08 February 2007

Yesterday Didn't Really Count

It seems like forever since I've written. Was it just two days ago? Yesterday didn't really count; it was just a quickie. I can't start out talking about the first part of my day because this is a public blog and my daughter reads it. Suffice it to say that I was madder at her than I've been in a long time. My frustration lasted for hours. I had little patience with my mother, drivers, shoppers, etc... I got over it at about 1:00. I'm fine now.

I went and picked up my Mom this morning. She had an appointment with her dentist, an older man who looks like he's led a rough life. He shows absolutely no emotion or hint of his real personality. My mother doesn't like going to him but his practice is one of the few places that take her union dental insurance. Oh well. The waiting room is tiny, probably 6 X 8 and lined with chairs. The person sitting by the door has to squish sideways every time the door opens. I know because I've been stuck in that chair before. I finished reading my book club book while waiting. Yeah! The meeting is on Sunday. Anyway, I suggested we go to Walmart afterwards. My mother just loves that store. I like to go on a weekday, with her, when we can just browse the isles. My Mom has to use one of the motorized scooters, and I spend half my time looking for her. I can't blame her for going where she wants. Being in a scooter gives her freedom, something she otherwise lacks. I've learned from her what it's like to be handicapped. Sort of. I wound up spending $67 on assorted 'stuff'. Cleaning stuff, lots of different caulks, window insulation, etc. Things I really do need. Afterwards we went to a favorite Chinese buffet. It's $5.95 and the food is fresh and very delicious. I finished way before my Mom, as usual. She only has the use of one hand, and it's painstaking to watch her try to cajole little pieces of food onto her fork. I had my patience back by then, and told her I can't imagine how hard it must be not to have the use of her right hand. I jokingly told her that for now on I would only get her big food. She has me well trained at the buffets. I know what she likes in each one of them and I always get her food for her. We went back to her house afterwards, and got her settled in to watch her favorite soap, Passions. Too steamy for me! I went home and cooked a pot of white chicken chili. I want to bring it in to the shop for lunch on Saturday.

I'll write a little about my Mom. She had always been the mover and shaker in the family. Growing up, she worked as a cashier in grocery stores. She always worked the 'speed booth'--20 or less items, because she was so fast. She started working long before the advent of bar codes when every item had to be rung up by hand. In the house, she did it all. She cooked, was the disiplinarian, kept the house spotless, did the finances, mowed the lawn, shoveled the snow, etc. That's just how it was in our house. My Mom was from Brooklyn, NY, and was fast talking and always on the go. She was known for always speaking her mind. It was hard when she and my dad retired. She couldn't stand that all he did was sit at the kitchen table. Every time she was in there, there he was. She planned to get a part-time job at Kohl's Department store. One August day, 6 years ago when she was 68, she was supposed to come pick Emily and I up to go to Atlantic City. My Dad had ridden there the day before with a friend, and we were going to meet him and spend 2 nights. My mother was late. It took a while before I started thinking the worst. My mother had never been late in her life. To make a long story shorter, I alerted her neighbor who broke into the house. She found my mother on the floor of her tiny bathroom. She had suffered a major stroke and had been trying to get up for hours. She had taken a shower, the bathroom door was closed, and she had been trapped. The force of her fall was enough to bend all the metal knobs on the vanity drawers. She had been trying for hours to stand up. She knew something had happened, but didn't know what. She never lost consciousness. I got to the house right before the ambulance. It was all very surreal. If we hadn't had plans to go to Atlantic City, my mother could have been in that bathroom for days. She was hospitalized for weeks, and spent many weeks in a rehab hospital. She spent years in therapy, but the only real progress she made was in the first year. She went from being a fiercely independent woman who did it all, to one who is mostly dependent on others. Whoever said life isn't fair had it right. I'll write more about my Mom another time.

To change the subject completely, my nephew Ryan said he was inspired by me to start his own blog. If you get a chance, stop by for a visit.


Amanda said...

The dentist sounds scary...but then again I'm wary of dentists in general. ;) Your mom is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Wow, your mom sounds like quite the lady!

Do you and your mom ever go to a community swimming pool? She might really enjoy the weightlessness that being in the water brings.

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