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."


Jenny said...

Mother's Day has become a non holiday for me; I've lost both Mothers. Reading this made me teary for your Mama and mine.

The birds are lovely and so is your greeting.

Happy Day to you Fishy.

fishy said...

I must tell you I believe in celebrating life's joys. While your mothers are not here with you for a bit of spoiling today, there is still cause for partying. Surely there is every reason for you to celebrate Mother's Day!
I do absolutely believe those of us who mother our four legged children are to be honored. Clearly you are not a keep the dogs in a pen in the backyard for an occasional pat type of dogperson.
No. Your dogs are your family! You nurture them, doctor them, play with them, travel with them, work with them and celebrate their individuality. Definitely a joy of life worth celebrating so, my friend,
Happy Mother's Day!

moi said...

Happy, happy Mother's Day, Fishy! You are an honored mom and daughter, and I hope your day was filled with all things that give you joy.

Pam said...

A sweet post in honor of your mom. We too have ended up with many items from the downsizing of the parents ... only ours happened all at once. You picked a wonderful set to cherish ... it is hard letting go of the things, I can see why people become hoarders. I hope am not on that path!

Aunty Belle said...

Fishy, how perfectly endearin'!

Yore mama must treasure her Fishy chile' and Grand-Mermaid.

Happy Mother's Day to you Fishy.

fishy said...

I AM honored to be the daughter and the Mom. Thanks for the lovely wishes.

I was thinking about that very issue recently. In fact I walked though our home to evaluate what would go, what would be passed down.
I guess the good news is when I start the transitioning Mama's birds are small enough to come with me.

Aunty Belle,
You are truly a Southern woman.
"perfectly endearing" is not yankee speak. And yep I think my Mother does indeed treasure me and Mermaid both. Because, bless our hearts, we too are
"perfectly endearing"

chickory said...

sweet mothers day post. i know just what you mean about pieces of mother in all your sib's homes. I love those little birds - my mom loves birds too - wish she was in a place where she could see them more often. the good news is she is near a big city park with many kinds of birds including swans. but the little songbirds are her favorites. happy mothers day!

fishy said...

Hey Chickory,
You know my mother came from a place and time when early learning years were not about images of alternative worlds. They lived in this one, they had chores, they learned life lessons early.
My mother spent those early years learning which song she heard came from which bird,learning the habits, migrations, nesting, social interactions of the individual species. She certainly learned to recognize all the trees and flowers in her environment. Those pleasures have lasted a life time for her and been a present passed down to all us kids.
These days, I am not sure most American kids can name birds or identify their songs or know what grows in their own yards. Too busy mastering those fake universes to live in this one.

As for knowing that sweet joy of having a bit of Mom in the homes of your loves, I am glad for you. I find it a comfort not a despair.

Mermaid read this and called to say, you must write down the stories of all the family treasures! So glad to know I have a child who cares about the pass alongs and not one who wants a listing of all the estate liquidators in the region.