Showing posts with label the mama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the mama. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Changing Landscape

May 12, 2016

The Mama was quite proud of her lawn. Green. Manicured. Weedless.

When she no longer could take care of the lawn, she hired a lawn guy, which was a great luxury for the Mama. When that got too expensive, she sighed and accepted that the lawn would be cut during my monthly visit. Then, when the Husband and I moved in with the Mama, the lawn became the Husband's job.

As the drought became a real thing, watering the lawn was a luxury, as well as an ongoing skirmish between the Mama and me. The Husband continued watering it, but not as often or as much. The Mama took to watering it when we were gone, if she felt the lawn was fading.

I was very happy when the City finally decreed a water rationing and a $500 fine for using too much water. "You have to decide," I said to the Mama, "water for your vegetable garden or the lawn. You can't have both for now."

The lawn faded. The Mama sighed. The Mama complained. Fortunately, the lawn came back after the winter rains.

We had a steady rainy season this past winter. The lawn was thick with greenness. The Mama was very happy. "I wish the lawn would be green like this all the time," the Mama often said to us, as she looked out the window while we ate lunch.

I'm glad the lawn thrived for the Mama as her body was winding down.

Only nature has watered the lawn since the Mama has left us.

The Husband and I like a green lawn, too, but to have one when our water source is depleting is simply not a good idea. In May we planned to hire someone to pull out the lawn so that we could put in a drought-resistant landscape. This and that, and that and this, put that plan down on the list.

More than two weeks ago, on the Mama's birthday, I dug out a small portion of the lawn and planted three of the Mama's overgrown potted jade plants. Yesterday, I dug out a bit more of the lawn, which is how it will be, a little bit at a time. I've already heard other plants of the Mama's saying they'd like to hang out on her once-upon-a-time lawn.

While I was working yesterday, I saw and heard crows cawing and watching me from across the street. I like to think that the Mama's spirit was saying, "It's your lawn now. Do what you want. It looks good."

September 12, 2016



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Birthday to the Mama!


The ever loving, curious, generous, and unique Mama would've been 95 years old today. Shoot up the  fireworks! Bang on the walls! Pick some tomatoes! Dance up a storm! Sing, sing, sing!


I searched through my archives for a story to share about the Mama. This one is my favorite, which was published on June 18, 2010. Originally, it was entitled Talking about Sex with the Mama. The new title says it better.

Some Kind of Wonderful
 
Yesterday the mama asked me to explain something she was reading in an AARP flyer. It was a short article about what a woman can do about vaginal dryness so that intercourse isn't so painful.

Uh.

The mama is a voracious reader. She likes to learn. Both things I didn't know until the husband and I became her roommates several years ago. English is not her primary language, and I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, her English reading comprehension is about a 4, more or less. She doesn't let complicated or unfamiliar words get her down. If she's interested in a story, she plows through it. If she's really interested in what words mean precisely, she asks me.

So, she asked me. 

Hoo boy.

The mama hadn't even taught me about sex when I a kid. The only instruction I received that came closest to the topic was the afternoon of getting ready for my senior class prom.  She showed me a gigantic safety pin, then put it in my purse, saying something like "In case you need it." She walked away before I could ask "For what?" I figured that out years later. She didn't have to worry. My prom date came out of the closet years later.  If I'm recalling that eventful afternoon correctly, the mama gave me the safety pin after the daddy advised me, "Don't go f***ing around."

The parents. Do I love them!

But, back to the curious mama of today.

"Kiki," I said, somehow recalling the Ilocano slang word for vagina, pointing to hers, then mine.

"It's about what to do when it's dry. . . ." She looked at me with surprise.

"And you want to have sex." I quickly walked away, but not before noticing that she went back to the article. 

In the kitchen where I thought he hadn't heard, the husband asked, "What was that about?" 

I think maybe something kind of wonderful.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Sloth Who Likes to Read


"Stop reading," ordered the Mama. "Go outside."

I'd probably been lying on the bed reading for three or four hours that sunny summer weekend afternoon. I was probably 12 years old.

That's what the Mama got for buying me a bed with a bookcase headboard. It was packed full with paperback books that I purchased from the monthly Scholastic book catalog during the school year. Three or four dollars bought me a lot of books back then. I shall always be grateful the Mama and the Daddy let me buy so many, and for leaving me alone to read the books over and over most of the time.

Reading was my favorite thing to do in summer, followed by riding bicycles, watching movies, and eating. Except for the bicycle riding, I seem to have slipped back into my once-upon-a-time summer routine. I'm not getting much done, I admit. And, yes, my clothes are feeling snug. Again.

I really do need to urge me to step outside and do something. There's still time today to water the flowers in the backyard, or pick up all the apples and lemons that have dropped off the trees, or rake the leaves, or put everything back in the shed, or . . . .

Maybe I'll take my book outside with me as incentive. After each thing I finish, I can read a chapter.

Yeah, right.

I'm a grown-up. First things, first. But, that could be reading.

Silly me, thinking I can bribe or shame myself into doing things.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Flight


On the afternoon that the Mama died, the Husband, Long-time Friend Kathy, Molly the Cat, and I sat on the patio and ate our lunch. The Mama's apple tree and her butterfly bush gave us shade from the warm Spring sun. The sky was blue. The Mama's roses, daisies, and other flowers were in bloom. The birds serenaded us. The Mama's bedroom window faced the backyard. I like to think that she could see, smell, and hear the day as we did and that she enjoyed listening to our relaxed cadences and tones.

At one point I leaned back in my chair and gazed at the sky. A crow was lazily flying back and forth. It was like a photo, the crow framed by the foliage of the Mama's trees and bushes. As I watched the bird, I felt like I could see the Mama's spirit flying up towards the crow and dancing alongside it.

When I finally looked away, I saw a white butterfly fly out of the Mama's garden by the  rose bushes. That was the first white butterfly I saw that day, which, ever since the Daddy died 34 years ago, represented the Daddy saying to me, "Hello. All is well."


At the Mama's rosary service, I read this short tale that I wrote three years ago. I had posted it on June 5, 2013.

The Girl That Did Fly

Once upon a time, in a far away place, a little girl wished upon a star, "I wish I could fly."

Unlike other fairy tales, Midge's wish did not come true. So, she thought.

One morning, Midge woke up, thinking, "Ah, today is the day I shall fly."


She flung off her blankets and jumped to her feet.

Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

With each bounce, Midge hung in the air higher and longer. Nearly three-quarters to the ceiling, she turned somersaults and back flips, cartwheels and spins.

She bounced and she bounced until her grandmother opened her door.

"Very good, my dear," said Lola Sue smiling so proudly. "You're getting to be quite good with the triple flips. I do believe you take after your grandma."


Lola Sue jumped onto the bed, and together they bounced.

Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

Holding hands, they bounced even higher and higher.

"I think it is time," Lola Sue said."Are you ready?"

"Yes! Yes!" exclaimed Midge, although she knew not what it might be.


"Then let us go!"


Midge and her Lola Sue bounced once more, hung a second, then flew around the room. 


"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," said Midge. "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

"Hold on tight," said Lola Sue, as she lead the little girl out the door, through the house, and out a window into the Lola's garden. From there, they soared up through the banana plants and into the big, blue sky. 



Today is the letter F at ABC Wednesday, a wonderful meme with awesome bloggers from around the world. Click here to check out these other bloggers, and maybe to join in yourself.  Thanks to Roger, Di, Melody, and all of the ABCW team for giving us a place to share ourselves.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crybaby Me.


The Mama used to tell me a story about the time that the Daddy carried me on his back while they picked tomatoes one summer day. I was maybe two years old. "You cried and cried," the Mama said. "You kept saying, 'Go home, Daddy. Go home.'"

The poor Daddy! And, all those other poor workers around us who were forced to listen to a tiny, fat crybaby of a girl piggy-backing on her poor Daddy's back. The poor Daddy!

How did the Parents ever get me to stop crying? Did the Daddy take the Mama and me home and go back to work? Did I eventually calm down, get off the Daddy's back, and find a way to entertain myself so the Parents could work in peace? I don't know. The Mama never told me what happened. She simply laughed after telling me.

Why am I telling you the story? I don't know. I find myself tearful all of a sudden lately.

C is for crybaby me. Not pitiful me though.

C is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday, a weekly meme that is keeping me centered. I thank the ABCW team, lead by Roger Green, and started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt, for giving me a place to share my words. To keep me going. Maybe next week, I'll be more cheerful.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Five Things Today

  1. I thought today is Friday.
  2. I'm a few chapters into The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert.  I'm enjoying it and it's so easy to read because the writing is seamless.
  3. The surgeon removed the week-old bandage covering the incision that marks the spot where the Husband's pacemaker was inserted last week. "You're good to go," said the surgeon. Hurrah!
  4. Why are some people okay about their neighbors being able to hear their music, conversation, and screaming grandkids clear as a bell from their backyard?
  5. I found three bags full of the brother's children's clothes in the Mama's closet. They've been there for at least 25 years, when the brother's wife put them in the bags to throw out. Somehow the Mama got her hands on them before she could. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Various Varieties


This is what I've been doing with some of the Mama's various varieties of cups. 


This is what I've been doing with some of the Mama's various varieties of plants that need to be put into pots or repotted.

I'm having a lot of fun.



It's the letter V at ABC Wednesday. Click here to check out the other participants or to link up with the weekly meme started by Denise Nesbitt and continued today by the ABCW team headed by Roger Green.
 
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Friday, May 20, 2016

The View from the Mama's Seat


The Mama had the best view of the outside world from her seat at the kitchen table.

She could watch the cars drive by, as well as people walk by, from the north or the south. She could see the butterflies kiss across the pink roses. She could gaze at the tiny brown birds take turns eating at the four-perched bird feeder. And, she could spy on the goings on of the neighbors.

"What is that man's name?" the Mama asked, waiting for lunch to be served.

"What man?" I asked, frantically getting lunch together, late as usual.

"The man in the grey house." (The house which is now blue.)

"Steve."

"He's cutting his lawn," she said.

"That's good."

"He's not wearing any shirt."

I never knew whether the Mama thought that was a good thing or not.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sorting Through the Mama's Stuff

The Mama and Two-month-old Me at Our Favorite Picnic Spot in Monterey

The Mama was 94 years old when she slipped into eternity. So, of course she left lots and lots and LOTS of stuff behind. Lucky me. I get to go through it all and decide what to keep, throw away, reuse, recycle, give away, or possibly sell. 

I was about to say that it's easy to figure out what to do with some things. It's not.

The other day I found an envelope on which the Mama printed Susie One Year Old. Inside the envelope was a bunch of my one-year-old self's hair.

What am I going to do with that?


It's time for ABC Wednesday, hosted by Roger Green and the ABCW team, which was started by Mrs. Nesbitt nine years ago. To join in and/or check out other participants, please click here.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Giddy.


The Husband and I are listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival, while I'm clicking on the keyboard. It was a fun morning. We drank freshly-brewed coffee and ate olive bread with butter and cheese, as well as finished the leftover berry strudel and custard tart that a friend brought over for dessert last night. The food and drink put me in a giddy mood. Still am.  I think the coffee was made from drunken beans. Yes, I do.

As we got breakfast together, we wondered what to do today. We knew what we didn't want to do. And, so far I haven't done the laundry and the Husband hasn't cut the lawn. We thought of what we could do—maybe hike at the Pinnacles National Park, or drive over to Monterey, or go see a movie. We haven't done any of that either. I doubt we shall.

We did some stuff this morning. The Husband brought in the garbage cans and cleaned Molly the Cat's litter box. I collected all of the Mama's artificial flowers around the house and washed them, which I shall distribute among the sisters' and godparents' graves. The Husband washed the Mams's vases, containers, and a few other cute doo-dads, while I sorted through a couple more of the Mama's drawers and cabinets.

I'm finding a lot of interesting stuff that the Mama stashed away over the years. . .the gold watch her company gave her after 25 years of service. . .birthday and mother's Day cards. . .a recipe for a bittermelon and black bean dish from the Only and Older Brother. . .the porcelain dove that I bought for her in EnseƱada in 1974. . .the wishbone from either a duck or turkey.

This morning, it wasn't so hard going through the Mama's stuff. I guess it helps to be giddy from drunken coffee beans.



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Rosary Snapping Mama


"Does Manang have a rosary?" asked Helen, a friend of the Mama's. (Manang is a term of endearment for a woman older than you. It means sister.) We were standing before the Mama's casket on her funeral day, waiting for it to be closed and taken to the church.

"I can give you one," said Helen.

"It's in her purse," I said, pointing to the blue cloth clutch embroidered with bright red and white flowers next to the Mama's body. It also held the Mama's favorite compact, which the Only and Older Brother gave her when he was 12 or 13, reddish-pink lipstick, two large scarves, and one or two other things that I no longer recall. I like to think the Mama's spirit might enjoy having them.

"Did you break the rosary?" asked Helen.

"Am I supposed to?" I asked, feeling a panic coming on. "Mama only told me not to put it in her hands."

When I had researched about what Ilocanos do with rosary beads for the dead, I found articles stating to place a broken strand of rosary beads in the coffin, but no instructions on how to break the necklace. I admit I was nervous about breaking the Mama's rosary, and I didn't really want to because the rose petal rosary that I bought in Florence for the Mama was so pretty. After two ties at trying to break the beads with pliers, I gave up. After all, the Mama only said that it was bad luck for a dead person to hold a rosary.

The Mama had no shame at rosary services when she saw that a dead person's rosary was wrapped around his or hand. Either before or after the prayer service, the Mama would get right alongside the casket and patiently tug and pull at the rosary until it was free from the dead person's hand, then she'd carefully fold it and place it next to the body. After which, she'd go up to the decease's relatives and tell them what she did, scolding them a bit for their faux pas. 

That's the Mama. Go ahead and chuckle. I get a good laugh thinking about it. The funeral guys who toke care of the Mama's remains definitely got a good laugh out of the story.

"Manang always took the rosary out of the dead person's hand and broke it," Helen said, looking at me with very sad eyes.

"I didn't know that."

"She said it was bad luck."

I took the rosary beads out of the Mama's purse. "How do I break it?"

"I don't know," said Helen.

Oh, gee.


At certain points of the rosary, the beads are separated by bits of chain. I looked for one of those parts. Holding the beads firmly in each hand, I pulled at each end of the chain.

SNAP!

Just like that.

It's as if the Mama made sure I didn't break the rosary until it was time to forever close the door on her coffin.


It's the letter R at the ABC Wednesday, a weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green and his ABCW team.  To join in and/or check out other R posts, please click here.

 



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Forty Days Has Passed


Religious rituals throw me off guard. Do I adhere to them? Shall I disregard them? What would the Mama want?

Today marks 40 days since the Mama scampered out of her body. I like to think she gave a big sigh of relief and smiled grandly at the Daddy who took her hand and they danced into eternity.

The Mama did not have to sit around in some holding space just beyond reality for enough people to say the right amount of prayers to move her forward into heaven. It's not like how that guy who recited prayers at an auntie's rosary said, "Now we know that Sister's going to heaven, but we need to pray for her so that she can get a better seat next to Jesus."  Really! I made sure he did not recite the rosary for the Mama.

When I was planning the Mama's funeral, one of her friends reminded me to get in touch with the church to request a nine-day novina for the Mama, which is nine straight days of praying for the Mama's soul after she has been buried. Yes, right. The Mama told me to do that, and I did.

Then someone asked me about the 40-day novina. After I stopped freaking out about that, I researched what it was all about. I'm still not sure if it's a church thing or a Filipino thing. Maybe it's both. The gist of the 40-day novina is an informal mass (as in friends and relatives) prayer for the decease's soul to ensure that she has found her way into heaven. I guess it's like that last extra shove into a door of a crowded subway.

Do I measure 40 days from the day the Mama died or when she was buried? Actually I don't care to know what the rules, or guidelines, are, if they're any. Just like I do with recipes, I have adapted the 40-day novina to soothe my soul.

This morning, I lit a tea candle at the Mama's and Daddy's grave site, while I arranged the last of the Mama's roses from her garden and some sand dollars that I gave the Mama years ago.  And, I simply hung out for awhile.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Four Weeks Ago


"Mama's gone."

Four Fridays ago, in the early evening, I walked into the kitchen to let the Husband and Molly the Cat know that Mama's spirit had slipped into the ever after.

I had started making dinner. As I put the frying pan on the stove, I had a feeling and I didn't want to know. The Husband and I had been sitting at the kitchen table, talking about the house. How we needed to replace faucets in the kitchen and in the Mama's bathroom. That one day we would need to replace the linoleum and maybe it would be better to take out the carpet and put in a wooden floor. House stuff that neither of us had ever done or been interested in doing. But, at that moment, it all seemed natural for us to do.

With the frying pan on low, I went to check on the Mama. She was warm, but she no longer breathed. She looked quite content. I like to think that the Mama heard us talking in the kitchen and she felt assured that her house would be in good hands and that the Husband and I would be fine. She could now let go of her physical shell.

Four weeks later, the chirping birds, the neighbor's noisy grandchild, another neighbor's barking dog,  lawn mowers, the wind, the passing cars, and nearly everything sound different to my ears. Is it because the Mama's breaths are no long part of what I hear?

Okay.

Okay.

I was going to write that it's probably time for me to start writing about other stuff. Perhaps. I have not completely thrown the blanket over my head, although there are moments that I want to just close my eyes and not think about things that need to get done. There is so much. Today, I told myself everything doesn't have to be done right away. "It'll work out, right?" I asked the Husband. "It'll work out," the Husband said.

Yes, they do.

Four weeks later, the Mama's name is etched on the gravestone that she shares with the Daddy, and the picture of the two of them is already up. I did not expect all that to happen until later in May. For that matter, four weeks ago, I had no idea if the Mama's name would fit on the marker in letters almost the same size, if not the same, as the Daddy's; who would engrave her name; and if I could afford a photo of them to be put up. So, yes, things work out.

I love the photo of the Mama and the Daddy. That was how they looked in 1976 at the Daddy's 71st birthday party. As you approach their grave site, you can see the Mama's smile from far away. I love that, too.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Mama's Motley Crew of Pallbearers

Photo courtesy of Rosalie Phillips

Except for a few instructions from the Mama, I had carte blanche to plan her funeral services. Would I follow the traditional way, which I regard as much too somber, tight-lipped, not a crack of a smile, and full of smelly moth balls? Or, would I follow my heart and let loose with the joy that is life, living, and, most of all, the deep essence of the Mama who denied it so often while she lived?

Was there any doubt that I would do the latter?

At times. Especially after freaking out when I read the what should be's when it comes to funerals, in particular, Ilocano funerals. One superstition, or tradition, is that no family members shall be pallbearers. Bad luck would be theirs otherwise. Before I read that, I had decided to be one of the Mama's pallbearers. I wanted to go the whole nine yards with the Mama. But, maybe I ought to pay attention to the superstition. Then I recalled I was a pallbearer for Uncle Frank several decades back. Did bad things happen afterwards? Sure. Good and wonderful things happened, too. It's called living.

So, I was one of the Mama's six pallbearers. I asked the Husband if he'd like to be a pallbearer, but he declined for reasons neither of us can remember. While we were milling around the mortuary on the day of the funeral, waiting to head to church, the Husband asked," Do you have enough pallbearers?" I told him to check with the funeral guy in charge of our party, who made the Husband an honorary pallbearer, meaning he could walk with us and help with the casket when needed.

Being a pallbearer is very different today. I think the most carrying and lifting that we did was down the steps of the mortuary and then several feet to the hearse. It was possible that the coffin was placed on a gurney-type thing after the steps, and then we wheeled it to the car. I don't remember. We did wheel it from the hearse to the church and back again. I think we, pallbearers, may have taken it by hand from the hearse to the grave site, which was only a few feet.

I'm glad I was one of the Mama's pallbearers. Mostly because I was physically doing something rather than sitting and observing the casket going from one point to the next. I would've found it difficult to merely sit and not to suddenly leave my perch. As a pallbearer, I had a task to complete. I was not going anywhere to cry.

The Mama's spirit was happily surprised, I like to think, that her pallbearers were four guys and three gals. Spring chickens, we were. The Mama loved and respected each and every one of her motley crew of pallbearers—Ernie, Kathy, Jennifer, Dave, Thomas, the Husband, and me.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Treziak

It's the letter P at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green and his ABCW team. Click here to check out the P fun.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Over, But Not Out


Hello Dear Readers and Blogging Friends,

Thank you for your notes full of concern and love during my absence. Molly the Cat, the Husband, and I appreciate each and every one of you. I believe the Mama's spirit does, too.

Yes, it's true. I'm sorry to say that the Mama is no longer with us. She left her aged, tired body behind on April 1, 2016 and is now soaring freely and, I verily hope, peacefully and happily through eternity.

So for today's post I give you the Mama's obituary, which I'm linking with the letter O at ABC Wednesday. Please be sure to check out this weekly meme begun by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green and his ABCW team. 

Frances Domingo Echaore lived to the grand old age of 94. Hollister was her first and only home in the United States, having immigrated from the Philippines nearly 67 years ago with her one-year-old son to reunite with her husband, the late Santiago Echaore.

Born Francisca DeGuzman Domingo, this nonagenarian was born in Urdaneta, Pangasinan on the island of Luzon in 1921 to Ciriaco and Emeteria Domingo. As a child, she loved to climb coconut trees, ride the water buffalo, swim in the canals, and run and skip among the banana trees. She learned at 9 years-old to be responsible when, upon the death of her father, her mother pulled her out of school to care for her two younger brothers. Although her book learning stopped, Frances never stopped learning. She became skilled in dressmaking, cooking, hairdressing, and farming, among many other things. In her early 20s, Frances endured the horror of World War II.

In 1947, Frances married the neighbor's son, a U.S. Army veteran, who had been away for almost 20 years working in Hawaii and California. After their son was born, the young couple decided that opportunities for him and future children would be better in the United States, so Santiago returned to the U.S. and within several months earned money for Frances' and Junior's fare. The mother and child sailed for about 30 days on the U.S.S. Wilson with other U.S. war brides from the Philippines.

In the 1960s, Frances became a naturalized U.S. citizen, of which she was very proud, and she got her first and only job in the seed research industry. She was hired by the SRS Seed Company, which subsequently was purchased several times and became known by other names. Frances turned out to be a plant whisperer. She did not simply have a green thumb. She sported green thumbs and fingers on both hands. Nearly everything she touched grew abundantly. Through her work, Frances took part in getting the stink out of broccoli and inventing the oblong tomato, among other accomplishments.

In 1986, after more than 26 years at the job she loved, Frances retired and enjoyed landscaping her new home, growing fruit trees from seeds of the fruit she ate, and caring for an abundant vegetable garden. Until the last few months of her life, Frances worked diligently, happily, and peacefully nearly every day, regardless of the weather, in her garden. Besides gardening, Frances enjoyed reading, watching game shows, hanging out with Molly the Cat, and, until she could no longer manage the crochet needle, creating elaborate doilies, bedspreads, and table cloths.

Frances always doted on her children and grandchildren. She was proud of them and their successes. Her son, Santiago Echaore, Jr. (Annabelle), retired from a career as a teacher and administrator while her daughter, Susan Echaore-McDavid (Richard McDavid), continues to be an independent writer and editor. Frances had five grandchildren and two great-granchildren.

Along with her deceased husband, Frances lost two daughters, Valentina and Shirley.



Monday, March 28, 2016

A Big Old Cheer!


Dear Friends,

The Mama, the Husband, Molly the cat, and I have rounded the last bend of the Mama's life journey. As we glide through this last leg, please give out a big cheer, throw a kiss, stomp your feet joyously, clap your hands heartily, or do another whooo-hooo of choice.  The Mama sends you big hugs, kisses, smiles, laughs, and much love. She thanks you very much for being part of her life, whether it be directly or indirectly through the Husband, Molly the Cat, or me.

Love,
Su-sieee! Mac


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Killer Wheels


Molly the Cat and the Mama got a set of killer wheels the other day.

Neither responded well to their portable travel wheelchair. Of course, who really wants to use such a chair much else actually own it.

"You think the cat will like that?" asked the Mama when she saw what new tool we brought into the house to help her get around safely. The day before it was a bedside commode, and the day before that a walker. Each purchased just in time for its suddenly urgent need.

When the Mama was too tired to inch her way forward any further, she sighed and allowed herself to sit in the chair and be glided to the other room. Settling on her couch, she said, "Give the cat a turn." I think Molly the Cat sighed too when she sat on the seat. She allowed herself to ride for a few feet.

The killer wheels came into the house only two days ago, but it seems more like weeks. Sigh.

In my imagination, I see the Mama, the Husband, and I charging out of the house and down the sidewalks in joyful glee. Molly the Cat, of course, sits at the window swishing her tail in Have a grand time! See you when you get back. 

I can hope.

It's the letter K at ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme headed by the friendly ABCW team headed by Roger Green. Click here to join in or to read the K's of other participants.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

An Adventure, Nevertheless


We are on a new adventure—the Mama, Molly the Cat, the Husband, and I.

The Mama's body is failing. Thank goodness, her spirit is not.

She's stubborn. That's a positive.

Yesterday afternoon, she faced reality. She fell! "You need to use the walker," I exclaimed.

"No! The dead people used it," she said, referring to the walker gathering dust in the garage. She used it once upon a time when she was healing from a broken hip. Somewhere along the line she let a friend borrowed it, which his wife returned after he died.

"We will get you another one," I said. It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Fortunately, for us, we found a bare-basic walker, without the sparkles and whistles, at the pharmacy.

Thankfully for us,  the Mama allowed herself to use the walker. I loved that at one point, as she slowly made her way down the hallway, she stamped her feet and scolded her legs for not working with her.

Last night, Molly the Cat gave the Mama an extra dosage of purrrrrrrrr while she laid on the couch in the living room. Molly first kneaded the Mama's blanket, then snuggled beside the Mama's legs. Sweet, Molly the Cat.

It seems that Molly's and the Mama's appetite are in sync. Mama eats a little bit, Molly eats a little bit. The Mama eats a good bit of her food, Molly eats her food. When Molly doesn't eat her meal, the Mama urges her to "Eat, eat, eat." I would love it if Molly could say, "You first, Madame."

As I'm writing, I can hear the Mama washing her breakfast dishes. (It was a good day for breakfast for the Mama and Molly.) My first thought when I heard the clang of dishes was to stop her and wash them for her. No. It's routine. It's normalcy. It's independence. For her. And for us.

Today, when the Mama is watching her game shows, the Husband and I will rearrange the furniture in her room so that she can move about fairly easy with her walker. She'll strike back at that change of reality. That's good.

I have begun to cry. I do my best not to do it in front of her. So far, so good.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In the Pink

The Mama flanked by the Cousins!

Indeed, yes. The Mama, the Husband, and I are in good spirits today. I think Molly the Cat may be, too. She got to eat roast chicken for lunch.

The Mama is so in the pink that she did not complain about going to the doctor's this afternoon to get her shot for her anemia. Yaay!

We had an impromptu visit from the Cousins on the Mama's side of the family. We don't see them often, but when we do, it's loads of happy conversation and laughter over a meal. That, I think, was the best medicine for the Mama today.




It's the letter I on ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme started by Denise Nesbitt several years ago, and continued onward by Roger Green and the ABCW team. Check out the other participants, and maybe join in yourself, by clicking here.

I'm also sharing at Warm Heart Wednesday, a meme hosted by Jenny Matlock at Off on my Tangent. Click here to visit.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What's Wrong with People?


"Today is a holiday," I reminded the Mama this morning. "So, no mail. No library. No banks. No schools."

"What's the holiday?" the Mama asked.

"Martin Luther King Day."

"Is this the day he was born?"

"Yes."

The Mama sighed. "The good people die too soon. Poor man."

She shook her head. "The crazy person who killed him. Too many crazy people. What's wrong with people?"

The Mama's question had me pondering throughout the morning. My conclusion, at the moment: Insecurity. Fear is based on insecurity. Anger? A person gets angry because she does not get her way, which puts her in an insecure position. Jealousy is essentially feeling insecure for not having what someone else has. Greed in a person is due to his insecurity that he don't have what others have.

Unfortunately, there are greedy, angry, jealous, and fearful people in this world who manipulate our insecurities for their purposes. I like to think that the majority of us have our heads screwed on straight and can see through their inhuman minds and souls. I have faith that positive light prevails over negativity.