by Ginnie Horst Burkholder
Living constantly with loss, coupled with the ever-increasing responsibility of caregiving, pulls me off balance and gives me the feeling of being in limbo.
On June 28, I journaled, “I miss him, but he is here. I am homesick, but I am at home.”
A few days later I wrote, “I want to be coddled, but I am the coddler. I want to be catered to, but I am the caterer. I want to be with someone, but I already am. And he is not here.”
Somewhere during this time our son Eric called from his home six hours away and said he was coming for a few days, and that I should make a list of things to do. Then he said that Kay was coming too. So far we had only heard about his girlfriend Kay. Now we were about to meet her. “Oh yes,” he said. “She wants to take over the kitchen. Are there any special diet requirements?”
Cooking is not my favorite thing to do, so I was happy to give her the kitchen. “Tell her I will clean up if she does the cooking.” I cleaned out the refrigerator, scrubbed up the stove in anticipation, and hoped the kitchen was adequate.
They arrived, and in no time we felt Kay belonged. She not only went for the groceries, she also cooked three meals a day. For four days we did not see a box of dry cereal. After meals, when I would step up to the sink to begin clean up, she would send me away. When there was a spare hour between meal preparations, she searched me out and wanted to help. I was trimming our 195-foot hedge. I have done it so often it is like a bad habit. I don’t like doing it, but I do it easily. She offered to take over. Nothing would dissuade her. I handed over the trimmers and walked away to freedom from the hot sun and found the porch swing. Now this was definitely coddling.
In the meantime Eric did repairs; scraped, primed, and painted the railings and banisters of two porches; and then in a surprise move — it wasn’t even on our list — cleaned the workbench in the garage. It seemed I was being catered to by a superman who bore a strong resemblance to the Nelson I once knew.
In the evenings we would sit on the grass or porch and play with the kitten they call “Oscar” or “Baby” or “Fuzzball.” Kay would try to get Oscar to sit in Nelson’s lap or show her concern for “Eric’s dad” in other small ways. We would laugh together at kitty antics and pass the time in easy conversation and good company. The homesickness was gone.
I might have suspected someone was eavesdropping or reading my journal. But I know that didn’t happen. Or then again, maybe it did. Someone did read my journal: Someone who prompts the very best in people, Someone who answers prayers.
© 2007 Ginnie Horst Burkholder
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Author: Ginnie | Cat: Ginnie's Journal | Time: 8:57 pm (UTC+8) Comments (2)