Monday, May 28, 2007

My Mom

Mom with her granddaughters Emma-Lynn and Jenny.

My mom is going on 87 and one of the most fiercely independent women I know, and she gets more so every year. Back when we were young, she believed in teaching us to work, and if there was something to be fetched or stirred or picked or scrubbed that we were capable of doing, we did it, and she did the things only she could do, such as singeing the last of the feathers off the chicken over a gas burner or planning Sunday dinner. Sometimes she even left a list of jobs for us while she went and took a well-deserved nap.

Somewhere along the years Mom forgot how to delegate. She is legendary for insisting on lifting heavy loads herself even though sons and granddaughters may be leaping out of their chairs to assist her. Just recently, I am told, my brother Marcus stopped by and found Mom out in the garage with a big wheelbarrow piled full of Dad's dumpster apples (supposedly for the pigs but of course they salvage all they can for themselves and Mom slices and dries them by the gallon for my trucker brother Fred who likes to nibble them on the road) that she wanted to quickly dump on the compost pile out back while Dad was in town. Of course Marcus offered to tote it for her, and Mom said No, she'll do it herself. Marcus insisted and finally she gave in. It was a heavy load even for him, he told me later.

My sis Margaret and her family are coming next week to visit Mom and Dad and also to help Mom with her spring cleaning.

So, dear readers, a quiz. I talked to Mom this morning and what do you think she is doing in preparation for Margaret's coming?

a) cheerfully sipping her coffee and quilting

b) cleaning out the closets and washing all the windows, in and out, which involves climbing up and down the stepladder, except she still has the dining room windows left, oh and the breezeway, but she got the kitchen and living room and bedroom ones done.

Of course the answer is b. And if you can get my mom to quit doing all the spring cleaning before Margaret comes to do it for her, you are stronger and far more persuasive than I.

Yeah, it's frustrating, but if the only choices when I'm 87 are to be like Mom or to sit around whining about life, I hope I'll be like Mom.

Quote of the Day:
Paul: Ben, you're almost as tall as Emily.
Emily: Nuh-uh! I have heels on!
(With Emily giving my mind a twist like this every day of her life, I'm afraid I'll have Alzheimers long before I'm 87)


  1. I have a wonderful mother who is still going strong at 69. She has endured so much in her lifetime (growing up in Germany during WW2) and I hope that I have her strength and wisdom at that age. Mom's are such a window into God's heart.

  2. I do believe there is some "Grace of God and stubborn will" coming into the picture here!

  3. I agree, Annette. So now we know what you'll be like at that age!

  4. Hooray for your mom! When I worked with a mostly geriatric population, as a Rehab Teacher for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults, I observed that my healthiest clients were the most active and yes stubborn!

    Perhaps if family verbalizes how capable she is, but that they wish to be allowed the priviledge of serving her (etc) she will be more receptive. In other words make sure she knows that the offer is not being made because one thinks that she can't or shouldn't be doing whatever she wants to do.


    interesting article

  6. Dorcas, Maybe if you took the first word away from answer "A" and put it first in answer "B", you would understand why your Mom doesn't stop. Let her do it! Happy people are more healthy! Although, I do know what you're trying to say!! Pauline

  7. My mother turns 79 tomorrow. I only hope I have as much energy and love for life as she does at her age. Yes, she tires easily, but she is always willing to serve others, especially her family. And she can grow lovely flowers that she loves to share with others.