Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Their time and ours – or – “I have a meeting…”

It’s not easy making the decision to place a loved one but sometimes it is for the best.  In the case of taking care of a parent, I think we feel that they took care of us therefore we should take care of them.

To a certain point, I believe that to be true.  I also realize now that when Mom was raising me, however, she was able to continue her life and it was a busy one!  Sewing our clothes and quilts, knitting and crocheting our sweaters, hats and mittens, taking care of a vegetable garden that took up an acre of land and canning or freezing everything that came out of it took up her days.  In addition, of course, she was taking care of all of us, especially me, the baby of the family of five children.

One memory of my childhood comes back each time I kiss Mom goodbye now.  I most always visit in the morning and stay until she sits down to each lunch.  She always wants to know if I am staying and is obviously looking for a place for me to sit.  My response is always the same.  “I have a meeting”, I say, knowing that response will put her at ease.  I don’t have a meeting but it is something with which she can identify.
Mom begins her process of preparing her place setting for lunch.  For some reason, she uses her napkin as a placemat.
Daddy was a teacher and Mom was a homemaker all the while I was growing up.  I remember the school nights after dinner when we would all be in the library of our home, Daddy grading papers and my brothers and sisters doing homework.  Busy during the day, Mom used that time to read, something she loved to do and hence, the reason we had a “library” in our home.

Some nights, however, Mom and Daddy would leave after dinner to go to a meeting.  They were involved in church, Daddy’s school, and the local school my brothers and sister attended.  There were also 4-H meetings because they were both leaders, separately – Daddy of a livestock club and Mom of a sewing club – and Daddy was one of the founders of the local baseball league given that he had three sons to keep busy.

So, out they would go, telling me that they had a meeting to go to.  It was sometimes frustrating to me because in my mind, I was the center of their world.  Why would they leave me?  J  One particular night, they told me I could stay up until they came back home but they didn’t tell my brother whom they left in charge.  When I refused to go to bed, I very clearly remember him picking me up and carrying me upstairs to my bed.  He was gentle and kind about the entire thing and kept telling me that Mom and Daddy didn’t tell him that.  Needless to say, I was not happy with them when they arrived home!

Lucky for me, Mom is not a child.  She may need help at times like a child and she can’t find the words she wants but there are some things that still strike a chord in her mind.  Meetings is one of those things and if a little lie like telling her that I have a meeting will put her at ease, then I can do that!