I had a wonderful visit with my parents this last week. They arrived late due to a flight cancellation, so we ended up missing 1.5 days. We didn’t have big sight-seeing things lined up, since we did so much on their last visit. More of our time was spent catching up and talking about everything, having computer lessons, watching movies, and going over family genealogy (I’m the record keeper in the family). Our biggest outing was to Mystic Seaport, which was celebrating an 1876 anniversary commemoration of the
We lived in New Jersey when I was growing up, and my mom grew up there as well. We moved away in 1970, which is a really long time. But Mom and Dad have stayed in touch with friends from their days there, and on this trip we visited with two of them – Phyllis from NJ (last seen 39 years ago) and JoAnn who was in K-12 with my mom (last seen 61 years ago). It was fun to see them pick up almost as though they’d seen each other yesterday.
As for me, I always worry about managing my food when I have company. I sometimes eat weirdo off-cycle meals, with bigger lunches than dinner, and I didn’t know how that would work with the parents here. But it actually was fine. I found my way to a Friday WW meeting, since the Saturday ones were cancelled because of the July 4th holiday, and that helped me reinforce eating carefully. Which didn’t stop me from having a Friendly’s happy ending sundae when we went to Mystic on Saturday. It was yummy but not as good as I remembered and I don’t really want another. That’s progress.
I was aware as we talked this weekend that I was probably more honest with my parents than I’d ever been about my weight and life as a fat person. It wasn’t defensive or argument, just not hiding who I am anymore. I told my mom when we went out to lunch and looked at eating on the patio, that I was afraid I would get stuck in the flimsy chair. On another day, my worry that I wasn’t sure I could actually walk from the distant parking down to the dock where we’d hoped to get on a harbor cruise. My honesty about how hard it was to find clothes that fit that I actually liked, and that I wouldn’t be wearing shorts out in public because my legs are so lumpy.
We also spent time talking about weight loss surgery. My packet of information arrived from the surgeon’s office in response to my doctor’s referral. I am to be assessed by a clinical nutritionist and a psychologist, and answer a long questionnaire from the surgeon. I also picked up a copy of Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies (thanks, C, for the recommendation!) which will already be a good resource. My parents are 100% behind me in making this choice and understand the need to lose weight before I can have the knee surgery I also need (Dad had a double-knee replacement 8 years ago so he really gets it).
When I got home from the airport after seeing the parents off, I ran around doing laundry, tidying up, changing the bed, paying bills, cuddling with Tessie. Some of that was done through tears. I never know when I see my parents if I will see them again. I’m almost 55 years old and incredibly blessed to have both of them alive, active, healthy and aware. But time marches on and I know there will come a time when I won’t have them to hold and love and support. Now matters. So do they.