How many of you are lucky enough to still have your Mothers with you? Will you be spending Sunday with her, taking her to lunch or dinner and showing her how much you love her? If your answer to both of these questions is yes, get down on your knees and thank God – or whomever it is you pray to.
Mother’s Day is especially difficult for me; mom passed away last year and although the first year without her was hard, this year is probably worse because of all the changes and drama going on in my life right now. I really need her smile and her unending belief and faith in me that everything would be just fine. As a special tribute to my mom, I had to share my favorite memory of her. No matter how I’m feeling, this story always puts a smile on my face. But first…a little background.
I moved in with my folks – into the house I grew up in – about 11 years ago, mainly because their health was not good and they needed some financial help. Dad had emphysema and COPD and was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. I lived upstairs but I always took care of them, making sure the bills were paid, the grocery shopping was done, and ensuring they ate and took their meds. We had a routine and it was good – it was comfortable.
Dad passed away in 2012 and after that Mom and I became inseparable. I knew her health was not good either, but she was a stubborn lady. Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and congestive heart failure did not stop her at all. She still drove, did things around the house while I was at work, and would go up to the local sub shop to get us subs for dinner. (To this day, I can’t go in there). She loved Facebook and playing the slots on the computer – she said the “F Word” alot when she lost – but she would spend hours in the office just playing away.
It wasn’t until late 2014 that she took a turn for the worse – she was in and out of the hospital during that time and into early 2015 and although she was still as stubborn as always, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I lost her. After her third trip to the hospital in as many weeks, I finally decided to bring her home. She was terrified of dying in a hospital like daddy did and she had begged me not to let that happen to her. I honored her wishes and I don’t regret it for one minute.
The last few weeks were difficult – but I knew she was still in there somewhere. One story in particular I would like to share with you because it shows her sense of humor and her incredible spunk. Those of you who know me personally have heard this story before, but it’s my favorite and worth sharing again. (I must insert a disclaimer here – if vulgarity bothers you, it’s probably best if you stop reading now.)
Each night I helped mom get ready for bed. She was able to walk with my help – even though she constantly apologized for bothering me – but that was her style. She had been wearing pull-up diapers by this time and when she was ready to go to bed, I would walk her to the bathroom help her get her pull-up off and sit her on the toilet. One particular night as she was on the toilet, she told me to leave her in there for for awhile and she would call me when she was ready. I did as she asked and went to the kitchen to finish the dishes.
When she called, I went back into the bathroom to finish our nightly routine. Now…this is the spunky part…keep reading and wait for it. That night I was wearing my favorite gray sweats and a Tim McGraw concert shirt. As I got back to the bathroom, I held out my arms to help mom get up. She just looked at me and kept staring at my shirt. “Mom,” I asked, “are you okay?” Without missing a beat, she looked up at me, pointed at my shirt and said, “I bet he has a big dick.” My mouth dropped and I busted out laughing, “I don’t know, Mom…maybe.”
From that night on, her “wonder” about Tim McGraw is how I knew the mom I loved was still in there. The last few days of her life she slept a lot and whenever she would wake up she would be disoriented and not know where she was. I got in the habit of asking her a series of questions like “what year is it;” “who am I;” “who’s the president;” “when is your birthday.” She would answer sleepily, but correctly, and the last question I would always ask her during these episodes would be, “And what does Tim McGraw have?” Her eyes would open wide as she said, “A big dick!”
Mom passed in March of last year and I still see the look in her eyes as she said that. She was so funny, and I miss that so much. I still wear that shirt and think of her spunk every time I put it on. To this day, when a Tim McGraw song comes on the radio, I know it is a message from her saying, “I love you, honey. Everything will be okay.”