Why is it that it takes us so long to learn life’s lessons? I am glad I am able to post this today (yesterday couldn’t access my account).
Whether you lose your mom to an unexpected death, a disease or natural death; there are things you wish you would have said or didn’t say ……and we don’t get the opportunity to a ‘do over’. So please everyone everywhere give your mom a hug, a phone call or send a card. When she is ashes in a jar somewhere in the ground or a body in a casket, in this life there will be no more.
I said goodbye, and I still have some regrets. Regrets of not understanding what a disease like dementia/Alzheimer’s can steal from you without you even seeing it happen. There were times when Mom was unreasonable, or so I thought. Times when she lost her temper and lashed out at the dog. People don’t like me to call it Alzheimers because they say I cannot prove it. Well I might not have any proof but in looking back there were so many signs I should have recognized but didn’t. What would I have done differently? Probably nothing. She lived alone in her house until 87. Tht is successful I think. No matter what the short comings, she was happy in her own house with her own things. I just didn’t realize she wasn’t getting good meals, that she thought the television was turned on by the telephone, that the unreasonableness was probably fear. She loved that dog more than anything.
But I like to remember the good times. And yesterday I celebrated with memories of good times. Cause we had some good ones. They weren’t all rough, although there were plenty of them too.
We went to Alaska. She had never been before. It was my third trip and we had a wonderful time. We rented a car and drove all over – north to Wasilla and to Mt Denali. She took tons of pictures. I wonder where they are now? I have one of the two of us in May, winds blowing, we were freezing to death practically at a bird reserve. It was so much fun! And I was able to provide that for her.
The other trip we took was to Florida. That was long ago in 1988. I remember, because it was when I bought my two John Lennon lithographs. We were in a little art shop in Daytona Beach and I found these four prints – the bag one series from John Lennon. He was always my favorite Beatle! Imagine is my favorite song. Anyway, I was going to purchase all four and Mom had a fit! It was funny thinking about it now. One of the pictures was….well let’s say it was ‘erotic’…Mom thought it should be thrown out! It was funny. I settled on a picture called “The Family’ and another one called ‘Self Portrait’. Through all the times I have been through I have saved those two pictures. They have a lot of meaning for me.
While we were in Florida we went to Walt Disney World. We spent two days there. One doing rides. My Mom went on the big roller coaster with me and we sat in the front seat! It was so much fun. We got so wet!!!!!!!! Neither of us knew till we were headed straight down in to a lake that we might get wet! I thought there would be some twist at the last minute and we would avoid the water. No! It plunged right through and we were both soaked. We laughed so hard. I had money back in those days, and I just let her buy whatever she wanted. We had a lot of fun.
We went shopping in Tampa. My mother loved to shop. She never tired of it,, even when she got older she used TV to shop. So what, if that’s what you enjoyed?
We grow up. We get our own lives. We go our own way. One chapter ends, another begins. But does a Mom’s involvement ever really end? Whether she is there or not, you can always rest assured you will be in her heart.
Last night I talked to my Mom’s best friend Betty. Betty and I talk often. We exchange cards. We pray for one another. Betty was mom’s boss years ago and her and her son Bob remained close to Mom. Betty gave me the best gift last night. She said my Mom always told her how smart I was, and how much she loved me and she was proud of me.
What else could you ask for? I ask you, in life, what else could you ask for?
Thank you and Goodbye Mom.
Dedicated: “ARMS” by Christina Perri