|Mom was pregnant with me in this picture.|
Here’s the thing, my mom, Flossie, passed away a few years ago and at times it’s still a little rough. I miss her, even though her declining years were pretty hard. She had multi-infarct dementia, or as she called it, Multi Old Fart Dementia. She also had some pretty serious heart issues and of course diabetes. Yet, she was still able to make me laugh. Sometimes she wasn’t aware that she was being funny but most of the time she was just plain funny. I’ve been thinking lately about how many times I visited her at the nursing home. She didn’t want much, just a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts and for me to water her plants. She had many, many plants and a magical green thumb which enabled her to grow anything and perhaps more important keep it growing. I’ve written in the past about the eighty- year-old onion, which I inherited. And yes, I’m happy to say, it is still alive in spite of my gardening disabilities.
Mom spent the majority of her time in her little room looking out the window or watching whatever came on channel six. I would try to get her to join the others in the great room for meals but she always barked. “I’m not eating out there with all those old people. Bunch of old fuddy duddies.” And so I didn’t push the issue. Who was I to make her spend time with people she didn’t enjoy?
She would leave the confines of her room to attend bowling. That’s right wheelchair bowling. Now there’s a sport to behold. Pretty amazing really. She would get wheeled up to a ball resting in a kind of gutter on a slope. And then she’d give the ball a push and off it would roll to knock down the pins. Flossie won several bowling awards. Then there was the choir. Now I’m just saying, the choir was well . . . pretty awful although if you listened close enough you could hear that many of the choristers did, at one time, have a good voice. Like my Mom.
And she was also a painter. An artist. And she was really quite good. Until her declining years. I set her up with an easel and canvas and her paints at the nursing home but the results? Well, not so good. She tried to paint Jesus as a boy holding a lamb and he ended up looking more like that kid on Mad Magazine holding a trout. So yeah, the painting was more frustrating than therapeutic.
I’m not sure why I’m sharing this today. I woke up thinking about Mom this morning. It might be because folks have been asking me why I write about magical things. Mom was kind of magical. Perhaps that’s why. She had a knack for making the fantastic happen, for things long lost to be found at precisely the correct moment. She could make me confess to some petty childhood crime just by winking and of course she did make my warts disappear with a potato and a burlap bag. True story.