk about a schedule and the costs. She explains the self-managed care program to you. This program requires that you are able to act as an employer. You hire and instruct the caregiver. You even over see the budgeting of money that is used to pay for the workers.

The coordinator tells you about the stroke that she had a few years ago. She is empathetic, organized and methodical and knows how things can go wrong and the pitfalls to watch for. I wonder how many of these skill and attributes are part of her and how many are acquired from her experience with a stroke. Regardless, these special skills will help you in your transition from hospital to home life.

I am very excited about this program. You will be able to find the right people or person for you and there will consistency for you and the family. I can imagine that in no time the workers will be family friends.

The rest of Saturday was a typical crazy Saturday. The weekly pattern of going to Halifax was starting to get to me. Now the activities that the children are involved in are starting to swell into a tidal wave. Being home makes it easier to keep them involved in their things.

This is a perennial problem, Just as activities, that started in Sept, are winding down, new summer ones start. This coincides with the beginning of the gardening season (my play time) and the busiest time of the year at work. One way or other, I will get through the next few months. It will be easier with you home and settled into a new routine.

Juanita took you shopping today. You are not a shopper by nature but you haven’t shopped in a long time and there are certain things you want that I won’t get for you. Cigarettes and lotto tickets. The children and I are busy baby sitting Maddie and Farley and zipping out to two singing practices.

In the afternoon when you get back with Juanita – Tara and Quinn and I go to the movie that I promised last weekend but couldn’t deliver because you didn’t want to see another movie. You are still in post traumatic stress syndrome from Avatar. It was painful to go to a movie in the middle of a beautiful day.

I am looking forward to the day that I don’t have to race from thing to thing.

Janice and Edwin and three of their girls come for a quick visit on the way home. I vent my frustration about the cigarettes to Janice. You overhear. So I ask you, point blank, “Did you buy any today?” “No” you said with a frustrated voice, “It seems that the thing I wanted to do the most gets forgotten. I got the lottery tickets but then Juanita did some fancy driving and we didn’t have time.”

I was pleased that you prioritized your shopping needs to include some Easter Bunny things that we will need for tomorrow over your smoking needs. You felt that the children should be spoiled by the Easter bunny this year. I was a little apprehensive about what you would get for them, especially since you went to the banking machine three times since yesterday.

You did well, You got some small chocolate eggs and a present for each of them. A Battleship game and a superball making kit. I thoroughly approved of the presents. You said that you liked Battleship when you were a kid and you could play that with them.

I’m very happy that you were thinking that way.

The money that you withdrew from the bank would have supplied several spoiled children for Easter. “What happened to the rest of the money?” I ask. You just smiled at me. “You’ll see.” You said cryptically. I guess I have to be patient. I have a hunch from discussions that we have had but I’ll wait and see.

“’Carpe Diem’ or ‘Seize the Day’ is what you want tattooed on your left arm. “It won’t hurt to put a tattoo there.” You said. I looked up ‘Carpe Diem’ and the actual phrase that it was used in by Horace, a Latin poet, is: “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future". I’m not sure that is a good thing to put on your arm.

As much as I think that this is an attitude to aspire to, I also have learned the value of having hope of the future. When I first read these words, I hear them from the prospective that ‘trusting as little as possible in the future’ was about having bad expectations.

Maybe one should look at it from the other 180 degrees too. We don’t know what is in the future … really. Rather then focus on the possibilities that aren’t real, we should focus on the realities of the moment. As I write this, I can see my thinking coming to circle about the mediation thing again.

After spending a lifetime thinking about the future and what could be, I can see that Carpe Diem is going to be hard to do.

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