Dear Mom: June 11th


Dear Mom,

It's June 11th; dad's 87th birthday.  I don't know if he remembers that.  I DO know that if I say it's June 11th, he'll know.  Or at least he did yesterday when I told him.  He even knew how old he was going to be.  That, I suppose, is a good thing.

As I did last year, I specifically came down here to commemorate this birthday.  (I can't say celebrate because that's not exactly right.)  I drove down yesterday morning.  I saw him in the morning and he was doing relatively well. (Isn't everything relative these days?)  He sleeps a lot.  I'm guessing that's because they've got him on pain medication.  I'm torn because I want him to be comfortable, but in some ways this seems like a step back.

When they came in to clean him up, I left.  (Although it was at least 45 minutes between when the cart with supplies arrived outside his door and the actual process starting to take place.)  I headed to Walmart to pick up some things.  I guess I am my father's daughter because he LOVED going to Walmart (or at least this particular Walmart).  I picked up a few things I needed (like pink plates and napkins for a party I'm having Friday night...let's hope the weather is good so that we can be outside, because I haven't cleaned the house in way too long and I don't want to show off the mess that the house is), but mostly things I didn't.  I got dad a balloon that said, "Happy Birthday."  I don't know if it was really for him or for me.  (Or to just let the staff know that it was his birthday.)

Back at the house, I had quite a few things to do.  Like writing a check for an invoice that is due Tuesday, but I know did not arrive until this week.  (It wasn't here last Saturday.)  I walked it up to the mailbox by the post office (since it was closed), but they don't pick up there until Monday afternoon.  So it's not getting to its location by Tuesday, but I hope the postmark will suffice.

I walked into the Dancing Crab.  Still full of overpriced (but nice) stuff.  I think there are some items/toys that came from the five and ten that used to be next door. (Which is now an empty lot...another part of my childhood torn down.)  There was a clock that would be perfect for the house (since the one in the kitchen died), but the price...will I go back and get it?  Ummm...maybe.  

There is another new "boutique" ( that I checked out.  How many boutiques can you squeeze into this small town?  Even with all the money that seems to get thrown around (where is it coming from?  Why don't I have it?), will these places survive?

I walked down to the yacht club to see Steve (the manager).  He's the only real reason I would go.  I just wanted to say hello.  Sure enough the bar was open and drinks were being served.  You would be disgusted.  It may say "yacht club" but as you said, it is really a drinking club.  The money generated, I'm sure, keeps the place afloat.

I finally went back to see Dad.  They were supposedly doing wound care, but when I went into the room it seemed to have been put on pause.  (I've been told because they needed to wait for a special nurse.)  I covered dad up a bit and sat while he slept.  A good hour or so passed with no one coming in, so I eventually went to the nurse’s station and asked (which is how I found out that they were waiting for a specialized nurse).  When they finally came in, I think I had been there for nearly 2 hours.

I left then, and wondered if I should have stayed?  Should I get a glimpse of these wounds that have been hounding him for 6 months?

I ended up going BACK to Walmart because I had forgotten that I wanted to see if they had a shoe rack that I could hang over a closet door. (The one I have broke.) They did and I bought that and a frozen meal for dinner.  That and a couple of glasses of wine should have been enough to lull me to sleep, but it wasn't.

I set an alarm for this morning at 6:30. I didn't need it; I was up by 5:30. (WHY?)  I wanted to make sure I had enough time to make it to the first service of the season at St. Simon by the Sea.  Today's service was run by The Very Rev. Timothy Kimbrough (or as dad and you know him:  Timmy.)  Although I've been attending Church of the Holy Spirit at their 8 AM quiet service since Covid came into our lives (and then running to First Pres for the 10:15 service.  I think this makes me a Presbypalian or maybe an Episcoterian?) this is definitely different than what I am used to.  Very "old school" (or as you would say, "Catholic light").  I still get lost in the Book of Common Prayer! I thought it was important to go on this day.  Did I do it for myself?  Did I do it for dad?

I intend on going to see dad soon.  I'm going to pick up a chocolate donut for his birthday.  (That's what he said in his own way that he'd like.)  I'll admit I'm reluctant to go.  This day has started out nice and I'd really just like to sit on the deck and read.  Maybe even go to the beach for a walk. (I come down here every weekend and I so rarely go to the beach.)  That feels selfish.  Am I too selfish?  Or do I need to be more selfish and take care of ME?  It's a question I won't ever have an answer for.

So maybe I'll just do a quick walk and then head over.  I've got to pack up beforehand and head home from there.  It's going to be another busy week; less than 2 weeks until James' graduates.  There are so many events, banquets, ceremonies...Yes, I DO need some me time.  I think you would agree.

I miss you.




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