To be honest, I had been somewhat dreading visiting with my parents this month. My sister, during her last visit, told her that she wanted to go home and live with her kids (although we were pretty sure that she does not remember we are her kids). To be frank, I did not know that I was up to that sort of thing.
Still, I was here, and I needed to go see them at least once before I went back home. After thinking about it a bit, I went ahead and took the afternoon off from work to do it, so that I would not feel rushed about seeing them (that, as I have discovered, never helps).
The day was the sort of day that I miss about Old Home: A nice Spring day with blue sky and a breeze - the Spring here can linger from March into June; in New Home it lingers for about two weeks. The staff brought my parents out and the owner, as she always does, apologized as they had just finished lunch and had some food on them.
It does not matter to me, I responded. I am just happy to see them.
For really the first time since they have been here, I started off the conversation actively talking about The Ranch: mowing the grass (an adventure and an upcoming post), Uisdean Ruadh and his mother moving into the Cabin, the turkeys out and about. I have been a little reluctant before because I did not want to make my father anxious or upset; he seemed to enjoy the part about the mowing.
We covered the hike I took over the weekend and what Na Clann were up to, the fact the weather was hot in New Home (we always talk about the weather), what Nighean Dhonn was going to do about college. The price of gas and the difference between Old Home and New Home (my father seems to pay attention to that still; something we used to discuss every week).
My mother was strangely curious about the Facility they are in: Did we own the home? No Mom, someone else does. - We rent here? Yes Mom, we rent here. - The trees are very nice here. Yes they are, Mom (they are quite lovely actually: tall pines and cedars and a maple) - What are those pink things on the roof? Those are roof tiles Mom, made of clay. They work here for roofing instead of shingles which are flat. We cannot have them in New Home because the hail might break them.
TB The Elder had a couple of comments - fortunately, I was able to figure out from the context of the conversation what he was asking - or what he thought he was asking. He at least seemed satisfied by my answers.
I have no idea if my mother knows who I am except a visitor (when my sister had come previously my mother asked her "Are you here to be my friend?" "Yes Mom, I certainly am"). My father may recognize me, although it is much harder to tell. But they seemed to take joy in the visit, and it was certainly a great deal less difficult than I had anticipated.
I do not know that I always leave these visits in a better state of mind, but hope I leave them in a better state of mind. In some ways I am beyond sadness at this point: I know what to expect, how the conversation will likely go, and have found that somehow, those simple visits are in some way adding something to their lives.