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Monthly Archives: July 2013

last photo of mom and dad holding hand 4.26.13

Given the loss of our most special mother and grandparents in the past sixteen months, I was very touched by this post. We all want to be loved and respected as mothers and fathers. Despite what children may think, our love is profound, deep and endless.

In My Old Age (A Letter From Our Parents)

By Anonymous Ink

In my old age, please understand and pardon me. If because of my poor eyesight, I break a plate or spill soup on the dining table. Please don’t scold me. An old person is sensitive. I pity myself every time you yell at me.

When I’m dull of hearing and don’t understand what you’re saying, please don’t call me “deaf!” ; just repeat what you are saying or write it down. I’m sorry, my child, I’m really old.

When my knees are weak, please patiently help me stand up, just like I did to you when you’re just learning how to walk.

Be patient with me, if I’m being persistent and repetitious like a broken record. Just listen to me. Please don’t laugh at me or get annoyed listening to me. Do you remember when you were young? When you wanted a balloon, you would ask for it the whole day until you got what you wanted. I was patient with your requests.

Please be patient with my smell. Old people smell like soil. Don’t force me to take a shower. My body is too weak. I get sick easily when I get cold. Please don’t feel disgusted with me. Do you remember when you were young? I took pains chasing you under the bed when you didn’t want to take a bath.

Be patient with me if I am often irritable. That’s probably because of my old age. When you grow old yourself, you will understand me.

When you have time, let’s talk, even for just a moment. I feel lonely at home. I’m alone all day long with no one to talk with. I know you are busy with your work, but I want you to know that I am eager to talk to you, even if I know you are not interested in what I will tell you. Do you remember when you were a child? I patiently listened to your stuttering as you narrate your stories about your teddy bear.

And when I get sick and bedridden, please don’t get tired taking care of me. Forgive me, if I urinate or defecate in bed; please take care of me, in the last moments of my life. After all, I will not be staying for long.

When the time of my death comes, please hold my hand tightly and give me strength and courage to face death.

Don’t worry, when I face our Creator, I will ask him to bless you – because you loved your father and mother…(This is a translation of the work “Sa Aking Pagtanda (Sulat Ni Nanay At Tatay)”. The original work is written in Tagalog by Ariel F. Robles. )

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sesame street swedish chef

I love you, a bushel and a peck!
A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck!
A hug around the neck, and a barrel and a heap

The ingredients of a life fill in the dash between birth and death. My mother used them lavishly, colorfully and with abandon.

My mother, undaunted by her own strict and occasionally domineering mother, was unfazed at times when she sought independence. As a teenager living in New York, my mother dreamed of cozy cottages and country climes. She had seen a wooden rocking chair and wanted to purchase it for her room. My grandmother felt it was unnecessary and impractical in their modest-sized apartment. My mother was told that she could not get it. Those are fighting words for my mother. She purchased that chair and brought it home, remarkably, on the New York subway system. Through many incarnations, and paint colors, that rocking chair has traveled through several moves across the country and today sits in her home office.

My mother did things on her own timetable and didn’t let the seemingly impossible stop her. Where I am punctual, my mother found the concept of time to be more fluid. If we were supposed to be somewhere in five minutes, that was enough time for her to put on nail polish before we headed into the car.

When I was a teenager, my family moved to New Orleans for a number of years. Mom and Dad had to acclimate to the weather, so hot and humid compared to our New England winters, and become accustomed to a brand new way of life. Both of my parents worked and had to figure out how to maneuver in their new environment while trying to find their way around the city. In the days before Mapquest, and the difficulty in driving in the city while holding a large paper map, it was necessary to remember the minimum number of routes to arrive at your destination. On one shopping excursion, my mother had missed her turn and did not know another way to get back to the Mall. As I was a teenager, fresh from driving lessons and my license still warm, I told my mother that the sign said “No Left Turns.” My mother’s steely reply: “Wanna Bet?”

How could I turn out any other way than strong, determined, caring, and possessing a wit and absurd sense of humor? Even in the horrors of losing my mother to ALS, our quirky brand of love and humor prevailed. My mother told me that the doctor said to her that it is very important for people with ALS to breathe. I looked at her, and said, “Mom, tell the doctor it is important for all patients to breathe.” It took a moment and then, through our shared fear and heartbreak, my mother threw her head back and laughed. I miss that so much.

My mother gifted me bits, pieces and pinches of love, chutzpah, humor, deep intention, perfectionism, creativity, strength, determination, independence and the directive to think about others first. I am held together with the glue of family. We are responsible for each other and are made up of basic truths and a profound sense of belonging. We love all of the members of our family tree because they are “ours.” Mom loved us a bushel and a peck. She sang that song to each of her 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. When in doubt, buy balloons or flowers. Even a cup of coffee tastes better when someone else makes it and gives it to you. Two cookies – one in each hand is a balanced meal. The most important lesson in life is to be a mensch. Recipes handed down always have notes in the margins.

Stirred up as I am about injustice, I can be whipped into a froth of self-righteousness and a fight for the underdog. I can stew for a long time, but would prefer to be light hearted. Blending all these parts together and layers of empathy and kindness makes a dessert so precious that it only comes once a lifetime. For now, my mother is an Angel Cake but she gave me the sweetest parts of my nature and the nuttiest parts of my brain. It all begins and ends with great laughter and one slice of life is never enough. The recipe is handed down from generation to generation and now it is my turn to create the sweetness and keep the crust from getting too hard. Have you been served?

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Weekly word challenge – a pinch of me to share with you
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cookie-monster-pic

In the good old days of “Whip me, Beat me, Make me work long hours” it was imperative to socialize with coworkers. Along with stockbrokers, their assistants and other Finance majors, Gin & Tonic was the drink to request at the bar. Sales and marketing utilized my speaking skills and ability to speak to anyone and everyone.

My husband married me in part because no one had ever kept him talking that long. He appreciated that I could be the social one and step forward with conversation and bravado. For me, laughter, means real laughter; deep, roll your head back, down to the soul laughter that fills me up with the effervescent delight of joy.

My enthusiasm and people skills have always been a part of the parties I attended and I still want the other person to enjoy themselves. It is hard to recognize the quiet introvert from the talkative extrovert.
Words, words, everywhere and not a stop to think.

These days, I am much more empathic and highly sensitive. Picking up the energy of the people around me means that I would much rather read a book at times than be in a large party. At a large social function, there are so many emotions swirling around and efforts to make a connection. For better or worse, I can be exhausted by just watching some of those interactions.

The ability to see and feel emotions means that I understand the energy of pain. You can see the magnified light of joy and success. But the feelings of narcissism, control, passive aggression and deceit come through crystal clear too. This is not a sense of control or artificial grandiosity. My brain overthinks and considers the ideas that surround me. I pick up all the snippets of conversation; my hearing is blessed but my brain gets tired. There are days when “Off with your head” would be most helpful, to me or the other person; it depends if I am feeling picky.

These days, I seek to conserve my energy. While always being introspective, in my mourning, I am more circumspect too. It feels indecent to enjoy myself too much. A family wedding is a cause to rejoice ~ and remember. Photos show great times and memories of the ones who have passed. Joy and sadness mingle with laughter, thought, and emotion. Yippee ~~~~ a party in my head that requires waterproof mascara!

In my work, I counsel, listen and engage others’ needs and requests. Some people fill you up with energy and others suck it out like an old, musty vacuum with an extra-long hose. Honesty, clarity and good conversation can take place in a crowd or with a handful of truly wonderful friends and family. These days, the family occasions and small groupings are the parties I prefer. My dream drink of choice is a margarita, even if I only imbibe in my mind. I guess my party animal of choice is the Cookie Monster.

I am that person who must read something before she goes to sleep. The simple joys of bed, books, and cookies bring me more happiness and comfort than the bar scene. Eating, Reading and Sleeping, in no particular order, always make my mind and soul feel loved, pampered, and refreshed. No mascara required.

Cookie-monster-bedtime

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/daily-prompt-personality/

freshly-pressed-circle

Just adding a Thank You to all those reading the posts on WordPress as moderators and participants. I am very late to the game, but the DpChallenge was a fun way to participate in the WordPress community. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your positive comments ~ It means more than you know!

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