Thursday, June 27, 2019

i see...me...

Tuesday morning, I took my mother to an eye specialist in Arlington. This was my third time to take her to this doctor. In four months. I’ve not talked much about my mother—TLC’s grandmother—Little Leighton’s and Baby Elle’s great-grandmother—in all these years of writing our blog.

Many of you know TLC and I have this blog printed in a book form periodically. We do this for Little Leighton and Baby Elle. As a (partial) history for them to treasure. A history of my life. Of TLC’s. Of their sweet lives. I’ve not detailed much about my relationship with my own mother. But I’ll share a bit about her now:

I’m the oldest of my mother’s four children. I knew—by the time I was in junior high—my Mom
and I were VERY different. In one thousand ways. But I also knew, soon after I had TLC, that physically I was, in fact, more similar to my mother than I’d truly ever realized. Not so much in our faces. Or hair. Or weight. Or height. Or personalities. (What the heck is left?) On the INSIDE of us. And in a “medical-ish” type of way.

I have inherited her (and probably her Mother's——my Nana’s) arthritis. Hearing issues. Eye issues. Female history. (She didn’t have breast cancer like me. My Nana didn’t, either.) Mother had a hysterectomy when she was 31. So did I. She’d had four children. Her fourth being born when she was almost 30. I’d had TLC—my only (biological) child—when I was 30.

By the time my mother was 75 (she’s 86), she’d had two hip replacements and two shoulder replacements. My left hip will be replaced. Eventually. It’s inevitable. It’ll be my first replacement—when it happens. My right hip? Yep. It, too. I’ll be surprised if I need my shoulders replaced. My mother was a tennis player and much more athletic and “out-doorsy” than moi.

My mother has very little sight in her right eye.  This eye specialist is trying hard to save what sight she has remaining in her left eye. She obsessively read books. All of her life. (I have cherished reading since I was 3.) She was an excellent Bridge player. (I’m, at best, adequate. I do adore it, however.)

Today, my Mother can watch TV and read the closed-captions. She cannot read books. She cannot play cards. She can see her husband, children, grandchildren and great-granddaughters (six great-grand girls—no great-grand boys!). She can go out to eat—and come to her children’s homes that are close by. (She and my dad still live in their home.) She cannot hear much. If we talk really loudly—she can catch a few words—every now and then.

So this past Tuesday—I looked at my mother for almost five hours from the time I picked her up until I took her back home. (These appointments take two to three hours. Getting there adds alot of time to the endless day.) It’s exhausting for me. And I’m 21 years younger. I watched her. I wrote her notes to communicate with her (It’s the best option...although you must use a medium Sharpie and write BIG.)

I studied her. And I saw myself. At 86.

I was sad. Yet I am certain I want to be able—at 86–to be grateful for everything I have. Especially my family and my life.

I believe that’s why I wanted to share this part of my story. I pray each of us will remember to always THANK GOD for what we have. If we’re breathing, there’s a reason we’re here.

BIG smooches and hugs this Friday Jr.!

ELC



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