Mary C. Morrison writes in her book, Let Evening Come:
"But in the long run, and for everyday life, most of all we need one another, we elders. We need to be together. We need others like us with whom we can laugh at our unreliable memories and collect jokes about our failing powers. We need to create communities in which we can be ourselves, in which we can all be in it together, sustaining one another, and finding a richness and quality of life that we did not know would be possible at our age. 'The old are younger in one another's company,' Gabriel Garcia Marquez says, and as we live together we find that he is right."
I found this little book in the local Senior Citizens' Center Library this morning. I thought I was there for an appointment. But the appointment didn't happen. I'm convinced God had another reason for me to be there. It was to come across this little book and minister to me that the decision we made to move my elderly mom to an assisted care facility was, indeed, the right one to make.
Go for it, Mom. Be in the company of those like you...and enjoy life with your new friends and family.
Thank you, Mrs. Morrison, and thank you, Lord!
(Let Evening Come was published in 1998 by Doubleday.)
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Far from my husband and far from my own bed, I lie awake in my friend’s guestroom several years ago, stuffed up from a head cold and hacking, longing for sleep to overtake me.
Instead I envisioned peanut butter and jelly sandwiches accompanied by steamy hot chicken noodle soup, foods my mother used to serve me at times like this. I could practically taste the smooth peanut butter and tangy grape jelly on soft white bread.
When I was a child, I had a routine for eating my sandwich and soup. Bite of sandwich, spoonful of soup, slight pause; bite of sandwich, spoonful of soup, slight pause. Sometimes I’d dunk a corner of my sandwich into the soup…the ultimate blend! Mmmmm. Mom's love gift to me was smooth and warm as it soothed what ailed me and warmed my soul.
Since on that particular night, I couldn’t have the coveted sandwich and soup, and since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to write about the comfort foods I remembered as a young girl. Included on my list was macaroni and cheese. Mind you, not the kind out of the box. Oh, no. Mom made hers from scratch, boiling the elbow macaroni and then smothering it with the most wonderful white sauce and melted cheese. Then there was the lemon pie piled high with meringue, still a favorite.
When I stayed home from school because I didn’t feel well, I’d listen from my bedroom as Mom rattled around in the kitchen, and I knew something special was on its way. If Mom made a trek downtown on one of those days, she’d bring me back an added treat – a Nancy Drew mystery.
I must say, my comfort foods have changed somewhat, although I still enjoy the tastes from my past. Now my husband brings me something chocolate to satisfy my soul. And Nancy Drew has been replaced by Mary Higgins Clark. But the memories linger and are comforting in themselves.
I took another swig of cough syrup, rubbed menthol on my neck, and tried again to sleep. No comfort foods that night. But, be sure, before the week was over, I made a trip to the grocery story for a good old-fashioned dose of comfort. I also went by the library to see what my friend Mary was up to.
If I ever needed some of Mom’s comfort foods, it’s today, October 5, 2010. But she doesn’t cook any longer. In fact, my sister and I will be moving Mom into an assisted living facility this afternoon.
All I have now are the memories, but how sweet and soothing those memories are. Thank you, Mom, for your gifts of love and comfort over the years. I am blessed beyond measure…and I’m so grateful!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Here’s a tip from my recent Merry Notes newsletter:
Never pump the wand in your mascara.
Pumping the wand adds air to your mascara, creating an environment for bacteria to grow. Instead, brush the wand around the inside of your mascara tube and gently pull it out. Then apply mascara and enjoy your finished look!
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Have a great "makeup" day!