Sunday, December 27, 2015

Table For Four

(Mom and me in Brooklyn.)
In class, we spend time looking at the first miracle of Jesus, the one in which He turned water into wine. It's also a fascinating look at the relationship between a son and his mother. The following piece, from November 30, 2008, is about me and my mother. I miss her, especially during the holidays.

On Friday, I went to lunch with Mom. That is probably not quite accurate. Mom and three other ladies in her condition sat in wheelchairs silently at a table for four in the dining area. One of the workers asked if I wanted to feed Mom and after a slight hesitation, I replied that I did. It took most of an hour. Mom has her eyes closed most of the time; her words come sparingly and never in response to anything directed towards her. She was a good eater, as they told me she would be. I spoon fed her a meal of Cream of Wheat, pudding, and some other blended concoction which I could not identify. She drank a small glass of milk and one of cranberry juice. She seemed not to know when she should stop sipping so that was left up to me. She ate everything offered and then I wheeled her for several laps around the part of the complex where she lives. We had to stop and reposition her feet when they slipped off the rests and drug on the floor. After ten minutes, I returned Mom to her room where she sat motionless until an orderly lifted her back into bed. I kissed her on the forehead and told her I would come back that evening. There was no acknowledgement from the woman that gave me birth.

Before Dad's stroke. I spent very little time in nursing homes. I've found something in common in the facilities we checked out for Mom in St. Louis as well as in her new home in Wichita; bird cages. The one in Wichita is glass enclosed, about six feet high and four feet wide. It is the home to four or five colorful birds who have enough space to fly, swing, and play with each other. Perhaps it's therapeutic for the patients or maybe these miniature aviaries are for the benefit of visitors. Mom and I rolled past the one in Kansas three or four times. I should have stopped and see if their chirping and flitting registered at all...but I didn't. We had to make one more circuit. When I was little, Mom was always busy but she took the time to teach and give us experiences. I don't remember the picture above....but somehow it made a difference. In three weeks, I will be back in Wichita and I'll give Mom the wheelchair tour once more. This time, we'll spend some time at the bird cage. Jesus told us the Father looks after the winged creatures. I know He has Mom in His hand, too.

Applicable quote of the day:
"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."
Abraham Lincoln

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Bev said...

Your post made me cry and remember days of trying to rouse a memory out of my mom. The only thing that could ever justify her condition was the thought that it wouldn't last forever and it was the avenue she was taking to eternity. At times she would tell Linda she wanted to go home and Linda would always say, "when you're better you will leave the nursing home" and she was when she finally left for her heavenly home. My thoughts are with you and your family. Love you, Beverly

Laurie said...

Times like this are very tough. I hope you enjoyed your time with family.

Family fun said...

thanks for the update on your mom; i was going to email karen tomorrow and ask about her. like you, i have a difficult time relating the word "mother" to some of the images we see today. i was blessed to have several people like your mom to show me the correct role a mother plays in the life of her children and others.

your mom has been such a blessing!

Cindy said...

Thanks Steve for your thoughts and helping me to stop and think about my daddy and the many ways he taught me and to make sure I give more time to my mom while she is here.
The song cats in the cradle always comes to mind when my children call and want to talk, I make sure I make the time to listen.

Susan said...

What a blessing she was Steve! I remember those walks as well. I used to relish my time with Nelda even though she could not respond to anything around her. With lots of love and many prayers, Susan.