Saturday, September 26, 2009

Feeling Like My Mother's Mother

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...and I Cannot Protect Her

I'm in Costco, picking up bulk-items for my mom, who cannot lift them and bring them into her home. Some of the packages are bulkier than my mom at this point. God willing, she will turn 84 on November 20th.

The same afternoon, I call my mom to confirm our meeting-place for dinner that night.

"The plans have changed," my mother says, "I cut my finger while cutting off the ends of green-beans and it bled for an hour, so I called an ambulance and they helped me at Emergency. Meet me at the JCC [Jewish Community Center] instead and we'll go from there."

All evening, I feel like I want to protect and nourish and entertain my mother. That's funny because during my commute that morning, I'm thinking, I'm so tired and all I need to do is get through the day and dinner, and then when I drop my mom off, I'll sit with her on her couch in the living room where I grew up, and then put my head in her lap to rest for a few minutes before heading home.

First, we have to go to Costco. My mom doesn't want to come into the store with me. I'm ready to get her walker out of the trunk, but she asks how to recline her seat, so she can nap.

"Is there anything else you'd like me to get?"

"If they have any of those little dill-pickles," she says.

I smile.

"What? You *asked*."

"I know. It's fine; I'll try to find them," I say, and I walk over to a shopping-cart with tears in my throat.

My mother is fast asleep when I return. The car-light jars her awake. "They didn't have the pickles, did they?"

"Yes, they did," I say, holding up two giant jars, filled with little, baby, pickles.

My mother's face lights up.

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