This morning, I’m reflecting on life since Mom fell. That’s kind of how life of an elderly person is gauged. At 92 and insisting on aging in place, it’s my brothers and my job to make sure she’s as safe as she can be. Whoever said parent becomes child, and child becomes parent was right. And it’s meant with the utmost respect. I’m thinking back on when I lived with Mom and Dad when my son Frankie was born, 50 years ago this October 20. I stayed with them while my first husband was in the service. He isn’t a Veteran of a Foreign War but of the Vietnam ERA. He was stationed in Europe.
They were doing a huge remodeling project to prepare for their 25th wedding anniversary party in their home. Once Frankie started walking (he did at 10 1/2 months and has been on his feet ever since!), it was our job to make that same house safe as he manipulated through it, walking or crawling at break-neck speed.
I’ll never forget her laughing when he grabbed a handful of her brand new white sheers and started chewing on them. Somehow, he snagged them. Instead of blowing her top, she laughed. Who was this woman? Her prized, very expensive sheer curtains, snagged. Ruined, really. She’d have killed any of my siblings or me for the same action. Wow. Wasn’t the first time my son has amazed me.
Isn’t life just full or ironies? I’m glad God has a sense of humor. Wouldn’t life be boring if He didn’t? I think it would be, definitely. Mom’s doctor told her she had to quit using the cane, and use walkers 24/7. Mom had been resisting. Sure, it’s a symbol of some independence lost. I had been trying to convince her all summer to use one. I pitched how much steadier she would be, and how it would actually save her some energy, something we’ve witnessed declining over the last 4 months.
Now, it’s a great idea since her doctor told her. Well, that along with if she keeps falling, it’s an assisted care center. Mom doesn’t understand how nice they are, and if she doesn’t want to participate in activities, she doesn’t have to. That also is a topic for another day.
The Babe looked in the closet the Post has with durable medical equipment in it, and found a walker with the seat on it. Old folks love them, they can stow snacks in them, and have a more secure walk. She’s a firm believer now. We did a maiden voyage Sunday to the wedding shower, and a second trip out yesterday to get her haircut and a perm. She was eager to try her new wheels out, away from the house.
She kept asking “What do you want me to do?” Who is this woman? I told her how I thought moving about to the driveway should go. She jumped right on it. It reminded me of how a baby can scoot around once they get used to their walkers. Back in the day, they had round walkers, with wheels on them. (Sadly, they’re no longer allowed. Too dangerous). Unless they were stopped by an ill placed throw rug, they could pretty much cruise on, full speed ahead. First, my babies, now my mom. Moving around is no longer such an effort for her. We’re thanking God she had enough of a scare to get her attention, and nothing was broken.
One of the most important things? Her spirit and zest seems to be somewhat restored. Her courage is restored. She is less afraid than a month ago. She has seen how she needed the assist of a walker. She says she had no idea how tired it made her trying to stay upright with just a cane or holding onto furniture while navigating her house. It’s a win-win. And nothing is broken. Not even her spirit anymore.
While my brothers and I enjoy a beautiful fall day in Nebraska (well, I will. They’re both stil working!), think about what you may be deep-down fearful of. Trying out a new hobby? Drawing? Art? Making new friends? Is something in you holding you back from enjoying your life? Get some new wheels for yourself. No, not a car. Send fear packing. Get your sense of adventure back. No matter what, you can still Live a Great Story! See you tomorrow.