I don’t get irritated or baffled anymore when I walk into a restroom and see pee on the floor, or heck, on the toilet seat itself.
I don’t even wonder in my head – or out loud if I’m feeling brazen – “Wow, doesn’t anybody know how to pee in the bowl anymore?”
I don’t even start to feel self-righteous because I have a vagina and not a penis.
It’s weird how my mind works these days.
I’m going to give all of this weird-thinking credit to being a caregiver to my Pop’s for ten years.
I walked into a bathroom recently – one of those single loo’s – at a coffee shop where everyone from Grandma Grace to Tiny Tyke Timmy to Newborn Betty and Average Joe goes to relieve everything that’s all up in them.
So, you really don’t know who the pissing culprit is when you walk in there and notice a little urine sprinkle here and a small trickle there.
Only now when I walk into a bathroom and notice the drizzle of tinkle water on the floor and on the toilet – I smile.
Again, like I said, it’s weird how my mind works these days.
And Pops is still – even in his dementia-dosed mind – one of my favorite people.
Walking into a bathroom and seeing the display of piddle on the floor (that is one of my Pop’s favorite words, “piddle”) reminds me of the times when dementia only took his morning memories of what he had for breakfast; not the current climate of his dementia where he doesn’t even know my name.
The name of the daughter who gave up her career — and almost her marriage – to keep Pop’s quality of life stellar.
The name of the daughter who always wiped up all of Pop’s piddle on the floor when he could barely make it to the bathroom.
I don’t regret that time though; even as gut-pulling and heart-tearing those caregiving years were.
And that’s where I see the power of time have its greatest impact: giving enough space to see some clarity.
When I go to bed now my bones aren’t exhausted from the constant movement of chasing Pop’s around the house making sure he didn’t fire up the stove, turn on a burner, find a lighter to play with or decide to take a leisure stroll around the neighborhood.
I’ve had enough distance and space to see that that time in my life was made perfectly for me and for Pops and even for my Hubs and firecracker daughter.
Even if I couldn’t see it through the blur of chaos and piss.
That piddle-laden lonely loo in a coffee shop bathroom evoked feelings I sometimes take for granted and still reconcile with now.
The oftentimes soul-hurling, yet schooled trek of caregiving + lessons embedded so deeply it takes a splash of yellow on a toilet seat to bring me right back to the devastation + dazzle of dementia.
I mean, where else would you find gratitude in another person’s urine?
Piddles of Love,