Friday, February 11, 2011

New Reality for Mom


I was thinking today of the courage of my Mother. Lost her best friend and helpmate seven months ago. Moved out of the comfortable home of over fifty-five years. Disposed of most of the contents and keepsakes. Gone the daily routine of cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, driving, basking in the comfortable backyard complete with gardens, bird-feeder and pool.

Now residing in a senior's retirement "village". Her little apartment tastefully accoutered with only a few of the fine old pieces of furniture, paintings, lamps, figurines and photos of happy times. Adjusting to meal times, medicine times and bath times. Taking her seat at the same dining room table with a couple of new and appreciative friends.

One son in Toronto. The other in Waterloo. Few of the old friends remaining. Occasionally visits from colleagues from high school or nursing or the golf club or the United Church. But new friends to be made in the "village" community, in the "movie room" or the "bingo hour" or some special program with visitors in song, dance, music or travelogue. Mom retains her interest in fiction, TV golf and curling and a couple of favourite programs and game shows.

I wonder if she remembers her mother-in-law Velma's good spirits in living alone at Marion Villa and thankful for the simplest of pleasures; or Jack's Aunt Edith with the persevering hobbies in reading and needlework; or Jack's Aunt Betty with the spunk to take short trips alone; or her own Aunt Mary's unstoppable sense of humour; or her Aunt Lil's choice always of the good word to say or note to write. These memories are examples and building blocks for the life which she must now live without her husband.

And she does it heroically, without complaint and with much appreciation for the latest news, visit or small blessing. She tells us often that she "loves us very much". I treasure that and I am proud of her.

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