Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I wrote one time about when my brother and I were home from college and he went to the grocery store to buy toilet paper. When he went to check out, the cashier said, "That isn't the kind of toilet paper your mom usually buys."
A few years ago, my mom wanted me to go to the store and buy cheese. I was surprised when she asked, "Do you know what kind to get?" I responded, "Mom, we've bought the same cheese for 30 years." (Maybe she was remembering the toilet paper mix-up a few years earlier.)
It's not that anyone in my family would be against trying something new. I just think we all unconsciously fell into a comfortable routine. I remember being so surprised when my mom rearranged the living room furniture. Of course, that was around 15 years ago, and I'm a little more used to it now.
One thing that has changed a lot is my mom's mobility. She uses a walker to get around the house. Because of this, I moved the dining room buffet about 6 inches to make the maneuvering a little easier for her. As I moved the buffet, I was very much aware that this was probably the first time the piece of furniture had been moved in 20 or 30 years. A small incident, but a sign of a major change.
One thing that has remained constant at our house that I'll carry on as long as possible is the candy dish on top of the buffet, which has always been filled with M&Ms. My mom no longer eats them, but I always make sure the dish is replenished when I'm there. (I guess that's only fair since I do my part to empty it.) I'll buy a different kind of toilet paper or cheese before I say good-bye to the M&M dish.
Of course, these are all little changes compared to the major decisions and changes that lie ahead of us and the changes that we've already had to make. Not having my mom greet me when I come home and not having her wave for 2 blocks as I drive back to Ferdinand have been difficult changes. It was tough being at my niece's wedding and not seeing my mom being escorted down the aisle by her 8 year old grandson. Everyday from here on out, there will be more letting go.
I do find it interesting that my mom's illness really reared its ugly head soon after I made profession in October 2008. After entering in 2001, my mom waited 7 years to see me make profession. I'm convinced that she was doing all she could to hold off the disease and make it to profession. When I went home at Christmas that same year, it was like night and day as far as my mom's health.
Through all of this, we'll continue making difficult decisions. We'll continue moving furniture, getting rid of things, and filling up the M&M dish. Many things will change, but I will always be aware of my mom's sacrifices and unconditional love for my brothers and me.