This is my Mother


The last time I put pen to paper was in December of last year. I wrote my father’s obituary. Since then I’ve been left with some sort of creative block. Words swirl in my mind but I can’t get them on paper. I’ve tried my hand at art, paints and such, even taking an online art class. But I don’t think art is my “art.” I think words are my art and this blog post is my feeble and fearful attempt to practice my art.

Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I’d like to give my mom a big shout out because she’s been through a lot over the past months. She’s lost a sister, a brother, a brother-in-law, her husband, and as I write this, she’s watching and waiting as her sister-in-law, in hospice, is making the journey to join all these who have passed. She deserves that shout out if for no other reason than she’s left with only me.

She’s a petite person but carries herself tall; she has her ailments but never complains. She is determined to manage, on her own, the “business” of settling my father’s estate. And she is doing it. She misses my daddy but only cries when no one else is around. She is brave, unafraid to live alone. She is kind, compelled to reach out to a neighbor whose husband has been imprisoned. She is a good friend and her friends love her. She is wise. At times she says things that sound a little ditzy and I look at her sideways, praying, please don’t let this be the onset of dementia … or worse. But then I look at her again and she’s at 110 percent, all cylinders firing, and she’s saying things that are true and real.

Years before my father’s death, as his health was failing, she never ventured far from home, telling me that he was her priority. He was a lucky man. Now, I feel that she is my priority, after all, there is no one else, I am an only child, I’m all she’s got. I call her a lot. I visit frequently. I watch her carefully. As I observe her, there are many times that I feel she is adjusting better than I am. She is going forward with the rest of her life. I am stuck in neutral. She noticed this the last time I was with her. She said, “Pat, do what you want to do. I am going to be fine. And for goodness sake, start wearing your good jewelry!”

I believe I mentioned she is wise.


5 responses »

  1. This made me tear up and laugh out loud… All in just a few paragraphs. I think you may be right about words being your “art” – I would certainly read whatever you write!

    Happy early Mother’s Day!

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