Our mother calls the shots on Sunday. We know not to make big plans for Sunday mornings because we know that Mom is gonna be calling up the day before and say “…let’s have breakfast at Donna’s…it’s my treat.” Sometimes our cousins, the Belarde girls and their families attend. Sometimes sisters Jean and Deanne; other times it’s just brothers Rick and Tim. This time it’s a combination that hasn’t ever happened before…
I hadn’t ever noticed how much my mother enjoys her meals more when someone is eating with her – huh? – the simplest of things that go unawares for many years until a person’s life gets simplified! She doesn’t want much anymore. She just appreciates her every breath at hand. And because it was another rare, sunny day in Juneau, she wanted to put flowers on the graves, to visit the memories of her mother, brothers, niece, sister and husband, knowing that any day she will be joining them.
Three weeks before my father passed away in Decmeber 2008, my father requested that we put 5 red roses on his grave in memory of him along with his 4 best friends who were blown to smithereens in a tank during World War II in the Phillipines. Dad said he would have been in that tank had he been accepted into the Phillipine Army – but because he was an inch too short, he was not accepted into the army.
How many middle-aged men do you know who take care of their mother full-time? Our brother Rick has been taking care of Mom since our father’s passing almost two years ago.