Two years ago, my brother-in-law’s son purchased a fish tank as a gift for his Dad. My BIL had built a very elaborate fish tank in the home he had long ago shared with my sister. He really loved that fish tank. I do believe it gave him hours of joy. But when he moved and as he became wheelchair bound with Multiple Sclerosis, a fish tank was out of the question. It was just not feasible for him to take care of it the way he would like to, or be able to buy the fish he wanted.
Fishtank fish just don’t live very long. And my BIL likes to buy a variety of fish and tank creatures to populate the roost. So it would have been more of a burden than a joy.
But this gift from his son truly came from the right place. He knew how much his Dad would love this treat. What he didn’t know was how in God’s name any one was going to take care of it.
This is where I turn into the caregiver from hell. This is where caregivers do things they regret, but not really.
I took the young buck aside and said, “I know you live more than an hour away, but you have to be responsible to take care of this. I cannot take on a fish tank. It’s like a puppy to me. I just can’t put one more thing on my plate.”
He just looked at me and nodded, telling me not to worry,
The son came pretty regularly for about a year. The following year, my brother-in-law was and has been in and out of rehab and the hospital for almost the entire year. Those fish were on their own. Again, or so I thought.
But the one thing I didn’t consider or count on was that my BIL’s caregivers, those blessed women and occasional man who come to get him ready for the day and tuck him in sweetly at night were angel(fish) in disguise.
Every once in a while, over the months, I would get a text from one of the caregivers that I should not worry as they were taking care of the fish. Like I was worrying. Things that float are things that flush as far as I’m concerned. I know this is not animal PC, but I just could not and cannot go a half hour or an hour in a different direction every day to check out a gold fish.
So again, the caregivers who are in the building every day for other patients, not my BIL, take a minute to feed, clean and funeral direct, if necessary.
I am really, really grateful. Not in the ,”wow, I should take care of the fish, ’cause it makes him happy” kind of grateful. More the “I’m hopeful that he will know, he’s got good people in his world and sometimes it ain’t me …….” kind of grateful.
“You Just have to Laugh………..”
©2015 Cathy Sikorski