Scrunching. Gaping.

“Are you catching flies or what?” ~Pauline~ When I was young, I heard this line on occasion from my mother. It usually happened while intently watching a favorite cartoon or TV program. I couldn’t help myself. My big teeth and overbite kept getting in the way of always keeping my mouth closed. It still does. I catch myself doing it at work while intently watching an Excel spreadsheet, and also scrunching my face so I can see better with theRead more

SoCS: Neighbors

Have I told you lately that I love my neighbors? I do. I reside in a large apartment complex and my building contains six apartments. With the exception of very new neighbors (it’s the one apartment that’s seen a lot of turnover), everyone else has been hanging out together, helping one another, and becoming friends as we live our separate lives with work and family. It’s an unusual situation for me as I’ve not experienced this type of camaraderie withRead more

Gravy Goes With Everything

My earliest memory of Pauline was of her standing on top of a chair, screaming as a mouse ran across the floor. This would not have been the usual, stoic, keep-it-together mom that was obvious to me later in life. I do not remember other episodes of this woman being hysterical, losing it to furry critters or when life was a bit topsy-turvey. I seldom saw my mother sweat, but perhaps growing up the youngest girl in a family ofRead more

Identity: What Did I Miss?

I’m staring at the ID card I’ve had for several years. This card tells everyone Mary is a permanent employee for a state government agency and assigns an ID number. It also contains one of the few ID or driver’s license photos in which I don’t appear to have woken from a two-day drunk. ID stands for “identity,” but you wouldn’t learn much about me from the plastic rectangle that is clipped to a piece of wardrobe Monday through Friday.Read more

Processing 16 Years

Over coffee on Saturday morning, a friend asked me, “How are you processing?” She was asking about moving forward from my mother’s passing in February. A number of friends have asked this question in various formats, with concern in how I’m handling a new chapter of life. It’s a question that’s contemplative in response, at times difficult and at times easy to put into words, but I will try to answer. This is more than about mom, it’s a journeyRead more

Faithfully Home

  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 Mom found her way home last Friday, February 15, 2019. Home to her family of 15, home to her husband Evan, and home to her Savior, Jesus Christ. It was time for the dementia to take a hike and for Pauline to feel freedom from her physical restraints. Mom went peacefully in her sleep, a blessing that most of us desire whenRead more

The Working Girl’s Purse

The last “mom” post was in August, when she turned 99. Not much has happened since, other than she keeps eating, drinking coffee and taking lots of naps. She’s having a hard time holding her head up as this is one of the effects of dementia – her brain is forgetting to tell her body what to do. When I visit, I never know if she is going to be alert or have a sleepy day. The most recent visitRead more

She’s Ninety Freakin’ Nine!

That’s what Natasha exclaimed on Saturday morning. We were talking about mom. Monday, August 6th, is Pauline’s birthday. She will be 99 years old. Ninety Freakin’ Nine. Although mom’s health might be considered “poor,” the fact that she is still on the planet is amazing to me. My cute, little energizer bunny has outlived her husband, all of her siblings, all of her friends, and most people who were born in the year 1919. She has lived to this dayRead more

Huh?

“What did I do?” That’s what mom asked me on Sunday. Twice. I answered, “I don’t know,” twice. I did not have a clue. Did she spill her coffee or steal someone’s oatmeal at breakfast? In hindsight, I should have answered, “I don’t know, but do you need bail money?” This post has been brought to you by the question of the day. It has also been brought to you by Linda G. Hill’s “One-Liner Wednesday.” All you need to play alongRead more

Somewhat Busy

I can’t necessarily say that I live an exciting life. I can say I live a somewhat busy life. Unlike this guy… “Sleep my little baby-oh Sleep until you waken When you wake you’ll see the world If I’m not mistaken…”  ~Neil Gaiman~ I wanted so badly to sleep Thursday morning, to stay in bed until the urge for coffee overwhelmed the need to lay prone. It may be my own fault – I’ve started reading at night [summer project]Read more

Her Hands

  “God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” ~Billy Graham~ Long, slender fingers Touched by the passing of ninety-eight years And the slight wrinkle of a Shar-Pei Daughter squeezes memories of her childhood Of wars, depressions and political elections Of marriage, babies and Catholic faith A fleshy grip that once held adult refreshment Now holds a warming cup of thickened brown The digits shake dinner’s fork and spoon And point toRead more

SoCS: This Door

This door I walk through every week It is her petite figure I seek Sleeping in a brown broda chair Wrinkly forehead under gray hair I say, “Hello, mom, how are you?” She says, “Who are you?” I tell her my name is Mary but she seems a bit wary It goes back and forth most days This unknowing haze Am I sister or daughter? Is it March or October? This door leads to Pauline The Energizer Bunny machine StillRead more