August 15, 2012

I Have Seen the Future and It Is Not Pretty

Posted in Family tagged , , , at 8:05 am by msweet42

On the last day we were in Iowa we spent the morning visiting Mom and Dad.

Mom was much less talkative. Halting in mid-sentence, becoming distracted by spots on the step of her walker that stands in front of her, mumbling. Generally presenting much more closely to what we had been warned to expect.

It dawns on me that I’ve been given a gift. I have been able to chat with my mother for several days. We have talked of everything, anything, and nothing. It has been wonderful.

I thank Mary Jean Logan Sweet for that.

Looking back on that time now, a month later, I think of her as a young girl, playing on the shores of Lost Island Lake.

I’m good with that.

“Let me tell you a story”

Posted in Family tagged , , , , , at 7:26 am by msweet42

When I was born and first put in my mother’s arms I think she looked down at me and said “Let me tell you a story”. This she has done all these years.

Until this week I had not noticed how many times she starts a story with that phrase. She seems to use it to differentiate what she is about to say from just a mere recitation of facts.

Listening to her stories this week, I try to imagine how they sound to Diane. So many of the stories relate to people and events from a distant past that Dad and I know. To Diane, who was not a part of that past, these could just as well be made up tales. I occasionally make an attempt to clarify the details of the story. Unfortunately, like trying to simultaneously translate a foreign language, so much gets lost along the way. But Diane is patient and understands the situation.

Many of Mom’s stories are triggered by something in our conversation. The recollection and retelling of this story prompts the remembrance of more stories. I see a pattern where Mom begins in one place and, like an airplane taking off, goes off to other interesting places related, but seemingly not related, to where she started until finally the airplane of her thoughts returns and lands in the here and now.

This is how I find her here in mid-July, 2012.