The Same Parade

It’s a very long drive from Houston, Texas, to Eastern New Mexico.  When you get to the town of Post you’re almost home… but that means you’ve still got a little over three hours to travel.  And this was the case one day when Gary and I arrived at the main intersection in town only to be stopped for a parade.  At first we groaned, but we were grateful we were the first car at the intersection, giving us front row seats.  And there we sat for the next half hour until the last horse had passed and we were free to move along.

One year later some Facebook friends shared their frustrations at being stuck at that very same intersection in Post, watching that same parade.  Ha!  I flippantly told them I’d been there.. just relax and enjoy the parade with their kids.  But I understood.  It wasn’t their plan to be stopped there, and they too were trying to make that long haul across Texas in a day.

This is now my daily routine.  I need to make tracks.  I have much to accomplish every day, just like everyone I know.  But I’m stopped.  I’m sitting there at the parade trying to make the best of it.  Trying to appreciate that I’m watching it with someone I love.  Reminding myself at least I’m watching a parade.  It could be worse.  But it wears on me.

The parade lasts about 4 hours.  The floats, the animals, the bands… they’re nothing spectacular.. and it’s the same exact show every single day.  My passenger and I can only talk about the parade.  We may try to talk about other things, but it’s too distracting.   We must keep our eye on that same cast of characters.  It grows tedious, but we try to say the same nice things about those floats, and we talk about those animals with mustered exuberance.

The only thing that seems to change for me and my passenger is the weather, or the time of day we’re watching the parade.   She likes to have news playing while we watch that parade go by.  I would prefer silence, or maybe a little soft music.  I rarely try to get my way.   It’s easier to just let that news drone on and on… even though it’s a little too loud and I find it annoying to have to speak over it.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I’m just at an intersection watching a parade.  Sometimes I feel like it’s a horrible traffic jam with nothing to see.  I do grow tired of those same old entries. Even worse, some days it seems much more like a wreck.  Regardless… every day… there I am… the parade’s passing by… I can’t move… I can’t hurry along to where I wanted to go… I can’t tackle the piles of things that are waiting for me at home.

But that’s the path I must travel right now.  It’s not easy to sit there with my mother every day.  But Alzheimer’s is certainly no parade for her either.

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