My daughter woke me up this morning, calling from Israel before 7:00 a.m. my time. She does that sometimes. Occasionally, it's because she plumb fergot the time (excuses, excuses) over here, 7,000 miles away from her. On other occasions it is because something is wrong: she is very sick, perhaps with her gastrointestinal problems which she has quite often (a complication of RSD/CRPS), Or she needs financial help, or technical advise (the latter not often, because she is pretty tech savvy; her father, though, is the family Tech Guru).
And sometimes she calls early for a good reason. That was the case today. She called to tell me about her day: the myriad things, errands, shopping, cleaning her apartment, doggy care for her crazy little Jack Russell terrier, Reggie--that she does when she feels better and her pain is more under control. Now, what do I do when I'm on the phone? I listen, and occasionally try to get a word in edgewise. Other than that, I do nothing. Nothing. I have never been a great multi-tasker, but now that I'm older, I'm even less of one. I sit, holding the phone in my hand (our extensions do not have an earphone jack), and...listen. Basically, this morning I stayed in PJs for the entire morning, almost--we were on the phone for over an hour, then she had to bathe the dog and told me she'd call back after she (the doggie) was all washed and clean. Meanwhile, what did I do? I made the beds, went downstairs and set the table for breakfast while my D.H. made us eggs. Still in PJs, my daughter calls back, and we're on the phone for another hour or so. By the time I turned around, it was 11:00 a.m. No clue where the time went.
But my daughter? What did she do while she was on the phone with me? She went out into her yard and watered the garden, set up the tub for bathing her dog outside (she poured in boiling water over the cold water from the garden hose, which she had put in first. Which meant that she had to go inside to heat the water in a kettle on the stove, take it off, bring it outside, and pour it in the tub).
Then, while we were on the phone the second time, her groceries were delivered, so she started to put them away, in the fridge, in the cabinets (bottom drawers are her mezaveh--her pantry. It has to be accessible, remember.), all the while talking to me. I finally told her that I love talking to her, but I have to get off because I'm getting nothing done. She was incredulous. You know what she said to me? 'Eema*, I sometimes get more done when I'm on the phone talking to you than when I'm not!' And it's true. I have spoken to her while--not before or after, but while--she is sweeping the floors, cooking some food, mixing batter for a cake or cookies, putting away groceries, folding laundry, hanging wet laundry up to dry, puttering in her garden--you name it, she's done it while speaking to me on the phone! Me, I'm the exact opposite. I like to sit nursing a cup of coffee, and just talk!
She told me during this conversation what she had done today (it was around 7 my time, 4 p.m. her time): wheeled herself (remember--she's in a wheelchair) blocks and blocks away to Supersol, the supermarket that's further away from her apartment (she usually shops at Mega, which is closer). She had just gone there to see if they had Wacky Mac, because she always shops at Mega and they didn't have it.
As we say b'Ivrit*, im kvar, az kvar*--so she decided she might as well do her entire weekly shopping there, she was there already. So she did. This time, a store employee actually helped her the entire time, accompanying her with a buggy, asking her what she needed, and getting it off the high shelves she couldn't reach (remember: wheelchair). So it cut the time in half. Most of the time, no one helps her like that. After she finished her grocery shopping, she went two stores down (it was a series of stores, something like a strip mall) to HomeCenter (a little like Home Depot here), and bought a few things there that she needed. Thank goodness the supermarket delivers--but she shlepped the other things (an outlet extender, a hand-mixer, and a couple of other little things) in her wheelchair backpack.
Oh, and did I tell you that she took her dog with her on this trip? Yes, you heard right. She wanted to take her dog for a nice, long walk, so she wheeled herself while holding her dog's leash and little Reggie was running alongside. She also took with her Reggie's portable water bottle/dish which she had bought in the States on her visit this past winter. Reggie was waiting, tied up at a pole in front of HomeCenter, while my daughter was grocery shopping. Then, she wheeled herself home with her dog by her side. It's after this whole trip (which took a couple of hours, I think) that she decided to bathe her doggie, straighten up the apartment, and put the groceries away when they arrived.
She said something towards the end of our conversation, which lifted me up. Today, she said, was a good day: she had had a decent night's sleep for a change (often, she has insomnia); she is in the 2nd day of her fentanyl patch, so it's still working strong; her pain today was manageable; she was in a good mood; and she got a lot done.
She was so upbeat, it made my day. I hope and pray that it remains no worse than this, and gets better and better, AMEN.
I'm ending this post with a photo from my daughter's garden. She prepared the soil, bought and planted the flowers and herbs herself. This is only one small section of it. The lemon tree she planted is not shown...
*Eema: Hebrew for 'mommy'
*b'Ivrit: in Hebrew
*im kvar, az kvar: loosely translated: if you're there already, so do it already!