Tag Archives: family

Sun, Sun, Sun, Here It Comes

Little darling
It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years that it’s been here

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I’m celebrating and commemorating my little darling’s epoch-making 95th winter almost ending and 95th spring almost beginning with two exclamation points!!

I thought about doing it with ninety-five exclamation points, but that would be a little over the top. So, I’ll just silently count ninety-five of them, point by point, as they prance and dance around in my head.

This has been one mighty long, cold winter and mom, as usual, has been a mighty warrior standing up to Old Man W.

Mom may have had the sniffles a time or two, but she never missed a day at Circle Center Adult Day Care. She has traveled by wheel chair from her home to her waiting chariot, to Circle Center and back in rain, sleet, snow, wind, and cold, cold, cold!

Did I mention cold?

She never complained, never hid under the covers, never did anything but get bundled up and go like a windup toy. How many of you can hold a hand up and count yourself as one with mom?

Mom is tough stuff. Even with a father who started his career in medicine as a horse and buggy doctor, she never took advantage of it. She never got sick.

Do I hear an exclamation?

Exclamation!

Amen!

Little darling
The smiles returning to the faces
Little darling
It seems like years since it’s been here

I smile every time I’m with my ninety-five year old little darling, because she always smiles at me first. And, when she smiles, I smile. It’s as simple as that. It can be cold as ice or hotter than hell … I know I’ll get a smile out of her, guaranteed!

For the rest of the us, spring will be heating our lips up enough to have smiles returning to our faces, but for mom, that patented smile of hers never left.

That’s ninety-five, unstoppable, smile filled years … yep, you guessed it … !

For mom being a smiling mom through thick and thin, I brought her a handpicked daffodil.

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Little darling
I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling
It seems like years since it’s been clear

No matter how promising it sounds when the Beatles sing their song, Here Comes the Sun, ice slowly melting is not nearly fast enough for me.

Today, I had to bundle up and replace a dripping outdoor water spigot (funny word) at mom’s. It was making unwanted icicles, and and adding unwanted expenses to the water bill. How cold was it? So cold that I was one of only a handful of people who braved the cold to be in a Walmart … that’s how cold (time for another exclamation)!

Two days ago, Melissa and I were hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains, experiencing spring springing up on one side of the mountain, the same time it was snowing on the other. Even the wildlife looked confused.

Tom Spring Springing Melissa Spring Springing Spring Springing Tom Melissa Snow Mountains

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And, I say, it’s all right

Mom is still aware of the seasons. In the winter she points to trees and calls them naked. It the spring and summer, she knows they turned over a new leaf. She likes to have the window cracked just a bit when she is in the car. She loves the feel of the warm breeze.

Having spent the majority of my life in the Sunshine State of Florida, I love the sun. In fact, it was one winter, after a long career in Richmond, that was the straw that broke one frozen camel’s back and sent me packing back to Florida for seventeen years before coming full circle back to Richmond to care for my mom and sister.

Call me crazy, but I’ll take light over dark any day. And, I’ll take warm over cold the same way. The only places I really love ice are in my tea, my cocktails and when it’s cooling off a cooler full of beer.

So, again I look up to the lady who has been shorter than me for most of my life, that little stick of dynamite, my mom. My little darling, mom, is a mom for all seasons, but as for me, I’m a sunshiner!

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
And I say, it’s alright

Sunshine Daffodils

 

 

 

Jesus Loves Me & More

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Mom loves to sing.

Her favorite song is Jesus Loves Me.

When you ask her to sing a song, nine times out of ten, she belts out Jesus Loves Me … and she usually sings it spot on.

But, today, all I can say is she sang it in a totally unpredictable way.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
And he comes from Alabama
With a banjo on his knee
And he’s going to Louisiana
His true love for to see

I wish I could, but I could not make this up.

Two songs, two tunes, both from the mid-eighteen hundreds, merged together in a very unorthodox way, but merge they did.

I don’t know whether it was divine intervention or what, but I do believe mom’s creation, if accepted, would change the New Testament, and life as we know it, forever.

And, the pilgrimages to Alabama and Louisiana alone would have tourism skyrocketing through the roof … not to mention banjo sales.

Please note, I am not suggesting my ninety-three year old mom has started a holy movement.

A holy moly moment is probably more like it.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Mom’s Kids

Posted on

Mom's Kids

I was told early on that dolls are often the best thing you can make available to a woman with dementia.

The maternal instinct seems to be eternal. Many women, and sometimes even men, find great comfort in holding and caring for their dolls?

Two dolls at Circle Center Adult Day Care have my mom’s name on them. They are hers and hers alone. Everyone at the Center knows and respects that.

I call them Mom’s Kids.

Mom’s Kids are wide awake and waiting in her big soft chair for her every morning. And, they are in her arms every evening when I come to take Mom home.

We have the same conversation every evening. Mom wants to take her kids home, and I suggest they spend the night there. She wants to know if they will have supper and a bed. After several assurances, she gives the OK and we are off.

I secretly call Mom’s Kids Nel and Tom named for my sister and me. The four of us are made from the same cloth and all of us have spent plenty of quality time in those arms of hers on the receiving end of her hugs and kisses. There is nothing like them.

And, speaking for the four of us, there is no one like our Mom. Those permanent smiles on all of Mom’s Kids’ faces, mine included, are a testament to that.

One thing’s for sure, Mom still has her mother’s instinct. I guess a mother’s love is almost impossible to take away.

Today, Mom and I had the following conversation on the drive home from Circle Center.

Me: Mamma, Mamma!

Mom: Yes?

Me: You are my Mamma, Mamma! Did you know that? My very own little Mamma, Mamma!

Mom: I have known that for a long time.

Me: Do you know how much I love you, Mom? One million tons! That is one heaping heavy load of love!

Mom: Well, I love you! I have always loved you. I have loved you forever … still do.

You always do the right thing instead of nothing.

You don’t spit and you don’t hit.

You know dirty words, but you don’t say them very much.

Me: (Thinking to myself, damn!) Mom, when I was baby, was I big or little?

Mom: You were just the right size. You were perfect perfection.

You did everything right, every time. Still do.

Me: Love you, Mamma Mamma.

Mom: I love you! I have always loved you.

Me: (Two hands on the wheel and one permanent smile on my face.)

Standing Tall in Mom’s Eyes

Mom Standing Tall

Either I am getting taller or mom is getting shorter.

OK, I know, I know. There’s no denying it. The flat fact is, at 93, mom is coming up on the short end of the stick … the yardstick that is.

And, it’s because she is shrinking. I call her the incredible shrinking mom. At 5’1″, I know she has to be at least two or three inches, shorter than she was when I started writing my blog a few years ago.

I have been 5’11” for what seems like forever, and after just finishing checking my height with a tape measure, I still am.

Mom has always insisted I’m 6′. I’ll say, “No, mom, I am 5’11’,” and she’ll come back with, “No, you are not. You are 6′, and that’s it.”

That one little inch she has given me has meant miles to me. I adore her for always giving me that extra inch.

She has always believed I am not only an inch taller than I am, but an inch smarter, more creative, funnier, better looking, you name it … and all of those inches have added up to miles and miles and miles … enough to stretch beyond the moon, the sun and the stars.

Whether it has been benefit of the doubt, encouragement or praise, it has always been inches more than I deserve.

But, now, I really do look like I am miles taller than mom.

When I help her put her sweater on in the morning, I’ll ask her to stand tall. And, as she stiffens to attention, I look down and see that, even though I remain the same, she just keeps getting shorter and shorter.

Then, I remember … my mom taught me “taller” is in the eye of the beholder.

So, I bend down and kiss her on the top of her head and whisper, “You are the tallest person I have ever known. And, that’s it.”

Not Pink, Not Black, But Red All Over

Me: Mom, what color is the bible?

Mom: Pink.

Me: Pink?!

Mom: No, darker than that. Red.

It’s got to be a powerhouse color because it holds all that blah, blah, blah. It is not pink. It is red. And that’s it.

Me: Mom, have you ever seen a black bible?

Mom: No. There is no such thing. Black bibles are just red ones that are dirty. Some people use their bibles so much they just get them dirty. They don’t stop and wash their hands before they read like they should.

Me: So, mom, what color are bibles?

Mom: Bibles are all really red. I told you that … and that’s it.

Forget-Me-Not

An email from my oldest daughter, Tovi

Dear Dad,

On the ride back home to Wilmington from Richmond … I did what you know I often do…I cried and was sad pretty much the entire four hour trip.

Since I left Richmond to attend the University of South Carolina in 1990 it’s always the same. Richmond was our home, the only home I ever knew growing up and no matter where I have lived since, coming back makes me remember how much I miss it. And that why the sadness and the tears.

So my boys asked me what was wrong and I said I always get sad leaving you, grandma and Richmond and that this time was particularly hard because grandma never once called me by my name. I don’t think she really knew who I was. She did tell me I was beautiful, amazing and she was soooo excited to see me.  But, like I said, she didn’t really know who I was.

I keep telling myself grandma is 91 and has dementia, but that does not offer a lot of comfort.

Anyway..so I asked the boys which would be better: to be Ms. Mary (the elderly woman that I am a caregiver for in Wilmington), who knows her family and is grumpy and sometimes mean when they come for a visit, OR Grandma who doesn’t know who is coming to visit or for how long or what purpose, but is always so very happy? With grandma, everyone is her favorite … family, friends and strangers alike!

The boys immediately answered that it would be much better to be like grandma … to be happy is so much better!

Boy do they love her and her happy spirit, as do I. But, I grieve over her not remembering me and not knowing just how much of who I am and what I stand for is because of her.

He’s Got the Whole World …

If you haven’t realized it by now, mom loves to sing. She always has and our family has, too.

So, it was not unusual for one or all of us to break out in song anytime, night or day. And today, at breakfast, it was no exception.

Mom transformed the spoon in her right hand from a utensil for eating cereal to a drumstick for beating on the table and started singing, “he’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands,” to the beat of her own drum.

Needless to say, I was singing harmony and clapping my hands to mom’s beat. It was a great way to kick start the day!

Minutes later, we were in the car heading to mom’s adult day care when she started singing again, and frankly my mind was on an upcoming traffic light and so I wasn’t paying attention to the song she was singing. But, when I realized she was singing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, but with a new twist, I was fully engaged.

She was singing at top of her lungs, “he’s got the whole world in his pants, he’s got the whole world in his pants, he’s got the whole world in his pants, he’s got the whole world in his pants.”

I don’t know if the traffic light was red, green or yellow. And, before I could say anything, mom stopped singing, looked at me and said, “that’s funny.”

That’s when I started to laugh.

All I could say was, “Lord only knows, mom. What goes on in heaven, stays in heaven.”

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