Tuesday, April 21, 2015

99 Years… and Pennies from Heaven

Mom turned 99 early in the month.
I can’t help but think that Daddy has to be wondering when her journey here with us will be complete and she can join him.
I know I wonder at times what more I should be learning from her at this point.  There has to be something her presence here is meant to accomplish so I’m always thinking about her life’s twists and turns – or more appropriately now, her falls and bounces - and what I can learn from them.

A party to celebrate was planned for a week later so my husband and I went to visit her on her birthday.  I got out of the car and started walking toward the door when I saw a penny on the ground.  My immediate thought was that Daddy wanted me to give Mom a hug for her birthday on his behalf.

Call me crazy but pennies have a deep meaning for me from my childhood and Daddy has always been a part of that.  He taught me to save my pennies.  I had a little iron bank shaped like a house to put them in and every so often, Daddy would take me to the bank to put them in my savings.  In the years since his death, I can’t tell you the number of times they have appeared on the ground when something was weighing heavy on my mind.

Back in 2010, Daddy appeared to me in a dream very briefly.  He was there just long enough to say Mom couldn’t be left alone anymore.  I thought and thought about that and what we should do about it.  Shortly after, I was driving to the store and made the decision to talk to my husband about leaving my job to take care of Mom.  When I got out of my car, I didn’t take more than a few steps when I saw a huge bunch of pennies on the ground in front of me!  Okay Daddy!  I hear you!

Although he’s on my mind often, I haven’t dreamed of Daddy since that dream in 2010.  There are times when I begin to think that he’s spending all of his time watching over Mom because I go through long stretches of no pennies.  Then all of a sudden there will be a penny on the ground in front of me, calling my name.

Mom enjoyed her birthday party.  We don’t get a huge crowd for it – our family is truly huge – but those that aren’t busy with sports will usually come by.  Enough of them drop by that Mom seems to understand her family is around her.
Mom and Hurricane together again.  She sat beside her cake for a long time before reaching out her finger and getting a scoop of icing.  She must have liked it because she ate a piece and some ice cream then we looked back again and she had pulled another piece over and eaten half of it!

After the party, she said something to me that I hadn’t heard in a long time.  She asked if she was going home with me.  She seemed to want to go.  I assured her she was home but inside I was struggling.
As we’ve come closer to the time that we will need to help pay for her care, I’ve thought often about whether or not I could bring her back to live with me.  She’s calmer now and sleeps a lot so seems easy enough, right?

Nope.  Mom needs more physical help now such as transferring from wheelchair to toilet, or bed to wheelchair, etc.  I used to be able to do that but after hurting my back and shoulder last fall, I know I can no longer move her around.

I think God keeps reminding me that it’s not a good idea.  Just when my shoulder starts to feel good, the weather will change or I’ll make a quick movement that sets it to aching. Or I'll hear from the home that Mom was up all night.  Since Daddy hasn’t stepped in to say anything to me about it, I’m thinking he agrees she’s fine where she is.