Since my mom lost her closest friends over the past two years, see has held up pretty well, but I can tell she needs to talk to someone, or to go somewhere, once in a while just to keep up her spirits. She and her friends Virginia and Oz used to go shopping and eat out at least once a week. In between times, she and "the ladies" would visit with each other, or talk outside their condos when working in their flowers, check the mail, or taking out the garbage.
They were very close, close enough that the two ladies were with mom and me the morning in '06 when Bill, mom's last husband, died. They saw to it that she was comforted, took rest occasionally, or just sat and listened to her sorrow.
Her shopping companion and confidant, of late, has become my wife Judy. She often calls just to talk to Judy, and when she has an appointment at the doctor, I can tell she would just as soon it be Judy that takes her. She trusts Judy's judgement in drape colors, furniture style, and with her financial business. I can understand it too, Judy's had control of my pocketbook for over 30 years, and I know she's as honest as the day is long.
Mom just called while I was writing this, just to tell me how much she appreciated us bringing Lily by to see her today. "She sure is sweet, isn't she...and smart! I could tell she wasn't too comfortable standing by me for that picture, but she just don't know me too well."
I apologized to her for not bringing her by more often, and, of course, she understands how life is.
"The other girls (her other granddaughters) act a little more lately, 'cause I don't see them very often either," she said sadly.
I agreed that we could all do more to see that she gets more visits from them.
I call mom every evening after the news just to say hi, and to be sure she is okay. I also certainly don't want to know she fell and couldn't get up. That would just haunt me for the rest of my life!
She still drives to the store weekly, but I know there is coming a day soon that I'll have to do more and more of that for her.
She has had several dental appointments lately, and is still facing having all her upper teeth pulled next week. Judy and/or I will spend a couple of nights with her after that surgery to make sure she eats and does well. As time goes by, there will be other nights spent at her house, until finally a day comes when she says she's ready to move to an assisted-living facility. I will leave that totally up to her, because I know how she feels about all that, and I also know that she would tell me when the time comes.
Sunday we called her and invited her to go to see a stage play at Roane State, here locally, and she jumped at the chance. She thoroughly enjoyed the play, called "The Diviners", but I could tell she was just happy to be out and with people that loved her.
We picked her up and chauffeured around the county like she was the queen, and after the play we went to the Cracker Barrel and ate. She, at a 100 pounds soaking wet, ate like a little pig! She always eats more when she has somebody to talk to and share a laugh or memory or two. She ordered meat loaf and soft vegetables, since she is missing several upper teeth, but managed to put the majority of the meal away!
It's important that the family, her sons, her grand and great-granddaughters, daughter and sons-in-laws all see to it that she gets lots of attention for these next few years - visits, calls, cards, and kiddie visits! Odds are she doesn't have that many left and we sure don't need to end up with regrets. She gave us all life and happiness and it's the very least we should do.
She wanted to pay for the meal Sunday, but I told her I didn't want to be beholding to her for anything! I was kidding, but she came back with, "Oh, but you are."
It's true...I owe her everything. Besides giving me life, she formed my moral values...she's responsible for who I am today.
Love ya mom!