Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Mama Mia the Dancing Queen
MAMA MIA THE DANCING QUEEN
I arrive at my mom’s on Tuesday Jan 5th, 2010 to find her looking surprisingly well. She greets me at her door with her smiling face. My brother is with me since he picked me up at the airport. I tell her how good she looks and she answers upbeat and happy, “well I’m not so young for someone who looks so good”. I account for how good she looks to Elaine her part time caregiver, who is now with my mom for 6 months. I notice how nice my mom’s nails are polished and ask if Elaine polished them for her. At first mom says whose Elaine and then says” no, some other lady came to my house and did my nails.” I think to myself, okay mom and say nothing, knowing very well that it was Elaine who polished her nails.
On her bathroom walls are new signs since my last visit several months ago. The signs say; Flush Toilet and Brush Teeth that my brother has made for her. She starts to dance and asks where Bert, my husband is (who is her “official” dancing partner.) Mom then starts to dance with my brother and me. I tell my brother that whatever she is on (which is nothing) I’d like to take it also.
Her dancing all started while visiting us in the summer of 2008. My son Logan took my mom to see the movie Mama Mia and then to lunch. My mom after that was dancing around each and every day until she left. I never saw her do that. She was dancing mostly with Bert, laughing, having a great time and counting 1-2, 1-2-3 and telling him to follow her lead. After that for almost a year on the phone and while I had visited she would dance and tell me over and over again how she taught Bert how to dance. She was so proud of herself (by the way Bert is a very good dancer). This is how Ruthie got the official name of” Mama Mia the Dancing Queen”.
Later that day when Bert calls, I put her on the phone, and she tells him to wait and says to me” who is Bert”? I answer and say my husband and she looks at me as if to say your husband ? Looking a little confused they seem to speak about 1-2, 1-2-3 their dancing steps that they had shared together.
It’s now 3 summers since we all danced together, and at moments when I ask her about how’s her dancing going, she rarely remembers it. Those memories have slipped away. Yet Ruthie, sweet Ruthie seems so thankful and happy just to be alive, and she will always remain to me, Mama Mia the Dancing Queen.