Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Fall has arrived, accompanied with cooler temps, lady bugs, leaves to rake and most importantly, flu shots. One would think that by the time a person has reached their 80's, that a flu shot wouldn't be a big deal, but to my mother, it's major!
I have dropped subtle hints that it's getting time for this ominous task, but mother hasn't paid much attention to my words. Today, I have arranged for my oldest daughter Blythe, to come and take care of this deed for mother.
Blythe is mother's fifth oldest grandchild. When she was born, we just happened to be living in Mississippi and out of the clutches of grandparents. Long drives back to North Carolina were soon made and I must say it sure felt good to have family helping out with my first born, giving me needed rest.
I remember one evening we had come home for a summer visit. Blythe was just 6 months old. Being she was my first child, of course, every word, creep, tooth and step was well documented. We had gone out to eat and on the way home, mother decided that it was time for Blythe to began crawling. I was thinking to myself that it was a little too early for such an undertaking but, Mema had other plans. As we all sat down in our comfy chairs, mother took Blythe down into the floor and began crawling on all fours, showing her how is was done. It wasn't long before Blythe began mimicking her Mema!
Even though living far away separated all of us from each other's presence, it didn't stop mother from building a close relationship with my children. Letters, cards, packages would arrive monthly and and many times, weekly, sometimes bearing objects as small as a pack of crayons, or as large as a new Easter dress. Whatever the occasion, mother made sure that she would not be forgotten.
Blythe is a woman now with four children of her own. She still holds her Mema very close, but with all the duties that go with four children and a husband, it's very hard to spend as much time with her as she'd like.
As I arrive this morning to bring mother her medications, I prepare her for a busy day. Knowing that I have roped Blythe into taking mother for her flu shot, I tell her that it won't be long until it's time for a "flu shot." Things get pretty quiet as mother looks up with a tight lip. "I'm not getting a durn flu shot!" she snaps. "And you can forget it!" We began back and forth and by the time I leave, the air is thick with tension! She has warned me of a butt kicking that I'd never forget, plus many other descriptive remarks which would be better to leave unwritten for now. This time last year, I would become very unglued at all of this, but I must say, I am becoming a bit more adjusted. For one reason, I won't be the unlucky bird taking her today.
I have given Blythe instructions to stop by my workplace in town where mother will be getting her shot, to pick up some necessary medical information. As I busy myself with duties of the day, I hear the door open and someone call my name. Blythe appears at my desk and tells me that I'd better hurry and come out there that mema is pitching a fit and she says she's not getting "NO FLU SHOT!" I rush outside to the car and see a tight fisted mother sitting in the passenger side. I lean into the car and tell her that she has to get her shot because I have already made an appointment at the drugstore with the pharmacist and if she doesn't go, they'll bill her double for breaking an appointment. Knowing that God will have to forgive me for telling such a fib, I stand firm and convince her that she will have to go. Mother rallies in the fact that when someone is with her other than me, she can readily hurl insults at me. As Blythe starts up her car, mother is shaking her fist and threatening bodily harm to my lower extremities.
Later in the day, I receive a phone call from Blythe, telling me that the mission had been accomplished. In years past, I had always taken mother to this certain pharmacist. Mother, much like the actress Betty White, is quickly smitten with handsome younger men. I had a feeling that as soon as mother got out there and spotted the administrator of this shot, she'd forget all about her anger and fear. She told that when asking Mema if her arm was bothering her, mother would say "no, why?" Blythe would remind her that she had just had her flu shot, only for mother to say, "well, that man was so goodlooking, I must not have felt it!"
Even though all of the signs are about us saying that it's Fall of the year, in mother's heart, it had turned to "Spring Fancy."