Went to see Mom, “Ma”, today, for Mother’s Day at her assisted living facility in Somers, the Paramount, such wonderful folks, with Beck (my Sis) and her guy Buck. It was to be a perfect, and it was, perfect little brunch with a perfect little brunch menu of perfect fruits and French toast and scrambled eggs and bacon on a perfectly pretty day under an outside tent and with even a muffin or two with butter if you were so inclined to fill up too early from that basket before the main menu … and a Mom.
I’ve had some difficulty recently dealing with age and what it presents us, not for myself really though I joke of it quite a lot, not the worries of it and the remembering of better days to compensate, which is never a compensation at all by the way, that’s just the stuff and memories and doings in your past that built you, the reality of fond times, things learned, but of the creaks and cracks of body parts now that can be quite comical on occasion. I can no longer sneak up on anyone for instance with my ankle cracks, stand ups that take a little longer with breathy exhales, a belly paunch that reminds that I am terribly out of shape and leave an awful profile now in bathroom mirror selfies if I were to take such but do not (my God man! think of the children!) but for a Mom who has slid into a something that is unexplainable and something that scares me to death.
And I don’t do anything to help myself from what I have convinced a me might be inevitable. I habit too much in things that don’t help, even when I know that that habit too much is not the best of course. Put down the beer, put down the vape pen (cigarettes at least being well behind me), get some exercise, go out and mingle with actual human beings on occasion that don’t make just for fluffy pet pictures.
But I keep working anything, ANYTHING that might help the noggin keep working noggin stuff while telling itself just that.
This I do at least … constantly. A never stop no matter how much I know that no one may actually read or listen to whatever it is. Doesn’t matter. Just work it Steve … just work it.
But you know the thing I miss the most in this world is not being able to call my Mom, my friend, and recount a day, tell her of this noggin stuff, tell her of whatever stupid thing I came across that day that was latest funniest thing ever (at least in my mind) maybe direct her to new a post of mine in the Attic, that phone call that I am sure, while nodding and smiling, she was checking on her end the clock back then wondering if this phone call would end soon “Love ya Stephen, but it’s Murder She Wrote … it’s Angela Lansbury”.
Mom loved herself the murder mysteries, even in re-run, especially in the most dangerous sleepy small town that ever existed.
I brought Mom three things today, a bar of Ghiradelli chocolate, a dark chocolate salt caramel one where the caramel is salt crunchy not smooth, like a toffee, an almost English one I thought she might like, a T-shirt I was wearing with a cat paw fist bumping a human fist and a Mother’s Day card with also a cat. A wide eyed cat.
I thought maybe the cat thing might jog a bit of the Stephen. She always noted to her great dismay I think “Oh, that Stephen and his cats … why doesn’t he have a girlfriend”
When I mentioned that she nodded and said “Your cats” but then when Beck opened up that chocolate bar in her room to give her a piece of it she looked at me and said “Stephen, you’re ruining my diet” with a bit of chocolate on her lip and she also held onto that card, with the wide eyed cat all morning until we left and maybe past that on her nightstand.
When I was finally in my car (Beck and Buck and I always meet at the 84 diner to drive together the way down and back to be able to catch up and catch back) alone for my short rest of the ride home I broke down a bit. Quite a bit.
She said “Stephen, you’re ruining my diet”.
That was the world.
She said “Stephen, you’re ruining my diet” … to me.
Love ya Ma.
**Addendum: And please note that it is my sister who has been carrying the ball here with visits and keeping mind on the particulars of Mom’s care. I’ve been lax in that regard, cowarding out in the things that I just can’t quite face.