October 31, 2011
I am taking a moment to pause and take in what my 87 year old mother just told me. After dinner last night, watching 60 Minutes on a big screen TV in hi def, and chatting for an hour PAST HER BEDTIME with my husband; she sleeps in, as in late. Fine by me, more alone time in the morning. My mother is one of those people who has had a good long life, some deep losses, but is unintentionally funny and almost unbearably cheerful. Everyone loves her. She eats breakfast, says a million prayers, then is ready to DO THINGS. She wants to call her hip-replaced friend to tell her she's here with me and can't go to her exercise class. She can't get through as there is no power in the neighborhood, which is WHY SHE IS HERE and not there. Then she upsets the balance of my coffee ritual (and I feel like a guilty jerk, begrudging my own mother a cup of coffee). She realizes she forgot to bring her Sunday New York Times with her. She tells me getting the newspaper, even just on Sunday has become too much. She tells me The New York Times has taken over her house. "Mom", I say in my best reassuring voice, my arm around her small shoulders, "just BE HERE NOW. We'll set you up on one of the computers and you can read it online." She doesn't believe this is possible until five minutes later, when I go back to check on her, the sunlight streaming in through the window outlining her white hair and entire tiny body, as if she has been transformed into something otherworldly. I ask if she's doing okay, and then she says, "I like the LARGE PRINT but honestly, can't you see I'm trying to read?"