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The place, my parents house, the setting my childhood bedroom, the reason: my mother recovering from her cancerous tumor being removed today. The time: 10 minutes ago. As I lay bed staring up at my Celebrate Jesus banner from Vacation Bible School circa 1992- the thought crossed my mind that I did not recall mother taking her Ciprofloxacin. I jumped up from my bed and walked into her room and inquired. Did you take your Cipro with your dinner. She looked at me with a sheepish look and said no…as I was carrying her water and pills into her bedroom, I got it.
Giving care. When I was standing in the line at Kroger to pickup her three prescriptions, one antibiotic and 2 painkillers, I suddenly had the impulse to get her something that would put a smile on her face, a care package of sorts. So I ran over to the magazine section and picked up the latest copy of Oprah Magazine. She stopped her subscription a year ago. She complained that the magazine was lovely, but that it was so thick, she could never get through an entire issue before the next one came. So it was a waste of money to have a years worth of half read issues sitting around the house. She just can’t finish one before the next issue arrives, and can’t bare to not crack open the new one. All that is to say she missed it, so it was a must buy. Then her favorite word find puzzles were a purchase I had to make for her. It’s a much cheaper way to have her lessen the advance of dementia or Alzheimer’s that is destined for most of us. A sort of Luminosity at a much lower price lol. Then I found it, a Hallmark keepsake metal heart with a mirror on the front, which when you hold in the palm of your hands and tilt toward you says, “Remember I always love you.” She can feel a hug for me each time she looks at it. Those were her words, not mine.
I got it today. After her coming out of surgery healthy and free of cancer, I got the message. It is my turn to take care of her now. My turn to give care. It’s been a long time coming, but as a child of an aging parent, that time comes for all of us, when you must take care of them, instead of the vice versa you’ve experienced for so long. She’s still I dependent mind you, however, now I need to start thinking of her more often, checking in more, and I am happy to do it. The love is strong, and it is my pleasure to take care of the woman who birthed me.