Mom Chronicles: Taking Pause
It's been a minute and I'm due for an update. I took a day trip today to be with Mom. I'm going to preface this by saying that I had 3 hours of restless sleep before my journey. I found out that a friend of mine passed yesterday. It really stung because 1. I just found out last Friday that he had been sick, 2. I had planned on stopping by the hospital on my way back to DC later today, 3. I had just talked to him at another friend's funeral/memorial service in November. We had dated for a very short period of time in college and I considered him to be such a kind hearted sweet guy. So during my morning drive I noticed the sunrise and took a deep breath to wake myself up and to enjoy taking air into my lungs. In that split second, I realized that my friend, Ken, could no longer do that. Life in this realm had ended for him 24+ hours ago. I cried on and off for the remainder of my drive in disbelief. The realization that yet another good brother has died stings, burns..... I tried to figure out in my head how I was going to tell Mom.
When I arrived, Mom was alseep and Pop was making himself some breakfast before leaving for work. He was running late because he said that he was trying something new with his schedule that obviously didn't work. He's slowing down but still "makin' it".
I planned my day in my head because I'm on a serious work deadline. I bought it with me and vowed to work thru the day. Mom slept in for a bit. I knew she was awake because of her high pitched sneeze (you have to hear it to believe it). I busted in her room to give her a kiss, a gesture she promptly returned. She said she didn't sleep well and that her neck was stiff. My neck was a bit stiff too so we compared stiffness by seeing how far we could wrench our necks around (silly stuff we still do at 80 & 54 yrs) - somethings will never change. I fixed my dear breakfast and then started work. I told her about Ken. The expression on her face said it all. I had to show her a picture of him because she couldn't really remember him. Something that should not have suprised me but frustrated me momentarily. I managed not to cry. Mom then switched the subject and asked me about the cemetary on North Capitol Street and asked if I had remembered it. I replied, yes. She then proceeded to tell me something corny I had asked she and Pop when I was a little girl about people dying to get in there. I shook my head and giggled - appreciative that she is still cunning enough to break the ice when necessary.
For lunch, I decided to bring my work into her room so we could chat and chew. She saw the beads and sequins and asked what I was working on. Prom dress and a deadline was my answer. So while Mom chewed and I beaded, she asked me about my elementary school teacher, Ms. Roper and whether she was still alive. She asked me about a few of our next door neighbors on Elder Street and whether I knew of their whereabouts. We also talked about the corner store that was a favorite pit stop for us back in the day on the corner of Geranium and Georgia. Hostess cupcakes, ginger and chocolate snap cookies, Big Buddy Gum, blow pops, big ass sour pickles in the jar, pickled pigs feet and lunch meat were some of the goodies (baddies) we would indulge in. I also had quite the collection of different colored rabbits foot key chains (so politically incorrect and barbaric) but back in the day, we snotty nosed kids wore them on our pant buckles, purse straps and where ever else we thought they would look cool like on the shoe lace of our Chucks.
So as lunch has finished and Mom decided to take a nap, I moved myself and my work to another room as not to bother her. Five minutes later, she's up and in the kitchen to scour the fridge and dining room table for an illicit snack. She didn't see me sitting at the computer until I commented on the length of her nap. A little startled, she looked at me like a kid that had been caught with her hand in the candy jar which let me know that she was looking for something to eat that she had no business eating. I hollered inside without changing my somewhat serious expression. Pop has stuff put up nicely so she can't get into it because 1. she forgets what she can and cannot eat, and 2. she doesn't care sometimes what she can't eat. Not so cute when one slip up can land her back in the hospital so we don't take it lightly.
Back to work I go until it's time to travel again later. Still stinging but momentarily distracted. Looking forward to the next Bison meeting and or get together with friends so I can get another hug, give another hug, see another smile, give another smile and cherish the moment.