Mother’s Day may be history, but as my mother can attest, I have never been on time for anything. So it comes as no surprise, especially to her, that this gift is belated.
So here it is: it ain’t much, but it’s certainly not anything she will get from anyone else this holiday. It’s a heartfelt “thank you” that is out there for all to read (or at least all 12 of you who read this blog…)
I had the wonderful, yet difficult, task of caring for my mother for a few months last year. For the past eight years this responsibility has fallen on my oldest sister, Denise, and her husband, Billy. I say “wonderful” and “difficult” in the same sentence because I cherished every minute I got to spend with her, but it was difficult because she is getting older. It’s hard to watch someone who has cared for you all your life become the one who relies on you. As the doctor who treated her at the hospital told her, “We start out taking care of our children and as we age, our children wind up taking care of us.”
However, while she was mine for those few months, I tried to make as many new memories as possible. I looked upon it as a “learning adventure”…
My household has returned to “normal” since Mom returned to Texas, yet she left a lasting impression. For instance, I can’t ever watch “Dancing With The Stars” without thinking of her fawning over dancer Derek Hough. I miss hearing her yell at my dogs as they roughhouse; “damn dogs” she would mutter under her breath.
I miss those moments when we would sit on her bed, just the two of us, before anyone else was awake in the household and I would check her blood sugar levels. I hated having to prick her finger and watch her flinch when I poked her finger; I always made sure to say I was sorry.
I miss hearing her stories from the past, even ones I’ve heard a million times. She seems to recall the details like they were yesterday.
I miss hearing her talk about my dad and her obvious and unending love for him. He may have left us ten years ago, but her genuine love for him hasn’t wavered.
I miss her being “all up in my business.. She always had to know what was going on, all the time. At times, it wore on me that she wanted to know EVERYTHING, but I would then remind myself how lucky I am to have a mom who cares about me. The funniest part of her insatiable curiosity was her popping her head out of her room to check out what was going on. We affectionately labled this “prairie dogging.”
I miss receiving her unsoliciated advice. About EVERYTHING. I miss her asking me, literally every five minutes, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
I miss touching her small, frail hands, and think about how they used to hold me when I was a child. Her skin is so thin now you can practically see through it.
I think about the mornings we spent having coffee together and watching as she would add powdered creamer to her coffee and not mix it in. The powder would float on top of her coffee like a cloud; that is how she’d drink it.
I miss her quick wit. My kids would rattle off some cute story or random situation and my mom would top it off with a hysterical one-liner, regardless of the topic.
I miss her love of frozen yogurt. She ate like a bird, but when you would tell her that, she’d respond, “yeah, like a vulture”. If she ever hit 120 on a scale, it’s because she put rocks in her pockets.
I definitely miss her doing all my dishes!!
Believe it or not, I miss counting out her pills and putting them in her weekly pill boxes. She took so many pills, I felt like a pharmacist playing mancala!
One of our adventures together included an ambulence ride to the hospital. While it was stressful and scary, it was also an opportunity for me to bond with my mom. Nothing brings you closer than helping your elderly mother shower. I can’t remember when we laughed that hard together!
I miss her hugs and kisses, although her unconditional love stays with me.
So while we were together, we made memories. When I was younger, my mom taught me about love, patience, humor; all of which I experienced while she visited for those few months. What I learned from my mom this time is to make the most of every day, even when that day finds you stuck in the hospital, showeing with your daughter…
Some wise words for this Mothers” Day: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift; that is why we call it the present.”–Eleanor Roosevelt.