Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Today is Tuesday and for mother, it's just another day of the week. As she greets me at the door, I hear the usual questions, "What in the world are you doing here this early?" "What are these pills for?" "How many pills am I taking?" I change the subject and inform her that Jay is coming today. Now this isn't the first time I've told her this, just the first time today. Mother says,"He is?" I thought he was working!" My brother Jay is mother's only son and second from the oldest.
During the Vietnam war, Jay was stationed in Siagon, things were getting a little heated over there and mother was worried about him as all mothers would be. She hadn't had a letter for a very long time. Each day she would call the post office and see if a letter had come in. My daddy would tell her that she was going to worry them to death! But mother persisted. The day came that she had been waiting for; good news that her son was safe and all was well.
Jay is a very hard worker, having worked some 30 years at a building supply business until the economy closed it down last year. We were all devastated by this event, but I must say, there were benefits. Jay lives about 45 minutes from mother and can't come up as much as he likes. My sister Sue lives even further away, she comes in on Saturdays and washes bedding, brings food and the like, so I'm not totally on my own with mother, sometimes it just seems like it. Since Jay had lost his job, this meant that he was free to help more, and that he did. From yard work, to doctor's appointments, he pitched in and did his part. Several months ago, he found another job. I was glad to hear the news but a little sad that his freedom would be gone. Today, he has a day off and has come to cut mother's grass.
One of mother's favorite activities is going to a little restaurant near by and eating her faithful BLT. Since we live in such a small area, I seem to know every person who eats there, so I tend to stay clear, even though mother might try to coerce me into going at times. Jay is an out-of-towner and fits the job description just right! As soon as mother hears that he is coming, she automatically thinks about lunch and if they will be going there. Today was no different. I reached for her pocketbook and counted her money to make sure she had plenty. Another habit mother has is paying for our food when we dine out.
As a child, I remember mother as a tremendous giver to everyone. Whatever was in her power to give or do for us, she did it. It was Fall of the year and the circus had come to our town, daddy was working second shift and we only had one car. This meant that we would have to miss this huge event which all our friends had talked about for months. My mother was as sad as we were, but she would not let us be disappointed long, she got on the phone and called a taxi to take us to and from the circus. I can still see the circus tents and animals as I look out the window of my workplace, for that is where it all took place some 50 years ago.
I noticed that mother was still wearing her green turtleneck from days before. Even if we're able to get her to change into something else, the next day, she'll have that same green shirt back on. I ran back to her bedroom and grabbed fresh clothes, knowing that my brother Jay would want mother dressed appropriately. You see, my brother seemed to acquire some finicky cleanliness traits from my dad. His vehicles are always washed and waxed to the max. His clothes, hair, house, lawn everything is maintained in an immaculate condition. I remember once he was up to take mother to the doctor and she had been sitting where her dog Annie likes to sit. Jay noticed a good bit of dog hair on mother so he got the vacuum cleaner out and vacuumed her down.
As I say goodbye and head off for work. I feel good knowing that Jay will be here soon and mother will get to spend some time with her son.