IN MY OPINION
THE SIMPLE LIFE
22 February 2007
My mother pushed her plate back away from her, looked at me and said "I really am so very grateful for all the time you've taken to be here to help me."
I told her, in all sincerity, that I was very sorry that she had broken her ankle, but that I was very grateful that we've had this time to spend together one-to-one. Not only have I taken the time, but she is forced to take the time. We love each other very much, obviously, but sometimes it seems that what with our respective busy schedules, and the physical distance between us, there just doesn't seem to be opportunity to get together very often. She frequently has guests who stay a week, or longer. She has a large circle of friends that she spends time with. She has work at the thrift shop, mah jong games, parties, luncheons, meetings, etc. It just always seems like she is busy and when she's not, I am, what with shows to review and all the rest.
So this period of confinement for her has given us a unique opportunity to just be together.
It is also giving me the opportunity, briefly, to live "the simple life." It's not that I am busy about many things at home, but if I'm not doing them, I'm fretting about them. It's always on my mind: the undone transcription, the unwashed dishes, the unfolded clothes, the unswept floor. It doesn't mean I get up and do those things, but they are always there and it clutters my brain, thinking about how I should be doing them.
Here I am free of all those nagging thoughts and life is calm. We get up in the morning and I make coffee and bring in the paper. We sit here...she works the crossword puzzle and I look thru the paper (which I never do at home) and we discuss the day's news.
I fix breakfast, clean up afterwards and then the cards come out. We play a few hands or a couple of games of canasta and then it's time for my mother's soap opera, during which we watch the mother dove feeding her babies, and following which there is a puzzle waiting. By this time, we have spent so much time on breakfast, chit-chat, and cards that it's nearly lunch time.
I join her working the puzzle until we decide what we want for lunch and then we eat and I clean up. Then there is either more canasta or more puzzle (or both). I may take a break and read instead (I have already finished two books while here).
At 5, TV starts with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, then the local news, Jeopardy and whatever the nightly line-up is. By 10, my mother goes to bed and I write my journal entry, my only "tense" time of the day, waiting... waiting... waiting... for this damn computer to respond to commands.
Some days we do housework, some days I do laundry, somedays we take care of the plants, some days I feed the birds, but there is nothing really pressing in an uncluttered house that just needs to be kept that way.
Through our days, sometimes we sit in a companionable silence, sometimes we talk. Sometimes we talk about the old times, the hell we lived with my father that only we understand. Or we remember my sister and wonder what she would be like as she turned 60, as she would have this year. Or we talk about our lives today, the hopes, dreams, plans, disappointments, and frustrations of life.
There is nothing unusual going on here. We are living a simple, quiet life, but I am realizing that I have been given a very special gift. The gift of time to renew a relationship that neither of us really thought needed "renewing" but which is glowing more brightly for this time together.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Today was Ash Wednesdayand a Eucharistic Minister came to give my mother ashes and communion.
This is entry #2517