As we age…

I raised 4 children.

I am enjoying my 9 grandchildren more than I can even express in words.

I helped care for my vivacious mother-in-law as her health rapidly declined this summer. I was with her when she passed away.

I am the primary caretaker of my own Mom. My Mom. A beautiful woman who discovered exercise decades ago… before anyone took it seriously.  A woman who, I think, invented the concept of recycling… yes, she made us wash and re-wash and re-use plastic bags when I was very, very young. My Mom. A woman who, at 83 1/2, is riddled with arthritis, but still hops on the senior citizen bus and heads to her exercise classes each morning at the senior center. My Mom. A woman who has never, ever had a bad hair day. My Mom… who thinks her great-grandchildren are the only children…

My Mom and Dad in 1958. Isn’t she beautiful?

I love my Mom so very much. She lives independently in a senior complex about 10 minutes from me. I made the difficult decision to take her car away about a year ago… so I drive her to all of her appointments. Yesterday, I took her to her dentist and noticed that she was a little tired… but she promised me that she would take her daily walk around her building, eat a nice dinner (that I had prepared) and drink lots of water. Well, when I called at 7:00pm to check on her, her phone rang that frightening busy, busy, busy. The kind where you know the phone is off the hook. I emailed her to let her know to hang up her phone (yes, she knows how to email!). No response. I did not panic at first, but by 8:15 my husband and I were rushing to her apartment. We rang her bell. Many times. No answer. But, I thought… she might not have her hearing aids in.

We entered the building and my heart was racing as we headed up the elevator to the 4th floor. I unlocked the door, almost not breathing. “Mom. Mom,” I whispered. No answer. I raced around the corner to her living area. There she was. Reading the newspaper. As calm as a cucumber. She was rather shocked to see me and Barry. She actually jumped. We told her about the phone, the email, the doorbell…

She didn’t have her hearing aids in. And her phone was off the hook.

My heart soared that my Mom was OK. We stayed for awhile and she was so appreciative that we care so very much.

Today, my heart aches for my Mom. She is a tiny, tiny little woman with a giant spirit… a woman who has taken such wonderful care of me.

It’s funny how life works in cycles, isn’t it?

As we age… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (8)
  1. Grandma is so very lucky to have you as her daughter and dad as her son-in-law. You make sure she is cared for and a part of everything. It is hard to see her getting older, but she has spunk!!

  2. My heart skipped a little reading this, as I can’t imagine how worried you were. And how relieved to find her reading the newspaper. She’s so lucky to have a daughter like you taking great care of her! (And yes, she was stunning in that photo.)

  3. My parents have had many similar experiences (and scares! with their own aging parents over the years. It must be a very difficult (yet wonderful) job taking care of your mom. I agree with Jane – she is so lucky to have you. And based on what I know about you, your mom must be a fantastic woman! I’m so glad she was okay, and she does look beautiful in that photo. What great picture.

  4. Sharon, my heart was racing as I read this. I love the way you love her…she is a beautiful lady! Your parents are a beautiful couple in that picture above. Your mom is lucky to have a daughter like you. I notice that your family has a deep love passing from generation to generation (on both sides, as evidenced by your love for Flo) and that is such a rare thing. I love reading about it.

  5. THat not answering the phone thing is the scariest thing in the world
    My parents are always forgetting to hit the off button on their phone. and none of us live close to them so I told them they have to have there cells w/ them at all times

    glad your mom is ok.
    she is beautiful – i see where you get it from

  6. I love the picture of your parents! What a beautiful couple…and what is it about a man in uniform that makes the heart skip a beat?!!

    I am so glad your Mom is okay!!

  7. Oh… Mom. This is beautiful. I love this. If there was an original fashionista – it was Grandma! She defies fashion. I love this post. And I see the love and care you time and effort and love (again) you put in. It’s beautiful… and I am in awe of you!

As we age… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto