Camp Counselor

Camp CounselorOne of the benefits I found of not working was my availability to help my friends without the complications of conflicting schedules. Not working provided an incredible freedom.

It was a great feeling when I could help Pamela organize her too small and too few closets. There was an immediate satisfaction as we saw the resulting picture worthy fruits of our labor.

My neighbor Marge saved valuable time when I helped her avoid waiting at the dealership for her car to be serviced on more than one occasion. You know the place – the chairs are never comfortable, the muzak competes with the television station and everyone has that pained look in their eyes that says “I’d rather be anywhere but here.”

But one of the most impactful roles I’ve played is that of Camp Counselor. As background, Robyn is a dear friend I met when I first moved to Charlotte. We lived in the same apartment complex and as two northern girls adjusting to the south, built a strong bond. Several years later Robyn’s mother Barbara retired and moved to Charlotte and my local “family” grew.

Recently Barbara had health issues that made it unsafe to leave her alone. Robyn’s sales job requires she travel and that, coupled with the fact the company’s fiscal year end was approaching caused quite a bit of concern, so I became the alternate caregiver. At first I would go to Robyn’s house but once they moved into their new townhome, in a development where many of the homes were still under construction, Barbara found it more restful to come to my house.

August and September were particularly busy months for Robyn with a series of overnight trips. In those instances she and Barbara would arrive at my house with a supply of everything Barbara might need during her stay. If Barbara felt up to it we planned an excursion. If not, I planned short errands to ensure I was not gone too long.

After a while Barbara began referring to my house as camp. The only difference in the visits was whether it was day camp or sleep over camp. Through it all Barbara was a good camper and a good sport, especially those times she would get the schedule confused and be unsure of where she was sleeping that night.

I know it gave Robyn great peace of mind to know her mother was in good hands and it was a nice way for me to reconnect with memories of time spent with my own mother, especially as she battled health issues.

As the saying goes, there is always a silver lining and I found at least one. How about you?


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