A Simple Break

Meet Sister K.

Today Sister K and I met up for “lunch.” I say “lunch” because this consisted of meeting for TCBY yogurt and then walking down the street for a McDonalds iced tea. But regardless it lifted my spirits. It perked me up. It always does. I was making fun of her in her backpack with umbrella and water bottle. So I snapped a picture, using Sister K’s iPhone. My poor blackberry photo quality is limited.

A simple lunch break. A simple pleasure. Right now life is a little upside down. But we can meet for a moment and do something simple. Simple and cheap. Sitting on a bench. She asked if I’d talked to Dad. I asked if she’d talked to Mom. We compared notes. We seem to do a lot of this lately. We talk to each of our parents separately. Then we compare notes. We give each other updates. Did Mom sound happy? Did Dad sound overwhelmed? How did Mom say the doctor went? How did Dad say the doctor went?

I told her I called Dad this morning. I told her I had started calling him in the mornings to check on him on my way to work. Not really sure why, but I am wondering if it will become a habit. Sister K told me I am turning into our “family manager.” In some ways I feel like I am. I feel like all of our roles are changing a bit. I have noticed changes in Sister K, noticed changes in Dad, even noticed changes in Mom. There is a subtle and quiet evolution going on within the walls of our family. Each of us picking up new responsibilities, settling into shifted roles, figuring out how we can help, etc.

One new thing I started doing this week is trying to help Dad from far away. I know I can’t be there physically to help him with everything but it occurred to me I could make phone calls and help with little administrative tasks. I made a phone call about getting Mom’s doctor to request her medical records, I followed up on some airline flights, I got a question answered from our house title company, I even helped Sister K fill out her W-2 form for her new job so Dad didn’t have to worry about it. I think people may look at me like I am crazy or think my family is helpless. This is not the case at all. These things make me feel useful. They make me feel like I am doing something. Like I am helping in some way. If I can’t be there physically at least I can help take some things off Dad’s plate right now so he has less to worry about besides Mom. The moments I feel the most crazy in my mind are the moments when I feel absolutely helpless. I am learning the best way for me to deal with this is to feel useful- no matter how large or small the task may seem.

Do you struggle when you feel like there is nothing you can do to help in a situation? Do you ever assist your family in administrative tasks that may seem odd to others? Do you enjoy frozen yogurt as much as Sister K and me?

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