Back when my life was relatively normal (which seems like a dream but which I obviously took for granted) I would call my parents once a week, on Sunday afternoon. We live thousands of miles apart (me in Georgia, my parents in New Mexico) so in-person visits were rare. But I would faithfully call each Sunday, even though I dreaded the intrusion on my personal time. I worked hard, and treasured my weekend time.
Most of these conversations were all Mom. She was the one with the need to talk, and tell me every minute detail of the week. She was lonely, and needed someone to talk to. Dad was more like me, generally reserved unless he really hit it off with someone.
I remember there were times when Dad was sinking into dementia and Mom would put Dad on the phone. Frankly, I dreaded these talks with Dad. It was clear he was losing his mind from the way he would instantly forget what he was talking about to the random questions he would sometimes ask. The conversations worried me and made me feel guilty for not being there to help out Mom.
This summer to now, Sundays have been very strange. I’ve either been visiting Mom in the hospital or nursing home, or taking care of her at home. I almost miss those Sunday phone conversations that I used to dread.