Monday’s Musings—A Caregiver’s Walk

We entered the dark theatre, understandably late. At twenty minutes to showtime, I arrived home and suggested the movie. After a little prodding, Mom said yes. We hurried to get ready.

Arriving at “True Grit,” ten minutes into previews was nothing more than a miracle since Mom moves at her 90-year-old-Tim-Conway-speed. I held onto the back of her waist, as in the dark she steered toward the back of the auditorium.

“Mom, that’s the back,” I used my stage whisper as I tried to urge her body toward actual seats. We stumbled upon the handicapped chairs as I helped mom off with her heavy coat.

Mom saw the original decades ago with Dad and their best friends, so I thought this would be a treat. I hadn’t seen the movie, so the entire story captured me. Occasionally, I glanced sideways to watch Mom and wonder about her thoughts.

As the lights came on I located Mom’s walker as she stood. Her heavy coat hung down, along with Mom’s head.

“Pick your head up, Mom. It’s hard to button when I can’t see.” Standing straight up for my mama is like 15 push-ups for me. She lifted her head and then, like the sun, it sank. I continued to button the large tan and cream buttons as my mind shifted to another time.

My four-year-old daughter stood in front of me preparing to meet up with the
Davis girls from across the street. They’d ride zig-zag patterns with their mini-training-wheel bikes on our block, while Kathy and I shouted directions from our lawn-chair-coffee-station. I pulled together the sides of Sarah’s coat, buttoned and patted it for extra good measure showing both my approval and my love.

My daughter is in graduate school now.

Mom’s head sank again as I finished. Time flies.

I patted Mom’s coat for good measure as Tim, I mean Mom and I shuffled home.

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