Friday, September 26, 2008

Live-In Nurse

Shell leaves tomorrow. I am dreading this. Of course at the onset of her trip it felt blissful to have an entire week with my sister, and totally foreign to have her away from her family. I don't think I have ever spent time with her sequestered away from her entire family, just her to myself, alone. I loved the prospect of it. I also loved that for the first time she was coming to me, since I've never had a place worth visiting, or lived far from her since I've had a family. I was excited to show off my house, our little community, our life here in NC, and of course my growing family. It seemed like a sort of vacation for both of us since we didn't have any obligations and we could enjoy the relative calm and quiet of my household. It was as enjoyable as I had imagined. There are a few people in my life that I feel absolutely comfortable with, nearly all of the time. People who I could always spend time with. People I do not feel judged by, but totally accepted, valued, and loved. Michelle is chief among these few people.
I've loved having her company, but at times it has been hard to sit and watch her bustle around taking care of me. I know that is why she came, to take care of me and my little ones, but still it is hard to watch her toil the day long after me. I want to contribute more, to take more care of myself instead of watching her care for me. Still, I appreciate it. All of it.
I am dreading her departure tomorrow. Obviously I am dreading having to take a trial run at my new life by myself. I am worried about how this next week will go, how tired I will be, how much patience I will have...But also emotionally. It is so wonderful to have such support, help, and friendship, that it's absence will be hard to bear. It will make the miles seem ever more expansive between us. It will make my household seem too quiet, too empty, too void of adult company. I'm afraid I will feel so lonely at a time when I don't relish taking on additional stress or emotional trauma. I will miss the safety, warmth and support of having my sister near. Once more, Michelle has been present for one of the most important events of my life. I am glad that she will always play a central role in my life when I review it.
Tonight I will try and recount and document the many ways she has served us this week. I know it is not a comprehensive list, but it'll get me started.

In the last 7 days Shell has:
* made cupcakes with Bella
* swept and mopped my floors (her most hated household task)
* scrubbed my tub and tile grout! (my most hated household task)
* taken Bella to Monkey Joe's
* bought our weeks worth of groceries, including picking out favorite treats for me
* bought us dinner at Tijuana Flats
* bought us Rita's Water Ice several times
* gotten a movie
* taken Bella grocery shopping
* let me sleep whenever I want
*made Bella's bed everyday
* chastised me constantly for not resting enough
* did all my laundry and folded it, several times
* put the sheets back on and made my bed
* done errands with me
* cleaned up everyday
* responded to Bella's cries at 2:30 am one morning
* brought me my finished quilt (an upcoming post...)
* brought Bella a big-sister present of Dominoes
* held Fiona whenever I needed it or she wanted to
* fed Fiona a bottle to give me a break
* made delicious food, including a shrimp penne dish from Pioneer Woman
* waited on me hand and foot, providing all of our my meals and promptly cleaning them up
* brought me my favorite, Peanut Butter M&Ms
* cleaned my shower grout
* taken pictures of Fiona, both candid and a real 'shoot'
* changed many a diaper, both innocuous Fiona 'diapes', and noxious Bella 'diapes'
* put Bella to bed and down for Quiet Time, the whole routine and all-most of the time
* Prepared all of Bella's meals and snacks
* Ran out to get newborn diapers at 11 o'clock at night
* provided photo-documentation of the whole trip when I lacked energy or foresight
* got up with Bella every morning and let me sleep as long as I wanted
* dealt with several emotionally-charged meltdowns from Bella

After she's gone I will review the week again with photos she took of the trip.
I'm afraid the post-partum emotional floodgates will open on the way back from the airport tomorrow. Perhaps sooner. I'm fighting it off right now.
Another post for another day. Tomorrow?


Susan said...

Hmmmm.....I spoke to Michelle just few hours ago, inquiring how you were doing with her leaving so close. She said you were doing great!

But your description just posted was what I was thinking would happen. It seems to me that the one left is the saddest one. I know it will be very sad, but it will get better each day. I'm so glad that you have good photo docs to back up the memories.

Maybe it should be an annual trip, one year to her house and the next year to your house!

The list of service is impressive, that's for sure! Now that's what I call good help.

Thanks, Michelle. Sisters are the best.

Alison said...

Made me cry!!!

michelle said...

That made me cry, too, and you know that's a pretty rare thing.

It was a total vacation for me!

rmt said...

I'm sad for you! How nice that you had your sister there to take care of you. I wish she could stay longer--but I know that you will do just fine on your own, too. I'm looking forward to seeing more photos!

amy m said...

It's amazing Michelle was able to come help you for an entire week by herself. What a treat for you both. I can see why you're dreading her departure. Sounds like the two of you have a very sweet relationship and certainly that is why she knew to come.

Denise said...

My heart feels heavy for you! I am touched by that impressive list of Michelle's service. I love that you two are so close and enjoy being together. I love the close relationship I share with my sister--your mom--and she similarly does wonderful things for me when she comes to visit. I always feel lifted, if a touch sad, after spending time with her.

Jill said...

I can't even tell you how glad I am that Michelle got to go take care of you and your sweet family this week. I think these first weeks of having a new baby in the house and the new adjustments being made are so special, so it's really something to have people you love to share it with.

I love it that you listed the many, many things Michelle did for you while she was there. I know that she loved doing them for you because you appreciated it so much. (If only we could all get some of that in our real lives.) You two have a wonderful relationship.

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