Wednesday, September 12, 2007

today did not suck

this morning i went to VT, where mom lives, to express some complaints. i started out in the facility director's office, but within minutes her boss came in and introduced herself. a few minutes later two more bosses were on the scene. we moved to a bigger office and by the time the 1 hour meeting was over there were 7 "bigwigs" in the room; all of them kowtowing. i thanked them all for listening and for saying the things i wanted to hear, but that mom and i had plans for the day to get the hell out of the building and i left saying, with a smile, "actions speak louder than words."

(details of what lead up to that encounter and what went down during are available by phone and/or email.)

now sit back and let me tell y'all about the fun stuff mom and i did today...

she's been needin' to get out. no, not just downstairs, but out of the fucking building. so last night i told her we'd just go drive around and see what we could find to do. she was ready and waiting when i arrived at 10 a.m.

as we were leaving i saw a notice that there would be a birthday party in the dining room with live entertainment for all residents with birthdays in july, august and september. her birthday is september 17! so we agreed we should return by 2:00.

and off we went...

i already mentioned her birthday is in 5 days, didn't i? when we got in the car i handed her a small package. inside was a cassette tape. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. i put it in, cranked it up and off we drove into the beautiful fall morning, her hand tapping to In The Mood.

we cruised like a couple of teenagers with windows down and the music blaring. we drove by her mom's old house on vanderbilt. we slowed waaay down as we passed her old church and she sang Chattanooga Choo-Choo as we drove down Skillman, a road she'd traveled a hundred thousand times.

we were on our way to the neighborhoods i grew up in, the homes she raised her four children in and lived in most of her adult life. to gawk at houses and conjure memories she's forgotten.
every once in a while she'd say something like, "this looks familiar," or, "that looks different." when a new song came on she might quietly sing along or make an obscure comment about some long forgotten memory the music triggered.

but lemme give you the short version of our adventure.

- drove by the last house she lived in, where she raised my brother and the rest of us visited often. the house, where she so lovingly grandmothered all those grandkids whose pictures now hang on her walls, looked very different. and that surprised us both. gosh, it's only been 2 1/2 years? things sure do change in a hurry.

but she remembered the neighbors. so, i rang a doorbell.
the Ktrolas have moved away, too. i took a picture and we drove to see the house she raised my sisters and myself and where we lived when my younger brother was born.

-funny how a little ivy on the walls and different colored shutters can change the appearance of a place. we drove around back and recognized some things and didn't recognize others. i took another picture.

we came to the conclusion that things just change. we wondered if we'd be recognized by old friends with our gray hair and wrinkles and our different bodies and postures and if we'd recognize them with the ivy and coats of paint and tolls of years that have likely overtaken them as well.

-looking at the time, i realized we were running out of it. there was still so much to do. the house at 820 Peavy Road would have to wait another day. we could go have lunch. or...wait! let's give your brother a call and see if they'd mind if we dropped by on such short notice. their new place isn't far from here...

(mom says, "well they come see me sometimes and i never know when They're coming.")

-we spent well over an hour on our "social call." and let me tell you, brother and sisters, it was the highlight of mom's day. and you haven't even heard yet about our hurried drive-through taco bell lunch experience or the birthday party back at VT with the cake and punch and new friends and a ventriloquist! to entertain us...

but i'll save that story for later.


flintysooner said...

What a wonderful post. You paint so well with your words.

My mother loved Glenn Miller. I think it was because he played the trombone as did her father. She took me to see The Glenn Miller Story when I was so young. That's the first movie I went to. I still think about it when I see the old theater building that's still standing here in Moore. It is so small.

Things do change so much. And the things include people. I ran into an old friend the other day and didn't recognize her at first. I knew there was something familiar and finally I knew. I suppose she felt the same about me, too.

Glad you had a good visit.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad you sttod up to all the bigbig, lol. they like to team up to look imposing but way to go!