Tuesday, May 28, 2013

my mom

I don't write about my mom very much, but having been with her the day before yesterday, and today, she is on my mind.

She walked with a slight limp (from a childhood injury which left her with half a knee, and one leg shorter than the other), oh so long ago.  Those were the good days for her body.  At 42, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) took hold, and slowly her lower body deteriorated. Two breaks of her tibia in later years topped off the deterioration, and a broken ankle from falling out of her chair on the street one day (she now wears a seatbelt all the time), really got the best of her.

Today, in a wheelchair, unable to stand or move her legs very much, she must depend on aides and daughters to help her out of bed getting dressed, getting on the tub seat (but bathing herself w/o assistance),  and other things, but not much along the day. She picks up around the house, and keeps a tidy place.

Independent since a teenager, she takes her motorized wheelchair everywhere.  It's her legs, she says.  On the buses, or access-a-ride, she comes to my neighborhood, or other places, all by herself.  She'll be 86 soon, and she is bright and alive, and always says "I love life."  But she is scared.  Scared that she is getting too weak to just depend on aides, and might need to go into a home.  I don't see this happening yet.  She still gets by well with the aides.  A home would depress the hell out of her.  She lives in a senior citizen independent housing run by Catholic Charities.  Has a one bedroom apt., and is happy there.  It's where she lived with my father, who is gone 21  years this year.
I think my mom will live a long time, she has longevity in her family.  I think one of her aunts lived into 100's.  She tells me not to die before her, and urges me to stop smoking.  I don't listen.
My mother is an amazing woman, who I pray does not lose any more strength in her body.  She is a good friend who knows me very well.  She can always tell, even over the phone, if something is wrong.  My face gives it away to her as well.
We used to go to Atlantic City a lot together, but that was back when she used a standard wheelchair (which she refuses to use now, because it's uncomfortable for her, can't blame her) .  The motorized one cannot be put in a car, plus I'm not sure I could transfer her to a car seat at this point, being she can no longer bear any weight on her legs.  But we had several good overnight stays in AC.  Gambling at the slots a lot, and strolling/wheeling on the boardwalk, feeding the seagulls, buying salt water taffy.  I wish we could go back.

So, I just felt like writing a little about my mom, an amazing woman who loves life, and often laughs at her situation, because, as she says "What am I gonna cry?"  God bless her.
Here we are at AC some years ago.


  1. AnonymousMay 28, 2013

    Gosh Barbara, I loved reading this very personal piece. You never know where you'll find commonalities with folks... my mom, too, has walked with a slight limp her whole life, one leg shorter than the other but due to childhood polio.

    Perhaps I'll write a piece dedicated to my mom too... thank-you for the inspiration. & happy belated birthday ;-)

  2. Barbara, I was here earlier but my iPad froze while trying to post. So here I am on my computer and post my response in what I had said earlier. I really like this post very much as it came from your heart, very touching and lovely tribute to your mom. We are at an age where I feel moms are to be honored as they age. My mom is 85 and was recently very sick. It has been a very slow recovery. Your mom is very brave and so lucky to have such good family around to be there for here. How fortunate that she is still living at home. {{{{Hugs}}}}

  3. I miss my mom. she was my hero.

    Seems to me there would be a handicap bus from somewhere in NYC to accommodate a motorized wheelchair headed to AC.

    1. I don't know of any services like that, I will have to check it out.

  4. there are wheelchair van services. i wouldn't be surprised if one of the casinos would tell you what to do to make it happen.

    that is a lovely photo, barbara. you know my Mom just went in a nursing home and i have been heartbroken, but i'm starting to think it's going to work out. it is a good nursing home

    i admire your Mom.



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