Monday, May 14, 2012

Time with Mom

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  I wasn't too excited by the day, but then excitement is kind of a foreign word to me these days.  Excitement means anticipation and I haven't anticipated much of late, in fact too many days I am just trying to get through. 

But it was Mother's Day and I still had a very much alive mom, I wanted to appreciate.  I had thought to take her to her church as we have done that the last few years.  I had gone on Saturday night to our church, so thought Sunday morning with Mom would be perfect, that is, if my brother, Kim and his wife, Tammy weren't going to take her.  It had been a misty, cloudy, humid day on Saturday and I've got to admit, not the best of days, though not the worst either.  When I called Mom in the early evening, she sounded despondent and said she was just having a bad day and didn't want to go to the Mother's Day celebration at her church as she had been there and done it before.  I was caught a bit off guard by her wanting to stay home but didn't push it.  Mother's Day should be a day to enjoy. 

My brother and I planned a cookout over to Mom's on Sunday afternoon.  Sunday dawned sunny and gorgeous, the kind of day we live for in Michigan when the winter's are long and April doesn't quite know how to act.  My son, Ryan, Alison, his wife, and Luca, my grandson were invited but weren't sure of their exact plans.

There was nothing revolutionary about the cookout.  I came to no epiphanies and we didn't do anything we hadn't done before, but it was nice.  It was nice to sit with my brother who knew my history the longest of anyone aside from Mom.  It was nice to just relax and talk about our adventures as kids and the neighbors now gone and missed. 

After dinner, Mom put us all to work with some chores she wanted done.  Tammy and I moved outdoor furniture out of the basement and back onto the screened in porch, Mom's favorite summer hangout. We moved more furniture from the garage to her side porch.  Kim and Kurt took to cutting down a couple of gangly peach trees who were too tall for Mom and in a bad spot.  They also cut down a couple of dead and dying trees and trimmed lower branches so Mom could mow under the dwarf fruit trees. Mowing her lawn is Mom's chief joy.  I think she missed her calling as a groundskeeper for a golf course.  We had planned to pile the cut up trees on the old tractor loader that Dad had kept around.  But it wouldn't start so we just dragged the branches and stumps over to an area out of the way and piled them up. 

My brother reminds me more and more of our dad as we age.  I suppose he might say the same of me about Mom. He has Dad's voice and his mannerisms and yesterday as I walked behind him while he was carrying a chain saw, his forearms were exactly like Dad's.  Funny, how that brief look took me back to my dad carrying things and the fact that his arms were a memory in my mind.  Had I told my brother that, he may not have appreciated it.  We like to think we are like one parent or another for only good, intelligent reasons, not for physique as that tends to tell us we're aging.

My mom is growing shorter which I guess would be an oxymoron as she isn't really growing any longer and one can't really grow shorter.  She barely comes up to my shoulder now, and I'm not tall.  She has finally let her colored hair go gray, and I think it will match the lines of living on her face better.  She doesn't ask much from us and likes her life on the farm.  Sometimes that seems such a lonely place to be, but her memories are what get her up in the morning.  She misses Dad and the life she once had.  It goes by in the blink of an eye, and we are left with all those things that once were and wishing they were again.  If we knew our futures we would often stop time and just want those memories to be once more.  They are such good memories, and we just know nothing will ever be that good....

After we got home and the kids and my grandson had left, Kurt suggested ice cream at the Merrill Whippy Dip.  At first I didn't want to, and neither of us really needed ice cream after all we had eaten today, but something inside of me told me to do it.  There is something about pulling up to the Whippy Dip on the first nice evening that speaks of summer to come.  There is something about seeing it open for the new season and the crowds of people patiently waiting their turn.  You can't rush great ice cream and it always gives us a chance to greet and catch up with old friends.  There is always someone you know.  The Merrill Whippy Dip speaks to me of the summer to come and that there are always things to anticipate no matter how long we live. A slow drive home was mandatory.  Farmers will be in the fields in full force and it is planting time.   A time of new beginnings... It was a good Mother's Day....

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