“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." Kate DiCamillo
Sunday, March 15, 2020
SLICE 15/31- Today is Sunday. I'm supposed to visit my mom.
For the last five years, Sunday has meant one thing for me.
I've driven to Colorado Springs, about 65 miles south of where I live in Denver, to visit my mom.
My mom is in an independent living center there. She's 86 years old, and sharp as a whip, to use an old term. She lived alone and drove until she was 80. About five years ago, however, she had to have a shunt put into her brain. Since then, she has had a few balance and vision issues. She moved into a senior living apartment, where someone is always available if she needs help. There's a dining room where she can eat if she wants to, and there are also activities every day.
My mom doesn't drive anymore, but still manages to get out almost every day. She goes to the grocery store on the facility's shuttle bus. She also goes to dinner once or twice a week on the shuttle. A friend still drives and they play bridge several times a week, at various venues around the city. And she's in two book clubs.
My sisters and I also see my mom, pretty much every week. One sister goes most Saturdays. They get their nails done together and then usually have lunch. Occasionally, when my brother-in-law is out of town, my sister and mom also go out for dinner during the week. My other sister and her partner usually see my mom sometime midweek for dinner. And Rooney and I go on Sundays.
Most weeks, we don't do anything all that exciting. Sometimes my mom has errands she needs to run. We go to Barnes and Nobel to restock her never-ending need for reading material. We go to the office supply store. We go to Target. Sometimes we go to the grocery store. Once in awhile, usually when it's just starting to get warm, like it is right now, we go for a walk around the park across the street from her place. Once in a while, we go to a movie. And we always go have lunch.
So today, right about now, actually I should be heading out to Colorado Springs. I'm not though, because her entire facility is shut down because of the Corona virus. No one is allowed to go in unless they are a medical care provider. If I want, I can take my mom groceries or a meal, but workers would take it from me at the door, and deliver it to her room. No one is allowed to go in or out.
Today is Sunday. I'm supposed to be driving to Colorado Springs.
Today I'm missing my mom and our regular routine.
On Sundays, we are supposed to be together.
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This was my Sunday life for a number of years with my mom. I really feel for you. Hopefully this won't last long.
Many hearts are with you all.
Your slice just made this real. The fact that you cannot see her must be agonizing for you. There is a bright side, and I'm sure you'll find it through writing. Stay safe and healthy.
It has been heartbreaking to me to read about nursing home and senior living facilities having to close their doors to visitors. It's the only thing to do--but how terribly sad for the residents not to receive their visitors and for families to be separated. I'll be thinking of you both on Sundays.
Carol, I remember those weekend days when I visited my Mom. I cherished them even when they became overwhelming. I watched my Mom dwindle as the lively person she was but we always managed to enjoy a good Bingo game. I understand how difficult it is for you not to be in your routine and I am sure it is the same for your Mom.
And I wish you could be (together). It's tough for those who are cut off from loved ones. Write letters, and FaceTime. Be sure she hears from you. My friend recently moved into a Memory Care facility. I need to heed my own advice and send a card.
Whew. Your slice takes the whole global scope of the pandemic and boils it down to an intimate, personal scale. Thanks for sharing. I wish you and your mom well, as well as a welcome return to routine as soon as possible.
Your mom sounds amazing, and what wonderful relationships she has forged with her children. That she has so many weekly visitors says it all. My heart breaks for you in this time of separation.
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