Tag Archives: Birthday

Happy Birthday to me!

I turned 60 this week, let’s reflect on that:

  1. The good news is I was here to see it, the bad news is I am NOT READY to be 60!!!
  2. I noticed I don’t hear so well. I’m sure my family noticed this a long time ago. But now the TV sounds like it did when my Nana lived with me. The neighbors at the end of the block know when I’m watching Hallmark movies instead of working.60-card60-card-2
  3. I debate every day whether to wear that sample of ‘smooth-lining,  Always full-panty protection’ if I’m going somewhere where there is no bathroom for hours (think Women’s March).
  4. I battle between drinking coffee and wine every day. Then I whine between drinking water and herbal damn tea.
  5. I have so many great ideas by breakfast, and forget all of them by lunch.
  6. I still want to wear stilettos but my feet, back and ankles want me to wear serviceable shoes. ” But look at my feet!” I tell them, “they’re soooo cute!”
  7. No one listens to me…not even my feet.
  8. Tweezers are my new best friend.
  9. I hate Windows 10 and I want to kill it.
  10. In my birthday pics next to my Mom, who is still here to celebrate 60 with me, I see how much I look like her…….and realize how much I act like her.mom-and-me-and-60
  11. A “grateful check” can be anything from my amazing husband, great friends and wonderful family to I-remembered-to-buy-toilet-paper!
  12. My brother now tells me that telling people they can have their dreams is stupid…but none of my dreams include physical activity, so I’m still good!

 

One Good Reason to Love 60!
One Good Reason to Love 60!

And as I wrote that last one…………….the FedEx guy came to my door and delivered this, from that same brother!  Oh and yeah, that is me at iFly indoor skydiving….so, I guess I might be ready for 60!

You Just have to Laugh…..

© 2017 Cathy Sikorski

Mothers and Daughters…..Part 131

My daughters have come from far away cities to visit for a few days. It has made me reflect on Mothers and Daughters. I could do entire blog just about Mothers and Daughters….daily.

Last week as we were leaving the rehab center where my brother-in-law would be departing for surgery never to return, Mom and I began to take the few personal belongings from his room.

As we were leaving, my Mom picked up the three little mylar ballons each on its own stick, that people had given my BIL for his birthday the month before. I thought she was going to throw them in the trash. But she clutched them to her bosom like she had just discovered a new grandchild.

“What are you going to do with those,” I asked, ok accusingly. I asked accusingly. The whole point of this exercise was to leave behind the crap and just take what was absolutely necessary.

“Well, they’re his. I don’t want to leave them behind,” she said by way of obvious explanation to her idiot daughter.

So I turned to my BIL:

“Do you REALLY want these crappy balloons?” I asked. Ok, I asked sarcastically.

“What balloons?” said the guy in rehab who was getting ready for surgery and clearly was not in a festive mood.

“Ugh. Mom, throw that crap away. What does he need it for?” I asked her.

“Well, I could give them to other people with birthdays. Like Jeannie, it’s her birthday soon. I could give her one.” said my Mom innocently.

With that the guy in the bed pipes up, “Yeah, give one to Jeannie and tell her it’s from me and Happy Birthday.”

So home with us the balloons go.

This is the same woman who three days later calls me and says:

“Okay, I’ve cleaned out all of your BIL’s clothing from his dresser, and gave away everything he’ll never wear. I took all his medical supplies and meds and stored them in my house until we figure out what to keep in his new apartment. And I’m going to start taking pictures off the walls next week.”

“MOM!,” I said with the crazy attitude that every daughter wants to say to her mother every time they talk.

cell“What are you doing? We don’t even have a place for him to live yet after surgery. If we can’t get arrangements made, he may have to go back to his apartment temporarily. Let’s not make it look like a prison cell. There’s plenty of time to throw things away.”

Of course, I’m thinking, “at least he’ll have some nice balloons to look at, wherever he goes.”

“You Just have to Laugh….”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

 

 

One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters… Charles Baudelaire

Saturday was my birthday. I wanted wine and song. My daughter called from Ireland to wish me a grand year, and suggested I check the internet machine for our local beloved troubadour to see where he was playing. Miraculously, he was playing at a WINERY from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon. In twenty minutes, my husband and I were at a wine tasting bar listening to great music. Serendipity rocks.

For 10 bucks we could taste all 17 wines on the menu. A designated driver was named (not me) and I, the birthday girl went for it.  Now, Pennsylvania wines are usually quite awful, especially if you love wine. So we were pleasantly surprised when we enjoyed the flavor of some of these wines. The vintner was very proud. The chatter continued on in a  lively and humorous fashion. We were all having fun. It turns out that my husband and the vitner graduated from the same high school in the same year. They actually know each other, but the intervening 2 score years (nice way of preserving their dignity) changed their remembrance of one another.

Okay, so I’m tipsy, singing, meeting new people, drinking some not half-bad wine, and my phone jangles. Well, it’s my birthday, so people have been contacting me all day. I pick it up with a big ass wine smile and say:

“Hello!”

“Hello, is this Cathy?”

“Yep, it sure is…who is this?”

“This is the cardiologist from the hospital. I want to discuss your brother-in-law’s condition.”

Uh-oh.

Can I tell you, that it was the most lucid and coherent conversation I have ever had with a physician.

I answered all his questions, gave him a supremely detailed medical history, discussed current medication, the possibility of new medication, the long term effects of those new meds, and what the physician would require in the future in terms of follow up and testing. All while standing outside in a snowbank because of the music and raucous crowd in the winery.

I asked every freaking question that came to mind, I questioned the doctor’s  thought process concerning my brother-in-law’s medical history and future. I was rocking that conversation like I just graduated from medical school.

Clearly, I need to drink  more wine.

“You just have to Laugh……..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

About that Invitation……

Okay, I know you think you are doing a kind and generous thing by inviting my wonderful disabled L to your event. But here’s the thing, you are more than willing to put out that invitation and I will even go so far as to say, that you are doing it with the most generous of hearts and spirit. You know that this person you love is severely disabled, but you want to include them to show your love and acceptance. But the truth of the matter is, you really give very little thought to what an invitation means to the caregiver.

It is not for one minute that the caregiver does not want their charge included. It is extremely unlikely that the caregiver does not love this person as much, if not more than you do.After all, they are the caregiver.  But, but, but…….really…….what will this invitation entail? Will the caregiver need to acquire appropriate clothing so as not to embarrass you or the loved one on this special occasion of yours? Will the loved one’s schedule of care, bathing, medicine, toileting, assistance for dressing, undressing, getting out of bed, getting into bed, eating, drinking or sleeping work with your event? Have you considered in any way, how will my loved one get there? Does it require special transport? Who will make that happen? Who will pay for that? Have I tried to put any of that into place, or am I just sending out this invitation?  Am I also inviting the caregiver? So do THEY have time to get ready, get their loved one ready, get to your event? Is the event the appropriate venue for my disabled loved one? Will they be able to stay for any length of time? Will the caregiver just barely get there and then have to leave because the venue doesn’t work, there aren’t appropriate toilet facilities. it’s too hot, it’s too cold, there’s no food for them?????? And that, my friends, is the short list.

You see what I mean? In your zeal to be inclusive and loving, you may, in fact, be setting up the caregiver for an over-the-top horror show. And often, the caregiver loves you too and doesn’t want to disappoint you OR the person they so desperately CARE for. And more often than not, the one who is being cared for, wants to go. Of course they do. They want to get out. They want to engage with old friends and family.They also do not really want to consider the ups and downs of turning down an invitation. Likely because, all those kind and well meaning people who have sent out the invitation, never or hardly ever make the effort to come see or spend time with the disabled loved one. Life is busy, life is hard…..I know…..I’ll invite them to our special party!!!! That way we can see them, spend time with them and (God forgive me, feel less guilty, perhaps?)

Are you really thinking this through? Could you possibly change that invite to a special birthday, wedding, anniversary or graduation, to a special visit where you go see your disabled loved one. Take them a special meal, take them out for dinner, take a load off the caregiver.

Perhaps it’s not an invitation that is so welcome, as much as it is a two-by-four upside the head that says, “Duh…..maybe I have a better idea…..”

Cathy Sikorski