I was having my typical passes-for-busy day. It goes something like gym, grocery store, couch, high school, kitchen, front porch, bed. Things vary from day to day, errands change, but mostly I’m solo and sometimes oblivious to my surroundings.
Imagine my surprise when I saw my best friend and her Mom sitting on a bench in front of the grocery store. BF’s Mom lives in my ‘hood. BF lives over the river in Virginia, but she visits her Mom every weekend. Since this was a Thursday, and BF (unlike me) is gainfully employed, it was an unexpected treat.
“We just got back from our one zillionth trip to Social Security,” BF tells me. “They might finally have it straight.”
Since we were young – as in our early 20’s, my BF has taken care of her Parents. Neither spoke English very well, and as they aged my BF has cared for them more and more. I’ve never heard her complain, but I have never seen her at a Sunday afternoon bbq unless she had spent Saturday with the folks. She always went home one day a week to do things for her parents around the family house.
After her Father died she stepped up and took even better care of her Mom. Yes, there are siblings and they help, but BF has primary responsibility.
She is my role model. I hope I have the patience and loving understanding she displays daily. My time will come to really care for my parents.
We sat on the bench for a while. They had been at the bank, and it was a beautiful day, and BF just wanted a moment in the sun. Her Mom has dementia now, and is not really sure what is day and what is night, and gets pretty agitated for no apparent reason. She can only walk with a walker. On this mild sunny spring day she was wearing a winter coat and a knit cap.
Still, her eyes were bright, and it made me very happy that she recognized me. She has been in my life since I was 11, and liked me “even though I wasn’t Jewish” as she told me when I was 12. She has always treated me like family. I love her.
We sat for a minute, the three of us on the bench in the sunshine and laughed. Then she got agitated, and wanted to leave, so BF hugged me and led her Mom off, taking care that she was able to make it up the sidewalk with her walker.
When we were young it was all about getting away from our Mothers. They were embarrassing, cramped our style, and curtailed our freedom. Note: Freedom = doing stupid dangerous things from age 16 to 20.
It’s still all about our Mothers – or in my cases, Parents, just in a different way. BF and I anxiously discuss how to keep them active and happy. We agonize over every sign of ill health, or in her case, the fact that her Mother is slipping away a little more each day.
Then it occurred to us, as we talked on the phone later that afternoon, that our Mothers were still teaching us how to live and enjoy life.
So what are you doing for Mother’d Day? Or as it is know by BF and me – S’Mothers Day.