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Archive for March, 2011

Momma

Momma has always been ready to help me scoop up the sometimes broken pieces of my life and do whatever I needed her to do at the time.
Has she been the “Perfect Mother,” whatever that is. No.
She said her mother always told her if she didn’t learn how to clean fish or milk a cow, she would never have to do them. Daddy always cleaned the fish he caught and we didn’t have a cow so I guess she followed her mother’s philosophy well.
She has never been the woman who had hobbies. She just worked as a waitress, in clothing at several local stores, was an assistant buyer for one, a real estate agent, apartment manager and went back to school and became a nurse.
She didn’t say the words, “I love you” when we were younger, but showed us plenty of love every day through her caring ways.
I always thought she would be the same until she went to sleep one night and woke up in the arms of God.
Instead, I am watching her slip away.
Although she has had several medical problems, her mind had remained sharp. That has changed.
She now forgets things, worries about stuff and imagines conversations that never take place.
Her once neat dresser drawers now contain many used dryer sheets and pictures still in the frames she has removed from the walls. There are socks in four drawers, all the same kind and a flash attachment for a Polaroid camera her and daddy once owned.
One day she loses the key to her safety drawer, the next day it is her glasses.
Somebody steals her watch. I look but can’t find it. I buy another one and she is so happy and sleeps in it so it can’t be stolen. Two days later I find watch #1 wrapped in a wash cloth and stuffed in a drawer. She is so happy, but says it is uncomfortable to sleep in two.
Somebody stole her favorite blouse. She had given me to see if I can get a stain out.
She hides her remote in a Kleenex box so nobody can sit in her chair and watch TV while she is away.
She thinks the people who live next door are plotting to get her thrown out so they can have her room. She tells me they have called the authorities to come and move her out of the room, which might be her reasoning behind the pictures being placed in a drawer.
We do have days when she is very clear and her normal old self. I am learning to cherish those days.
I must say, she lives in an assisted living facility, Sacred Heart Residence, a Catholic facility that is part of Little Sisters of The Poor. The staff is wonderful. They are patient and kind and take very good care of her. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
I changed doctors because the one she had didn’t listen or care. The new one has sent us to several specialists including a neurologist for tests. They take away some medicines and add others. They are searching for ways to make her life more pleasing.
She is tired of going and tells me she doesn’t want to see another doctor ever. What do I do?
I pray for wisdom, still I don’t know.
I heard a woman say once, it is hard when you become the parent and your parents become the children.
I didn’t understand then. I do now.

Momma

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Last week, we paid a visit to the Friendship Oak. This impressive tree can be found on the Gulf Coast Campus of the University of Southern Mississippi along highway 90 in Long Beach.
For more than 500 years, this Live Oak has withstood the elements, including many hurricanes with their fierce driving winds blowing salt water from the Gulf of Mexico just across the street.
Some of the limbs reach upward toward the sky while others simply look tired and weighed down touching the ground.
I can imagine people lounging under the tree, spreading out a blanket and taking a rest while looking up through the limbs and leaves to the sky.
Brides and grooms have chosen to have their wedding below these branches because of its beautiful setting and to symbolize how their relationship started and grew.
A platform was once built in among its branches as an outdoor classroom. It is difficult to understand how students could have kept their minds on their studies in this majestic place. The platform was washed away by one of the hurricanes and hasn’t been replaced.
When the tree suffers from disease or a twisted branch, arborists tend to its needs by trimming off the branches and applying ‘tree medicine’ to its wounds.
Only God knows how long this massive tree will stand.
On the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the tree.
It began as an ordinary acorn the same size as others. Maybe it was planted by a squirrel for safe keeping. With time it sprouted, the trunk grew bigger, the roots deeper and branches reached out for more light.
Makes me compare the tree to my life.

Friendship Oak

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