This ‘n That

Life has been extremely busy, yet slow – does that even make sense?  Let me explain:

Since Pamela’s wedding, we have had Mother’s Day, Bill’s birthday, Arulai’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Kenny’s birthday, Daddy’s birthday (89!), and a friend’s wedding.  But on a day-in, day-out basis, I have been going to work my 4 hours a day and coming home to be with Daddy and Mama each day.  Being with Dad and Mom mostly consists of sitting with them, trying to engage them in conversation, attending to their [very few] needs, cooking supper, and watching the Astros each night with Daddy.

Getting Dad and Mom’s meals is probably the most trying part of my day.  Neither of them have much of an appetite, and both have become such picky eaters!  Dad will just say he’s not very hungry when he doesn’t want what I’ve fixed.  I can most always get him to eat a bite or two of the undesired dinner, so I don’t worry too much about him.

This is not always the case with Mama.  My Mama is not well known for her tact, and aging has not improved this quality at all!  As with most characteristics in the elderly, her outspokenness has been enhanced with age!  There are times when Mama doesn’t want what I’ve fixed for supper, so she will attempt to take a bite, and, with a descriptive shudder, say, “I just can’t eat this!”

It used to hurt my feelings every time, but now I just do her like I used to my kids and tell her that’s all we have, so if she doesn’t want it she can have a bread and butter instead.  It’s not that I don’t try to fix them what they like for dinner.  But neither one of them are able discern their own tastes anymore.  I have cut out many recipes that Bill and I enjoy, and many of the things Mama used to fix when we were kids.  They just don’t like them anymore.

I read an article from Rachael Ray recently encouraging caregivers to provide variety, even gourmet, meals for their elderly dependents.  I’d love to provide variety (no possibility of gourmet food from me!), and I think they think they would like variety.  But in reality, they will only eat the same few meal items – and sometimes I’m hard pressed to get Mama to enjoy anything at all.

I hope this doesn’t sound like a complaint.  I’m truly not complaining – I just think it is so sad for them.  My family has always enjoyed food – we celebrate even the smallest occasion with a feast!  Other than myself, my family is full of great cooks!  (I’m not a terrible cook, and I have a couple of recipes I do well, but I’m not at all a good cook.)  So it is very sad to have Daddy and Mama just “put up with” meal times.    At least Daddy’s summer tastes are different than his winter tastes.  If I served one more pot of Chicken and Dumplings to my very patient husband, I think he would have moved back home!

One recent blessing for Bill and I has been Nathanael and Emily’s care for Dannye Reigh.  Of course, she can certainly take care of herself, but since Pamela is gone we have hated the knowledge that Dannye is in our house all alone all the time.  Dan’s full-time job is caring for children in our home, so she truly stays home all day, five days a week at least.  I’m not there to keep up with grocery needs, etc. so I worry about her eating habits.  Dannye is a protector – she doesn’t purposely add anything that might be a burden to Bill or me – and she is not a complainer.  So I know she goes days eating only PBJ sandwiches (or such) before I find out she’s out of food in the house!!! 

Recently, Emily told me that they are including Dannye in their mealtimes when Dan wants to.  Emily loves to cook (I told you we are a family that loves food!) so it works for everyone!  What a blessing for this worried Mommy!

I know this is long and rambling – if you got this far you are either a good friend or very bored! 

God bless your weekend!


About pettybunch

I am loved with God's everlasting love, and underneath are His everlasting arms - and I haven't gotten over it yet! I am also blessed to be married for over 36 years to the man of my dreams, and have 3 incredible adult children, an amazing son-in-law, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. I am a retired Home Educator, and loved every moment of it! We are empty nesters, and are endeavoring to embrace this new phase of life. God is so good!
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6 Responses to This ‘n That

  1. Bettyeboop says:

    Well, I am neither; I am your sister, and I loved reading every word.  I laughed about Chloe’s reaction to some of your meals.  That’s Chloe, all right.  And you definitely know by now not to take her seriously.  It just comes out because her mouth happens to be open. ha  When Dad enjoys something to excess, like chicken and dumplings, keep some for him and heat him up a bowl when you serve Bill other food.  Scooter and I rarely ever have the same food any more.  He grills what he wants and I open soup or heat a panina or make a sandwich.  I finally have gotten used to a life almost devoid of meat.  It only took 26 years. ha  That’s great of Nate and Em to include Dan in their dinners.  She is already too much of a hermit.  You know, if you fix a real meal for you and Bill, have something on hand for Dad and Chloe (something easy that you have saved) and if you offer them a choice of what you and Bill are having or the other, they just might want what you are having.  You know how “children” are?  Just a thought.  But remember, you can only cater to them so much as far as food goes.  You and Bill have to have some enjoyment of your meals or you will eventually find it harder and harder to prepare anything for them.  I love you and all you do and the way you continually put yourself last.  But I wish you wouldn’t always do that.  Oh, did Daddy get my card?

  2. pettybunch says:

    @Bettyeboop – Just got your card today – he was so grateful for the gift!  That is one thing he misses more than anything in his dependence on others – his “stash”.I’m grilling pork chops tonight – that’s one meal all four of us enjoy!!!I love you, too, and was just waiting to hear from you!

  3. Bettyeboop says:

    I don’t understand.  I mailed that card the middle of the week before his birthday!  Actually, it was that Wednesday, for sure.  I can’t imagine why it took that long for it to get there.  I was so very proud of myself for mailing his card so very early!  I thought he might like a little green in his wallet. ha

  4. Abbiegirl says:

    I’m so glad that Em and Nate are able to help ( you out) by helping Dannye out, i’m greatful shes such a help and Blessing to you guys. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!miss and love you!abs

  5. AuntGen says:

    I am so sorry that you are having such a difficult time getting Mom and Dad to eat.  I am not having to deal with the delima of what they are “hungry for” now that I am mostly the light, easy meal preparer.  Since Dad still loves his breakfast as much as ever, that decision is already made, no matter what time he rouses (?) from his bed.  Mom truly does eat pretty much whatever I fix for her lunch, but we both know why that is.  Real often, I reheat whatever she shuddered at the night before and she doesn’t even remember that she didn’t like it. 🙂  I know that you know this, but I am praying for you and for Bill and am so very thankful for the sacrifice that you both are making and for the grace that God gives you every day to make it.  I pray also that I can be more help to you instead of adding to the burden that you carry.  I love you SO MUCH!  Gen

  6. pettybunch says:

    @AuntGen – Most of the time, our new life doesn’t even feel like a sacrifice – truly!  And you are never a burden – you are a blessing!

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