Time to Remember
"I need you guy's help. Can you just take some time and take your Mom somewhere? I just need some help here. "
It took me offguard when my father said that. My mother had just recently been diagnosed with alzheimers but my father rarely aknowledged it aloud, or even let on how it might affect him. Dad wasn't one to make big anouncements about emotions (besides outbursts of anger which I came to realize were a manifestation of his inability to cope with his precious wifes' illness), but that day I could see it in his eyes.
He was overwhelmed.
"Of course! " I said quickly, mentally kicking myself for not thinking of it myself. Such an obvious thing, overlooked by wrapping myself up in my own fears and grieving process that I forgot the most important thing- spending time with my Mother while she was still with us.
Besides, we had a history of adventures together.
In my youth, I had always been happy to tag along with my mother no matter the destination. My father traveled a lot back then so it was just me and her most times. I made a very good shopping partner as she would comb through the racks, touching and considering but rarely buying . She was a huge fan of window shopping and she would stop and touch everything, it seemed. When I was smaller, I would amuse myself by hiding in the racks, as I grew older I would wander behind her, touching fabrics myself, commenting on things I thought she might like. In my teens, I would split off from her to look at my interests, setting a time for us to meet up. My interests were few (video stores, bookstores, toy stores) so it wouldn't be long before I returned to her side and watched her as she "considered" her purchases. Oh, she actually did buy things, but she touched everything.
Mostly I was just happy to be with her. I was not one of those youths that were embarassed by being seen with their mother. That wasn't even a concept I was familiar with.
In my late teens and early twenties, we drifted apart a bit- I was finding my own way and asserting myself as an adult. I moved to New Orleans and my parents moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida where I would visit yearly for holidays. At that time I had a lover, Greg, (who was wholeheartedly accepted into the family) and now he had the pleasure of accompanying mom and I's meandering treks. My parents had a deli and the majority of their days were spent working- my dad at the counter and making sandwiches, my mom doing home health care and merchandising the store for my father. Their days were filled so I know they were greatful for the break company brought.
I remember one sunday my mother took my lover and I on a drive down Highway 30-A, searching for a place to eat. In those days (The early 90's) the scenic highway was very quiet and most businesses closed- signs that read "Gone Fishing" hung on their doors were not uncommon. This particular day it seemed we drove and drove, each destination ending with disappointing out come. What we didn't know was that for mom , the journey was the thing. She was enjoying pointing out different places, telling us, "Oh, that's a new shop!I wonder when it will open?" as we made a trip through an ampty parking lot, or "Mary lives her. She has three cats" leaving us wondering who Mary was and why she had so many cats. I think we ended up going back home and eating at the deli. Greg and I were a little exasperated at the experience in futility that was our search for an open restaurant, but Mom was perfectly happy. It was her adventure- she got out of the house.
That was enough.
End Part One
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