The Decision

$125.36 for round trip tickets.  No luggage.  That would have been $40 more.  No family.  That would have been at least another $165.00.  My credit card only had $127.50.

“Mom, I’m coming out.  I’ll be there when Judy’s there, so you’ll have the family together, like you and Dad want, at least for a couple of days.”

“Good!  I’ll be happy to see you.  By the way, I wanted to let you know … we didn’t intend to hurt Lannette by not inviting her.”

“Well, you did.  That hurt me too.  I’m still not happy about it.”

“I’m sorry, hon.”

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The Return Call

“Dad, I need some more details.  It’s not going to work for me to just tell work that I’m going to Vegas to watch movies with my parents.  What’s going on?  Why do I have to be there within a month?”

“I never said anything about a month.”

“Yes, Dad, you did.”

“Well, we just want to see you, and we don’t want you to have any distractions.”

“I have to bring my family, Dad.  I have to help Lannette with her medications.”

“Well, then, never mind.  Just forget about it.  We’ll call the whole thing off.”

I’m still shocked.

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The Call

You know those calls that you expect to get someday, but not today?

“Stace?  This is Dad.  I want you and your sister – just the two of you – to come out here for a few days.  It’ll probably be the last chance we have to get all of us together.  I’ll pay for it.”

“Dad, you can’t afford that.”

“I’ll take it out of our savings.  It’s important.  When you get here, we’ll talk about some things and watch the old home movies.  Try to be out here within the next few weeks.  No more than a month.”

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Parental Independence

My parents weigh heavily on my mind.  Dad turns 80 in a couple of months; he had emergency triple bypass surgery three years ago.  Mom, almost 75, fell and broke her hip in November and can’t climb the few steps to her bed.  She sleeps in a recliner.  They live two states from their nearest relatives and refuse to move any closer.  When I call them, I can hear the fatigue in Dad’s voice and the creeping senility in Mom’s.

I used to be proud of them for being so independent; now, I just wish they would move back home.

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