Wednesday, November 24, 2010



his week, I've had a revelation for relieving my stress taking care of my parents. I've been playing with them.

Not making fun of them or anything like that. But playing cards. They were big card players in their day, and when I was young, they'd go to someone's house at least a couple times a month to play cards. For many years, Dad hasn't wanted to go places. He's been depressed, but they couldn't find the right combination of meds to help him. Mom doesn't drive, so when Dad stopped going places... her social life almost completely cut off.

I never got into playing cards much as an adult, but my daughter is visiting from college this week, and she loves to play cards with her friends at the dorms. So, she's been teaching me and my son games over the past year, and this visit was no exception. And Mom, in turn, taught her how to play their favorite card game, Whist. (My son had previously learned when my brother was visiting a couple of weeks ago.)

Mom was fascinated watching us play cards Sunday afternoon. She didn't even take a nap! She didn't want to play the games we were playing, but she didn't want to miss out on watching us. So, I suggested we play Whist and let her in on the fun. We've played every day since, and I have been a lot less stressed out this week! My husband has learned to play, too, and let me tell you, he and my dad make a formidable partnership!

I used to work upstairs with Mom and Dad, cooking, cleaning, taking them to appointments, paying bills, and whatever else needed to be done. After our evening meal (is it dinner or supper?), I would immediately go downstairs, to "get away". But I'm finding staying up there for an hour is good for us all.

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