Archive | November 2014

So Thankful!

After doing the grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, I stopped by the care home to see Mom for a few minutes. I gave back her watch, which I’ve had for over a month now because I kept forgetting to take it in to get the battery replaced, and she was very happy to have it back. Holding her hand, I noticed how long her fingernails are and that there was dirt under a couple of them. As I was leaving, I mentioned this to the head caregiver, who said she will clip and file Mom’s nails tomorrow.

After kissing Mom goodbye and telling her I’ll see her tomorrow for church, I went out the front door… and I literally skipped to my car, like a little kid.

Can I tell you how awesome it is to leave Mom’s place feeling like SKIPPING?! I nearly always left her last place feeling like crying.

Thursday she had a follow-up with the kidney specialist, and the owner of the care home brought her to the appointment. I met them at the doctor’s office, and it was so encouraging to see Mom smiling and joking with the owner and the caregiver who had accompanied them. The doctor ordered some more labs, and the caregivers volunteered to take her down the street to the lab to get it done right then, so that I could go back to work. When we said goodbye, I hugged and kissed Mom and told her I would see her Sunday. She was perfectly happy to go with the caregivers, who she always refers to as “my friends” because she can’t remember their names. She may not know their names, but they have become her family. And they are fast becoming my family as well.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful that Mom is healthy enough and strong enough to climb the stairs into my apartment building to share the holiday with me. I am thankful she lives in a home that is truly a HOME, not an institutional setting. I am thankful for family — both the family we were born into and the family we have found, or who found us.

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By the light of a silvery moon

Driving home from work this evening, I saw the full moon and remembered…

While playing Scrabble one night with some cousins on the Ohio visit, Mom kept humming a tune she had stuck in her head. None of us could identify what the song was, though it sounded vaguely familiar, but Mom couldn’t stop humming it. To get it out of her head, my cousin Pinky started singing that old Doris Day song By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Mom chimed in, then Rob and I did too… and although it didn’t *quite* replace the whole family singing around a campfire at the Memorial Day picnic, it’s still one of my favorite little moments from the trip.

Last week I was driving Mom home after taking her out for dinner when she started humming in the car and, again, we couldn’t identify the song from the few bars that were stuck in her head. So I started humming By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and on the fourth line we both started to sing the lyrics — “Honey moon, keep a-shinin’ in June. Your silvery beams will bring love’s dreams…” — coming in together perfectly in sync, almost as if we’d been practicing. We couldn’t remember the verse, so we just sang the chorus a second time and pulled into her driveway laughing.

We used to sing in the car together all the time when I was a girl, especially on road trips but sometimes even while just driving across town. I’m thinking we ought to revive that tradition while she still remembers the old songs.