Hello, Happy New Year. It’s me, again. There’re a few things I’ve been wondering about a thousand times. It’s the time of year when the slate feels clean; I want to start marking on it again but without making a mess. Perhaps my watchword for 2016 shall be WISDOM. Other people’s wisdom is like a treasure chest.  I keep opening the chest and pulling gems out. Once in a while, I surprisingly pull one out of my own.

On elderly parents: Jeff and I have parents living at four residences. Fortunately, they’re all in Quincy. My friend, Liz, shared this gem: “Just when you think you’ve got them situated, you don’t.”  Eldercare, at any stage, is fluid; don’t get comfy and cocky, because it will change.  Yep, it will. Another Liz-gem, on personality, “As we age, we become more of what we were.” And finally, “As we age, our world becomes smaller,” which explains why Mom doesn’t desire outings anymore. Heaven knows we’ve tried; dragging her to hair stylist, manicurist, doctors and lunches. She may be frail, but she can dig in her heels like nobody’s business. Honor it. Let them be.  CNA Steve’s gem is:  “They can’t come to your world, so you’ve got to go to theirs.” If dealing with someone’s dementia, don’t argue, correct them or ask them to remember something (they can’t). Everyone just ends up frustrated. Capiche? There’s just one word for the elderly. I wish Aretha could set it to music:  D-I-G-N-I-T-Y. Maybe Adele can.

On children: within the next two weeks, Korey, Nick and Jenna will all start new jobs. It’s hard leaving the previous, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Dumb as it may sound, it’s on point: “We can only understand life looking backwards, but it can only be lived forwards.” In their young careers, they’re on stepping stones. If you believe in the Big Guy/Girl up there, there’s this patchworky quilty plan in the making. Your kids have to stitch it themselves. Give them their own needles.

On perspective: On the other side of the pondKorey’s currently in Israel. For the first week, we’ve experienced frustration that AT&T’s international call plan is defunct. Ferdie, (AT&T India) tried to help. That was futile. (Ferdie? Really? Why do call centers insist on English names?) There was Blake at ATT email, Facebook Robbie(AT&T) and Trent in our local AT&T. Nuttin’ Honey. I chatted with Apple-Mark; aha, might be the phone! It’s wasn’t. We can text or face time on Messenger Call when she has Wi-Fi. I’ve a list of numbers for her group leaders, so I think we’re good.

Then she bought one tiny souvenir for herself. However, when you’re traveling rapidly, pulling wallets and cameras in and out of your bag, things can spill out and her souvenir is kaput. She absolutely HATES things that don’t work (phone) or LOST things (jewelry). Trying to get her back on the gift of the trip, (Google Birthright Israel) I tapped into a couple of my own gems (who knew?):

  1. When remembering this trip, the last primary memories you’ll want are that your phone didn’t work and a purchase was lost.
  2. Tzedakah: drawing from Sunday School, maybe the lost jewelry was found by someone who REALLY, REALLY needed it. Think of it as the highest form of charity: given in anonymity. (Wow. Can’t believe I remembered THAT.) Heck, just buy another charm. Or get it on Amazon Prime upon returning home. The bottom line here is a 1-2 punch, as well as the above: one, I’m done farting around with AT&T. I’ll simply cancel the plan/take the refund. And there WILL be a refund. Nobody puts Bobbe and Korey in the corner. Second, protect your perspective. I mean, this kid’s on the trip of a lifetime. Stuff gets in our baggage. And it’s just stuff. Drag it or dump it.

This time of year, I feel full of wonderment, why events happen, when they happen and for what reason. Clearly, each event teaches us a lesson. The last thing two things I’m wondering about now are:

  1. How does Adele touch my soul with every word?
  2. I wonder if that guy she’s called a thousand times wishes he’d picked up the phone. Ch-ching!

 

Happy New Year! May yours be filled with wisdom and wonderment!