She enjoys the smallest of treats with great excitement. An Andes mint, a Coca-Cola, or a Sonic Limeade. Wrappers fly off and wonderful slurping sounds fill the room as she rolls her eyes in delight. Yes, the simple things in life are enjoyed with great gusto.
The Mermaid is my mom. She got the handle given to her when the grandkids were learning to talk. ‘Mermaid’ made much more sense to them than ‘Myrlee’. Even friends of the kids call her “Grandma Mermaid”, delighting her to no end.
Due to her being a Pearl Harbor of medical issues that affected her brain in a myriad of ways, she has lived in different world than the rest of us for about a year now. Still her face lights up when we appear. She still knows us and likes to visit, although not as much. We have the privilege of dancing her dance with her. Somedays we are successful in gliding through the visit with her and sometimes—-well, toes get stepped on as we are learning about her world. Here are things we are gleaning from her.
1. We are learning to bloom where we are planted-even we aren’t really sure where the location is. Most generally she enjoys being in ‘this resort’, although it has nursing home stamped all over it. Even though she is taken care of quite well, the fact that this lady, who was so concerned if her car looked like a ‘grandma car”, has wound up here would put her in severe depression. Instead she has friends, gets manicures, and even plays a little basketball from her wheel chair. The aides love her as she has them in stitches ‘being her adorable self.”
2. She has no worries. Her 5 years of lamenting about how the next scan for cancer would turn out has vaporized. Doctors appointments aren’t her only social life anymore, although she convinces the staff at the rest home that she has appointments on occasion. That has caused chaos for us all. Even during through the season of the parade of doctors, she was pretty content to roll with whatever punches they required to try to help her. Now, she trusts whoever is guiding her wheelchair to get her where she is going when she needs to be wherever. Oh, to trust like that!
3. She gets the joy of hanging out with my grandparents. What if they’ve been gone 20 years or more? She talks about them quite often, and even shared that Grandma Moore and she went to Hutchinson one day. I was still new enough to the game not to ask any questions, but I am so curious to know who drove! Since they are a constant desire of hers, she has rebirthed in me anticipation of the day we all be reunited. How I itch to see them!
4. To enjoy every moment. At Christmas, we turned her tv to her favorite movie A Christmas Story. It brought back many childhood memories. She’d seen it a zillion times, but today was different. It seemed absolutely new to her and we heard belly laughs for the first time in ages. It reminded me to throughly enjoy doing something the first time. There is freshness that is precious we should embrace.
5. Words aren’t everything. (Can you believe that is coming from me?) In this generational lineage of talkers, writers, and storytellers, one has to fight viciously for airtime. Mom and I would chatter until the wee hours over nothing. Ma Bell’s stock plummeted when she moved to where I saw her everyday. Today it is different. We just sit and enjoy the time with either the innocence of Babar the Elephant or the action of the Terminator playing on her tv. She might make a comment about Arnie’s girlfriend’s hair looking worse than hers, but just being together saying nothing is good. Real good.
Mom has taught me so much through my life-like not to kick a sleeping skunk and that you can travel the world over with a toothbrush and a clean pair of panties. Today God uses her to teach those around her things no one could fathom. I get torn between this wild wonderful woman of God going through drastic changes I would not choose for my worst enemy and thanking him for the lessons he continues to teach through her. Following her example, I must trust him. Teach me your way, O’Lord and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O’Lord, my God with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. Psalm 86:11-12. May we continue keep our hearts open, always learning from the purpose God has for the adorable loved ones in our lives.