I’m down in Viera, FL presenting at the English Teacher’s Friend Symposium. English teachers are a tough group (only kidding, I love them!!) and I don’t have time to write myself … so here are a few emails I’ve saved:
My 93 year old Aunt Mary just called me about her pocketbook. In a very accusing tone she said, “Did you take my pocketbook home with you?”
I say, “No, why would I do that”
She tells me it’s missing. After bringing her home from a podiatrist visit this afternoon, (my least favorite doctor appointment I bring her to, eeuuwww), I remember taking her appointment card out of the pocketbook and putting the pocketbook away in the closet where she always keeps it.
Me – Did you look in the closet?
Her – No, why would I look there?
Me – Because that’s where you always keep it.
Her – Oh, let me look.
She comes back – You are so right. How do you think it got there?
I clean her pocketbook out every 3 or 4 weeks when she’s not looking. By then she has accumulated pens, wads of tissue, wrappers from hard candy, writing pads, receipts, knee-hi stockings, rain bonnets.
And when my Mom passed, we found 8 or 10 pocketbooks in her house. Each one of them had the same thing – tissues, rosary beads, loose change and ta-da … plastic forks. We laughed until we cried, picturing her always expecting a piece of pie to eat.
My mom and I used to watch all the Peanuts holiday specials together when I was growing up. So in my teens and twenties, I had a tradition of giving my mother Peanuts-themed holiday and birthday cards. I revived that tradition this year when I found the perfect mother’s day card. The card shows Snoopy on the front saying he was going to do a special dance in honor of Mother’s Day. When the card is opened, the Peanuts theme song plays (the Vince Guaraldi piano piece) and it plays “The MOM-bo!”
My 91 year old mom is in a nursing home, bedridden and has little interest in much of anything these days but she loved the card. She had my sister play it 3 times on the day it arrived and has requested that she play the “Mom-bo” once or twice on every visit since. My sister says Mom gets a happy, faraway look on her face every time she hears it.
On one hand, I’m happy that she likes it so much. On the other, it kills me that she no longer is in control of the things that make her happy. I find it so sad that hearing a musical greeting card can make such a big difference to her. Whoever said “it’s the little things that matter” really knew what they were talking about.
When my elderly mom was alive and living with me, she was called for jury duty and they would not let up about it!!
Finally, I told them I would send her down on the County Senior Citizen Bus and they could watch her for the day. I told them “I know she will enjoy being with you!! She doesn’t get out much except for her day trips to the senior citizen’s center in Key West. She will LOVE this. Thanks!”
They never called again.
Be good to yourself…Elizabeth