Every day brings new challenges. I try to tackle one at a time, and move on to the next. If you finish one thing, you have more focus for the next. Sounds good, right? I wish! I’m more like the juggler at the circus! I don’t think my folks realize how demanding they are. My father is a very social person, and needs to be the center of attention all the time. If anyone comes to the house, he will regale them with tales of past exploits, many of which may be embellished greatly. I’m sure there is a kernel of truth in every story, but he can’t help but try to make it into “Homer’s Odyssey” as it were.
My mother has always been a very independent person. She grew up in a very poor household, and her father was away from home for weeks at a time as he worked in the woods of Maine as a logger. In those days, the oldest daughter had many responsibilities. She took on a large portion of the household duties. Growing up in that era forced her to be very strong, physically and mentally. She has never backed away from hard work. Now that she is much weaker, it’s been hard for her to depend on others for help. She understands the need, but expects you to do as she did. She’s not one to put things off, so many times she expects you to “jump right on it ” when she has something to be done. I bet my sister is smiling as she reads this. She knows what I mean.
Don’t misunderstand, I willingly provide the help my folks need. They are my parents after all. They put their lives on hold when they took care of us, their children. If your a parent, you know what they went through. What’s a few years from my life compared to what they did for me? I fear many people these days don’t feel the same way. The breakdown of the family in today’s society I fear will lead to a multitude of problems for this country. The whole “Me First” attitude of allot of young people is a slap in the face to all those who have sacrificed so much for what they have. It makes me sad to see it every day.
I know my remaining time with my folks is short. Their health is poor and getting worse. My currant lifestyle may be demanding, but I feel it’s doing me some good. I think I am learning to be more patient and considerate of others. I have been one of the “Me First” people. I put myself above others for many years. I see now the value in helping others.
So now I take each day as it comes. I face every problem with thoughts of sailing along the Florida Keys, maybe stopping for lunch in a small cove by a deserted beach. Not a soul around. Just the sounds of the water slapping the boat and a few gulls fighting over an empty crab shell. I feel my spirits lifted just thinking about it. We all have our “Val Halla” in our minds. This just happens to be mine. Every morning I remind myself, don’t lose sight of your goals.