I arrived in New York City five days ago to visit him and my soon to be daughter In law and I now sit with my toast and orange juice at their kitchen table as they both are still asleep. I must admit, it feels a little scary for this was my Mother's routine after she moved in with us. Mom had five years of mornings like this and I suddenly can see the view from her lens.
How lonely she must have been to leave her home, life and friends!
Mom was very comfortable as am I. The kids allow me the freedom to make myself at home every time I visit. I actually am typing this on my son's laptop and I honestly turned it on knowing it would not be an issue. As I sit listening to the hum of the refrigerator I am grateful to be loved but the reality is I'm not home and now can feel how my Mom felt watching me live my life while hers was ending.
I would often come into the kitchen and see my Mother who tried to cheerily say Good Morning but her face told another story and it frustrated me. We would take her out on errands with us, take her to dinner, allow her to do anything she pleased in the home and she was genuinely grateful. But she was sad.
I always felt my generation was completely different than my parents. I often look at my wedding album and think my Mom looked much older in her mother of the bride dress than I will in my Mother of the groom. I thought I was more modern than she until I saw of glimpse of her story and wonder if history will repeat itself as I breakfast at my son's kitchen table.
I often question if I should have thought about assisted living for my Mom. My heart told me I wanted to be the one to care for her but maybe she would have been happier in a different setting. I know friendships are key to living a happy life. Would she have ended her last chapter happier?
There is no point looking through the rearview mirror of the decisions that have been made and the chapter of life that is over. I have no control as I type this to say if history will repeat itself as my story continues. I do know for sure that Mom cherished the love around her bed as her story was ending and that gives me peace.
Through my experience of blending the old generation with the new I learned we all need people to talk, laugh and confide that are our age. Every morning after breakfast I heard my Mother whispering to her good friend Sophie on her jitterbug cell phone "Oh Sophie, this generation is so different than we were aren't they?" I only imagine how many "calls" she would have made if she could text.
Life is a classroom my friends. When we stop learning we stop living. I believe staying social is very important for it kept Mom a little happier on her last chapter. I now know more than ever that I am going to try my best to be the energizer bunny my Mother was until the day she became weak.
I hear the sound of an alarm from inside the closed bedroom door which means the day is beginning. I have to say good-bye to all of you my "Sophies" . I thank you for reading this and it was wonderful chatting with all of you this morning. It is time for me to wipe the glass of my Mom's image away from the mirror and use it to smile at the happiness I feel standing in my son's bathroom.
As my image returns I know in my heart what truly matters. Yes, they may do things differently Sophie but I know for sure that history repeats for I feel incredibly loved by this New Generation.