Tuesday, January 22, 2008

For Your Consideration

I got back from Florida on Sunday.

I love my dad and stepmom. It saddens me to witness the deterioration they are experiencing. When I arrived at RSW in Ft. Myers last Thursday the folks had driven out to the airport to meet me. Dad apparently had gone to park the car and sent mom in to find me. She found me, alright, but then couldn't remember where she had left Dad. We wandered around for what seemed hours. I asked her repeatedly if she had come down from another level. She couldn't remember.

Eventually we spotted Dad driving around and hailed him to pull over. Later I gently suggested to dad that they both get cellphones and learn how to use them and always carry them.

Physically, though, mom's in pretty good shape. It's dad that's physically falling apart. It takes him 2 or 3 minutes just to haul himself out of a chair. He's in pain. A lot. But he sucks it up and acts like everything is fine. Now I know where I get it.

Don't let anybody kid you. It's just as much nature as nurture. I didn't even know my dad until I was an adult. And yet still we have much in common, aside from good looks and our full heads of hair.

Every day was Groundhog Day, with morning discussions about where we were going to have lunch that day. We'd leave around 12:30. We'd be home by 3:00. I learned to love watching "Monk" on USA. I'd never seen it before. I channel-surfed a lot and went to a 12-Step meeting every day. Dad was very generous to me with the use of his big-assed Chevy van.

The trip back to the airport on Sunday was about as bad as the trip on Thursday. This time Dad totally missed the exit for the "Departures" deck and headed into the lower-level "Arrivals" area, instead. And despite my repeated requests for him to stop near the escalator up to the check-in level he drove to the last baggage carrel for Jet Blue. Where I had arrived on Thursday. Despite my sprained ankle I schlepped my baggage back for half a terminal and lugged it upstairs (the escalator wasn't working) to check-in.

I've never been so grateful to leave Florida.

When I got home there were beaucoups envelopes from the Screen Actors Guild containing "screening copies" of DVD's of most of the films up for SAG awards. I'd already seen most of them, but there were a few I haven't seen yet. I plan to watch them this week.

My friends are pea-green with envy that I get "screeners." I assured them that this isn't like being a Member of the Academy (AMPAS), and that I won't be in aisle 3, with my own seat-filler, when the SAG awards are broadcast this coming Sunday, the 27th.

Still, it was kind of exciting to see the envelope stuffers that all began:

"For Your Consideration"

But then, there seems to be no end of things for me to "consider" these days. Most of which isn't good.


Alan said...

glad to hear you are home safe.

Bev Sykes said...

Yeah, the 'rents are falling apart. W is in SB this week w/his mother, who seems to just be wearing out, piece by piece. Very sad. But she's 94...what can we expect?

I did Groundhog day w/my mother.

But I guess it's better than the alternative.

Welcome home--you were missed.

JoyZeeBoy said...

Thanks you two. It really is nice to be back, even to the deep-freeze we flew into on Sunday.

There's something deep inside all of us, I think, which clings to the hope that mom and dad will always be mom and dad and make all the grown-up decisions for us and nurture and care for us.

Our inner Peter just wants to live on the Island of Lost Children and play Pirates for the rest of his life.

Wouldn't that be lovely?