Sunday, December 27, 2009

Grandma Emma { back row, 3rd from the right}

I went to visit my Mom, last night, and take her some Oyster Stew... She loved it. It was a tradition, with our family, at Christmas, or Christmas Eve, to have Oyster Stew... Mom is in a nursing home, and has many severe health issues... We had a wonderful visit, she tends to get quite negative, about life, and where she is at, and who wouldn't, being 89, and having no control about her life... So I try and talk to her about her parents, being raised on the farm, her Christmas's on the farm, as a child... what her mother liked to prepare, for her family.... My Mom just lights up, when she talks about those times... I asked her, {I didn't know my grandmothers, they were gone, before I was born} "Was Grandma Emma, about your height?", mom said, no she was shorter.... I said, "shorter than you? I didn't know they made people shorter than you!" { shes 5'2, I'm 5'8, it's a good thing my Dad was 6 feet tall!} We both laughed! I admire the people who work, at the nursing homes... They put up with a lot of grief... They could work at a convenience store, and make as much money, but they choose to work with the elderly. It's a very difficult job, I know, I took care of my mother, in her home for several years, before she got to difficult for me to maneuver... It was the most heart wrenching decision I have ever had to make... Guilt, anger, feelings of inadequacies, and plain and simple, letting her down. I look back now, and see, like my Dad would always say, "If you know in your heart, you have done the best you can, that's all you can do, no regrets." And doing your 'best', is different for everyone, and no one should judge, I know, I did all I could do, my Mother would not be safe, with me... she needs 24 hour care. It takes 2 people to transfer her, even into bed, her legs just wont work, anymore. I feed her, when I visit. She has a hard time eating, now that she's totally blind.{ and I think, due to her brain tumor, her left hand, will not work, unless she really concentrates...} The staff makes her feed herself, and that is a good thing... it keeps her some what, independent.
When we visit about her Mother, you can see how much she loved her... She was a jolly Czech woman, a wonderful cook, and extremely hard working... She made everything fun, for the kids. Mom said she was always whistling, or singing while she worked... Mom said, Grandma was a 'closet smoker', one day she was hanging clothes out on the line, smoking a cigarette, and here comes Grandpa, out of the field, behind her... when he spoke to her, and surprised her, she stuffed the cigarette in her apron pocket... Grandpa kept talking, and the pocket kept smoking, she kept listening to Grandpa, and patting her apron....I'm thinkin' Grandpa was waiting for her to admit, she was smoking, she never did... Mom said, at Christmas time, Grandma would tell them stories, and which Reindeer would land first, on the roof of the Old Farmhouse, Mom said, she'd make it sound so real, they were all mesmerized... The animals would all get an extra ration, on Christmas Eve, and Grandma always baked up a storm, and had the best pastries, Christmas Day... Mom said the old house was so cold, in the mornings, there would be frost, on their blankets...She and her sister, Helen, {only 9 months apart, most people thought they were twins} shared the bed, upstairs. Mom was the oldest, and helped her Dad farm, and milk cows... She said many cold mornings, she'd put her feet in fresh cow pies, to keep them warm. I'm so glad, she looks back, and smiles, and laughs... It's such a gift, to see her, that way.
I'm taking the day off, the kids are coming over, and I'll fix something good to eat, and squeeze the baby, a little...
Back to work, tomorrow, I'm leaving 'Christmas' up, 'til after New Years Day... and loving every minute of it!
Barb C.
{ I found this old photo, as I was organizing Mom's night stand, and asked her if I could have it, she said sure. It's the only picture we have of her Grandparents, and Mother, we had a fire, when I was a child, and lost all of our family photo's. I'm hoping my cousin will share some of hers, some day... I'll treasure this one.}

1 comment:

summersundays-jw said...

You're lucky to still be able to talk to your mom. Wish I'd spent more time talking to mine and recording info. I just figured she would live forever, but she was one of the lucky ones. She had a stroke at 89 & just lived a few days. She was living in a little house that my sister built her next door to their house. Enjoy the day with your kids & holding that baby. Jan