Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Mother...

I rarely post about life with Mother...or about her life...today seemed like a good day.

As most of you know Mother turned 91 in May. When I wrote about her birthday - everyone was amazed at how beautiful her skin is...I'll tell you her secret...Vaseline! Yup. You read that right. Every night she slathers (and I mean slathers) her face with Vaseline. I spend $$ on items like Olay, Aveda, or whatever the latest craze is...and she uses Vaseline. Go figure!!

Mother is hard of hearing, has vision problems, and a form of dementia...yet she is a happy person. She seems to enjoy her life. Her short term memory is shot! But, hell, she can remember the third Tuesday of whatever when I was four...

But engaging her in conversation is difficult...but we try...and somedays it is good and others it isn't.

Monday thru Friday Mother goes to a program called Day Out. The bus picks her up at our door, takes her, and delivers her home in the evening. The first time I put her on the bus I really worried...but, it gives her a sense of independence and I know the driver will not let her off anywhere other than at day out and home.

Our evenings are quiet - she watches tv and I piddle around the house, watch tv, work on projects...our week-ends are the same. Sometimes we go out for lunch or a ride - but rarely go out at night. I have a sitter for when I want an evening out...and it is usually spent for my quilting group.
This is a photo of us last year when we went on a train trip to see the leaves change. She loved it. While she doesn't see the details - she sees the overall picture - therefore she could see the large trees and the colors. She seemed to have a great time on that trip.
Before she got frail - her favorite thing was to work in the garden. Our house in Tampa was gorgeous with flowers. I swear she can take a stick and make it grow into something beautiful. As she has gotten to the point where she can't work in the garden - she helps by putting the top soil into planters.
Day Out has given her such a sense of independence. This is the centerpiece she made last year for Thanksgiving. There is such pride when she brings these items home to me. I can imagine it is the same feeling I had when I would bring home the treasures I made for her when I was in school. While at Day Out she does exercises, bakes cookies and quick breads, plays Bingo, and participates in arts and crafts. They also have flower beds that they plant a garden in. She loves going and has friends there. And, me, I am thankful that her life is still full.

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17 Comments:

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Jen said...

How wonderful that you and your mother can share your life this way. And even more so that you have a place she can go that you can trust to care for her, and she has such a great time.

Thank you for sharing this story with us, Sara!

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger 'B' said...

What a lovely soul she is, and your just as wonderful spending all of your time with her!

Days out and about, are times to be cherished...

Here from Michele's this cold Sydney Monday morning...

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger margalit said...

What a wonderful program. You are lucky to have such a great necessity in your own back yard to help your mother keep vibrant.

Here via Michele

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Sacred Suzie said...

Oh Sara, I just loved reading this post and seeing the photographs of you and your Mom. Her life is still so full despite all of her challenges and I think a lot of that is because of you. I love this idea of day outs for her. This is such a lovely post. I enjoyed it very much.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Your mother is a very lucky woman; you are a wonderful daughter.

I truly enjoyed reading this post; thank you for sharing.

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Oh this is really nice to see you & your Mom together and to read even a small part of her life. So nice that she is happy and that she has you to care for her and gets some time away at Day Out also. I hope to never give up my independence either, but at least give me a soul to take care of me. Bless you & your Mom.

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger Ann said...

What a great post...it made me smile a lot! Thanks for sharing...

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger Susan said...

Oh Sara, thanks so much for this post. Quite a tribute both to your mom and yourself although I'm sure the second part wasn't intentional. I've been there, although towards the last my mom wasn't able to be out and about. Which made her extremely unhappy! I'm so glad you both have this outlet. Gives you some time, and gives her a sense of independence and her OWN life.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Deb R said...

Damn, vaseline, really?? Wow! She looks amazing. This was a lovely post, Sara.

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Cheryl said...

What a great post! I love getting little peeks into people's daily lives like that. And I'll have to remember that vaseline tip!

 
At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Sprite said...

How great that you two not only have each other, but appreciate each other in such loving ways. LOL @ the vasoline beauty secret. Dang. Who knew? Great picture of the two of you - and a wonderful post ... esp. when I've been missing Jo, the one who was most like a mom to me. *hugs*

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger carli said...

It's so wonderful that she has a place to go every day where she's happy, and that you give her a home at night where she's loved. Thanks for sharing, Here from Michele.

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger Shephard said...

What a sweet post about your mom. I truly wish I could get my mom interested in doing things like this. What a wonderful feeling to know she's not only reached that age, but is still enjoying her life. I may never complain about being bored again. ;)

Michele says hello!
~S

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

Hi Sara. You write so beautifully about your beautiful mother. I can feel the respect and admiration in your writer's voice. I hope every parent has the opportunity to be so viewed by a child.

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Tori said...

Hi There!
I just found your blog through the comment that you made on Awareness's blog...and lo and behold you are in Claremont!!!
My husband was born and raised in Claremont and lived there until 2 years ago (today) that we moved to Portland Maine. All of his family is still in the area...small world!

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Pat Winter said...

My grandmother used vaseline every morning and night and had nice skin at age 77. I tried it several times, but hate it when my hair sticks to my face, I now use extra virgin olive oil, or" EVOO" according to Rachel Ray!!! It keeps hydrated and tight.
Your mom is a beautiful woman, thanks for sharing.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger MargaretR said...

I agree with Cheryl, that was a lovely post. Your mother is lucky to have such a caring daughter.

 

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