Well, it’s been quite interesting around these parts over the past few months. The original story is one that no one wants to hear while scrolling through their reader. And lord knows I don’t want to relive it.
The short version is my mother was in the hospital for 10 days with a flare of ulcerative colitis, Covid went through the roof in Pennsylvania, we refused rehab and converted my family room into a replica of mom’s apartment in 2 days so she could move in with us. Honestly, it’s still a blur.
That was back on November 18th, which seems like both 5 years and 5 minutes ago. For the record, let me be clear that I am not a nurse, nor do I exhibit the skills to provide medical services due to my large hands and not knowing my own strength. Trust me.
Mom was over the moon about moving into our abode for many reasons, but mainly to be around family, her family, which was the most essential part of her long life. As a Great Depression orphan, her family was important.
Let’s say mom crossed the threshold into her new digs with a bang or a Code Brown. Use your imaginations, folks. This led to a complete strip down, shower, and both of us feeling like maybe this was one of those ideas that looked great on paper, but the reality sucked—sort of like that 30 foot Homer Simpson Christmas decoration.
Once she was settled and my assistant, Nurse Peanut, greeted her with open paws, we had time to discuss, laugh, and cry about that grand entrance. We were both imagining more of a Scarlet O’Hara strolling down the staircase kind of moment. If nothing else, it was memorable.
Ok, that was Wednesday evening; by the time a REAL nurse arrived on Sunday, I looked like the 94-year-old patient! The bags under my eyes highlighted the dark circles nicely.
Meanwhile, my mom looked like a movie star! She was showered and dressed with her hair, nails, brows looking fab, and any unruly chin hairs removed. Just my two cents, if you’re in the position of caring for an elderly parent, the better they look, the less help you’ll get. Disheveled is the way to go.
If I heard it once, I heard it a million times, “your mom looks great; she’s not sick enough for more help.” Were you ever so tired that you wanted to knock someone out, tie them to a chair, and force them to step into your shoes for a night? Asking for a friend.
We entered week two, a/k/a hell on earth, with a whole new bag of crazy. I gained another patient in the house. Officially declaring myself an RN working 24/7 shifts with no pay.
While mom was downstairs having everything that went in her mouth come out the other end and insisting on eating because she was hungry, my husband was locked in our bedroom coughing up a lung with, you guessed it, COVID! Oh, you can say it, I’ll even join you. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Just when you think things could not possibly get worse, at mom’s request, I made a homemade apple cake because she was craving something sweet. The aroma of this cake makes the house smell delicious, and lord knows with all of the other odors going on, it would be more than welcome. Just one of the many, OH SHIT, no pun intended, moments that followed.
I’m not gonna lie; losing my sense of smell was welcomed for what transpired over the following few days. Can you say a blessing in disguise?
The husband started feeling better, my symptoms stopped at no taste or smell, but mom’s condition was getting worse. FINALLY, she was “sick enough” to get hospice services. They arrived on Tuesday dressed like they were stepping onto the moon due to the COVID colony known as my home.
Wednesday was the last day that I was able to talk to mom. Her last sentiment was, “be kind to everyone, no matter what, this world needs kindness.” Truth!
Mom passed on Friday, December 4, 2020, with me and my husband by her side. Hopefully, at some point, after COVID, we will be able to celebrate the Queen of our family and her life well lived.
As I sat in the waiting room of the doctor with my mother, a conversation developed over a new photograph hanging on the wall. It was the doctor’s two beautiful daughters, who just happen to be part of the Olympic Field Hockey Team.
We were all expressing how happy we were for these young women and of course, how proud the doctor must be of their accomplishments. Personally, I was wondering…how the heck do you get not one, but two of these kids?
I was laughing to myself thinking about the sport careers of my kids, which was pretty much null & void. My son was 5 years old when his T-ball career began, but his heart was never really into it after the first practice when he ran over to me with his little angry face and boldly stated …”I don’t like it mom, that guy thinks he’s the boss of every body!” Um, the coach? Olympics were pretty much out of the picture at that point.
Not only are these young ladies exceptional athletes, they both attend Princeton University, they are beautiful and hold on to your seats…they are nice. Hmm…I started to notice a change in the room..something was brewing.
The room got quiet, the twitching started and the conversation took a 360 as the Brag Books started to surface. Oh, it was a full-blown episode of….Grandma’s Gone Wild!
Almost in unison they were thinking…Ok, enough about these golden children, let me tell you about little Bobby & sweet Susie. Suddenly the gloves were off and these little grey haired women were foaming at the mouth as they waited for the bragging to begin. Bring it on ladies, bring it on!
Across the room one woman laid out her granddaughter ‘s entire softball career, including her devastating loss at State Champs this Summer. Apparently loosing at State Champs is much different from just regular ole loosing, especially when your grandma is telling the story.
Then *BAM* in the left corner we have a West Point Cadet, who didn’t even require an interview. Why? Because he was just that wonderful. Over in the right hand corner we now have a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Chicago and we end the show with a grandson who plays that game “where you kick the ball.” You better believe he was the best ball kicker anyone has ever seen.
Clearly competitiveness has no age limits, not in this waiting room any way. Feeble grandmothers suddenly have blood thirsty fangs as they try to out trump one another for the best grandchild on the planet award right before our eyes.
It was getting very heated, especially after the West Point cadet, that certainly seemed to raise some eyebrows. I decided to take inventory…ok, 2 canes and a walker…hmm this could get ugly!
The winner was clearly chemo grandma who slammed everyone down. Not only is she the mother of genius children, they both married genius spouses who just also happen to have genius parents. The kind of parents that helped design the Atom Bomb. I know that card couldn’t wait to jump out of the deck.
So what happens when genius sperm meet genius eggs? They spawn super geniuses who are at the top of their classes at the best universities in the world. Of course they could be on magazine covers with their stunning looks, but their brains are much too large to waste on such nonsense, they chose to save the world instead. You could hear a pin drop as she continued to take down the opposition. POW… WOW… SHABAM!
Just as the nurse came out to retrieve this Super G-Mom she slowly got out of the chair. Faced the room and let us all know they also have a grandmother who kicked cancers’ ass … TWICE! Dam! She certainly knew how to close a show.
My mom just looked at me and said “when you really have the best, you don’t have to say a word.” Slam dunk! As if I didn’t already know…Enjoy the Ride!