Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Today I am grateful that she’s back. Who’s back? My mom. The mom who cracks me up and is full of piss and vinegar. The same mom who nearly drove us to drink (that’s our story) this last year when we had to move her out of her apartment and into assisted living. This is the same woman who screamed at us so much that even my level-headed husband rode her the riot act about her attitude.
But we seem to have crossed a threshold because I no longer dread calling her on the phone like I used to because she’s adjusting. Maybe even liking where she’s living, although the food is still “terrible” sometimes. I remind her it is far from the rehab food which was. . .well. . .I’m not sure what it was, because half the time you couldn’t tell. I called it the indistinguishable meal.
Not only is she thriving emotionally, but also physically. She no longer needs help getting out of a chair, out of bed or in the bathroom. Yea! I told her that I feel it’s because she is actually breathing air instead of the cheapest cigarettes they make, but she claims that has nothing to do with it. She’s still mom and hasn’t exactly gone soft. I also believe that eating at least two meals a day is more nutritious than living on Snickers and Mr. Goodbars. Again I am shut down because, “That doesn’t have anything to do with it!” Okay. There’s Jekyl.
Yesterday she did a talk about her experiences growing up in a family when her dad owned movie theaters. Fifteen people attended. They were mesmerized by her stories and hung around for a half an hour after she was done just to chat. YES! That’s what she was missing. People her own age to gab with. Who doesn’t love to gab?
When I spoke with her today her voice was vibrant and full of life. The activity person came to her room to tell her how much she enjoyed her talk and scheduled another talk. This one will be on her trip to visit us in Jakarta, Indonesia. “You’re going to have to help me remember some of this stuff,” she said. “That was a long time ago and you know I can’t see, so I can’t write down notes. . .or read them if I do.” She laughed. Yes, laughed! My mom.
I jumped right on in there to tell her to start thinking what she’ll talk about after Indonesia, because I know they’ll ask her again. “Do you think it’s because I know how to talk?” she laughed again. I told her it was because she was a natural story teller to which she replied, “I’m going to be 91 this year. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to do this. Something could happen.”
“You take that right back,” I barked. “You were all upbeat and positive and then you have to throw in that negativity crap!” Without missing a beat she made noises like a rewinding tape recorder, “wrlfifl-tltheol-elweh-elwlcteifh-slurp.” Cracked me up. It sure is nice to have her back. BING! Heartprint!