Since Mom and Dad are now both retired, they decided to take advantage of the situation and the quality time that remains between them.  They planned a 2-month trip and called it their Retirement Vacation.

The social butterflies that they are, with friends from coast to coast, they worked their way by car down to Florida.  The next phase of their Retirement Vacation was to rent our old family home in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  I was VERY much looking forward to meeting them in Hilton Head with my brothers, sleeping in my old bedroom, drifting off to sleep with the waves crashing…

But then Mom suggested I fly to Florida to meet her and Dad there instead.  They apparently thought that a couple weeks of quiet, quality time – just the 3 of us! – would be just what the doctor ordered for me.  However, it was only on the plane today, as Michigan got smaller and smaller in my window, that I realized just HOW much this was the most BRILLIANT idea ever!!

It was such a heartwarming relief when their car pulled up at the airport and they got out in shorts and smiles to welcome me.  I started melting in relaxation right then and there in the backseat of their car… then in my room at their condo… and then by the pool in their backyard. I started to feel a calming sensation, something totally new to me, and I happily surrendered in my lounge chair in the sun…

We were at the pool perhaps 20 minutes when Dad decided that he needed a hat to shade his head from the sun.  Charming as always, he asked if we needed anything and then he walked inside.  Ten minutes later, he was back, happily eating licorice, carrying Diet Cokes for us, a newspaper under his arm – but no hat.  Mom asked, “Didn’t you want a hat?” to which he exclaimed, “Oh, that’s a great idea!” and off he went again.  After a few minutes she suggested I go in and help.

He was grabbing a book off the counter, and I suggested, “Hey, Dad, why don’t you grab yourself a hat for the pool?” to which he agreed and walked into the bedroom.  He walked out satisfied, no hat in hand, and said, “Ready?”  I said, “You know what, I’m just gonna grab you a hat so your head doesn’t get sunburned,” to which he said that was probably a great idea.

The rest of the wonderful day, I had a persistent awareness of me and Mom jumping up a lot to help Dad find things.  At one point late in the evening, he was wandering around from room to room looking for something and I whispered to her whether we should help.  She said that sometimes she just lets him look for a while by himself.  And then she admitted that it actually gave him something to do and allowed her a short break.  She added that sometimes he actually finds the item he’s looking for and she doesn’t have to get up after all!  🙂

Me happy to see Mom and Dad at the airport!

Me and Dad chillin' poolside - with his hat!