When my mother died, after ten years in the prison of Alzheimer’s Disease, my eldest (at the time) nephew, Will once again wowed us with his wisdom. He told us that only now were we all adults because we didn’t have any parents any more. (Wish I could remember the exact words he used. I will have to ask his mother!)
So, I’ve been an adult for four years now and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Not only am I the first in line to die now but I am getting creakier but still feel so youthful (most of the time.) I am trying to spend the day with joyful memories of mom rather than being sad … and I’ve only had to wipe away the tears a few times so far.
Mom rented a house in Weekapaug, RI for several summer and we were so lucky to be able to spend the month with her there. The drive with three little kids (and Flo, my French daughter) was always an adventure and I remember thanking God for Knights Inns. We’d stop half way for the night and Kate loved the decor in the hotel and I needed to sleep! We had such good times at the beach and one of these days I will scan all the photographs so that I can share more. Weekapaug friends are still in our lives and when we win the lottery, we’re going to buy a house there at the beach. Maybe Red Gate – a huge old cottage that was our favorite, I think. A rambling old home that had been in the same family for generations. It had several porches and was near enough to the water that you could hear the waves at night.
When mom visited us in Cincinnati, she loved to take the kids out for a day with GranJan. Up until she couldn’t travel anymore, she would borrow my van and drive to the mall and the day was always a favorite of the kids – mostly the girls because my son was so young – but they’d shop for clothes and toys, have lunch and Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Build A Bear was always a favorite stop. Toy R Us was across the street and there were hours spent there, too. Mom loved the zoo, too. We were always members of the zoo and loved going down there for an hour or for a day … and in the winter, it was even more fun because the animals were (mostly) more active!
She was a task-master, a critic, a tennis fanatic (both on the courts and around the courts), a caring daughter, sister, aunt, friend. We were lucky to have her for as long as we did! My life today is better because of her … even with the disagreements that we had! 🙂
I miss her. I know she’s free of her disease now and I’m sure she’s proud of my three kids and of me. She’s watching over us every day – and she’s smiling!