Posted by: Jim E | May 8, 2012

I Took My Mom To Lunch…

I Took My Mom To Lunch…

Mother’s Day is this weekend…I will post this as I did last year, in honor of my Mom…I wrote this years ago…April 2006, it was over a year after Mom died, but I had to “get it down” so I wouldn’t forget it…enjoy and if possible call your Mom…it will make her day…as my Mom did mine, on the day I describe below:

                                           

“Something reminded me this morning about taking my Mom to lunch…who knows how memories are jarred loose in our minds…but this morning this memory randomly arrived…

It has been only a little over a year since Mom passed away…but most of the memories of those days are still fresh…I know they won’t always be, so I decided this one I would write down before it becomes irretrievable…that happens to all of us as time goes by and other experiences take over…this lunch happened a few years ago…after Mom’s stroke and after Dad died, but before Mom slipped away from all of us…she was handicapped by some of the remnants of her stroke but still lucid enough to remember things of the past…she still knew everyone, though sometimes she called me “George” (her husband, my Dad)…and though she knew that wasn’t quite right, we both just let it go…it really didn’t matter to me and it was okay with her to let it go…just seemed like too much work for her to change it after it came out…if you don’t know what I mean, you will soon enough…

That day Mom had a doctor’s appointment…and so I picked her up…and off we went…first to her appointment, then to lunch…I really hadn’t planned to go to lunch but Mom was so “with it” that day…we talked and laughed as we drove along…she was so enjoying the ride, she commented how she would just like to keep driving…so I drove passed things that she would remember, pointed out things that were changing…she was so interested…she was always interested in what her boys thought and were interested in…that had not changed…I often wondered if that was real…was she as interested as she seemed???…I never could see anything to make me feel otherwise…and that day it was more than usual…it was a high point in these last years of her life…

I asked her if she wanted something to eat, “My treat”, I said…she laughed and said let’s go somewhere easy…I knew what she meant, she had lots of trouble getting in and out of the car…”Where do you want to go?”, I asked her…she didn’t know…so I made some suggestions…and she picked the one with the golden arches, she wanted some French fries…and of course, a drive-thru…I knew one not far away and we drove slowly to get there, talking along the way…we got our meal and parked behind the McDonald’s…so let me paint the picture…behind us was one of the busiest roads in the north suburbs of Minneapolis…but in front of us was a large swamp (called a wetlands today) and we were parked on some of the fill that had been put there to build the McDonald’s and paved…there were still piles of fill beyond where we parked…it was a warm sunny day…cattails waved far into the distance…birds flew here and there…the small willow trees along the bank moved to the motion of the wind…and here I was with my Mom…just talking, eating…sharing French fries…me watching to see if she needed help…it was perfect…

We talked of things she remembered, of things she wanted to talk about…I told her how much she meant to me…she waved it off as she often did…and talked of times past…her folks, my grandparents…she loved them…and now in her 80′s, she still honored them…they, like the rest of us were not perfect, but to her and to me…that didn’t matter, both of us agreed how wonderful they were…she remembered the days of her youth, before all this…and all that was before her…we laughed and some tears were shed…but overall it was a wonderful time…right there overlooking that beautiful swamp…

It’s a picture I will always remember (now bear with me)…from 50 or 100 feet above…do you see it???…looking down you see a McDonald’s, next to a busy highway…and behind a large swamp…and there behind the McDonald’s…right there in the parking lot…an old white Buick and inside…can you see them???…a son and his Mom, he in his 60′s, her in her 80′s…eating, talking, crying and laughing…but enjoying for one of the very last times, each other…

She was and is in my memory…loved and honored…”

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Responses

  1. Thanks Dad…I was just talking with a friend the other day of how many people in days gone by passed down history with the telling of stories…and telling them many times. I can find myself “bothered” from time to time when someone tells me a story that I have already heard…but usually I catch myself as I consider the importance of so many others things than just myself…the story itself, the one it is coming from and why, the things that I can learn from it (beyond being patient)…I have read this story many times and my favorite part is still last paragraph…the bird’s eye view of the scene…and I remember the important things in life. Love ya Pops

    • Jared…it’s not unlike a great illustration you have heard again and again…they are “just” stories that a person tells…you know, a good speaker who gives the same speech again and again…and the same illustrations…and if they are good, they have the the same effect on those who hear them for the first time…this one also takes on importance to me and to everyone “who has a Mother”…

      And you know, the last paragraph struck me too…I mean, I wrote it, but it still strikes home with me, every time…I remember writing it and how, because it was such a beautiful setting…sun out…big cumulus clouds floating by…bright blue sky…a moderate wind…the willows waving in the breeze…and all the sudden as I was writing, I was “above” the happening…looking down, seeing it from above…how far above, I didn’t know…but far enough to see it all…the traffic on Hiway 169…the McDonald’s and the swamp…and of course the white Buick…and us inside…it was a wonderful sight…and hard to write about…and I don’t know how clear that picture is to everyone who reads it…but it of course depends on their “mind’s eye”…can they imagine like I do…so I imagine, some do, some don’t…but for those who do, it is a wonderful word picture…from one who doesn’t write as well as I would like…but hopefully, it comes across…too much I know, so I will end…thanks for the comment…Dad

  2. Jim, You are a very blessed man to have a son who responds to what you say. Thank you too for writing about your memories. My Mom passed away nine years ago and my Dad moved in with us. He was married to my mom for 59 years. Yesterday he called me into his room where he had made a “playlist” and wanted me to hear his new favorite song.So I listened and he said it reminded him of when he was a little boy. Its called Company’s Coming by Porter Wagner. That was my recent new memory of my Dad

    • RuthE…thanks for the comment…it is still great to celebrate Mother’s day and Mom, even though she is gone…I will do it every year…hope you do too…and Porter Wagoner and “Company’s Comin'”…what a great song…just played it on YouTube…wonderful to hear it again…great song and great feeling…I know that feeling…thanks again for reminding me…Jim E

  3. What a precious beautiful memory of you and your beautiful mom! I only had the pleasure of meeting her one time when I was with Ginni. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with your mom. Dottie Woodhull

    • Hi Dottie…thanks for the comment…yes, my Mom was a wonderful woman…”one of a kind” as they say…it was a great day with her…I will never forget it…and thanks for the reminder of Ginni, her and Jack’s picture is on our shelf…a reminder every day of how special she was…Jim E


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