I'm a grown woman now, and well past my formative years. As a child I saw love and loyalty in my parent's marriage. Luke & I talk about what we want our children to see in our marriage. But maybe we should talk about what we want them to see in our marriage thirty years from now. Because well formed or not, THIS example of love I'm witnessing is making quite an impression.
Mom's been home for 2.5 weeks. The first week was rough on everyone. Mom was in a lot of pain, she wasn't sleeping well, and she was uncharacteristically subdued and disinterested. If this whole thing is hard, it is made excruciating when mom's spirits are low and hope is hard to come by. I saw tender moments between mom & dad, but I saw frustration and tension too. It is an awkward new dance they have to learn together- new roles & responsibilities, new stresses and challenges. But--- new blessings too. For example- I don't think Mom & Dad have spent this much time together consecutively since before they were married. When Dad leaves for work Mom asks me several times when he's due home. She asks me to fetch HIM to help her adjust her pillows at 4am (apparently I'm incompetent at pillow arranging for stroke survivors). He flirts with her, encourages her, and nurtures her. My dad is a sensitive and caring man by nature, but he has really kicked it into high gear to meet my mom's needs. And in return? She flirts back, she works hard at therapy to make him happy, and she reminds him that she'd probably just hire an ugly grumpy nurse to care for him if the tables were turned :)
So- Dad is a part time plumber/part time caregiver. The other night I arrived & instead of taking a much needed nap I watched dad scurry around (JUST LIKE A MOM!) to get a load of laundry going, clean up the kitchen, etc. In the last 2.5 weeks (as if he hasn't been busy enough) he has: built an ADA shower from scratch in the garage, moved out the dining room furniture & made a new bedroom for mom, hung curtains, cleaned up & fixed an overflowing toilet, grocery shopped, reorganized & cleaned the office and laundry room, mowed the lawn every other day, vacumed, changed mom's sheets, kept up on laundry, cooked, cleaned, worked, painted the ceiling in the spare room, watched Jo Thursday mornings, AND loved on his wife- all on very little rest. What a guy. He thinks it is funny when I act surprised or shocked about all this- like he's been a closet domestic goddess all along or something. Hmph. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks- like...
COOKING- though we have had SO much delicious food brought to us, this is a dish Dad made all by himself from leftovers!
Baby-proofed the cabinet with wire so Jo couldn't drink pine-sol
taken up a passion for at-home composting (which mom quickly x-nayed due to the smell)
Made a CROCKPOT ROAST!
And here's the shower he constructed with the help of Jack & Vern. So I guess he hasn't exchanged ALL his plumbing skills for cooking skills!