Tuesday, March 11, 2014

As I See It

This morning, I went to my parents' house to interview a household-assistance provider. Having help around the home is a good way to enable my parents to remain in their own home, rather than having them move into assisted living.

I'm aware that there are differing schools of opinion on this topic - many of their friends have moved into assisted living facilities, as have Gregg's parents - but my own parents have always said that their preference is to stay in their home as long as possible. My maternal grandmother did the same thing, so we have a pattern from which to learn.
Last summer, when my father was experiencing a bout of illness, we were looking at different options, but by grace, he has made a recovery, had a good year, and they are still living on their own, with help coming in to provide yard work and take care of cleaning chores. Gregg and I do our best to relieve them of the responsibilities we can manage, and to make their life at home as easy as possible. That's the reason I went to see about a new provider today.

When I got to the house, I smelled propane (propane as it is delivered has no odor, but the supplier adds a scent so that a leak can be detected, if one should occur). I opened the front door to let in fresh air, called the propane company, and was asked to wait for their employee to arrive to check the tank and lines.

This wasn't in my original plan for the day. My parents thanked me profusely and apologized for the inconvenience, which I assured them was not a problem at all. 

As I waited, I took care of correspondence using my phone, went outside into the fresh air, and noticed the perfume of daphne odora which grows near their front door. The sun was beginning to appear through the fog. It was a warm spring morning on the shores of Puget Sound; I was in one of my favorite places on earth, and it was a pleasure to be there.
On the beach (with big sister Deb) in the 1960s
The household help interview did not yield anything useful, but the propane truck driver was kind and considerate. He tested the lines, found that all was well, and gave helpful advice. The dispatcher was courteous, efficient, and called back to check on our progress.

After I returned home, I thought about my parents' apologies and their generous thanks, and about the fact that it is my PRIVILEGE to be able to help my parents, rather than to be working full-time in a place where I do not have the freedom to get away, to be of assistance when it is needed.

I love my job. I especially love its variety. There are certainly days when tedium or frustration are present, when the work gets "undone" as soon as I finish doing it (as with housecleaning, dishes, laundry, bill-paying). Yet I know that I am performing these tasks with love and attention, with concern for my family's well-being, and with care. That gives it meaning, and invests the work with its own rewards.
I love the location of my work. 
The conditions and the view are unbeatable. 
Just look at this fog bank as it starts to dissipate over the water.

I have no complaints, and no need for apologies. As I see it, I am blessed.


AnnDeO said...

Just beautiful... I love that you have such a rich sense of history and 'roots'

Anonymous said...

I love this.

Carrie Link said...

I had a similar "conversation" with myself today, for all the same reasons! Blessed!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish my parents were still here to care for...

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the reminder -- to be thankful for all things, no matter how small or trivial.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I feel the same way. How lucky are we???
I'm so glad all went well with the propane worry. I have a feeling that with time and patience you will find someone perfect for the task of overseeing your parents chores. I too feel it would be so much better to be in my own home.
Love that childhood picture!

AnnDeO said...

Karen, my dear friend Leisa lost her 23 year old son on my Land's birthday. (As you so kindly describe as the effects of depression by suicide) He was a gentle talented sweet young man -- a close friend to both of my sons. When I found out I groaned with agony and sorrow. Leisa is so talented and gifted with a love of God and a faith that is unstoppable. I thought you may be interested in reading her blog as many of her thoughts and feelings remind me of you. And I find her writing comforting and wise like you.