I drove to my parents’ house last Friday, expecting to help clean out their home. Mom and Dad stood and watched (and tried to help) as my sisters and I tackled everything from dishes, to cardboard, to headboards, plants, and paper. We drove five carloads of “stuff” to the local St. Vincent de Paul, and still, there’s more to clean out. That time will come, but right now, my hands are full. With my actual parents.
Because as I was getting ready to leave, I looked at my mother, who slouched in the corner. Tears formed in her eyes when she realized that I, like my sisters, was getting ready to go home. Her agitation tugged at my heart, and I said to my Dad, “You know, you can go with me. I work Monday and Wednesday mornings, but I can bring you back up on Friday.”
Dad must have seen the sadness in Mom’s eyes, too. For he said to her, “Do you want to go?”
“Yes!” she said. “I do.”
And our impromptu road trip was born. We finished what we needed to do at their house, packed up some bags, turned off the lights, and hopped in the car. Just over four hours—and many songs—later, we rolled into my driveway, and they’ve been here ever since.
So far, we’ve managed selfies after church, an outing to the movie theater, and several trips to the grocery store. Mom and Dad have enjoyed hearing Melina practice her violin and Dad watched Aaron play soccer. Mom and I baked muffins and have folded countless baskets of clean laundry. Mundane and ordinary tasks that have put more smiles on my Mom’s face than I’ve seen in a long time.
That same Friday that I drove over to Mom and Dad’s, Mom had an appointment with her practitioner, Anne. An impromptu road trip wasn’t on the discharge papers, but I think it’s something Anne would wholeheartedly approve of. Sadly, Mom won’t remember any of it. On the other hand, at least I will.