Saturday, December 4, 2010

If You Needed Me

I'm back from my trip to Tucson. Back from caring for my Little Sid after her hip surgery. In the midst of all that, my father became very worn down and his blood pressure sky-rocketed up so I had a trip into the emergency room with him too. His BP went from 140 to 257 and back down to 88 in one afternoon. It was very, very touch and go and his heart could have stopped working at any time. We were very lucky. He was looking something straight in the eyes and I was a blind wreck. The next week after my mother was released from rehab she also had an unrelated scare and I escorted her through a pretty horrible experience for a woman with dementia which was a whole morning and afternoon of tests, prodding and probing of her private parts. She struggled to pull out her IV among other things. It broke my heart to see her so uncomfortable and confused. There was so much that I saw and I guess not exactly fitting for a food blog but needless to say, the trip changed my outlook on life. So now I'm back here in Brooklyn and my actual life hasn't changed but it looks different. I wonder now how to make sense of it. I will be much more in tune with my folks and their needs, their current condition and daily changes. I hope to be a better daughter and sister and partner.

For months I've been praying for some sort of purpose instead of all this mindless day to day nothingness. I ride my bike to a job that I cannot form any type of mental erection for although I'm grateful for it. You have to be careful what you wish for. I've been pretty lucky in that I've always come to forks in the road and there were many choices, lots of exciting and stimulating options. I don't even know if I'm on a road now, more like a ditch.

But this isn't about my sad sack lack of direction. Its about how food fits in to the equation and it does and it did on this trip. I came and saw immediately the need for some good homemade chicken soup with lots of rich broth for my dad since he was weak and couldn't cook for himself at the time. I made the pork sweet potato cumin stew and included lots of fresh corn and green beans. My mother wasn't eating well at the rehabilitation facility and I could see she was overwhelmed by huge plates. Big forks, large mounds of meat, vegetables and potatoes, pie, coffee, iced tea, shakes. She needed a banana and maybe a small plastic cup of milk. She needed to be warm and calmed. She likes toast with jelly or a small piece of pie. My little Sid is a blessing, she's a delicate flower. I wanted to fire everyone at that place and bundle her up and carry her out of there but I couldn't.

This morning I wanted to feel hope and promise. It was Saturday, both P and I have it off and we enjoy the mornings with coffee and conversation. I did a wok egg scramble with turkey kielbasa, squash, tomatoes and a little sharp cheddar. Shredded red potatoes and dark German wheat toast. Again, nothing inspiring but sometimes breakfast is more about who, how and when its presented. It was good and its great to be next to P.

My parents need me but P needs me too. Its nice to be needed at all really. Sometimes you just have to keep moving until something makes sense. P put up a bird feeder next to our window. What a cool thing. I waited for the beautiful blue jays and red birds to frame themselves in the pane. Instead we've had squirrels, a bunch of squirrels taunting our cats and hanging on the screens, hanging out on the window ledge. You never know what's going to happen when you create something.

I need to stay hopeful and open. I need to find this change that apparently happened.

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