Reaching Out & Learning

I spent the afternoon with my mom today. She wanted to purchase a new chair for her kitchen. We were successful in finding one at the second store we stopped by. I told my mom I would go home with her to put the chair together. I followed her to her home which allowed me a chance to observe her driving without her knowing. She did very well and reacted defensively when a driver cut her off. I have been concerned about her driving since she had a serious car accident two years ago. She has given up interstate and serious highway driving but still drives herself around to the store, to my home and to her bridge games. I do not need to worry about her driving and reaction times at this point.

After we put her chair together I helped her move some things to her garage. Michael and I will help her this fall to finish unpacking the rest of her boxes. She really does not have much left to unpack but it is time consuming and overwhelming when the person who you loved and bought the house with died within four months of moving into the new home. After moving the stuff and her trying out her new chair she announced were going to lunch. We ended up at Arby’s and enjoyed a good turkey sandwich. While driving to Arby’s she brought up how a friend of hers was not handling the death of the friends spouse well. She then offered up that another friend gardens when they are grieving. I asked my mom if she ever considered writing about her experiences with being widowed twice. I explained she may have wisdom and observations that may help others. She was horrified and I found out she hates to write. I told her I found writing liberating but she said to her writing is a chore she can do without. She enjoys reading as did my stepdad. She frequents the local library and my nephew and myself buy her books she tells us about-specifically books in which she saw the author interviewed on C-Span’s book world. She loves to watch baseball and got the baseball package on her satellite system. We discussed cooking for oneself when alone. I told her Michael loses weight most times when I am in overnight pet sitting jobs. He gets so busy doing projects he forgets to eat. Me? I never forget and am one of those people who get angry and grumpy when hungry. My mom cooks when Michael and I visit and occasionally if we bring her veggies from our CSA box.

I know people have their own lives and don’t always have time but sometimes I wish people would take two minutes and reach out to check on my mom or me or anyone. We get so disconnected, people are afraid to talk about the dead in fear of upsetting the person grieving. I realized tonight I am usually the person who is checking in on my family. I call and talk to my mom every day. She looks forward to the calls. We talk about our day, baseball, books, gardening and town gossip.

My mom has been sharing her memories of her childhood, WWll, the moon landing, my dad, my grandparents. I am grateful for her sharing the info with me.

I wonder if my dad would have written more since he died before the internet became popular. He loved cameras and setting up shots but always encouraged me and my younger sister to take the photos.

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