It was August, 2002, and time for another trip to North Carolina to celebrate my mother’s birthday. Since it wasn’t a landmark celebration—after all, she was turning “only” 98—my sister didn’t come in from the Canyon Lands of Colorado. The ones of us who were close enough to attend couldn’t all gather until the 18th, the day after the official date of birth.
Mother took pride in her appearance and had to roll her hair. It hadn’t dried as fast as she hoped it would so she took her hair dryer to it.
The family arrived and Mother had her hair all fixed (she brushed off my offer to do it for her) and freshly colored. She and Miss Clairol were on a first name basis. What is Miss Clairol’s first name? Miss? She opened her gifts with much anticipation.
Mother plus the three daughters gathered on the couch for a picture to commemorate the day.
Then one of the daughters took the camera so Mother’s son-in-law (husband to the daughter on the left of Mother beside the Porker) could be in the picture.
The shirt I was wearing was an inheritance from DD. There was no way I could button it. It wouldn’t even come close to meeting but still I ate. And ate.
I stayed as long as the hospital work could be pushed back but the time came when I had to leave. Mother cried at my leaving and so did I. It was hard to see as I drove out the driveway. After all, she was 98 and people don’t live forever.
Two months later, almost to the day, we go from the oldest member of the family to the youngest. My grandbaby had her first birthday. The day after was Sabbath and my DIL (DS2′s wife) asked for me to be in Sabbath School with her. I was only too happy to go. I had my camera at the ready and this is the first picture I snapped.
Baby was already walking and her balance was good but I was still concerned that she was standing up with that stick. She was teething and anything close would go into her mouth.
Here’s proof about the teeth:
She was fascinated with what was going on around her. AND she was still chewing on that stick!
Finally, she was persuaded to put down the stick and “rake leaves”.
Her booties didn’t last long. She was dwarfed by the big plush lion.
When Sabbath School was over, a friend offered to operate the camera and take pictures of the three of us. I was wearing about the only thing I could get on my body—the dress I’d bought to wear to DD’s graduation.
At least I wasn’t quite so bald.
My health was suffering. My feet hurt. I’d had to go to a podiatrist because of pain in my right foot and a physical therapist showed me exercises to help with pain in my ankle. I was restricted to wearing running shoes with Powerstep insoles except for when I could wear dress shoes to church.
I’d eat a fatty meal and have a gallbladder attack. One evening, I’d eaten a small scoop of Moose Tracks ice cream and lay awake for hours with an attack. My bed time was alternated with soaking in the bathtub to try to relieve the pain radiating into my back. If I could have thrown up, I’m sure it would have been better.
Sitting at the computer, I’d often have chest pain traveling up into my jaw. I’d concentrate and breathe through it. I refused to go to the emergency room. I also refused to get a handle on my eating. It was a vicious cycle.