It has been a hectic 4 days....all the driving back and forth to Calgary makes this past Sunday afternoon, the day we left, seem like it was a month ago!
It was a very good trip. We were able to see a fair number of trees still sporting their fall golden, yellow and red leaves, although the incredible west winds have all ready stripped far too many of them off the branches. There was sufficient green of all shades left in the foliage in the medians and fields to relieve the dreaded brown of autumn that has recently started to appear. The roads were clear and dry, there was a good mix of sun and cloud in the sky and the temperatures were very comfortable both in the city and along the highway route.
Mom and Dad are doing as well as can be expected. Dad is rejoicing that he has not recently had to take as many "breakaway" hydropmorph pills in between the prescribed daily doses, as his back is feeling so much better. Hmmmm...I can certainly grasp why it is so much improved as far as pain level: he sleeps for about 2 hours right after breakfast most days, sleeps another average of 3 hours after lunch and is ready for and in bed shortly after 8pm. Sitting up in various chairs is what bothers him, but he spends so many hours a day lying prone on the bed that his back pain has subsided to a more manageable level.
We spent our 2 days together visiting and running errands around Dad's naps, as well as enjoying 3 meals out in restaurants. Mom and Dad especially enjoyed the good old faithful Broken Plate Greek style restaurant last night. My husband and I had a sushi meal the night before at OHanami, but it has changed hands and has a completely Korean cooking and waiting staff. The quality of some of the food has gone down a bit, plus it is more Korean and Korean/Japanese fusion than it used to be. My meal was particularly disappointing. My tempura was oily, not properly drained before hitting the plate and my chicken karaage seemed to be made of the same ground "chicken lips" as the chicken nuggets in fast food restaurants. Blecch, pooey!!! Next time we will go for Indian food at a wonderful place that is practically next door to the Japanese/Korean disaster.
A highlight for Mom was going with my husband to the Silk Road spice shop and the Tea Traders over in Inglewood area. She has wanted to visit both places to see the quirkyness of the decor and the wide range of product artfully packed into very small vendor spaces. Dad and I waited in the car while she and my husband took their tour. O how she enjoyed it. Dad was too tired to go in as we had just come from a long drive across the city to an eyeglass vendor for a new lens for his glasses. I don't think it is possible to drive anywhere in the city that could be farther from their home. He was done in just from that brief appointment, but he rallied sufficiently to say he needed lunch just about the time we were returning him to home and passing a favourite little lunch place of his. hahaha We took them to the Cheesecake for lunch the other day we were there. They have favourite menu items they order every time there and we never mind taking them to chain restaurants so that they can enjoy the old standards.
On one of our drives we took them downtown so they could see the amazing architecture of the new music centre built around the old King Edward hotel. The centre dwarfs the little old heritage hotel that was a hot bed for blues for decades in Calgary. The hotel sign has been spiffed up and the brick work on the outside redone...really, although it is technically a heritage building, the sense of loneliness and abandonment that made the original hotel endearing in all its east side downtown shabbiness, has been totally lost. It used to sit beside a vacant lot in one of the seediest, scariest areas of the downtown. It had an ambiance all its very own that is gone now. The King Eddy is the only bar I have ever passed out in...and that was from the thickness of the cloying cigarette smoke, not from imbibing. haha Talk about a silly memory, eh? haha
Although it was such a brief visit it was a good one, a successful visit not only due to the number of errands accomplished, but by being able to understand the new needs of my parents and being able to accept the losses in their lives that effected and will effect all subsequent visits.
Dad doesn't want any kind of "party" or other gathering with friends for his 90th and after seeing the condition he is in we understand why. He could never cope with that kind of excitement for more than about a half hour. He can't stay upright long enough and he can't sit long enough and he can't stay awake long enough to be a good host or have any fun. Instead he wants us to fly his grandson in from wherever the fellow happens to be at the time and have a dinner with just our family. It is easier, granted, but I am disappointed for him that he is no longer capable of being the social butterly, center of attention he has always demanded to be. It is a huge change for him and for the rest of us.
I am delighted that mom's kidney failure symptoms have actually abated quite a lot over the past 3 months now. Wow...that is amazing and wonderful for her. I suspect the stress around the move to their present location was added to the health issues Dad was just beginning to develop and now that she is feeling settled and more content, despite having to care for dad, her body is responding positively to the reduction of those stresses.
I have not slept for more than a scant few hours each night of being away, for various reasons, so I am shutting my computer down now and having a bit earlier bedtime than usual. This morning we both woke up at 3am, so by just after 4am we were packed up and on the road for home. We stopped more often than usual along the way for food, gasoline and to change drivers, but were still home 8 hours later.
My husband deserves an award for giving up the only 3 days he has had off in the past 3 weeks and spending it driving back and forth to Calgary to help look after my parents. Bless you dear! It was the right thing for us to do before the snow arrives next week.