15.8.12

My mother is an alien

You doubt me?

(this was taken years ago, outside our home in Oxford England)

But seriously folks... My mother is now in her mid-70s and is changing rapidly.  A few years ago a family member mentioned that she looked like her mother - I never met my grandmother (who died when I was -12), but I did know her identical twin sister and yes, my mother does look like what I remember of my great-aunt.  She didn't used to look like that!

When I was very young, someone gave me a Raggedy Ann doll.  Family lore has it that I looked at the doll... looked at my mother... looked back at the doll... back at my mother... and then laughed and laughed.  Her thick, curly, bright red hair changed to an auburn, then cinnamon sugar and now is mostly white, and thin.  She still has the chorus girl legs she showed in the Radcliffe newsletter, but the knees are swollen, as are her ankles and there are no high-kicks in the near future.

I just visited my parents in SmallTown, and in the few months since we saw each other there have been major changes.  It's more difficult for her to get up out of chairs and sofas (and beds).  One hand has three seriously arthritic fingers.  She sleeps far more than she has in the past (due to anemia so serious she's had a blood transfusion to help out).  I look at my mother and she's an alien.

Despite this, she's not letting any of this stop her.  Going on a hike?  Bring along the wheelchair so Dad can push her along.  Going on a trip? Pack the special toilet seat so she can more easily get up.   I was only there for a day, because their August schedule has them home (and visitorless) for 48 hours.  She just spent time at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, they're off to California today, then home for a visit with my cousin, then off to visit an old family friend and then off again somewhere... and there are trips to Canada and a few other places in the next couple of months.

Even better is when she starts laughing.  My mother has a laugh that can verge on the hysteric - so much fun except when she's driving!   And she's Mom again.  

1 comment:

Aravis said...

It's surprising to realize our parents are aging. This was a really beautiful post. I could feel your love of her. One thing you just reminded me of: there are physical changes, but important things like laughter don't.