Just got off the phone with my 80 y/o biological father. His 81 y/o wife is supposed to be released from the hospital today after a procedure yesterday to repair her several fractured back vertebrae. (ouch!) Long story, this is her third time being hospitalized for it, first time for the procedure.
My dad said, "I told her she needs to nail down when she's going to be released and let us know right now. You've got a schedule, I've got a schedule. Neither of us can just jump in the car and go get her!" The hospital is less than 2 miles from his home, ~8 from mine. Yes, we can.
I tried not to laugh. He's been retired (probably not a wise choice!) since he was 51. He can drive his nasty, rusty old pickup truck when he's not dizzy, and she prefers riding in that to being in my lower sportscar. Best as I can tell, he sits around watching TV or buying miracle cures off the internet all day, every day.
I asked, "Why not, Dad?"
He said that the "d*mn" doctors need to get their act together and let the family know exactly when the patient will be released. "People have things to do!"
In a gentle way, I asked him what he needs to do. "Well, maybe I don't have so many things to do to, but I do need to get over to that "d*mn" grocery store and pick up some eggs and an onion...if I don't feel dizzy." I've bought and delivered almost all their groceries since I moved them here in October. No, he doesn't need to do that.
I can see his obvious anxiety about picking her up and him needing to up his game on partner care, but I just found his approach to it so funny!
I got there, dutifully on time and she had been up since 5 am. It took us 31 minutes to walk from her front door to my car, then the 3 blocks to the center.
90 minutes later, we reversed the process. She's backset driving from the front seat. Funny, since she cannot see over the dashboard.
I had to laugh, because otherwise I would have cried.
And yeah, the day she balances her checkbook--takes ALL DAY and she writes a grand total of 7 checks a month.
I'm just as funny to my kids as my mom is to me. Life is very karmic :)