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• Friday, November 25th, 2016

 

Not Bad For an Old LadyI want to thank all of you, my friends and family for your caring and thoughtfulness over the past couple of weeks. It truly touched my heart to understand how much you all care for my family. Here is a little something that is on my heart today as I get ready to go pick up my mom’s remains.

 

My mom and I loved road trips. In fact over the past five or six years we have made a lot of trips, whether to Saskatchewan to visit Dad and family or to someplace else just to look around. Mom loved getting out and seeing the world. I would pick her up, and ask her how she was and she would always answer in her typical Joan way, “Not bad for a grouchy old lady”.

 

Once we were on the road, we would talk. We would talk about the past, about the present and about the future. I learned so much about my mom during our road trips. I learned about her life and her dreams. I learned about her disappointments and regrets and we would laugh. For some reason mom thought I was really funny, so we spent a lot of time laughing.

 

Mom used to floss her teeth when we travelled. One time we were traveling to Saskatoon, mom was busy flossing her pearly whites and the floss broke in her teeth. She tried to pull the short piece of floss out that was stuck in between her teeth but couldn’t get it. I turned to her to see what the problem was, she smiled and there was this string hanging out of her chompers. I had to pull over, I was laughing so hard. She had me try to pull the floss out and I couldn’t get it….it was stuck solid. Finally I found a pair of pliers and managed to get the floss out of her teeth. We laughed so hard as we imagined the scenarios that could have happened if we hadn’t managed to release the stubborn floss. I cherished those moments getting to know her.

 

I remember the last time we travelled together to Saskatoon I left my mom there to visit family and I returned home. A couple of months later she called and said “Jerrilyn, come pick me up, I’m ready to go home.” I remember trying to explain to mom that It was a bad time for me to travel. I told her that I would come pick her up in two weeks when Dante was out of school for Christmas break…. but mom insisted…”No, come pick me up now, I’m ready to go home”. So I packed up Dante and Dakota (who was very pregnant at the time}, drove to Saskatoon and picked mom up.

 

Today, I pick my mom up for the last time. I know that there will be no reply when I ask her how she is doing and no laughter as I drive her home. I know that what I know of my mother’s life is all I will ever know. I will not hear any more stories from her about what it was like growing up on the farm in Dahlton or how, when I was born, she couldn’t afford to buy new baby items so she had to use what she was given or found at thrift stores. She ended up with a blanket that she really liked but it was pilled. So she spent hours picking every pill off of that blanket so when she brought me home, I would be wrapped in a soft blanket. Or how when Alan was a baby she was waxing the floor and when she went to get the can of wax it was gone….and apparently so was I. She walked into Alan’s room to find me pouring the wax over him and him contentedly splashing in it. Or when we were young, the dog had chewed the cord to the vacuum cleaner when it was plugged in and Alan grabbed the bare wire. I, being the considerate sister ran and told Mom that Alan had started smoking. I could go on and on with her stories, but for now I will just treasure them in my heart.

 

As I ready myself to go pick up Mom for the last time, I can’t help but picture in my mind that on that Monday, Sept 19th Mom sent a prayer up saying…”God…..Come pick me up, I’m ready to go” and when He arrived to take her home permanently, He leaned over and looked at her, his eyes filled with love and asked, “Hey Joanie my child, how are you doing?” And mom looking at Him and with a big smile on her face replying, “Yo Yo Yo…Not bad for a grouchy old lady.

 

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