When my mother called this morning before our conversation ended she told me that she had called my son before he left for work to ask him when he would be able to get her car inspected. She told me that he didn’t give her a real response. I didn’t really say much other than that was him.
My son came home for lunch today as he often does. While he was in the other part of the house, the phone rang. It was some oddball number that I didn’t answer, but it only rang twice so it seemed as though I did in fact answer the call. As my son was preparing to leave to return to work, I asked him about his grandmother’s car and when he would be able to take it to be inspected. He ended up driving it back to work said he’d do it after he finished work today.
This, of course meant that mom was without a car. I knew what was coming.
I’m betting that if my son had pulled out onto the main road he hadn’t done it by much before she called me. Cue, the mold guilt trip. If I had time, and if I felt like it, would I take her to the big box store as she needed a couple of things. Sure mom, let me eat something first then I’ll take you. Before I could prepare lunch my son called to tell me that if I was going anywhere, there was a train stopped at one of the crossings. And, um, if I were going out, would I bring him a Rockstar. Yep.
We got to the shopping center and parked. I told mom that I wanted to walk down to the dollar store and see if they had something I was looking for. My hair is getting long and I had broken my last remaining banana clip. (Remember those?) Of course the dollar store didn’t have them. We start back toward the big box store only for her to have to stop for a second and allow her balance to catch up with her. We go into the store and begin the search for her ‘few things’.
I’m following her around the store, pushing the buggy/cart/trolley as she found each item. I’m doing my best to be patient as she searches for yet another item she needed but didn’t have on her list and just didn’t seem to be anywhere. Only to then find it. Mostly because it was either way back on the shelf, on the bottom shelf, of some how or other, an item had been pushed in front of what she was looking for.
As we turned the corner on yet another aisle another shopper stopped to let me pass. I acknowledged her courteous act and she told me she was smiling behind her mask. She had been watching me and mom.
Taking mom out to run errands or shopping or just out, is never a bother for me. My human side has gotten annoyed in private and I have tried to not let mom see when I am at my worst but hiding anything from one’s mother isn’t easy. Especially if you have a close relationship. So when I do lose patience and act the jerk, I am quick to apologize. Because I know, she doesn’t like this. I know that she hates having to depend on us to help her and dad. I know that she wishes that they could still do for themselves what ever needs to be done. I also know that it is a wonderful blessing that my parents are still with us. They annoy each other, they annoy us, but they are precious and deeply loved. I am grateful for their presence.
Writing this, I still see the expression on what I could see of the other shopper’s face as she allowed me to pass. I saw the expression when I passed her again moments later. I heard the emotion in her voice when she spoke. Was her heart weeping a bit because she could no longer do as I was doing? Was she happy to see an adult daughter taking care of her mother and being respectful while doing so? There is an infinite number of questions and possibilities.
My mother insisted on buying the rockstar for my son and the sweater that caught my eye. I had managed up to then to keep her from seeing anything that she might insist on buying. She insisted as I had taken her so many places and done so much for her lately, it wasn’t going to make up for it, but she wanted to buy it for me. So I let her, it wasn’t expensive or I wouldn’t have looked to begin with.
When I went to put everything in the car, I saw a bag containing an item I had purchased yesterday, but couldn’t recall putting away. I had feared that I had forgotten it at the store when I picked up the rest of my groceries. I hadn’t, it had somehow fallen over into the floor out of sight.
I got mom home, got everything she had purchased inside and came home. I sat her for a while, remembering. Realizing that people see us. They see our actions, they see our attitude. They see how we treat others. If I had been annoyed about taking mom shopping, it would have shown. The lady who told me she was smiling behind her mask, would have had a much different opinion of me. But I remember how my mother, treated her mother. She taught me a very valuable lesson in that and many other things. But the greatest of these, was love.