She has a sweet woman who keeps her company and takes care of her needs during the week. On weekends, my sisters and I take turns hosting her.
She is here with us this weekend.
That means that all my energy is going toward making her feel comfortable and welcome.
She likes her meals hot, so I have to cook three hot meals a day (usually Cuban – no complaints there!). But she doesn’t eat red meat, so I have to cook chicken or fish or sometimes pork. She prefers her chicken cooked whole, so I have to cook it that way.
Because she loses her balance, I have to help her shower. I throw her towels in the dryer, so she has hot towels when she gets out. She is a little vain about her appearance, so I have to "do" her hair and apply make up to her face.
She keeps giant scrapbooks that contain clippings and photos and napkins and matchbooks and business cards from every place she visits. This is obviously an ongoing project, and she is always adding to her books. She usually has projects for me because she thinks I can do anything (I guess that’s a huge complement. =D). In fact, she will be quick to tell you that all five of her daughters are not just beautiful, but extremely talented. (What daughter wouldn’t love to hear that constantly? What a gift!)
She doesn’t like to be alone, so even when she is reading her Bible or a book, she expects me to sit with her and I do. She insists that we all speak Spanish when she is here, so the kids and Eric get to practice rolling their r’s and saying "gracias" and "de nada."
She insists on sitting out in my garden for a bit and points out places I have missed weeding or plants that need re-potting. So I end up having to do some yard work.
I put her to work, too, though. I give her drawers to straighten out for me. Or papers to sort. I ask her to tell me stories of her youth and I make her do homework – a chronology of her life and about the people in it. Always present in my mind is the fact that she never had to do any of these things for her own mother, since she never got to see her again after 1961.
When I am cooking Cuban or trying a new recipe, I have to pull up a chair so she can sit near me as I putter around the kitchen. She insists on a beautifully set table (I am all over that anyway. It feels more abundant to me somehow. =D) and the dinner conversation is always lively and fun.
Admittedly, it is not easy on me having her here every few weeks, but it is my pleasure and my privilege.
Did I say "have to?" I meant to say I "get to."
I have started many posts with, "I have my mom this weekend…"
Everyone should be so lucky. =D