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The Vow

Today's letter is V.
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"When I'm gone, you take care of your mother," the daddy suddenly said to me one evening. He did not wait for my response. He knew I would promise.

I was in my late 20s. At the time, the mama and I still clashed, mostly about what my life should be. At the time, I really didn't think I could ever live with her again. Several days was about all I could handle being around her.

Thirty years later, the husband and I have been living with the Mama for over seven years now.  It took at least the first four years for each of us to get the hang of starting to live together. That's life.  Nothing wrong with that.

The almost 90-year old Mama has slowed down. But only some. When she gets it in her head that she wants something done, she wants it done pronto, and she wants to do it by herself. Usually, she comes up with these projects while we're away.  For instance, one morning she asked that we help her with the lemon tree after we finish breakfast. I thought she meant to prune it. So, when I went outside to check out what needed to be done, I saw a heavy branch hanging precariously over the back fence. What had she done? The day before she had tied a rope to the branch then hacked away at it with her trusty machete. She's very wicked with that machete. That's the mama.

It is with the small things that I do for her that I realize how much the mama had taken care of me.

When I was a small kid I wandered outside a lot. Every so often, the mama would call to me just to see where I am and if I am okay. Every now and then, I stick my head out the back door to see where the Mama is. "Mama!" I call when I can't see her. When she answers, I walk away. When she does not answer, I go looking for her.

She used to take my hand just before we cross the street. I do that now.

She mixed chocolate in my milk to make sure I would drink it. That is how I doctor her milk so she will drink it.

She tied my shoes; I help her slip into hers.

Small things.


  1. These are such sweet thoughts. They touched my heart. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh, Suzy, I feel so much for you and your Mama. That is the way it often goes with families and you are so understanding to take care of her and fulfill the promise to your Father. Of course, I have always had the strong belief we are fulfilling our karma and that is why we are here. I love you and am proud of you for being so protective and caring.
    Love and peace.

  3. No way I could live with my mama. She and I have roomed together a few times of the years, and we are always both relieved when we can go our own ways again, even though we are very close.

  4. You are so fortunate to have your mother near...VALUE every moment with her with all your heart! Loved your post!
    Happy V Day!

  5. My mother passed at 86 and was so independent. This was a very sweet post and a perfect letter V.

  6. I am so glad things worked out well! She is so blessed to have you.

  7. The last sentence sent (pleasant) shivers down my spine - She tied my shoes; I help her slip into hers - wow what a powerful sentence. The way our society is today we don't always look after our elders, and forget what they did for us when we were small. I hope I don't forget!

  8. Small things are everything.

    (i loved this)


    PS. I'm pretty late for Alphabe-Thursday this week, so here's my link:

  9. You will so treasure these small moments...keep them in your memory banks....

  10. What a wonderful example of the Cycle of Life.

  11. I loved this - what goes around, comes around. Frances to Susie and back.

  12. Leading Mama, I appreciate your comments. :-)

    Manzi, awwwwww, gee. Wish we were nearer by. Would love to gab with you in person.

    Alice, that's what I said. LOL!

    Coralie, thanks. Some days is tough, but then that's life.

    Donnie, thank you. I hope that I shall be able to be as independent when I get to be the mama's age.

    JDaniel4s Mom: Me, too. It just took both of us many years to mellow out. :-)

    RedTedArt, I don't think you will at all. It's nice to know I can still write a line that makes someone shiver. I appreciate that feedback.

    Sue, thank you. :-)

    Rocky Mountain Woman, they're definitely so much more joyful to have in there. :-)

    widdershins, funny how after you write something, it becomes so much clearer.

    Charlie Q, I'm glad to know that you did. And, I'm glad that I didn't run away.

  13. My mother died when she was 74, so fortunately I had never to take this decision !

  14. The days are coming very soon when I'll have to quit my globetrotting and come home and take care of my mom.

    Beautiful post.

  15. It is nice that you are able to help your mother in this way. I am sure she appreciates it.

  16. It makes for a strange and unsettling situation when the child becomes the parent.

  17. That's nice that you have come to terms with eachother (time and maturity often help). I'm sure she appreciates the care and security you're giving her in her late years. It does make you retrospective and understand why things were the way they were.

  18. What a vivid view of the cycle of life.

    I can't even imagine this...but you expressed it so well that I feel like I shared a bit of your honest journey.

    This sounds like a book I would read.

    Absolutely lovely link this week to Alphabe-Thursday's letter "V".

    Thank you for sharing your heart.


  19. Oh that is beautiful. My mamma just left after spending the weekend here with us. she's due an op on her windpipe tomorrow and another to remove a carcenoid from her lung at the end of march. I have an enormous sense of how much she means to me right now and how I'd miss her if she wasn't here.
    Beautiful post

  20. Gattina, with most days now, I see how fortunate I am. Funny how that goes.

    Bybee, thanks. Who knows, maybe your mama wishes to globetrot, too.:-)

    Carmen, I'm sure she does. She's of the reticent stock, she is.

    Judie, yes it does. I crack up when I realize I've been overbearing as she once was to me. I do my best to correct myself.

    ryoko, definitely stated.

    Jenny, thanks for the seed of an idea. Perhaps.

    Mari's World, I wish your mom well!

  21. my mom lives far away...

    lovely post.
    bless you.

  22. Your writing is so good. I like very much how you tell your way of living together and caring for your mother. Full of love. Humanity.
    In these days there is a lack of humanity. For so many, which live close to theire parents, it is much easier to give them in an old people's home.
    Some month ago we moved in the house from my parents-in-law to care for them. And your experience speaks out of my heart.


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