Friday, February 6, 2009

My Charging Hero

Chargers. Drainers. Our conversation this week has left thinking me about those times in my life when my battery has been fully re-charged. That level of replenishment usually requires at least of few days of slow charging.

As I turned the pages of my mental diary, I realized that one person has often been the provider of such emotional refreshment. You see, I think it requires more than getting away from life's drainers; it requires enough attention to detail that the recipient's needs are met without thought. It also helps if "little" things are done to make one feel cared for. In my case, the charger is (drum roll) Cathy's mother, Joyce.

Cathy and I have been married 36 years. I have been going to Joyce and Bob's home for a long, long time. Ever since we were young, my mother-in-law has taken care to discover particular things I like and she goes out of her way to provide them while we are there.

For instance, we arrived at Christmas time and I discovered my favorite soft drink in their refrigerator. It's a new choice for me and Joyce picked up on it. She didn't even know where to look for it at the store, but she searched until she found it.

When I visit their home, I am encouraged to totally relax. If I sleep late, take a nap or disengage to read or do computer stuff (my hobby), no problem. Don't think that everything is warm and fuzzy, though. She and I are both fierce competitors (Cathy and her dad are, too) and we are usually on opposites sides in table games. We often bring out the worst in each other with our unyielding competitiveness, but she still works hard to make my stay in their home pleasant.

The more I thought about it, the clearer it became that their home has been consistent as a place where I get charged back up and ready to take on the world. Wow, what a privilege!

Joyce, if you are reading this, thank you!

Reader, you need someone like her in your life. If you have such a person, tell us about it. If not...

...this one is already taken!


Liz said...

90% of the time, my mom is my charger. She does make reat efforts to take care of people who come into her home. From the little things like favorite dessert or drink to bigger levels of comfort. A simple phone call can usually ease my tension and leave me feeling reconnected. My mom and I have been through an incredibly difficult history together and it amazes us both that we have come out of it as close as we are.

Scriptor Senex said...

Without doubt I can nominate my brother. Since I grew up I have been the Responsible Person in almost every setting I've been in. My own family, the houses, looking after parents, work, wherever I've gone people have looked to me for decisions and for sorting out the mess or suggesting the positive way forward.
However, when I am with my big brother I can relax and be waited on both physically and spiritually. He is a most excellent host, a caring friend, an unstinting chauffeur and so much more.
Yes, I'm very lucky, I have my own 'Joyce'.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I nominate my husband. Seriously. And I like to believe I do the same for him - it just depends on who most needs looking after at the time :) But we are lucky in that, with no kids to take care of, we can spend all our energy on looking after each other.

beckiwithani said...

I have the same "Joyce" as you, but I call her "Mamma." I remember when Molly was just 5 weeks old, and D and I got the bright idea to fly to the Southwest and do a two-week road trip visiting all the relatives. Our few days at Mamma and Papa's house were so restful and rejuvenating. We were still being woken up every 2-4 hours by a hungry baby, but Mamma made us feel better. We played Pinochle till past midnight every night, Molly in my lap half the time, more coffee being made over and over. We'd all go to bed exhausted, and when Molly woke up D and I in the wee hours, Mamma would already be up making breakfast. It was such a wonderful visit, one we have wanted to repeat ever since we left.

C. Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. Beth said...

Sorry to delete previous comment--called The Engineer by his real name accidentally.

One of The Engineer's best friends, Kevin, is such a "giver." He has taken care of our kids countless times--usually assisted by his wonderful wife Judy and/or their sweet daughter Alana. I know my kids will be loved and taken care of whenever they are with them--Chickie especially, since they have watched her so much. It was fabulous being able to go to 10 weeks of childbirth classes before Zoodle was born, knowing Chickie was not only content, but THRILLED to go to "Mr. Kevin & Miss Judy's" house.

They watched Chickie when Zoodle was born, and I could focus on the birth and bonding, knowing she was in such great hands. He's volunteered or agreed to watch the kids at so many other times--one day we left both kids here at the house while Kevin and Alana watched them, and we had an incredibly romantic date...visiting someone in the hospital. :) But it was wonderful, because I really relaxed and reconnected with my husband on the drive to and from the hospital downtown.

Knowing my kids are in such loving hands is SUCH a gift, and having friends in town who have made a point to give me time with my husband has recharged me many times.

Sam said...

You guys are all so cool. Thank you for sharing your stories? Any more out there?