Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gibby is a gift

I finally figured out why Gibby is very important. Today was a helluva day. My mother woke up feeling fine this morning. She ate her cereal and was cheerful and pleasant - then she drank her orange juice and the world turned upside down. I think it was the acid in the orange juice.

I've been buying acid-free orange juice, but last week I went to Costco and saw a good deal on 10 ounce bottles of orange juice. I thought the little bottles would be great for Mother, who usually sips at any drink for hours on end - so, I bought a case. I tried a bottle on the way home and immediately felt sick to my stomach. I took some antacids and felt a little better, and then took antacids all day. Since I have GERD, I figured that orange juice just wasn't for me - so I gave it to my mother.

Mother felt sick almost right away. I gave her some pills for her stomach and thought she'd be better soon. Wrong. At lunchtime, I gave her some homemade chicken vegetable noodle soup, and she ate a few sips. Then she told me, "I have smallpox, isn't the doctor coming?" Well, there's no way to explain to Mother that doctors don't make house calls anymore, but I did tell her she couldn't have smallpox, that she had been vaccinated. My mother likes to argue, especially when she doesn't feel well, and today qualified. She was argumentative for the rest of the day. When it was time to go to the farm, I was so exhausted I even thought about not going.
I postponed the time to go and took a quick nap for half an hour - with only a few interruptions from Mother asking for a kleenex, her electric "cart", and her blankets. When I finally left for the farm, I was grinding my teeth with exhaustion and irritation both with my mother and myself.

I began to relax the minute I saw the cat on the farm driveway gatepost, but I really relaxed when I saw Gibby. I think all of his frolicking and running and chasing in the snow is so funny, and I think he enjoys my thinking that - if I really watch him, he gets funnier. After a few minutes of watching Gibby make himself into a snowplow, my world has turned right side up and fallen back into place, and I'm ready to go back and answer my mother's calls for help. Gibby really is a gift!

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