It happened so quickly. Suddenly, I’m giving a New Year’s Day party that’s about three times bigger than I anticipated. I don’t do parties like I used to and I’m kind of wondering about myself.
For about a week I have been planning to take the New Year’s holiday shifts with my client, Jack. The other girls have taken so many extra days while I’ve been gone, including the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays so it’s fitting that I should give them a holiday off. Besides, working for Jack is hardly like working at all. I have to go beyond nursing responsibilities to things like determining what chores stress Jack out and how can I help with them? Sorting mail and helping fill out insurance forms are common tasks, as are cleaning and organizing closets, getting rid of clutter. These are all things Jack’s wife would do if she were alive. And some days that’s how I decide how to spend my time, asking “what would Carol do?”
On New Year’s day I thought Carol would probably enjoy seeing Jack watch football with a few of his friends. So I suggested that, if he felt up to it, he might invite a few people over. Jack is doing so much better these days, getting stronger and more independent, and well, he jumped at the chance. For seven months his friends have been visiting him in the hospital and doing things for him so he is eager to host them for a little fun. Jack is probably the most hospitable person I know. After retiring from the Navy he spent over 20 years arranging conventions for different associations as their hospitality expert. He loves to take people out to eat. And he and Carol used to entertain in their home quite often.
Today I explored the details of what Jack had in mind. I had already given him the bare outline of my intended menu to see what he thought of it. I asked him how many people I needed to get ready for. He started making a list. It took him a while, but finally he said twelve or thirteen. That was about ten more than I envisioned so I began conscious breath control and sat and thought a bit. He went back to the list and a few minutes later he amended the number to 19, because surely there would be some who wouldn’t be able to come.
There you have it. I’ll be throwing a party at Jack’s house for pretty much all his close friends, most of whom are over 50 and many of whom are over 75 (Jack is 81). I think it’s pretty safe to say that activities will be limited to eating safe food and watching several hours of football, early football, probably the Rose Bowl, party over at 8 pm,
I think I remember how to care for a house full of people, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have a great time seeing Jack have a great time. But this whole thing did kind of sneak up on me, and I have to say that sometimes I kind of wonder about myself…
What do you think you are going to be doing on New Year’s Day?