This was probably the third to last trip when mom was still able to come and visit us in New York. It seems like yesterday or maybe more like many moons ago. We all seem quite happy in this picture, although I know that back then mom and I certainly had our moments of not getting along. We would quibble over silly little things. That was then and this is now.
Today mom is my hero and my love for her is indescribable. She can really light up my life with her sounds of joy and laughter, that resonates from her. Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving I feel that it is a great time to reflect. Reflect on all that we have and all that we should be grateful for.
I do remember mom coming to spend Thanksgiving with us probably six years ago, and for a lady who is always chilled to the bone, she packed summer clothes as she traveled to New York during the winter. I was shocked and could not understand why she did not bring any of her heavier clothes nor a sweater or two. What was she thinking? As I now look back, I see that I was certainly in denial. Did I think something was wrong with my mom? Did I question why would she pack that way? Not really, I just thought that it was strange.
After mom became ill with Alzheimer's there was a major shift in our relationship, and all that I was left with was the declaration of my love for her . Ruthie had no idea that anything had changed. Yet for me I was able to love and appreciate the mom that I was never sure I had.
It is now a little more than a week until I will be visiting her. I am feeling so excited and I am also feeling a bit uneasy. Just today she was surprised that I was married and especially for thirty years. Mom declared that I was too young to be married. I do like the" young" part. Nor was she able to celebrate that her grandson had just turned twenty five. One day she was surprised that she had a grandson, and the next day she requested that I buy him a "nice" gift from her.
When I wished her a wonderful Thanksgiving and told her that she would be feasting on turkey ,stuffing and yams, she did not sound overjoyed. Thanksgiving was always a holiday that she loved to celebrate with her family. Yet when she saw the Thanksgiving parade on the television, she did say to Elaine her caregiver, that she remembered seeing it many years ago.
When I wanted to know if she had a nice day the day before, her answer was "I guess so , I don't even remember it but I'm sure that it was nice." When Trudy, Elaine's daughter, told mom to speak to Lisa when I phoned, mom wanted to know who Lisa was. I'm not certain of how mom will be when I do arrive, although she has been blessed with several exceptional weeks.
Regardless of what she might know or understand at any given moment, I am certain that even my mom would say that she is grateful for everything that she has. She would delight in having children, a grandchild, and she would be sure to tell me that we were all so fortunate to have our health.
Mom did bring me up to appreciate all that I had. She encouraged me to be whatever I dreamed of and to celebrate being alive. As a child and teenager I did not fully appreciate everything that I was or what I had, yet from both my parents encouragement, I have fortunately grown up to be grateful, and have learned to appreciate all that I have.
So mom I like to toast you and your life, and share with you how grateful I am that you are my mother. With all the love in my heart that I now feel for you, you have inspired me with your strength and courage, and because of you I can celebrate being grateful.
I would love to take this moment and wish everyone a truly wonderful Thanksgiving and hope that we can all be thankful for what we have.