Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Break Trip


The Evil Dictator and i took advantage of having spring break from school at the same time last week and visited my parents, who retired to Knoxville, Tennessee in 2002. We left on Tuesday morning and came back Friday.

Mother Nature made sure to have horrendous weather on both the trip there and the return. It rained hard for over half the trip there. We didn't realize that we were on the edge of a huge storm that was battering parts of the midwest. On the way back, we saw a lot of flooding in Southern and Central Indiana.



Once we got to Knoxville, though, the weather was delightful. We we excited to see my parents' new home, a townhome. It's in a less pastoral setting than the old one, but the upside is that it's way, way closer to things like shopping, the hospital, etc.



I took the upstairs loft bedroom and was treated to a view of the nearby Smokies:



It was good to see my parents. They've both had health issues: my father survived major cancer surgery nearly two years ago and my mother had a hip replacement last month. They're both doing well. My father is getting involved in the condo board, which will be great for him. My mother is getting around just fine. It turned out that she'd been dealing with pain for over 20 years.

Since she can't stand for long periods of time yet, my mother has not been able to cook. My father's been filling in for her, so I did a lot of cooking in order to give him a break. Adam hung out with his grandmother, playing cards and talking.



We left Friday morning, getting back to Chicago in time, of course, for the snow. Taking two 500 mile plus trips in four days was exhausting, but I was glad I did it. I'd been too broke to go see them around Christmas, so we hadn't seen them in nearly a year.

I left feeling good; I'm glad they moved where they did. When my mother fell and shattered her wrist four years ago, they weren't able to get an ambulance in for 24 hours because of a light snow-- their old house was in the foothills of the Smokies. They're now five minutes from the hospital.

As I drove back with my son, it struck me how, as I've eased into middle age, that I increasingly have become a parent to my folks, checking on them, caring for them. I realized, too, that some day, the guy sitting next to me in my truck was going to take on the same role with me.

11 comments:

BeckEye said...

It's always such a weird feeling when you realize that your parents are old and they need you to help take care of them. But then that weird feeling turns nice. There's nothing better than getting to give something back to the people who gave you so much. Even if you'll probably NEVER be able to repay them for all that they've done.

cheer34 said...

Road trips are a nice way of staying connected to our kids....your mom looks very young....what is the pooch's name?...it's nice too that your son went with you, sometimes at that age they want to only be with their friends...

cheer34 said...

Road trips are a nice way of staying connected to our kids....your mom looks very young....what is the pooch's name?...it's nice too that your son went with you, sometimes at that age they want to only be with their friends...

Andi said...

I'm really glad you got to go see them. The drives were exhausting, I'm sure, but it was all worthwhile. Best wishes to your parents in their new place.

'Bubbles' said...

Glad you guys made the trip safely. The weather that way just won't give you guys a break, will it?

Won't be long and you will have another driver with you!

Suze's Sass said...

I wonder if parents feel the same way? I wonder do they think "Wow, she looks really old? How do I have a kid that old?"

Beth said...

I'm slowly becoming the parent. Weird, isn't it?

Lovely view of the Smokies. Glad you were able to take the trip.

Tenacious S said...

All too true. Sounds like you had a great visit.

SkylersDad said...

It's a little strange when those roles reverse, isn't it?

My sister and her husband were great and moved in with my mom when she started going downhill.

That was great of them.

Dave said...

Do your parents make "Moonshine".

GETkristiLOVE said...

She broke her wrist and then her hip? Ow? She should take up hockey - it's safer. ;)