I have tried to chronicle the parents’ visit and plan to post something a little different each day for the next week. Hopefully in that time I will have some pix ready to post.
Day 1 of my parents’ visit
The folks made it in okay. My mom looks so much like my grandma that it’s just like seeing a ghost. It’s only been a year since they were here last, but it looks like they’ve aged 10. One of my (many) favorite bloggers, Skunkfeathers, seems, sometimes, to have a fascination with time travel. The way the old folks looked it felt to me as if I had traveled 10 years into the future and they had to stay and grow old naturally. They were in wheelchairs because they could never make the long trips around the airports. By the way, why do the guys that push them expect a tip? Isn’t this part of their duties? A waitress only makes $2.56 and hour, plus tips, so you are literally robbing her when you don’t tip decent, but do these guys not get paid to do their job? I didn’t tip them, but when I got home and asked Margaret she said she always does. I guess I should have, but there’s nothing to be done for it now.
Anyway, the two younger girls and I went to pick them up in the airport. The flight was 20 minutes early, but it took a while before we finally saw them coming, my mom looking like my grandma and my dad looking…old. Maybe wine is better aged, but I was shocked at how old he really seemed this time. He looked and seemed like an 80 year old man. They were talking about the behavior of a child they had seen in the airport.
“You know Dorothy, my ma would never have put up with that tantum (sic) throwing.”
“That was just awful.”
“If I would have been out somewhere and would have thrown myself down kicking and crying like that my ma would have given me something to kick and cry about.”
“Yeah, yeah. They don’t do nowadays like they did years ago.”
“That little girl needed a spanking. My ma would have whipped that tantum right out of her and she would have had a reason to cry.”
“It was different than that other little baby on the plane.”
“Well, she was just crying. Maybe she was scared or something.”
Hugs all around when they get up close. One of the girls took my mom’s little carry-on bag. Then we went down to the baggage claim.
My brother and his girlfriend let them borrow “One of those nice, fancy suitcases that have the wheels” and they found one to match at the Goodwill in Plover, WI. Nondescript of itself, I knew what to look for. Masking tape, a piece made about 3″ x 5″, printed in my Dad’s perfect handwriting. One printed in perfect block letters, the other with that perfect penmanship he has always had. Even at 80, it is only slightly shakier, he takes a lot of time to write something, but it is very neat. Maybe I can scan a copy.
Mom is a little more quiet than usual. Usually by now she has made several complaints, some real, some psychosomatic, but now she almost didn’t complain.
“Herbie, can you believe it?”
“Your dad is 80 years old and he went flying on an airplane.”
“He did last year, and he was 79.”
When we got to the house mom took her four-pronged cane, which my dad calls her “four-iron” and headed for the stairs. Dad started up the hill, but not with the long sure strides I always remembered, but baby steps. The 80 year old shuffle: Taking one of the girls’ hands for balance; watching every step; looking down to see where his foot would go next; and sometimes stopping and stepping down a couple of times to make sure it was a sturdy enough spot that would hold him. I’ve never seen him like that.
Mom made her slow way up the stairs and one of the girls gave her a hand up. They are used to doing that with Grandma Pike. Being the only driver, I went and got Lizzy and Douglas while Ben and Isabel and Savannah came over, then I had to run to Sam’s and King Soopers. I came back to an UNO game going full-blast with everyone in it.
One thing was noticeably absent from last year or other visits. The bickering that would almost always end up in:
“You better behave yourself Dorothy or I’ll put you in the nursing home.”
“I’ll put YOU in the nursing home.”
Guess it just ain’t funny no more.
Remember, The Good Book says, “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.”