Real Time Bytes

I am typically running behind on blog posts. I find it challenging to be a “real time blogger.” Like many areas of my life, I tend to procrastinate. Just like one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, “I’m always running behind the time…just like this train.  Shakin’ into town with the brakes complaining.” 

It’s even tougher to stay current when hiking with the Red Rocks Gang.    Although I often “journal” a post in a timely manner, it takes me several days to do the photo downloading and selection.   So when in a place like Zion where every single day offers a hike worthy of its own blog post, it’s really easy to fall behind in a hurry.

But not this blog post.  It is coming to you “real time” from the Kindred Rehabilitation Center in Mansfield, Texas.    My 93 year old Dad has been in the hospital with pneumonia. So I put the Winnie to bed for a long winter’s nap in the Phoenix area, and flew back to Texas to help my family get him transitioned from hospital care to rehabilitation care to…who knows what is next???Dad

I have traded hiking trails like this…IMG_2980

To makeshift walking trails around this:VVJones

He is recuperating nicely.  When I arrived for my daily visit today, I found him on the recumbent bicycle, pedaling like he was training for the Tour de France.   He is committed, as he knows the only way he can come home is when he can walk and get around on his own.

But his mind is questionable.   One minute, he is kind and compassionate, so everyone is pulling for him to come back home.  The next minute, he is hissing insults and accusations through his teeth (what’s left of them!) and we grow less optimistic.  Most would blame dementia or old age, except for the fact that this has been his M.O. all my life.  So it’s always been an emotional roller coaster, just a little edgier now as he has lost some of his “filters.”

I still have a half a dozen Zion National Park posts to complete.  I plan to finish them for many reasons.  One, because I need some distraction amidst the mayhem in a center like this one, where shrunken, hollowed out people reach for you from their wheelchairs as you walk down the hallway.  The pulsating oxygen machine.  The roommate’s blaring TV that I can’t turn down, even though I can hear him snoring like a freight train on the other side of the privacy curtain.   And my Dad’s endless negotiations to get out of this place. (Me: “Bye, Dad.  Love you. See you tomorrow.”  Him: “Okay, bring a hacksaw.”)

But also, because I saved the best of Zion for last.  And I want to get them posted before the memories start to fade from a playground that seems so very far away…

“We write to taste life twice.  In the moment, and in retrospection”  ~Anais Nin

15 thoughts on “Real Time Bytes

  1. Reality sometimes bytes…You are a good daughter, doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t feel like it’s of much value. I would want a hacksaw too…probably a male thing as we don’t do well under doctors orders and captivity (jail).
    I found that a Wendy’s chocolate Frosty distracted me for a few minutes. Bring one of those on you next visit :)
    For sure, where you are “hiking” now will really up the appreciation for where you’ve been hiking. Can’t have “ice cream” all the time…bummer.
    Box Canyon Mark

  2. I’m sorry your dad is not well. Funny that I don’t remember ever meeting him but I’m sure I probably did. I remember your mom for sure!
    Pat & I will be in Midlothian next weekend (20th-23rd probably). Maybe we can grab a cup of coffee or something. Call me. 469-438-7480

  3. I’m sure all your readers are wishing you and your Dad the very best. Meanwhile, when reality really bytes, you can always draft posts about the wonders of Zion.

  4. Good that your dad is working hard to get back on his feet. It has to be tough at 93. How nice that you were able to return to TX to help out. The trails in the west will still be there when you return:) Hoping all goes well with your dad.

  5. You’re doing the right thing, and you can always go back to your “playgrounds”. Elderley parents can get nasty and say horrible things to us, but I think that deep down its the frustration of being ill and where they are. But really they appreciate you being there but they just dont always express it in the way we expect. Looking forward to your posts.

  6. So sorry to hear about your father and the strain put on the entire family. Two years ago we spent 6 months helping my in-laws, which was rewarding but also very stressful. You are all in our thoughts.

  7. Family first and your Dad looks to be a tough one. I never had that roller coaster with my Mom but I definitely can relate to the fading of the “filters”! Sometimes I just look at her in shock and think “you’d have had a FIT if your kids said something like that”. Take care.

  8. Wow-93 is a milestone in itself. My in-laws are 77 and 81. They live in North Carolina. Both of their children, my husband and his brother, live in California. It would have been so much easier for us all if they hadn’t moved east 4 years ago, but they love it there and who are we to stop them. I hope that when they need us we can be there for them. You are lucky to have this time with your father. I bet he appreciates it very much, he just has a hard time expressing it. Be sure to take care of yourself too.

  9. Definitely . . . the “filters” get clogged and don’t work very well. DH’s parents were 90 and 95, and we saw them through the last year or so. Very disheartening. As I was reading DH your post, he was nodding in agreement. It wasn’t just the last years, but, as you state, something that always seemed to have been there, but had been kept more or less under control to some extent – but not always. As a parent who is aging, I am trying to keep this uppermost in my mind – for “later” – mind you! ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

  10. I went through this with both my parents …. my Mother was the most hurtful. I was thinking of her this afternoon and wondered why in the world she was always so judgmental and hateful with me … I was sooooo perfect … her birthday was December 1st and she lived to be 96.5 … hurt my feelings to the end … sure did

    My Dad was just indifferent … don’t recall ever having a conversation with him …. or well, with my Mother either… sad innit

    I am going through the same thing with my blog posts … I’m up to November 11th now … !!! hate it… because I want real time… I said the same thing on my post yesterday.

    You’re a strong woman and you know it … but I tell you when you are around a parent who gave you grief as a kid … it’s hard. BUT I loved both my parents ~ I just didn’t like them … amazing how much of one’s life is spent trying to shed the stuff they laid on us.

    Mine was primarily religious stuff ~ doomed to hell I was … gonna burn in the brimstone … dang! that would smart ~ but I didn’t like to feel threatened …

  11. Clever blog title!

    “Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.” Mark Twain
    You are a good daughter; go with the Frosty.

  12. To all my dear blog readers, whom I also consider to be my dear friends — Thank you so much for your kind words of support about my Dad. It really means more than I can say. Your comments get me through the tedious moments in the rehab center.

    We are just taking it a day at a time, as there are good days and bad days, but overall Dad seems to be getting a bit stronger. I am finding things just happen much more slowly in this realm than I ever expected. I just try to remember one of my favorite Emerson quotes, “Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”

    Thanks again for your kindness and support!
    Suzanne

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