What I Learned This Week: #252

Monday, May 30 – Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Week in Aging: The first week of this here recap was marked by my Mom had her first senior medical moment, and at 81, she really put it off about as long as one could home. She spent a couple days in the hospital, and is now back home and on the mend. Hospitals are weird places. I expect I’ll have a couple more in-patient trips with her as she continues on her journey, not that it will get any easier, but we’re on our way.

The Week in Good: Not every day is good, but there’s good in every day. While Mom was in the hospital I found a lovely Moroccan restaurant across the street. We got all the love from friends and neighbors. Found out one of my Mom’s friends, who isn’t great about returning phone calls, is quite the texter. (My Mom doesn’t text, so she never knew.) We had great care from the hospital staff.

Weirdly, a buddy of mine was in the room next door, so we all got extra visiting duty in. Cincinnati really is a small town/city.

And, we got to pat ourselves on the back for having installed chair lifts a couple years ago…elsewise, we could have never gotten Mom back in the house. High fives all around!

The Week in Food – Recovery: I stayed at my Mom’s house for a few days after her hospital release, and though she had very little appetite, she really liked that I came home from work and put dinner on the table. I started with homemade chicken noodle soup which she nibbled on for lunch every week. Chicken soup is both a love language and a medical one. It did good work. Her favorite was the sheet pan pork loin, brussels sprouts, and potatoes, a meal that comes together in less than 15 minutes. It’s one of my favorites, too, and I got a kick out of cooking for someone else.

The Week in Food – Sharing: At my part-time gig, there’s a regular crew of us who come in to work in the back room on Saturday mornings. One of the guys loves to cook and occasionally, out of the blue, brings packed lunches for all of us. This week my container had a grilled rib, a chicken wing, several pieces of brisket, and potatoes. He handed about 10 containers out, because he loves to grill and he loves to feed people, something he says his grandma taught him. His food is delicious, and if I ordered that same thing from the bbq place I go to, they would have charged me at least $16. When I see him wheeling in a box of food and he starts handing it out, my heart grows three sizes.

The Week in Eco-Heroes: My full time job is at a non-profit, and we are always asking for $. This week we mailed out our annual report to folks in our donor data base. One of those guys called me this week to get his name taken off the mailing of the annual report. He said he would still donate money, but having to receive the annual report, which comes wrapped in plastic, is too wasteful for him. He isn’t our biggest donor, but he immediately became my favorite.

The Week in Opera: Opera season is here, and the Opera company is prepping their July season. The first show is La Boheme, and this weekend, Music Hall welcomed the public to tour the theater, including walking onto the rooftop set of La Boheme. That was pretty cool, and I both overcame my desire to attempt an aria, and I did not follow the plot line and die of consumption.

Later the same day the Opera put on a free concert in the park outside Music Hall, previewing selections from the 3 main stage operas and other tunes, with singers from all 5 shows. It was a beautiful night and now I’m in the mood for a summer of overwrought opera emotion.

The Week in Low-Key: With my Mom in the hospital and a lot of my main social group quarantining from COVID, it has been a very quiet two weeks. The days I spent at my Mom’s house were just a blur of driving, cooking, and watching TV. Those days went very quickly and very differently than my usual shenanigans. I know that care-taking is brutal and I got my first glimpse of it this past week. It’s anyone’s guess what the end of my Mom’s life will look like…we’ve been hoping for a small meteorite to hit her house (and only her house). Barring that, she could go in a split second, or linger for years, with or without her brain or physical well-being. I’ll be there to the end. I don’t have to love the sacrifice, I just have to do it. And I’m sure when I get there, I’ll find some good, because there always is.

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