Sunday, May 9, 2010
Good Morning & Good Night
"Good Morning Mama"
are often the first words I speak aloud each morning. My mother does not live with me, she is far away in a hospital bed.
In our Keeping Room, on a shelf adjacent to the first light I turn on each morning are Mama's birds. Maybe you have seen these. They came out a few years back, were fund raising items for a bird awareness group. They are correct representation of each species. Each has a motion detector and once that detection happens they sing out their individual songs. The motion of reaching for the lamp switch activates the birds and they sing forth their cheerful greeting. I usually respond with "Good Morning Mama. I sure do love you".
Sometimes the birds sing a response, sometimes not.
Over the years my mother has made
a series of transitions.
*From her home to live with a child.
*From child's home to a new construction handicap accessible house.
* From this last priceless home to an Assisted Living Residence.
* From Assisted Living to Long Term Care hospital bed.
During each of these transitions family members have all contributed. We have packed and hauled, weeded and cleaned, cried and laughed. All of Mama's things could not make the journey with her at each downsizing. Editing had to happen and I think we managed that with minimal friction. First was to identify which things could stay with Mama. Then general family disbursal happened. In some cases, the treasures went to specified individuals in accordance with Mama's directives. The upside of this is when I visit sibs or attend gatherings at the homes of the oldest of the grandchildren there are Mama treasures to be remembered, enjoyed, shared. A little bit of Mama in all of our homes . On occasion I will tease a brother in law about a treasure he has which I would have gladly taken. I do not begrudge him the treasure, the teasing is always in fun and never in angst. I do not complain, many of my most favorite treasures from Mama's life are here with me. One day, they will go to Mermaid's home to be enjoyed. I like the feeling of Mama's presence in all these locations. More importantly I like knowing she was so important to so many her treasures , like her, will be cherished.
There was a bit of a rush in packing up her apartment in the Assisted Living Residence.
Mama was in medical distress again, her future in question. There was no possibility of her improving enough to go "home" again. In the midst of all the horror and stress of these events there is always the economics to consider. We simply could not summon up thousands to buy time. We had to move her stuff before month's end or pay another months tariff. During that last rushed, terribly stressing "transition", the birds got packed in the go to Fishy's box.
So here they are. Some days, while the first cup of tea is steeping, I fetch the paper. I usually smile at the Pond birds singing their greetings and the pink roses waving good morning. I feel so grateful I have a mother who taught us all to treasure these gifts. I cannot quite determine if it is the auditory component of these little plastic birds which bring my mother to me each morning of if it is these birds are symbols of the wonderfulness of my mother. It does not matter why.
It is a fine way to start a day. Also a fine way to end a day . Because that first light turned on in the morning is the last downstairs light to be turned off at night. So before I head to bed there is one more birdsong to be enjoyed.
" Good Night Mama, Peace be With You."