Friday, February 3, 2012

My mother loves me...

Mom and I at my daughter's wedding.
I know that my mother loves me!  She is having a hard time showing it these days.  She is so focused on keeping her independence, and on going to her weekly scheduled activities.  Since I am not a part of her routine, it is hard for her.  So, lately, when I go visit, she thinks that I am going to meddle, try to change things, or  take away something of hers.  We live 12 hours away and when I retired, I made a goal to go and visit her more often weather she wants me to come or not!
We just returned home and I was so tired!  Oh I didn't get tired from visiting some friends along the way nor from spending time with my sisters.  Nor was it from shopping at the Sawgrass Mall one afternoon.  My husband drove and we stopped at St. Simons Island a few good days of beach weather, so it wasn't the driving either.  It wasn't all the oysters that we took and ate everywhere we went.
Don and Jimmy eating oysters at Cristi and Juani's house,

Don win Angie and Bo eating oysters at Bo's parents' house.

Julie and Robert at our house with the last of the oysters.

My mom is a very active 89 year old who lives alone, and she is finally admitting that she is getting old and doesn't want to!  On Tuesdays she has chair exercise class with one of my sisters.  On Wednesdays she goes with her group of Senior to play cards.  On Thursdays she goes on an outing with the Seniors group - she loves it when they go to the casino because she usually wins.  Then Fridays another chair exercise class.  Her favorite day is Saturday when she volunteers at the Church Thrift store.  She loves talking Spanish and French with the customers and usually sits at the cash register.  Sundays she goes to Church.  Monday is the only day that she doesn't have anything scheduled!  The last couple of weeks she has given up the exercises which we are not happy about but she tires out doing all the other things with her friends.  She still drives but only close by.  She dreads the time when she will lose her car.

My mother, Maria Luisa, working at the Church Thrift Store

When we go down there we usually plan to fix some things.  This time Don fixed a wall in the garage.  I didn't just hang around and talk, or helped her organize, or clean some part of her house, or yard like other times that we have gone.  I hope that she was happy to see me. I didn't get too close so she wouldn't see me as a threat.  We sat and chatted a while in her living room, and mostly stayed at my sister's house and I called her on the phone and asked her if she wanted me to come over and see her.  But we did go to Church together and I sat and waited while she went to Confession.  That was our special time this visit.
My mom now knows that she has become forgetful and writes things down, but don't tell her to write it or she won't!  My sister goes over there and writes little notes for her.  She lives 2 blocks away and is wonderful to her.  She takes her shopping, and to the doctor, and the bank.  She always makes extra food to take to her.   Another sister who also lives nearby is her main confidant.  My mom calls her on the phone all the time and my sister has to patiently listen to the same stories and complaints. 
My sister, Cristi, preparing chicken for dinner for everyone.

We talked on the phone the other day and I told her I was making plans to go see her in April again and she said,"Why?"  I told her that since I retired I wanted to go see her 4 times a year instead of 2.  "Is it not reasonable that I should want to see you 4 times a year?"  She didn't answer.  I'll just have to keep telling her.  Then maybe she can look forward to seeing me.  We are 6 sisters and I guess I am not the favorite...  But it's okay, I still love her!
Mom in the middle with 5 of her daughters and their families at a family reunion.


  1. Remember when your children were little and you planned a special event for them? Often they didn't respond like you expected. Sometimes they were cranky and seemed unappreciative. Young children and the elderly live best with established routines. Since you live miles away and have lived miles away for most of your adult life, you are not part of your mom's routine. It's not that she loves you less; she is just more comfortable and secure with her normal. And, yes, you are right to go visit her more often. You just won't get the reaction you expect.

    1. Thank you for writing. I do need to remember that she is more comfortable and secure with the normal and not to expect anything from her, just know that she loves me and I want to show her that I love her!

  2. That was an excellent comment from Linda. I agree with her and thin that you are a good daughter to make this effort from so far away.

    1. Thank you Anna, I want to always be a good daughter! One of my sisters called after reading this to remind me how I was "bad" as a teenager and used to do things on purpose to see what would happen... Never things really bad, just naughty. Don't most children do that? I think this sister never did...


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