Thursday, December 30, 2010


Yesterday I went back to my parents' old house and visited with Susie, their former caregiver. Susie was very close to my parents, especially my father. She looked after them for over 3 years, longer than she had cared for anyone else.
When I showed up after yoga class yesterday, after a long period of not seeing her, I noticed something odd about her face. She seemed to have an odd expression about the lips, as if she had had dental work, perhaps, or more ominously, a stroke.
Susie is a young woman, in her 30s, perhaps, and very strong. So it was alarming to see that sign that all was not well with her health. She is way overweight, and has had problems with her gallbladder, so I guess I knew her health was not perfect, but this was alarming.
Before I could say anything, she told me she had to go to the hospital the day before with an an attack of Bell's Palsy, but at least at it wasn't a stroke! She also said she was leaving this place of employment, where she was hired specifically to care for my parents. She hopes to go to college, and I think she absolutely should do that, but she comes from such a poor, large family, in which both parents were deaf, that it isn't easy.
We talked about my dad and my family, and she cried. She misses my dad as badly as I do. And she told me about how she had distributed all their clothes, particularly my dad's shoes, a size that is small and hard to find, to her relatives, who were so grateful. One relative had never had leather shoes before, and he was enjoying my dad's 3 pair of shoes, kept immaculately clean and new looking, and his long sleeved shirts.
That was a good thing, though it raised some strong feelings in me. Later on, when Jeremy came to visit, these emerged as anger in the face of the aggravations I usually have to ignore, and this outburst drove him away. I felt terrible about that, and apologized. We set each other off.


my said...

I have a writer friend who had Bell's palsy last year and is much better now--it often reverts. Hope your caregiver makes it to college.

I'm sure all this was touching and alarming and confusing. You'll have many another chance with your son...

Robbi said...

He forgives me, but I resolve to hold my temper this year.

my said...

That is a good resolution!

Lou said...

What a troubling day; still, I think that your visit was very good for Susie.

Robbi said...

Yes, and probably good for me, in the long run.