Copyrighted 'Mom at 18'
I will be forever grateful that my 80 year old mother was determined to travel so far to visit with me for two months. We had visions of making jewelry (her passion - she brought a huge stash of beads), art journals, quilts, and of course some trips to the casinos for a game or two of Bingo. She has been here for 2 weeks and 4 days and we have done some of that although most of the time she has been gasping for air and taking to her bed. I had to take her to emergency yesterday and they have kept her overnight for 'observation' just as I and my brothers and sisters have done so many times in the past. She suffers from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder), CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) HBP (High Blood Pressure) , Diabetes and Leukemia. Throw in Diverticulosis and allergies and yes, it is amazing she is still with us. She looks ten years younger and most people are unaware that she has so many health issues.
I leaned on the window frame, above the curtain, where she couldn’t see me, and watched the sun dapple on the balcony and her. The lake below sparkled and danced; at the horizon the sky swelled up behind lazy sails. Sea gulls were soaring and screeching, searching for breakfast washed up from the night before. Two white butterflies wafted up to the balcony cavorting and spinning, seem to say, “Look at me, look at me”! Yet still she kept to her multi-task of working the morning’s crossword and searching for a recipe for tonight’s dinner. She moves her head up and down, finding the right spot through her bi-focal. The bright light on her unkempt hair shows not a strand of gray, but is shocking nonetheless. A soft breeze floated the cheap polyester fabric with its huge red poppies from her shoulder to expose the smooth plump flesh hanging just below. She calls it her calf-a-tan and I can’t remember a time when she never wore it.
I watched her head bob for a few more minutes, when she looked at the window I was standing, then off towards the lake. After 30 seconds, she was back to her crossword.
A long time ago, I remember being a part of the scene I was watching; her gently holding a bird that had flown in the window and was injured. The sun shining on her then made her look as if a high priestess while she tended to the fallen sparrow….. excerpt 'Remembering to Forget' Journal CAEden 2001
I hope mom will be with us for years to come. There is still so many layers, so much to learn and remember. On my way to the hospital where I hope it will be good news that she is stable and can come home so we can start our journals.