My Mother, my Hero. She turned 92 this past May 12th. She’s in Michigan while I’m in Colorado. I talk to her everyday just to hear her tell me she loves me and to tell her how much I love her . We chat too.
My mom, strong and stong-willed, courageous, self-less, thoughtful, loving, giving, generous, faithful, patient, did I mention self-less? She has lived through the Great Depression and WWII, the losses of her baby brother, her father, her stepfather, her cousin Jimmy, her best friend Fay, her mother, her husband, and her first born of five, a son. She’s lived through six divorces between my four older siblings and has five grandchildren, two girls and three boys.
My mother learned how to play softball at the young age of 62. It was a joy to switch roles and go to all of her games. She used to volunteer for the local animal shelter that didn’t put the animals to sleep. She accumulated quite a few dogs and cats over the years. The dogs have passed on and she recognized she couldn’t handle them anymore. Always active in church, sang in the choir and baked for the bake sales. Always giving somehow, someway and expecting nothing in return. I’m very proud of my mother.
I’ve learned a lot from my mother about aging and getting old.
1) “It sucks” not being able to drive, her words not mine. My mom drove up until her late 80’s.
2) It’s hard being old and a widow of 21 years.
3) My mom has arthritis in her hands that started in her teens. Her knuckles are enlarged and cause her pain from time to time. She can hardly bend her fingers therefore, she can’t do any kind of crafts to occupy herself. She stopped taking medication for the pain.
4) Physically weak and mentally strong. I think that’s better then being the other way around. My mother’s mind is sharp as a tack. Not sure if she can’t remember certain things because I’m the youngest of five or if it’s age but she does have her memory.
5) She was never on any medications until she turned 86. My mom is only on one medication and the side effects EFFECT her! The cardiologist told her the pill is doing her more harm than good but her family doctor kept her on it, only reducing the dose.
6) You can’t medicate malnourishment. By choice my mother doesn’t eat well and therefore, she is lacking nutrients. which renders her weak and frail. She could be physically strong if she made some minor changes with her food and lifestyle habits.
7) Hydration, hydration, hydration. “Drink more water.” I tell her.
8) Don’t treat her like a child. I won’t Mom.
9) Don’t make decisions for her. I don’t Mom.
10) “No” means no. If she has been in the house all day and doesn’t feel like going out, then she doesn’t have to.
11) You have less friends when you get older. They die off, naturally.
12) “Don’t worry, be happy.” It’s hard not to fester one’s mind all day when you can’t do much or go anywhere. You tend to think and worry too much.
13) Sleep isn’t the same. She sleeps maybe 4-5 hours at night and takes several naps throughout the day and then always complains she’s tired.
14) She won’t let me coach her. She doesn’t have to. It’s her life.
15) Conversation is an effort because her world is confined to the house. Weather is always a good topic, food, her neighbors and what’s going onion my ife.
16) She prays everyday. Everyday that she wakes up she knows it’s a gift from God. My mom is very thankful; for her trials and challenges, for her children, grandchildren. She is also a very forgiving person.
17) I expect my mother to live forever. My mom reminds me from time to time of the harsh reality that she is going to die, not to worry about it and that she will die happy.
On occasion, I will think about what I will be like at age 92. If I’m half the woman my mother is, I’ll be doing pretty good.
Thank you Mom.