Sunday, September 17, 2006

In My Life

In my life..... (title to use)
Listening to: Beatles A to Z; mood reflective albeit that's not a blasted OPTION
I was happy to discover the oldies station playing a weekends worth of Beatles. I enjoy them, think if days and nights with my late cousin, Dougie, every beat and nuance of some of those songs. I try to guess the next one to come up in their alphabetized songlist, hopeful to hear "my" Beatles song, "In my life, I'll love you more."
Great retreat, xyz. Fast forward from Friday night, to Sunday, midday driving home. More Beatles A to Z making me smile, this time I start hearing them in the A's and eventually into the C's. I wished to stop by the church, see the youth off the bus, say goodbyes, and gush to their parents just what wonderfully fine young men and women they have:)
We left later than planned, fine because the worship and morning needed to be what it was, but, later. I play options in my mind, nope, better go directly to the festival. I guessed correctly -- I hadn't wished to shift to my other life quite yet -- but the traffic around the festival was too heavy. Bright, sunny day, and people pouring in. I was the official female substitute for the day, for the coordinators knew of my conflict. I was in 3-4 dances, anyway, relieving others of too much overheating/dancing in too many.
It was fun, laughter, and seeing this hometown festival, full of such diversity. I'm happy to celebrate the different cultures there, strongly hispanic right there, many others, too. A bit of wandering, and then we chose a local spot for lunch. My bit of me time in the day, in the week, really, some adult "me" time, to be more specific. Just a sip of two different local brews. I like the one, Centennial. Perhaps another day when I got more than 2 hours sleep, (from the youth retreat), and am not in risk of dehydration.   The woman next to me is brought her food after mine, and sweet potato fries fell off.  "My plate is spilling over."   I smile, and gesture wide with my arms, "Yes, we are blessed, aren't we?  Look at all the food we have here to eat."   Never mind I borrowed $10. from a girlfriend of mine:) I can pay her back.

I leave instead of lingering with the core group, heading on to my father's. More Beatles!, great, oh and in the "I's" it seems...... maybe, "my" song? Only one song they have played is new to me. I like it, too. Another I thought was, but I recalled it later -- amusing one.
Dad remembered I would be later. He'd called me on Friday. Good. Asked me again why, not upset, just curious, and I also told him that M is away w/ her dad this weekend. He asks me these questions again later, "Where is M, so what did you do today?"

Dad has a stack of papers he's been holding in his hand. I'm glad I didn't come after the time I'd estimated. He doesn't get all anxious like his mother used to, but he does at least wait expectantly. There's a new grocery list he's written out. I'd almost memorized every smudge in the other one, every squiggle I had deciphered. This new one is neater, and I still add a few things, such as iced tea and diet coke with lime. He likes the regular coke, but I'm not so sure it's good on his teeth, with or without lime. My mother likes citrus, but my father LOVES fruits. I'm sure he's who M and I get it from, mostly.

He asks me about a property tax notice from April, "Did we take care of this?" (Actually a bit more complicated than that.) "We" weren't taking care of his things in April. I have no idea on this one.  A different part of this is that I'm to photocopy something and mail it back to him. He has the papers organized around his couch, the envelope waiting. Yet, I get his mail for him, lol, so guess I'll try to drop this photocopy and original back off. I'd brought in his mail, less the junk I took directly to the recycling, and the electric bill. It's in one of those "please pay soon or we may disconnect you" envelopes. I make a mental note to just write the check for that myself. On his list, after we talk about some other items, dad mentions the bills he's paid this month, including the electric for $411. He knows he paid this. I'm thinking I'll check.
He's started gathering some of the trash, but it's a bit sloppy and I fuss at first, but not for long. I'm too tired and whatever. I told him I hadn't been home since Friday and will have to recheck on those papers of his I have.  I have no idea on those, either, at the moment, my mind a blank.   I take out the old newspapers and iced tea bottles, with the new list. Getting into my truck, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed, remembering that my father HAD written out the electric check, and lawncare check, just that they'd gotten wet in his mailbox, and when I looked at looked at them after drying them out, I realized his handwriting was way too illegible for any automated post office machine to read. I had both in my file folder I keep of his current stuff, with intentions of making new envelopes and putting on new stamps.    Just, I'd forgotten.  I check the new electric bill -- yes -- overdue by $411, ugh.  How the heck can I do all of this for him, when I can't keep up with it straight. One Beatles song that's played is "I'm a loser." I know I'm not a loser, but some of the lyrics sing true.

Such high from the retreat, and the comaraderie with my dance group friends, now that feeling of ack, I failed again, I didn't remember, I didn't mail, I didn't..... keep up somehow.

"My" song comes on. Dougie wrote this one to me. "In My Life, I Love you More (or I'll love you more)." I haven't heard it since his memorial service, I don't believe. Memories, places, some changed, some the same, some dead. I just cry.
I'm okay in the store, back with a purpose, back on a routine. The list needs new deciphering, but it's clearer.  They've moved one item and I'm not sure I got the right one. I know this store very well, what aisle is where. There is comfort in that, I find. Beef stew is fresh on Sundays, and he has that listed. At least he writes all the fruit first, mostly, as that's the first area. Not vegetables, just fruit and a lot of it, always. How did I miss cantaloupe?
I had to take a quick break, and then coming from the other side of the store confuses me. I'm way too tired. I try to figure out what he means by candy: almonds and spearmint leaves, and where they'd be. They are out of spearmint leaves candies, but I get him gumdrops which I know he also likes. I found almonds in the baking section..... I call him. I know he's on the couch, I saw his phone by him. He doesn't answer and can't figure out how to get messages, besides, it now asks for a password which either no one has, or my absent brother has. Jordan almonds I guess, but can't find in the Halloween candy aisle, either. So many new decisions, I try to get the items on sale, I try to get things that'll work best for him. Somehow I'm a space cadet today with it, but get it done. I go back to the produce aisles, thinking what M and I will like, and try to find the cantaloupe I finally figure out they are completely out of today.  

Dad's waiting there for me, on the couch, pen in hand, the check for me made out all but the cost.  When I put the cart back, I thought of my father, how I'd get upset because he wouldn't return them. I realize now, he was holding on to the cart for balancing. His big outing, to return the cart meant walking to the car without support, or with his broom handle (ack) as his walking stick's too short. I'd return the carts for him, but I understand more now.
He no longer goes, too. So, he has this routine, waiting for me with the television off. I've explained checkcards to him many times. He knows I have one for his account, but then he no longer quite understands that, even if he knows I"m on his account. The concept of VISA-checkcards / debit cards is apparently too tricky. The first time, he kept saying, "So, I don't owe you anything?" "No, dad. It came right out of your account." And I'd reexplain it. Three times ago, it just didn't work.  Dad needed his routine. He needed to feel he's paying for his things that I pick up for him. He couldn't get past the idea that he didn't have to write me out a check, reimbursing me. So I let him, but I tore it up later. Last week and today, same thing. I'd bought him his groceries and such, with the checkcard I have for HIS account, his things are paid for, but he felt he must write me out the check, so fine. It's less stressful and it helps him keep track. 

I make a point to socialize some, too. I tossed out items in his refrigerator. I'd bought more juice, it was on the list ALWAYS, but I know by now to check there first and I had not today. Juice = good, milk = bad. He has new of both, so new juice = in the freezer:)  He asked me two or three times for the Ritz crackers.   I told him he'd put pumpernikel bread down, not crackers, so that's what I'd gotten.  He alters what he likes with his slicable cheese.   I tell Dad about the real nice, new cashier, who was surprised to find holes in the swiss cheese, which amuses him.   He used to know every worker at that store, asks sometimes if I know that Betty has retired.   He still has a book for Jim, who must have switched days, but I've known him from there over 15 years I'm sure, good man, he's given me his # in case my father needs something sometime.

I ask Dad about getting a plumber in; I'm thinking maybe someone from my church.
I don't like the leak. I note mentally that I'd be happy to accept help for it from anyone of any ethnic background -- ironically b/c of our retreat topic but that's another entry. I miss his housecleaner, who was so good to him and socialized with him, also. He'd tell me for months, "Robin, she's going to cut my hair."  But, she has a new #, and we've lost it. Maria has children, but my father mixes up the ages and genders, so I am unable to keep it straight myself. I made sure he had a Christmas gift for her, etc..
Anyway, Da
d says he's going to call Sears about the leak. I'm thinking, and how will he pay for this? but not worried right then, maybe his old Sears card is still able to be reactivated. I know I"m tired -- it's not until I'm driving home that I realize that he INTENDS to call Sears, but he never will. He doesn't have the #, and he won't remember to call.

Dad scratches his leg, and I ask him if he can wash up in the sink ever, when a shower is too much.  He says he's going to take a shower. He's coherent; I think he will, yes, really. I'll have to check, though, I suppose.   I get him to change his shirt before I leave. It's less stressful for him to do that then, and not when he's anxiously awaiting me there at my first arrival. "Long sleeve or short, Dad?" "Short, I think." The pile of clean clothes is still on the one chair, but that's okay.  There's a Beatles shirt:) I'd forgotten. From a summer clearance sale at Target. He always liked them, too. Abbey Road on a black background. I tell him I've been in a Beatles mood, and he talks about the Beatles record collection he used to have and gave to me.
Home. I wanted to be asleep around 7pm!, but, instead, that's when I get home, somewhat. Daisy and home:) Wendy was a dear and watched Daisy again, just 1 1/2 days so that's good.  Yesterdays newspaper IS inside, and I root quickly -- I'd heard that Amy had an article in there on her, and I find it, the photo of her and her dad who'd tried to rescue her.  I'd called M earlier, enroute to the festival, on her cell and at C's home. Still no response tonight. I'd just like to chat with her, is that so bad? UGH. No child support yet, either.
Control, control. I am not going to get it get to me, though. I put the (horse) polos in the wash earlier, and need to add softener, need to unpack (albeit that'll wait). M asked me Friday if I'd please wash the polos for Monday, if I had time, PULLEEZE. Light blue, naturally they get dirty when it's been rainy out. I was dropping her off to school, reminding her they might have been washed already if she'd have brought them INSIDE from the truck:)
I'm not sad or upset, just reflective now. I'm fine. I do love The Beatles, though:) I'm glad they were on this weekend. YAWN I should sleep soon zzzzzzzzzzzz
In my life, I'll love you more............

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