My sister has been out of town for 2 weeks, and won't be back until Saturday, which means that I have had sole responsibility for my mother and her needs. My husband has been dead for 195 weeks, and won't be back anytime soon, which means that I have had sole responsibility for my sons and their needs.
Today was the first day in over a week that I have not had some obligation to be somewhere or do something for someone. I was able to drop the boys off at school and come home and just be. By myself.
8:30 a.m. phone call
Alicia: Hi. How are you doing this morning?
Mother: Pretty well. I had a good night's sleep.
Oh, I'm glad.
What time are you coming to pick me up?
Before or after lunch?
Gee, I was hoping for the day off.
No, I really need to get out of the house.
Oh. After lunch then.
12:00N phone call
You've been picking up my vibes!
Not so much. [laughing]
I was going to call and ask you to get me as soon as you can.
I was calling to see if I had to.
Yes you do! I've been counting the minutes.
But I just ...
I don't want to make you feel guilty, but I was really looking forward to going over there.
I don't want to make YOU feel guilty, but I was really looking forward to being ALONE.
Look, I'll just come sit in the big chair and watch a movie on TV.
Why? What's the difference to you?
Nothing. I'll be there in 20 minutes.
12:15 p.m. phone call
I'm sorry. I just can't do this.
Okay. I'll be okay.
Look, I'll pick you up after school if you want, when there are other bodies around anyway.
No, I just need this part of the afternoon.
Well, I need this part of the afternoon, too.
How do you spell relief?......N - O .
In the interest of full disclosure:
12:35 p.m. phone call
You have reached the Rxxxx residence. Leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
You really should have picked up the phone. I don't want you to feel too bad -- just a little bad. You spent all last week tending to my needs and my requirements. And you didn't complain at all. So I don't want you to feel too bad. ... You really should have picked up the phone.